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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

And we are Off




It's time to go!  We are off to China!  I can't believe the day is finally here!  So many emotions are floating around in my head.  What a miracle the past 15 months have been!  If you would have asked me 2 years ago if we would be adding another child to our family, I would have told you Nope- we  are done;however, the Lord had other plans.  Slowly he placed the desire in each of our hearts to add another child to our family.  First it was just a thought in passing and then the desire grew stronger and stronger with each passing day.  We  both knew our family was not complete. Would I have ever thought my husband would ever considered adoption 16 months ago, absolutely not as he has expressed to me over and over he wasn't interested in growing our family in this way, but the Lord knew what he was doing when he placed several families in my husbands path that had positive experiences with adoption. 15 months later we are getting ready to board a plane in just a few hours for China and I can't wait to recieve this beautiful little girl into our family.  Like Marie said in the Sound of Music, " I must have done something good."  I am blessed.  Blessed beyond measure.

Here is our Itenerary:

Jan 1/2 we spend traveling depart Atlanta and arrive in Beijing on Thursday afternoon.  Will probably exchange money, eat dinner, and go to bed.

Jan 3 we will tour either the Great Wall of China, Beijing, and attend an acrobat show.

Jan 4  sightseeing

Jan 5 rest and travel to Zhengzhou the capital of Henan.  Children are taking to the capital of their state and so this is where we will recieve Avery.  We will get there just in time to go to bed.

Jan 6 Avery Day!  Head back to hotel, maybe walk around the park and get to know our daughter.

Jan 7 Finalize the adoption.  Head to registration office and sign the paperwork to tell China-Yes we want her.  Afterwards we will travel to her hometown Zhoukou and  pick up paperwork that is necessary for her to get a passport.  See where she lived, though we will not go inside as her orphange does not allow visits.

Jan 8 Free Day -maybe head to the musem.

Jan 9 Frank and Winston head back to Beijing and back to the U.S.

Jan 10 wait for paperwork

Jan 11 Fly to Guangzhou.  This is where all the American side of the paperwork is processed.  My friend Lucy arrives, maybe do a little shopping, and go out for dinner.

Jan 12 Sunday-do some house keeping paperwork.  Go to church and meet other adoptive moms for dinner at Tequila's for dinner.  There are about 5 of us who have been going through the process at the same time and met through facebook.

Jan 13th Medical appt -maybe go to Safari Park

Jan 14th go back to make sure Avery passed her TB test.  Shopping on Shaiman Island and Pearl River Crusie.

Jan 15th a free day.  Heading to the Grotto to see the Buddahs.

Jan 16 Consulate Appt

Jan 17 get Avery's documents and head to Hong Kong.

Jan 18th Spend the day in Hong Kong seeing the giant Buddah, seeing the harbour, going to the top of Victoria Peak.  Head to Hotel.

Jan 19th Head back to Atlanta and become a family of 7.  Welcome to America Miss Avery!



So it Looks like 2014 is going to be a fantastic New Year!  I wish you and your family
 a very Happy New Year and may it bring nothing but joy and happiness into your life.  

Sunday, December 29, 2013

3 days


Three more days until we leave!  Can you believe that!  Sorry, I haven't been around much beside getting ready to leave for China I have been terribly sick and so has my family.  Last Saturday it started with a itchy throat, but I had way to much to do, so I just ignored it.  Sunday, we went to church and enjoyed the beautiful Christmas program.  That evening we had dinner with our friends Simona, Marco, their children, her father and his girlfriend Olga.  The food was divine and  the kids had a blast.  Monday rolled around and my throat while still itchy; however, I  was not going to let that stop me from doing what I needed to do.  That evening we celebrated Christmas at my neighbors house.  She is so awesome.  She made each child individual gingerbread houses and the decorated them.  Afterwards, the kids roasted Marshmallows and drank hot cocoa.  Tuesday, I knew my throat was turning into more than just a sore throat, but a mom can't let that stopping her from getting Christmas ready.  We went to church, came home ate dinner, and got the kids tucked into bed.  I wrapped Christmas presents and watched It's a Wonderful Life.  It went all downhill from there as it was all we could do to open our present.  We somehow got through Christmas dinner, but one by one we all went to bed early.  Even Nana was sick and went home.  I woke up at 5 in the morning with the stomach flu and spent the day in bed.  Then just as I thought I was getting a little better I woke up with pink eye and my cough was now uncontrollable.  So yesterday, I went to the ER and came home with a truckload of medicine that promises to get me better before we go to China.  Let's Pray and cross my fingers.  Avery's suitcase is packed, now I just need to pack mine.  3 more day!  I can't believe that a week from tomorrow, I will have Miss Avery in my arms!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Monday, December 16, 2013

