Friday, December 25, 2009

Monday, November 16, 2009

Flag Football

Shelby finished her season of Flag Football yesterday. She enjoyed herself and learned how to run plays, catch the football, and rush the quarterback. The field conditions were never quite right due to so much rain and the disorganization of the league left much to be desired. But she had fun. Her team did not win one game although they tried so hard and came close so many times. Initially I was concerned since the director placed Shelby in the age bracket of 9-14 year olds. When I called to speak to him about my concerns, he pointed out that she was so tall and would tower over the 5-8 age group. I was not happy but decided to let it go when Shelby said she wanted to stay on her team. Considering she played against a few boys in 7th grade and kept up makes me very proud of her. The best moment was yesterday during the last game when Shelby rushed the quarterback and got his flag before he threw the ball. I cheered so loudly and will never forget the pride on her face. She had tried all season to get his flag and finally did it. Did I mention he was one of the 7th graders?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Monday, September 21, 2009


After days of taking turns with Shane with the shop vac, we have finally found relief. The rain may not be stopping yet, but our neighbor showed us the issue, a buried drain pipe. Shane dug it out and now the water is flowing away from our basement like it should. I pray it works since he is set to go out of town this week. If you have not watched our local news, you may not know how bad things are in the ATL area. 8 deaths, including a 2 yr old, bridges falling, mudslides, 15 inches of rain in the last 2 hours.Please pray for this area.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Tellus Museum in Cartersville, GA

Last week I took the girls and some friends to the Tellus Museum in Cartersville. We had a great time. It was an extremely nice museum with lots to do and see. The most fun was panning for stones that the kids we able to bag and keep. We ate a picnic lunch and went back inside for more.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Emma's 4th Birthday




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Emma's 4th Birthday

We celebrated Emma turning four last Saturday with her Princess friends. We started the party with a special gift presentation from our new neighbors, Mr. Bob and Mrs. Cathy. They just love Emma and Emma just loves to examine Mrs. Cathy's jewelry each time she sees her. So they gave Emma her first locket. Mr. Bob presented her gift dressed in his tuxedo. It was the sweetest gift presentation I have seen. She was certainly the center of attention and loved the necklace. We then moved to Princess centers. The kids stamped cards, had their faces painted, nails painted, and made Princess Wands. After we ate some "P" Princess Food off of the "Puffett", we had cake. I branched out once again and made a castle cake for Emma. Last year I made her a ladybug cake but, unfortunately, never got a piture of it from a friend who took pics for me. So, I made sure I had my camera charged and I took several. After all of that hard work, you want a picture to remember it by. I learned my lesson. We then went on a gift scavenger hunt. We went in search of Cinderella's glass slipper and found gifts scattered throughout the house. Emma loved it but wondered where the slipper was since we never found it. I guess Cinderella left with it after all. We played some games and the little Princesses all left with a pink carnation in hand and the placemat I hand painted with each girl's name. It was a bunch of work, but it made for a great party with sweet memories. The best thing is, I don't have to ask anyone for the next 9 months for a picture of my daughter's birthday cake. If you are reading this and happen to feel compelled, just send that picture through e-mail. Just had to try one last time!!!! :)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The girls love the pool and want to swim all day. I love the fact that Emma did not hesitate this summer and got right into the water. She swims from one end of the pool to the other with her floaty of course. What a difference from last year! Shelby is our little fish. She jumps in, does hand stands, swims underwater, and loves her goggles. Thank goodness for the pool both at Grandma's in Jax and here in our neighborhood!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

My Sweet Amanda, 1985-2009

After 17 months of battling 2 types of cancer, Amanda went home to be with Jesus on May 30th and was put to rest Thursday, June 4, 2009. I attended her funeral and witnessed what no mother would ever want to experience. Her mom, Kim, was beyond devastation. How do you say good-bye? Even when you know that the body you can still see is no longer your child, your heart tears in two. I could see the pain ripping through her soul. I wanted to take it all away for her entire family. I watched as they all cried and grieved. I had Shelby and Emma with me so I tried to keep it together the best I could. I suppose that was a blessing to have them there. I had planned for them to stay with my mom but it did not work out. Had I been alone I think the tears would have flooded my face. I have so many memories of babysitting these kids. When I look at pictures of these precious girls and their brother, Chad, I remember so many fun times. I was with the 3 of them every Saturday night of high school, had them on weekends when their parents would go away and at times for vacations. I watched them over the summer and spent so many birthdays celebrating their lives. I guess I was a "nanny" before it was the thing to be. Amanda was precious to me and always had a smile filled with sunshine. Her eyes would make those little upside down smiles and her giggle would make you laugh. God had a plan for her life that we could never have predicted. I am thankful for God allowing me to see Amanda in April as part of His plan before she left us. He knew when she would take her last breath. I had no idea when I hugged her bye after we shopped and ate lunch that it would be the last time. But, I am SO incredibly glad I had that time. As I looked at her in her casket, I mourned her loss but was comforted by the fact that she will no longer be in pain, will no longer have swelling beyond recognition, will no longer be poked with needles, and will no longer have to fight to stay alive. She was tired. Rest now Manda girl. You are safe from harm forever more. I love you and will see you again some day.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

