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Preview: Acorns & Cherry Blossoms

Acorns & Cherry Blossoms



"Every good and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father..." ~James 1:17



Updated: 2018-03-05T19:05:14.001-06:00

 



Our Birthday Princess!

2012-02-24T03:56:23.988-06:00

It's seems I have fallen into my same old 'slack and slumber' when it comes to blogging these days.  I'm not sure what's with me!?!  I go in phases, that's for sure.  I enjoy reading others blogs, but just can't seem to find the motivation to keep mine up-to-date. I guess I feel like others lives are more interesting and who wants to read about our boring lives anyway!?!  Well, maybe not so boring, but compared to others, it often seems as so?!  It's all relative, I guess!?! ;)  Truth is, I haven't even been very good about keeping up on others blogs lately either.  If they're not on FB, I've probably missed much that's happening, as of late.  I feel so 'out-of-touch' with many of my old bloggy friends, and I don't like it one bit.  But I do know who most of you stop by to see, and that is this precious girlie ~ our Khloe Mei!It's hard to believe our baby girl is 4 already!  Can you believe how fast the time has flown by?!  February 8th marked Khloe's 2nd birthday at home with our family.  We kept it fairly simple this year, though I did my best to keep her special day all about her, as it was just the two of us for most of the day.I always let the kids pick their special birthday breakfast; so in real Khloe-fashion, she picked pancakes with strawberry sauce!  I have NO idea where she got the 'strawberry sauce' idea from, as it is not something we've had at home before.  But this girl has a BIG imagination!  So it was a good thing I had some whole frozen strawberries in my freezer, and created a special topping for my little princess the night before!!  She was pleased, to say the least!       Khloe's birthday brings forth a lot of emotions for me.  I can't help but think of her birth family half-a-world-away, knowing that they have no idea what has become of their little girl.  Wondering if she ever got the surgery she desperately needed and if she is okay.  Likely wondering if she had been adopted into a family of her own, or if she is still in an orphanage somewhere.  I wish so badly they could see her now.  I think of her birth mama, knowing she must surely think of Khloe with deeper emotions on this day.  I want her to know she is well... more than well!  I wish her 1st family could know that Khloe had been in the wonderful care of New Day while still in China, and that she got her life-saving, life-changing surgery in Hong Kong when she was just 8 mos old.  I wish they could know how healthy she is now, and that she truly has hope for a future.  I wish they could see how joyful and spunky and fun and smart and beautiful their little girl is...and that they could know she is deeply loved!  And I wish they could know the gratitude of my heart for this precious little girl that I am blessed to have call me 'mama' and shower me in hugs and kisses each and every day.   So on this special day, we talk about "Khloe's China" a little more.  We pray for her birth mama and family, that they may come to know Jesus and that He will give them a peace in their hearts that passes all understanding.  We look at photos from her past, while celebrating the present.  We are SO grateful and blessed and humbled to be her forever family.  We have been given the greatest gift of all, and so we celebrate her!  We topped off Khloe's birthday with a nice dinner as a family ...none other than Chinese take-out.  Daddy brought home a big bouquet of balloons for his little princess, which she LOVED!  Then we sang 'Happy Birthday' and had cupcakes with ice cream and homemade fudge sauce.  And of course, what is a birthday without a few special gifts!?!  Her favorite was her special Bamboletta doll named "Julia" that Khloe says, "looks just like me" in her exact words!!(Matching skirt set made by my sweet friend Valerie, of Ruffled Feathers)The following weekend, we continued the celebrations with an extended family [...]



From our Family, To Yours...

2011-12-25T00:50:56.953-06:00



Merry Christmas
 & God Bless You ALL! <><




"For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. 
And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace."  ~Isaiah 9:6
 
 Happy Birthday to our Lord Jesus Christ!



"Oh Christmas Tree..."

