Saturday, January 27, 2007


Profiles is the Family Fun Foto Challenge at Donna's Double Happiness blog this week. I had fun collecting these profile shots of the girls (and one of Daddy), taken over the last 13 months. Enjoy!

Madelyn's profile... Fall 2006
Gwen last spring overlooking the lake at a park near our house.
A recent profile shot of Gwen decorating the tree, December 2006.
Girls in the tub together... this one was taken last summer.
This birthday breakfast profile is from January 2006.
This Gwen and Daddy profile was taken the week after we returned from China, in December 2005.
I know I have posted this picture fairly recently, but it's my favorite profile shot of Gwen. It was taken on the one year anniversary of her Gotcha Day!

Our Beautiful Girls

My friend Carol put together this collage of our four girls from Yibin who were adopted on the same day! You can click on the image to make it larger. Incidently, the red background behind the photos is from the outfit that Carol's daughter Kimberly was wearing the day we all met our girls!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

A Light For the Way

This past summer my mom introduced Gwen to the idea of adoption in what I thought was a very gentle way. She pointed out an airplane passing overhead and suggested that perhaps the people on that plane were going to China to get their little girl. Gwen picked up on this pretty quickly and would point to every plane with the comment, "China? Girl?"

She has continued to do this from time to time, and we have also told her from time to time that we came to China to get her. I was never sure how much of this was registering.

Yesterday she and I were in the car together, and out of the blue, with no airplane in sight, she said, "Go China, get girl? Go China, get Gwen?" I was so pleased! I answered affirmatively right away. One more little step in understanding the miraculous way she joined our family.

It's a little like picking my way up a rocky cliff in the pitch darkness, this parenting thing is. Throw in an international adoption and you've got another little element to navigate. There is One who says He will be a light to my path... I am So Grateful.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Family Foto Fun Challenge #15... Shoes!

My friend Donna at has continued her Family Fun Foto Challenge, with a new topic every week. I haven't participated in a while (although I read her blog faithfully!) but I think I have a great picture for this week's topic of SHOES! Lots of other folks have posted pictures of their daughters' adorable shoes, but I'm taking a different track on this one.

Here is Gwen trying diligently to put a couple of different pairs of shoes onto her friend Kate's feet. Patient Kate sat through these repeated attempts very graciously!

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Gwen Faces

The following are a few attempts at a close-up of Gwen for our friend Carol, whom we were with in China. She is putting together a collage of our four girls from Yibin Social Welfare Institute. The latest version she sent me is so cool... but I was trying to get a better picture of Gwen for her to use. Taking a posed picture of Gwen is rather tricky... she's just all over the place! The smiling ones tend to be blurry because of her wiggles... but she sure is cute. :-) I'll post Carol's collage soon!

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Kate and Gwen Again...

Sitting with Mommies...
...and escaping from Daddies!

Friday, January 19, 2007

It's Called A....

This morning I was hanging something on the wall in my bedroom. Gwen saw the hammer on my bed and said, "Mommy, what is that banger?" Just a little word recall issue!

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Kate and Gwen, Now and Then

Here are our beautiful girls last weekend.
Here are our beautiful girls thirteen months ago, just about a week after we met them for the first time.
What a difference a year makes!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Floss, Anyone?

Gwen came down the stairs last night, carrying the box of dental floss and trailing about a six foot piece of it behind her. She calls to me, "Mom, floss please?" I don't know about you, but I don't know any other almost three year old that requests flossing.

Then again, Gwen is unique in a lot of ways. :-)

Daddies and Daughters

In the last three weeks, we have had the joy of getting to visit (on seperate occassions) with two of the families we met last year in China when we were all getting our daughters. It was so amazing to be together again... when you meet someone on the other side of the world on such a surreal errand as we were all on, you don't suppose that you will see ever them in your "real" life at home!

Scott and Gwen the week after Christmas with Matt and Emma, and one of Matt's other three daughters (!!), Ava.

Steve and Kate with Scott and Gwen last weekend. More pictures of these two reunions will follow!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Oh, No!

