Saturday, February 28, 2009

Parties -- GALORE! and Happy 11 Month, Ellie!

Whew. I'm tired. From the looks of a photo of me taken today, I'm exhausted. I look awful -- pale and tired around the eyes. Could be because I am tired and still trying to recoup from my recent "bouts". Nonetheless, it was a busy day.
Today we had a baby shower for our friend Jessica, who is due with her first baby, Cooper, in June. Ellie and I had a great time even though I "flunked out" on one of the shower games. It was "don't say Jessica or baby". I managed to say, "Jessica hasn't seen the baby yet, has she?" promptly throwing me out with BOTH words.

We had to leave the baby shower early to get to a SURPRISE party for our friend, Ms. Betty. Boy! Was she ever surprised. I had to be very careful when I was posting last night because I almost put that we were going to her party today. I suppose that would have ruined the surprise. We had to leave that party early as well to head to Adalynn's 1st birthday party. Ellie napped briefly between each party but she was exhausted.

Mee Me and Ellie

Jessica opening presents
Kirstin and Ellie
Emily and Ellie
Ms. Betty gives Elles a kiss.

Mee Mee, Ms. Betty and Ellie

A cute picture that Mee Mee took of Ellie.

"Borrowed" this photo from Dee'Anna's blog of Ellie, Adalynn and Caleb. HOW do you get three kids to look at the same time? These three were exhausted by this point.

Ellie, Adalynn and Caleb playing with Addie's new toys.

When we got home, Kevin was running a fever. GREAT, I think, he's got the flu, so I told him to get a shower and we were going to the doctor. I called Morgan, from the next street over, to come over to babysit for Josh and Ellie as I knew Ellie was tired and it was so cold, I didn't want to get them out.

Fortunately, Kevin didn't have the flu, but he does have a bad sinus infection. An hour at Walgreen's and I had the meds he needed and we were on our way home.

And, as of today/tomorrow (there is no 29th of February), Ellie is eleven months old. Just like that-- blink and here you are. For one month, I'll have an 11 year old and an 11 month old. That won't happen again -- their combination of numbers like that, so this is pretty cool. I need to begin to plan her first birthday party. Where has time gone? It certainly hasn't moved as painstakingly dragging as it did while we were waiting for her, that's for sure.

As I started to think about her birthday party, my mind couldn't help but go to her birthmom. While I stood in her room, with all her wonderful things to make her life comfortable, I thought of her birthmom who is likely in a yurt in the fields and mountains of Kyrgyzstan and is likely quite cold. I hope she is ok. I know she can't begin to imagine the life her child is living on the other side of the world. I hope, in some way, she knows how very loved she is -- by all she meets. Her little girl has a special kind of spirit and personality that charms those who meet her. I wonder if that came from her birthmom? Regardless, I am forever thankful.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Look Who's Trying to Walk ...

Quick little video of what Miss Ellie has been working on lately. Notice how mad she got when she sat down!


Notice everytime Little Kitty "meows" so does Ellie. Ignore my pjs. It was early this morning. At one point, I am almost certain she says, "Meow" back to the cat. Do you think she thinks she's a cat??? *smile*

Also, as just an FYI, I went to the doc today and found out I have ear infections in both ears. I walked away with an antibiotic, decongestant, nose spray and antihistimine. Kill or cure is our attack method at this point. Seems my orders were to "rest and get lots of fluid." I told her one out of two wasn't bad.

Ellie charmed everyone from the time we left the car, walked down the corridor, checked in at the doctor's office, waited in the lobby and went back to our room and then in reverse. She had her "charm factor" turned up high today.

