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

Sunday, May 30, 2010

More Fun!

Okay, so I promised you several posts worth of picture fun, right?  Here's another one.  Photo posts are about all I have time for right now! 

Every year our family heads to Atlanta for the Georgia Renaissance Festival.  This tradition started when Lizzie was a teen in love with anything Lord of the Ring-ish!  I searched for something to do with the whole family that our teen would actually enjoy.  Turned out, they all enjoyed it.  This was the first year that Lizzie didn't make it with us.  She's taking a May-mester class 6 days a week, bless her!  But, trust me, we ended up with a full van anyway.  As a matter of fact, filled all 12 seats of our Monster Van!  Well really, what is the point in having a 12 passenger van if you can't fill it with people you love and have an adventure?  Right!

Isabel and her God-sister, MM.
Yes, of course they dressed for the occasion!

We had three takers on pictures with Mother Goose.

My nephew, Christian

My niece, Megan

And Isabel.  I mean, who wouldn't want their picture taken with a live goose? 
Okay, Parker, Noah and Brianna wouldn't. 

Next on the agenda?  Sword fighting!


Face painting came next, followed closely by...

A visit to the royal court, where the girls received jewels from the queen!

We later spent time learning the fine art of juggling.

And I don't care who you are, this picture is funny!
Knight Christian, Princess MM, Pirate Parker, Fairy Isabel, Jester Noah....and what is that, a peasant? 
Well, I guess they were out of princesses and when you are the littlest the big kids don't let you know what's happening!  Sorry, Claire.  Next time you get to be the princess!  At least she's a happy peasant.

On to the jousting tournament!

At this point, I apparently lost my camera privileges. 
But, whoever took over got some pretty cool pictures of the rest of the festival!

And you can see that everyone was having a blast.

Isabel suited up.

For a friendly bout with MM!

Then she went searching for gift and picked a beautiful butterfly for Aunt Cindi.

She wore it well!
It's supposed to be for the garden, Aunt Cindi!

It was a great day! 

As a matter of fact....

We spent so much time in the Kingdom that Isabel grew elf-ears! 

And Megan?

She grew horns of course!

If you have never been to a Renaissance Festival, I highly recommend you try one!

I mean where else can you hang out with the likes of this?


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Fun Stuff

So, while we have been busy as heck with end-of-school-year stuff.....the school year which isn't entirely over for us that is....... we have done some fun stuff too.  Enough fun stuff that I have a few posts worth of pictures to share with you. 

And everybody says,"YAY!" 

Last week....or was it the week before?  I think I've really lost it, y'all....Anyway......once upon a time, Claire had a doctor's appointment in Columbia.  No, that wasn't the fun part.  But, we did make a family event out of it.  We all piled into that monstrosity of a van we have now and headed on down the road.  The appointment went well and I'm happy to say we us a new orthopedist.  Thank you, God! 

We Love Dr. Dobbs out in St. Louis.  But, he's....well, in ST. LOUIS.  And we are here.  In SC.  You do the math. I can barely get her there once a year for her follow-up and even then we have to call it our vacation! 

A doctor here?  Oh no, that would be way to simple.  Actually, we were seeing a doctor here.   It's hard to believe, but there are only four pediatric orthopedists in our area and they all work in the same practice.    We were seeing the one associated with the spina bifida clinic.  Unfortunately, our doctor made a recommendation for surgery and even after we received a second opinion that contradicted her, she insisted that Claire needed a surgery that could have dramatically changed her life.....and not for the better.  So we went searching for a new doctor. 

The newest member of Claire's medical team did not recommend surgery and even said, almost verbatim, what Dr. Dobbs (our second opinion) said last year- She does not have normal hips, but making her hips normal through surgery is not a good idea.  He's been there, done that, and it doesn't work.  THANK YOU! 

What was so fun about that?  Well, nothing really.  Except Claire did not cry at this appointment.  That was a first for an appointment that involved x-rays.  She did great! 

And afterwards, Paul's sweet Aunt Lainie let us have a picnic at her house and then she and his cousin Jenny gave us their guest passes for the zoo.  That was the fun part!  So it wasn't all business and no play.

The boys climbed the wall. 
Which is better than driving me up a wall!
I know.
I am hilarious!

Isabel loved the lorikeets!

And, they loved her too!

Noah got peed on, but Parker enjoyed them. 
 Such is life isn't it?  Someone always gets peed on. 
I went on vacation with my family once and a llama spit in my sister's face. 

She was not amused.
Neither was Noah.
He was however, thankful that his dad wore two shirts that day!

Isabel has a love of animal statues.
Since she was little she loved to pose with them.

She's trying to get Claire to love it too, but honestly, Claire just wanted to climb it. 
This is the only kind of animal that Claire isn't terrified of. 

Hey, look boys!  I found your long lost triplet...

Just kidding! 
You know we don't believe in Evolution.

And Isabel again with the statues.

I didn't take as many pictures as I should, but then, I was enjoying having a day with everyone. We saw lots of animals.  Claire did not get close to any.  Isabel sat on all statues and posed for pictures.  And Noah didn't get peed on anymore! 

Also, the kids found two bricks, out of thousands, donated by someone in our family.  Uncle Bill and Aunt Lainie's brick was on the bridge we crossed to get from the botanical gardens to the zoo. Parker spotted it right after someone said that we'd never find it because there were too many to go through, and we found the brick dedicated to Paul's cousin, Christian.

Christian died of cancer many years ago.  He was very young, about 19 or 20 I think.  My boys were just toddlers.  I didn't know him well, but I know the boys would have loved hanging around him.  He was a very cool kid.  We watched him skim board we went to the beach in Florida to see him and his parents, Aunt Fran and Uncle David. 

So we took a moment to think of Christian.

And to be thankful for the health of our children.

Never take that for granted.

Monday, May 17, 2010


Since the day when we announced that we were not going to be able to be this little guy's family, we have continued to pray for him and his true family.  The family that is out there waiting to find him.  We have also learned that he was put back on the shared list.  This is good and bad.  Good because that means that any agency dealing with China adoptions can lock him for a family.  Bad for other reasons.  For example, though they added a page that has his hearing test results on it, they did not change his medical exam record.  His special need is still listed as CHD as far as I know.  So if a family is looking for a child with CHD, they may find Shan Yi and eventually see that he is also hearing impaired.  But, if a family is looking for hearing impaired, they won't find Shan Yi.  UNLESS.  Unless, people know about it.  So, that is my goal.  I am posting here and asking that other adoption bloggers that advocate for children post on their blogs about him.  We need a signing family to be able to find him among the 1600 files on the shared list!  That is not an easy feat, especially if you don't know how to look for him!  But, there is enough information in this blog post to find him. 

And.  And, I am calling on all my bloggy friends and readers to please pray for him.  He needs a home and a family and he needs them soon.  Please pray for his family to find him quickly!  It's that simple.  Post and pray.  We can get this boy a home! 

Sunday, May 9, 2010

My Mother's Day

Was perfect!

Which meant breakfast in bed! 

A van loaded for church!

And the icing on the cake? 
A picnic at the beach, of course!

Children letting me take loads of pictures is nice too!

Thank you, guys!

It was a great day.
Better than great, really!

It was like being on vacation for a day.

I hope all you moms out there had a great day too!