Thursday, December 14, 2006

9 Months Home

Today is the 9 month anniversary of Olivia offically becoming a permenant part of our family. She has now been part of our family longer than we waited to learn who she was for the first time (from the date of our paperwork being logged in until the day of our referral was about 8 months). OHHH how long that 8 months of waiting seemed and how fast this last nine months has sped by. Right now families who are logged in and are waiting to get the first glimpse of their new son/daughter's face from China are having to wait 15 months with the wait expected to increase maybe up to 24 months. (UGH! That would have been pure torture for me!!!)

Our little Livi has been a pure blessing for us. She has blossomed and grown so much. We can't wait to experience our first Christmas with her. All the new things she gets to encounter are so much fun to see again through her eyes. She delights in the smallest of things and squeals with pleasure when she sees someone she loves. She has so much energy and imagination that we often wish we could bottle it and save a little for us adults. Where she used to cry and run from the camera she now brings it to us and will dance and pose and loves to have her picture taken. If we could clone her I think we could make a lot of money because we have had many offers from people wanting to "take her off our hands". Her smile just brightens the room when she enters it.

Yes, Livi, you are our blessing and our little spit-fire all rolled into one. We thank God for you every day!

Monday, December 11, 2006

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Christmas Prep

UGH! Time is just flying by! I cannot believe I have taken two weeks to post again. We have been busy with Thanksgiving, decorating for Christmas, and Christmas shopping. Today we are in the middle of a snow "advisory" and predicted to get about 8 inches of snow. Whoo Hoo! Bring it on!

The day we decorated for Christmas Olivia was taking her nap and when she got up Morgan and I were in the middle of putting up the decorations. Livi kept walking around the house saying "Wow! Cool!" She walked up to a Santa that is about the same size she is and was watching him move. She looked over at me and and said "Touch?" I said "NO, just look." She nodded "Okay". And that was it. She hasn't touched him yet. I am amazed. I figured we would be following the little tornado around picking up decorations for a month. She did help us decorate the tree and was very proud of herself. The only problem is, she touched those decorations to decorate the tree, so she thinks those are okay to play with. The other day I found some of her toys hidden in the tree. What a goof ball!

Monday, November 20, 2006

Morgan's First Recital

This was a big weekend for Morgan. Big birthday party and her first piano recital. She has only been taking lessons for about 2 1/2 months and she already had her first recital. Here she is playing a duet with her piano teacher. She did very well. She played The Happy Song, Hark, The Herald Angels Sing and Yankee Doodle.
Well Done Morgan!

Morgan turns 11

This last weekend Morgan celebrated her 11th birthday. Above is an assortment of pictures from the glorious event. We had a small celebration for her with just our family and then on Saturday she had her girlfriends over for MOVIE PREMIER NIGHT! The girls dressed up like movie stars and then attended a "movie premier" (in this case it was the movie Cars). The girls seemed to have a lot of fun, but more importantly, Morgan deemed it a sucess. Mom thought it was a great sucess because since we watched a movie I didn't have to do games or crafts this year. Whoo Hoo.

Monday, November 06, 2006


I have mentioned before that Livi is in speech therapy. She meets with Sue-Sue the therapist twice a month. Most of the work though takes place with us at home. Sue comes and "plays" with Livi for an hour and then gives me "homework" to work on for two weeks. We have picture books to look at, flash cards, tricks like putting peanut butter on her bottom lip so she will scrape it off with her top teeth, sucking jello with a straw etc. These are all things that help her develop her mouth and make her more aware of her lips and tongue. She is actually doing very well. Sue told me that she probably would not have qualified if she had not been adopted. Some words and sounds she is ahead of her age on using and then others she is behind on.
The other day Morgan was going through all the family names with Livi. She can say Michael, Rachel and Morgan really well (even though she chooses to call Morgan Mo-Mo). Evan comes out Evie and Katie is Taytee. The funny one is she calls herself Ni-Ni. Where she got Ni-Ni out of Livi I am not sure, but we were trying to get her to say Livi. Then Morgan tried Oooolivia. Livi said "Oooooni-ni." It was too cute.

