Saturday, May 16, 2009

Tis the season for recitals

We've entered the recital season. You know, that time of year where you get the kids all dressed in full costume and makeup the day BEFORE the recital so they can practice the dance twice. You then get to wait around for a couple of hours so the OTHER child can practice her dance two times. You go home and the NEXT day you go through the same routine with the costume and make-up but this time you get to sit for an hour and watch many small children dance. The best part is when YOUR child is on stage and your heart just bursts because you know they are the cutest and the best dancer of the evening!

This year our dance company will hold 5 shows; 2 little kid shows and 3 for the older kids. Sarah, because she is a member of the company gets to dance in ALL five!!! I love the older kids shows. That's when you see some really great dancing!

Analiese, of course, had a fantastic time being on stage. She was animated and knew the dance inside and out! The women sitting in front of me commented about the "little chinese girl" and how much fun she seemed to be having! I so wanted to say, "That's MY daughter" but didn't want to get caught eavesdropping!

Sarah has grown tremendously as a performer and Analiese just loves to perform. How wonderful that both girls have found a place in the arts!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Field Trip Fun

Will the bus leave already???

Yes, the Q and U couple still together after ALL of these years!

Third base line

The eternal flame

Fire Engine

Outside the boyhood home of MLK


I chaperoned Sarah's final field trip of elementary school today. We had so much fun! This is the first (yes, first!) field trip I've been on with any of my kids. I know, it is hard to believe. I get to be with the every day events and never (OK, hardly ever) miss out on a classroom event, an assembly or an important classroom presentation. Dave, on the other hand, misses out on many of those events. So, field trips are saved for him.

Except for today. Today was the BIG fifth grade trip. You know, the one you wait for years to go on. The one with the charter bus that has the DVD player and the bathroom (only in case of emergencies, of course!). The one that tells everyone, "We're done with elementary school, middle school here we come!"

This was a trip I didn't want to miss. This is the beginning of me saying goodbye to the little girl I've taken to school with me for the past SIX years. Goodbye to looking in the classroom window, just for a peek. So long to stopping in the cafeteria for a hug and to getting an unexpected visit when she comes to the media center to check out a book. This trip was a needed step in accepting that my angel, my first born, my sweet Sarah is growing up and moving on.

So, today we got on that charter bus and headed to Atlanta. Our first stop was Turner Field. Once there we were treated to a tour. It was so exciting to see the places that most people (including us) only see through movies. When we got to the locker room, we found out that the room is actually a 20,000 foot facility that housed not only the "locker room" but also a gym, a medical faciilty and a POOL!!!

After our time at Turner Field we went to the Varsity for lunch. For those of you who have never heard of, or have never been to, the Varsity is an Atlanta institution! With the yells of, "What d'ya have?" to the "One naked dog and fries" and of course the ever popular, orange creme drink, the kids excitement grew!

After lunch we were went to visit the Martin Luther King exhibits. We had about an hour and a half to independently tour the visitor center, the Ebeneezer Baptist Church, his childhood home, the fire-station and anything else that we wanted to do.

Believe it or not, during our tour of MLK's boyhood home, the local NBC station was filming a segment on the run-down house next door that was going to get a face lift compliments of President Obama's stimulus money! So, to end a wonderful day, our family watched US on the evening news!

To say that today was bittersweet would be an understatement. It was very obvious that Sarah so enjoyed me being a chaperone, even before she hugged, kissed and thanked me for being there. It was evident in the hand-holding and how close she stayed next to me.

Our mother-daughter relationship is headed for a change, we both see it and I'm not sure that either of us are excited for it to happen. But together we'll face it and make the most of whatever comes our way!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

Breakfast in bed!

What a great shirt...Mom is the best!

A great day for a picnic!

Taking a break.

Bringing our candles to the Virgin Mary

Our candles for the Moms who loved us first.

Please bless our birth Moms!

What a wonderful day I've had! I think this has been one of the best Mother's Day's I've ever had! The kids all made me a gifts. Of course there were the school gifts--flower pots and seeds--but this year Michael's offered a week of gift making for Mom. Dave took Analiese to make me a shirt (it really is so cute!) and the others each made me a necklace. I love, love, love the homemade gifts!!!

Not to say I don't appreciate the store bought ones. The boys got me new measuring cups and spoons. The ones I had I actually bought at a dollar sale in 1983! I can't wait to use the new ones! Then Dave got me a wonderful digital picture frame. I just cannot wait to upload some photos--what a great gift!

We continued with our tradition of lighting candles for the kids' chinese birth mother. This year, Sarah said she felt left out and wanted to light a candle and say a prayer for me. I hated to exclude her so I was very blessed to have a candle lit for me this year. I asked the question of the kids, "why are we lighting these candles and praying?"

Grace immediately answered, "It's for our birth mothers."

I am so glad she understood what our tradition meant! This was the first year we said an actual prayer as well as making a wish for the mothers. We all stood together and recited the Hail Mary and then I told the children to make a wish for their birth moms. Analiese was very sedate after we did the ceremony. All day today she has been very loving. She has hugged and kissed me and then she'd whisper, "forever, right Mommy?"

I am so very blessed. I asked God to allow me to be a Mom and he sent me 4 wonderful children. Being given these children has not been without responsibility. I so hope, and pray every day, that I am fulfilling his wishes.

For today, I celebrate my luck in being allowed to parent these children. I love them dearly.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Happy 8th Birthday Gracie!

Wonder who this is from???

A new bathing suit!

A skin for my DS.

Yeah, another Webkinz!

Happy Birthday to you....

We love you!

Make a wish!

My sweet, sweet Gracie turned 8 years old yesterday! I just cannot believe she is that old. It seems just like yesterday that she, at 28 months old, walked into our lives. Grace has brought such joy and sunshine to our lives. She is such a gentle and caring little girl. Gracie loves gymnastics, tap dancing and sleep-overs with her friends!

As a matter-of-fact, she spent her birthday night sleeping over at a friends house. She and Katie had been planning a night together for weeks. For one reason or another it didn't happen and yesterday was PERFECT! I was so surprised when Grace said the sleepover was on her birthday. My first reaction was to say to say no and have her stay at home. But, on second thought, I knew we could celebrate any night and Gracie really, really (REALLY!) wanted to go. So, of course, I said yes not just because Grace's been so gracious with accepting no party so we could save money to go to Disney but also because I just LOVE her to bits!

I'm so glad I did because she had a wonderful time. She came home in the morning and told me she had Pepsi to drink for breakfast, with scrambled eggs and fruit. Grace also told me that her friend's Dad went out to Walmart at midnight to get fruit because he remembered how much Grace liked it. How sweet is that?

So, when Gracie came home we opened her gifts (which she loved) and then had an ice-cream cake for dessert. It's been wonderful watching her enjoy the attention. She so deserves every second!

Happy 8th birthday Gracie, we love you!