Saturday, November 29, 2008

a few photos from our Thanksgiving...

My Family of Four!

Before we all sat down to a great meal hosted by us this year, we all got together to visited my grandmother aka G.G. at the nursing home. You can just see by the expression on her face how happy she was to see us all there. The kiddos were jumping, dancing, and singing all around and G.G. had a great big smile on her face for most of the day. It was so sad when we had to leave (our meal was planned for 5:30PM and we needed to head home to get the girls down for their quiet time and get things rolling in the kitchen), but we promised her we would see her again after Mass Sunday morning. That's all she needed to hear. Oh G.G. - We Love You So!

(my grandmother who will be 90 next year on April 28th...our Miss Annabelle has the same birthday!)

(Oh how this little girl just loves her G.G.)

Grandma was there too and of course we just had to get her in on the photo action as well with the girls!

Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving! We here at the Leonard household had one of the best ever!

While this Thanksgiving will be our last one in the house we are living in now (and have lived in over the past 8 years) we are also so very excited to be moving into our new house in Maryland! (we are thinking we could be moving as soon as early this coming spring!) This Holiday weekend so far has been a quiet one for us. All we have to do is decorate the outside of our house and we are finished! I did take the girls out Wednesday night to our annual "Lighting of Our Local Train Station" and they had a blast! (even when Santa came around on the fire truck!) first...seemed a little shy but once the Big Man himself got off the truck and started making his way around the crowd, Francesca was so excited to see him and Annabelle was even more excited (her little arms & legs were kicking so fast & hard I thought she would just burst if he didn't come over and say hello). We all had such a great time! (sorry only one photo from the train station and it wasn't even taken by me!) I am hoping to get some photos of the girls playing outside this coming Sunday! It is supposed to snow here in the afternoon and we can't wait! Here's to two more full days of fun before Daddy has to head back to work in DC and us girls hang together again while we not-so-patiently wait for next weekend to come! (next Saturday, Santa will again be coming to our train station for the our area's version of the Polar Express. His train...along with his whole crew will be stopping by our train station at 1:45PM! Oh how the girls just can't wait!)

Here's the only photo of the girls...waiting for the "lighting of the train station" to happen!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Being Thankful...

Since Thanksgiving is just around the corner...I thought I would make a short list of things I am very thankful for this year...

- My Husband..."My EVERYTHING"...who is truly the love of my life...You give to me so unconditionally and love me for who I truly am!

- My Two Girls...for "sunshine" alone that they bring into my life everyday, I will always be tremendously grateful for. I love you two!

- My Mom...she is my rock and my best friend!

- My Sister...I love you so...You are always making me laugh! :)

- My Grandmother...I am everything I am today because of her never-ending love and guidance.

- My Family...I love you all so much and I wouldn't be where I am today without each & every one of you!

- My very, VERY, close friends (person-to-person and online)...Gina G, Amy & Owen W, Mary H, Mel S, Beth G, Sarah M, Lisa F, and Lisa O ~ I will NEVER find the words to tell you all how much I love you and how much our friendship means to me!

- and to my "faith"...who is always there for matter what!

Now, I want to wish you all a wonderful and very HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!!(Oh ya...And I also want to THANK my hair-stylist for my new do! I love it and it is so rock'n! If you can't tell from the photo above...which I don't think you can...I got almost 6 inches taken off!)

Friday, November 21, 2008


(yes, that's our eating machine!)

Just look at that you think she is happy or what!

Our Miss Annabelle has been officially a "Leonard" as of month today! She is truly a joy and is just one amazing little angel that came into our lives at the perfect time! Looking back I can't believe it has been a month already (where does the time go) and I can't believe how well this little girl has adjusted to life in the Leonard household. Annabelle & Francesca have developed a "bond" (yes, already!) that I don't think I will truly ever understand. It is just so beautiful how everything clicked! (you also would never believe the changes...BIG Francesca has made. It is like she grew-up overnight into this little independent girl and big sister. The drama is not there as it was before and she has a true love and devotion for her sister.) And...even though Francesca did not have any problems with sharing is still not an issue. She shares EVERYTHING with her little sister. They are even sleeping in the same room together and the best part is...I love hearing them chit chat before going down. I always ask Francesca when she gets up what they talked about (since Annabelle is so limited to her speaking vocabulary) and Francesca's response to me is always..."Just some sister stuff, wouldn't understand!" did we ever get so blessed! As again for our Annabelle...she is almost completely off the binki and it was all her doing! She doesn't ask for it and if we don't give it to her...she doesn't complain. I guess she truly does trust us...for I so know how hard it is to get them off that habit and in such a short time!

