Monday, June 29, 2009

Changed lives

6 years ago after 2 years of waiting, our referral arrived and we first saw this precious little face...

It was really because of our sweet girl that we took the leap and adopted again. In China everyone we met said, "She is a lucky, lucky little girl!" Dan and I strongly feel that 'we' are the lucky ones. All our lives have been forever changed...and for that we are thankful.

You are my child, now with all things I am blessed. ~unknown

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Summer giveaway!

Emilie Sloan tote.

I realized recently that I hadn't done a giveaway in quite a while, so chose one of my favorite things at the moment. I have a tote bag almost exactly like this one but it's a different shape. The one I'm giving away is the above Emilie Sloan bag that measures 14" wide by 12" in height by about 4" wide on the bottom. The reasons why I love mine so much is that it's extremely lightweight, it's a cotton fabric that's coated so it's waterproof and obviously very cute. I use mine as a carry everything bag for the items I'd normally put in a purse plus all the kid stuff that comes a pull up or 2, baby wipes, the misc. little plastic toys that must come along and of course a few snacks. I'll have Grace or Will draw the winner on Thursday, July 2. Good luck! Please leave a comment if you'd like to be in the drawing. :)

Friday, June 26, 2009

trying to stay cool...

These were taken 2 days ago in the evening...
a little boy's view of the world...

Well Summer has arrived with a wave of heat and humidity in the Midwest, I guess it's been this hot in many places in the U.S. and Canada. We've had a couple of days with 105 degree heat's icky, sticky hot outside. Grace and Will started Summer school 4 mornings a week and are loving have time with friends, learning some new things and having fun. This week we've been spending time outside in the sprinkler and kiddie pool and inside in the cool a/c. You can see Will's lip is looking great, his surgeon saw him and was extremely pleased. The culture came back growing Staph (the kind that's grows on our skin), so it wasn't an abscessed tooth. We still aren't sure how the infection started...just so happy it's gone and our little guy is make that 150%! ;)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Father's Day

Any man can be a father. It takes someone special to be a dad. ~ author unknown

We never know the love our parents have for us till we become parents. ~ Henry Ward Beecher

Happy Father's Day to the 2 dads in my dad who I had the great pleasure of spending the day with yesterday. I cannot imagine having a better dad...he's always been there for me and my 3 siblings, and parented with love and a great sense of humor. And to my husband Dan...who took on a 'package deal' with me and Nick( at age 4) almost 20 years ago. He loves his 3 children unconditionally and is the most patient man I've ever known. I love you!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Summer afternoon

Will playing in our neighbor's kiddie pool.
After all the craziness lately with figuring out what was wrong with Will's lip and finally surgery, we've enjoyed some Summer afternoons with going to a movie{UP} and yesterday playing in our neighbor's pool. Will loved the water toys and especially the squirt guns. This weekend we have plans spending some time with Grandpa and Grandma and I'm going to the big Sandwich, Illinois flea market to look for some bargains. Have a wonderful weekend my friends!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

a Mother's heart

These were taken last Thursday morning at a nearby park.
My sweet little son William.

The past week has been a roller coaster of emotions, several visits to the pediatrician, surgeon and almost ER visits with William. Yesterday he had exploratory surgery on his upper lip to see what was causing the swelling that was getting worse. His surgeon found a very infected inside of his upper lip that was cleaned out...we still don't know how it started but are speculating an abrasion inside his lip that didn't heal and formed an abscess. He came through yesterday's surgery outstandingly well and we're relieved and so thankful. I always tell people...I can deal with almost any emergency or event with children, but when it's my is really, really hard...
Will is getting lots and lots of TLC, snuggles, and Popsicles ad lib.
Thank you so much for those prayers and good thoughts for our little boy!
And I wanted to funny thing that's happened in the midst of all this excitement(stress) lately...Will has decided that it was time for him to be potty potty training we are doing too! ;)

Saturday, June 13, 2009

best friends forever

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

first and last day of Kindergarten!

