Friday, May 30, 2008

Things, things, and more things...

Seems like I always start with how busy we are and not enough time to blog....well we are there again. So, I will do a short photo essay and catch you up on our happenings. Until next time, enjoy the summer and go outside and play.

Jacob's Preschool Graduation. WOW! He is getting so big.

Isabells taking a break from playing so hard.

Spent last weekend camping with family. First time Robb and I have camped in 12 years. Survived three rain storms and the smores were great. Robb's oldest brother is in town, so for the first time all 9 cousins are together. We went from having no children in the family to just a tab (like a month) over 5 years, to having 9 children - all relitively the same ages. It's chaos, crazy, and so much fun. We will post more photos of the kids next week as we are spending one last weekend with everyone in town.

All of us taking in a Memorial Day Parade. It was fun and the kids so enjoyed themselves, but they were looking forward to getting back to the mud at the camp site.

GOOOOOOAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLL! Last soccer game of the season and Jacob had some contact with the ball. It was great. I didn't get the photo, but as soon as he kicked that last kick, he ran to me and said, 'did you see that mom'. Mind you, I am not on the he left to game to make sure I was watching. PRICELESS!

House Front - Plans - check - builder - check - location - check - contract - check -hole in the ground - - footings/and foundation walls. LOOKING GOOD!

Last, but certianly not least...we finish this week up with the last day of school - FIELD DAY!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

WOW - A green thumb I don't have.

Absolutely loved these photos of the gardens in Beijing, China as the entire city gears up for the 2008 Summer Olympics.

On another note, this is an article a friend send and I thought it was worth reading. Made me thankful for where I live and how I live - as these rules/regulations don't even cross my mind here at home.
http://news. s/ap/20080526/ ap_on_re_ as/china_ earthquake_ one_child
(Sorry, having problems linking with blogger, will have to copy and paste if you want to read it).

Enjoy the beginning of summer.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Another Family Moment...

Today marks our 2nd "Forever Family Day".....on this day we celebrate becoming a family of 4. On May 20, 2006 we met as a family of four for the first time. It was the day Jacob got to meet his baby sister - Isabella, so we celebrate this day as our Forever Family Day. My how they have changed in just two short years.

"The world's greatest changes are made at home."

May 20, 2006

May 20, 2007

May 2008

Friday, May 09, 2008

WOW - Time flies!

Isabella, May 9, 2006.

Isabella, May, 2007.

Look at her now.

Today marks the 2 year anniversary since Isabella Ruby Xian Yan was placed in our arms. She is an amazing, beautiful, smart little girl. She has changed so much since we first met her two years ago. She is funny, loves to make you laugh, has absolutely no fear, and can be as stubborn as they come. I wouldn’t have it any other way. Below is the entry I made the day she was placed in our arms and most often it feels like a lifetime ago.

So today, I will secretly say prayers all day long thanking the good Lord above for all the happiness he has brought in our house, and some how send out thanks and gratitude to her birth givers letting them know what a beautiful gift they have blessed us with. We will spend the evening with our family and friends out to dinner; and of course Chinese will be the cuisine of choice.

May 9, 2006

Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take, but by the number of moments that take your breath away…

Our breath has been taken away! Today, May 9, 2006 Isabella Ruby Xiao Yan was placed in our arms forever. Jacob we have your little sister! She is perfect.

Today we said goodbye to Beijing and continued on this journey to Isabella, heading to central China… Chongqing, China. We arrived to our hotel in Chongqing China around 3:30 PM (2:30 AM CST) on Tuesday, May 9, 2006 and that is where it hit me, it’s not tomorrow anymore. We went to our rooms to gather supplies, freshen up, and make any last minute notes. At 5:00 PM we went to our Coordinator’s (Lina) room (all 6 families). This is where the babies were being brought to us.

The room was filled with nerves, excitement, and just pure energy. At 5:20 PM we heard some bustling in the hall and in walks the Director and five nannies holding beautiful baby girls all dressed a like. I noticed right off that the director had Isabella in his arms. Then one by one they called out each child’s name and the babies were placed in our arms.

It was pandemonium. Pictures flashing, everyone filming, babies and parents began to cry, and then finally they called Xiao Yan. We walked over the Director and he handed us Isabella. I can’t possibly put into words the emotions we had at that moment (one of the best feelings I have ever had).

We just looked and ohhhhddd, and ahhhhed. It was an indescribable moment that only the heart knows and we are so happy to have it on video to review later. She is perfect. We passed her back and forth, taping each other, taking pictures of each other, hugging, kissing, as if we were the only ones in the room.

