Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

We hope you all have enjoyed a wonderful Thanksgiving! We are thankful for each and every one of you!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

2 Years Ago Today - I touched my baby for the first time...

One of the first pictures we saw of Rylee was this one...

And now she has grown into this:

I am overwhelmed with emotions today... two years with my baby girl. It is just so hard to wrap my mind around the fact that two years ago today we were nervously waiting in our hotel room for Rylee to arrive. When she did she was scared, reserved and so small! I was so worried about bonding with her and if she would love us... love me... and want me for her mom.

Two years later it hurts to breathe when I think of what life would be like without her. She has so firmly planted herself in my heart that it is almost hard to believe that I did not give birth to her myself. When I look at her, my eyes well up with emotion and I just want to scoop her up and hug her and tell her how happy I am that China let me be her Mama. And I do...

And she laughs at me and says "Oh Mama, I just love you so so so much! You are my best mom ever and China did a good job making us a family, didn't they Mama?"

They did and I am forever grateful!

Thankful for my blog friends...

I haven't had time to get back to all of my blog friends that emailed me and commented on my venting post, but I want you all to know how much it meant to me to have your support, comforting words and encouragement!

We have not solved anything, in fact things have gotten even more ridiculous. So much so that I guess we will have to be seeking legal council. If anyone knows any great attorney's in Birmingham let me know!

Now back to the important stuff - I can't even put into words how it felt for so many of you to reach out to me. You all mean so much to me and I appreciate each and every one of you!

Yes, I am on the emotional side today :) It is our 2 year "Family Day" and my heart is full!

I just wanted to say thank you!!!!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Can I just vent for a minute?

I have been sweetly reminded by several people that it is past time for an update but maybe today is not the day I should be doing it...

Today I am angry, frustrated and sick of being nice - always trying to do the right thing and for what? Tired of people taking advantage of us and walking all over us. Job losses... money losses... cranky neighbors that have nothing better to do than stalk our house waiting for my husbands truck to get home so that they can call and complain - I am sick of all of it! Are you offended by a truck in your neighborhood? Seriously we have someone that comes out everyday about the time she thinks he will get home and then she walks around the block until he comes home so that she can call the homeowners association what time the truck entered our driveway. I am a little bit happy when he is late and she has to stay out there for a really long time or even after dark - at least all that walking might counteract the stress that we apparently cause her by parking our truck in our driveway.

Whatever happened to compassion, caring about your neighbors and watching out for each other? Apparently those qualities have long gone away. So if you all believe in prayer then maybe you could pray for me to forgive these people, instead of secretly hoping that a big tree falls on their house and they have to feel a little bit of all that we have been through in the past several months. I know that sounds terrible and I feel bad for feeling this way and I know it's not right, but I just can't seem to make it go away.

Finding a place to keep our Snap On truck has been complicated. There is valuable equipment on it that has to be protected. If the truck is not on our property then it has to be in secured storage with surveillance or else our insurance is not valid. When Pat lost his job - we lost our second car and just don't have the means to replace it right now. We are so fortunate that one of our friends has loaned us a car to use for emergencies and today agreed to let Pat drive it back and forth to the storage place for now. There is a lot more but I won't bore you all with the details...

So the bottom line here - what has gotten me so upset is that we have made the arrangements that we needed to, arranged for the use of the car and just needed a couple of more days to get a paycheck so that we could go pay for the storage space on Saturday and when Pat came home on Thursday night - they closed the neighborhood gate on him and would not let him come in. We live about 4 miles from the gate so with dinner on the stove I had to grab the kids and go pick him up. The truck had to remain outside the neighborhood, they would not allow it to come in. The problem is that the office had given us the temporary variance and was tired of this certain couple of people calling and yelling at him for our truck being here, that he closed the gate on us. With no notice that our temporary variance had ended!!!

It took 45 minutes into my cardio workout this morning before I started to feel better, but then by the time I finished my shower I was steamed again! My issue with the whole thing is that not one of the complainers EVER came to us and bothered to ask us what was going on. Why we suddenly had this truck, how long we planned on keeping it there or anything! I guess they prefer a foreclosure sign instead - which may or may not still show up... That still remains to be seen.

So how does a person deal with all the stress that life in todays world deals out? I'm going to share with you the secret of how to cope...

Help make a difference in the lives of children in need. Now is the time to sponsor a child.

