Wednesday, November 29, 2006

This girl loves her hat! She keeps it stashed around the house just so that she can grab it at any moment she feels the urge. She just looks too cute!!


Wednesday, November 22, 2006


Now that it is almost Thanksgiving, it is time to finally post the Halloween pictures! Ha! We had a great time. Russ' family and my family always come over to Trick or Treat and have dinner. It has become a wonderful tradition!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Relaxing on Halloween - Russ made it to one house on his crutches - He wanted to see Emma on her first Halloween at home and to see the boys' excitement! I am so glad he didn't miss it!!
Gotta Love That Sweet Little Chicken Leg (Or Is It Turkey???)

Okay, in my last post, I referred to Russ being unable to stay downstairs with the boys during the party. The week before Jack's party (invitations already sent out and RSVPs already received) Russ goes to the doctor about some trouble he is having with his foot. Long story short, he is scheduled for surgery the day before Jack's big party. We decided that it was best to go ahead and get the surgery done so that Russ would have plenty of time to recuperate before the holidays. It is the same surgery that Russ had done on his left foot last summer, but now it was time for a "matching set", as his doctor put it. The right foot is not as easy because Russ can't drive with his right foot in a cast (though he says he has been practicing with his left foot - don't worry, drivers, I put a stop to that real quick!). Tomorrow will be 2 weeks since the surgery and he will get his official cast on Friday and then that will last about another month. Total recovery time is 3 months - from the time of the surgery to the time Russ will be walking comfortably in a normal shoe. With all of the flurry of activity we have going on right now, it has been quite a challenge to keep up. I finally gave out one day and took a power nap while Emma was napping and the boys were playing. Other than that I am on schedule and still being a good mom, nurse, garbage man, veterinarian/dog groomer, taxi driver, etc..... Trying to be everything to everyone. I actually kind of like it and it gives me a nice sense of accomplishment. The kids are being great, and we are enjoying having dad around the house during the day (even if he was completely medicated for the first 10 days! Ha!)

The Birthday Boy!

Jack's Birthday!!!!

As you can see, we have had a busy last few weeks! Our son Jack celebrated his birthday with a Hollywood Movie Party sleepover with his friends from school. We had a great time! We watched Over The Hedge, popped popcorn and played - then we all tried to get some sleep - yea right! The last child fell asleep about 11 p.m. and the first one was awake at 5 a.m. and then he proceeded to wake up those around him - 2 of which were Coleman and Jack! I made them all stay in their sleeping bags until 6:30 and then they could go in the media room and play Nintendo Gamecube. Obviously, I stayed in the basement with them - Russ was unable to and I'll get into that in my next post. We really had a great time. Happy Birthday Jacky!!! Posted by Picasa

Opening her Gotcha Day present - the silk quilt from Guangzhou
What a happy girl - celebrating her big day with her family
She loves to cuddle and snuggle

Please enjoy our slideshow below of the first few minutes leading up to and following the moment we held our Emma for the first time. It touched my heart how deeply she trusted us from the first minute as we took her from the only people she had ever known. She came into our arms, our hearts and our lives with no hesitation - full of trust and love and excitement for her new life. Before clicking on the "Play" button, please scroll down to the bottom of the page to click the "Stop" button to stop our Jimmy Buffet background music through Best Audio Codes. It is a little overwhelming to have both songs playing at once. Thanks.

Emma on Gotcha Day in China and Emma one year later - she has really grown up right before our eyes. We love you Baby Girl!!! Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

On October 24th we celebrated our one year Gotcha Day anniversary. Gotcha Day is a term that refers to the day that Emma was placed in our arms for the very first time. Others call it Forever Family Day. Whatever you choose to call it, it was a day that forever changed our lives (FOR THE BETTER!) She was so tiny - only about 13 pounds at 10 months old but she was well taken care of and knew how to be loved. We thank the ChongYang SWI for this precious gift that we can never repay. Her caregiver placed a red dot on her forehead, signifying beauty and good luck in her new life. They kept calling her "lovely" and she is indeed. From the moment they placed her in my arms, she knew I was her mommy. I can't explain it but looking back in the pictures and video, it is so obvious. She hugged me and loved me the same way she does today, patting me and rubbing my shoulder. She was so trusting and so ready to love and be loved. What an amazing creature. She traveled halfway across the world to a new bed, home, family, food, smell, faces without ever missing a beat. She is a fabulous edition to our family, and we cannot imagine how we were before she came into our lives. For this special anniversary we went to Chin Chin Chinese Restaurant, the same place we celebrated on the night we received the referral for Chong SiYue, now our Emma Grace SiYue. We gave her a silk blanket that we bought for her in Guangzhou, the last city we visited on our amazing journey in china. We bought it at Jennifer's Place across and down the street from our hotel, The Victory. What wonderful memories this brings back and all of the excitement that leads us toward our journey to our son, Sam. Please enjoy our before and after pictures of our dearest Emma.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Happy Birthday Daddy!!!!

One of my favorite pictures of my daddy - taken Father's Day of 2005
Mamna, Popaw and the Boys at Bridal Veil Falls in Cashiers, North Carolina
Popaw and Emma just a day after we got home from China - she just knew he was her Popaw!
Big Hugs and Lots of Love for Her Popaw!!

Today is my dear daddy's birthday ( Don't worry - I won't share your age!) We celebrated by going out to dinner. I am so thankful to have such a wonderful dad who also happens to be the World's Greatest Popaw! Just ask my kids! They all adore him, and I have never seen a connection like he has with his dear granddaughter Emma. In her eyes, her Popaw can do no wrong! She has loved him since she first met him last year after we arrived home from China. Nothing else matters in her world when her Popaw is around. Robbie loves spending time with his Popaw playing puzzles and Chinese Checkers, Jack loves to spend time outside with his Popaw, and Coleman loves computer time with Popaw. And the one thing they all know about their Popaw is that he always has a pocket full of mints to share. We love you Daddy!!!

Spending Time Together Posted by Picasa

Emma at Breakfast Posted by Picasa

Emma helps with the laundry Posted by Picasa

What a sweet and happy girl! Posted by Picasa

Each year our school has a Fall Festival. We missed it last year while we were in China. This was Robbie's first year as a student, and he was very apprehensive. He has become very concerned about things that he is unfamiliar with, and the last time he went to the Fall Festival he was only 2 years old so he did not really remember it. Well, all of that changed when we got there and he saw all of the Moonwalks, games, and of course, his beloved Sonya. After that he went full force and stayed until well after it was over. We had a great time! As a fifth grader, it was Coleman's last fall festival. Jack was so excited to show everyone his blue hair, and Emma stayed kinda quiet trying to take it all in.

Emma's My Heritage Collage

Saturday, November 04, 2006

For some reason, when I post, the posts show up down the page with a giant blank space at the top. I am hoping that this post (without pictures) may fill up the spot. Otherwise, I have no idea how to fix it. Any suggestions??

Pumpkin Patch Pictures!! Posted by Picasa

Guess who got her ears pierced!?! Emma was such a big girl and did not cry until after it was all over - she seemed to be more upset with all of the fuss surrounding it (the cleaning, turning the earrings, etc..) and not the piercing itself. Her daddy cried a little too. She loves having earrings now. They gave her a teddy bear to hold and she snuggled up next to him - it was so sweet!

Friday, November 03, 2006

Robbie and Oprah???? He was also matched to Rick James, but the collage would only hold 4 matched photos!

I found this website on my friend's blog, and it is so much fun! I was a little afraid of who I might be matched as looking like but was pleasantly surprised when I saw who they think I most look like - Christie Brinkley! I'm good with that!