The picture above is of Olivia and Sue-Sue blowing on horns. When Sue-Sue is coming to the house you would think Santa was coming. Livi gets so excited. She squeals, screams and runs through the house. Sue-Sue brings big bags with her the contain toys, puzzles, books and other goodies that are new and different each time she comes (I don't know what kind of storage building this woman has for all her stuff-but it has to be big!). For one hour she has Sue's undivided attention and new stuff to play with. Wow what a dream!

Saturday, November 04, 2006


I could just cry! I had decided to try to grow Livi's bangs out. Now this is a pretty great feat for me because I hate hair in the face so that means EVERYDAY I have to pull her hair back in something pretty. I was doing a pretty good job. They were down to the bottom of her nose and I could pull them up into most of her ponytails or barrettes. Well somehow, somewhere, sometime this week, SOMEONE got ahold of a pair of scissors......

This is the corrected version AND I had to use hairspray to keep them from standing straight up in the air. (PS: The picture doesn't even show how bad they look)In a matter of seconds 5 months of hard work was WACKED and gone! Just like that. We still have not found the scissors or the pile of hair. GONE the hair is just gone. And I was just getting ready to take her in to get her Christmas picture taken. WHAAAAA! Olivia is my 4th child and not one of my other three cut their own hair! I thought I had just about made it - I was gloating too soon!

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

So tonight we did the Halloween thing. At first Olivia was not too excited. She wasn't thrilled about the doggy on her head. Once Morgan got her going though and explained the "Trick or Treat" and she realized you got candy in your bucket she was on the move full force. We could hardly hold her back.
For the next week now I think she will believe that all she will have to do is say "trick or treat" to everyone she meets and they will give her candy. She was in seventh heaven.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Katie was home!

Sorry so long since my last blog. Katie was home this weekend!!! It has been two months since we have seen her. She came home for a quick visit. It was great. Livi and Morgan were soooo excited to see their big sis. They hardly left her side from the minute she walked in the door. We took her to get her haircut, took her shopping (she of course had a whole list of things she needed to take back to school with her), and we had a small open house for friends and family that wanted to stop by and see her. We also made her favorites: chocolate chip pancakes, steaks and dirt cake (which she made sure we only got a small portion of, and she packaged up the leftovers and loaded them up to take back to school with her!)

She decided she wanted to take her car back to school and of course it decided not to start so after church dad had to spend a few hours working on it and finally got it purring again for her. She was off again with a wave and smile not to be seen again for another month. She is like a fart in a skillet that one....too much energy!

Friday, October 06, 2006

Stressful Week

This week has been a doozy! My father in law decided to give us all a scare and have a heart attack on Tuesday. This came a week after getting a physical and a clean bill of health. On Wednesday he was transported down to Fort Wayne to a larger hospital and on Thursday underwent Angeoplasty (sp?) surgery. They found he had 95% blockage in an artery, they put a stint in and got him all fixed up. He came home today. He gave us all quite the scare there for a while.

Sunday, October 01, 2006


Friday, September 29, 2006

Big brother home for a visit

Big brother Evan came home for a fast visit today. When Olivia got up from her nap she had a surprise. She was so excited. It has been almost a month since she saw Evan he has been so busy away at college. He even watched her while mom did her afternoon bus route and then he was off again back to school.

This is her new wrinkle nose face.

Thanks for coming to see me Evie!!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

What did you do all day?

I got this off of Donna's blog and couldn't resist copying it. This is too funny and rings soooo true.

What Do You Do All Day?"
A man came home from work and found his three children outside, still in their pajamas, playing in the mud, with empty food boxes and wrappers strewn all around the front yard. The door of his wife's car was open, as was the front door to the house and there was no sign of the dog.
Proceeding into the entry, he found an even bigger mess. A lamp had been knocked over, and the throw rug was wadded against one wall. In the front room the TV was loudly blaring a cartoon channel, and the family room was strewn with toys and various items of clothing. In the kitchen, dishes filled the sink, breakfast food was spilled on the counter, the fridge door was open wide, dog food was spilled on the floor, a broken glass lay under the table, and a small pile of sand was spread by the back door.
He quickly headed up the stairs, stepping over toys and more piles of clothes, looking for his wife. He was worried she might be ill, or that something serious had happened. He was met with a small trickle of water as it made its way out the bathroom door. As he peered inside he found wet towels, scummy soap and more toys strewn over the floor. Miles of toilet paper lay in a heap and toothpaste had been smeared over the mirror and walls. As he rushed to the bedroom, he found his wife still curled up in the bed in her pajamas, reading a novel. She looked up at him, smiled, and asked how his day went. He looked at her bewildered and asked, "What happened here today?"
She again smiled and answered, "You know everyday when you come home from work and you ask me what in the world I do all day?" "Yes," was his incredulous reply. She answered, "Well, today I didn't do it."