2011-12-22T03:03:36.700-06:00

I guess it's about time I update my blog again!  ...been hanging out on FB too much these days.  I think it just fits in with the busier schedule of the holiday season a bit more.  These photos are from our day at the tree farm, the weekend following Thanksgiving.  It is such a joy to have Khloe home for her 2nd Christmas with our family.  She really seems to be taking it all in this year, and definitely understands what everything is all about.  She had so much fun running around at the tree farm, helping to pick out the perfect tree.  She even found one "just her size!" ...though we decided to pass on that one and give it a little more growing time! ;) Afterwards, the kids took a photo with Santa.  Let's just say, he wasn't the most smiley Santa I've seen.  I guess it was towards the end of his 'shift'! ;)  In anycase, Khloe didn't seem to mind, she was all about the candy in his little bag! Then it was off to visit the petting zoo.  The kids all enjoyed playing with the animals.  Khloe wasn't nearly as skeptical this year.  In fact, she was a little TOO brave at times!  The little goats were my favorite.  There are so small and sweet.  Except for the three that gave literal meaning to the phrase "butting heads!"  LOL!!  :)Off to the horse wagon ride!  Since we somehow managed to be the only ones on this particular ride, the driver invited Khloe to sit up on the big seat with him and let her hold the reins.  {I wish I would've been able to snap this photo from the FRONT.}  Too cute!  She had fun and even sang "Oh Christmas Tree" as we rode along.     We ended our time at the farm with a little warm up around the bonfire and a bite to eat inside the Cub Scouts tent.  Moments like these are amongst my favorite of family traditions.  As the kids grow older, I realize I have become much more sentimental and cherish these times even more! With Breanna and Dawson so busy with extra curricular activities, they just couldn't seem to find the time to help decorate the tree this year, so it was up to Khloe and mama to get the job done!  She is pretty much my little shadow and LOVES to help with almost anything!Her favorite is still in the kitchen helping to bake cookies though!  She LOVES to run the mixer and pour in all the ingredients.  What would I do without my little "Princess" in the kitchen?! ;)  We are 'almost' done with our Christmas shopping and will likely finish up on our anniversary this coming Friday.  I know, I know!! ~ not the most 'romantic' way to spend the day, but I cherish every moment alone with the hubs I can get, even if that means a shopping-date together without the kids ...and he is more than willing to shop {on my terms and at my pace, in the stores of my choice} on our anniversary, so I'll take what I can get! ;)   I'm sure we will make time to enjoy a nice dinner out together, as well.  I hope this post finds you all in good health and enjoying the joys of the season.  Don't forget to take the time to pray for those less fortunate, or those who may be spending this Christmas alone without a loved one, for the first time.  Every day truly is a GIFT and we need to purpose not to take that for granted!    Blessings & Hugs!! <><[...]



Motion Picture Monday: {Khloe's Cookies!}

2011-11-21T01:46:18.732-06:00

Since many of you enjoyed the video I posted of Khloe on my previous post, I thought I'd give you another.  This was actually taken the end of September, but too cute not to share, and shows her more casual 'focused' side!Khloe thoroughly enjoys helping Mama in the kitchen.  And naturally, one of her favorite things to do is bake cookies.  This is the story of how the 'mystery' cookies came to be.  Enjoy!!  :)  *Note:  Be sure to pause the music 'ipod' on my side bar before viewing.  And as always, you can see the still photos in full-size slideshow by clicking on one to enlarge it.    allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="265" mozallowfullscreen="" src="http://player.vimeo.com/video/32433039?title=0&byline=0&portrait=0" webkitallowfullscreen="" width="400">I'm typically a 'make-it-from-scratch' baker and prefer not to use pre-packaged mixes.  But occasionally do purchase a box cake mix for the sake of time.   However, I do not recall ever purchasing cookie mix before.  Until now...As you may have already figured out by the video, Khloe somehow managed to grab this box off a shelf or display while we were shopping, and get it into the cart and through the check-out without Mommy noticing ...UNTIL I got home and unpacked the grocery bags.  A little confession from Khloe quickly let me know who the culprit was!!  ;)  But as it turned out, it was the perfect little mix for her, as she was able to do many of the steps by herself.  Pretty much fool-proof and reminded me a bit of those little mixes that come with the E-Z Bake Ovens that have been around for decades now.   Anyway, Khloe likes to call these times in the kitchen with mama, "cooking school"  ~ so we enjoyed a little baking lesson this particular fall day.  With a little homemade buttercream frosting and some sprinkles, they were actually pretty tasty, and we have since picked up another box to make together in the near future!  :)          Oh how I treasure these simple times with my little assistant.  She is already growing up TOO fast for this mama ...and is as sweet as the cookies she's baking!If you are ever in the area and want to stop in for a visit, give me a call first so we can be sure to have some special cookies waiting upon your arrival!  ;)[...]



Little Miss "Personality" {her SILLY side!}

2011-11-10T14:31:24.055-06:00

So I get a lot of comments both on here and on Facebook about how cute and photogenic Miss Khloe is... and she certainly is.  But just in case you thought those are the only photos I have of our little princess, let me introduce you to her 'other' side!! ;) When I did that last photo shoot of Khloe (see previous post) she was very much in a  posing mood, as I had mentioned.  But what I failed to show you were the poses when I turned her 'loose' to pose however she wanted.  And boy was she hamming it up for the camera!  She even asked to make a "movie" so you are in for a treat!  LOL!!This is just a small handful of the MANY silly poses she chose to put on for me that afternoon!  She seriously cracks me up!  She insisted on a couple of poses with the scarecrows, too.  One where she was pretending to dance with one of them, and another holding its 'hand' ...LOL!For those of you who only 'know' Khloe through my blog, you may think she has always been this way.  But that is simply not the case.  As a former intern of New Day Foster Home just said to me, "I remember when I had to try for months to get one good photo of her smiling."  It's so true!  When Khloe first came home 18 months ago, I had to work HARD to get a good photo of her smiling, or even looking at the camera, for that matter!  She would literally see the camera and look away.  However, it didn't take her long to realize that this mama doesn't easily back down and that camera was going to be following her around a LOT, so it was in her best interest to cooperate! ;-)   No, really she just came out of her shell after a couple of months home, and taking photos was something she actually enjoyed doing.  Now there are moments when she sees me with my camera out and asks me to take pictures of her.  Same with video... she often asks me to make a movie, just as you are about to see below!  I apologize in advance for my loud voice.  I forget the microphone is right by my face when I'm recording, so I really need to talk quieter.  Anyway, Khloe is a hoot ... ENJOY!  :o)*Be sure to pause or mute the music on my sidebar before starting.  You can also watch this in the full screen mode by clicking on the 4 expand arrows to the left of the word 'Vimeo' on the bottom of the video. allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="265" src="http://player.vimeo.com/video/31914976?title=0&byline=0&portrait=0" webkitallowfullscreen="" width="400">[...]



