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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Happy Fall

I've pulled out the fall decorations even though it still feels like were in the dawg days of summer here in the south. I love fall decorating. I'm really ready to pull out the Christmas decor too. I can not wait! I am so excited for Christmas this year. We have been so blessed and have so much to be thankful for. I've been practicing and practicing with my camera set on the "M - - - - -" word. It's getting easier, but I still have much to learn. I've also been working in Photoshop which I LOVE!!! I could stay up all night touching and retouching my photos. It's soooo much fun. I've been cleaning all day today and hope to take some photos of the casa later tonight. I can't wait to share the decor. I recently learned how to change my photos to black and white. I know I sound like such a rookie. I am...
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These aren't the very best photos, but it's what I chose. Hoot is so animated. I took some great shots of them this afternoon. I can't wait to post those too!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Six Months

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Our Doll has been home six months!!! In some ways it feels as if she's always been here and in other ways it feels like we've just returned from China. The past months have been a whirlwind to say the least. Libbie has transformed before our eyes. She has blossomed into this little fire cracker that blows us away. She has a spirit like wild mustang, yet she is gentle and sweet (on her terms). She is very busy and never slows down. When she falls, even when it's a bad fall, she picks herself up and tries again. She never ever gives up. Not in a million years would I have imagined the relationship I have with her today. Leaving the corporate world was the best thing I could have done for the two of us (and for our family). She cuddles with me and asks me to "Bock You Mamma" (rock her to sleep) every night. She calls for me when she is frightened or uncomfortable in her night brace. She will touch my face and pull me close to her and she loves to put my hands around her cheeks and embrace her. It took time, but we have fully bonded. Don't get me wrong... she is a daddy's girl and I think she always will be, which is fine by me. He's tough competition and I'm no match to his pony rides and tickles. Her English is amazing. She understands more than she speaks, but everyday she seems to add more and more to her vocabulary. She can count to 10, state her name and age and she knows how to shout orders at Hoot. Speaking of Hoot, he has bonded with Libbie as well. She adores him and he likes it. They drive each other crazy, but when they're apart, they ask for each other. He is gentle with her and treats her like she's an infant. It's funny to listen to him talk to her... He baby talks and she orders him around. She loves to sword fight with him and dress up in his costumes. She came out in an Iron Man mask today and tried to scare me. Libbie is a natural survivor. She is brave and strong. She isn't afraid to speak her mind and she will let you know if she doesn't like something. I often wonder what life was really like for her in the orphanage. She showed aggressive tendencies early on and we have had to work with her on being kind and gentle. She would raise her hand like she was going to hit when she didn't like a situation. Thankfully, we worked through that behavior. She knows that she is safe and that we won't harm her and in turn she has relaxed and let her guard down. Now when she doesn't like something or feels threatened she says, "Bop Dat" Stop that... or she shows her concern in her eyes. I have also relaxed and feel more confident about our relationship. I admit I was very insecure about her feelings for me. I knew that it was normal for an adopted child to bond to one parent and I had heard that little girls sometimes bonded with daddy first. However , in my mind I really thought those moms must have done something wrong and that just wouldn't happen to me. Slowly but surely she accepted me and as I backed off and allowed her to come to me on her terms our relationship progressed. Many have asked about her physical development. She has gained 7lbs and has grown 2 inches since we've been home. She continues to be a great eater, but has slowed down some. She's just started to tell me what she would like for meals... she'll say, "how bout... gogurt??, or how bout eggs??" I love that she can communicate what she wants now. We have made several trips to Shriners Hospital (WE LOVE SHRINERS) and her new braces are awesome. (her new shoes are not) She walks so much better with her AFO's but we still haven't found a shoe that fits her like the shoes Shriners provided (they're boys shoes). She will have surgery some time in the near future (hopefully after Christmas) to correct her feet. She will never have movement in her ankle joints but they believe they can set her feet in a better position that will allow her to walk flat footed. She will continue to wear AFO's through her childhood but as an adult she should be able to walk without them. At this point she isn't able to walk at all without her AFO's. We continue to be amazed each day at what God shows us through this little girl. She has a love for life and doesn't seem to be bothered by her disabilities. Her favorite movie is Tangled. She loves Rapunzel and now that her hair is long enough to pull in pig tails she calls herself Wawa Punzel. I don't know that we will ever stop calling her Wawa. It sounded so strange to call her that at first, but now it's stuck.. she is Wawa. She answers to Libbie and knows that is her name but she continues to refer to herself as Wawa. So happy six months Wawa Punzel. I love you and thank God for you daily. You have blessed our family and many others with your smile and wit. I can't imagine life without you.
1 Samuel 1:27
I prayed for this child, and the LORD has granted me what I asked of him.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Back Log!

