Thursday, April 28, 2011

Still Catching Up & Moving forward

Emily graduated in June.  Onto July, well July was a horrible month!!  I lost my best friend, my Mom.  What a sad time for me and our family.  It was very hard and some days, it still is. But we aren't going to dwell on sad things, this has a happy ending, I will get to that soon.  For now I wanted to share some fun & interesting things about Mom.  She loved Asia and everything about it, she had Chinese things all around her home, pictures, stickers, plaques, etc.  When cleaning out the spare bedroom, we found a suitcase under the bed.  When we opened it, it was full, and I mean, FULL of things she purchased when she went to China for Emily's adoption.  Chopsticks, tea sets, paper cut outs, fans, chops, paintings, if you saw it in China, a sampling of it was in this suitcase.  I honestly thought she (previously) gave it all away as gifts.  Boy, was I wrong.  My sister and I gave Christmas gifts to family members from Mom even though she wasn't with us.  We got a lot of smiles and tears in return.  It was a nice feeling!   Mom also liked to collect things.  I gave away over 500 cook books, 400 of them went to the local culinary college, and they were so happy to have them for the students and teachers. They sent me a letter of appreciation, and I cried ALOT!   I still have a few Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese cookbooks to find homes for.....anyone interested??   I'm still trying to find homes for some Cabbage Patch dolls she collected too.  I will have to add a few pictures of those too.  Some of them are still in boxes, some are not, but well taken care of.  Beanie Babies, she collected those too.  Alot of the Beanie Babies, the smaller ones, I gave to the Children's Hospital in Philadelphia.  Emily was there are a brief stay after arrival home and they are AWESOME! At her last follow up appointment, I asked about finding a home for them there.  They gladly accepted them so they will help share some of Mom's love too.  Being in charge of her "estate" has this title of "Executrix" (personally it sounds like a porn star's name) but basically you get to make decisions about all things important to her.  What a tough job!!!  And without too many details, not everyone will be happy with your decisions.  But Mom trusted me with things and I hope I have made her proud.

July also brought another worry for a Mom.....Adam passed his drivers test and got his license!!
Mom got a hair appointment to get more highlights added to hide the grey!! And the higher insurance bill!!  I know it's a big car, but we felt safer that way.  He thinks he's riding in style and that is fine with me.
August - we were able to sneak away for a few days to Williamsburg VA.  We are fans of roller coasters so Busch Gardens was a must!  We also went to Water Country and had a blast!
I call this the "Hollywood" shot, everyone's wearing shades 
Met another family with a daughter from China, so the mom's chatted about their agencies and experiences while all the kids went down the slides, even the biggest kids - the Dads!  The weather was perfect and it was a much needed break!!   August also brought us some wonderful news regarding our adoption from Taiwan - we are NUMBER THREE on the wait list!!!   Yes, #3!  I couldn't beleive it and I was so excited I actually picked up the phone and called Mom's house.  When I realized what I did, I just smiled and figured she already knew - she was moving this along from Heaven!!!  Thanks Mom!!

The fall months brought us back to school, with two kids now in high school, a freshman and a senior!  I felt pretty old.  But then we had to bring all of our dossier paperwork current so I had homework too.  Fingerprint renewal and home study updates - That is all ready to go.

November came and we were NEXT!  Oh. My. Goodness.  Next.  Wow, we made it.  We are there, finally.  Oh no!  Now I'm not ready to be at this point, here comes the panic!  I still have so much to do for Mom's things and the holidays were coming up fast!! But keeping busy got us through it.  Our holidays were hard with out Mom and we still hosted family dinner so I made our traditional  10+ pounds of mashed potatoes, 20+ pounds of turkey and loads of veggies for dinner.  Memories are wonderful and are great conversations when you miss someone so much!    Back to adoption.....If there was such a thing as being addicited to your email, that was me!  I think I was checking our email about once every hour, waiting, hoping for that special gift of a referral.  What I did receive was a new computer as a gift for New Years!  No, I didn't blow it up checking email, but at first I wondered if I did go over board and that's what happened.  Turns out it crashed, bad!  I lost everything!!  5 years of pictures, documents, home work projects, mom's copies of documents, adoption documents, everything!  Luckily I had some pictures on my computer at work, and I am able to share them here.   Ta Da & Happy Birthday, Happy NY's, Valentine's Day, happy every holiday to me!  We purchased a new computer.  A friend who is handy with computers was able to retrive about half of the pictures on the old computer, but nothing else.  I backed up the important docs on stick drives, but never did the pictures.  Please don't ask me why, I don't have an answer but was upset about it for weeks.  I have learned from my mistake and as soon as I put new pictures on the computer I copy them on the stick drive.  I have two drives just for pictures and another one for documents. I haven't learned all the tricks on the new computer, but I'm trying and Adam's friend who loves Apple products is my teacher.  It figures I have to turn to a teenager for help for electronics and technology.
Trying out the built in web cam

January also brought the first birthday of my great nephew, Colin.  I hosted (my niece's) his baby shower surrendering my dining room table to little ducks and everything blue.  He has a cute smile!