Twirl Skirt Tuesday: {Khloe Jade & Khloe Mei}

2011-11-08T22:07:59.086-06:00

A few months back, my friend Wendy was raising the final funds needed to bring home their little treasure from China:  her precious Khloe Jade.  Not only does this little sweetie share the same name as my little princess, but she is also from New Day Foster Home!  Many of you may remember her as "Polly."  She is now home with her forever family and doing just wonderful.  I hope her mama doesn't mind, but I just had to 'borrow' these photos of her taken recently.  Isn't she a dolly!?!  Oh what an adorable smile she has!  And I love seeing photos with her big sister, Mikayla ~ they were both born with the same special genes and God has blessed them with the most beautiful family and a sister-bond they are sure to treasure their whole life through! Well, it's no secret NDFH kiddos hold a very special place in my heart, so when I met Wendy and learned of their fundraiser I was happy to help them out however I could.  To my surprise,  I later learned that I was the lucky winner of one of the raffle drawings ~  I had won a custom twirl skirt made by my very good friend Valerie of Ruffled Feathers.  Let me tell you something about Valerie.  She is a tried and true friend that I 'met' a few years back via Bloggyville, and was a huge support to our family (and to me personally!) during our adoption journey to our Khloe.  Valerie is a wonderful and down-to-earth Christian woman with a heart of gold.  She is a Giver with at capital "G" and to say she has a servant's heart would truly be an understatement.  Valerie's love for the orphan runs deep and she is always eager to help out however she can.  She is a faithful wife and a mother to three adorable boys, and everyone who 'knows' her, also knows how much she would love to adopt one day herself.  In the meantime, she continues to support wonderful organizations like New Day Foster Home and Love Without Boundaries {amongst others} and has helped with countless fundraisers by organizing and heading them up, to the donations of  many of her beautiful creations.  So when I found out that we had won a skirt made by my dear friend, I was elated!  And as you'll see by the photos below, my Khloe is loving it, too!!   Valerie even sent me some fabric scraps per my request, so that I could make a matching hair piece for Khloe... I'm kind of an accessory queen! ;)  If you have a moment, head on over to Ruffled Feathers and check out Valerie's fun creations ...you'll be glad you did!!   This is our second twirl skirt made by Valerie, and both are equally gorgeous.  The first one, I ordered last January for Khloe's birthday, but I ordered it about a size too big, so you will have to wait until around Valentine's Day to see that particular creation on Khloe.  Valerie even included a matching skirt for Khloe's Bitty Baby for her birthday ...just another 'gift' idea for those of you who might want to do some Christmas shopping for your precious girly girl(s)!! *warning:  Khloe was in a very "posing" kind of mood this particular day, so mama took advantage of her silly sweetness and shot LOTS of fun photos this particular nice fall afternoon!  Enjoy the cuteness...   ;)Khloe even came back out after dark for a second photo shoot, as I was playing around with some settings on my camera ...but it was pretty cold out, so she didn't last too long! Anyway, I know you are loving this skirt that Valerie created for her, so head on over to Ruffled Feathers and check out all that she has to offer!  Oh, and did I mention that Khloe was in a particularly 'posey' mood that day?!  ...well, so much so that she asked to make a 'movie' when we were done.   This is something she does often; but as of yet, I have not figured out how to post one on my blog, so I'm going to try and create a Vimeo[...]



Family Fun Fest meets Snow White!

2011-11-02T13:22:48.441-05:00

This year I decided to skip 'trick-or-treating' and take Khloe to our church's Family Fun Fest.  It is a very large event that is open to the public and widely sponsored by local businesses and advertised on the radio.  It gets so many people, that they have to use the Civic Center to put it on.  I think it is a wonderful outreach to the public and takes a great deal of planning, volunteering and organizing to make it the big success that it is.  It continues to grow larger each year that they host it.  Our oldest daughter, Breanna, volunteered through our church to work at the event doing face painting.  While mom and Khloe Snow White wandered around to the different booths to play games and load up her bag (and purse!) with candy.  My little princess had a blast and wore her mommy out!  It's hard to believe this is the same little girl, that just 17 mos ago in China, was scared to death of strangers and didn't like 'change' or going new places.  My little girly is a social-butterfly now and she LOVES going places and interacting with others!  Though she sometimes pulls out the 'shy' card when she first meets someone, she is overall very quick to warm up to people.  It was a fun evening, and most importantly, my girls had a great time!   Breanna painting a heart of love on her mei mei's cheek! :) *** Sisters! *** [...]



