Thursday, April 30, 2009

Annabelle's Baptism

(Francesca, Scott Joe, and Annabelle)

(Annabelle & Mommy)

(during the actually Baptism...she only wanted her Mommy through the whole thing)

(with the Godparents)

(the kiddos & G.G. who turned 90 on Tuesday!!!)

It was such a beautiful the church & outside the church!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

***in honor of my daughter's 2nd birthday today ~ an update has been made to her web is truly a must see for our precious Annabelle fought very hard to stay alive her first few months in China...warning - the photos are heartbreaking...***


( she likes wearing necklaces around her head - instead of her neck!)
Annabelle ~ I hope you have a wonderful day full of fun & laughter. And as soon as you get up, it is ice cream with sprinkles for breakfast. Love you forever & ever, Mom

Monday, April 27, 2009

OK...getting back to normal here (or at least trying)

What can I say, my life over the past couple of weeks has truly been CrAzY! Annabelle was Baptized this past weekend, her 2nd birthday is on Tuesday (she shares a birthday with my grandmother who will be 90 on the there is another party this coming weekend), Francesca has had a ton of doctor appointments with regards to her mega colon and she has a meeting with NEIU this coming week to get evaluated on her educational skills.


I also have to get ready for the BIG DERBY this weekend - the Kentucky Derby - which we have a party every year on the first Saturday of May with a few friends and family.

After months of planning and thinking 'should I really be doing this' I finally got my little "business" venture off the grown (after working so many countless hours on it) and so far so good...(between working on the business logo, customized item , business cards, and my new shop...there are not enough hours in the day for me!)

and finally, we took Francesca to see Disney's Earth movie this past weekend. Seeing how it was her first time ever at the big movie theater - she had a blast! The movie is a must see - if you get a chance!

So, that's about it on my end. I did get our Easter photos finally downloaded this past weekend and I am working on the Baptism photos so I can post them. I will be catching up with you all over the next week - and I can't wait! Being away from my bloggy friends has not been easy. Just so you all know, you are all truly missed....

Now here's to the start of a great week ahead!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Between us girls....

Here are some very interesting conversations with Francesca over the past few weeks that I must share...

One day as I was waking her up from her 2 hour nap...(she was not in a good mode) she said to me...

Francesca: "Mommy, I am just having a bad day."

Me: "You are...Did you have a good nap? Are you still tired?"

Francesca: "I don't know. I am just having a bad day, but I think some McDonald's would make me feel so much better. Chicken and some french fries will do the trick! What do you say, mom..."

How could I resist - oh course we went to McD's that night!

While one day up at my mom's house for supper...
I was trying to round up the kiddos to head home so I could give them a bath and than get them into bed. Francesca was trying to carry on a way-off-the-topic conversation with Grandma while she was cleaning up from our supper (Francesca trying to prolong her time at Grandma's). Meanwhile, I was asking Francesca - loudly - if she was ready to go. I think she got a little upset with me for interrupting her because she stopped mid-sentence, turned and looked at me, and said...
"For the love of God, Mom...I am having a very important talk here with Grandma!"
I think my mom pee her pants for she said it exactly the way I do....


Since we started the month of April with Francesca's calender (that we must do every day), she just can not understand why Annabelle and G.G. share the same birthday (April 28th). Francesca was insisting that she & Papa would also share a birthday too (Papa's was the 7th). One morning - as soon as her eyes opened - she was insisting that we call we did.

Francesca: "Hi Papa. I want to share your birthday with you. Can we do that? I think it sounds like a good idea. I could give you a present and you can give me a present. I would like a black boat with oars so we can go fishing...catch a fish...and feed it to a bear. That's what I want to do. Sounds good Papa - right! "

My poor father was speechless - what do you say to that at 8AM in the morning....

Gotta love that girl of mine....

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

ME ~ helping out (celebrating Earth Day!)

"The future of everything around us lies in each of our hands. How can you make a difference?"

I don't like to make New Year's Resolutions and this year is no exception, but I did make a promise to myself and my family that I am going to work harder at taking care of our environment. I felt like I was doing my part in "cleaning up our planet and making it a better place" but in doing some recent research, I discovered I can do so much more which I started "full-force" in doing since coming home from China with our Annabelle in November 2008.