The above picture is from November and the other one is ready to have his first birthday cupcake!!!    He's such a love!!

January was also the freshman/sophomore HOP, similar to Jr. Sr. Prom....that is coming soon!  Emily looked way, WAY grown up (sigh, again) and of course, had to have the perfect well as each girl did.  We met at a friends house, hired a limo bus (cheaper that way), and were able to get some great pictures.  Everyone met back here afterward for snacks and catching up.  They had a great time!!  But did you notice the girl to guy ratio is a bit off here ???  The dads noticed that of course!!

I call this his Movie Star look
A few weeks later Adam was inducted to the National Honor Society and made mom and dad extremely proud!!!!  He has worked so hard for this and earned it all.  He looks soooo handsome!!!   

January also brought us a lot of snow and an even stronger addiction to checking email!!   I diagnosed myself as having Email OCD  Yes, I am addicted!!!!  Just waiting for any news from our agency and or our social worker.........

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Catching up, again!

Yes, we are still here.  We have had many, many, things happen in our house, both good and bad.  More good than bad.  Thank Heaven!  I have so much I'd like to say, update on, and just vent about.    Where to start is a good question.  I guess some the happenings were before Mom passed away and I will try my best to bring our blog current.   It will most likely be in a few posts.   Several posts from me?  That will be a shocker!!   :)      For those that have reached out to me privately, THANK YOU SOOO MUCH for your support and boat loads of kindness!!!!!   If you have peeked at our blog, thanks for hanging in there!   I have stopped by several blogs and honestly have found some comfort in reading them and as always have loved seeing pictures.  I usually read them from work (via Google reader) but it doesn't let me post a comment.  According to my daughter, that is a "stalker like" thing to do.  Not my intention, I promise!!!   Hopefully I haven't offended anyone. 

My last picture was from (gasp!) Christmas 2009!  Yes, 2009 so let's get started with 2010.......Snow - we had lots of snow we put it to good use.    Don't you just love Adam's 'snow attire'?  He didn't want to wear the snow pants I found, they made him sweat.  Boys!  Em was just tired, and the dog, well I have no idea what he was thinking....... Chris is hiding behind our snow man, he wasn't picture happy that day.

After our spring thaw, the school events kept us very busy......Mini Model Congress, 8th grade dinner cruise, prom, dance recital, and the well earned graduation.  

 Emily's 8th grade Honors History Class had to write a Bill and move it through Congress.  She wanted to have all children before the age of two years old fingerprinted for ID purposes and to help aid in finding misplaced children.  Both Honors classes went to our State Capital, competing against other schools, just as if it was a real, true life Bill.  Emily's Bill passed and become law by unanimous vote. (not legally of course, this is just an exercise)
They grow up FAST!
 The eighth graders were permitted to go on a Dinner Cruise.  And it's all about the dress........I was afraid to let her leave the driveway that afternoon!  She was absolutely beautiful!!! She looked like she was about 18 yo. Cherish each day Mom and Dad, every memory, even every little thing like gum forgotten in the pockets of her jeans.  When you reach days and events like this, you forget all the other things.  She had a wonderful time and I wish I could post all of her pictures.

Adam's Jr-Sr Prom was two weeks after Emily's Cruise, so we were busy as usual.  I wish I still had the rest of the pictures, but that's another story for later.  He looked soooooo grown up - yep, he actually shaved his little mustache off too.  His date was a lot of fun, and her dress was this interesting color, not sure what you would call it, but it looked good on her.  I think they looked stunning together!!!
They don't look like Juniors in High School do they??
Dance recital was up next a few weeks after prom.........more fancy clothes!

This was dress rehearsal and they did very well.  The show was sold out the first night and almost full house the second day too.  That's alot of happy parents and grandparents!!!
A few weeks after dance, we moved on to 8th grade graduation.....this was pretty hard on me.  She, so far, is my baby and it seemed like she was growing up soooo fast, especially over the past several months.  Were did the time go????  It felt like I was just yesterday putting her on the bus for school, and lately she only wants to buy these really, (I'm not giving in on this one) REALLY high heel shoes.  Parents, enjoy it all!!!  When my mom told me to soak up every little thing, she wasn't kidding!!!  

Yes, she made it!!!!  Yep, that's Emily under all her crazy hair that day!

Well I think this post is long enough.........I will try to update more in the next couple of days.  
Thanks for reading this far!  :)