Thursday, December 23, 2010


From Our Family to Yours!

Love, The Leonard's
Keith, Shelly, Francesca, Annabelle and Benjamin

Monday, December 20, 2010

{first school dance for Francesca}

OK seriously ~ when did my baby get to the point where she was able to go to a school dance on a Friday night {no less}! It is true! And she had a wonderful time! Her friend, Kyra (along with her Mom, Dad, twin brother and older brother) invited to take Francesca with them to the big school dance that happen this past October! She excitedly left the safe haven of our home around 6:30PM and returned full of giggles and smiles promptly at 8:45PM! She has a great time and we are truly thankful for the Walsh family for inviting her!

According to Mama Walsh, the kiddos had a great time and danced their hearts out!

As for me, I didn't expect anything less!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

{happen to find}

Can't you just eat him up! I mean seriously...I am guessing that Keith took these photos for when I went to download our Halloween ones from our stay at Children's I found these!

Oh I can't begin to tell you all how this little boy has touched my heart and opened my eyes to so much more....

Monday, December 13, 2010

Halloween at Children's Hospital!

This was how we celebrated Halloween this past year! Why it wasn't exactly how anyone had visioned this year's custom display ~ we truly made the best of it and had a wonderful time!
We were able to get Benjamin out of his bed (for the first time) and lay him in a pillow lined wagon and do a bit of trick & treating around his floor!

Both kiddos had a blast!

{Francesca's school party was the same day as the hospital's party ~ a HUGE THANK YOU to Grandma for she substituted for me that day as the classroom mom!}

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Where do I begin...

So much has happened since my last post...

(at Halloween) Benjamin had his first surgery {spinal} at Children's Hospital in Washington DC and after an almost week's stay at the hospital and a post op follow up with our neurosurgeon, he is doing very well. It is seriously possible that he will require further surgery on his spine in the future, but for now all is good!

While Benjamin was in the hospital recovering, our 4-legged buddy, Honey Bear, who has been with Keith & I since we were dating (14 years ago) past away...He will always be remembered and we are still missing him so very much...(btw ~ he was our first offical adoption at age 2)

We are currently getting ready for Benjamin's next surgery {recto-urethral fistula and part one of his bowel repair} which will take place next week. After his surgery, Benjamin will be placed on a colostomy bag but we do not know how long.

Here at Casa De Leonard, we are also getting ready for the Christmas Season, a New Year's Holiday at Grandma's and our second 2 week vacation in January in Disney World for Francesca's 6th Birthday!

As many of you know, Francesca started Kindergarten this past September and Annabelle started Preschool! Francesca and Annabelle (both) love school and their teachers. Francesca has started an after school program one day a week for singing & dancing as well as joined our local Girl Scout Daisy troop here in Derwood. Annabelle is still my "spicy" little girl who has taken it as your objective to show "guidence' to Benjamin for everything. Those two {A&B} are still our "Frick & Frack" and the best of buds!


(last but not least) Keith and I have realized that "the door" to adoption was NOT locked but only closed and after pulling very hard on that door's handle, it has once again opened for us and we have submitted a new MCC to our agency for the Special Focus Program. While we are not 100% sure if we will get a referral, we are 100% ready to make this party of five a six pack! And what totally sweetened the deal {for us} was when my dear, loving, and amazing girlfriend, Miss Sara from Football & Fried Rice offered to come with me during the travel for our newest addition!!! Seeing how we would have three little ones at home, Keith and I know it would be pretty much impossible for both of us to travel so when I mention my concerns to Miss Sara, she quickly jumped on board 100% willing to help out in any way she can and offered to come with me! How sweet is that!

So as you can see, things have been very busy for us here in DC land! I do have a few more photos I want to share with you all and I hoping that over the next two weeks I can get some up and posted! So please check back for further cuteness!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Happy 3rd Birthday Benjamin ~ October 15, 2010

As you can see (for the many photos displayed below)...

Benjamin truly had a wonderful 3rd birthday celebration!

Nothing like having your own cake to kick off our Friday night party!

Than getting the chance to eat it!

{I swear I could just eat him up!}

Nothing better ~ right...

Except for celebrating your 3rd birthday with your two favorite little people...

Because of course Annabelle LOVED the cupcakes...

As well as Francesca did...

That I made just for them {seeing how their brother had his very own cake}!

Next it was PRESENT TIME!

And it didn't take Benjamin long to understand the meaning of the word "PRESENTS" (thanks to his two older & wiser sisters)

With a little bit of help from the both of them....

He was able to find what exactly was in that gift bag!

Nothing like a pair of bubble guns and....

And a Thomas The Train book....

To get this PRESENT thing started!

(that were all hand picked by both Annabelle & Francesca)

Next was our gift to him...

What could it be?

Seeing how we have a TON of girlie stuff in our house...we needed something "manly"!
{we couldn't have him playing with purses, high heels, and doll strollers all the time}

So after asking Keith what he thinks we should get him...

Only one BIG YELLOW thing came to mind...

And with a few clicks on my computer and an order with

We got our little guy the perfect gift!

Just look at that smile...

and oh those little feet...

Benjamin is LOVING his new Big Yellow TONKA Truck!
(as the girls are loving it too!)

That was all on Friday night (the actual night of his birthday)...

Next came Saturday's celebration when Papa and Grandma C showed up...

Bringing a few gifts as well....

And what little boy doesn't LOVE his very own ATV!

Again that smile of his is saying it all!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

{{{another update on Benjamin's blog posted}}}

Click HERE for Phrase One post

After everything that has happened, we finally are getting some answers and have our first surgery scheduled for the end of this month...

Sunday, October 10, 2010

All snug as Buzz in their beds....

Finally ~ after over a year since moving to our new home in the beautiful suburbs of Washington DC...

We finally got around to purchasing and organizing the tribe's bedroom!

Seeing how Francesca wanted to stay sleeping with her younger sister and brother (she did have the option of her own room), we decided to go with a neutral theme...

And Toy Story/Buzz Lightyear won by unanimous votes!

We still have to get the Buzz Lightyear curtains hung and I am on the hunt for a Toy Story Music Box as well ~ but for now ~ it is mostly complete!

{{{and much better than living out of boxes and mixed match beds & bedding}}}

Francesca, Benjamin and Annabelle (exactly how they chosen their beds)

Just look at those smiles ~ they melt this momma heart every.single.time.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

some major cuteness!

This is our "Double Trouble"! Can you believe that these two are only 6 months apart in age...?
While our little Primo is very tiny for his age, his brain truly functions like the average almost 3 year old!
(he will be turning three on October 15th!)

Sunday, October 3, 2010

What we have been up to...

Click HERE for our new post Twists & Turns

{{{I so wanted to try and post this again, but I just can't. Just proof reading it has me shaking once again. It is an update on where we are at with Benjamin's medical care...Just warning you ~ it is a long post}}}

Thursday, September 30, 2010

{{{{backin up here a bit}}}} Annabelle's First Day of Preschool!

I still can't believe that my sweet and spicy Annabelle started preschool on September 15th!

Where did that time go...

The first two days were extremely hard for her and she cried (as I did too)


By day three, she (and I) were doing great and she is LOVING her new school (while I still miss her like crazy).

Now it is just me and my Primo - unitl next year's school season...