The secret is to take your eyes off yourself and take a look at someone that has it so much harder than you do... sponsor a child, feed a homeless person, love an orphan and don't forget to thank God for the many blessings that you do have!

One of my dreams is to someday be a Compassion Blogger and when I went in to church all angry at God for mountain after mountain that has been placed in our lives (not that I think He placed them there because I certainly do not - but I know He could take them away if He chose to) I was all set to sit there and show Him how I was there to worship even when I was ticked off at Him.

Then the Compassion International slide lit up the screen and my heart melted. In one short breath God reminded me that I have so much to be thankful for and that there are so many people in this world that are so much worse off than we are and live daily lives that we can only imagine. How selfish to be wallowing in my own struggles and not taking the time to notice the needs around me.

Our sponsored child is from the Dominican Republic and she is the same age as Rylee (6 yrs). The girls actually picked what child we would sponsor and then came home and made cards for her. We have our first letter ready to send out to her, I just have to print a family picture to include with the letter. Nothing lifts your spirits better than helping someone that really needs it! You can try it too - look around and find someone that is worse off than you are and smile at them, give them a hug, do whatever you can - it doesn't matter what it is as long as it comes from your heart!

I wish peace to all of you and a wonderful weekend!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

It's finally happened... "I have two Mom's"

Let me start by backtracking a little bit. We talk about family a lot with Rylee especially. She brings it up and tells us often that she is glad that China gave her the best family, or that she is happy she has a family now. But she really does not want to go any deeper into the conversation than that.

The other day we were out at a deli having lunch and there was a really cute, young girl cleaning off the tables. Rylee talks to everyone and this time was no different. She asked the girl what she was doing and if she had kids. She laughed and said no and told Rylee that she was cute! Rylee looked at me and sighed and said "I wish I could have that girl for my Mom!", I said "what?" Rylee said "I like that girl, she is a good Mommy, I love it to have her for a mommy." I am sure the hurt registered on my face before I could make a neutral expression because Rylee was looking at me and said "never mind". She kept looking at me all through lunch, I was kind of avoiding her gaze because she is so very good at reading people and I didn't want her to feel bad or think that she had hurt me. Pat told her later that she has one Mommy and that is me, and I will be her Mommy forever and ever.

Later that night I spoke with her about it. This is what I told her "Rylee, remember when you said that you wanted that girl to be your mommy?" She nodded and wrapped her arms around me and hid her face in my neck. "Listen to me okay? It's okay for you to like people and if you think someone is really nice and you think they are pretty - that is okay! But you don't know that person, she may be a good Mommy someday when she is a little older, but right now she is a kid. She is older than you, but still very young. If you like someone and you think they are nice or pretty, it's okay to say "I think she is nice and she is very pretty". I think that is what you meant today." She said "That is what I want to say - that girl is beautiful!" We discussed what being a family means again and how special it is and also that it is about relationships. I think to her the highest compliment she can give to someone is to tell them that she wishes they were her mommy. She has told me this about pretty much everyone that she likes and her friends Mom's that she thinks are really nice. Especially the ones that let their kids do whatever they want including yell at their parents, talk back or even hit, stay up late, watch sponge bob (things we don't allow) etc...

It's so easy to try to read stuff into days like this. I know she loves me, love us and feels like she belongs here. She is comfortable and settled. When we first brought her home she would do what is known in the adoption community as "family shop", she doesn't do this anymore BUT she is also far from being ready to sleep over at friends houses or spend extended amounts of time with other families. It's something that is not always understood by my friends or people that are not very familiar with adopting older children.

So the next day when Rylee told me that she "wants two mom's", my husband assumed this had something to do with the girl at the deli and he went right into "you have one Mommy, Rylee and you love her very much! She is your Mommy forever." She wrapped her arm around my neck tighter and said "I have two Mom's, Dad! I talking about my Mom and my China Mom!!!" Now I set her down so that I could look at her because this really surprised me. She has never mentioned another mom (except for her China Little Mom, which is an older girl that helped care for Rylee in the orphanage). I said "Rylee, are you talking about the Mommy that had you in her tummy in China?". She nodded, "Yes, that is the Mom I am talking about - I have two right Mama?". I got down on my knees so that I would be eye to eye with her and told her that she is absolutely right, she does have two Mommies. She has her China Mom and she has me. She said "Right and you are my Mama forever, because China gave you to me so that I could have a Mama forever." and she hugged me. The conversation was over, but in reality I think it is really just beginning. I just hope I do this right...

