Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Awesome Speech

My son Brandon sent me this link on Monday. It is of a lecture given by a Professor of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University. (I must warn you, you may need tissues). I think this is a must watch for everyone.

After watching the video, I wanted to know how he was doing, sadly he passed away on July 25th.

He aslo did a four part interview with Diane Sawyer, here is the link to the first part if you'd like to watch.
My heart goes out to his family, I hope you will include them in your prayers.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Goofing with Daddy

A Gift From China

Gracie got a belated Birthday gift from China yesterday. I went to the post office to pick it only to have to go back home and get something with her name on it. It was addressed to her! There was no way to explain to her that we would get it another day, she was so excited, but when I said it was a birthday gift, she became confused and started talking about her party. So after dinner, we had cupcakes!

Our dear friend Helen sent Grace and I each a necklace in a cute little purse/pouch for Grace.

Helen has become a very dear friend, we still have video calls with her. She is hoping to come to the US and visit us.

4 months ago today

I was so excited and nervous, at the same time, I couldn't stand it. It was the longest day of my life. We were actually on a plane headed to get my Baby Girl (I guess I should say Our baby girl, since she is a daddy's girl, and he loves it). I had pack and repacked the night before trying to get it all to fit in what we were allowed to take.

We nearly froze in Beijing, but it was nice to tour around and see some of China. I'm glad we were able to get pictures for Gracie. We do hope to take her back to China someday.
I want Gracie to know where she is from and to be proud of who she is. My baby has been through so much. She has gone from being that brave little soul on that day they placed her in my arms, to our little Princess. She will test us to see how far she can go, but that just means she is comfortable enough with us. She still wants to be a good girl.
She squeals with delight when her daddy comes home from work.
She loves the boys and Lyndsey, she lights up when she sees them coming home. She still gets up most mornings and will head upstairs to wake them.
Her favorite book is Ruby's Wish, a true story about a Chinese girl. She also likes her Gigi books. She loves Mickey Mouse, The Doodlebops, Little Bill and Charlie and Lola. She can be very bossy. She gives the dogs direction all day long. She wants Peanut to be a lap dog, he'll have no part of that.
She wont eat eggs, I guess she had too many in China and when she first came home. She loves fruit. Every chance she gets, she says Just one little, referring to my soda and coffee. She still prefers a dress over pants/shorts. She is a Homebody and likes to be at home. I don't take her outside too often, she gets bites/bumps all over, not sure about that. She Loves Playdooh, and her colors (crayons). She loves to have her picture taken and to take pictures.
She can say her ABC's, spell her name, (she still has trouble with XinMing), she can count to 100 but needs help with the 30 -40 - etc.
She says she is 3 girl, meaning she is Daddy's Girl, Mommy's Girl and Paulpaul Girl. She loves her baby's, and still likes them undressed.
There is no feeling in the world, like getting a hug and kiss from my baby and hearing her say "Mommy". It is so sweet, and I am so blessed.
God always has his plan, when we started this, I wanted a baby baby, as young as possible, and I remarked several times, I'm so excited, I'm going to have a child that I wont have to take to the eye doctor regularly. I think God has a sense of humor, I can clearly remember seeing her tiny face on the website that Friday Morning and reading her profile. She was no baby baby and she would need to see the eye doctor on a regular schedule (twice a year), but she was our daughter, made perfectly from above just for us. I cant tell you or explain the joy this little angel has given to us, Paul Ray, myself and both the boys. She lights up our lives and we are head over heels in love.
I left her for the first time on Thursday night, Paul Ray wanted to see the BatMan Movie (Excellent Movie), so I left her with the boys and Lyndsey. I told her for two days what was going to happen. Knowing it would be worse for me than her. She was so excited, well the time came to go, and she wasn't excited anymore. Paulray had already told me, I'll give you 20 minutes and then I'm going with PaulPaul. :) So I hid my tears, got her busy playing with Lyndsey, knew she was ok, and out the door. Brandon said they tried to get her to go to sleep, but she would have no part, she was waiting for her Mommy and Daddy, it was 10 pm and she was doing Lyndsey's hair when we got home. She was happy to see us, but she was fine.
Her daddy wants to take her to see Mickey, it was a hmmmm, a heated debate and I'm curious what you think. I'm a planner, and I think that first trip to see Mickey should be done right, as the boys did. A week there to see and do it all. He wants to hop in the car and go for two nights. Am I wrong for not wanting to do that???? I mean, how can she have breakfast with Mickey, and dine in Cinderella's castle in that amount of time. That is a magical time for a child, and I just want it perfect!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

How Handsome!