Josh and I got our hair cut this afternoon -- I know my mama will be pleased. He is such a handsome little man!! Tomorrow is set to be a busy day with a baby shower for our friend Jessica, and first birthday party for our friend Addison.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Just Everyday Outside Fun

It was COLD this afternoon, but I've been cooped up in the house so long that I needed to get some fresh air -- flu remaining or not. This afternoon, Josh and Kevin went out to play basketball and I bundled Ellie up and we went outside too. The dogs and cats were in the front yard excited to play too, so it was a lot of fun. There was no "reason" for the photos and no "theme" other than a family of four (how cool, huh??) having fun in the yard.

Funny Ellie story first: lately, everytime the cat meows, she says, "Huh." It's a riot. I've got to try to get it on video. It's like they are having a conversation. Little Kitty says, "Meow." She says, "Huh." "Meow." "Huh" "Meow." "Huh." As long as the cat will meow she'll talk to him. Funny stuff.

Look ma, no hands....

Has my mother not realized that my cheetah print coat and cupcake leggings CLASH?

What are these things on my hands and where are my fingers?

So, it wasn't snow, but the ground was cold and Ellie needed something to sit on, so I used Josh's snow disc.

Little Kitty stayed close by keeping watch on things. Lest you are confused, Little Kitty and Punch did look a lot a like. (I still miss Punch so very much).

Duke gets a little love from daddy.

A little one-on-one with daddy . . .

Two points by Josh. I'm not sure who won.

Bear decided he wanted to play as well.

Tickle my tummy is Bear's favorite game. Look at him grinning! He's such a big fat lug.

My two sweet peas...

AND... Elizabeth and I both forgot that yesterday was our "Anniversary" -- four months home!!! I'll save our update for Ellie's 11 month birthday which is coming up this weekend.

It's That Time - Encores and More North Consignment Sale

Hey ladies -- it's that time again!!! Time for the Encores and More North consignment sale. This year it's going to be in the old Goody's building at Rivergate so I am SO excited because of all the space they will have. I thought last year's sale was fantastic (my pocketbook, however, was a lot lighter when I left *smile*), but with all the space, this year's sale is going to be fantastic, I think.

Of all the consignment sales I've been to, I truly think this one is my favorite because it seems to have the best selection of the clothes I like to buy for Ellie and the prices are really good too! That's why I've chosen to save Ellie's things for this sale and why I'm chosing to work/volunteer at this one.

I'm so excited about it. You all know how I like to talk. I was talking to people at the Franklin sale that I didn't even know and giving them advice on their purchases while I waited in line to get in!

I've added a link at the top for more information! I hope to see you guys there!!

Hey, mama, you up for another midnight run on preview night???

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Post-Bath Time

Tonight after I gave Ellie a bath, and Josh had had his shower, I got some cute pix of them together and Ellie by herself. Josh said he "didn't want" any pictures. :-) Ellie LOVES this boy and he can make her smile doing anything. Tonight he was singing to her. Check out that WILD after bath hair she had. Her hair seems to really be growing lately. She still has these widow's peak areas that won't fill out yet. Oh well, it will come.

Cackling -- look how she is laughing!!

Look, his hair is wet like mine!!

Isn't this sweet of her looking at her "Ellie-phant"?

Doesn't this just look like trouble waiting to happen? Check out that look!!!

Too Sweet, these two.

Still - Flu

I'm still battling the flu (how long does it last, for Pete's sake?) -- taking Tamiflu, Nyquil seems to knock me out and make me confused so I'v given that up. Also taking Mucinex to stop the drip. Gross, huh? I've gone through an entire box of Kleenex (large) in the last few days. Trying to drink lots of fluids. TIRED.

Have to be well soon -- work to do. Prayers for Kevin who is doing it all. God love him.

Sunday, February 22, 2009


I was reading my email and got this video link from a friend and I laughed so hard I almost cried. Hope you enjoy it as well.


UGH. I woke up Friday night/Saturday morning with a high fever, chills and my body aching. By Saturday, I realized I must have the flu. I've spent the last 24 hours primarily in the bed sleeping. Fortunately, my doctor called in some Tamiflu -- which, by the way is some rough stuff.