We signed a bit of paper work, and then I went off to our room with Isabella. Robb stayed behind and had a chance to talk with the Director and nannies and trying to arrange a visit to the orphanage. We had a list of questions beforehand and they stayed until each family had all their questions answered. It was wonderful. Meanwhile, I was back in the room just staring at her – I couldn’t think of what else to do at that moment. I sat her on the bed with some toys and we just talked. She appears to be healthy. She can sit up, grasp toys, and moves her head to noises. I gave her a picture of Jacob to hold and she has yet to let it go.

Once Robb returned we undressed her, she had four layers of clothing on and it was 85degrees out. We changed her, looked her over (she is a girl), washed her up, and put on her PJ’s. Then we attempted to feed her a bottle. Even tough both of us have done this before; it was a pretty amazing site….followed by a pretty big mess.

It’s now 10:00 PM China time, we have Isabella down, ordered some room service, and then we are out for the night. Tomorrow we have to do some official paperwork, and then Isabella is legally ours according to China.

I will post more as we learn more and have more photos.

Jacob, help take care of grandma and we are telling Isabella all about her wonderful big brother. We love and miss you much.

Thank you so much to each and everyone of you who is following this most amazing journey, sending us e-mails, praying for us and thinking of us. We feel your love and your prayers as well as ours have been answered. Thank you.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Keepin' Busy....

Seems like I am always saying that we are busy...I guess that is life and what we live for. I am sure most people are busy, it's what keeps us going. Right?

Well, since our last post...we have been going - going - gone.

I got to get away for a weekend....and spend a wonderful weekend with 18 lovely ladies scrapbooking. It was perfect. OMG - it was great. We spent the 50 wonderful hours at a bed and breakfast and it was just the girls. We got to get a little creative, stayed up late, watched movies, and had the most incredible food prepared for us by the lovely divine Mrs. Pat. Best part, no drama, no problems, and all very nice ladies. Girls...if you are reading this, I look forward to our next adventure.

(no photos - having to much fun to stop and take a picture)

Then Jacob turned 5 this past month. Doesn't seem like it. My time goes fast and he is growing up. He is such a great kid. He is so much fun, full of heart, and enjoys doing most anything outside. He continues to amaze me with the amount of knowledge that he takes in. Grandma came to town for a visit and we had 4 days filled with non-stop fun with family, friends, and a big pirate party. We were exhausted the week that followed.

We have a hole in the ground for our house. That is exciting news to us. In fact, we went over...had a small ground breaking ceremony, toasted to the future, warded off any bad karma, and dug a hole with a gold painted shovel. It's the same shovel we used on our last house that we broke ground. We figured we loved that house and have such fond memories, we wanted to carry it forward. Friends and family joined us and then we took a nice walk to the park followed the night with ice cream. Doesn't get much better than that on mid-week on the Spring here.

Jacob also started soccer. It's amazing to watch him grow and actually make friends. Robb is the coach on his team and Isabella and I went this week to practice. Turns out, Robb is a great coach. I had three parents come up to me and tell me how great he is with the kids. Way to go honey. I was so impressed.

Now I haven't forgot about Isabella. In fact, she is doing great. She is communicating more, learning more everyday...she is just at a point that she won't sit still long enough or just plain won't let me take her picture. Here is my attempt.

Other than that, not much going on here. We have made our summer plans and are ready: Watch house be built, Jacob is going to finish soccer, start T-ball, attend Kindergarten summer school, and do gymnastics. Isabella is in year round gymnastics and begins tap and ballet in July.

Saturday, May 03, 2008


97 DAYS until the 2008 Summer Olympic games begins in CHINA!

Hip, hip, hooray!

While some of you may not be interested and others are protesting because of it's location and/or beliefs, we just ask that you think about the spirit of the games and it's meaning.....DREAMS....Hard working individuals striving for excellence who have changed their lives to make a dream of theirs come true - and THEY are doing it. While maybe over simplifying it, we ask that you don't politicize it, just enjoy it. It's 16 or 17 days of competition and just maybe along the way you will learn something about beautiful China and their country and customs.

It's been 8 years in the making and 500 million dollars spent to make it happen, new highways, new additions to the airport, new shopping, all employed people along the way and opening the gates for visitors.

Opening ceremony will start at 8.08:08pm (7.08am Central)on August 8th 2008.

If you are wondering why the fascination with all things 8. It's because the character for the number 8 in Cantonese is remarkably similar for the character for fortune and luck.

Official Site for Updates and Information: