Tuesday, May 31, 2016

A Time

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.What profit hath he that worketh in that wherein he laboureth?10 I have seen the travail, which God hath given to the sons of men to be exercised in it.11 He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.12 I know that there is no good in them, but for a man to rejoice, and to do good in his life.13 And also that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labour, it is the gift of God.14 I know that, whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever: nothing can be put to it, nor any thing taken from it: and God doeth it, that men should fear before him.15 That which hath been is now; and that which is to be hath already been; and God requireth that which is past.16 And moreover I saw under the sun the place of judgment, that wickedness was there; and the place of righteousness, that iniquity was there.17 I said in mine heart, God shall judge the righteous and the wicked: for there is a time there for every purpose and for every work. Ecclesiastes 3 1-17

My grandfather passed away this morning.  He was 88.  He lived a good life and was much loved.  He is now with my grandmother who passed away 16 years ago.  I am sure it was a joyous reunion.  So grateful to have this man in my life.  He sure was a character.  He loved to play a prank.  He loved his wife and family.  He had a kind heart.  He was a lover of John Wayne and proud to be an American. There is so much more to say about him, but I will leave it at this. Till we meet again -grandpa.  I love you!

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

An Afternoon Walk

The other day I was desperately needing some time alone.  Time where no one was asking me to do something or calling my name and while I love to hear my children call out to me "mommy," it can be overwhelming too.  My mother came over and I was able to slip away for a couple hours.  I had heard about this park on the other side of town, so I hopped into my car and off I went.  I am not sure how I have lived here for 13 years and not known about this green space but I am so glad I could wander it's trails.  When it was time to go home I felt at peace like all was right with the world. Anne Frank once said,"The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely, or unhappy is to go outside and somewhere where they can be quiet, alone with the heavens, nature, and God.  Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be and that God wishes to see people happy, amidst the simple beauty of nature."  So much wisdom from such a young girl, but it is true sometimes we just need to get out and take a walk.  There is so much to be happy about and to appreciate when we see all the beauty that God has created.  Well, we are off for the next few days it is Memorial Day Weekend here in the states and my children have their last day of school tomorrow.  Hope you have a good weekend!  What do you have planned for this weekend?

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

A Community

One of the things I didn't know when we began the adoption process 4 years ago was the community of friends I would gain who would support me not just through the process but continue to be my friend years afterward.  I am lucky to have become friends with some amazing families who I would not have otherwise not had the opportunity to meet unless we had adopted.  This sweet family shares more than just adoption with me, but the fact that their daughter is from the same orphanage as mine. It is unlikely that they played with one another as the children are divided by age group and therefore were in different rooms, but I pray that these girls will be able to build a friendship that will help them deal with all the emotions that comes from being adopted.  I was additionally blessed to get the opportunity to take their photos this weekend.

Monday, May 23, 2016

The Weekend

The weekend was crazy busy beginning with the girls getting their photos taken in their tap and ballet costumes for their upcoming recital.  As predicted the rain began and I had to cancel a photo shoot which we rescheduled for a different date.  Saturday morning the rain continued which left us wondering if we would be able to eat outside for lunch with our friends and while the sun came out at the last minute and we served lunch inside a few rounds of ping pong where played or kind of played as the little kids wanted in the action.  BTW, lunch came out pronominal. We started off with a red pepper hummus with veggies and pita bread tray. Then I served a roasted garlic and rosemary lamb shoulder served along with a tomato and cucumber salad along with roasted potatoes.  I made a homemade banana creme pie.  Never made one before.  The pie requires vanilla pudding and I made mine from scratch.  Oh my is all I can say!  I am never going to make a box of vanilla pudding again because homemade is so fantastic and super easy to make.  Addy and Roman had a special date with their nana and went to see the Angry Bird Movie followed by a visit to Chuck E Cheese.  They were thrilled.  Normally, I wouldn't do photo shoots on Sunday, but it was the only day that two families could meet with me on.  The first family was celebrating their sons first birthday and wanted to commemorate the event with photos.  The second was later in the day for a family that I know through the adoption community.  Their daughter comes from the same orphanage as Ivy.  Ivy actually kind of looks like their daughter.  Now it is late at night and I am exhausted.  I am so excited that there are only 4 days left of school and that we will be heading to the beach next weekend.  No more waking up at 6:20 a.m. for at least 9 weeks.  I am definitely doing a happy dance!! What did you do this weekend?