So, if you don't hear from me for a few days -- I'm asleep. Pray for Kevin that 1) he doesn't get it, and 2) he has enough energy to care for two children by himself. He is very tired already.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Tag -- I'm It

I "self-tagged" myself from Jes's blog. I wanted a diversion from looking at the last post about my sweet Punchie (aka Queen P).

IThe task? to post a fun photo. The directions... Go to your fourth photo file location and post your fourth photo in that file.

And, here you have Kevin, Ellie and another Kyrgyz cutie, the infamous Hotdog!! This was during our mini-Kyrgz reunion when the girls used Kevin as a play toy. Aren't they sweet??

If you are reading, consider yourself "tagged". Leave a comment if you decide to play along.

And thank you SO MUCH for all the kind words about our loss of our friend, Punch. I am still grieving. I suspect Josh has moved along -- as kids will do -- and that Kevin is still a bit sad about her as well. I, on the other hand, just feel a bit lost when I'm at the house and have this running montage of memories of her running through my head when I'm driving around. I know this will pass with some time.

Ellie is really enjoying jumping of all things. She stands under the table, holds on and jumps for joy. She stands in her crib jumping up and down. She holds your hands and jumps. It's a riot. Tonight, all three of us just watched her under the table jumping and laughed and laughed. She's great entertainment.

Josh is working on his science project. Stay tuned for a final report on that after this weekend. It's due Monday so I'm certain there will be a mad rush around our house Sunday afternoon.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

My Precious Punch Has Gone to Heaven

Punch Latham
July 4, 1994 - February 17, 2009
Loved by all of us
My best friend
Today, Punch was called home (and yes, I fully believe that pets go to heaven!) to her warm sunny place in heaven. For the past few days she has not been able or wanted to eat, so when we took her to the vet today, I was not surprised to hear that her blood (kidney) levels were double what they were on Friday. She was in end stage renal failure. It was not a hard decision to make - logically, but I feel like a hole is ripped out of my heart and it's still bleeding.
I know some of you are thinking, "But it's just a cat." But she was so much more. She was my dear, dear friend. She has lived in our house as long as Kevin and I have. She is everywhere I look. She is in the bathroom when I wake up, meowing for water. She is by the tub when I shower or bath, waiting for me to get out. She's in my bed -- sleeping with me. She's on the couch beside me while I work. She's meowing "MEOWK" (aka, milk) when I eat cereal or ice-cream so she can get some in her bowl. She's out in the yard, sunning. She's on the front porch. She's in the office meowing for her wet food. She's in my heart . . .
We were all able to be in the room with her, say our good-byes, tell her how much we loved her and that she had been such a good friend. I was able to hold her as she left. Her fur was soaked with my tears -- not the first time, but certainly the last. I will never have a pet that can replace Punch. She was the best cat in the world.

This photo was taken of her on Monday night -- sleeping in Ellie's chair bottom in the air.

And this one was on my cell phone. I have one almost exactly like it of her sister, Judy, laying in Joshua's crib when he was about the same age.
We buried her in the front flower area beside her sister Judy. Thank goodness for Kevin -- who knows how I would have been able to do that job.
Josh is very sad about losing Punch and he isn't saying much. I know he is hurting. She's been in his life since he was born. We have the sweetest photo of him in his car seat the day we brought him home and Punch has her paws up on the side of the car seat looking in at him.
I love you Punch. I will love you forever. I will miss you always -- my great, dear friend.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Fun Fotos of Family & Fascinating Facts

Ellie discovered an ink pen.

Ellie discovered Sunshine's toes

Ellie "helping" me make muffins

"Cleaning up"

"That's one ... that's two ... give me more sit-ups, man!"

"Kissing" Curious George

"I'm thinking I'd like to listen to some music."

Not this one - it's Christmas!

As fast as I could put these up, she'd pluck them out, throw them down and get another one. Finally, I had to move her away, put them up quickly and divert her attention.

