Tuesday, September 29, 2009

issues...and a little bit more

Not sure if it is our Internet connection or our computer, but I am having some major issues with connecting to the interest and staying connected (and also it taking a year's time - or at least that is what it seems to me anyway - to more from one page to another) so if you were wondering where I have been...I have been right here just not online. Hoping to get these "issues" resolved soon and be back to being connected...

As for "and a little bit more"
we finally received our approved home study in our hands and it is being sent off to the USCIS office along with our I800A application. Hoping that this will be a speedy process so we can once again move forward in bringing home our Benjamin.

Hope you all are having a great week and here's to seeing you all again very soon...

(as for typing this message, Thank Heavens for Keith's iPhone)

Friday, September 25, 2009

Celebrating 10 YEARS!

HAPPY 10TH WEDDING ANNIVERSARY ~ Keith! You truly are the love of my life and my best friend! Here's to a great weekend ahead!

(We are planning a night out with just the two of us ~ haven't had one of those in a very long time! Grandma came down to take care of the girls while Keith & I have a little "grown-up" fun that is way over due and since Grandma made a special trip down to our house, we figured we better do some exciting stuff while she is visiting...Hoping to have some photos to post by Monday!)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Life after school for Francesca

Yep - that is my "not so little & growing up way too quick" girl - fast asleep! It is times like this that I want to scoop her up & hold onto her forever...She is has always been and will always be my little girl!
Francesca is just loving her new school and after attending a recent Parent's Night, I must admit ~ I am truly impressed! In just the short amount of time since she has started...I can't believe how much she has learned already and all the is planned for their future school days!
But what the sweetest part of her day - according to Francesca is - when Mom comes to pick her up. As soon as she walks out of her classroom she tell me, "Mom I had such a great day at school today but I am so happy to see you because I missed you so very much..." Isn't that just the dearest thing ever to say...My heart just melts over my two girls...!

Monday, September 21, 2009

O-M-G!!!!! Never thought I see the day when I would be posting this!!!!!

After over four months of waiting, making several phone calls, and spending way more money than most people do...WE GOT OUR HOME STUDY APPROVAL from our agency!!! This could not have come at a better time! I have truly exhausted myself over this whole ordeal as well as made myself sick - literally! This was truly ONE BIG STEP for us and for our Benjamin! OH MY GOSH ~ I just can't believe it! It is FINALLY 100% done!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

driving NASCAR style...

Oh ~ I can't tell you how much our girls love driving & riding around in their #20 car! I am thinking there will be some "issues" on who will be able to enjoy it once Benjamin comes home (seeing how it can only fit two at one time). I think Papa & Grandma C might have to look into getting another one for Christmas 2010!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

snap shots!

Here are a few snap shots that were taken over the past few weeks! Since I am finally getting around to getting many of our photos downloaded from the camera to the computer, I figured I share a few with you all of our wonderful & super funny daughters!

Our Fashion Forward Annabelle ~ is this a look or what!

(she did her socks all by herself)

Annabelle's Creation!

(according to her, she made a cake ~ what an imagination!)

Now you'll have to excuse the way I look in these photos! There were taken right after Francesca's open house celebration at her school before she officially started! As you can tell from my eyes, I did a lot of crying that day and as for my hair color - I am no longer a blond! And even though I do do not like the way I look in any of them, I just had to post them because Francesca is just showing her true personality is each and every one of them!

(oh how she can't hold back that laugh!)

And there you have it, just a few snap shots!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

just for Annabelle

Don't you just love Annabelle's Halloween costume! Since she is much smaller than Francesca was, she so needed one and as soon as I saw this adorable witch's one ~ I just knew it was perfect for her!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Need to take some time out of our schedule to say Thank You!

So need to send out a HUGE THANK YOU to everyone how has participated in our Benjamin's fund raiser! So far we have collected almost $400 in donations in less than a month's time! We are truly excited over the support that you all have been giving to us during this time of frustration (putting it nicely for we are still trying to get our social worker to make the needed correction for our home study to be approved). Again thank you to all - you won't ever be forgotten...

If you haven't check out this amazing site - you must! For there are some wonderful prizes being raffled off and a few really nice ones too for just mentioning his site!

Blogging tutorial

Monday, September 14, 2009

a family photo

Francesca needed a family photo for a school project and since we didn't have any current ones, we all sat down this weekend while visiting Grandma and had one taken!

