Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Happy Birthday Jami

Here is my sweet Birthday Girl! It is hard to believe that this dynamo is 7 already!! She was so excited as she sang "Goodbye 6...Hello 7"....

She was so excited to help me make cupcakes to share with her class....

She is also really into Peace Signs this year. Her bedroom was the original playroom. Couple that with being the youngest of all her cousins, & her room became the natural depository for ALL things outgrown & unused. The abundance of stuff was really quite embarrassing & made it impossible to keep her room clean. So, I decided that while she was at school, I would re-do her room. Get rid of the outgrown toys & update it a bit. She HATES if I get rid of anything, so I had to keep it a surprise & do it while she was at school.

We started with this:

I know! I know! It was even more than a pack rat like her could tolerate.

With new bedding & new storage, about 4 hrs later it looked like this:

I could really spend another day in there & I still have to go through all the clothes. My dad came over & helped me hang some new things on her wall & cart the 5 RubberMaid containers out to the shed.

She was thrilled with her "New" room. Happy Birthday Sweetie!!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Spring Break Cruise

We took a nice Royal Caribbean cruise to the Bahamas over Spring Break. Lindsi took over 200 pictures, so it took me awhile to sift through them & choose the best ones.

I'll save you the pain of browsing through all of them.....here are the high lights!

Jami with her new monogrammed PEACE SIGN bag (an early birthday gift), all ready to go.....
Lindsi before we got on the boat
Bon Voyage!
Competition cruise at the other dock.
Every night our waiter would teach the table a new trick. The first night she taught us how to balance a fork on a toothpick!
Yes! Bunk Beds!! Both girls were able to get a top bunk & were thrilled.....

Beads & Braids. These were done on the island of Coco Cay. When the girls heard we were going on a cruise, this was the one MUST DO thing they wanted! Both of the girls got their names beaded into their braids. It came out very nice.
The water at Coco Cay was pretty cool, about 72 degrees...
Cart wheels on the front deck of the ship. Lindsi was thrilled to get so many action shots & Jami outdid her self by doing 100 of them....Luckily, we mostly had that area all to ourselves that afternoon.
Lindsi is so strong...she could hold up that other ship in her palm!
A favorite for Lindsi....SHRIMP!!
Cheers to the Captain at the Welcome Aboard Party!!
Jami climbing to the top of the 40 ft wall. She scampered up that wall just like a Florida Gecko!
Then Lindsi gave it a try. She also climbed all the way to the top in a quick time.
The nice looking Norwegian rock climbing "experts"....mmmmm
Fortunately, Jami did not hit any ice bergs near the Bahamas.....
Our Nassau transportation awaits....
Back on the boat...cool pineapple drinks around the pool
Thumb wars can happen anywhere
Every night we would come back to a different animal on our bed. This was a demo showing you how to make the various animal towel foldings.
The last night was the pirate parade. Here are my own 2 Buccaneers, complete with war paint!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Family Day

From This.......

To This.....

To Today.......

9 Years...In a blink of an eye......
The days are long when you're in it, but the years go quickly by......

Happy 9th Family Day Lindsi!!!!!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Look What Came In the Mail ..........

Look what came in the mail for the girls the other day. One was re-newed & one was brand new. Sadly, they are not being used to go to China. But we do have a fun trip planned.....

And here are some recent pics of the girls last weekend with their cousins at Scout Sunday..

Our scouts, Gavin & Ian

Sorry Ian's smile is blocked by the peacock headband, but it was the only picture Gavin didn't stick his tongue out for. Which goes to prove that you can put the 9 yr old boy in a Scout uniform, but you can't make him act like anything but a 9 yr old boy!

She growing up to be such a beautiful young lady.....

And this one is still a Pixie Sprite

Love them both ....abundantly!!

Monday, January 30, 2012

2012 Off To A Good Start.......

I'm reading friend's blogs...(& for a great daily laugh, go here) I just have not been posting here much lately. I really NEED to replace my camera & then I think I'll become enthused to post more of our happenings. We are all good, healthy, & happy & really that's what matters most....

We've had a nice couple of busy weekends...birthday parties, Chinese New Year. The girls are both cheering for basketball right now.

Some Jan pictures to share

Jami lost her first & second tooth about 3 days apart, just before Christmas! So, for Christmas she really DID want her 2 front teeth...

A ride in her jeep.

Zipping by on her bike...

Such a tolerant Princess Kitty

We love you too.......
Maybe I'll get some CNY pics downloaded soon......

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

So Glad It's December

I'm back........Sorry we have been AWOL for too long.

