Monday, November 28, 2011

Thanksgiving 2011

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving week!! We were fortunate to have a house full of family this year! Our first guests arrived on Monday and our last guests left on Sunday afternoon. We had 20 house guests in total - only 16 stayed at one time though:) We cooked, ate, played games, sat by the fire, laughed, stayed up late and thouroughly enjoyed one anothers company. The girls were in heaven having so many cousins, aunts and uncles and Mimi and Grandpa all under one roof!! The older kids were so sweet to the younger ones and they all got along so well! Kit and Lucy were quite sad on Monday morning when they woke up to a house with only four people in it! Not to worry - we will see everyone and then some next month when we celebrate Christmas! I was having too much fun to take many pictures - but the ones I did take seemed to capture the moment. I packed away my Thanksgiving decorations yesterday and now I guess I need to start thinking about Christmas. For now I will enjoy the memories of the last week before I get in gear for the next holiday! Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving!

While I was getting the house ready for Thanksgiving dinner. The girls were indulging their Aunt Ann and cousins Catherine and Maggie to manis and pedis! To say the girls and Ann were good sports was an understatement!

Lucy and Kit taking their job seriously!

We were so lucky to have nice weather on Thanksgiving. It was bit cold but it was sunny and blue skies. Rich organized a flag football game at the park. The girls were thrilled to be included. I didn't go as I was doing last minute preparations for dinner. I was told a good time was had by all. When the game was over a few brave souls -(one adult and five boys) stripped down to their skivvies and jumped into Lake Michigan! When they came home they were proud to announce they were part of the polar bear club. I wish I would have seen that - I did see a picture so I know it happened!

Getting ready for the game!

Just a few guests!

The two girls I am thankful for every day of the year!

All smiles all week Long!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

A Crisp Fall Night

We have had an almost perfect Fall here at our house. For the most part we have had nice warm, sunny days and cool nights. The past few days have cooled down and we are starting to get frost on the pumpkins. All Summer long we ate dinner outside and then would sit, play or dance on the patio until the girls bedtime. With shorter days and cooler evenings we have been eating inside and staying warm. The girls wanted to continue our weekend evenings outside. So we put on their coats and had a big pit fire. They ran around the dark yard with their flashlights, collected leaves and warmed up as needed either by the fire or in their Daddy's lap! It was as much fun as our Summer evenings - just a little bit cooler!

We even got to see the moon through the smoke!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

One Year Ago Today

One year ago today Rich, Lucy and I walked into the Civil Affairs building in Guangzhou ,China. As we entered the building we were anxious, nervous, excited, happy and somewhat unsure what the next hour would hold for us. It was hot, crowded and very loud. There was a lot of activity but what seemed like very little order or organization. Lucy was carrying a special pink backpack filled with lots of goodies each one hand picked by her for the little girl that was soon to be her sister. In her other hand she carried a pink sock monkey that she picked out especially for Kit. I had my camera and Rich had the video camera all of us waiting for that moment that we were going to see the soon to be newest member of our family. We looked around for what seemed like a while until we saw....

The sweetest little face we had ever laid eyes on! There she was our little Kit. The girl whose photos we looked at for hours on end. The girl we couldn't stop talking about, thinking about, praying for or longing to be part of our family. She walked in strong and brave sipping a carton of milk and holding something in her hand. She looked at us like she knew who we were but was guarded and cautious - just like she should have been. We went up slowly and said hi. It took everything in me not to grab her, hug her, scoop her in my arms and never let her go. But I didn't do that. I let her take the lead, check us out and come around on her terms. It didn't take long and she was by our side. She opened her hand and gave Lucy the little piece of candy that she was holding. She let me hold her hand, say hello and introduce her to her new family. In a matter of minutes we were no longer a family of three but

A happy and excited family of four!

Kit and Lucy hit it off from the minute they met!

She was still cautious but was oh so sweet!

She never left her sisters side and Lucy was always there to comfort her,

show her the way and love her like only a sister can!

It is hard to believe that it has been a year! So much has happened, yet Kit seems like she has been part of our family forever. She has come a long way since that November day in China. She has mastered the English language, she has let down her guard and defenses. She has come into her own and has a personality that is sweet and funny and nothing but lovable. She is smart, and brave, silly and stubborn. She is fun and serious all at the same time. She loves to make us laugh or anyone for that matter. She understands a joke and likes to play them on us as often as she can. She could spend her days coloring or painting or putting together any puzzle you put in front of her lickety split! She doesn't mind being by herself just doing the things she loves. She lights up when she sees us. Whenever one of us gets ready to go somewhere she hugs us and says, "I miss you" before we even leave the door. She loves to snuggle and cuddle and if she had her druthers she would have me hold her all day! Everyday she thanks me for making dinner, or lunch or breakfast for that matter. If we go to a class or an outing she always thanks us and tells how lucky she is. She always hugs and kisses Lucy and tells her she is the best sister in the whole world. She loves giving compliments and will tell me I look pretty when I couldn't look worse. She loves Rich and tells him all the time. She loves school and is friends with everyone. Her teachers tell us that her favorite part of the day is when she makes her clasmates laugh - which apparantly she does often. She is a real joy to be around and she puts a smile on the face of everyone she meets. She has brought nothing but love and happiness to our family! We can't imagine life without her. so on this the anniversary of meeting our sweet Kit for the first time I want her to know how much we love her and we couldn't have a better daughter or sister!!!

We love you to the moon and back sweet girl!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Halloween 2011

We had a perfect Halloween!!! The girls have been looking forward to it for so long. Lucy might have the biggest sweet tooth around - so I think it might be here favorite holiday. She has been prepping Kit for the day for months. This being Kit's first Halloween Lucy has explained to her over and over again what to expect. At least once a week I heard this conversation:

Lucy- "Kit you won't believe it. You walk up to someone's door, you ring the doorbell, you say Trick or Treat and they give you candy!!!! Can you believe it that is all you have to do and you come home with a bag of candy! It is the best night ever"

Kit - "Are you serious?!"

Well they did just that and they had a ball!! Trick or treating begins at 4:00 in our neighborhood. Which is so nice because it is light and warm and you actually get to see all of the kids. We walked for blocks and blocks as the girls had lots of people they wanted to see. Every block we hit I would hear, "hey Kit and Lucy" and there was one more friend from school they would see. We ran into lots of "big kids" from school and the girls knew them all. They loved all of the decorations, costumes and scary houses. I wish I would have brought my camera along as there were so many over the top decorated houses. Our favorite was the "Haunted Dinner Party". There was an entire dining room table set up in someones front yard complete with linens, china and goblets. There was a chandelier hung above the table with a witch hanging on. Every seat was filled with a goblin, monster or witch eating a creepy meal. Each goblet was filled with "blood" (red wine) there was smoke and music and blinking lights. The girls loved it as did I. We finished our trick or treating visiting our favorite friends and then coming home to find Daddy on the front porch handing out candy! Lucy's favorite part of the night was saying Trick or treat to Rich and picking out her favorite treat from our basket of goodies!

My Favorite Queen!

and My Favorite Mummy!

My little Mummy made me laugh every time I saw her!

Eating the loot!

Sharing treats!

Helping Daddy hand out candy

Sitting by the warm fire Daddy made for the girls

when they returned home!