Sunday, May 31, 2009

{for Grace}

Two roads diverged in a wood and I took the road less traveled by, and that has made all the difference. ~Robert Frost
I know nothing except when Grace dances, I should dance. ~W.H. Auden

Grace was in all her steps, Heav'n in her eye, in every gesture and love. ~John Milton

Friday, May 29, 2009

Waiting for summer's arrival

My happy little boy doing one of the things he dearly loves....swinging.

Checking out another caterpillar with a friend.

More swinging.

This is a vacant lot down the street from us and we shot some pics there recently.

As Spring slowly changes now into Summer, we seem to be outside more. School doesn't get out until June 10th and the school year is wrapping up. Grace had a class field trip at the zoo and Will had an end of the school year family picnic on Tuesday. His class did a short program of singing 2 songs and Will entertained everyone with his dancing( it was hilarious!) and singing talents....of course I forgot my camera! I've been a single mom this week as Dan has been in Philly for his work...the 3 of us have had fun but we DO miss him. This weekend promises beautiful weather so I'll be outside planting and shooting more pics of my kids. And Sunday we'll be in the Chicago area for a get together with Grace's travel group. Hope your weekend is glorious!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Monday, May 25, 2009

Our weekend

Blowing bubbles.

Finding caterpillars... Will calls them 'cat-a-pil-ahs.'
Indy 500 watch out!

Batman 'motorcycle.'

Watcha lookin' at Mom?

Our yummy Berry pie, flag and Will loving on our dog Molly.

We stayed home for Memorial Day weekend and it was pretty laid back. Will has a new Batman trike...he calls it the 'Batman motorcycle.' When I was young there was a toy called a 'big wheel' so that's what I think it is, a Batman big wheel. He rides this thing constantly and would sleep with it in his room if we let him, he actually tried to bring it in the house! Grandma and Grandpa came over Sunday and played and spent time with both kids. Grace demonstrated some of her new reading skills and how she's riding a 2 wheeler bike with ease. We had a yummy bbq too...the menu consisted of bbq'd ribs, pulled pork sandwiches, coleslaw, potato salad, baked beans and deviled eggs. And the berry pie.(That was Grace's favorite) Monday, the kids played outside and we went on a long walk together. Dan got to play golf. Looks like summer is finally here....yay!!!!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Good stuff

We've spent lots of time this week after school outside...usually on the play set or on our deck. Will has discovered Freezepops. The other day he had 4 in a row! Each one he picked was a different color.

He tells me red is his favorite.

Miss Grace prefers push ups.

Grace on the patio.

Lots of good stuff going on around here....Will has now been in preschool 3 weeks and we've seen positive things transferring home. He's using his words more, speaking in complete sentences more often and getting less frustrated if we can't understand him. He just seems happier and calmer. I don't know if it's coincidence, preschool, him maturing or what, but it's all great for him. He adores his teachers and has made some friends. Yesterday we met with our social worker for the 12 month post placement visit. She thinks Will is doing extremely well. He's been home with us 10 months but they do the visit early to get the report in and submitted to China. We also are starting the process to re-adopt William in our state of Wisconsin.

Summer seems to have arrived in our neck of the woods. Our temps have been in the low 80's and sunny for the most part. I'm going to be out in the garden working this weekend and my parents are coming over Sunday for a cookout. Grace and Will have been missing their Grandpa and Grandma. Have a wonderful long weekend!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

What a weekend!

These are some of the images that I shot at the Michigan workshop over the weekend.

We were fortunate to meet and take pictures of Debbie's children, Li Li and Ian.

They were so well behaved and such plain NICE children. Also extremely patient with 11 women with cameras in these 2 kids' faces. ;)

These last 3 were taken on a night shoot in Ann Arbor. The above one is a fellow blogger who is a very talented photographer and about to travel to China to adopt again. She's a sweetie too!

2 more from the night photo shoot.

Well the workshop was incredible. I met some fellow bloggers that I 'knew' through their blogs but had never met in real life. Let me say that their blogs are truly a reflection of these people....funny, caring, compassionate and dedicated women who all have their own individual gifts. They are as beautiful on the inside as they are on the outside. I also met some new friends and I know that we'll keep in contact. We did have some funny adventures getting a little bit lost, believe me there was never a dull moment! LOL

Finally, if you have the opportunity to attend one of Debbie's workshop's, I highly recommend it. She is a gifted photographer and a natural teacher. Debbie is very soft spoken, patient and teaches to each person's skill level. I walked away with a lot to think about, loads of new information and some new friendships. I'm already signed up for her Chicago workshop in August...I can't wait!
You can see more of my images from the workshop on my flickr photostream here.
I'll be adding more as I edit them this week.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Our week and something fun

Well...where should I start, it's been a busy one. I'll start with Mother's Day which was lovely. I assumed my oldest son Nick was working but was delighted when he appeared at our house to spend the day with us. We all went out to brunch at a darling little restaurant about 30 minutes north of where we live. It was a relaxing day with my family.... the kind that's my very favorite.

William has had another really good week at preschool. We've had a little change in that when I bring him, he cries and doesn't want me to leave. The first day it happened I felt like my heart was ripped out of my chest...such is the nature of being a mother. The teacher told me later he doesn't cry for very long. Other than that he adores his preschool and the friends he's making.