Francesca posing with her favorite decoration!

(she so loves this Nutcracker...and the ballet!)

(she just takes my breath away!)

Artist hard at work!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Rainy Days...and...

(last week) While taking Francesca to school one day, it was raining and just what great day to wear our rain gear! (can you believe that the rain coat that Annabelle is wearing was once Francesca's...the girls skipped wearing the matching boots. I was in a hurry and was too lazy to run upstairs to grab them...Francesca so wanted to wear her boots so I promised her, next time!) update was made to our web site featuring our first two weeks home. You so must check it out!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

A fun FULL weekend!

As usually, we had a very FUN & Full weekend of "things" to do. First off, Papa and Grandma C. made the long trip from Virginia Beach to NEPA for a visit...we also had my nephew's, Scott Joe, 3rd birthday party...and as I mention before, we had a ton of other things to do. (I also finally got our Christmas cards finished and while I did so badly want a family photo to include to it this year, it will only feature the girls - but - even though it only features photos of our two girls and Honey still is so precious!) onto the photos....!

(this girl loves her pops!)

(she also loves to sing!)

(playing with the birthday boy's new train table!)

The Birthday Boy & one of my little angel!

(check out that face!)

Francesca being her silly self!

(This crazy person...who happens to be my husband and the father of our two girls I think...lost it a long time ago! We were laughing so hard over him doing this little jig that I actually pee my pants!)

The two dearest to my heart....

Papa and his two girls...

Friday, November 14, 2008

What a week!

Where do I begin...

I guess the only thing I can say is...WHAT A WONDERFUL WEEK WE HAD!

Seriously, I thought for sure I was going to have some kind of break-down. Me, alone with two kids under the age of four, 24 hours a day, Monday to Friday, and the youngest just coming into our family only a little time before. Boy, how wrong I was! It went totally, 100% smoothly. I even took the girls out to lunch twice (all by myself), went to see my aunt (who is still in the hospital recovering from the auto accident), went to see my grandmother who currently resides in a nursing home, assisted my oldest while she chocked on a french fry...and than cleaned "it" up (those infant & child first aid/CPR classes we had to complete for Annabelle's adoption really paid off), went to the post office, battled my youngest's fever (going on two days of over 101), my oldest having a bad cough, Francesca going back to school, and got some grocery shopping done (which made me a little nervous). I was also able to get house work done, laundry completed, get my three weeks worth of mail organized, and all the other household duties that we all must do every single day.

(I know, that there are mothers out there that do this every day...with even more kiddos surrounding them...and this is nothing to brag about, but for is such a big deal!)

Every day, I was completely dressed with hair and make-up totally done. I must say...I impressed myself. OK - enough about me, lets get to the photos from this past week!

Oh ya...and the the girls are doing well too! (other than our poor Annabelle being so sick with a fever and Francesca having that poor girls...and now I am feeling the "funk".) Just check out the photos. The smiles speak for themselves...

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


An update was made tonight to our web site.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Better late than never...(and a little bit more!)

Ready for a night of Trick r' Treating!

Don't you just love her poncho! She wears it all the time as it is truly her favorite!

Having some fun outside while I tried to get some photo shots for our Christmas card! (Annabelle love LOVE love the swing set and sliding board!)

(getting a little help from Dad...she is going to be our dare-devil!)

Just running around, having some fun!

Last night, we finally took the girls out Trick r' Treating and let me tell you, they had a blast! Francesca was Jasmine and Annabelle was a Halloween Cat (found the costume on a major sale this past week). They loved it and since everyone was already tapped out of Halloween goodies, both girl mostly they got money.

Yesterday, we did some photos of the girls outside and in the house for our annual Christmas card. I am thinking about including a family photo as well, but between the two kids, Keith's schedule, and our camera shy 4-legged boy, Honey Bear...we might just have to stick with the kiddos and Honey. We are going to try again next weekend for some family we'll just have to wait and see.