Sunday Snapshot: {Nature's Playground!}

2011-10-30T23:31:36.224-05:00

I'm pretty certain that it is nearly every family's tradition {at least those with young children} that when fall arrives, they rake up a big ol' pile of those dried up leaves and JUMP in!  There's just something about that crunch, and then burying yourself, and suddenly reappearing with great surprise to whomever may be walking by at that given moment!! Even I got in on the fun ~ hey, someone had to demonstrate how it's done!! ;)  ...sorry, there are NO photos of mama jumping in!  ...thank God!   ;)Khloe was SO excited about our big pile of leaves and couldn't wait to jump in!  She sure had some fun being her silly self (over and over and over and over... again!)  And mama was quick to grab the camera and capture some of that Khloe-silliness to share...Letting those 'true colors' shine through!! ~ Little Stinker! ;o)~Oh how I love this season and its fresh, crisp air.  We have been blessed with some pretty great autumn weather this year, and have enjoyed every bit of it.  But it appears that snow is a possibility in next weekend's forecast, so I'm going to savor every last second of the fall weather that remains.  Though I do enjoy the changing seasons ~ I guess that's why I still make Minnesota my home!!! :) "There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven ..."~ Ecclesiastes 3:1 NIV[...]



One Last "Hurrah!"

2011-10-29T11:08:28.857-05:00

In Minnesota, it often seems as though Labor Day Weekend marks the official end of summer.  With back-to-school the end is even more set in stone with the busyness of football season and BTS activities for both of the big kids.  So it's a rare thing to have the opportunity to extend that summer and enjoy another getaway.  But this year, we did just that. About 12 years ago we purchased a time share up north in hopes that we would take more family vacations and see different parts of the United States or world in general.  When we purchased it, we did not yet have any kids in school, so we didn't think to much about the week we bought.  Though our intentions were to 'bank and trade' most of our weeks to other places anyway, we still wanted the option to enjoy our home resort every now and then.  But in those 12 years, we have only spent 1 week at our home resort, until now.  Unfortunately I forgot to 'bank' it when we were in the midst of our adoption journey to Khloe.  I tried at the last minute to sell it at a steal of price (just 1/2 of our maintenance fees) but it was just too short of notice, so we decided rather than losing it, to at least enjoy the weekend up north with our kids.  So after school, we packed up and drove north to our timeshare.  The last time we were there, Breanna was in 2nd grade ...she is now a junior!  We enjoyed a fun filled weekend as a family, and my brother Jeremy and his kids even drove up to join us one afternoon (his wife, Missy, was at a woman's retreat, so she couldn't be there.)  Anyway, it turned out to be a beautiful and fun weekend, and it was hard to return back home after just a few days.  I could've stayed up there alone with Khloe, but it just would not have been the same without the rest of our crew, so late Sunday afternoon, we headed back home. We are still thinking about selling our timeshare as a whole, to help raise money to go back to China one day, as Khloe is still asking for a little sister, so if anyone is interested, or you know someone who may be, please let me know ...I have many photos I can send of the unit itself! In the meantime, here are the photos from our fun weekend getaway... Our unit is located on the Marinaand looks out towards Lake Mille Lacs.  This is a view of our townhome unit from across the marina.  (*we are the second roof-line in from the left) Dawson and Khloe enjoying a bowl of popcorn and a movie before heading off to bed. Khloe sporting her new Lilly P. swimsuit that she received as a coming home gift from a special friend, (one of her former NDFH sponsors,)  Melissa ...she finally grew into it! :)Khloe contemplating jumping in the pool...the water felt a little cold!A quick pose by the pool with the cousins!(Lexie, Isaiah, Zachary and Khloe) My hot hubby and my handsome son!! My beautiful girlies, "chillaxin" by the pool! :) My brother Jeremy, taking his youngest son, Isaiah for a swim. My beautiful Khloe! My beautiful Breanna!My handsome Dawson!Enjoying some bubbles in the hot tub.Our last evening before heading home.  The kids posing by the big walleye fish in Garrison.Khloe relaxing on the sofa before heading up to bed.Even though the weekend seemed to fly by, we sure enjoyed our time up north and just wish we could've stayed a little longer.  But back to school, work and reality!! ;)  Thank you Lord for this time of refreshing and one last "hurrah" to top of our summer season!   We enjoyed every minute together as a family!![...]



