Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Some summer scenes!

This summer has already been busier than usual! So far I have traveled to Seattle twice. The first trip was to celebrate Jeff's big 4-0 birthday! We stayed at a hotel downtown, visited my favorite place, the Pike Place Market, and took in an amazing dinner show called Teatro Zinzanni. Some of the most amazing talent takes place all around you, as you are served a 5 course meal by the cast, and others involved in the show. It was wonderful. Two weeks later we returned to take the kiddos to the Seattle science center. It was fun!
Last week we went to Idaho and spent time at Silverwood theme park. They are well known for their roller coasters. Lilyann even rode a child size coaster! She would say "more", "more!" everytime we got off of a ride with her. I think she may be thrill seeker. We then spent time at my dad' s cabin, where Miranda got to go fishing for the first time. She caught the biggest fish, and she was hooked! We enjoyed some relaxing days just hanging out on the cabin porch, or swimming at the nearby lake. Jeff has also been taking the girls to his moms house on Lake Chelan on the days I am at work. Here are some pictures from some of our summer outings:

The Space needle at the Seattle center. This is the location of the science center we took the girls to as well. It was a great day to be in Seattle with the clear blue skies and mild tempts!
Cousin Olivia, Lilyann, and Miranda, hanging out at Boulder Beach, the big waterpark at Silverwood. This is where we spent most of our time there, we all love water, including Lilyann!
The lakes up by my dad's cabin are so quiet and calm. This lake had a campground, and a perfect little swimming beach. Lilyann liked to sit on the beach and play in the sand by the water.
My happy little fishergirl. I mean this girl LOVES to fish. She caught her limit each night, and begged to stay out on the lake even when it was starting to get dark.
Hangin out on the log cabin porch. Lilyann saw Miranda posing for pictures here, and wanted to do the same thing. This was the first time she has done this as she is usually oblivious to my camera and won't sit still for me. The cabin is very rustic. We roasted marshmallows outside at night. We would watch ground squirrels, hummingbirds, and a mama deer and her fawn from the window every morning and evening. On the last day we hiked into the woods to pick huckleberries. We were always on the lookout for bears, moose and cougars, and I made sure dad had his gun with him!

It was a fun time, and we hope to return to the cabin next year. We have a few more short trips planned this summer, then things will start to settle down as my favorite season of the year rolls in...fall!!!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

I was tagged...

I was tagged by Deb, to list six words that describe me...hmmm? I guess I would have to start with how I am feeling today.

Domestic-I am home after working four hours at work today. I could have stayed longer, but why? When I can be home playing with my darling daughters, gathering fresh veggies from the garden, cooking, and keeping my home, which is what I love!!

Conservative-I have been thinking a lot about this lately. I believe that this stems from my faith in God, and by knowing that those standards He calls us to live by are for our own good, our own well-being, and because He loves us so much!

Adventurous-White water rafting, traveling the world, and sea kayaking are some of my favorite things to do! I hope to share my love for these things with my children.

Compassionate-This is probably why I have chosen a career of working with children with special needs, and why I have adopted orphans internationally and hope to adopt more. I have a heart of compassion for children, and a mother's heart for sure!

Thankful-I am so blessed and grateful for all that I have. I have so many passions and so much I want to do, and I am so thankful for the opportunity to do so many of them, and most of all to be a mother!

Have a great day!!!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Lilyann turns 2!!

Click below to see a little slideshow of her birthday from July 16th!! I am having trouble posting the actual slideshow to the blog, but this link should work too. She thoroughly enjoyed her special day. Her grandpa (my dad) insisted on bringing her a cake, and it was too cute! We all had fun watching her, and can't believe the little baby we held in our arms just 8 months ago is now a busy little two year old. Crazy! Enjoy.

View this montage created at One True Media
My Montage 7/22/08

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Eat your veggies!

