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June 30, 2009

It's all coming together...

Chris and I were commenting on how much Josie's ability to articulate her words has changed dramatically over the last few weeks. She's been expressing herself verbally for quite awhile, but it wasn't uncommon for one of us to still have to translate a few of the words in her sentences.

All of a sudden, she's now asking questions, giving us directions (dang she can be bossy), and she's even telling us stories that she's made up about her dolls and stuffed animals. She's grown into quite the chatterbox and we're loving it.

Emma has decided that since school is out, Josie needs to continue with her daily educational routine and she's set up a classroom in our downstairs family room.

I have to credit Emma for helping Josie with letter recognition and counting. Josie is leaps ahead of where I expected her to be after only being home a little more than a year. She knows all her upper and lower case letters and is trying to read sight words. Her brain is a little sponge and Emma is more than eager to fill it up.

Tomorrow night we're heading to the airport to greet Kimberly and Sophia Jane from China. I've made a few special flags to celebrate their arrival. Stay tuned for more pictures. I just love happy endings!!

June 28, 2009

Fun in the Sun...Part 2

After being at the cottage this past week, I have to say that Michigan has the MOST wonderful weather! It is what I like most about living here. Experiencing all four seasons is so much fun (sometimes that pesky winter season lasts a bit too long) but when spring turns to summer, it’s just magic.

Here are a few more shots of our Lake Michigan beach vacation. I can't wait to go back next year.

We'll be shaking out the sand for weeks from our beach clothes. We were able to extend our cottage vacation into Sunday and I'm so glad I took an extra day off before returning to work. Yippee for a shortened work week!! See you on Tuesday, coworkers.

June 20, 2009

Fun in the Sun...Part 1

Our week at the cottage has been all that I had hoped for. Even the weather has been absolutely amazing. I have so much to share and show that I am going to post in segments (thus the title part one).

We're home temporarily, but going back to the cottage in a few hours. The cottage is only a little more than an hour from our home.

Every year, Chris and I fantasize about owning a cottage on Lake Michigan and then reality sets in when we pick up the real estate ads. Ouch. Guess we'll continue to rent. Enjoy the pics.

PS. Hey, Michigan friends. Did you know that a snow toboggan is the perfect way to transport a toddler and beach gear through the sand dunes? Josie just loves it and it's been saving our backs and arms.

June 18, 2009

Meeting New Friends & Saying Bon Voyage!

On Wednesday we finally had the chance to meet Susan and Roger's daughter, Maiya. She's also a heart baby who came home from China in February. It was so much fun to get the girls together.

Aren't their matching sunglasses adorable?

Thanks for the darling bikini and sunglasses, Susan. We're looking forward to getting the girls together again in the near future. We are so blessed to live in a community with a large network of other adoptive families.

Our van is bursting with sand toys, beach clothes, mindless paperback books, and fun food. I’m looking forward to combing the beach for drift wood and interesting stones with my girls. I can almost hear the sound of the Lake Michigan waves pounding the beach.

Wishing you all a wonderful Father's Day Weekend. If you need any last minute printables for Father's Day (cards, coupon books..etc). HP has a great set of printable templates here.

Hooray to all of the wonderful Dads, Uncles, and Grandpa's in our lives.

Goodbye everybody. Talk to you in a week.

June 16, 2009

Getting ready for a little R & R...

For the last seven years, we’ve rented a cottage for our annual family vacation. It sits up in the dunes and it has access to a private beach on Lake Michigan. We're leaving this weekend and I'm so ready to escape from my job for a bit of rest and relaxation.

It doesn’t have internet access or cell phone coverage and so I’ll be offline for awhile. I'm not going to miss my work email, but I'll definitely have blogging withdrawal. By the way, my sweet friend Kimberely is finally in China! You can find her blog here or click on the red shoes on the side of my blog.

During last year’s attempt at the cottage, we found out that Josie was extremely allergic to mosquitoes (she still is) and her night terrors were worse in this strange setting.

(What a little peanut last year...)

This year should be better, or at least I'm hoping for a very different experience. I’m ready for sandcastles, frigid lake water, mystery novels, and cool drinks.

Just a few more days left of work! I can't wait!!

June 15, 2009

Opening the Pool & Father’s Day Gift Idea

Over the weekend, our above ground pool was resurrected. The girls couldn’t be more excited about the start of swimming pool season.

The pool thermometer registered 67 degrees and their swimming lasted all of five minutes.

Chris, thanks for braving the cold waters to help the girls. I was more than happy to stand outside the pool with the camera and warm towels in hand.

Josie enjoyed the foot pool at the base of the ladder because the shallow water was very very warm. I’m hoping that the solar cover on the pool starts kicking in. I don’t usually step foot into the pool until it registers 80 degrees. Maybe while we are away on vacation next week, the pool will warm up (wishful thinking).

Can you believe Father's Day is next weekend? We’ll be on vacation so we are going to celebrate a bit early this week. If you want something fun and more original than a tie or socks, I’ve got a super easy project that can be constructed from a dollar store nightlight.

This nightlight originally had a paper insert of a snowman(which I promptly took out). I printed a black/white picture of the girls on vellum paper and then replaced their image inside the nightlight. Isn’t this cute?

Daddy is also getting a couple of other handmade gifts from Emma which I’ve promised to keep a secret. A month ago, he also picked out a high-powered weed whacker (which he’s been happily using).

Happy “early” Father’s Day to all the Mr. Mom's!

June 12, 2009

Birthday Highlights

With Daddy home from Tampa, we finally celebrated Josie's 3rd birthday on Saturday. It's so much fun this year. Her enthusiasm and joy is absolutely contagious.

Happy Birthday, Josie.

PS. 7 days until our Lake Michigan cottage get-away vacation. I can't wait!!!

June 8, 2009

Happy Birthday, Josie

It's Josie’s third birthday and I woke up thinking about how very lucky and blessed we are. A couple of weeks ago, Chris and I were talking about how much joy and happiness she has brought to our family. We're so madly in love with this little girl.

At her second birthday, she was such a little peanut and lagging behind physically and developmentally. Within one year, she’s blossomed into an smart, independent and loving toddler. I catch myself just staring at her and thinking dreams really do come true. Happy birthday, sweet girl.

PS. We’re postponing her birthday party until the weekend when Daddy is back home. On Tuesday, she brought a few cupcakes to her daycare. She certainly has been enjoying spending some quality time with her Nana and Papa this week.