***BOO!***

2011-10-27T02:29:10.478-05:00

Did I scare ya?!  ...okay, well, I kinda figured, being it's the end of October and all, if I was gonna make a come-back and scare everyone, now would be the most fitting time!! ;)  Don't anyone pass out on me now! I know, I know ...it has been a long, LONG time, and I've been a very BAD blogger.  I kind of defaulted to Facebook, and have stayed in touch with a handful of you on there, but it's just not the same, I know.  And I really, really MISS my bloggy friends!  So as for the lack of blogging, there are no real excuses, except for that when you start falling behind, it's hard to know *how/when/where* to jump back in and start again.  So rather than a long post in words, I'll give you a book in pictures to update the past few months, and hopefully I'll be better about keeping up on here after that.  I won't make any promises, except just to say that I'll TRY!!  :)  So where to start? ~ How about "July" where I left off...(* you can click on any of the pictures if you wish to see the full-size photo collage.)  Khloe enjoying some playtime out in the rain.Rodeo Fun!Martin's 39th Birthday (Dawson was away at camp) Splash'in good times in the pool!   We rounded out July with a mini family reunion/camping trip in SE Minnesota.   ...camping and horse riding.Dawson and Khloe preferred the mechanical horse in the grocery store! ;) August brought on our 20 year Class Reunion.  We started out the day with a rainy Family Move & Grove  walk to raise scholarship money.  Thanks to the rain, the turn-out was slim, but we still had fun.  Our class opted for a casual reunion for our 20th, so later that evening after the rain subsided, we gathered at one of our favorite teenage hang-out spots that we all enjoyed as we were growing up...  Zorbaz on the Lake!  It proved to be SO much fun with about 1/2 of our classmates present.  Everyone was thankful for the 'senior photo' name tags I created, as there were a few that would've been tough to identify without them!  ;)  Top center is my BFF (since the 4th grade!) Rhonda and I.    I thought you might enjoy seeing these senior photos of Martin and I ~ needless to say, we've changed a bit! (especially me!   I won't even hint at how much weight I've gained since then, but sadly it's obvious!)  Naturally, our reunion was even more fun since we both graduated from the same class.  ..."YES" we were high school sweethearts! We rounded out the summer with one last family camping trip to Itasca State Park in northern Minnesota.      Our last full day there, we rented a pontoon to do some fishing and enjoy the scenery.  It was absolutely breath-taking and a great way to end our stay at Itasca.Khloe loved touching the fish that Breanna caught; but her favorite part was when Daddy let her drive the pontoon!As tradition would have it, we topped of our getaway with our final stop in Brainerd to play mini golf at Pirate's Cove!  Khloe is still working on her 'technique.'   Before I knew it, the big kids were heading back to school!Dawson is a 7th grader this year, and Breanna is a junior in high school.Of course I had the kids pose for their annual  "on the front porch"  BTS photos...Khloe was up bright and early to see them off and wave goodbye!So I think that about rounds out the summer.  I have a few posts I'd like to add in for memory's sake, so those are yet to come.  But for now, I need to close this 'chapter' of the photo album book and move on.Thank you to everyone who kept checking in on me over the past several months.  Yes, I'm still here and things are good.[...]



*~** Happy 4th of July! **~*

2011-07-04T14:43:20.941-05:00




“I believe with all my heart that standing up for America means standing up for the God who has so blessed our land. We need God's help to guide our nation through stormy seas. But we can't expect Him to protect America in a crisis if we just leave Him over on the shelf in our day-to-day living.”


~Ronald Reagan





I'm BACK!!!!

2011-07-03T13:07:43.551-05:00

Thanks to my sweet friend Robin, who helped me figure out a way around my blogger troubles!  As many of you already know, I was having troubles posting and leaving comments since joining my blog account with Google... very frustrating to say the least; especially since we had many fun celebrations in that time, including Breanna's 16th Bday and Khloe's 1 year "Gotcha" and "Forever Family Day" celebrations.  I'm always wanting to go back and catch up on what I've missed posting.  To say that the last 6+ months of computer troubles have been frustrating to my blogging interests, would be a HUGE understatement!  But I think rather than worrying about what I've missed, I will just post a couple of small things to catch up, and then keep it going from here.  Hopefully I still have a few followers checking in every now and again.  Thank you to those who kept checking to see if I was okay.  It was simply that I couldn't post, not that I didn't want to.  I 've kept in touch with a few of you via Facebook, but  I've missed so many others.  All is well here and we are still loving life with our precious Khloe!  She has grown like a WEED... 4 INCHES in the last year since we brought her home!  Now on with the 'eye candy' of our precious girl!  God bless you all and thanks for staying in touch and always being such an encouragement in my life!  <><* Celebrating 1 Year With Khloe *May was filled with some very special memories for our family, as we celebrated our 1 year Gotcha Day, Forever Family Day and our 1 year Anniversary since returning home with Khloe on Memorial weekend.  I was actually quite taken back by the emotions that overcame me as I reflected on how far we have come over the past year and all that God has blessed us with.  When I look into her big brown eyes, I cannot imagine another day of my life without her.  I am so humbled that God seen fit for us to become Khloe's family and has allowed me to be her mother and raise her up in the ways of the Lord.  She is a blessing BEYOND measure and I will eternally be grateful for all God has done! <>



~ May 11th, 2010 ~

2011-05-13T15:25:37.593-05:00


1 year ago today we left our home as a family of four... 

And boarded a jet plane on the most wonderful,
life-changing journey to China!


(image)
One last photo with all of our luggage before heading to the airport!


Breanna and Dawson at the Tokyo airport, waiting to board our plane to Beijing.