So much to post so little time. Life gets busy and just when I feel I'm getting in a groove, life happens. I must catch up and post about Hoots GALACTIC 7th birthday party. I think it was his best yet! It was by far the easiest party I've ever thrown together and I must say... it was nice not to be so stressed out over all the details. We planned ahead, and Double Dave's Pizza took care of the cooking for me! I use an amazing cake lady who also made the cookie party favors. I planned a simple game of Pin the light saber on Yoda, make Yoda Soda and blew up about 80 balloons the morning of the party... Easy breezy. Let's party. I think the Force was with me!

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She's ate up with Star Wars too... She runs around the house with a light saber ordering everyone to fight... she says, "Wawa fight!!"
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I think they all had a great time at the party! No injuries!
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Of all the games the boys loved the grabber game the best... don't understand, but they crammed into a corner and tried over and over to win the junk in the box!
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The week after Hoots party, Nanna took him on a special outing just the two of them. He was so pumped to go. They had dinner and went shopping at the Lego store. He came home feeling pretty special.
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His gift from us was a new bike now that he can ride without training wheels. So a new helmet was a must. His cousin B gave him the rebel helmet.
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Tough Guy!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Capturing Life

I have so enjoyed the photography class I won a few weeks back. I have learned so much and it's hard to believe 4 weeks have flown by. Our final class meets this Thursday and I'm sad to say farewell. My kiddos (subjects) are not impressed with my images and are completely disgusted with moms camera. The Doll sees me coming with the camera and turns her eyes away. SAD:( Hoot just rolls his eyes at me... So I've volunteered neighbors and my other family members to be my subjects while I complete the class. I'm hoping to get better about catching my kiddos in natural everyday activities that don't require them to sit still while i fumble with the camera. It just takes practice. These are just a few images I want to share. I'm excited to begin The Art of Editing this Thursday!!! More to come and a Star Wars Birthday party post is soon to follow as well... we're always busy!


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This photo is really dark, but I love his eyes! Sweet moment with daddy on the porch swing
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This is my neice MS. B she brought her Daphne halloween costume and her pink cowboy hat for her "photo shoot". We told her she was a model and she knew how to pose. I don't know where she learned the moves... but she was all business!
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More to come!!!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Fun with The Peanuts

We spent our Labor Day weekend with The Peanuts at a local resort right out of town. It was a very relaxing retreat that was much needed. I told Kim I learned how to slow down and take it all in from the Peanut family. She laughed because she thinks she's strung pretty tight. We decided it's all perception... I'm usually in such a hurry to get from point A to point B and then on to point CD and E... that I miss out on just enjoying the time with my family. I know it's hereditary because I got it from my Dad and he caught it from his mom.... Lambert and I once did Disney with my Grandma. We made it through the MK in about an hour and a half. She had it mapped out and all planned. Lambert is a stroller.... Sally isn't. She's not 5ft tall and her little legs sprinted across that park faster than Lambert could believe. We still laugh about it. I sometimes feel like a drill Sargent... I'm the mom at the parks ordering my troops to "MOVE MOVE MOVE" Hoot is a stroller too, bless his heart. So the Peanuts really did teach me a valuable lesson that I will TRY to remember the next time we vacation... SLOW DOWN (Lambert is eternally grateful to the peanut family for this aha! moment they unveiled)
These are just a few of the moments I captured. I shot in Manual mode and they haven't been edited so please excuse the over/under exposure. My fingers are still fumbling and before I can get the settings adjusted my subjects have usually moved on... but I do think I captured the friendship and fun time we had this Labor Day weekend!

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The Doll likes the Peanut Men...
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A LOT

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We feel the same way, but we didn't want to eskimo kiss with Daddy Peanut

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There was LIMBO

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This little guy clearly won!!

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There was also father and son bonding... The Peanuts got to see Hoot's mad atheltic skills all over the resort...

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I want the Doll to spend more time with this sweetheart. I can only pray that a little of her gentleness and kindness might rub off on her. Kate is super sweet and Libbie is super spicy for sure. I've read about spicy girls from southern China, but didn't know exactlly what the term meant... i know now...

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She can hold her own!!!

Then there is my Hoot... what can I say??? I madly love this little person God entrusted to me. He is just a special little man that makes my heart sing. The cut below his nose happend Sunday evening... our room was poolside so we left the glass door opened and pulled the screen door shut... Hoot walked right throug the screen door going pretty fast. He took the door off the track!! He suffered only minor injuries but his feelings were pretty hurt. It scared him to death!! Poor thing.
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Sing sing sing!

Friday, September 2, 2011

No Words

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Okay maybe a few words. She is happy and I am thankful. Truly a blessing!!