Thursday, December 25, 2008

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


I know I know,  I haven't posted ANYTHING in a very long time. So to catch up, here comes the longest post known to mankind. What have we been up to for the last month and a half?  Well...

Hosting my family for 12 days over Thanksgiving.  
10 adults and 5 children all staying with us. Crowded, noisy and FUN.  It was the first time Tessa got to meet her cousins and all her Aunts and Uncles.

Neilan with his cousin Ethan    
Tessa with her cousins Juliana and Eve

My very handsome nephew Ethan loving the red velvet cupcake batter!

Spending a few of those 12 days at Disneyland.  
Yep, Tessa's first trip to the 'Happiest Place on Earth'!

The Dumbo ride rocked!

Juliana contemplating the sheer Dumboness of it.

And while her cousin Eve loved the carousel.... 

Little Ms. Tessa loudly did not!

"Get me off this thing woman!"

Breakfast with Mini Mouse and Captain Hook was fun.

Especially since it involved Tessa's first ever juice box.

  A deep love at first taste.

Spending a rainy day at the beach.  
Not only Tessa's first day at the beach but also Juliana's and Eve's.  I have to say, rainy days at the beach are my new favorite thing! No one but us on the beaches in Malibu.  Amazing.

A slip on the wet sand and rocks while her mommy was looking the other way and....

Ouch!!  Tessa's first big boo-boo! I'm firmly out the running for the Parent of the Year award with that one.

Spending Thanksgiving morning at the aquarium.  
Another of my new all time favorite things to do with the kids!  Not crowded, everyone we met in a fun holiday mood and the kids had a great time.   
(Yes, all the pictures I took that day involved nothing but the kid's backs)

The Boys

The Girls

The Boys and Girls

The Seal

Hey what can I say except boy am I good with a camera or what?!

Having professional photos of all the kids taken. 
The day after Thanksgiving my sister arranged for a photographer (like we needed one with all the talent I so clearly posses with a lens!) to take pictures of the kids.  It involved antique tables and toys, cupcakes and jars of candy.  The kids could not have had a better more frosting covered time! 

Celebrating Tessa and Juliana's baptism.  
I was honored to be Juliana's godmother and my sister, Juliana's mother, was Tessa's.  Our church very graciously allowed for a special baptism day and time so both girls could be christened at the same time while we were all together as a family.  It was a beautiful day with family and friends and I think a very moving ceremony.  I'm not completely sure however because Tessa screamed through the whole thing.  And I do mean SCREAMED.  I couldn't even hear the priest most of the time.  It was, quite simply, a spectacular demonstration of lung power. Juliana never uttered a sound.  I think she was in shock and awe by the display going on next to her.  

Once the baptism was over little Ms. T was great for the photos. 

The last few weeks have been busy with decking the halls and buying our Christmas tree....

trying to get a decent picture for the Christmas cards....


And riding the Polar Express train to the North Pole! Yep, another new favorite thing to do with the kids at Christmas!!  Riding an antique train in your pjs with elves passing out chocolate milk and sugar cookies while Santa comes by to say hi  - well, it just doesn't get any better then that!!

Add to all that our first post placement homestudy (Tessa was amazing - blowing kisses, waving hi) , participating in the kindergarten Christmas pagent,  preparing for more family to come visit, playdates, holiday visits with good friends and there you go -  a whole and complete month and a half flies by! Wow!!  Hopefully I'll be keeping up better in 2009!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Bad Blogger!

Yikes!!  Has it really been three weeks since I posted anything?!   We've had a lot going on and I obviously  just haven't found time to post anything but I promise I'll be updating this thing soon. So hang in there all two of my readers and hopefully sometime this weekend I'll be able to put up some photos of all the fun we've been having the last couple of weeks! 

In the meantime, go see beautiful, sweet Mimi - home at last with her parents!!!  Congratulations Heather & Chris! 

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Sponsor A Child

Tessa was at the Kebebtsehay Children's Home before being placed with Gladney and we spent time at the Kolfe Boys Home. They are both on this video.  A lot of people have asked me about the orphans and orphanages in Ethiopia. Here is a way you can help.  Sponsor a child.  We are.

Go to Amy's blog before Monday to participate!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Two Months

Miss Tessa has now been home two whole months and also just happens to be 15 months old as of today as well!  

Here are a few of the things I've learned about Tessa in the last two months:

Tessa is an awesome little flirt.  The girl has moves and knows how to use them.  Tessa can make anyone stop dead in their tracks to admire her.

Tessa doesn't believe in the word sleep.  No way, no how.  I've never seen a baby or toddler go with so little of the stuff.  A nap for Tessa is about 20 minutes (on a good day) and she loves to get up 2 to 4 times a night.  Yet despite this rather dodgy sleep schedule, Tessa is a very happy girl all day long (unlike her sleep deprived mommy).  

Tessa's laugh fills me with joy.

Tessa really, really likes to make raspberry sounds.  A Tessa raspberry can mean ' I really like you', 'I want to play',  'don't I look cute making this sound' or simply 'boy it's fun doing this with my tongue'.   The raspberry.  It's her thing and she's sticking to it.

Tessa is a little smarty-pants.  She mimics everything she sees and hears.  Tessa amazes us each and everyday with all she's learned.  

Tessa likes to be LOUD.  Nothing wrong with her lungs.  Keep up with your brother in the shrieking just for fun department?  Noooo problem.

Tessa loves music and is an equal opportunity dancer.  From Mozart to The Killers, if it's got a beat she's gonna shake her little heinie.  Tessa will even dance to the tones my cellphone makes when I turn it on.

Tessa fills my heart with love beyond words. 

It's been a wonderful two months.

                     (Yum chalk - delicious and nutritious!)

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


     For Change  For Hope 
And with goodwill for all our fellow Americans - Red or Blue.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Pumpkins and Halloween

Much fun was had by all on our trip to the pumpkin patch last Thursday (it's been 90 degrees here so there's a lot to be said about buying your pumpkins at the last minute).  Little Ms. T could not get enough of the big orange things. Who knew she was such a pumpkin connoisseur? Rolling around the dirt in her summer dress was a lot of fun to.  Neilan's favorite parts?  Hands down the giant slide and bounce house of course.  He didn't think the pumpkins were half bad either.

Halloween night we had so much fun with Tinkerbell and Harry Potter. 

While Tinkerbell didn't fully get the significance of the evening she was pretty darn excited about putting on her special fairy dress and holding her wand.  So excited in fact that little Ms. Tink wanted to sleep in her beautiful outfit.

A mean, mean mommy made her take it off.  

Harry on the other hand, being the far more experienced trick-or-treater of the two, changed into something more comfortable to inventory the HUGE haul they took in.

We couldn't seem to get a good shot of Tinkerbell and Harry together. 

Apparently fairies are very good at spotting Halloween ghosts!