PaulPaul at his last ROTC ball! I just came across this picture and thought I'd share it.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Christian the Lion - the full story (in HQ)

if you are anything like me, you just as well get the tissue now! I saw this on another blog.

You have to watch and turn up the volume.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

These are from PaulPauls senior pics!
I do love my baby boy!
Oh How I will miss him when the day comes and he leaves home.

These are our guide from China who we were with for so long and who has become so much more than just a guide.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

July always brings . . . . . .

You can shed tears that she is gone, or you can smile because she has lived.

You can close your eyes and pray that she’ll come back, or you can open your eyes and see all she has left.

Your heart can be empty because you can’t see her, or you can be full of the love you shared.

You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday, or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday.

You can remember her and only that she’s gone, or you can cherish her memory and let it live on.

You an cry and close your mind, be empty and turn your back, or you can do what she’d want:

Smile, Open Your Eyes, Love and Go on.

July always brings with it the saddest time our family has known. 3 years this month, the 25th to be exact, our niece left this world and is now in Heaven I have no doubt, looking down on her family.

I found this poem on a myspace (of all places) that belonged to a friend of hers. Devan was so full of life, not a shy bone in her body. Even as a small child, she was outgoing and spoke her mind. She was Brandons mother hen. She tought him to ride a bike and tie his shoes. I never worried about Brandon when Devan was around She was his protector from day one. He adored her and I know misses her so much. I wish she were here, we all miss her. I know Gracie would have loved her so much.
this pic is from 04 - what a smile!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


As you know we live in the woods, I now have my desk (table) turned facing the
window now and I looked up to see a bunch of turkeys, 10 to be exact. I've never really seen turkeys that close up before (not alive anyway).

More Florida

The first place we went (we went twice, which is no surprise if you know my husband) was the Bass Pro Shop. The only problem in going with him, is he never wants to leave.

Gracie loved the pool. She enjoyed staying on the steps. I didn't work any on Saturday, I spent the day playing with Gracie and Paul Ray. Saturday, we went to the pool for awhile.

This little girl showed up (by herself) right after we got in the pool. She was very friendly and stayed with Gracie and I in the pool (Paul Ray was in the hot tub at the time). I kept wondering ok, I'm sure her parents have to be close by, as it turns out, her mom works there, so I'm sure she goes in the water when other guest are there. Her mom came by every 15 minutes or so. The little girl says to me, "She looks Chinese"!We stayed at the pool until it got too crowded. Then we changed and went out exploring. We saw the sign Miami Dade, rode through a really nice section of houses, lots of nice boats. I was surprised that it was not crowded at all. Paul said he heard someone say it was the off season.

Ready for dinner Saturday night. We went to Outback, I was not happy with the service at all.
Sunday was Gracie's first trip to the beach. She was not too sure what to think of this. This was not what she was expecting.

She didn't like taking her shoes off, and she did not like standing on the edge of the water. She also didn't like walking from our towel to the water.

She did like being IN the water with her daddy.

Daddy's Girl

She wouldn't let Paul put her down. We ended up only staying about an hour and a half.

Sunday night around midnight, I discovered Gracie had a fever, and guess who didn't bring any medicine!!!!! Paul could not believe I didn't bring any after taking so much to China he said. By 2 am we were on our way to find a store, she was burning up. She stayed that way for over hours. It made our trip home not so nice.

Did you know Delta will charge you $80 for 7 lbs over. I only took one bag, we now know to take two. Needless to say I didnt pay it, I put some in my carryon which made the trip even worse. I ended up buying a $16 bag in the airport.

Sitting in the Atlanta airport, I was talking to a lady who lives in GC, she asked how long Gracie had been home, then where was she from. Then she says, I have a friend who is in China right now getting her daughter. She was talking about Penny, talk about a small world. On the flight home, we sat next to a very nice man, who asked if he could say a prayer for Gracie. He was very nice to her the whole flight and offered his help. I'm sure God answered his prayer, my baby girl woke up fine the next morning.

Here is a picture of Norah after being with her Mommy and Daddy a few days.

