Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Full Steam Ahead




WOW!  I can't believe it is May!  The last couple of months have been a blur and here we are with the end of the school year right around the corner with a summer jammed packed with activities. It should be a fun summer.  Frank has booked us a hotel for Memorial Weekend in Orange Beach, Florida.  I am excited!  Orange Beach is one of my favorites.  The sand is like baby powder.  This past weekend was crazy.  Harris, his school mates, and Frank (as their chaperon) went to Lockheed Martin where they participated in a state competition called Code Quest. Code Quest is a computer programming competition consisting of 15-20 questions created by Lockheed Martin engineers and computer programmers.  Teams of two and three students work together for 2.5 hours to answer the questions and complete the Quest. Harris and his team didn't win, but the experience is invaluable. Winston had a soccer game.  They won 3-0 and the rest went to German school.  I feel like we went straight from winter to spring as it has been so hot here the last few days.  Thankfully, the pool is open now.  The girls were so excited to go swimming before swim team practice.  Watching the girls warm up for practice was too cute.  Neither girl can do a jumping jack to save their live, but it is cute watching them try.  Yesterday I was craving something a little sweet. I decided to give creme puffs a try.  It turns out that they are super easy.  I am now of the opinion every girl should know how to make these given how easy they are to make.  Yummy! How was your weekend?  Did you do anything fun?


Creme Puffs

Preheat Oven to 400 degrees

in a sauce pan bring to a boil 1/2 stick of butter with 1 cup of water than add 1 teaspoon of sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Add 1 1/4 cup of flour cook until the flour forms a ball and pulls away from the pan.  let cool and add one egg at a  time then add the 1 egg white whipped.  Than with either a pastry bag or two spoons form circles and with your finger and a touch of water pat down any dough that may be sticking up so that the diugh doesn't burn. You bake first for 15 minutes at 400 degrees and then reduce the heat to 325 degree for 20 minutes. Alow to cool before filling with whip creme and drizzle with chocolate.  Super Yummy! I am now of the belief every girl should have this recipe in their back pocket.





Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Growing up

We moved to Atlanta 13 years ago and two years after we moved here our good friends the Ceccagnoli's moved here from France.  Simona's husband works with my husband.  We have shared many wonderful moments together such as births, baptisms, birthdays, vacations, and holidays.  You get the idea.  This past weekend we had the opportunity to attend the confirmation of their oldest son. What a wonderful experience to be able to celebrate such a wonderful moment with their family.  I cried as their son and his grandfather walked down the aisle.  Afterwards, we celebrated the event with a wonderful meal in their garden.  The food was amazing, but with  Italian cooks I can't imagine having a bad meal.  Soon our son's will be graduating.  First with my son and then the year after their son.  They are becoming such fine men.  Just thinking about it makes me a little teary-eyed.  Our babies are growing up.















'

Monday, April 25, 2016

The W family

This weekend was full of a fun activities beginning on Friday the girls had their dance lessons and we finished the night off with pizza, Saturday the girls and Roman went to German school while Frank, Ivy and I went to a confirmation for our friends son (more on that later), and then from their I did this photo shoot for the W family.  This little boy was so photogenic and so funny.  At four he is super smart too as he is already reading.  He read all the signs in the park to me as we walk from one spot to another.  He and his family were such a joy to shoot.   We finished the weekend off with church and a BBQ out on our deck.












Wednesday, April 20, 2016

1 Month

It hasn't been exactly one month, but I am sometimes impatient and I couldn't wait to share this photo of Ivy with all of you.  Each day with this little one is a new adventure as we watch her learn, explore, and grow.  Her language is really exploding.  When she came to us she could only say mama and papa which are the Chinese words for mommy and daddy.  She can now say bye bye, what, more, and almost say dog.  She tries really hard and can usually at least get the beginning sound of the word.  She has been slower in her processes of loving us and letting us love her, but that is OK because it will come.  She will now let Frank pick her up, feed her and will give him a kiss (ching ching).  She took to Roman off the bat and is warming up to her other siblings.  She is a fantastic sleeper (thank-goodness)!  She loves water and is curious about everything.  She knows what she wants and what she doesn't want and is a super picky eater.  She is at least trying new things even if she spits them out moments later.  Tomorrow, she has her first doctor appointment.  I am sure she won't be on the American growth charts or at the very bottom of that chart because though she is two she wears clothes for a 1 year old baby. As you can tell, we adore her!  She is the perfect final addition to our family.



Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Newest Citizen

Well my photos of my time in China have come to an end.  I am so grateful for the blessing God has entrusted us with and that all went well in China.  I am grateful to my husband and mother who took care of our children while I was in China and I am grateful for my friend Buffi who could come and join me the second week of our trip. I couldn't have done it without all the prayers and help from all our friends. I am so grateful for all the wonderful families I met along this journey.  I can't wait to watch their children grow up.  Seriously such a phenomenal group of people.  As I mentioned before, you can't enter the United States with your adopted child, without having to first obtain an American visa.  Since our group was so large they divided us into two groups.  I was in the first group.  Poor Elizabeth whose daughter Rickie was sick almost missed her appointment because the hospital wouldn't release her medical report because the baby was sick.  The guide worked her magic and was eventually able to get the report. They then ran over to the consulate just in time to submit their paperwork.  You don't get the visa right away as it takes a day to process this is why we couldn't leave till Friday.  I can't wait to take the girls back to China when they are older.






Sunday, April 17, 2016

Cloud Mountain

Years ago I had seen on the travel channel a piece on Cloud Mountain located in Guangzhou, China and had wanted to go there when we adopted Avery, but somehow we didn't get to go.  Maybe the fact that it was winter and it was much colder than it was this past week; however, we never went.  So while everyone went pearl shopping Buffi and I headed to Cloud Mountain.  We took the cable cars up and walked down.  The weather was perfect though a little cloudy.  At the top of the mountain you really get a great view of the city and can see how big it is. Guangzhou is a city of 19 million people. We wasted our time going to the bird sanctuary.  Totally not stroller friendly and when you don't have a baby carrier holding a 17 pound baby while walking up and down stairs was no picnic.  On top of that their weren't many birds to see mostly just a few peacocks.  After the bird sanctuary, the sky started getting grey and so we decided to walk down.  On the way down we passed by a an old temple the flowers were all a bloom.  The air was so fragrant and it was totally fun people watching.  We both got a kick out of how warm Chinese people dress.  They dress as if there is a snow storm outside even when it is 85 degrees and humid.  A ton of girls had these flower crowns on their heads.  I wish I had bought a few for the girls, but I didn't see anyone selling them when we got to the bottom.  We did buy a a few handmade items from street vendors and then walked through the local market.  Buffi got dupped by her vendor who came chasing after us basically telling us that we gave her a false 50 yuan bill.  We just swapped it out for another bill because we were afraid she was going to call the cops and neither one of us had our passports with us.  I guess it is a pretty common trick. Wish the police had been close by because she probably wouldn't have tried to trick us.  We also took a peak at the botanical garden before hopping into the taxi back to the hotel.