Totally unrelated I wanted to share Rylee's Sunday outfit. The first outfit includes one of my old black party dresses from many years ago and the thing on top of her hat is a little number that goes over one of her Disney nightgowns lol! Very creative - but I made her go try again. The second outfit is Hanna's shorts that she insists are her size now. We let her wear the last one :)

Monday, August 31, 2009

Don't you just love when they learn a new skill?

I couldn't help myself, when I saw Rylee practicing her new skill in the mirror, I just had to run for the camera!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Rylee sings... Sid the Science Kid - I'm Looking For A Friend. She is entering the Sid The Science Kid giveaway at MommyPR (Angela's Giveaway). She really wants to win, but I think the only way she can win is if no one else enters LOL - not because she is not super talented but because we want it to be fair!! Anyway there aren't any other entries yet... so we thought we would give it a shot. She has great rhythm and is hoping to start dance classes pretty soon, I think we need to do that :) Enjoy!

Have your kids make their own video and enter over at!

Touched my heart...

I found this video on JamericanSpice and I wanted to share it with you.

Friday, August 7, 2009

You look just like my sister...

This photo captures a typical scene at our house, Rylee helping out in the kitchen dressed in some kind of formal wear or in this case a tutu (compliments of Sugarbeez Tutu's)! She has been in shorts maybe a total of 5 or 6 times all summer and only when we insisted on it.

We took the kids out for dinner the other night because Daddy was getting ready to head out to Texas for several days to attend his Snap On franchise training classes. While we were at the restaurant Rylee received lots of attention (as she always does!) and our waiter seemed to be really taken with Rylee.

Rylee cups her hands over her mouth, smiling at him and tells him she has a question to ask him as she alternates between adorably bashful and boldly bossy... He says "What is your question?" She gets up on her knees on the booth, dramatically sweeps her arm across the front of her body with a regal bow says "Thank you for being here today!" In a perfect imitation of the Queen Clarisse Renaldi in Princess Diaries (one of Rylee's favorite movies). She pauses and looks at him expectantly... he said "what?" so she did a really big eye roll and repeated the gesture "Thank you for being here today" as she bows again.

He laughs and says "You remind me so much of my sister, you look just like her!" Rylee studies him for a minute and the she lights right up "OHHHHH! So, she look like a princess then!" He gave what seems to be his standard response "What?", she said "You sister look like me, then she must look like princess, because I am look like the princess!" as she nods her head in his direction.

At this point we are all cracking up because it never crossed Rylee's mind that his sister might be Asian or maybe from China, she just knew immediately that if the sister looked like her then she must be a beautiful princess.

Just so you all know that we have more than one child with a love for everything dramatic, here is Hanna trying to convince me how stylish and fun it would be for a cell phone to be part of her back to school necessities. Do they even allow cell phones at school for 4th graders?

I can't believe that they go back to school this week - it seems to be so much earlier than most of your kids go back! We do get out in mid-May though and actually they are starting a few days later this year than they usually do.

Rylee and Hanna will be at different schools this year since Hanna is moving on to Intermediate School. I'm not really sure that I am ready for her to leave elementary school, but she has no doubts that she is ready to go!

Rylee is repeating Kindergarten this year. The teachers really felt that she did not have the social skills or the language comprehension yet, to be moving on to first grade. Since she is repeating this year we kind of slacked off a bit on academics this summer and focused more on social and emotional development. It seems to have been really good for her, she definitely feels comfortable in her place in the family and she talks a lot about how glad she is that she has a family.

I have a questions though... do you think it is possible to teach tactfulness to a 6 year old???

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Rylee or Bow-ee?

Rylee told me that she has changed her name. She would now like to be called Bow-ee! I said "Bow-ee, really Rylee that sounds an awful lot like boy don't you think?" She planted her feet firmly on the ground, placed her hands on her hips and said "BOW-EE!! Mama, it's BOW-EE like you wear in your hear - like a princess!"

A few minutes later I said something to her and called her Rylee. She gave me a look (not all that pleasant) and said "Okay, you can call me Rylee Bow-ee, Mama, but everybody else has to say Bow-ee!"

So apparently for now we have a new name here... I just hope she comes back around before school starts next week!!!

Remember Ling from Karito Kids? Rylee loves their matching outfits and still really loves this doll. There are only a couple of more days left for the giveaway over at MommyPR. Click here to go enter!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

I just had to share this...