How Sweet

Congrats Penny & Shannon

She is beautiful

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Grace in Florida

Gracie and I arrived late but safe in Fl on Tuesday. Let me just say, my little girl did wonderful. Paul Paul took us to the airport, Gracie was excited to be going to see her daddy. The first flight started with no problems, (mind you - I've never had a flight delayed or any other problems), we were near the Atlanta airport like 10 minutes before we were suppose to land, when the captain comes on and says we are going to have to standby for about 10 minutes or so due to some windy conditions, ok No Problem. 10 minutes later, he comes on and we still cant land, ok, now I'm worried, we may miss our connecting flight (we had exactly one hour in Atlanta and I needed to get Gracie dinner). Another 15 minutes and he says we should be able to land, Great, we should just make it. He comes back and says, well we still cant land, but don't worry, we have enough gas to stay here 10 more minutes, and then we either have to land or move on to the Augusta airport, WHAT!!!! I hadn't worried about gas up until that point, great! Well we were finally able to land, and we had to RUN from B to E concord. My baby did an excellent job. I was carrying my laptop (yes I'm working), a backpack and carrying her baby and holding her hand. We made it to the gate at 10 minutes before it was supposed to take off, only to find the plane hadn't landed yet. So BACK down the long hall to get her dinner.
When Gracie saw her daddy, she starting squealing and running to him, it is so sweet. I'm not sure he even noticed I was there, or that I had a 50 lb suitcase and a car seat, HELLO!
We have really confused Gracie, she is a homebody and likes to be home. She asks for the boys and I say there are Home, she gets confused and then asks for Helen (our guide). Poor thing, I know she will be happy when we get home on Monday, not sure she will be happy about leaving her daddy. He'll come home on Thursday.
He has class during the day and I work, heck I work as much here as I do at home. I have to wonder if I wouldn't spend more quality time with her, if I actually went to the office every day.
Paul took her down to the pool on Thursday, I stayed and did work, they had been gone awhile so I went to check on them. She LOVES the pool! I guess we'll have to take her to Granddaddy's. Maybe we can get one is a few years.
We plan on taking her to the beach tomorrow, not sure what we are doing today.
This picture was too cute, I had to post. Gracie was playing with daddy, when she yelled take a picture, and as I did she put her hand on her hip.

Penny is now in Hong Kong, it is Saturday night there now, and she gets Norah on Sunday.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Happy Belated Fourth of July! On Friday, we went next door, my cousin had a HUGE cookout, alot of the family was there. It was the first time most of them have seen Gracie, and she still has alot more to meet. It was a nice HOT afternoon. Chris & Erin came with the boys and hung out until dark. They did fireworks next door, Hunter and Gracie were not impressed so only Christopher enjoyed them.
Oh and the biggest event of the day, My perfect little Princess who hates dirt, was playing in the dirt and going barefoot, yuck (I blame her Uncle Chris who she just adores)
I took Gracie to her first parade on Saturday. It was in our hometown. She seem to enjoy it after she got a pc of candy and a flag.

I still sometimes wonder if I'm dreaming.

It doesn't matter what she is doing, anymore she will yell, take a "pix ore" (to cute) for everything. She had Paulpaul take this one from upstairs.
And this one below, she was checking her water, and was leaning over when she had to have a "pix ore"
Her bangs are slowly starting to grow out.

And then there is this one, if PaulPaul or Brandon are doing laundry, she has to ride up and down the stairs. No flab in the arms around here.

I have discovered if any of the guys in this house fall asleep on the couch, she climbs up and goes to sleep. She wont nap with me, just everyone else.

Brandon went on his first plane ride last week, he's in no hurry to do it again. He did however have a good time. He and Lyndsey went to Nebraska to visit her mom. They were gone for a week. Lyndsey starts her new job on Monday. Good Luck Girl.

PaulPaul's senior pictures (proofs) just came in and they turned out AWESOME. Now I've just got to pay for them, along with his class ring. Ouch
We dropped Paul Ray off at the airport this afternoon, he is headed to Ft Lauderdale, Fl for two weeks, training for work. Gracie and I are headed out on Tuesday to join him for six days (compliments of my dear boss). I'm a little nervous, taking her on an airplane, just she and I. I'm taking all of her adoption paperwork, just in case there are any problems. I hope to take her to the beach. I've got alot to do before we leave.
Keep Penny & Shannon in your prayers, they leave this week to bring home Norah. I believe they get her on Sunday the 13th!