Look who is finally up on all fours. She did the commando crawl for so long I thought she might never crawl on all fours.

"I got you pinned!" Check out how big Elmo's eyes are -- he was really scared.

George must have told a great joke.

Playing with her "babies"

Digging the toys out one at a time and then throwing them on the ground to find another one.

Look at Little Miss sitting in her chair.
I started this post last night and the computer was in a MOOD, so I'm just getting it up tonight. Since I'm grieving the loss of my sweet Punchie, I've pretty much lost all of what I had planned to say here. I do know I was going to mention that Ellie has mastered drinking from a straw. She LOVES "Elmo juice" and slurps it right up from the juice pouce straw. It's a riot.
For those who have asked about our date. Well, it ended up that we got a late start and realized we could either go eat or to a movie but not both, so we chose the movie. We went to see Paul Bardt: Mall Cop. It was really funny with a great "feel good" ending. Then, the mall we were at had a shooting so we were in the midst of some drama but got out safely and decided dating wasn't all it was cracked up to be. *smile* It was nice to get out though and my parents had a good time with Josh and Ellie!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Letter Writing/Stories Campaign

The Joint Council has initiated a call for Kyrgyz adoptee stories from all of those who have already brought their children home. This will be a part of Joint Council's continued Global Awareness Campaign which aims to show the plight of children in need and the successes of children who have been placed in permanent care. If a family has adopted from Kyrgyzstan and would like to share their story as part of the Campaign they should send their story to Cindy LaJoy at Cindy is an adoptive mother of three children, one of who was adopted from Kyrgyzstan. The stories can be a maximum of 250 words and must have photos included. Families will need to submit an electronic release of information with their story. The release can be obtained from Cindy. Stories must be submitted by February 23rd. You can also get a copy of the electronic release form from the JCICS Kyrgyzstan page here: KYRGYZ REPUBLIC.

And for all the families in whose shoes we have stood, our story went off today. I am so hopeful that our story and Ellie's happiness can help bring others to their forever families. Ellie has been such a blessing and delight in our lives and I feel we have somehow made her life richer and better as well. I want this so much for other families and children.

I continue to pray and note that 70 prayers have been noted in the past week on this site. I can only imagine that there were lots of people who prayed and did not mark the "yes" button on my blog. I know God hears each request. Each week when I hear news of any progress I am thankful to God who is, I know, at work. He IS moving mountains on behalf of these children, of this much I am sure. I know that hearts are being softened through so many methods and I am thankful that He is choosing our family to help in any possible small way to help families get their children home. I will continue to pray every single day for these children and their families. I hope you will continue to join me in this effort.

Lots of Valentine's Fun!!

The past few days we've had lots of Valentine's fun. I'll go ahead and say that I'm a BAD MOM and took no photos. Some days I'm just too busy doing to capture it in photos. I'll take some today of the kids just because and post them.

Anyway, on Thursday's MDO, Ellie took some Abby Cadabby (from Sesame Street) Valentine's to her teachers and friends along with some chocolates for her teachers.

Thursday night, I picked up some heart shaped (with sprinkles) donuts from Krispy Kreme to take to our church staff and guess what??? You get free Valentine's with coupons for free donuts to hand out!!! So Ellie and I made it our mission to give them out to everyone we saw on Friday as we ran errands. Each church staff person got one, we dropped two off to our pharmacist/Sunday School teachers, gave one to our vet when we picked up Punch, sent some in for Josh's teachers and also have a couple reserved for MeeMee and DeeDee when the kids go to stay with them tonight for our date night (yay!!!). You can't imagine how excited people get when they get a coupon for a free donut!! But, I would have too, so I understand!!