I have really dedicated myself in recycling EVERYTHING that can be recycled (and I mean everything). I think I drove my family crazy this past Christmas with the wrappings, tissue paper, and bows waste. There are a lot of changes I made already this ~not using so many paper towels, washing in only cold water - washing in larger loads - and not as often, recycling all card board that comes our way, recycling all plastic and glass that also comes our way, donating a lot of clothing, household items and other odds & ends that we don't use anymore, turning off lights and shutting off the TV when not in the room and not turning on the lights when there is enough natural light to see, cut back on driving my LR3 (I use Keith's Smart Car on the weekend when running my errands) and instead of running "here" one day and "here" the next I try to do all my running around in one day (plus I cut back on the places I shop at...I would purchase my cleaning supplies "here" and my food "there" and my medicines "some where else" and now I do all my shopping at one place. I also had all our lights switched over to energy saver bulbs last year and I noticed a HUGE difference in our electric bill, I time my dryer faithfully and if I find that if what's in the dryer isn't drying, I let it sit over night and start it up again in the morning (this really cuts back on the time my dryer is running). There are also a few other changes that I made (including running my dishwasher at night, grocery shopping for only what we need for that week and find other uses for the chain store's plastic bags I use to carry home my groceries in, and use recyclable batteries) but the one thing I am having a very hard time with (and I so want to do it) is unplugging electrical devises that are not in use. I heard all about how if the electrical items are still plugged in (even though there are not turned on) it is still using power. This is problem area. I am so trying to work on it, but it is really hard. I am just hoping that by the time we move into our new home, I'll be able to do it (I am one of those people who always have our rechargeable batteries in the charger, my Keurig is always plugged in as are my lamps and TVs even when not in use). I am still learning and still trying but this is the hardest for me to stick to. that I listed a few of the things I am doing to help our environment...what can you do? Just one change can make a huge difference!

(and if you are all wondering if we will still be implementing these environmental changes with our new house - yes we will ~ I want to make a difference!)

We also have plans to see (I purchased the tickets a few weeks ago) Disney's Nature EARTH movie this coming weekend! It will be Francesca's first time at the movie theater but I think she is going to do really well. It is a surprise for her and we just can't wait! *Plus for every ticket you purchase, a tree will be planted ~ what a way to give back!*

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Our Photo Shoot...and another update

Here are just a few of the photos that we taken the day we had our professional photos done. They all came out amazingly beautiful and it was super hard for me to decide on what I wanted purchase. As usually, I purchased way too many but in my opinion, it is so well worth it!
These past two weeks since arriving home from our visit to Maryland - to finally see the new homestead - have been crazy. Between, finally getting around to applying for Annabelle's passport, sending off the necessary information needed for our agency, working on our 6 month post placement review and filing the necessary paper work to get both girls Pennsylvania birth certificates, I am also working on getting Annabelle's Social Security card. On top of that, I have been trying to get some shopping & delivery completed for the new house, planning Annabelle's 2nd birthday party and planning her Baptism which is schedule for the end of this month.

Since I did this post (sometime last week because I just don't have time anymore it seems to do anything) we have been planning our move from Pennsylvania to life in the suburbs of Washington DC AND...I also started a little business for myself that will kick-in full speed once we move ~ but more on that later. I know I have been falling behind on leaving comments on the blogs I do follow, but I just wanted you all to know, that I HAVE been reading all your updates. Life has truly been crazy for us in this usual slow-paced household, but we are loving this change....

Here's to a great week ahead...

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Bad Habits..

....are hard to break!
(I so remember doing this when I was a kid...truth is...I still do! Maybe that's where she learned it!)

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

A Must Have...

If you don't have this book by Marianne Richmond ~ you must get it!

"I Love You So" is truly a favorite in our household! And is picked quiet frequently for story time!!!!

"I love you."
"How much?"
"So much."
"How much is so?"
"Way way more than you'll ever know..."

Monday, April 13, 2009

an update...

Earlier this month, Keith and I had a very serious conversation with regards of the possibility of being blessed with child #3. We talked about what conditions we currently had checked off on our Medical Conditions and what conditions we might add...along with reconsidering the age of child #3. We did do an update and faxed it into our agency at that time. From what we have been told - by adding these changes - we have increased our chances in completing our family by the miracle of adoption x's three! Now, because of the changes we made, it is not a guarantee that we will be matched, but it give us more hope. We are also looking into signing with another/other agencies once we move DC so we can have a greater chance of being matched again with another precious angel. Here's to praying that we do indeed find other options for us to complete our already truly blessed family and that we hear something soon...
As for our Easter Celebration....we truly had a wonderful weekend full of fun! As soon as I get the the many photos downloaded, I will post them! (my mom had an Easter Egg Hunt in her yard yesterday and the kiddos had a blast!)

