Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009~ A Recap

Jan. marked 3 months with Kate... It was that month that we FINALLY had some breakthroughs with her! January also brought about Kate's first snow (in the US, anyway) and a very low key Chinese New Year celebration :)
In Feb. '09, we took the above picture... the picture you might remember as the "one the started it all." We had always thought we'd be done after 2 adoptions, but with this picture, we began to question if maybe that wasn't GOD'S plan.
In March, Kate celebrated her first birthday at HOME. She turned 2 :) Will turned 18, and I turned 16! Yes, it was a big b-day month!
In April, we roadtripped to Texas to see the grandmas, visit Bay*lor, see the UT campus, among other things. We had such a fun time and celebrated Kate's first Easter the day after we got back!
In May, Will graduated from high school... certainly a big event :)
Kate was baptized in June and also went to the beach for the first time, as we had a "chatty" reunion at the Shore! So. Much. Fun. :)
In July, I spent a week at a special needs orphanage in China with my aunts! Had an INCREDIBLE time. We celebrated the 4th of July and Co*w Appreiciation Day at Chick*fila! And in other news........ WE SAW CHARLIE on July 2, 2009 and began the paperchase for the third time :)
August was marked with homestudy visits, Will heading to college at Bay*lor, me starting my jr. year of high school...
In September, our aunts came for a visit while Mom and Dad went to parent's weekend at Bay*lor! We had so much fun and also took the girls to Chuck*ee*Cheese for the first time:) We also welcomed home our sweet friend, Sara Beth from China!
October was another busy month... Mom, the girls, and I went away for a weekend to Gatlin*burg for another reunion with our sweet friends from AC's adoption. The last week of Oct. was crazy with Kate's 1st gotcha day on the 25th, AnnaClaire's 4th birthday on the 27th, and then Halloween closing out the month!
In Nov. Mom and the girls were able to meet up with some friends from our travel group with Kate! (The picture is on the Oct. collage- accidently put it on the wrong one!) Dad and I also took a trip to Texas to pick up the car that Grandma was giving to us and to see Will and go to the Te*xas vs. Bay*lor football game! The end of the month called for a quick trip to DC for authentications and finally we were DTC!!! We also had a fun Thanksgiving and had some other news which I will be sharing SOON!
And finally, Dec. marked AnnaClaire's 3rd gotcha day and Mom and Dad's 25th anniversary! Our dossier was also logged in for Charlie! And of course, we had a very fun Christmas :)

Our 2009 was definitely busy and fun-filled!!! Here's to 2010!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Christmas Eve adventures downtown...

Here are some pictures from our adventures downtown on Christmas Eve riding the train, seeing a little "singing bears" show, the huge gingerbread house, and having lunch. It was such a fun day and I got some REALLY sweet pictures of the girlies... click to enlarge the collages so you can see the pictures better:) I've posted quite a bit under this, too, in case you haven't seen those posts!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

AnnaClaire and Kate will soon be the proud new owners of...



P.S. I know I left you all hanging with the anniversary post... sorry:) I wanted to post THAT day for a particular reason, but with Christmas so soon after and of course LOTS of Christmas pictures... I'm back with hints though :)

Monday, December 28, 2009

Aunt Sissy now...

AnnaClaire is all about growing up. It makes me a little sad that she is always looking forward to being older and doing "big kid" stuff. I guess that's just part of having older siblings, but still... She's always talking about getting her permit and license and driving "like Sissy." Her latest thing is that she wants to get married. She tells me that she is going to wear a "beautifawl dwess" and be a "beautifawl bwide." She is always coming into my room and putting on "makeup", high heels, and "straightening" her hair so that she is "beautifawl for the weddin'!" The other day, she asked me how she was going to meet her "gwoom" and if she was going to get married to Daddy or someone else. I told her Daddy was already married to Mommy so she'd have to find her own "gwoom." She talked all about how she was going to meet him and they would get married and go on a honeymoon. (Where does she get these ideas? I have no idea!) She went on to say that she was going to have "ten childs." TEN?!?

A little girl who likes to dress up, wants to get married and have babies... sounds like a girlie girl, right? Except AnnaClaire is into more "boyish" of things than dolls.

Well. She's never been much of a doll lover... But Grandma wanted to get her a bitty baby, and she (for some reason) kept asking for a doll. So, for Christmas, she got her very own baby doll, who she named Lilly. I kept telling AnnaClaire that if she wanted to have "ten childs" that she needed to practice being a Mommy on Lilly. Well today, we had so much fun playing with Lilly... She was the mommy, of course, and I was "Aunt Sissy." We played with Lilly for so long... We made bows for Lilly and Bunny to wear-- just like her. AnnaClaire used her imagination to take Lilly shopping, on a walk, to take a bath, to bed, to Church, etc. Tomorrow she has already planned dance lessons for Lilly, her Bunny, and Lilly's lovie, Teddy. For now, she is fast asleep with her Bunny on one side, and Lilly and Teddy on the other... She's going to make such a good mommy some day!

