Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Monday, March 29, 2010

I'm Baaaacccckkkk ....

Many of you might have noticed my blogging absence as of late. Well, to be honest, I haven't been able to keep up with anything!! It started with consignment in February which ran through the middle of March. I hauled everything I could out of our house, trying to make room. Still don't have enough room and still have too much stuff. Will take that project on again later, I suppose.

Then came the birthday party planning and that consumed a huge hunk of time.

Basketball season finished and baseball season started.

Spring break came and a full, all out remodel of Josh's room took place. Nope, no photos of that yet, either -- soon.

Now, this week, I need to get caught back up and work (and get some SLEEP) and then I will start on finding our house again.

But, of course, this week is Easter and the kids have two days off from school. That is followed by Ellie's two-year-old check up the Monday after Easter. So... who knows??

BUT... I'm making more of an effort to take more pix and tell more stories of what's going on in our lives. I missed ya'll!!

Basketball -- Banquet??

Josh's basketball banquet was scheduled for Saturday night at 6:00. Imagine our dismay when we found out that we had a baseball scrimmage at 5:00. Since four of the basketball players are on the baseball team, it created a bit of conflict. We had great plans to play ball and leave and make the trophy presentation. Since Josh's coaches' son played on the baseball team, we were just certain we could make it. Turns out, we couldn't. Fortunately, they saved us a pizza, some candy bars and their trophies and we had our own little VIP banquet/trophy presentation.

This is the last year that Josh can play basketball without trying out for the team. He says he is going to try out for middle school basketball in May. I hope he makes it as he really likes playing basketball.

I'm not sure if they were trying to be serious or scary.

Love my dirty faced boy:

We are the only folks who get their basketball trophies while dressed in our baseball uniforms.


And all Ellie wanted -- the chocolate:

Birthday Bubbles

I'd like to say we did something fun, imaginative, family-oriented -- basically anything -- special for Ellie's actual birthday today, but we didn't. I crawled into bed with her at 4:00 this morning when she cried for me and patted the bed saying, "Mama, mama" and that was just as special as the day needed for me. Sweet time.

Then, tonight, while the boys were at baseball practice I let her destroy the house, never saying no and put a blanket in the kitchen and turned on the bubble machine. She lay in the floor and giggled and rolled in the bubbles before getting up to try to pop them. It was great fun. It's what a birthday is for -- doing something unusual that you don't normally do.

Here's the evidence.

Oh, and the orange fingers -- she likes to paint herself up with chalk. Normally it's all over her. *creative genius, she is*

Happy 2nd Birthday, Ellie!!

Today is our sweet girl's second birthday. Wow. Two. Already. How?

Somewhere on the other side of the world, over 7000 miles away, I wonder if her birth mom is wondering about her. I so hope somehow she knows she is loved and so very, very happy.

Yesterday, we had the best birthday party. It's the party I would have had when she was one -- except that she was too newly home and it would have overwhelmed her. Yesterday it just fascinated her. It was a perfect, fun, fun day!!

I remember wondering for months after we came home if there would come a day that I would no longer think about her being adopted every day -- if she would just seem SO inherently mine that I would not even think about how she came into our family. Honestly, I couldn't imagine it. Now, it is so. Honestly, I sometimes think she is so much mine that she did grow in my tummy and not someone else's. Now, don't think I'm crazy, because I know differently, but that's just how much connection and love I feel for this wee one -- even as she is currently destroying my house. There is not one clean square inch anywhere. If you haven't been invited over or were met at the door recently, don't feel offended. It will likely be this way another year or two. And, today, I wouldn't have it any other way.

The rest of the post is very photo intense. There were three people taking photos (thank goodness!) so we got some really cute pictures of the day. I'll let the pictures narrate our day.

Nicole made Ellie this sweet pillow case dress. I had found the pantaloons at consignment. She was SO CUTE in her Birthday Outfit.

We took some cupcakes to her Sunday School class for them to enjoy, and then after Sunday school, we left early to go decorate the fellowship hall for her party. We dropped Ellie at her grandparent's house so we could get it done and she would be surprised. When she got there, MeeMee gave her a Dora purse she had made for her. She called it her "backpack".

DeeDee took her outside to see the fish.

She sat in my former (and Josh's too) rocking chair and watched TV for a while.

While she was doing this, we were decorating for her party.

The cake arrived and it literally took my breath away. It was EXACTLY what I envisioned it would be. Kenya did a WONDERFUL job and it tasted "fantastico" as well.

MeeMee and DeeDee arrived with the party Princess who was just amazed at it all and promptly starting playing.

I wanted a picture of Ellie with her "Nona" but somehow we didn't get one. Here is "Nona" by herself.

We had planned an adventure for all the kids, so we had "maps" leading them through a series of events they had to go through to find the candles that Swiper had swiped and hid somewhere. First they had to go through the BUBBLE FORREST. This was one o the two biggest hits of the day. ALL the kids loved the bubbles. Thank goodness for three bubble machines because they kept them busy!

After the Bubble Forrest, we went to the Beanbag toss. It was hard waiting turns for all the kids to get a beanbag thrown into the hole and sesveral moved on to the kayak before we finished.

The funny thing about the kayak was that it was not ours. When we got to the fellowship hall it was just THERE. The church had a fish fry the night before and I suppose it was left there from that. It was one of the best things at the party. Since Dora is such an explorer, we just KNEW she would have been kayaking on one of her adventures and we just added it right on in. We got great pictures of all the kids in the kayak.

After the kayak, it was through the tunnel to get to the treasure chest. After finding the treasure chest, the kids had to yell at Swiper [Swiper NO SWIPING] to keep him from taking the treasure. Kevin was a great Swiper. *smile* Then we took the treasure chest to the birthday girl who found her candles and we all put them into the cake.

Ellie LOVED her cake and promptly took the characters off the cake and started licking the icing off them. We managed to get her to blow out her candles. I love the photo of her trying to blow them out.

We had a Mexican "fiesta" menu that everyone seemed to enjoy as there were no leftovers (yay!!).

After cake, we moved on to presents. It was like a shark feeding frenzy with all the kids helping Ellie open presents. I finally gave up trying to figure who gave her what and keep it together and just let them have a free for all. She got so many cute Dora things and lots of other things too. She is such a blessed little one to have so many friends and people who love her.

Check out Caleb trying to find Ellie under the umbrella!!

This is one of my favorites of Ellie and her BFF Addie. Aren't they sweet?

I think it's really cool, too, that two of the kiddos who were at the same orphanage as she was were able to be there. How wonderful that they will always share that common bond. Because she just got a new brother, Ellie's friend "Hotdog" couldn't be there. We hope to see her soon!!

We will also be making a donation from the money we received in her honor for the disabled men's home in Kyrgyzstan to help offset the costs of cups, bowls and cutlery for the men who live there. Thank you to everyone who contributed to that.

And thanks, especially to my girlfriends who jumped right in and made sure everything ran like a dream, who put things together and cleaned up. And to Stoney who did (and brought) WAY more than expected. To all who loaned things to us, brought presents, came to celebrate, took pictures, baby sat ... whatever you did -- THANK YOU from the bottoms of our hearts for making Ellie's birthday so special.

And, after it was all over, Josh and Ellie came home, looked at her presents again and then relaxed on her new Dora couch under her Dora blanket, eating candy. Does it get better??