I'm not sure why this needs to be so far down the page, but I can't figure out how to move it up. Just scroll down to see it lol!

I found this video on Momlogic and I just wanted to share it with you. I have to admit I found this to be very funny - I can't tell you how many times I have tried to engage Rylee in conversation or singing, games, whatever... trying to get her to stay awake in the car.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

iHeartFaces Week 23 - "Feet Week"

This weeks theme over at is feet. I knew that I had some pictures that I took of my two daughters feet together when we first brought Rylee home from China and thought one of them would be perfect for this weeks theme! I love how it turned out!

Please head over to the iheartfaces site and check out all the great entries, or maybe even enter a photo yourself!

Monday, July 20, 2009

New Christian Music Group - Tal & Acacia

I was contacted by someone from Provident Music Group who wanted to let me know about new Christian artists Tal & Acacia.


The duo-sisters Tal & Acacia grew up in Portland, Maine, and first began songwriting and playing guitar in their teen years, while the family spent an insightful year in Russia aiding a humanitarian orphan ministry. Now, in their early twenties, Tal & Acacia aim to create songs that wake listeners and refresh the soul "like a cold splash of water for those who hear it." Especially in desert times, the songwriting duo's music ministers and inspires. Musically, Tal & Acacia bear resemblance to such acts as Feist, Norah Jones, Imogen Heap and Sixpence None The Richer, and credit songwriting inspiration from artists like Keith Green and Stevie Wonder. The quirky pop sound of Tal & Acacia's debut album, titled Wake Me, is a breath of fresh air-defined by catchy choruses-and girded in joy. Produced by Monroe Jones (Ginny Owens, Chris Rice, Third Day, Caedmon's Call), Tal & Acacia's Wake Me is distinctly rich and infectious, and intuitively embraces the clash between the principled, spiritual inner self and a confusing, glittery outer culture.

They definitely remind me of Norah Jones, which is a style that I enjoy. Right now you can follow this link ( and download three songs from their debut album for free! Provident Music Group would love to have some feedback on these songs. If you download them or listen to them from the site, please leave me a comment and let me know what you think! I will share your feedback with them!

Go check them out and enjoy the music!!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Catching Up and some news!

Wow, I really have missed all of my blog friends!!! It feels like I've been gone forever and I'm really looking forward to catching up on how your summer is going!!

Our summer has not been one bit like I was expecting it to be! Now with only about 3.5 weeks until school starts I can hardly believe it is almost over!

When Pat lost his job in - was it May? - we were worried but still had no idea how difficult it really would be to find another job. He's really good at what he does, but the auto industry just isn't what it used to be and it's looking like it may never be again, at least not for a very long time! There are NO auto jobs here (and it's the same everywhere else) - at least not for top level managers. Businesses are not hiring right now, not even when people leave. They are just making due with the staff they already have. If there is an opening, where are hundreds of applicants.

I'm going to be honest here, because I know that so many of you are in the same circumstances that we are. Pat brings in 75% of our household income. It is impossible for me to cover everything myself no matter how many hours I work - and I have worked every available one! It broke my heart when Hanna had to give up her horse and Rylee gave up gymnastics and really everything else that is extra has had to go. We are eating as cheaply as possible and have gained weight -why is it that the least expensive food is so fattening? We have had to say no to everything the kids ask for. It is hard, really hard! And yet, we are all okay. We are for the most part all healthy, the kids are happy and we have somehow managed to keep up with all necessities so far. The biggest thing that has gotten me through all of this, is knowing that ultimately things do not matter. That no matter what happens here, in this life - is not what is most important. But even knowing that and believing it with my whole being - doesn't stop the burning in the pit of my stomach.
It is hard to know what to do in this economy. How have we come to a place and time when a top level manager with an excellent track record of growth in all areas of his responsibilities does not get one phone call in response to his resumes? How can it be that this is a common story right now? We are not alone here and so many families have the same story - highly successful families that have worked hard all of their lives building the American Dream only to watch it all disappear?

So what to do??? Well... we have decided to go out on a limb and are investing every last remaining penny into our own franchise business. We are in that last stages of finalizing a Snap On Franchise and he (Pat) will be ready to go about mid-August. It's scary but exciting at the same time. It is more diversified than being with just one car line (Chrysler in our case), and we have high hopes for what he can do with this. The girls are very excited and I even overheard Hanna telling her friends that her dad was going to be the new "Clip On Guy" LOL!!! So next week will be taking ownership of our own mobile tool store...