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Under Construction

My photography business has really taken off.  I am booked until the end of this year, and for some time I have felt that I need a separate website for my photos.  The thing was I could never find a name that I was happy with and to be honest my name is difficult to spell and to pronounce.I would find a name for my business that I  thought could work, but when I would do research the name was taken.  Right before I left for China, I had a moment of inspiration and have now settled on the name. I just need to find the time to purchase the url and set up the site.  I am contemplating hiring someone to do it for me as parts of it are beyond my computer expertise.  Slowly but surely all my work will be transferred to the new site, but for now their home will have be this site.  Last week I had the opportunity to shoot photos for my neighbor for next year's Christmas.  Sadly the location we had choose was extremely busy and we ran out of time to complete the shoot.  We will do this come fall when things cool down; however, here is a sample of the photos that were taken.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Muffins for Moms

So much is going on right now that it is hard to keep up with everything.  I am finding 6 children is not the same as 5 children for sure!  I am not complaining or anything because I did choose to add 1  more child to our family, but it does seem like I am twice as busy.  Ivy is for sure cute and we love her to pieces, but holy cow this girl is busy.  She keeps me on my toes.  She is so strong-willed and knows what she wants and what she doesn't want.  One of the biggest struggles for me each day is finding food she likes.  She is super picky and I an not talking that she just doesn't like peas or mushrooms.  She has only a handful of food choices she really likes and it makes feeding her a challenge each say.  Outside of hard boiled eggs and chips there isn't much she likes.  She will drink a smoothie so that is a plus.  She is not a big fan of meat.  Anyway, last week the girls school ad a Muffins for Moms event.  The girls were so thrilled to have me come to their classrooms and see what tools they used.  Hope your week turns out amazing!


Happy 14th Birthday!
You are kind!
You are smart!
I love your passion for soccer!
I love that you have a testimony of Jesus Christ!
I am proud to me your mom!

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Key Largo

The obsession with scuba diving started out slow when Frank attended a Boy Scott camp two years ago with Harris, and then Winston got certified and more trips followed.  These past 12 days Frank has been in Key Largo, Florida obtaining his Master Scuba diving certification.  Who would have thought a passion was born two years ago.  Frank really loves the peace scuba diving gives him.  It is like the yoga of the see because you really do need to focus on your breathing and what you are doing at the moment.  You don't have the luxury of thinking about what you did at work earlier in the day or who did what to whom because if you don't stay present you could find yourself in serious trouble; especially, when you dive as deep as he does.  You find peace when you dive and for Frank who is such an overachiever and constantly working it is a good thing.  We missed him and glad he is home, but at the same time we are so proud of his achievement in earning his certification.  Here are a few photos of his surroundings in Key Largo.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Adelaide Graduates

Adelaide graduated from preschool that is!!!!  Thank goodness!  I am not ready for her to leave home just yet!  She still has two more weeks of school, but because there is so much going on right now the teachers wanted to make sure there were not conflicts of interest so that all the parents could attend. I can't believe in the fall she will be in kindergarten.  It seems like yesterday I was bringing that 4 pound 3 ounce baby home from the hospital.  I love watching her grow.  She is super creative and loves to paint.  She loves to play outside and she loves to swim.  She is not much of a TV girl and that is OK.  She is bossy and strong and we love her to pieces.  Congratulations sweet girl!

Happy Friday Everyone!  Do you have anything fun planned.  We have one last soccer game and end of season party, Frank returns home after 12 days in Florida, and tomorrow is the last day of German school and there is a big carnival to celebrate.  I made a cherry cheesecake.  

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Ivy Goes to the Botanical Gardens

"Hi!  What are you up to this morning? " Ivy's mommy asked her nana.  "Not much, I was just going to do some things around the house.  Why? " replied nana.  "Well, I was thinking of going to the botanical gardens and was wondering if you wanted to come," said, mommy.  "Ok! Give me a call when you are closer to the city," said nana. The car was packed with her stroller. Her mommy filled her diaper bad with snacks and off they went to the city.  When they got to the botanical gardens her nana was waiting for her at the gate.  Her mommy sprayed her with sunscreen before entering the gardens.  A group of school children were there and they were giggling about who knows what.  Ivy's mommy pulled out the camera to take picture of her in front of the Dale Chihuly  glass sculptures which were scattered throughout the garden.  Her mommy wasn't the only one taking photos as a group of photography enthusiast were taking pictures of the the sculptures and gardens too.  Her hair started sticking to her head as the temperature on the scale rose, but thankfully it wasn't too humid. When she came out of the cafe she was surprised by the giant dog sculpture; however, her favorite thing all morning was the toy train. Then no sooner did she get there it seemed like it was time to go home.  (warning picture overload)