Monday, September 18, 2006

Will potty for Runts....

We have decided to see if Olivia is ready to try the potty chair. Last week I bought her some panties. That was a joke. The smallest they have is 2T which is for weight 27-32 pounds. I was pretty sure they weren't gonna fit a 20 pound butt. So I washed them in hot water and hoped they would shrink some. Then we put them on. She was so excited. She danced around the house and squealed and got sooo excited. 10 minutes later she peed in them. Okay..... that didn't go so well. An hour later the second pair was wet. It was then nap time so back in the diaper she went. Then we were busy until the next day. I pulled out the last clean pair and she said "Noooooo.... and ran away." Maybe the pressure was just too great.

Well, today I thought we would try it again. We got out the cute "Dora" panties. At first she said "Noooo" again, but I encouraged her. She sat on her potty and peed. YEAH!! Sucess. I pulled down a candy jar with runts in it and told her since she went potty she got a piece of candy. Well, her little eyes lit up and that was it. We have now peed 7 times today and pooped once (I think that was an accident while trying to pee) in the potty! She has kept her panties dry all day and only had a diaper on for nap and the two hours I was on my bus route. Everytime she sees the candy jar she decides she has to go again. Hey-whatever works!

Friday, September 15, 2006

Anniversaries and Certificates

Yesterday was our 6 month anniversary of adoption day for Olivia. It was the day that it became official in the eyes of the Chinese Government that Olivia was part of our family forever. The day before (13th) was our Gotcha Day anniversary. They day they placed sweet Olivia in our arms for the first time.

My mom was here visiting this week and was looking at pictures from just 6 short months ago and commenting on how much Livi has changed in the last few months. I can't hardly remember the little girl we brought home. The scared, untrusting little girl whose life was turned totally upside down in a blink of an eye. The little girl who would eat 3 foods, scream if she saw a bathtub and obiediently do whatever you asked because she didn't know she could voice an opinion. NOW- All I see now is the little girl who runs screaming through the house, who yells "NO" at her big sister, who takes things from her little cousin and possesively says "Nini's". The little girl who will now eat 6 foods (LOL), and squeals in excitement at the idea of a bath. If she thinks she has a chance at all of disagreeing with you on anything she will try, like any normal two year old.

Today we also received her new birth certificate. We completed her domestic adoption in June. We did not have to do this since Indiana recognizes all our Chinese paperwork, but Olivia's birth certificate was a Chinese one. If her BC was ever lost or destroyed or if she ever needed to get a current copy (some day if she wanted to adopt internationally for instance) we would need to try to obtain a copy from CHINA! Could you imagine that mess. So, by domestically adopting Livi, we were able to get an Indiana birth certificate for her and Indiana now has all of her records and her adoption is listed as an Indiana adoption. It makes things much easier.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Happy Labor Day

All is well in our household. The two college kids are adjusting well. Both have jobs and seem to like them so far. Evan is working at Durham's (I think that is right). It is a sports store. Funny story here....he is petrified of mice and rats. Yep, big ol' Evan can't stand them. First day at work and he is suppose to go back to the storage room to work on stocking some items. He hears some rustling but doesn't think much of it. Later one of the other girl employees mentions that "Oh, by the way Evan we have a rat the size of a cat back there. We have seen it, but we can't catch it." Evan, who is telling this story to his girlfriend says "I am telling you, if I see this thing I will be screaming like a girl and running from the back room." The funny thing is, he is not lying. There is no such thing as preservation of manhood for Evan if he sees a rat. All is lost. Oh, to be a fly on the wall in that store the day he comes face to face with Mr. Beady Eyes. Heehee.

Katie is working at QDoba's. It is a Mexican food restaruant. It is a cafeteria style place. She said the food is great (we will see how long she likes Mexican food now). She just started Friday so I am not sure yet what her hours are or if she is working in the kitchen or as the cashier.

