Jul 19, 2012

Confessions of a Future Soccer Mom...

Last week Gabriella was jumping up and down as she had soccer evaluations 

so she can begin playing on the  Upward soccer team at our church this fall.  

She was beyond excited!!!

The night before her evaluations it dawned on me she would need something, 

well, maybe "sporty" or "casual" to wear for this soccer thing...  That is when 

it dawned on me that she didn't have ANYTHING in her wardrobe like that!!  

After having three boys let's just say she has been our "girly girl" in regard to 

what she wears! Needless to say daddy and I made a quick trip to Walmart 

and found this Hello Kitty outfit for her to wear.

I was very happy when the coach's wife shared with me how we can dress her 

for soccer...she told me most of the girls uniforms are totally bedazzled by 

their moms!  We can also bedazzle her shoes, hair bows that match her 

uniform, and the cute little bows that you tie the sleeves up with, those can 

be bedazzled too!!!  

Jul 14, 2012

Our Little Southern Bell is FIVE!!!

We can't believe that Gabriella is now FIVE years old!!  Where has my little 

baby girl gone?  We love the fact that her ENTIRE personality comes shining 

through! My dad has a saying he has used since I can remember and when 

someone asks him how he is, his first response is "If I were any better I'd be 

twins".  Gabriella has that same personality!  She always sees the good in 

people! The glass isn't just half full, it's over flowing! If she sees someone 

who is sick or hurting she wants to help them. She enjoys teaching her friends 

new things and has a heart the size of China; her pre-school teacher, Ms. Kara 

predicts that Gabriella will be a teacher when she grows up.

She LOVES her family!!  She is always talking about her "brodders", cousins, 

grandparents, aunts and uncles and how much she LOVES her mei mei 

Emily..."she's my sister from China". She can't wait to spend time with her 

"famiwly". Family is VERY important to her!!  She is loving and giving yet at 

the same time stands up for herself in a strong, yet nice way....OK, maybe 

with Nick she isn't always quite so nice about it however they are siblings....  

She enjoys playing with all her friends on our cul-de-sac, at church and ohhhh 

her pre-school girl friends!!  

Did I mention she LOVES the camera and having her picture taken?  As I enjoy 

photography and she likes being photographed were a perfect fit!  We were 

heading to the pool on her birthday and she came downstairs wearing her 

Easter bonnet  with her bathing suit.  At first I was taken back but then, I 

realized it was just more of my little southern bell daughter's personality 

coming through!  She loves her sweet tea and cooking.  She is one of the 

most hospitable five year old's you have ever met and did I mention she also 

has a little bit of a southern accent...I don't have any idea where she picked  

that  up LOL!!

Some of my favorite things she does and I don't want to forget is taking her 

shoes and socks off in the car and gently putting her feet up on the seat in 

front of her waiting for us to tickle her feet and tease her about taking her 

shoes off  ~ she would just giggle and giggle!  When she wakes up in the 

morning the first words out of her mouth while she rubs my face is "Good 

morning mama" with the biggest smile you have ever seen! She LOVES to 

cuddle when she is tired!  She hasn't ever really attached to any "thing" 

though she does really like her rubby blanket Auntie Anna made her, and when 

she wants  comfort or to go to sleep she likes to rub my arm, face etc.  I know 

she did this with her foster grandparents in China and she has continued that 

here.  I also like how she still remembers her Grandma China and Yea Yea.  

She will tell us stories about things they did together in China; some of the 

stories sound very realistic, others I believe are ways that she tries, in her 

own way, to incorporate them into our life and family here and I am more than 

ok with that!  She wants to keep their memory alive...this has began to lesson 

over the last couple of months and there is part of me that is sad because 

they have been such an important part of her life.  I also know that it means 

she is HAPPY, and did I mention BONDED to her family! 

For Gabriella's birthday dinner she chose....Wendy's!  Yes my baby girl wanted 

chili with sour cream, sweet tea and a frosty for her birthday dinner!

 Gabriella will have her "friend party" this weekend and her family birthday 

party in a couple of weeks!  

  We love you 

Gabriella Grace Hao and can't wait to see what God has planned for you during 

the upcoming year!

Jul 7, 2012

Gabriella's Dip...Yum!!

When we brought Gabriella home from China we, like everyone else who 

makes this life changing journey that is full of blessings, had our days and 

nights totally confused!  As I was very excited to have something 

familiar, yet easy and versatile enough to eat at any time I made this Mexican 

Crock Pot dip that has affectionately been renamed to "Gabriella's Dip"  It's 

EASY! Just add tortilla chips and it's OH - SO -  YUMMY! 

 As we are having record heat in Indiana we also don't have to turn on the 

oven so we just made another batch and are totally enjoying it:)


2 lbs cooked, crumbled ground chuck

2 taco seasoning packets

1-28 oz can petite diced tomatoes

1-28 can refried beans

1-16 oz jar medium Ortega taco sauce

1 tsp chili powder or more if you like

1/2 tsp of sea salt

1 8 ounce package of shredded cheese, your choice of flavor.  I like the 

casserole blend.


Put all ingredients in crock pot, except cheese, and stir together. Sprinkle 

shredded cheese on top.  Cook on low 3-4 hours or high 1-2 hours. 

 Serve with tortilla chips and enjoy!

This dip is also a favorite in the fall when we are watching football games!  

Jul 6, 2012

What Do You Do After A Six Day Power Outage??

So, what do you do when you haven't had power, or essentially lived in your 

home for six days due to severe storms and city wide power outages?  The 

first thing you do is keep a promise to your precious baby girl that yes, we will 

use cookie cutters to make fun, cut out shapes of watermelon:)

We made hearts, pumpkins, stars and Christmas trees!

I also attempted to french braid Gabriella's hair...for the very first time I don't 

think it turned out too bad:)

Gabriella had to give Nicholas hugs and kisses and apologize for something...

which would have been stealing the cat from his bedroom because she wanted 

him with her.

Sleeping...yep, after temperatures above 100 for several days, living in a hot 

house at first, then hanging out with friends for a night and eventually moving 

into a hotel...it's been a crazy few days!  We were SO THANKFUL when our 

power was finally restored on July 4.  The house was HOT but by that evening 

it was down to 80 and we were all MORE than ready to sleep in our own beds 

(Jordan created his own bed to stay downstairs that night as it was cooler) 

and be in our own home.

I had plenty of cuddle time with my baby girl!!!

And she even asked me to take pictures of her...dressed in a bathing suit to 

try and keep cool, and as the cutest little Asian butt cheeks were peaking out 

of this swimsuit it will be making it's way to the "too small" tub for a future 

garage sale!  We are MORE than happy to finally be HOME!!

© The Time of Our Lives
CoffeeShop Designs