Grace and her much loved Kindergarten teacher, Mrs. T.
Below pics are her first day of Kindergarten on Sept. 2, 2008.
And the below one was taken this morning before school on our front porch. Her last day of school!

Today is Grace's last day of Kindergarten. What a year it's been...she's gone from attending preschool to a full day Kindergarten program and has learned so much. Besides learning to read, she writes in her journal, has learned about money and has some new math skills, is starting to tell time and can tie her shoes. All those new skills are important but what's even more important to me is her new found maturity and confidence gained from going to school and learning to be a big sister to her brother that came into her life almost 11 months ago. She's come though it all with grace. I would expect no less from this little girl. Welcome Summer! We have lots of fun planned with Vacation Bible School coming up soon, a family reunion, lots of swimming and a beach vacation in July.

Monday, June 8, 2009

getting the shot

So to me photographing children is kind of like as Dan says, "herding cats." They definitely have a mind of their own on what they'd like to do. I'm patient and we keep it fun, giving them a little direction and some control of what they'd like also. Yesterday Grace had a fancy tea party /birthday party she was attending and was all dressed up. Of course I thought it might be an opportunity to take some pics. I just wanted to show you a little bit of the progression of what we go through to get an okay image. Like I said this is just a little part. I read some stat a while ago and I hope it's correct...'that for every 30 pictures you take, you may get 1 decent one.' I know with myself I can take 100 and get 1 good one or 15.

The above image is SOOC(straight out of the camera with no cropping or editing), I thought her expression was okay.

Above, she's telling me what she thinks of this entire thing...

And here is the one I loved...the expression and pose after cropping and editing a little in Lightroom. I used Debbie's(Pixel Fairy Princess) Seasons presets for this and tweaked it to my taste.

The above one is again SOOC and I wanted her to lie down so I could attempt a headshot, nice face...huh? It's kinda cute I think. ;)

This is the image I ended up with and was very happy with the end result. Edited in Lightroom with minimal cropping. If I can do this, anyone can. Have fun taking's summertime!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Wrapping up a busy week

Mr. Will loves music of all kinds and especially to dance to it and make some noise.

These 2 are from a little photoshoot that Grace and I went on ...we've found some great locations.

Well I almost didn't think I'd get to this post today as we've had a lot going on, but I have some time tonight. Grace and William's school and preschool are almost finished up for the summer. We have 3 more days left. Grace had a class family picnic that we attended at a local park. Will had a zoo field trip that he and I went on, throw in a visit to the doctor for Will(for a suspected allergy reaction to eating strawberries) and me meeting with his adoption/attachment therapist for the first time today(it went very, very well!)..... and that equals a busy week. The above pics are some favorites of mine from the past week. Don't know how much we'll get out this weekend for me to practice but we'll see if the weather cooperates! Have a good one!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

tadpoles, water, a kazoo and lots of fun!

The top pic is Grace and her best friend Julia, they share the same birthday of August 6th.
The most popular place for the kids to play was the pond with tadpoles. There was lots of tadpole catching. Another favorite was climbing on a giant rope web. Of course Will thought it was a spider web. Will also put on an impromptu kazoo concert for the group!

2 days ago on a gorgeous Sunday afternoon we met Grace's China travel group at the Morton Arboretum in the western suburbs of Chicago for a get together. I should call them our China family because that's what they really We all met for the first time almost 6 years ago. 11 families with the same LID of May 2002, who lived in the Chicago area and traveled to Shanghai, Nanchang in Jiangxi Province and Guangzhou in late August-early Sept. 2003. 9 girls and 2 little boys ranging in age from 12 to 15 mos. came into our families. We get together anywhere from 4-6 times a year. We usually have 2 big gatherings(which are a party at one of our homes), one in the summer and one right before Thanksgiving and smaller get togethers in between. We love and support one another through the good parts and sometimes disappointing parts of life and cherish the bond our children have. Most of the children were in foster care but Grace and 2 of the girls lived in the same nursery in their SWI. And someday we'll be celebrating graduations and weddings!
© Aging with Grace and strong Will
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