Last week was her first week of classes. She was fairly unimpressed. Huge classes. Her smallest class was Anthropology with 140 and her largest was Pychology with 420. Huge difference from high school. She loves her pych class though.

Morgan is loving 5th grade. She LOVES her 5th grade teacher Mr. Perkins. She says he is so funny and is making the class very interesting. I love hearing that. To me that is half the battle at this age. She comes home spouting of facts that she has learned.

Livi loves going to her new babysitter too. She gets excited everyday that is it time to go to Grandma Maddie's house. She also graduated from the nursery at church to the 2-3's class so she is in a real sunday school class. She loves that too. She gets to color pictures and sing songs. She loves "cool". The last couple weeks she seems to really have blossomed in her talking. She is trying to say more. She is also dancing and skipping around the house. It was like she made a leap in another stage of toddlerhood. Her imagination play too is unbelievable. She will play with baby dolls, her play kitchen etc. and imitate everything she sees. I can't believe all that she picks up. It is a little scary.

Well, enough babble for now. I have to wonder in the delves of Evan's room to get some dress clothes for him (he has a business class and the Prof. requires that the kids (boys) dress in a shirt and tie for the class) and take them down to school. I am hoping not to get lost in the black hole. I told Livi she could come with me, but I need to put a bell on her first so I don't lose her. HAHA!

Monday, August 21, 2006

Made the News....

Our family made the news......
well for our small local city we did as readers of the week...

Check it out.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

First Day of School....Back to Work

Yesterday was the first day of school. Morgan is now a fifth grader. It was also my first day back to work. I was ready. I got a new bus this year. YEAH! The day before school started I finally found a babysitter for Olivia too. LOL-nothing like waiting until the last minute to arrange childcare, huh? Funny thing was, I was not even stressed about it. I had some temporary care set up but I must have known that God had it all under control. She will be going just a few houses up the road from us and staying with a couple that are "grandparents" and are going to be babysitting for just a small handful of children. She will only be there 3 hours a day.

Last weekend was my 20th class reunion. UGH! It is hard to believe that I have been out of school longer than I was in school.

This weekend Evan and Katie both leave for college. Evan will only be 50 minutes from home but we leave on Sunday to move Katie about 4 hours from home. I am excited for her but I am really going to miss her. I think she is really starting to get nervous.

After we get back from taking Kate down to IU I got a summons for Jury Duty. Now, I have never had to do jury duty before and I think it would even be interesting to do. BUT, this is a really bad time. Our school had 7 bus drivers quit this summer and they are still 3 drivers short, so this is a bad time for me to have to take off for jury duty. Hopefully I will be able to get out of it. Right now I would rather be driving my bus. They can call me up again in January when I am really sick of all the kids and would like to have some time off. ;)

Sunday, August 06, 2006

New Member

While at the fair this year, one of the booths in the commercial building was the Humane Shelter. Morgan loved looking at the pictures of the animals in this booth and fell in love with a dog named Riley. She was a black lab. Well, she started in on mom and dad. Dad caved first (took very little work cause dad loves labs). We ended up at the Humane Shelter filling out an application for Riley and found out someone already had a hold on Riley and a couple days later found out that the family did indeed want Riley. Morgan was heartbroken, but decided she had 3/4 of the battle won because she had gotten mom and dad to agree to begin with so all we had to do was find another dog. We found another older, housebroken, somewhat trained lab in South Bend at another shelter. They said we could come and look at her that day and since we were approved at one shelter we could even take her home that same day if we liked her. End of story...Morgan liked her.... meet Sadie....

Olivia's Dedication

Last Sunday we had Olivia's dedication at church. She would not let our pastor hold her but when it was over she did lean over and give Pastor Chris a big kiss. It was pretty cute.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Bittersweet Day

Today was a very bittersweet day for poor Morgan. It was the day of the auction for her goat. She did very well at the auction and her goat sold for over $300. But later in the day she went to feed him for the last time and he had already been loaded and was gone from the barn. I found her half way between the barn and the camper in tears. She said "I just want to go home NOW! I don't want to be at the fair anymore!" She cried all the way home and was quite heartbroken that she didn't get to say goodbye and that he was actually gone.

Livi hanging out at the auction with grandma. She just wants to leave and go find something to eat!