(notice anything different?)

Hope you all had a great weekend as we did while in northeastern Pennsylvania!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

when living in DC....

A few weekends ago, we decided on taking in some of the tourist sites in and around our new home town and for some reason, we ended up at Arlington Cemetery. Seeing how the last time I was at Arlington Cemetery was when I was very, very young, we all agreed that it was where we would start off our day. Not remembering what to except (or really knowing), I was totally moved beyond words. The place is so spiritual. Just looking around and reading many of markers, seeing our two daughters & knowing the journey we made to bring these two very special girls home, made me so proud to call myself an AMERICAN! If you are ever in the Washington DC area, you must witness this beautiful resting place ~ for it will change your views on the country we live in...

Here are just a few photos of our day!

The changing of the guard at the Tomb of The Unknown Soldiers...

The Washington Monument

The Lincoln Memorial

(both photos above we taken from standing among the memorials...)

The two girls & me!

JFK's & Jackie O's Resting Site

a few photos taken through the walk way...

and last but not last, our beautiful Francesca!

Papa & Grandma C were in for a visit as well that weekend! We truly love every minute of their stay and can't wait until they come back again!

Friday, September 11, 2009

letting go...

Why didn't my mother warn me?

When I called my mom this morning after dropping Francesca off for her first day of PreK (all the while I was balling my eyes out), I asked her, "Why didn't she ever tell me how hard it was to say goodbye to your child and walk away ~ just leave them?" And having the best mother out there, in my opinion, she just said, "We all have to let go at some point in our lives. You see them growing up and you want to stop the clock but you can't. And nor do you want to. This is just one of the many steps we take as mothers with our children." There was more to our conversation but that's not what this post is about. Francesca did so well today and I am truly very proud of her! As for Annabelle, she just doesn't understand where her big sister is and she keeps asking me over and over again, "Where's Cesca?" and "When she home?" I think we both are missing her...

Here is a photo of the girls and me this morning before heading out for that short drive to school. If I knew than what I know now, I would have hold onto to her a little longer this morning and not worry about getting the laundry started and emptying out the dishwasher before heading out for her first day at school...

I miss you so much Francesca. Words can not describe how much it hurt as I walked out of your classroom today after giving kisses and a big hug, but at the same time I am so excited and happy for you. The smile on your face will never be forgotten and I just know you'll have a wonderful time. I am sitting here counting down the minutes until you and I are united once again. And I can't wait to hear all about your first day. I am coming for you soon baby..

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


Never expecting in a million years to jump on my notebook, check my emails, and see "this" from our agency labeled, "Dang Zi Zhong"! Here are two photos that we received dated yesterday! We also received some current measurements...he is currently 29" tall and weighs 22 lbs (he is currently 6 lbs less than Annabelle and 4" shorter) and has 16 teeth (along with some other information). This is EXACTLY what WE NEEDED to keep us going. Today truly turned out to be one beautiful day!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

When I am stressed...

...I cook, bake, cook, bake, cook, bake and eat almost everything in make! (seeing how things have been going for us these past few months - no wonder I gained almost 10 lbs which I so don't need).

One of my favorite recipes that I tend to "turn to" when I am feeling down and out is...

my very own "Potato Chip Cookies" recipe!

They are truly as good as they look and super easy to make...

All you need is...

a preheated oven set at 375

1/2 lb of butter (2 sticks at room temperature)
1/2 cup of sugar
1 1/2 cups of flour
1 1/2 cups of crushed potato chips (ridged or ruffled chips work best)
1 tsp of vanilla extract

Combine all ingredients and mix until semi creamy (batter won't become completely smooth because of the chips)

using a teaspoon, drop prepared cookie dough on a non-greased cookie sheet

bake at the 375 oven temperature for 10 - 12 minutes

once removed from oven, let them stand to a semi cool than remove them from the cookie sheet to finish the cooling process on a raised rack.

and last but not least...Top with some powder sugar!

(recipe makes 2 dozen cookies)

These are truly one of my favorite recipes that took me many years to "tweak" to perfection! They are a hit with adults and kiddos...because of their buttery & salty taste! As for my family, one batch is never enough and in our house this recipe is one of the more popular requested!

(OK I have to admit here that I had another post all-ready-and-set to go but I removed it. It's just that I have been doing a lot of thinking lately and have been evaluating almost everything and everyone surrounding my life...all in all I see some changes coming...)