It is over! After preparing for days, we had the garage sale. We actually made a lot of money. All of the hard work was nicely rewarded. So I am really wiped out tonight. The girls have had their baths and are ready for bed. Although they are not one bit tired. I could close my eyes and be asleep instantly. But, instead, I decided to check my email, which made me check blogs, which made me want to post. When I looked at the most recent pictures I have, I saw my beautiful girls having so much fun on their new driveway. I want to share this moment because it represents for me how I feel about our new house. Shelby and Emma can go outside and ride up and down the driveway onto the cul-de-sac all afternoon without me worrying one of them may loose control going down our old driveway. Shelby can play basketball without the ball rolling down the hill into the ditch across the busy road. We do not have much traffic at all, just a curious passer-by once in a while. I love that they can actually play outside safely and happily.They are enjoying that the most. We have met friends to play with not to mention our new neighbor across the way who loves my girls, Cathy. When I think about all of the things I love about living here, I think about so much. God has blessed us and I am so thankful. We are settled in and unpacked. I have made it past the garage sale and am happy to say I have no more "big" projects on my calendar. Now I can focus on putting the icing on the cake so to speak in our new home and finally getting into a set routine again. Hope you enjoy our girls playing. I sure do!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Emma the Princess Ballerina

You know when some kids get so attached to one item of clothing that you cannot seem to pry it off their little bodies to even wash it? Well, Emma's favorite thing to wear every day is her pink tutu. She goes into her room after nap time and puts it on as often as possible. I did have to finally wash it several times to get chocolate ice cream off of the tummy and she checked each day to see if it was dry. I decided it was time to capture this little girl's excitement to share. She dances around and smiles so big. She is in love with being a ballerina. Excuse me, a Princess Ballerina that is!

Thursday, April 23, 2009


After we attended our wonderful church service on Easter Sunday, we took the girls to Ruth's Chris Steakhouse. This was my second time eating there and the girls' first. Shane had received an amazing giftcard from one of his bosses so we thought we would use it to eat as a family on Easter. We had a nice meal and the girls loved the fancy dessert. We then walked around Centennial Olympic Park for a while. It was extremely breezy so I was cold considering I had not brought a sweater. But I was able to get some cute shots of the girls. Shelby has developed a love for posing. If you look closely you can see the hand on the hip. She looked beautiful in her dress and I think she felt it too. She smiled all afternoon. Emma is a ham most of the time and loves to have her picture taken if she is in the mood. She had a pink dress with earrings to match. She decided she did not want a hairbow, which Mommy so badly wanted to put in that pretty black hair. She is very picky about her hair already. Our girls had a lovely Easter and I enjoyed our time together.

Friday, April 17, 2009


As I was driving the other day, Emma tells me, "Mommy, Shelby is my sister. I love her." I almost cried. It just hit me so hard that she "knows". She actually understands, in her 3 year old way, what it means to love her as her sister. I thanked God right then that He has allowed Shelby and Emma to grow together as sisters. I never had the sisterly experience growing up with a brother. There is a different dynamic with a brother. He never wanted me to play with him and his friends but I would tag along anyways. I got on his nerves but I was always in his shadow b/c I thought he was so cool. I know there will be bumps along the road of sisterhood with my girls. But one day I pray that I look back and see a lifetime of bonding and love between two girls only God could have had the power to bring together. Emma loves her and she loves Emma. How awesome! Thank you Jesus! Thank you! Now that's a Mommy moment!

