Beautiful Life

Hey child up and go; A big world is out there waiting for us to live in every day. Outside you will find, there is love all around you; Takes you, makes you wanna' say; That it's a beautiful life and it's a beautiful world and it's a beautiful time to be here, to be here, to be here. -Fisher

Friday, May 29, 2009

Oh My Goodness!

Boy do we have a lot of catching up to do! The past week was crazy. We tried to stick to our school schedule, since we are so far behind anyway, while having company. That is not easy to do! And, it didn't work out all that well some days. But, we had fun and we are still on track to finish school at the end of June....finally! I think I will start early next school year so that if illness settles on this house for a month again next year, we'll have wiggle room in our schedule!

So, onto our crazy week. After spending last weekend with my parents, in honor of my Dad's......ummmmm, 39th birthday, my friend, Michelle, and her Monkey came back to Charleston with us for a little R&R. Okay, I don't know how much rest and relaxation they actually got.....I know I got none. But, we had a really good time and that's what counts!

On Monday, we had a little pool time and a little school time, followed by a little exercise....or should I say an exercise in futility......I'll get to that in a minute. Now for double cuteness in the kiddie pool!

Our little bathing beauties! The water was a wee bit too cold for Casey....didn't seem to bother Claire in the least!

After our pool time and a nap for the girls....and possibly Michelle, I thought it would be nice to walk over to a nearby playground. You know, get a little exercise....on a little walk....about 2 miles. Michelle thought I was nuts! Well, she actually agreed before she knew how far away it was. We didn't get a block away before I thought Michelle was going to call a cab! Seriously. But, she made it.....I laughed the whole way. We walk and ride our bikes around our neighborhood a lot. I tried to convince her that exercise is a good thing. Nothing doing. She wasn't buying! Especially not when we see wildlife like this along the way!

Then we stopped to watch the geese.....until they got a little too close for comfort and then Michelle had enough!

Casey wanted to chase the ugly duckling!

She and Isabel ended up running from the ugly ducklings!

Anyway, we made it to the playground and the kids had a blast....while Michelle rested. Well, as much as Casey would let her rest. Which wasn't much!

Isabel pushed her in the swing. This girl is fearless! She went way up high and laughed about it!

She scaled the wall in no time!

And, the 15 foot high spiral slide was no match for Casey the monkey! Can't you just see that mischievous look in her eyes here!

The boys did a little rip-stickin'. Yes, that is how Noah broke his arm......please note the that he is riding with a cast. No, we have not thrown the rip-stick away, much to my mother-in-law's dismay! If at first you don't succeed????

Isabel havin' some fun!

A little co-swinging.

I don't think Casey likes the swing....not. at. all.

Claire, on the other hand, really didn't enjoy the swings. But, she liked sliding down the spiral slide with one of her "people", MC (our neighbor)!

You'll have to tune in tomorrow if you want to see some more adventures of Claire and Casey! That is if I have better luck with the internet tomorrow than I've had today.....this may not get posted until tomorrow at this rate.

I had so much trouble posting this on Saturday that it is now Sunday and I am trying to get it posted now. I think we need a new wireless router.

Monday, May 25, 2009

How Low Can You Go?

Our local homeschool group has a club based on the American Girl dolls. Isabel has participated in this group for a few years now and on Friday they had their end-of-year luau party from studying the doll, Julie. These pictures are so cute I had to post them!

Doing the hula!

Aren't the girls so cute all dressed for the luau!
Then we spent the weekend at my parents house. We were celebrating my Daddy's birthday a little early and of course, Claire has to be in the center of that activity....'cause she loves birthdays!

Happy Birthday, Daddy/Papa! We love you bunches and more!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Almost There!

When we went to China to adopt Claire, we had no preconceived ideas about what life with her might be like. We were as informed as we could have been about her condition. Doctors had made it clear that she probably would not walk unassisted.....if at all. And, I'm sure you've read the posts recounting the many other life-long health issues we were "warned" about by all our medical sources. We went anyway....'cause that's what you do when God tells you to. Why? Because it has been my experience that He knows what He's doing! Well, it didn't take us long to realize that we might as well throw out all the doctor's "warnings" with the bath water, because Claire has other ideas. Now we take our cues from her instead. If you've read this blog at all, you know one thing Claire is determined to do is walk. On her own. And she works hard.

On the anniversary of the day she became a citizen of this country and met the rest of her family for the first time, enjoy this video. It will give you some idea of the progress she's made, from barely standing while holding on......she's almost there!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Claire's First Year

Since we've been all sentimental about Claire's first year with us and her BIG little anniversaries, I got the idea to do "a year in review" type post for her. It is amazing to see, all at once, how she's changed. I mean, if you really wanted and had time on your hands, you could go back to all the posts I made last year.....but really, do you have that kind of time....'cause if you do,


One of our last days in China. Heading home. She was finally okay with us, but still not thrilled with me. At least she was smiling! What did we know about our little girl at this point? Well, we already knew she was determined!


Our big girl! She wouldn't feed herself in China, but as soon as we got home with her, she became more independent.

She was so chunky! Turns out, it was the toxins in her body that made her so chubby. I can't even think about what would have happened if God hadn't sent us for her when he did.

She loved her sunglasses! Her favorite toys were sunglasses, puzzles and books. She soaked up everything you said, but didn't speak a word back. She just looked and learned.


Lots of changes going on here. Our medical trips provided the best time for lots of bonding. She started talking and never stopped.

Starting to give new things a try without all the fuss. Water terrified her. So did the dogs, small children, bugs, loud noise, praying, fast movements.....and a whole lot of other stuff.


She loves her brothers and sisters.


She's decided to be mobile no matter what!


New Feet!

She loved standing on them! By now she is a talking machine! She had learned all the letters of the alphabet and loved to sing songs. Her favorite things to do were playing play dough and coloring.

She started therapy, learned to stand alone and showed just how motivated she was to learn to walk and play like other children!

Loved her first camping trip!


Had her first birthday party....and two more!

Takes everything in stride.


First Christmas


Her personality shines. She is very happy....most of the time. Acts like a normal 3 year old.




Clearly, nothing is going to stop her!


Our beautiful, happy girl! No longer afraid of everything. She will hold a bug, hug her dogs, and even tolerate Caseysmall children! :) She knows all her letters and their sounds, spells her name, counts and adds some. Her favorite color is pink! Of course. Her favorite food is candy! Her favorite place to eat is MOES?! Not The Jade Garden. She wants to do her school work....which she doesn't have yet. I guess we will jump into K-4/5 next year! She wants to swim in the pool and go to the beach. She wants to go to the hotel. She loves to travel! She loves to be outside with "her kids". She does not like pizza or spaghetti! She does not like veggies or bread. She doesn't care one iota about stuffed animals or baby dolls. She wants to write and color and cut and glue! She wants to read the book! She wants to walk, loves to walk! And, she sings Happy Birthday every day! For no reason. Except that she loves it!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Few Words

I don't really have a lot of time for words today....but then, who needs words when you have this kind of cuteness to display. Oh, and banana bread. No words needed for banana bread....except YUM!