For the first time ever Pat will not be going to his office everyday, well I guess he will - but his office will have wheels!! This is a big change for him - for both of us really and I really hope it turns out to be something that he loves! He is very excited and can't wait to get going.
After spending the entire summer with the kids, he really needs to go back to work LOL!! Or he needs Rylee to stop talking constantly...

So that's our big news - what have you all been up to???

I have so much more updating to do and lots of pictures to post, I want to get back to my weekly iheartfaces posts and there are a few new things I want to participate in too!
Now I am going post a random photo that has nothing to do with this post... I wanted to use it for Wordless Wednesday but never had the time to get it posted. Here you go - it makes me smile every time I look at it!!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Saying Goodbye...

"I will remember you
Will you remember me?
Don't let your life pass you by
Weep not for the memories"
~Lyrics by Sarah McLachlan~

Why is it so hard to say goodbye? After 98 years she is more than ready to leave this life, but I don't want her to go... and yet, I want her to be free. Free from the body and mind that have and are failing her...

But I remember:

Sunday dinners at Grandmas house, roast beef, ham, mashed potatoes and french style green beans.

Picking rhubarb from your garden and then making the most delicious fresh pies.

The first time I spent the night at your house and was homesick. You let me call mom and she talked me in to staying. We walked down to the dime store together and you bought me a doll. The dime store is long gone, but I still remember.

I remember walking down the street to the bait store to buy penny bubble gum. The bait shop, that was also a machine shop that sold candy to the neighborhood kids. The bait shop has been replaced by soaring lakefront homes, but I still remember.

I remember singing in the car "We're on our way to Grandma's house, to Grandma's house today, We're on our way to Grandma's house and there we're going to stay!"

I remember doing puzzles together.

Playing the organ.

Pouring over the family photo books, and listening to you tell stories of the people in the pictures.

The big set of encyclopedias that you kept over the sofa, that we would read every time we came over.

Yearly school clothes shopping.

I remember introducing you to Hanna when she was born.

And then Wednesdays when you and Mom would bring Hanna a cheeseburger with extra pickles and come for a visit.

I remember wanting you to stay long enough to meet Rylee, and you did. You were 97 years old and when most kids would have been scared to approach you, she walked right up started talking to you and gave you a hug, and then she told you to walk faster...

A lifetime of memories that I will forever cherish.

I love you Grandma and I will miss you. I pray that God take you peacefully and gently home, so that finally you can rest...

Thank you for the memories.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Why I have been "missing" from my blog!

Many of you know that I have been doing review blogging for BarefootMommies. I have decided to leave there and have joined together with 7 other experienced review bloggers to create MommyPR.

At MommyPR we will specialize in reviews and giveaways but we also want to create a place to bring PR friendly bloggers together with blogger friendly companies. We have created a place on our blog called the Break Room. PR friendly bloggers can be listed in our break room and will be given a unique password to gain entrance into our blogger friendly company page. If you are looking to get started in review blogging, we can help you do that as well.

So come on over and check out our new site and see what has been keeping me so busy! I am almost done wrapping things up at BarefootMommies and will be exclusively at MommyPR on July4. July 4th is our launch party for MommyPR and you all are not going to want to miss this!!!

MommyPR is hosting an exclusive giveaway for followers only, and let me tell you this prize is AWESOME!!! We are giving away a beautiful Burberry London Purse with a $650 value!!!! Click here and go check it out!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Rylee's new doll, Ling!

I just wanted to let you all now about this beautiful doll that I received from Karito Kids to review over at MommyPR. I haven't posted my review yet, but look at how beautiful Wan Ling is! Rylee loves her and was so excited because she is "China like me Mom!". I have not run across very many Asian dolls and this one is of great quality.

She even comes with a story book that is based in Shanghai. The book was a little above Rylee's age but Hanna loved the story. All three of us read it together each night, or at least two of us did while Rylee climbed all over me!

At the end of the book are pages from Ling's scrapbook which include a picture of a "squatty potty". Rylee goes "Oh no Mom, not again!!! I don't like this kind!!" Which is so true! Once she learned how to use the "American" style potty, she never wanted to use these again!

Rylee has been sleeping with Ling and pretty much taking her everywhere she goes for the past couple of weeks. She even found out from the book that Ling loves pandas, so she gave her the little stuffed panda we got while we were in China - so sweet!