...to say I have been filled with emotions today, would be an understatement.  I can only imagine what the days ahead will feel like as I remember those first moments of meeting our daughter!!

  Oh the memories!




Khloe's 1st Easter

2011-04-28T01:26:12.831-05:00

Last year for Easter, we sent along a little gift with my friend Molly when she went to New Day to bring home her sweet boy, Evan.  It would be the last gift Khloe received from us before we traveled to bring her home just over a month later.  This year was extra special, as we enjoyed celebrating Khloe's first Easter home.  We spent a long weekend up north visiting family, and enjoyed Easter Sunday visiting their church, followed  by a nice dinner with all the fixings back at Grandma and Grandpa's house.  Khloe had a lot of fun playing with her cousins, and LOVED the easter egg hunt.  It didn't take her long to catch on to how it all worked!  I tend to think most holidays are over-commercialized these days, and we can all too easily forget the true meaning of the day.  So as much as I enjoy the fun of the Easter Bunny and the egg hunts with the little kiddos, I want them to always remember the true reason we celebrate Easter.  Like Christmas, Easter is another season that we need not forget:  "Jesus is the Reason for the Season!"   "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life."  ~ John 3:16[...]



Our "American Girl" ~ Birthday Celebrations {Part-1}

2011-04-18T01:12:51.188-05:00

As Promised...  I'm back with the good stuff!!!{WHEWWW!}Yes, that was me ...taking a deep ol' breath.  A sigh of relief, you might say.  I'm glad to be back.  But as I looked back over my past few posts, it's all just no-fun, heavy-sort-of-stuff.  Though we're still making our way out of one of those "seasons" ~ it's time to press forward.  Thank you ALL for your kind words of support in your comments and emails.  EVERY single one of them meant the world to me.  You peeps are the best!!  Your friendship is priceless, as are your prayers.   Seriously... God has blessed me greatly with each one of you.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart! <>



Seasons...

2011-04-13T02:30:48.279-05:00

I know everyone experiences them.  Stormy seasons are a part of life.  They are a part of our refining process, that makes us who we are in Christ.  We all go through those 'seasons' in life when the world seems to be coming at us from all angles.  I find it hard to write about those times here on my public blog.  It's a place that I have wanted to keep as positive and encouraging as possible.   But I realize that details aren't always necessary when we ask others to pray... God knows the details.   So rather than just staying abscent, I will confess that I've been in the midst of one of those seasons.  Nothing earth-shattering.  Just a tough season.  I'm just so grateful that God is my refuge, and my ever-present help in times of trouble!  And Praise the Lord, His mercies are new EVERY morning!! <><  So before I jump back in and try to catch up on my blog posts again, (and share more of that adorable little face you've all been dying to see more of!) ...I just thought I'd let you know why I've stayed away for so long.   But I also wanted to take this moment to thank you for your many prayers and encouraging words for my uncle and my BFF (previous post) ~ as I know they have been felt and are so greatly appreciated by all of us!  This praise song by Hillsong really ministered to my heart, and so I thought incase you are needing some encouraging today, you might enjoy it as well.  Be blessed...** (Be sure to pause the music/playlist on my sidebar first.) ** allowFullScreen='true' webkitallowfullscreen='true' mozallowfullscreen='true' width='320' height='266' src='https://www.youtube.com/embed/f98N5AHNtx0?feature=player_embedded' FRAMEBORDER='0' />(If the video doesn't upload, click HERE to view it.)     "He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty."~Psalm 91:1[...]



Up and Running ~ And Some Prayer Requests

2011-03-21T01:30:55.469-05:00

PTL, our PC is fixed!!  We finally have our home computer up and running again. No more using hubby's work laptop to check on my favorite blogs and FB friends.  We were able to recover most of our important files and photos (Praise the Lord!!!) but we did lose some.  I've [hopefully] learned my lesson about backing things up in the future!  Still working on getting some of the software loaded back on, including my photo software, but hopefully will be working this week so I can catch up on the last month and post those WAY past due photos of Khloe's birthday celebration(s.)  Let's just say she was soaking in every moment of them!! ;)I would like to take this moment to also ask for prayer for a couple of people who are near and dear to my heart.  First off is for my BFF, Rhonda.  Just over a week ago, she was admitted to the hospital after experiencing some unusual and painful cramping.  She was pregnant with their 3rd baby and was very excited to become a family of five this summer.  Unfortunately, the cramping led to a miscarriage and she delivered her precious baby boy in the hospital.  The loss left her very broken, and I know time will help her heal.  She and her husband were able to hold their little baby Zach in the palm of their hands, and could even count all of his little fingers and toes.  They will take part in a memorial service that the hospital holds for miscarried babies on Mother's Day.  They know that their precious baby is in Heaven now, but there are still broken hearts here on earth that could use some of God's comforting grace.  Please keep them in your prayers, and for both physical and emotional healing for Rhonda, so that they will be able to get pregnant again in God's timing.  Also, this past weekend my Aunt Laurie passed away.  Some of you have heard the story of my Aunt and Uncle who both have special needs, and how they played a HUGE role in opening up my heart and mind towards SN adoption.  It was because of them and their encouragement that I even began to pray for God's will and open doors if we were even to consider a special needs child when we adopted.  Clearly, you already know where He led us!!  So it is no secret that they both had/have a special love for Khloe.My Uncle Sherwin was born with CP as a baby, and walks on crutches.  He was blessed to meet his beautiful bride in the early 90's and they would have celebrated their 18th wedding anniversary this summer.  Laurie was born with MD and used a scooter/lark to get around.  She would have turned 50 in May... though she didn't look a day over 40, if even that!  If you know anything about muscular dystrophy, then you already know that the majority of people with this disease often do not live beyond their 20's.  I know with all my heart, that it is because of her servant's heart and love for Jesus that she lived such a long life.  She was very thin and fragile from her disease, and it left her body cripled and unable to fight off the most common seasonal illnesses, the way most of us take for granted.  Last week, she caught a virus and spent a few days in the hospital when she was struggling to breath due to congestion built up in her chest.  She was unable to cough up any phlegm on her own, so the doctors had to have her lungs pumped clear of the congestion to help her breath.  It also made it complicated for her t[...]



