Wednesday, September 16, 2009

More Cute Beach Pics 2009

I forgot we had another camera, and we had more pictures. I had to post these because they are some of my favorites. Here they are! Enjoy!!! I love my babies!!!

Pickin' Apples and Rasberries At a Local Orchard

The pictures tell the story... It was a great family day outing for us last weekend. Both Gracie and Garrett loved it, and we came home with four BIG bags of red and green delicious apples and three pints of rasberries. Garrett enjoyed eating the rasberries more than saving them for home. They were delicious!!! And Gracie picked the biggest and the best red apple. She won the prize for that one. Now, it's time to make some pies, apple bread (Connie, I need that recipe.), and apple everything. We even froze some rasberries for the winter time. How I love this family!!!!

Preschool Orientation 2009 and First Day

Gracie has been very unsure about starting school. She went from being VERY excited to not being able to sleep she was so nervous....endless talking and tears at night before bed. But we moved through all of those emotions, and she has done beautifully. She loves school and her teachers. She has made one new friend named Elsie, and they hugged on the way out of the building that first day. There are only three girls in her group and nine boys. I am so happy that Gracie has conquered her fears!!! I am very much so that I was fine that first day. I spent so much time being calm and reassuring (for her) that I didn't even think really about thefact that my baby girl is starting school now. Many people had warned me that I might cry in the parking lot and want to stay there. That didn't happen. LOL. I am fine. She needs preschool. This is so great for her!
Here are some pictures of her preschool orientation day (She is in the ladybug dress...thanks, Aunt Tina!!! Love it!!!)
Then, there are pics of her before her first day began, and you can tell by the look on her face that she is not all that happy about being there. She actually told me that she wasn't getting out of the car when we pulled up to the school. There were no tears though, Thank the Lord! She brought flowers to her teachers and red apples.
Then, you will see pics of her after the school day was over. Happy face!!!
We are so proud of her!!!!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Labor Day Virginia Beach Vacation 2009

We all went to Virginia Beach (Sandbridge) over the Labor Day weekend with Van's mom, Aline, step-dad Bill, Rebecca, her boyfriend Todd, Bill's daughter's Kathleen, her husband Demmy, their daughter Alexis and husband James, and their three year old son Oscar, also Kathleen and Demmy's son Jordan, and Bill's daughter Colleen, her husband Clint, and Bill's son Trey and his fiance Robin. We stayed in a beautiful home directly on the beach, and all of us had a great time. It was wonderful to spend time with everyone.

Here are some cute beach pics...

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Four Years Ago Today, Xu Nian Hong...

Four years ago today, we were blessed by receiving the greatest gift of our lives, our beautiful baby girl, Gracie. Through an email and a telephone call from CCAI, we were matched with our sweet girl in China, and we received her name, pictures, and all of the information they had for her at the time. And our lives have never been the same since. Adoption has been the most perfect way of growing our family. We could not love a little girl more than we do our Gracie. To raise her, to love her, to nurture her...WE ARE THE LUCKY ONES! I still wonder about her true beginnings in China and how she came into this world. Those details I will probably never know. But I am so sure that God had a plan for her life LONG before she was born, and we were the family He chose to place her with. Thank you, God, for being so loving and merciful, and for choosing us to parent Gracie! I cannot imagine our lives without her. People sometimes say, "Oh, you couldn't have children of your own?" Well, our response to that is that she IS our daughter, and she always has been OUR daughter through the grace of God. She belongs with us. We are so proud of her and of how far she has come. She is loving, and has a heart of gold. She is just a beautiful girl inside and out. We love her more than words can ever say. Our hearts are full because of Gracie.