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Livi loves rides...

We let Livi ride some of the rides on Kiddie day. I didn't buy her a all-you-can-ride wrist band because I didn't know if she would like the rides. We have not been able to get her to ride the penny horse at the grocery store yet. So I opted for tickets and figured Morgan could take her on a few and see how she would do. Well, she loved them. She rode the cars, the tea cups (not her favorite), the train and the carousel. The cars were her favorite. She kept signing for more when she was done.

She also had a blast climbing all over the tractor/lawnmower display too. Man it doesn't take much to entertain this kid and this entertainment was free!!

Here she is hanging with cousin Nolan at the fair. He is too little (only 9 months old-and yes he is about the same size as our peanut Livi) to go on rides. Maybe next year Livi can take him. :)

Seal Shows and Goat Shows

One of the highlights of the fair this year is the seal show. We have watched it twice. There are four seals that do a really cute show. After the show you can get your picture taken with them. Morgan and her buddies (the twins Alexis and Kelsey) got to pose with Minnie, Alicia and Zoe. They actually rested their heads on the girls heads and shoulders.

On Monday Morgan showed her goat, Scooter. She got 4th place in the Showmanship class (where they judge her skills as a showperson) but her goat did not do so well in his class and got last place in the market class. (I think we may have entered him in the wrong market class-oops mom and dad's mistake). Her goat though was very tame and walked very well. Last year she showed two girls (one was the mother to Scooter) and they were not very tame-she did not work them enough-and she had a real rough time with them in the ring. Now we just have to get through the auction on Friday. I think it will be a tough day for Morgan. She loves her little goat and won't be too happy to see him go.

Have you been watching America's Got Talent???

.....well Morgan has and there is an 11 year old girl on the show named Taylor Ware that is a yodeler. She taught herself to yodel and she is the National Champion. She is also one AWESOME singer. That girl can belt out a song like none other. They have not even begun to show her singing talent on the America's Got Talent show. Anyway, on to my story. On my way to the very first day of the fair and what do I hear on the radio but the announcement that the one and only Taylor Ware was going to be performing at our fair that very day!!! When I told Morgan you would have thought Garth Brooks was gonna be there (she said Garth who??). We got front row benches to the show and after the show Morgan got an autographed CD and this.....


Sorry I have not posted for so long. I was gone for three days at Indiana University for orientation for Katie. That was pretty exciting. Evan went to a small college and didn't have an orientation like this. Katie picked a school that has a population of 38,000 kids. That is 4 times bigger than our town than we live in. The campus is beautiful though. She is really excited to be moving down to school in less than a month. I am excited for her too.

After we got home we packed up the camper and moved it out to the fairgrounds. Morgan has a goat that she is showing at the fair. This year after being on the waiting list for 7 years we got a camping spot. That means we have been living at the fair all week. We actually have two more days out there but I came home tonight for more clothes and to regroup. The next several posts will be pictures of our adventures at the fair......Enjoy

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Making Progress

We are making progress. Today Ollie had her 3 month check up and has gained 2 pounds! She is up to 20 pounds!! LOL She has also grown one inch so she is now 32 inches. Still our little peanut. I was sure she would have gained more than that, but not so. She is in the 10 percentile on the height chart and not anywhere close to touching any line on the weight chart but the doc is not worried. Said she is just gonna be our little peanut.

She had her third speech session and the therapist said she is making progress. It is hard for me to tell cause I am with her everyday. She does try to say more words but they are just the first sounds of the word and normally only those of us in the family can tell what she is trying to say. The therapist said that is a start and it is great.

We went to the Toledo Zoo this past week. It was a good time with only a little rain. Livi is not as impressed with the animals as I thought she would be. Probably because they are too far away from her. She oohs and aahs for a second and then is ready to move on. I think the fish in the aquarium impressed her the most.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Morgan the engineer

This past week Morgan bought a "kit" at a garage sale. It was a roller coaster that had to be put together. She thought it would be a great project for her and dad to do. Little did she (and dad) know that it had about 5,000 parts and would take about 15 hours to put together. But since this was a long holiday weekend they got started and tonight finished the project. Here she is with her "cool" roller coaster. In the first picture you can just make out the little purple car making its way down the hill towards the loop. Now she wants a job at Cedar Point. LOL!