Then, last night, we wanted to do something for the kids since we were going out on Valentines. Normally, Valentine's is a romantic family dinner at home (which means I cook a special Valentine's dinner, we eat with candle light only, and we have sparkling grape juice and cheesecake; Josh loves it), but this year, we decided Kevin and I needed a date. So, we went with my parents to Red Lobster for dinner. Afterwards we went to Target where Josh got a $15 I-tunes gift card for Valentines. I tried to pass off that the underwear, pencils for school and science project board were also for Valentine's, but he explained they were necessary and so they were definitely not Valentine's worthy. I'd also bought him a box of candy that he'll get today.

Ellie got a balloon a few days ago at Walmart (which she LOVED) and I bought her a Corolle Asian baby doll.
She laughed and talked to this baby all the way home -- well, until she fell asleep. It was so funny watching her!!

Today we are just hanging out at home, working on paperwork (me), playing (Ellie), watching TV and playing (Josh) and cleaning the office (Kevin). Whoo hoo -- happy Valentine's. But tonight the kids are going to Mee Mee and Dee Dee's house to play and we are going on a date. Kevin has told me that we are going to the restaurant where we had our first date. I'm very excited because I haven't been there in years and years. I'm thankful that it's not recently snowed/frozen because on our first date, after dinner we went to the mall and I slipped and slid up in under the car. I was mortified!!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Am I Putting off Bad Electromagnetic Vibes?

I must have a magnet in my pocket. In the last week the printer has stopped printing and NOTHING I try to do will make it start again. I've re-installed new drivers, tried plugging it in directly (we have a wireless router), blah, blah, blah -- WON'T WORK. Kevin has some luck with it by re-setting his IP address every time he prints.

THEN... to make matters worse, our TV picture is GONE, kaplut, black. Granted, we've had this television for, what 17-18 years???? Kevin bought it before we were married. It's been a GREAT television, but now it's dead. I'm too cheap (or broke or both!) to want to spend money on a television, so for now, we've brought down our 19" from the bedroom and are using it. It looks miniscule compared to the 37" we had. But, hey, it serves it's purpose.

I've gone online and looked and looked locally and I'm just not feeling the need enough to want to buy either one right now.

Pray that I don't blow up anything else anytime soon.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Letter "B"

Thanks to Janiece who got me hooked up on this little game when I should be working!!

Here are the rules…If you want to play, leave a comment on this post letting me know, and I’ll assign you a letter. You write about ten things you love that begin with your assigned letter, and post it at your place. When people comment on your list, you give them a letter, and the chain continues on and on!

My letter is "B".

My BOY!! Anyone who reads my blog knows that I'm crazy, crazy over my boy, Josh. He is one of the best things that ever happened in my life and he has changed my life in ways I would have never imagined. Thanks to him, I know what a safety is in football.

My BABY!!! And, another little person I'm crazy, crazy over is my baby Ellie!! What a blessing she is and she was most certainly worth the wait. Every day I fall more deeply in love with her.

The BIBLE!! The book that is timeless and on which I base the life I lead. God's word is such a wonderful blessing to me.

Ok... this is hard or I'm tired.

BLOGGING. This has opened my life to so many new friends and allows me to pursue a passion I thought was lost -- my love of writing. It's like scrapbooking instantly -- and with no glue dots to stick to you.

BEAR -- Our big ole' fat dog that thinks I'm the coolest thing in the world. I LOVE that big lug.

Sleep, chocolate, my husband, my extended family ... oh, see I'm off task again and none of thees fit my "B" list).

Bowling - no; bratwurst - no; brains (well, it's good to have them) - no; balloons - no; bologne - no; Bishkek -- well, a little, but not LOVE like the others; blue - no; bling -- yeah!; brown -- yeah; oooh... I got one ....

BROWNIES -- it has my favorite things, sugar and chocolate!

Back to that stream of consciousness stuff: bricks - no; banks - no; Bishkek -- a nice place to visit and all; oooh... another one . . .

BARGAINS -- I get pretty darned excited about a good bargain, which is why my favorite stores are places like Big Lots, Tuesday Morning and TJ Maxx. I'm also really fond of Goodwill and consignment stores. It's such a rush to find a great deal!!