We are finally getting on a little bit of a better schedule for our sleeping. It has not been easy and took almost a full week to get back to sleeping through the night and staying up during the day. Francesca was due to go back to school today, but I am keeping her home until the end of the week. Keith heads back to D.C. today for work and I am interested in seeing how I weather with two kids under the age of four. (Plus I am so loving having my two girls home! And as a extra bonus, they play so well together!)

Having Keith home for all this time was WONDERFUL! I can't begin to tell you all the "stuff" that I needed to get done around the house (before Annabelle came home) that I did and I am completely 100% finished with my Christmas shopping! (I even started wrapping this past week because Grandpa & Grandma C are coming up this following weekend and I want to be ready for when they arrive). And as you all know (from my previous post) 98% of our Christmas decorations are out (all we left is the tree and the outdoor lights). I so love our house at Christmas time! Every room is decorated and it all looks so very festive. I did make a new purchase this year to celebrate the holidays with my girls (or should I say...get them involved). It is a Jim Shore Heartwood Creek Musical Advent Calendar with Ornaments. *it marks the days leading up to Christmas with this beautiful advent calendar. Starting on December 1st, remove one ornament a day from its unique hiding place and hang it on the tree above until all of the ornaments are displayed. Wind the key and the tree revolves to the tune of, "The Twelve Days of Christmas".*

(It is this little house with tons of windows and doors all over it that you open up on the marked day, find the ornament hidden inside and place it on the tree.)

It is absolutely beautiful and the girls can't wait for Dec 1st to come to start the countdown.

I must can not get any better than what it has been! Our Annabelle is truly a joy (and has bonded beautifully) and Francesca is such a blessing (and such a big sister)! How did someone like me end up with two extraordinary daughters....

Sunday, November 9, 2008

a few quick shots....

Yesterday, while Francesca and I were getting ready for our day (a family trip to Target and lunch at our favorite hot spot, celebration to Francesca's 3rd year anniversary of our Forever Family Day), Keith took a couple of shots of Annabelle enjoying some time on our front porch. When I went to get the camera ready for today's Christmas card photos, I noticed that there were some that needed to be downloaded. After seeing what he took, I just had to post a few of them.
(and yes, before anyone ask...that is my hubby's new Smart Car...that tiny yellow car in the back ground. It is a blast to drive and in our is a sight all in its-self)

Friday, November 7, 2008

We're back!

Our Francesca at the Summer Palace in Beijing...

Our Annabelle...just check out that hair! (it is so wild!)

After what seems like forever since posting, I am finally getting up the energy to do so. We arrived home safe and sound on Monday around 5PM and since than, life as we knew it has not been the same...

We are all suffering for major jet lag! We have our nights and days so mixed up it is crazy! It was so bad this past week, that one morning...let me correct early morning (around 4AM) we started putting up our Christmas decorations. (all we have left to do is the tree and the outdoor decorations). I am hoping tonight, that our jet lag will come to an end....and we'll be back on track and not living like vampires.

As for our Annabelle, she has adjusted beautifully to life in her new household! It is truly amazing how much English she understands and how fast she is picking up words and repeating them. She and Francesca have bonded better than we could have ever imagined. At first, our Annabelle was really afraid of Honey Bear (our yellow lab). She didn't even want to be in the same room with him, but thanks to Francesca, she has warmed up to Honey Bear and is finally enjoying his company.

Annabelle went to see her pediatrician on Tuesday and had an excellent first visit. Since we haven't experienced any bowel problems, her doctor did not recommend that she needs to see a specialist. She does have a little problem with her legs but as for now, we are not going to do anything (we are going to see how she develops and grows).

Life here is truly so we are truly blessed to have two beautiful and healthy daughters!

As soon as i get some updated photos...I will post some. Again, thank you to everyone who has emailed me and has posted to our travel we guys are my rock that keep me going!

(I will be updating our travel web site within the next week also so if you guys are still following along and waiting for "something" new, I promise...I'll have something for you by the end of next week at the latest! Also, as soon as I get a some free time I am planning on doing some major catching-up on all your blogs...I am sure I have missed so much and I can't wait!)