Monday, January 26, 2009

Xin Nian Kuai Le!

Saturday, January 03, 2009

The Birthday Celebrations Have Begun!

Too Rainy To Ride Outside

And are not over yet. Emma wanted to go out to eat yesterday on her birthday. Her request? Anywhere with a big bowl of Mac-N-Cheese! She cleaned her plate, got a big bowl of ice cream and came back home to open presents. She is so excited to be 4 years old. She says, "I am a big girl now!" Sam is trying to understand still being 3 (they have been the same age for quite a while now) and the fact that right after Christmas, he is not getting the presents too. He is so sweet about it but he is questioning it a bit. Now he says, "It's Emma's birthday, not my birthday. My birthday - Baseball!" So we will plan on a baseball birthday for Sam this Spring. Emma got a big girl bike for her birthday from Mommy and Daddy. She got a Barbie Bus and Barbie walkie-talkies from Mamna and Popaw. Tomorrow she has her Cupcake Birthday Party!

Friday, January 02, 2009

Happy Birthday Emma!!!

4 Years Old!!!

Friday, October 24, 2008

3 YEARS!!!!!

I cannot believe that it has been 3 years since I first got to hold this precious creature, my daughter, Emma Grace SiYue. She took fortune cookies to Preschool this morning to celebrate with her friends. This evening we ordered Chinese and spent some time together as a family. We gave her a doll that we had bought in Guangzhou. Many of you will recognize it - the Passport Doll. She was so excited and just kept hugging her new doll. She called it Emma Day and we often call it Family Day, but the name isn't as important as the meaning behind it. I spent some time today looking back at all of the photos from our 2005 trip to China. It was an amazing journey and it still is today.Holding her referral photos.

We usually like to take this picture in September but Russ had an emergency appendectomy around that time and things got so hectic that we missed taking the picture. Emma was happy to see how much she had grown. I love you so much baby girl!!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Preschool Career Dress Up Day

Emma and Sam got to choose what they want to be when they grow up. Can you guess??

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

My Crazy Friend Sam

You never want to cross Sam. Sometimes just being nice to her will get her all worked up. She is so talented when it comes to the art of photo shopping (Is that even a word?). But it is a double edged sword - she uses it for good and for evil. Regardless, she always keeps me laughing. Here is some of her latest handiwork.

Now I just need to decide what my next move will be. I welcome any and all suggestions.....

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Do you think they have a 12 step program for this??

It has been 4 months since my last post (thanks to those of you who keep reminding me). I have
been busy - kids, activities, keeping my sanity,..... Sam is getting Speech three times a week,
Emma is in ballet (soooo cute), Coleman has already been in 2 plays this year, numerous
Scouting activities and all the other things that constitute life with 5 kids. And then there is the
other thing. My addiction. It is true. I am addicted to Facebook. I am finally admitting it. Many
of you already know this because we have found each other over in that other world. And for
those of you who have not yet ventured out, make sure you are ready because it is so much fun
and you will be attracted to it like a moth to the flame. And once you do wander on over, feel free
to friend request me so that I can SuperPoke you! I have really enjoyed reconnecting with old
friends. I have even gotten friend requests from my aunt and uncle, but the ones I enjoy the
most are old neighborhood friends, people I knew in middle school, a random college friend...It is
so great to see where they are in their lives, etc... Well, enough about this. I know you are not
here for a Facebook testimonial. So let's get on with the show....

I will just post some pix of the kiddies because I know that is really what you want to see!

Sam cooking it up in the kitchen

Meet and Greet at our Preschool

First Day of Preschool

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Will we ever catch a break??

No pun intended. Sam broke his arm - it is a level one growth plate wrist fracture, to be exact. Prognosis is great and he will spend the next 3 weeks in a cast. If all goes well, that is all the treatment that he will need. I have no idea how it happened - there was no catastrophic event, no big fall with lots of tears....... He told me on Monday that he had a boo boo. I kissed it and asked him if it felt better, he said yes and continued to play. This is an event that happens several times a day everyday (sometimes it happens following someone elses boo boo just because we like the attention) so it was no cause for alarm. Sam woke up Tuesday morning, very quiet and holding his arm. He said "ow" and held it up to me. It was swollen at the wrist up through the elbow. We called the advice nurse to get an appointment and she wanted to know what Sam says happened - then we have to explain that although he is 3, he is still developing the language, learning English and overcoming the fistula that has formed in his palate..... So we have no idea. She gave us a work-in appointment for the morning (code for Long Wait) so that I would not have to take all the kids to the appointment - Jack and Robbie are in VBS this week. I arrange with a neighbor to get them to VBS, and head off to the doctor. Our pediatrician referred us to a pediatric orthopedist. Sam was so brave. I know he has got to be so confused about all of the things happening to him. Ironically, we had a visit with the Craniofacial team last week and they told us to take the summer off. Dr. Thomas said that with the volume of his caseload, it was not a good thing that he could recognize me and did not even need to look at Sam's chart - it meant that we had been up there way too much recently. He said to take a break and enjoy the summer and come back in September and we would make a plan for the future. Now not even a week later we are facing medical issues again. It's funny. But on the bright side, we have more time for the orthopedist now that we are no longer traveling back and forth to Sc*ttish Rite.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Cleveland Zoo

Robbie and his best buddy Kevin

Uncle Zhou!
Karla from EAC

Friday, June 06, 2008

China Reunion

Every year our agency hosts a weekend picnic and party for all of the families that have adopted with them. We made the 12 hour drive (yes, I said drive) to Ohio (Suburban + 7 people + 1200 miles = a paycheck's worth of gas!) and made the most of every minute. Friday night was the China Party at EAC with food, moonwalks, a Chinese Raffle, jugglers, balloon animals,...... Lots of fun for all of the kids. Saturday was all day at the Cleveland Zoo. Several years ago we had our Wuhan Super Group tshirts made up for all of the families in our group (with Emma in 2005) that adopted from Wuhan, Hubei. Members of our Agency named us that because we were very lively and vocal and the first of our kind to be so close. We are close to every family in that group. And when we agreed to adopt Sam, I told Karla at EAC that I just knew one of the Wuhan Super Group was adopting too and sure enough it was the Duryeas. So now our families are extra close having 2 children adopted together. It was great to get all of the girls together but it was especially sweet to see Sam and Nathan get back together because they had lived together for 2 and a half years in the orphanage. Nathan was not even recognizable! He has changed so much! He has gained atleast 15-20 pounds since we got home in August. He was almost 3 and was even smaller than Sam in China. Emma really enjoyed the girls. It was the first trip where you can see their personalities coming to life when they are around each other. Emma kept talking about her China Sisters. We also got to spend time with Zhou, our travel guide and of course our dear Chris and Karla who helped make our adoptions come to fruition. After the zoo, we went to dinner in the flats of Cleveland. On Sunday everyone met at our hotel for breakfast and then we went to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Really great museum if you are ever in Cleveland. We drove to Kentucky that evening and then finished driving home on Monday. It was a whirlwind but we loved every minute of it. Two families from our group are going to stop by this summer on their way to Florida and we are so excited to get to host them in our hometown.
Sam and Uncle Zhou
Emma and JackieOur dear friends, Jane, Kori and Roxy - I have a feeling we will be seeing them more in years to come (wink, wink, nudge, nudge, Jane....)