Not too soon though, sweet girl. You have to be our little girl for awhile still :)

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Thinking of our little guy!

Since we can't be with our sweet guy on his 4th birthday, a birthday package will have to do. He'll get a cake delivered on his birthday as well as a panda lovie. Then of course the camera and candies and a family picture and letter that is translated wishing him a happy birthday and such. We're really hoping to get some updated pictures of him celebrating his birthday, too. We've been told there's a good chance and his orphanage normally does send updated pictures, so we are praying hard that they will send us some, as our most recent pictures are from early summer :( Anyway, just wanted to share. We've been waiting to be LID to send him one and were so glad to get be logged in in time to get it to him by his birthday! So sad that we won't be with him on his big day- January 5- but hopefully we will be blessed with some pictures of him celebrating.

And don't worry... we didn't forget Charlie this Christmas:) We got him the Pott*ery Ba*rn Ki*ds firetruck and firestation! It was sad not having him with us but we rejoice in knowning that he WILL be with us next Christmas... and what a day that will be!

We love you sweet boy and are thinking of you!!! Hopefully it won't be much longer until we're holding you! :)

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas Morning

The traditional picture on the stairs... Looking a little tired despite the fact that we didn't all get up until close to 9- when we woke Kate up! AnnaClaire had gotten up about 8:15 and was snuggling in bed with Mommy, excitedly talking about how Santa came, yet saying she didn't want to go down yet because "the boys still want to sleep!" Checking out what Santa left... a beautiful dollhouse for Kate!
A real digital camera for AnnaClaire!
Lots of stocking goodies for AC... stickers, stamps, candy, a lip gloss watch (she hasn't taken it off!), a little coffee mug, notepad, pens, a JUMPROPE (she's been asking for that and a doll all throughout this month... no idea why a jumprope, but hey, if that's what she wants!) and some other little things!
And some stocking stuffers for Cakes, too... a lamb puppet, a little barn with little animals, a plastic horse, stamps, stickers, lip gloss, notepad, pens, and some other little things...
Kate was so excited about her dollhouse!
She also got a little wooden mailbox with letters and stamps to stick on... she loves it!
Kate was so excited to start opening presents!
As was AnnaClaire! She and Kate shared the honors of opening the first gift!
A BITTY BABY! Kate named hers "Noel!"
AnnaClaire named her doll "Lilly" and she enjoyed wearing it in the carrier/backpack/diaperbag... like "Mommy cawwied me when I was wittle!"
AnnaClaire took some breaks from opening gifts to play with her beloved Leap*ster from Santa... a huge surprise for her :)
We drew names this year to see who would buy for who (siblings) I picked Kate's name and bought her a high chair for her baby! She loves it!
Drew picked AnnaClaire's name and got her a Ni H*ao Ka*i Lan game for her Leap*ster!
Kate, our puzzle queen, got a world little world puzzle from her aunt and uncle!
AnnaClaire enjoyed making some peppermint hot cocoa with me and drinking it in her mug... "just like Daddy!"
The biggest surprise of the day went to Mom... we got her her own laptop! She and Dad have been sharing a computer and she was so glad to get her own... Booie gave her the mouse, which she picked out herself (if you couldn't already tell... since it's purple and all:)) We were so proud of her for keeping the secret this whole time!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Twas the night before Christmas...

We had a wonderful Christmas Eve... Dad, the girls, Grandma, and I took the train downtown to go see a "singing bear" show, look at the big Christmas trees, and have lunch. We had a very fun afternoon, which I will post pictures of after Christmas. We came home and the girlies had short naps before we headed to the 5 o'clock service at our Church. Once we got back from that, we had dinner, birthday cake for Jesus... Our secret santa also came and brought the gift for day 12... 12 donuts for tomorrow... and also revealed herself! I'll definitely need to post pictures of everything we received... it was so much fun having our very own secret santa! The girls then put out cookies and milk for Santa and headed to bed... they are SO excited for tomorrow, although thankfully, they are still young enough to not be into the whole waking-up-at-5-on-Christmas-morning thing. That's good with teenage siblings:) Merry Christmas to all of you!!! Here's some pictures from our night... enjoy!
Anna boo singing Christmas carols tonight... she LOVES all the Christmas music and knows quite a few carols! So sweet hearing her sing in Church tonight, too!
Our two BEAUTIFUL girls in their Christmas dresses!
Kate loves looking at all the ornaments on the tree...
The kids... for now!
Grandma is in town for Christmas, as usual! We are having fun with her!
Our family of SEVEN... soon to be... more!
Our other Grandma sent the girls blinking Christmas light necklaces! They got them tonight and wore them all night long!
AnnaClaire and Kate both got to open a present tonight... from Logan and Mia! We have a "chatty girl" Christmas book exchange each year. This year, we got a bear book from Logan and Mia and they sent a bear puppet for each girl. Thanks guys!
Putting out cookies and milk for Santa!
Kate started eating the cookie that she chose for Santa... she's our sweet tooth:)
But even though we have fun with Santa and presents... the true meaning of Christmas is this...
Happy Birthday, Jesus!