We've been Hijacked!

2011-02-20T20:11:21.984-06:00

Just a note to let everyone know that I am not avoiding posting again, but that our home computer has been hijacked by some malicious spyware and a bad virus that broke through our anti-viral software and locked us down.  We are in the process of saving as much important info and photos as we were able to recover, onto discs, and then hubby will be wiping our computer clean and reloading everything from scratch.  It could be a week or more before we are up and running again.  It's been painful being unable to check in on all of you on a regular basis... especially knowing some special families that are traveling in China right now.  I'm on hubby's work laptop right now, but he will be traveling for work this week, so I will not have access.  Once I am back, I will certainly let you know and I will post those photos of Khloe's 3rd Birthday celebrations as I promised!   We enjoyed every minute of celebrating her first birthday home and can't wait to share it with you!! 

And a note to those of you who have private blogs that I follow, I have been unable to recover the file that had your links in them, so PLEASE resend the invites to your blogs when you have a moment...  (send invites to email address:  thomclan@izoom.net)  The computer problems started weeks ago and just kept getting worse, until we were unable to open anything or even send emails without it locking.  Thanks for your patience and understanding with me while we get it fixed!  Sending love and hugs your way!! 

God bless! <><



Someone is Turning "3" Today!!!...

2011-02-08T02:39:05.799-06:00

Our Beautiful BIRTHDAY GIRL!!!


* Stay tuned...
Special birthday post COMING SOON!!



~ Happy Year of the Rabbit 2011 ~

2011-02-08T02:20:12.421-06:00

Last Thursday, February 3rd marked the beginning of the Chinese New Year ~ 2011 being known as the "Year of the Rabbit."   Khloe woke up excited about the day, even though she really didn't know what it was all about.   I had greeted her in the morning saying, "Good morning my sweet Khloe Mei... Happy Chinese New Year!"  And she immediately got wide-eyed with a huge smile and said, "I so essited (excited!)"  It is tradition for children to receive new clothing for this special occasion, so in proper fashion, I dressed Khloe up in her new dress and matching bracelets, made by my very talented friend Daleea at  Lady Peep Boutique (who just happens to be leaving this Friday to bring home her precious Isabella, after many prayerful years of waiting!)  She looked positively adorable in her new outfit!!   Thanks Daleea! :)Khloe and I began the day with some color-crafts that I had printed off of a website.  We then celebrated with lunch out at our local Chinese restaurant.  Ironically, the owner is from Fujian, Khloe's home province in China, so needless to say, she is quite fond of our little princess!   The very first time we ate there last summer, after Khloe had only been home with us about 2 weeks, they were shocked to find out she was from China, but elated to learn she was from the Fujian province.  The lady excitedly shared how she was from the capital city of Fuzhou, in the Fujian Province.  The very place our adoption took place.  While we waited for our order (take-out!) they came over to visit with me.  They had so many questions about Khloe's adoption and where her birth family was and why she was abandoned after birth?  But as I explained about how Khloe was born with a special need and showed them the surgical scar on her tummy, they immediately nodded their heads in understanding and said, "Oh, her parents loved her but coud not care for her.  They had to give her up or she maybe would have died."  From our very first visit, it was clear they cared about Khloe and asked us to come back again.  They said, "Some time, I want a picture with her...  That okay?"  Of course I agreed that I would like a photo of Khloe with them, too!  That first visit, they spoke to Khloe in Mandarin, and I know she knew what they were saying back then, but she would just stare back at them and grip tight to me; she also had a bronchial infection at the time, and wasn't feeling too well.  When I apologized for her shyness, the lady said, "No, it okay... she not know me.  She love her mama."  I thanked them and promised we'd visit again.  We have returned a few times since, but each time, they were fairly busy. So on CNY, I purposed to wait until after the lunch-time rush, so we would have a little time to visit and hopefully take some photos.  I was so glad we did.  Khloe enjoyed her favorite steamed dumplings, and decided she wanted to try eating with chopsticks, just like mommy.  While at New Day, she used a spoon, so this is not something she knows how to do yet.  I tried to show her the correct way to hold them, but she gave up and created her own way.  It was a little messy, but she was persistant and had fun trying... and mama had fun watching her try!! ;)  Once we finished eating, Khloe went over to watch a Chinese cart[...]