And finally, tomorrow bright and early I leave by myself {and boy this mommy needs some time to herself right now } for 3 days away in Ann Arbor, Michigan. I'm going to a photography workshop put on by the Pixel Fairy Princess herself. I can't tell you how excited I've been about this weekend and have really looked forward to it for several months. I've got many questions and hope to eventually shoot better quality pictures and take my photography to a different level. The added bonus is that it's really kind of a mini blogger get together because I get to see Lea again, meet Michelle, Colleen and Steffie!!!!! I have no doubt it's going to be fun...I'll be reporting back next week about the weekend. Have a great one!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

I ♥ faces...week 18

On I heart faces the weekly theme is 'laughter.' Here's my entry. This was one of the pics from a few days ago, Grace is a giggly little girl...funny because I was too. :) You can check out more faces on

Monday, May 11, 2009

we picture {this}...hats

we picture {this}

Camera-Nikon D80
Focal length-50mm
Aperture priority
Post processed in Lightroom 2
This month's theme at the we picture {this} blog is {hats}. I shot these of Miss Grace a few days ago in the evening on our front porch. It was really hard for me to decide what 2 images to use because I loved so many of them. I chose these because it shows her in different moods. Grace is a hat girl and has quite the collection. :)
Focal length-50mm
Aperture priority
PP in Lightroom 2

Saturday, May 9, 2009

However Motherhood comes to you, it's a Miracle...

For all Mommy's and Mommy's to be....Happy Mother's Day!
with love, Gail

God could not be everywhere, so he created mother's. ~ Jewish proverb

The best conversations with mothers always take place in silence, when only the heart speaks. ~Carrie Latet

Let us be grateful to people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.~ Marcel Proust

If I had a single flower for every time I think about you, I could walk forever in my garden. ~Claudia Ghandi

Love is patient; Love is kind; Love is not jealous; is not proud; is not conceited; does not act foolishly; is not selfish; is not easily provoked to anger; keeps no record of wrongs; takes no pleasure in unrighteousness;but rejoices in truth; Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things. ~ 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

Friday, May 8, 2009

Our week :)

William has had a fantastic week. He loved, loved, loved preschool and everything about it. I was able to stay for a little while the first day and sit at the back of the classroom observing. The teacher picked Will to stand up at the front while the class said the pledge of allegiance. She showed him how to put his hand over his heart and look at the flag. He did so well, I'm extremely proud of our little guy and happy with the decision we made to have him start now in Early Childhood preschool. There is a summer school session that he'll attend.

We've been outside a great deal because the weather has been beautiful. Spring is truly here in Wisconsin. The grass is a vibrant green and the dandelions are out in force. I like the below pic when the 2 of them were dancing and twirling. William looks like he's doing some sort of interpretive dance. He and Grace have a lot of fun together.
And yesterday a BIG surprise was delivered and put up in our backyard. Neither of them had a clue it was coming...a play set or you could also call it a swing set. You should have seen their faces when I brought them around the back to see it the first time! It has a fort on the top to play in and William thinks he's on a pirate ship looking for 'bad guys.'

Lots of swinging going on....

I think they played on it for 5 hours yesterday and fell into bed last night. I was pretty tired too!

Saturday we are having a garage sale(selling some furniture and toys). Our town has a big garage sale weekend and we are participating. The proceeds from our sale will go to William's foster home in China, the Hidden Treasures Foster Home in Fuzhou, Fujian Province.

And this above shot is one I took this week of one of the gorgeous flowering trees here that are blooming. I'm happy because my lilacs and weeping cherry trees are almost open. Happy Mother's Day a little early...I'll be doing a Mother's Day post tomorrow or Sunday. Hope you have a fabulous weekend!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Sunday, May 3, 2009

My youngest son

I once had someone ask me if I'd taught Will to walk this way with his hand on his hip. I laughed and told the person, "No...he came to us that way." William is very, very funny and full of spirit.

A happy boy with a rock...

I loved him before I met him or even saw his picture in his referral. I loved him before I knew 'he' was a 'he.' We originally asked for a 'she.' I've thought a lot about this post and what I would say and even IF I'd really write it. But I am. If you've followed my blog for a while you would know William grieved hard and his transition to our family took a long time. He was very, very angry and sad. He's been with us over 9 months now. The past 9 months have been joyful, stressful and at times chaotic like all new families. It seems like he had a 'honeymoon phase' in the Winter but something is different now. In the last 8 weeks we've noticed some of the not so positive behaviors that he first had when he came home last July have re-appeared. We've racked our brains trying to figure it out. The theme of anger still pervades and we wonder if it's him being 3 or perhaps some attachment issues. We've struggled with what to do and how to help him and my gut feeling is to get some professional help. That process has already been initiated and we'll see how it goes. I wanted to be honest about our situation and our story because maybe we can help another family. Tomorrow he starts Early Childhood preschool...I ask that you keep our little boy in your thoughts and prayers. I have great hope and enormous faith. We love him so much.

UPDATE: William's first day of preschool went extremely well...he was already familiar with some of the children in his class because he receives Speech services in the adjoining room. Anyway, things went quite well. The teachers told me he was very compliant and polite and he had lots of fun too! I'm a pretty proud mama today. :)

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