Two weeks down, and another 1.8 lbs gone! We left on a little trip the day after Lilyann's b-day last wednesday, and I knew I wasn't prepared with the right kinds of food. We first hit an amusement park/waterslide place and camped out for a night. I was so busy with work, and party preparations last week, that I had Jeff bring the food. Little did I know that he had planned peanut butter and jelly sandwhiches for dinner that night we were camping! (Note to self: plan and pack all meals for future camping trips!!). The next day, I searched the amusement park for something healthy. Here were my choices-fat laden elephant ears smothered in sugary slime, gobs of ice cream, and corn dogs. My best choice was the corn dog. I don't usually ever eat corn dogs. For one thing, processed meat is so harmful to our bodies, and it is full of fat, and who knows what else! I also quit eating pork a few years ago, so if I have to, I usually chose a turkey hot dog. What the amusement park corn dog was made of, I hope I never know!!
The next 3 days were spent at my Dad's cabin in the mountains. What a treat. I will hopefully share some photos in the near future. We enjoyed time at the lake, swimming, fishing, and picking wild huckleberries. Although I still wasn't prepared with the foods I needed while at the cabin, I was much more careful with the quantity of food I put in my mouth. Needless to say, after weighing in today, I was cringing, just knowing I would see a weight gain, but pleasantly surprised to find out I actually lost over a pound.
I am working on a slideshow to put up of Lilyann's b-day party. It was a fun time! I still can't believe she is 2 already! Check back soon!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

One week down!

And I am 2.2 lbs lighter! Yeah! So far this weight loss thing hasn't been too hard. I am choosing to do the weight watchers point system, which I have done before, and it is very simple, as well as realistic. It allows me to feel much more controlled with my eating. It also allows me to eat something sweet when I need to. Nothing big, but something to satisfy that craving.

I have been thinking for months about starting back up with weight watchers, but two things happened last week that made me finally recommit.

1. I was looking for some clothes to wear to work one morning, and out of a huge pile of clothes that used to fit me a year ago, none of them fit! That left me with only a few limited pieces of clothing I could wear.
2. I read on the internet headlines the top tip that most people with successful weight loss did: wrote down what they ate. Keeping a daily food log is part of the weight watchers points plan. You have a certain number of daily points. Each food has a certain number of points assigned to it. It's easy to figure out, easy to keep track, and easy to do. I find this really is crucial. Writing it down is one thing I often hear people say they don't want to do with a weight loss program. But it really is key to success. It doesn't take much time at all.

This week will be more challenging though. I am going to find myself in the middle of many big food eating situations, starting with Lilyann's bday party tomorrow. Pray for me!!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

The pleasures of summer...

Love and peace rose, one of my favorites, and it's doing well this year.
This was one of my favorite early summer projects. I love how it turned out. I did two pots like this that sit at the bottom of the porch stairs.
We spend a lot of time out on our front porch. We had it built on to our old farmhouse about 5 yrs. ago. It was the best decision we have ever made regarding our house. It truly is another room extended from the house. Here's Miranda coloring while sitting out in the early morning sun. We also like to have tea parties and eat dinner out on the porch.
Meet Candy, who also loves the porch. In fact, he thinks he's king of the front porch. When our friends moved away, they gave him to us. He came with the name, and we kept it. Jeff wanted to name him "Stash" since he appears to have a mustache. He is a fun cat, and he's a daddy now, our other Siamese cat, Winter, gave birth to 4 siamese kittens 2 weeks ago.

Summer is a wonderful time here at our little farm. We hope you are all enjoying the pleasures of summer as well!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Good bye my friends...

Good bye donuts

Good bye cupcakes

Good bye chocolate

Good bye Starbucks iced green tea lattes

Good bye pancakes

Good bye cookies

Good bye cinnamon rolls

Good bye ice cream

Good bye chips

I won't miss you...or em, maybe I will, but not for long!!! Last week I started thinking seriously about my weight loss plan, so I had my last Starbucks stop. I then proceeded to eat out a few times, not making the best choices. Okay, then I got 6 inches cut off my hair, thinking that might help me feel thinner. No luck, in fact the weight stands out more now! I do love the light feeling of short hair though! Now, tonight..yes tonight I recomitted. I will start as soon as I finish this latte sitting in front of me. I am serious. It wasn't long ago that I was 45 lbs. lighter than I am today, after working really hard to lose it. Then, after going through a surgery, and ending up in pain for months on end, I was practically bedridden. The weight began to pile back on. Then I started eating a few not so good for me treats, which made me hunger for more, and I spiraled out of control. Since it wasn't long ago that I was much lighter, I remember how it felt, and it is true, that it felt so much better than anything tastes, even better than this mouthwatering, sweet, delicious green tea latte (okay, I confess, and the chocolate biscotti) sitting in front of me. So, I will keep you all posted, as I slowly, but steadily melt away. (Starting tomorrow).