I wanted to pass this link on to all my friends, but also be sure to watch for my review soon (I'll post the link here). I also get to host a giveaway for a Karito Kid that you could win for your own daughter!!!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Oh my goodness - More Awards!!!

I received this wonderful award from Buckeroomama over at Mamahood among other things! If you don't currently read her blog, you really should go check it out. She has a charming family and a wonderful blog!

I also received this Lovely Blog award from Lori of When We Listen. Lori is a wonderful writer, please stop by and check out her blog.

I need to share this lovely blog award with another 5-15 mom's whose blogs are also very lovely and that I find to be interested and exciting. There are so many great blogs that I follow and I will work on narrowing it down and passing on these awards soon!

Thank you so much for passing these awards on to me - I truly appreciate it and am so thankful for the many of you that stop by often and also leave me comments that always bring a smile to my face!

I hope you will bear with me just a bit longer while I get my schedule under control! School being out and juggling two jobs has been just a little bit crazy!!!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Belated Birthday Post

It's hard to believe that Rylee has turned *6* already! I feel like she has grown at double speed this past year, and in reality she probably has.

When we brought Ry home a year and a half ago, she was really more like 3 than 4.5. While the kids in her class still seem to be a little bit older than her, she really has come a long way in catching up!

In many way it seems like she has been part of us forever. It's hard to remember a time when she wasn't with us and wasn't a part of us. It seems so natural and right that she is my daughter and as strange as it might sound, I forget why people stare at us when we are out in public. When I look at her I see her beautiful spirit, her love for life and her joy in experiencing the world around her. I see her charisma and exuberant personality. When people stare at us, I assume they are seeing the same thing.

But occasionally I am reminded. Like field day at school and she came home about 8 shades darker than when she left. Or like the day when my husband and I both put the girls on the bus for school and Rylee peeked out the window at us, just able to barely come eye level in the window. My husband said "Oh my gosh, she's Chinese!". It made me chuckle a little bit but I knew just what he was saying. When you know someone really well, you see who they really are and not just what they look like. She may look different than us, but she doesn't feel different than us!

I don't even know if I can tell you how much I love this child, and I have no doubt that she feels the same way about me! I can't help but think about another mother somewhere who may be thinking about her too. I wish she could know this joy of a child and know how very much Rylee is loved!

Oh how badly Rylee has wanted to turn 6! She has been talking about since about
a week or two after she turned 5. Because at 6, she could have her ears pierced. I thought 6 would be a long way away, but it came all too soon. She has seriously been asking for months, so we finally did it. We told her how much it was going to hurt, so she brought her favorite stuffed animal and said "I know, I know - dis be okay Mama, you jus gotta squeeze da animal, I know how to do dis Mama!" Well, that's all fine and good until you see your daughters face crumple from the pain! However, she didn't kick the girls that did it and she didn't scream to bring down the building. Once I showed her how pretty they were in the mirror, she stopped crying. Now she goes around asking everyone "My ears pierce still sparkle?" So cute!

Now I just want to share a few birthday pictures. Naturally we had a princess party!!

Waiting for the guests to arrive (only about 3 hours to go)!

Still waiting, but outside now!

Silly girl blew out the candles as soon as we put the cake in front of her. Everyone yelled "NO you have to wait!" She said "Oh, well I don't know this! How I know this?" Right! - she has only been here for one birthday - she probably didn't remember that you have to wait!!! I hope she is not too upset with me once she finds out that she was supposed to be making a wish before blowing those candles out!

I know there is a glare, but can you see how perfect this poster turned out? Rylee loves it and it really looks like she was right there in the castle! Super, super cute!!! You can win one here for your child!

Friday, June 5, 2009

30 Day Shred - Level 2

Today was my first day of attempting Level 2.

This is all I have to say - and I mean this in the nicest possible way: Jillian please STOP TALKING!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Fashion Friday

It's Fashion Friday time at Do They Have Salsa in China? and I hope you join in this week! Fashion Friday is when we let our kiddo's have free choice on putting their outfits together and we get to enjoy their creative side!

Our first outfit this week was a smashing success - she looked totally cute and everything matched!!!

Outfit number two was fitting for the warm days we are having now. Sunglasses seem to have become her "must have" accessory right now. The only problem is that she only wears them on her face in the house. She said that they make her see better inside :) Outside she shoves them on top of her head!

This was the outfit she picked out for VBS. She was not thrilled with my stipulation of no princess dresses until she got home - ha ha!!!