A Little Helper in the Kitchen "Sunday Snapshot"



Saturday morning we opened the door to rain and it kept coming down; however, that did not stop us from going to the church Christmas party.  This year we choose to forego a fancy party to use the money to serve others in our community.  So for two hours we cut and tied blankets that will be given to the Project Linus Group.  The blankets are given to children in  the hospital or children who may be in a traumatizing situation.  Afterwards, Harris went with his friends to see the Hobbit and the rest of us went to Red Robin and then a quick look in Game Stop.  It continued to rain all day.  Winston went to see the Hobbit with his Nana while the littles stayed home with me!  We hope to go to the Global Lights Festival sometime next week.  The rain didn't stop us from making our favorite holiday cookies.  Addy is starting to become a lot of fun.  When she saw that I was going to make cookies, she hopped up on the counter to help.  Every time she would roll a ball of dough and roll it in the sugar, she would clap her hands and say Yeah!  We made fudge, chocolate chip with M&M cookies, Danish Pebernodder cookies, and Molasses Cookies.   I know it sounds like a lot, but we will be doing Secret Santa this week and they will be enjoyed by all those who receive them.  Tonight we lit the 3rd candle on our Advent wreath and enjoyed reading Christmas stories as we tasted some of our treats.  Well, I hope you had a good weekend.  What did you do this weekend?
Ni Hao Yall

Friday, December 13, 2013

Our Christmas Card and other events!


Hi!  How are you?  Are you just as glad that it is Friday as I am?  Our washer machine has been running all week as Roman came down with the stomach flu Wednesday night.  I had to take him to the doctor yesterday because the poor guy couldn't stop throwing up!  He seems to be doing much better this morning, but we are keeping home to make sure he doesn't pass it on to the other children at school.  Still no news from China.  It is day 10 today!  I am starting to get nervous as we only have a couple weeks from when we would need to leave in order for my husband to join me!  Also, their are only so many consulate appointment in the month of January, so if you don't get one before the Chinese New Year begins then you have to wait till middle of February.  Tomorrow, we will go to a church Christmas party and are hoping to go to Turner Field for the Global Festival of Lights.  Harris is going to go see the Hobbit!  He can't wait! He is going to go with a group of his best buddies.  I still haven't seen Hobbit 1! Well, I better go!  I hope you have a great weekend!  

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Blankie "Corner View"



When I was a little girl, I had my thumb in my mouth and a blanket in my hand.  As I grew older, you would always find me wrapped in a blanket even when it may have been too hot for a blanket.   To this day, most evening you will find a blanket either wrapped around me or on my lap. When I became a mother, I gave each of my children a special blanket.  None of them walk around with their blanket like I did, but that is OK.  The olderchildren I have put their blankets away as a keepsake and hope it will be special to them someday as they move throughout their life.  In just a few weeks, we will be bringing home a new addition to our home (still waiting on the last step/today makes day 8), and just like her brothers and sister she will have a special blanket.  Her Nana is also finishing a blanket that she is crocheting at the moment.  I can't even begin to tell you how ready I am to have this little girl in my arms.

Corner View is a weekly appointment - each Wednesday - created by Jane of Spain Daily, where bloggers from all corners of the world share their view on a pre-arranged theme. If you'd like to join in, please leave a link to your Corner View post in the comments below, and be sure to visit other participants too.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Santa Baby


Santa came to Addy's preschool last week.  While she didn't cry, she wasn't to sure what to think about the Jolly Man in the red suit.  The photo makes me kind of laugh.  She was the only one in her class who didn't cry.  Ho Ho Ho!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Weekend in December




Hi!  How are you?  Did you have a great weekend?  What did you do this weekend?  The weekend started off well with Addy and I making Peppermint play doh.  She loves playing with the stuff!  If I want to keep her in one place then play doh does the trick.  Afterwards, we read the story the Legend of the Candy Cane.  Love this story that explains the symbolic meaning  of the candy cane.  Turn it upside and it is a J for Jesus and then when it is right side up it is a shepherds hook.  The red is the blood of Jesus and to remind us of his atonement and the white is to remind us of his love and that we can be forgiven.  Not to long after we finished with our activities Addy started throwing up.  No sooner had I gotten her cleaned up and changed the sheets on her bed that she began throwing up again.  Poor thing!  The next morning I thought she was fine and gave her a bottle and brought her in bed with me to keep her from waking up the others and she threw up all over my bed.  Got her cleaned up and got Roman to his friend Andrew's birthday party and then took Winston to get his haircut. Oh, I forgot that St. Nicolas came on Friday morning.  He comes on the 6th and as German tradition has it my children put out their shoes.