Writer's Block!?

2011-02-01T23:52:43.772-06:00

…okay, so maybe that’s not really it. It’s one of those things that just makes one so upset with oneself for not being a better steward of that which God has given me. This is not only a place where I have purposed to journal the journey of our adoption TO Khloe, but also her life AFTER we returned home. As I was looking back at my posts since we traveled last May, I realized just how little I have really been on here, writing about one of the greatest blessings in our life. She has blossomed SO much over the past 8 months and I feel I have not really let you see the beauty of her growth since being home. And for that, I feel ashamed. Because, as my younger brother so sweetly reminded me, and I quote, “I'm just saying that you have a gift and a big tool but it’s rusting from non use.” He’s right. It is a big tool, in more ways than one. I know that my life has been so blessed by all of you who take the time to visit me here and get to know our family and our story, and many of whom were a HUGE support during our adoption process to Khloe. I still love following your blogs and checking in on all of you. There are many blogs that I have followed faithfully for a couple of years and others that are newer to me, but I love reading about your lives just the same. I followed many of your own adoption journeys and for several of you, more than once! Oh how happy I am for those of you who are already going back. What a joy to see more orphans coming home to wonderful families. God is good! My heart longs to be in that very place, as our Khloe could SO use a playmate closer in age. All in God’s timing. Speaking of our little bundle of joy ~ can you believe we have been home over 8 months already!? The time has flown by, for the most part. Yet, it is hard to remember life before her. Khloe is such a fun little girl. She has brought a fresh breath of life into our family. She has all the makings of a typical toddler, and she keeps me ‘young’!!! She is so well-adjusted and she is a little love-bug. Here are a few more things I can tell you about our little princess:• She’s hilarious. ~ She gets this from her big brother, Dawson. He LOVES to tease Khloe, and in return, she has picked up on his wit and loves teasing others, as well. This teasing also leads to the next {unfortunate} trait:• She can be whiney. ~ Again, this mostly is due to Dawson picking on her. We never even knew he was such a little teaser until Khloe came home. Little Stinker! Seriously though, this is something I have been diligently working on with Khloe, and she is getting much better about calming her self down and not whining so much.   She ‘knows’ he is teasing, so she seriously just likes to tattle or whine to get him into trouble. Even though she often agues him on!  Did I mention she can be a little Stinker, too!?! ;) • She is SWEET! ~ Indeed, she has the sweetest side to her, as well! She loves to cuddle and she will look me in the eyes and say the cutest things. Just a few days ago, while I was doing her hair, she was looking at me all gushy-like in the mirror, and when I paused and smiled at her, she tilts her head and with blinky eyes says to me in a soft voice, “Mommy, you so special. I love you, too, Mommy!” YES, my girl can be a sentimental GUSH! I love that about her! She likes to copy things I say. So she tells me often that I’m precious or special, and that she loves me, too. These are the moments that make me giggle a little, but also turn me to mush… I lo[...]



**** Happy Twenty-Eleven!!! ****

2011-01-01T01:32:31.555-06:00



Wishing you a VERY Blessed,
Healthy and Prosperous New Year!!!
<><

Love and Hugs from Our Family, to Yours!
 Martin, Tanya,
Breanna, Dawson & Khloe



"Light is sweet;
how pleasant to see a new day dawning."
~ Eccl. 11:7 (NLT)





** Merry Christmas! **

2010-12-25T07:38:58.903-06:00


From Our Family, To Yours...
Merry Christmas and God bless! <><


"For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counseller, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace."

~Isaiah 9:6 (KJV)





Wordless Wednesday ...well, almost!

2010-12-15T02:57:58.809-06:00

In December of 2009, I purchased this Hal*mark ornament and 'transformed' it to display a photo of Khloe as we waited to bring her home from China.  In the photo, she is wearing the Christmas dress we had sent her in a care package.  Today, that dress hangs in her closet ...in our home!  As we brought out the holiday decorations this year, my heart skipped a beat when I came across this special ornament.  It was in a different box than our traditional ornaments, so it was missed when we first decorated the tree.  A couple of days later, I found it while unpacking some other decor.  Who better to do the honors of hanging it, than our precious girl!!  I felt my eyes welling with tears as I took these photos of our Khloe.  Her first Christmas home with her family.  A priceless moment, indeed!"Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father..."    ~James 1:17[...]



**~** Happy Thanksgiving! **~**

2010-11-25T00:27:26.270-06:00



From Our Family, To Yours...
<><
May you have a VERY Blessed Thanksgiving!!


My  very first 'made-from-scratch' Pecan Pie
...hope it tastes as good as it smells!!


"Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise: be thankful to Him, and bless His name.  For the LORD is good; His mercy is everlasting; and His truth endures to all generations."  ~ Psalm 100:4-5