Bags -- useful, but not really exciting; blood - nope!! not at all; birds - nah; botox - not interested; birthdays -- only if it's someone else's and I get to eat cake; bottles - got enough of that going on right now; ahh.....

BREAD - I am especially fond of garlic bread, everything bagels, buttered toast, rolls, biscuits -- oh, you know -- all kinds of BREAD!!!

Thinking again: Brad Pitt -- no, I'm more of a Brad Paisley kind of girl; Barack -- not going there; budgets - now there is a fun concept; oh, I've got a great one...

BOOKS -- I love the smell of a bookstore or library. I love the quiet one finds there. I am in LOVE with books. I could spend an entire day curled up reading a good book. Well, I can't now as there is no time, but I could in my past. I love the adventures I've gone on through books. I love the thinking that goes on when I read. I cannot bring myself to dog ear the pages of a book or to write in it. I remove the dust jackets on hardback books before reading them -- something I've noticed Josh beginning to do.

BED -- I LOVE to sleep. In fact I should be doing it now. And where do I sleep -- in the bed, of course. I'm particularly fond of very soft beds with down comforters and big fluffy pillows. In fact, that reminds me, I'm sleepy. I'm off to bed.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Energy Crisis in Krygyzstan

This is a disheartening article written by UNICEF about the current energy crisis in Kyrgyzstan and how it is affecting the most vulnerable populations. The link is here. Please continue to pray that the children from there can come home.

BISHKEK, 10 February 2009 (IRIN) -
Disadvantaged children and other vulnerably groups like elderly pensioners are bearing the brunt of the energy crisis in Kyrgyzstan, and the situation is not being helped by the poor response to a UN emergency appeal in December.

“Despite the fact that this winter in Kyrgyzstan has been mild, the most vulnerable groups… are in great distress,” Raja Berrada Msefer, deputy representative of the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in Kyrgyzstan, told IRIN.

“Thirty children’s centres need help and generators but with the funds that we have we can only help those who are in the greatest need. We can only help 10 of these centres,” said Msefer. According to Neal Walker, head of the UN Development Programme in Kyrgyzstan, the UN drew up plans to mitigate the effects of a severe winter on the most vulnerable groups, and avoid what happened in Tajikistan in 2008.

The result was a US$20 million UN appeal which said 580,000 people needed food aid and 10,000 needed non-food aid items; 336 medical facilities and 50 non-health organisations needed power generators. The homeless and streetchildren were prioritised.

Ali Buzurukov of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Almaty (Kazakhstan) told IRIN that currently about $2.2 million, or 11 percent of the requested amount, had been provided.

“This is very little… and not sufficient for the solution of problems,” Buzurukov told IRIN.

Permanent food shortages, health and the lack of economic resources were the main concerns, said Walker.

“UNICEF is working to find shelter for these children - where they can stay warm, where they will have warm blankets and food, and where they can receive all things necessary for survival,” UNICEF’s Msefer said.

Sweet Cora

Yesterday I wrote of a sweet little one who has gone home to be with Jesus after her battle with cancer.

Today, I visited her parent's blog and felt led to see some of the blogs her mother read. You cannot imagine how AMAZED I was at God's response to my questioning of Him in yesterday's blog post by reading the following on another blog -- even the song, "Mighty to Save" is the song that was CONSTANTLY running through my mind all day on Saturday -- hours before Cora passed away on Sunday. The fact that it's not a song I had ever thought of before or had even sang or heard recently gives me chill bumps.

Here is what this friend of the family wrote in her blog:

“I know beyond a doubt that God is too wise to make a mistake, and too loving to be unkind.” God did ultimately answer our prayers. Cora’s cancer is gone. It’s healed. She’s free from it. However, He did not heal her cancer by keeping her on earth with us. So now, her parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends are not only left to mourn her loss BUT also to celebrate her life.