My mother came over, we watched Frosty the Snowman with the littles and ate Peppermint Cheesecake from the Cheesecake factory. Yummy!  Sunday rolled along and I whipped out the Christmas music.  Love the Forgotten Carols by Michael McLean.  Roman was thrilled to decorate the gingerbread house and Winston couldn't get the candles lit fast enough for Advent.  I love seeing how excited the children get for our Christmas traditions.

My mom and I went to a movie this past week called Philomena.  The movie is good and it is bad.  The bad is that it is a true story of a woman who grew up in Ireland and had a baby out of wedlock who was sent to the Magdalena Laundries.  These poor woman were abused.  Their children were stollen from them.  The good thing about this movie was the message of forgiveness and how if you hold hatred toward others for the wrong they do against you that really you end of a victim a second time because you allow them to hold power over your life.  You allow the hatred to hold you prisoner.  I am not sure if I could have been so forgiving.  It made me sad that people can be so cruel.

Here is to a new week!  One week closer to brining home our baby girl.  Have a great week!

Friday, December 6, 2013

Dreaming of a White Christmas



I can't say a white Christmas is in our future with tempetures today of 70 degree, but one can hope.  Roman is dreaming of making a snow man, sledding, and making snowballs.  In the mean time, we decided to make these melted snowmen sugar cookies and read Snowmen at Night.  A fun story of what snowmen do when all are sleeping a night.
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While Roman is dreaming of snow, I am dreaming of holding this sweet little girl in my arms.  On Tuesday, our Article 5 was picked up at the U.S. Consulate in China and we are officially waiting TA the final step in the adoption process prior to going over to China (travel approval).  This should come in the next 7-21 days.  I am of course praying for way under 21 days as we are hoping to leave for China on the 1st of January in hopes of having a Gotcha day of January 6th.  Please pray along with us!



So it is Friday!  What do you have planned for the weekend?  We are planning to go to our cities tree lighting ceremony.  The boys need haircuts and I am looking forward to just relaxing.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Fall Break Pt 2





Fall break started off with a bang when I got to the airport and they could not find my reservation for Addy and I to fly to Orlando.  See, Addy is only good in the car for about 20 minutes and then she begins loosing it, so in order for everyone not to loose their minds it was decided that Addy and I would fly.  I went to three different desk and they could not find my reservation.  I checked the e-mail with the flight information and my husband who had booked the ticket had taken a screen shot of the reservation, but their was no confirmation number.  It turns out that he had forgotten to click the last button to confirm the reservation and so he never really did book me a ticket.  The boys were all ready 4 hours south at this point.  After cashing in some frequent flyer miles a ticket was booked for Addy and I to fly the next morning, and we spent the night at the hotel airport.  On Monday, Frank took the boys to Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure.  The boys love Universal and this time they did both sides of the park.  Harris favorite ride is called Disaster and Winston loves The Hulk.  A trip to Universal wouldn't be complete with out some butter beer and chocolate frogs.  Tuesday, we hung out at the condo and then went to see Catching Fire!  We couldn't wait to see it after loving the first in the series and reading all the books.  On Wednesday, the boys and I went to Epcot while Roman and Addy hung out with Frank at the condo.  Roman didn't want to go which is just as well as since it was freezing cold that day and he couldn't have gone on any of the rides.  Epcot is a little science museum meets amusement park with a splash of  world fair.  The boys really liked the rides while I enjoyed watching the different movies that were presented in each land; especially China was a treat because we are going there next month.  On Thursday after enjoying our Thanksgiving meal we went to see Frozen.  Not my favorite story line, but the children liked it!  We dropped Roman off at home with Papa and went back to see the Book Thief.  Loved this movie!  Loved the book!  It was a little heavy for the big boys.  You have seen how we spent Friday.  The big boys and Addy stayed back at the condo with their papa and went swimming while Roman and I went to Disney.  Disney is to baby for them!  On Saturday, we drove home to Atlanta.  Frank on the way home said, "Now, I understand why you wanted to fly with Addy."  She lost it for a good hour or so, but finally gave up and fell asleep.  Well, I better go!  I am trying to finish operation Christmas Card.  My goal is to have them all out by Friday!  Have a great week!  