This was her choice for going to the barn this week. The horse shirt worked really well, I only wished the pants had matched better...

Since school is out, and I have been working so much (leaving Dad in charge of wardrobe) Rylee has had plenty of opportunities to pick out her own outfits. She is big into accessories right now and of course princess dresses have pretty much made an appearance daily!
Click here to join in the fashion fun!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Fashion Friday

Today's Fashion Friday comes to you via video. Rylee wanted to give her pose in motion so here it is...

Not only does she strut her stuff in her chosen outfit, but she also shares her views on split pants. All of this information was unsolicited by me :)

To see the other adorable children and their outfits head over to Salsa in China!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Shred, Pain and Fun - Oh Yeah!

I'm sure you have all heard about Jillian's 30 Day Shred by now right? My friend Julie (she made the cool button!) from Mom by Faith (not by sight) and I are taking the challenge. We are on day two... let me summarize for you.

Day #1 - The word that comes to mind would be pathetic!!! The workout is 20 minutes long - how hard can that be I thought, heh...

5 minutes into the workout: Rylee falls over and doesn't get up until we are done.
10 minutes into the workout: Hubby disappears into the bathroom. (can't fool me - I'm on to you dude!)
15 minutes into the workout: I think I might pass out, but I refuse to cave!
20 minutes into the workout: You've seen the Biggest Loser right? You know how they drip sweat all over the place - well that may have been me, or Hanna.

Day #2 - Pain, day two is all about the pain. Why do children insist on running and throwing themselves at you when several of your muscles are literally screaming in pain??? And why when you cry out from this screaming pain do they laugh like this is the funnest thing in the whole wide world and insist on repeating the flying leaps until you are huddled on the floor pleading with them to stop? These are hypothetical questions only!

Rylee hid at the top of the stairs and did not even come out until after the workout was over! This from the kid that is up at 6:10 every morning! I finally found a way to get her to stay in bed until 8:00 - thank you Jillian!!!!!!!!!!

Hanna bailed after 5 minutes. The adults made it through - yay!!!

Anyone want to join? No???


Now for the fun part of the post! I have joined Barefoot Mommies as a product review blogger! I have some really awesome giveaways lined up and you are not going to want to miss them (want a sneak peak? - Bamboo Fun Tablet, Play With Pictures, Traditional Toys and much more!!!).

Head over to Barefoot Mommies and add our Father's Day Extravaganza and you get two extra entries in all of our giveaways!!

Barefoot Mommies

Click below to enter for Custom Photo Cards!

Click below to enter to win a 24 pack of SafetyCaps!

Monday, May 25, 2009

One more Awe-Summm Award!

Wow, I may just qualify for the "Blogger That Takes The Longest To Respond To Blog Awards" award!
One of my newest favorite bloggers Buckeroomama from Mamahood, among other things... gave me this award a while back and I have to apologize for taking so long to respond!!! Buckeroomama has the cutest kids and she lives in Hong Kong - how cool is that? Go check out this post to see my favorite thing about China and Rylee's least favorite thing about China!
It is just so hard to believe that I could be considered Queen of Alll Things Awe-Summm by anyone other than the 6 people that know me personally.
I'm supposed to say seven things about myself that make me awe-summm and pass this award on to seven other bloggers. So ummm... to pick 7 things is just nearly impossible! I think I will get back to you, ya know after I narrow it down... maybe sarcasm would be one.
I'll be back to pass this on... (this won't surprise most of you who have learned how I like to leave things hanging heh...)

I ♥ Faces - Week 20 - Silhouettes

My entry this week is one of my favorite pictures of Hanna and Minnie practicing before a horse show in the fall. They stopped in front of the arena opening and the sunshine outside was so bright that I was able to capture this beautiful silhouette of the two of them. One of my favorite things is to watch Hanna riding Minnie, it's pure beauty!

Head on over to to see how you can enter this weeks contest and check out all the amazing photos!

Blog Awards - Thank you!!!!

Thank you to Angie at A Simple Kinda Life for giving me this Sushi Award! If you love giveaways you just have to check out her upcoming Summer Soiree to enter for some really great prizes!

I was given this award by Leah from Live Life Simply. Leah is currently in the midst of prayerfully seeking God's will in adoption for their family and I am looking forward to seeing how it will work out for them. Please stop by and check out her sweet blog!

Thank you ladies for thinking of me!!! I am passing these awards on to all my blogging friends, please copy them for your blogs!!!