Saturday, July 5, 2008

The first time we saw your face, 1 yr. ago today!!!

On July 5, 2007, I was driving home from a Dr. appt. where I wasn't given very good news. I had been suffering with intense pain for many months. On my way out of the Dr.'s office, I remember praying, and stating that I would not recieve what the Dr. had just told me, and that I knew God was bigger than any diagnosis I could ever get. A few minutes later I am on the highway, and my cell phone was ringing... it was someone from our adoption agency. She tells me I better pull over. I take the next exit, and listen to what she has to say. She tells me she has a little one for us to consider, who is 11 months old, and waiting in the Guangdong province of China. Since we were part of the waiting child program, I knew that she had some sort of special need. She explains that her issue is delayed development, due to prematurity, as she was 3 lbs. on the day she was found, the day of her birth. I knew immediately she was our daughter. See, I had forgotton to share with our agency that our biological daughter was also premature. This was definately a God thing. I rushed home, checked my email, and the above photo was the first one I saw of Lilyann. The two below were also with it. I read through all of her documentation, and there was nothing that I could see that was concerning to me in any way.
Jeff was out running errands, so I called him on his cell phone. I told him I thought she was sooo cute!! He came home, and we both knew she was ours. But, what about my health? I was in so much pain at that time I wasn't functioning well. I was taking time off work, but still not getting better. How was I going to raise another child? We prayed, and I felt that if we didn't accept the referral, I was not believing, in faith, that I would get well. I believed this baby was a gift from God, as all children are, and this one specifically was given to us to care for, and God would provide a way for us to do this. We called our agency back and accepted her referral.
We had a log in date with China of Dec. 06 (we would still be waiting a long time in the traditional program), but we signed up with our agencies waiting child program in May of 06. Back then, we didn't even realize there was a huge slow down happening with China, and that many people would be switching to this program. Since I have worked with children with special needs for so long, I just knew this was the route we should go with. We put the rest of it in God's hands and went to China in Nov. 2007 to get Lilyann! It was the trip of a lifetime! And, on the plane ride over, I was still in pain, but the amazing thing was, on the 3rd day in China, the pain disappeared! I have been feeling so much better since, and I am so thankful to God for this beautiful little girl He has given us, and for the restoration of my health. God, in His faithfulness, provides so much more than we could ever imagine, and His blessings are real!
Here we are with Miss Lily posing for our 6 month post placement report. She was clapping in the photo! We look forward to raising this little sweetie, and wish we could go back to China and bring back more little ones...just wish the process was a little quicker and cheaper!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Miss Lilyann...

We are enjoying her so much, just thought I'd post some more recent photos. She is such a busy little thing, she is often hard to get a good picture of.
I have been working more this summer, and each night when I get home, she starts dancing her little happy feet dance, as she screams "hi mama" and wants me to pick her up. She then gives me a big huge hug and kiss. She is such a sweetie!
Tonight we went out to dinner, and she had all the people around us entertained. She is LOUD! Not only that, she is funny to watch. Some people even came to our table to tell us they were enjoying her!
She definately keeps us on our toes...Jeff has been exhausted, and sooo happy to see me when I get home from work. School has only been out a couple weeks, and taking care of Lilyann all day every day is more than he bargained for! He's enjoying her though! Today they spent most of the day in our backyard swimming pool. She is starting to love the water! She can even climb the ladder into the pool. I can't call her baby Lily anymore, she is now my full fledged toddler, who will be 2 this month!!! I can't believe how quickly she has transformed from a baby to a big girl!