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Fall Break




I am still here!  I haven't fallen off the planet and haven't forgotten about my blog.  It is just that right now I have so much going on and in order to keep all the balls that I am juggeling right now from crashing down I had to hold off from posting.  Last week was fall break for my children.  We headed south while at the same time painters came and painted the inside of my house.  Our house was in desperate need of repainting.  The house looks amazing, but back to heading south.  We went to Orlando.  I think it is becoming our family tradition as we have now spent the last 3 Thanksgivings in Orlando.  I mentioned in front of the kids that next year I think we should just stay home and all said, "No, it's a tradition mom and we have to come back next year.  We shall see!  On Friday, Roman and I headed to Magic Kingdom while the big boys and Addy hung out with papa.  We were joined by our good friends Simona and Michaela "Bubu".  Roman was so cute.  As we would approach a ride he would be initially nervous, but then afterwards have a big smile on his face.  His favorite ride is the Buzz Lightyear to Infinity and Beyond ride.  While we had a great time, it was even better because we got to share it with friends.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

My Boys "Corner View -Favorite Clothes"






My favorite clothes this week are the ones these three boys are wearing!
However, little known facts about me is that I love yoga pants and I love wearing skirts.  I don't like wearing polo shirts or shirt that come too close to my neck line and will rarely wear a v neck shirt.  Most days if I am not at the gym wearing my sneakers, you will find me wearing black ballet flats.
Corner View is a weekly appointment - each Wednesday - created by Jane of Spain Daily, where bloggers from all corners of the world share their view on a pre-arranged theme. If you'd like to join in, please leave a link to your Corner View post in the comments below, and be sure to visit other participants too.
Many thanks to Elsa for the theme today!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Little Miss Avery




Today, I opened my e-mail to these three photos of my baby girl!  It was exactly what I needed.  Earlier in the day I had gotten news that a document was missing from our 1-800 application (a document necessary for immigration). Our agency had forgotten to send the document in and now it may take a couple more days to process our application or even longer.  Now I know this doesn't sound like very long, but Frank can only fly over to China the first week of January because of work commitments, and in order to make this happen everything has to go smoothly from this point on.  We have about 5 weeks for all the paperwork to be completed and our Travel Approval to be issued   Until you get the OK you don't know when you can buy tickets.  At this point, I am praying it will all work out.  It just has to work out!  The good news is she is growing!  Since August she has gained a couple of pounds and a couple of inches.  She went from barely walking to running.  She got 4 more teeth.  I have missed so many first!  I don't want to miss any more. I just want to hold her in my arms and tell her she is loved, but for the next 8 weeks these photos will have to do! 

Update!  Our agency was able to fax over the missing document and the application was approved right away.  We are currently waiting for our NVC letter.  We hope to have this by Tuesday or Wednesday!  

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Sunday Afternoon" SundaySnapshot"



Hi!  How are you?  Did you have a nice weekend?  We had a pretty nice weekend!  Saturday morning we spent on the soccer field.  Sadly, Winston's team lost.  He has one more game this season and then he won't play again until February.  Later on in the day, I took the little boy's to see Free Birds.  Kind of a dumb moveoie, but that was what they wanted to see!  Harris went camping and returned around 5.  He and I went to see Enders Game at 8:30 p.m. and I was totally surprised at how fantastic the movie was because it is not my favorite genre.  Harris loved it too!  Frank was home when we got back from the movie.  He was in Boston these past couple of days working.  We missed him!   Now it is Sunday!  Half my family is home from church because they aren't feeling well.  Anyway, I found this recipe a while ago for Pad Thai!  It was so yummy and really simple to make!  Today, I am feeling grateful for adoption.  I can't believe in less than 2 months we will have Avery in our arms.  I am also grateful for all the wonderful families I have met along the way in this journey.  Did you know today is Orphan Sunday?  147 million children around the world are without homes. Isn't that crazy!  If you think adoption might be something for your family, then I encourage you to pray about it!  If you have any questions about adoption, I would be happy to answer them and if I can't then I know the people who can.  Have a great Sunday!
Ni Hao Yall

Friday, November 1, 2013

It's November!