Monday, April 13, 2009


Shelby completed her Fun Run at school and raised 175.00 for her school's track. She began her run around the gym rather quickly and soon slowed her pace as the room became extremely stuffy and warm. They were supposed to run outside but had to take it indoors due to rain. So with the boys sitting against the walls, the parents cheering on the girls, and the girls running, it was way too warm. Even so, Shelby worked so hard and was determined to make her 35 laps. I have to say, it almost brought me to tears I was so proud of her. As I watched her trudge along, I just wanted to go out there and carry her around for her last laps. Her little face was beet red and she was so sweaty. But she did it. I did put down my camera for her last lap and grabbed her hand to run it with her. She was exhausted but very happy she ran it all(in 20 minutes). I took her out for water and walked in the cool hallways until she felt better. Bless her heart, I know it was tough. I was so proud of her!!!!
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Sunday, April 5, 2009

Emma 3 Years Ago Today!

This evening as I was packing for Jax, I realized this is our Gotcha Day Anniversary. We have been so busy this weekend, the date just flew right by me. Saturday we celebrated Ella Kate's birthday party in Hartwell, GA with my very sweet friend, Shay. What makes that so much more special is the fact that 3 years ago, we visited with Ella Kate in China on the day Shane and I were scheduled to meet Emma for the first time ever. Let me explain; we were friends with Shay's family long before we all flew to China. But our trips just happened to overlap. When Shane and I entered the hotel lobby, looking for the elevator, we ran right into Shay and her family. We were exhausted but thrilled to see someone we knew. And, there was Ella Kate in her stroller. That was our first glimpse at their precious little girl they had waited so long for. We spent some time together until they had to leave for the USA and we so excitedly had to go meet Emma and keep her in our arms forever. Fast forward, 3 years later, we visited Ella and her family, celebrated her birthday, jumped on the trampoline, and hugged bye again for now. So that's why, on Emma's Anniversary, that you see another little Chinese girl in the collage of photos with Shelby and Emma. We have such a sweet connection with Ella Kate that's worth celebrating. We also are more than thrilled to celebrate 3 years of loving Emma as our daughter and witnessing Shelby growing into her role as a big sister.

Gotcha Day 3 Year Anniversary!

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Friday, January 30, 2009

Is she Chinese?

It seems everytime I go someplace, someone will ask if Emma is Chinese. I am not the kind of person who has adopted from China only to have bitterness about people's curiosity. It does not bother me. I actually am proud of who she is, where she came from and why she is now my daughter. I never hesitate for a moment to say she is a gift from God b/c God had his hand completely in the mix when He gave us Emma. She could not be a better fit. But, she is so much more than what the eye can see. So for my daughter, I have taken pen in hand to complete a listing of what I would say to the next person who asks if she is Chinese. Of course, not being some whacked out crazy person, I would not ramble on like I did in my journal. It was just one of those inspirational creative flowing moments that happened to address an almost daily subject matter. Here's what I wrote: When we go places together, people sometimes ask, “Is she Chinese?” I answer, “Yes.” But what I need to say is , She’s also very artistic and loves to draw and color for hours on end. I happen to be an artist myself, so go figure. Her nose runs due to allergies from fall to spring much like mine. She talks non-stop always asking what I’m doing, where Shelby is, or if her Daddy is at work. She’s affectionate, always wanting a kiss-hug and telling me she loves me. I wuff you Mommy, words that melt my heart. She is not quite sure she likes characters and will shrink behind my legs when she’s scared. She loves TV, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Princess Barbie movies, and Cinderella and will drift off into her own little world when watching it. She doesn’t really like to eat meals but loves snacks. She loves hot tea and will play pretend in her kitchen just to serve me some. When you do something she likes or give her a compliment, she replies with a very articulate, yes. Though there have been times when she becomes bashful and does not like any attention drawn to herself. Barbie has become her favorite toy and she loves to carry purses, dolls, books or anything she fancies when we go bye-bye. She loves to wear Mommy's scarf and walk around the house in my shoes. She is a fashion clothes princess and says thank you with a hug anytime I buy her something new. Her favorite shoes are her black patten leather tap-tap shoes, as she has named them herself. So, yes, she’s Chinese. But she’s also so much more than what your eye can see. She’s my daughter who may not resemble me, but oddly enough, is so much like me!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Chinese Character Paintings

Tomorrow I will be attending a Chinese New Year Celebration. I plan to take my canvas paintings and set up as a vendor as well as oversee the craft area. After working as a volunteer to organize the crafts for the past few weeks, I hope this all pays off. I have shared my original canvases on my blog before but wanted to show you something special I created today. I am hoping I get a lot of interest in the Chinese Character paintings. We'll see! It just amazes me the talent God has blessed my fingers with. Each time I paint I am shocked at what I actually can produce. As I paint more, I gain more confidence in my ability and realize it is such a blessing to be able to pick up a brush and whip out something like these.