“But my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord. As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.
As the rain and the snow come down from heaven,
and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish,
so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater.
So, it is my word that goes out from my mouth:
It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose
for which I sent it.”
Isaiah 55:8-11

According to those verses, only God has the reason why He took Cora’s earthly life from all of us. I can’t answer why Cora is no longer with us here.

I’ve been listening to some CDs of praise choruses A LOT in the last few days. These CDs contain a collection of choruses that Joel and Jess played for Cora while she was in the hospital. They were put together by Adam, our worship pastor at church. My new favorite praise song is “Mighty to Save.” Today, at the Celebration for Cora’s life, we sang, as a body, three different praise choruses. I’m told that Joel and Jess requested this music because Cora really enjoyed music. I was so very pleased that we sang this song. It’s a GREAT reminder that God is God. He can move mountains. His Son conquered the grave. He conquered the grave so that we all could be forgiven for our sins we commit.

Monday, February 9, 2009


I don't know these folks, but I read about their recent loss on another blog that I read.

Their sweet precious little girl, Cora Paige, was diagnosed with cancer just a few short weeks ago and has now gone to be with Jesus, just a few weeks shy of her first birthday. She was 23 days older than Ellie.

I have sobbed for this family. I can't imagine their pain. Please, please pray for them.

Visit their blog here.

I'm amending this blog post because I'm struggling here. I don't understand losing children like this. I sit here and ask God, "Why?" And while I know He tells us in His word that "His ways are not our ways", and I have full faith in His reasons for allowing events to occur, I can't reconcile this kind of loss, this kind of pain. My heart is physically aching for this family that I've never met. I just don't understand. *sigh*

This world is just hard. I'm ready for heaven.

More Pix of our Kyrgyz Cutie

Ellie is developing and changing so quickly it's hard to keep a finger on the pulse of who she is from day to day. Her attachment has developed quite nicely recently and she has become more wary of "strangers" and tends to cling to mama a lot more. It takes her longer to warm up to people she doesn't know, and she's just not quite as forthcoming with those smiles. It's as if she has realized she doesn't have to charm every person she meets because she is safe and can just be herself and still be enormously loved. She seems to have realized that being part of a forever family means you don't have to be "on stage" all the time. It's a sweet thing to watch the process. Thank you, Elizabeth, for reminding me how healthy this is for her. Dr. Trey confirmed what you said today as being "spot on!!".

Today was another beautiful day here in Tennessee (in the 70s!!) and after volunteering at school (while she naps in her carseat I file papers and get the weekly work ready to send home), we stopped my MeeMee's. While she had already planned a full day's activities, she took several hours to spend with us enjoying being outside and took pictures of Ellie. Our friend, Ms. Betty stopped by and we even snapped a few of her with Ellie too. Little Miss didn't turn on the charm quite so much today, but there are still a few where we captured that full out smile and laugh that transforms her face into a magical princess. It was such a nice time!!

And, I'll warn you -- I can't pare them down any more than I have; you just have to wade through them all!! Mama took 111 photos. *surprise!* Poor Ellie slept from 12:30 until almost 3:30 she was so tired from all her "modeling" work.

Exploring a leaf.
She's still "very" into clapping. Here she is starting to clap.

This one was taken toward the end of her "session" and she was just tuckered out.

This is her "new thing". When she doesn't have a pacifier around, she chews on her thumb.

"Walking" with Ms. Betty

"Talking" with Ms. Betty.

This is this new "somber" look I'm telling you about. We get this look a LOT! I'm already scared about her teenaged years if this is what we are getting now. *smile*

But, then there is this sweet little face . . . makes ups for all the "somber" looks.


This dolphin swing was Joshua's at MeeMee and DeeDee's house from when he was Ellie's age. He LOVED this swing. It appears Ellie has the same reaction!

Poor Josh doesn't realize it but he's in for it next -- as soon as the yard greens up some, he's next.