The candy is sorted and plenty consumed.
It's November!
Can you believer it!  I can't!!!
Thansgiving is around he corner and then comes Christmas.
Before I know it I will be in China!
But for now it is fall!
Fall is even better when you are eating pumpkin coffee cake.
Yummy!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

All the Small Things "Corner View"








It seems like yesterday this now little girl was a tiny tiny baby of 4 pounds three ounces and when she cried it sounded like we had a kitten in our house.  It seems like yesterday, she was just learning her first steps and wobbled as she walked.  Now she runs, and jumps, dances, and claps her hands for joy when she likes something.  She talks constantly and is always wiggling which makes it very difficult to get a good photograph of her!  I love how she says,"whaT,' with the emphasis on the T.  I like that she is so interested and learning and is always asking, "What is that?"  I can't help but smile when I see her dance to the new song What did the Fox Say? and she likes to sing the words to the chorus.  I love how she wants to know where her brothers are when they aren't home.  It is all these small things that I want to remember in 3, 5, and 40 years from now.  For years now, I have been following a blog written by Emily.  She writes so beautiful.  She captures the beauty in the little details.

With Christmas coming up, I know we are all in search for the perfect gift for those we love. Shutterfly has given me the opportunity to offer those who read my blog a special offer.  If you go to their website, you can type in these codes  UP40BOOKS and  SHIP30 get a discount on their products.  Who wouldn't love getting a photobook, a calender, or even a special phone cover for dad with photos of those they love.  Shutterfly offers the perfect give for those you love.

Corner View is a weekly appointment - each Wednesday - created by Jane of Spain Daily, where bloggers from all corners of the world share their view on a pre-arranged theme. If you'd like to join in, please leave a link to your Corner View post in the comments below, and be sure to visit other participants too.


Sunday, October 27, 2013

They said "Yes" LOA "Snapshot Sunday"




In the adoption process there is a lot of waiting.  First you fill out a ton of paperwork then you wait, the you get a referral or also called a match which is picture of the child you hope to adopt, then you submit a letter that you want to China to adopt that child.  After another long wait you get a document called Letter of Acceptance.  Well, we finally got that letter.  We waited 56 days for this letter.  Of course, it had to come when I was in New York, but I won't complain because I am happy it came.  Some wait as long as 147 days.   Thankfully, we were able to sign an electronic copy as we waited for the hard copy to arrive.  This past week we recieved our hard copy and we signed this and sent it back to our agency which then sent it back to China.  Now what?  Now we wait for the United States to say it is OK for our precious Avery to enter the United States.  This usually takes about 2 weeks.  This document is called a I-800.  Then from there they send that paperwork off to the National Visa Center to issue a visa for her to enter and then this paper work is sent back to China where they then give us TA or Travel Approval.  If everything goes smoothly, we will be holding Avery in our arms January 6th.  So let's pray because my sweet husband can't go any other dates due to his work.  We are so so close!
Ni Hao Yall

Friday, October 25, 2013

A visit to Time Square



Yeah!  It is Friday!  
What are you up to this weekend?
Tonight we are off to our churches annual Trunk or Treat and Chili Cook Off!
I have mixed feelings as it is freezing outside.
Hopefully, the campfire will keep us warm!

The kids are excited about getting candy of course!
Winston is going as Superman, Roman is Chop Chop from Skylanders, 
and Addy is going to be a Georgia Tech Cheer leader.

While we were in New York 
Lucy and I went to Time Square.
A trip to New York just isn't a trip to New York 
without a visit to Time Square!

Have a Great Weekend!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Museum x Three



















While the food in New York is great, one of the main reasons we went to New York was to go to the museums.  WOW!  Is all I can say!  If you plan on attending more than one museum while you are in New York, you will want to google pass and see what you can find.  Many of the museums are about $25 to get into, but if you purchase a pass you can attend multiple museums for a reduced price.  We visited three museums for $60.  Just because it was within walking distance of the Russian Tea Room, our first stop was the Modern Art Museum or MOMA.  One tip in visiting any museum when visiting any museum is to get a map and check out where the art you are most interested in is located.  You can also go on-line and many of the museums will have apps for your phone with a narration of the art, links to more information as well as developed websites that will tell you what is visiting their museums at the moment.  The MOMA has a great collection of Andy Warhol, Picasso, Hopper, Van Gogh, and O 'Keefe.  Then it was off to the Guggenheim which the building is a fantastic piece of art created by the famous architect Frank Llyod Wright.  No pictures are allowed inside.  After getting a bite to eat it was then on to the Metropolitan.  The Metropolitan I could spend all day in because besides having a great Middle East Collection it has one of the greatest collection of the most famous artist from around the world like Van Gogh, Picasso, Matisse, Degas, Monet, Serat, and on and on and on.  If you love Art, then New York is the place to go!  Don't forget about Architecture too!  The final picture is of the building they called the lipstick building located on 885 thirds avenue and 53rd street.