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Our New Home ~ currently under construction

Welcome to our Dream Home that is currently under construction in the beautiful suburbs of the Washington DC area!
(the photos are some-what out of order so just stay with me - I tried my best to get all these posted in the way the house flows, but since I have no patience and just wanted to enjoy my weekend...did this post early Sunday morning even though you guys are just seeing it it goes!)

Couldn't start a post without a photo of our girls - sitting inside a cabinet located on the island in our kitchen....

Outside/Front Porch View and Garage...

Again, the front porch and entrance into the house....

Entrance way and staircase leading to second floor....

Family Room and Kitchen (Keith designed an open floor plan that combined our kitchen and family room - I just love it and it is something I have always wanted!)


(for us coffee lovers - our very own built in Bosch coffee/espresso maker!)

(natural cherry cabinets and Viking appliances)

Now (closed -in) Dining Room (used to be open breeze-way connecting the garage and the kitchen)

(the master behind this whole design/installation & trim work - my husband - and my favorite sister who came down with me to see my new house - I don't know who was more or her!)

Hall Way leading out of the kitchen to the main floor bath, kids playroom (that bright yellow room at the end), and spare bedroom....

Main Floor Full Bath

Main Floor Spare Bedroom...

Kids Playroom...

(as you may or may not see, we FINALLY have a ton of closet space - and seeing how the house we are currently living in has NONE - this is a BONUS for us!)
The main floor and upstairs will have hard wood wall-to-wall carpet here only area rugs...

Now we are going to head upstairs....Master Bedroom (what I love about this room is the square footage and the fact that we have a super/private deck right off of it!)

(door to our private deck is located to the right of the open closet)

a Window Seat...

The Girls' Bedroom! (another HUGE room!)
(my nephew Scott Joe just loving the wide open room!)

(another Window Seat just for my girls...and my darling Francesca having fun just running around her new room!)

Another Full Bath located upstairs between the to bedrooms...
(isn't the stone work amazing - that's all due to my hubs!)

Now we are headed into the basement that can be a home within its self!
One of the two family rooms/play areas/art studios/future kitchen-bar area!
(the kiddos were just loving the thought that they got to play in the dust that was laying on the floor while our youngest was just awaking from her nap - we are also waiting on the carpet to be put in...)

Another Spare Bedroom....(that will be painted the same color as the spare bedroom on the main floor...)

Basement Full Bath with Bench Seat...

Other Family Room....(the fireplace is being painted white because of the red & white marbleized granite that was used to accent it!)
There is also a laundry room and storage room located in the basement as well but I didn't take any photos of them but I think you ge the idea! (we also have a walk up huge storage area located above our garage...super excited over that too!)
And there you mostly have it! I didn't take any photos of the outside ~ and only reason why was because when we arrived at the new house, it was a total mess! As of this past week, our landscaping has been completed, the slate stone patio out back has been laid down, the lower deck is almost completed (along with our private deck upstair off the Master Bedroom) and the drive way is starting to take form...and from the photos on Keith's iPhone - it looks amazing! I am planning on another trip down to take some more measurements for furniture I have "in-mind" that I want to purchase....along with some area rugs, and curtains. Here's to hoping to be moved in by May!!!!


Winner of my Vera Bradley Giveaway is...

Deb in Florida

Congratulations girl you are going to love this set!!!!

If you are wondering how this "winning number" was picked: I counted up all the comments 1-129 and had my mom pick out a number. Since she is NEVER on my blog (bad Grandma isn't she lol) she had no clue why she was picking a number at random from 1 to 129 and she picked #38! (and the funny thing is...if you go back and read Deb's winning comment she actually posted, #38 was truly lucky for her ------ "Oh, am I post #38 with this one? It feels like a lucky number. Actually I like the numbers 7 and 9, but I got here too late to snag those! *LOL* ")

***I will be having another giveaway within the next few weeks so please check back! On my last trip down to Washington DC, I found a really interesting "piece" that I just couldn't pass up for myself and for someone else ~ so stay tuned....***

and coming VERY SOON - the photos of our Dream Home that is currently under construction in Washington DC!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

our Fast and Furious and a little bit more...(this one is for you Papa!)

Our future Nascar Driver!



Shelly, Keith, Francesca, Annabelle & Honey Bear
Lisa, Scott, and Scott Joe