Gwen has this game where she pretends a tiger is coming to get her, then she needs someone to save her. My friend Jennifer caught this picture of her mid-scream of "Oh, no, Tiger!" on Saturday night.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Our Girl is SEVEN!

I can't even believe it! Yep, she's seven years old now. In a way I'm not surprised. Madelyn has been a part of my heart for quite a while now. She is the daughter I prayed for so long ago when I had two boys. I loved them like crazy and wouldn't have traded them for anything, but a part of my heart longed for a girl to share my heart with. I remember saying to God, "I know You don't have to do this for me, but the desire of my heart is to have a little girl." Well, He wanted that for me too, and now she is SEVEN! Wow! She has learned to be a big sister this last year, after being the little sister for so long, and she has done it so well. I pray that God will make Himself more and more real to her this year... I know His plans for her are good!

Trying on new birthday roller blades, and wearing new birthday sweater from Pa and Nanny!
Caleb checks out the gift he gave Madelyn while she waits patiently!
Got those candles on my banana split!
Madelyn got a new princess costume (with a hoop skirt!) for her birthday, so Gwen had to get one on too... notice that they have their jammies on underneath!

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Friday, January 05, 2007

Snapshots of Christmas

Feeding newborn Cabbage Patch babydoll, Savannah. Serious business! Teaching Savannah a thing or two in the car on the way to Aunt Jenna and Uncle Andrew's house for Christmas dinner.My children and their cousins making lovely faces as they pose with their grandparents!
My sister and I with our girls... see the coordinating jumpers? I got those last year off a winter clearance rack when the baby was brand new and Gwen was about 5 inches shorter... we couldn't imagine then that they would fit them this year!
Nanny admires the ornament Madelyn made for her.
Opening stockings on Christmas morning!
That jacket is a little small for you, Seth. Who could it be for?
Gwen is excited about what she found in her stocking... it was a two pack of pacifiers! Scott had the idea to try this as a ploy to end the nighttime bottle (only water... it's a comfort thing) she takes to bed. I was extremely doubtful that she would accept them. When she pulled them out of her stocking, she said "For baby?" Scott explained the switch from bottle to pacifier... believe it or not, she bought it! She hasn't asked once for the bottle, but that pacifier has been firmly in her mouth all night long! I'm not sure we really traded up...
Seth and Madelyn cuddle on the fleece pillow she made for him.

Madelyn, Seth and Caleb display their new t-shirts.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Anyone Want A Drink?

I heard the stool being dragged across the floor, and came into the kitchen to find this scene! She was just helping herself to a cup... not sure how she thought she would get anything in it, but I suppose she would have figured out a way had I not intervened!

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

My Christmas Boy

Seth is a Christmas baby. He was born on December 23. The nurses in the hospital were having their holiday party the day he was born, so they let me keep him with me for longer than usual before taking him to bathe and dress him. My nurse brought me a plate of food from their party for my lunch! Once Seth was cleaned up, they wheeled him into my room in the little hospital bassinet, and the nurse said, "Look what Santa brought!" There was Seth, sleeping peacefully tucked inside a Christmas stocking! He was adorable! I've taken his picture in that hospital stocking every year since then... of course he doesn't really fit anymore! See the last picture! :-)

Here are a few pictures from this year's celebration of Seth!

The first gift of the day was a birthday robe and hat from Pa and Nanny!
We surprised Seth with lunch out at Mongolian Barbeque... you choose your own raw ingredients and then watch as they are cooked in front of you. Caleb spelled out a birthday message in the bottom of his bowl!Later in the day we all went ice skating... some of us skated more than others, if you know what I mean!
Seth could move pretty fast on the ice.
Much anticipated gift!
Here is the boy in the stocking... almost!

Monday, January 01, 2007

Enjoying (and sometimes sharing) Technology

Seth picked out a song Gwen really likes for her to listen to... a song she calles "Two Beat"... anyone else like that one?!
Here are Gwen and her cousin Caden caught in a rare moment of sharing... we had just a few issues with this last week while we were together! My sister was heard saying, "So help me, you too!" in frustration at their lack of sharing any number of times! The height of the issue was revealed when Gwen and Caden were found to be arguing about who the zero on the digital display of the bathroom scale belonged to!