Saturday, December 29, 2007

Before the New Year is Here...

I thought I would try to post some pictures from our Christmas day. We usually wake in the morning and go through the Santa gifts, go to my parents for breakfast(40 minutes away) and then go to Joe's parents the rest of the day(also 40 minutes away). The morning ones are not completely in order. The kids opened their stockings first and then did presents. There was a large pile of family gifts:) JiaLi in the first picture is showing her girly legos and in the second is showing her ladybug watch. Below, yes she got a monkey webkin--I'm not a big fan of having tons of webkins but we thought one would be o.k. She has been asking and asking to go on the computer--it will be interesting when I do let her try;) Well, Santa broke down and got found a coffee maker for Ms. JiaLi. She is very proud of it and has been making us breakfast every day, a few times a day:) Pepee and Papa were the popular ones Christmas day. Pepee is my Dad and Papa is Joe's Dad. Papa is seen below helping JiaLi feed her new tiger that she received from her Aunt. Here is the group shot of all the kids on Joe's side of the family. Right now there are 11 but we are looking forward to more:) Finally, here is our attempt at a group shot while at my Mom's. I love taking pictures at my Mom's house because it is so bright and I don't have to worry so much about the lighting. Happy New Year everyone--I know this is early but I want to say it in case I don't post. Connie, thanks for what you are doing to the header:) I loved it this morning with the polka dot background and I just looked and I love it even more:) Thank You!!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Christmas Eve

We started a tradition a few years ago with the kids. The kids draw each other's names and then whichever name they get, they buy that person a gift. We always go shopping all at once. Half go with Mommy and half go with Daddy depending on which names were drawn and we play hide-+-seek while we shop to avoid the others from seeing. It's so much fun. At home, Mommy helps each of the kids wrap the gifts they bought and then we place them under the tree and Christmas Eve, they open them. This year was so fun--JiaLi knew who everyone had--Mommy usually writes it down to avoid forgetting who has who but JiaLi had it memorized. It was great! JiaLi related gifts were JiaLi had to buy for Danny and Joseph had to buy for JiaLi. The opening was great because JiaLi was excited for everyone's gifts. At the end, I jokingly said, let's all give hugs to those who got us the gift---And they did:) JiaLi was just a little excited;) Our little Joseph was very stressed because we didn't put the cookies out for Santa right away. Mommy began baking cookies for Christmas day at 9 p.m. and had promised to leave some out for Santa. While baking, Joseph came down saying he had a great idea that we could leave a note for Santa so that he would know to eat the cookies and drink the milk. He came down a second time(15 minutes later) all upset because the note wasn't there yet and to say he had another great idea that we could leave 9 carrots for the reindeer. I told him as soon as I was done I would prepare everything. He was still very distressed so I told him to grab a piece of paper and write the note himself. Here is what he wrote. I would have taken a picture of the snack but I thought his note was so sweet. Keep in mind, he doesn't quite get the difference between "and" and "or" just yet--otherwise I'm sure that "or" would read "and". More to come from our Christmas Day:)

Sunday, December 23, 2007

My Sister's

Yesterday was our day to have a Christmas gathering with my sister. In years past, we have had our get togethers in the evening. This year because my sister had activities with her husband's side each evening and because I was too disorganized to have it on an earlier weekend, we decided to have a brunch. We did it at my sister's and we have decided this may be the new thing--it was so relaxing and we weren't worrying about rushing to get the kids to bed:) The kids get spoiled! My sister goes crazy on the kids and I always feel bad(we have 5, she has 2). JiaLi was spoiled with Dora Color Wonder and Dora PlayDoh and a gigantic Dora coloring book. I keep joking that Santa does not need to come to our house because the kids get enough from their Grandparents and aunts and uncles;) These honestly are typical of the group pictures we try to get of the kids. We just have to laugh! I was happy with the one below of JiaLi with her cousin Rachael who is 2. The two girls are so cute together. My battery was low and was picking up the slightest movement with a blur--hopefully I'll fix the settings before Christmas day. The other night little Joseph was upset because he had not sent a letter to Santa yet and he didn't get to see him. I took down a list of 4 items from each of the kids and said I would make sure Santa received it. I always explain that Santa knows how Mommy and Daddy feel and that not everything on the list will be received. Thought I would share JiaLi's list: Girl Legos, a Kitchen, a watch(she heard the other kids say watch) and a coffee maker with cups:)(Yes, Mommy and Daddy have a very bad coffee habit.) I love this picture--Daddy was away the last few weeks(separate trips). Most of his trips are 1-2 day things which is not bad. When he goes away for longer, he started this thing(which I think is crazy but what can I do) where he likes to buy the kids something. On this trip, Daddy got JiaLi a Panda necklace and here she is showing it off. I have to say though, it is the best necklace ever. It is the first one that she does not get annoyed with and want to take off. She wears it all day! If I don't post again--Merry Christmas to everyone!!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