October was tough for us......what didn't happen?? A leak in the roof in the kids bathroom, new transmission needed in the car, Jami fell & broke her arm...& to top it all off, I lost my camera. Not only were we very Broke, but I am crushed about the camera.....

November we spent trying to heal & recuperate.

And now, it's December!!

Lindsi picked up an awesome Canon camera at a garage sale. She even let's me use it. The roof & the car are both repaired, although I'll be paying that car bill for quite awhile. The cast comes off Jami's arm tomorrow....
Things are definitely looking up for us now.

We were waiting for my parents at a restaurant along the river the on Sun night. Evening time & the natural lighting was just picture perfect. Here are some cute pics I took of the girls with Lindsi's new camera......

See? You've missed us, right??

Monday, September 26, 2011

Jane Brown Playshop

We just had a Girl's Weekend that included a Jane Brown Playshop.

Our soccer season starts next Sat, so we will not be able to make the FCC Culture Camp this year. Fortunately, this Playshop was timed perfectly for us.

Jane Brown is a mother of 9. Many internationally adopted, & she has some bio children. She is a past elementary school teacher & a psychologist. She travels around the country & has several topics that she can theme her Playshops around. This was her 4th visit to the Jacksonville group & the theme was being Transracially adopted. The kids were divided into 2 groups K-3rd grade / 4th grade & older (most in the 9-10-11 age range).

On Fri night, the kids had childcare & in a Parents Only meeting Jane discussed her background & some of the areas that she would be talking to the kids about on Sat. She threw out a lot of ideas & things to think about. Ways to incorporate more culturally diverse people into your family life / daily routines & the importance of these racially diverse role models for our transracially adopted kids.

On Sat AM was the young kids playshop. The parents did the first activity with the kids & then left to go wait it out. The Playshop was approx 2.5 hrs long, then she came & did a debriefing for the parents (which lasted about 1 hr), while the kids stayed back & played. She talked a lot about what it meant to the kids to be adopted, how this might happen, what the outcomes might be. She gives them thinking steps, but does not plant ideas. They did alot of role playing with dolls & puppets. Each child getting a chance to "act" the part of the story (birth parents, SWI workers, adoptive parents). She also role played with them how to handle bullying or being signaled out for being different, or how to help a friend who was being singled out. She equipped them with some great tools.

With the older girls, parents dropped them off & then went to wait. Their session went a little longer. The best thing about this is that the girls broke into small groups & they had tasks to do & then they shared those things with each other. MY OPINION: I think even if you talk with your kids, you, as their parent, can not get them to be as open & as free in the thought exchange as they can be with their same adoptive background peers.
They shared in small groups such things as if you could ask your birthparents 3 things...what would they be? If you could tell your birth parents 3 things about you, what would that be? Then they dicussed those things within their big group. After their session, she did another debriefing with the parents. As a side note, I think there was only other family besides me, who had children in both age groups, & the discussion was naturally different each time. If the kids go off on a tangent, she lets them. It is THEIR time to share with each other & she is just a director & contributor of ideas, jumping off spots for discussion.

Neither of my girls talks much about their adoptions. I was a little nervous going into this that the Playshop might create angst where there is none. That was not the case. I think both girls came away with more information about their adoptions, with a better sense that there really are other kids just like me, (Unbelievably, with the younger group, JB explained that even though your kids might "know" that the other FCC friends are from China, they may not understand that those kids were also adopted, just like they were). I also think (& it is especially true in our case), that if your child has a visible SN, than that "Trumps" race issues (at least at the elementarty age). They don't necessarily feel different because of their race, they feel different & are much more asked about the difference their classmates & others can see.

However, I had read many positive comments about the Playshops, so we commited ourselves to attending. I'm really glad that we did. It was encouraging to learn of the things that I am doing right, in order to give my kids a healthy environment, as well as learn the areas where I can improve.

While I would not jump on the bandwagon to bring Jane to Gainesville. I don't think there is enough local support to justify the expense. I would whole heartedly encourage families with school aged children to take advantage of her playshops whether they are held in Jacksonville (in 2 more years), in Tampa or Orlando. Overall, very positive & we will go again if the occassion arises.

I thought that going to this with other girl friends was a great way to do it. Our kids already knew at least someone in the playgroup..plus we had the bonus of getting to hang out & visit all weekend long. An unexpected bonus came when we were able to swap kid watching duties throughout the weekend. That was really nice!!

If you have any specific questions, I can try and answer them for you. Maybe I'll have pics`to post shortly.....