You Asked for It...Well, One of You Did...

O.k. not the best picture but it's our tree:) Last year we went for the first time to cut down our tree and we had so much fun, we said we would make it a tradition. Well, we broke our tradition the first year out--too many things happening. Each year when we choose trees, we rotate kids. Last year Edward chose and this year it was JiaLi's turn. She chose the tree based on the sticky strip at the top. She found a lovely white strip with orange polka dots and said "I like that one." It really was fun to go through taking pictures of the ornaments--believe it or not, I did not take all the ornaments;) The kid were hilarious trying to find their own. The first two are pretty obvious but are ornaments from our first Christmas. Can't believe it!! The two below are very special to Joe and I. The Kneeling Santa, we received from my Memee a few years ago. She adored Christmas. She died one year ago and I love to have this to think of her. (we also have the book) The star ornament is actually an ornament that we have a few of on our tree. This ornament was made by Joe's Gram. She died in June of 2006. She was so handy with tasks like knitting, cross-stitch and when things got more difficult, she continued to make things like these ornaments and we just love them. I am very superstitious when it comes to buying kid things. I just don't like to buy things too prematurely. Even when I was pregnant, I was scared to buy anything. Yes, I had a baby shower. Yes I was nervous. No baby showers for the others except JiaLi and luckily it happened the day Joe got JiaLi. I unfortunately also was the same way about adoption ornaments. I did not want to buy anything related until our child was home. Even now with our current adoption, we have had varying things happen and varying opinions brought to us and I get nervous. People don't understand why we want more--we just can't help it!!! That being said, after Danny was born, I was thrilled to buy this mix of Sesame Street ornaments. We have lost some through the years but they are still a favorite:) The snowman ornament below is one we received from Joe's sister one year, I think we have 4(size of our family at the time.) She was concerned about money and made these out of light bulbs. We keep saying we would love for her to do this every year! Next are some Danny ornaments. He did not attend preschool so missed the experience of making ornaments galore:( Funny thing is, he is one of our most creative:) And now some ornaments by Miss Jenise... Some by Joseph... Here is Edward's first ornament from his Godmother. Some by Edward... Each year a new child is born into our group of friends good friends of ours who attend the Big E each year have one made for each child. Each ornament was made the year they were born(for the most part). JiaLi's was made after she was home--they usually go in September and we received our referral in September. And some ornaments from China. Sorry about the teapot. I just noticed how blurry it is--this is what happens when I have the kids try to find their ornaments;) Laura, Joe thinks I'm crazy for taking pictures of all these ornaments:) I told him I was doing it for you;)

Monday, December 17, 2007

Decorating the Christmas Tree

Daddy trying to place our angel at the top of the tree. We chose our tree two weekends ago and finally decorated it on Friday evening. It was the first time since last weekend that everyone was home:) We always decorate the tree all together. I remember saying last year that it was so great because JiaLi was getting it but this year was even better!! We had Christmas music on as we were decorating and JiaLi was singing along with the songs. Not just the basic words but more specific words that caught us off guard. We could not help but smile. Yes the cookie monster was her favorite ornament--JiaLi had her one section of tree where she placed all the ornaments:) Joseph, our more serious one making sure the ornament looks o.k. Trying to get a group shot--Edward is in the process of placing his antlers on that he received after visiting Santa. I finally brought JiaLi and Edward to visit Santa--JiaLi actually got on his lap but no smiles. I'll post soon:)