Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Rambling about Santa, Christmas Morning & Le's sassy new bob!

Before I get started, I wanted to respond to Leigh's (Hi Leigh) question about sponge rollers :o) Yes, sponge rollers work GREAT on Sophie Le's hair. Like, REALLY GREAT! If I don't wash her hair, the BEAUTIFUL curls will last for at least a week. (Not that I would EVER go that long between baths!) Hillary Asthon's hair doesn't curl very well. Her hair looks cute when she first gets up, but all of the curl is pretty much gone by night one. My girls really enjoy getting their hair curled. They play with the curlers while I curl their hair. I think a candy bar would work great too :o) Btw, I give the girls a bath and curl their hair while it is still wet and they sleep in the curlers.

So, back to Christmas :o)

This is the first year we really mentioned Santa much. I go back and forth with the whole Santa thing. For the last few years, Hillary Ashton has asked A LOT of questions about Santa. Honestly, I usually just try to blow her off :o) I know that the girls know that we celebrate Jesus' birthday at Christmas and the whole Santa thing is just a bonus. So I am not worried about them getting caught up in the Santa aspect and forgetting about the real reason we celebrate. I don't like "lying" to Hillary Ashton about Santa (Sophie Le has NO interest in Santa so no problem there!). Hillary Ashton is at such a critical age right now (5 1/2). She is asking questions about being saved, heaven, hell, Jesus, etc. My greatest fear is that if/when she finds out Santa (in the sense of delivering presents and being alive now) isn't real, she will question whether Jesus is real. Why believe mommy on this one since she "lied" about Santa...ya know? I answer her questions about Santa honestly according to the real person Saint Nicolas, but the whole bit about delivering presents and making toys at the North Pole always leaves me in a tight spot. When she asks specific questions about the logistics of Santa Claus, I usually just ask her what she thinks or tell her that we can look it up online :o) So all of this to say, we decided to make a bigger deal about Santa coming this year that we have in years past. This is the first year we have left cookies and the first year new presents were left by Santa. We really want them to have magical childhood memories :o) I am happy to report that they LOVED the traditions!

We spent Christmas morning and afternoon with my side of the family. We are so blessed to have family that will travel to our home for Christmas :o) It was nice to have the four kiddos at our home for Christmas morning. After we had lunch and packed our bags, we headed to Northeast Arkansas to celebrate with DH's family. Our Internet was down Christmas Day so we weren't able to check on the road conditions before we left. We thought SURELY the roads will be fine...it hadn't rained in two days...WRONG! Several highways were still closed so our drive was much longer than usual :o( This whole road closing thing is new to me...does this happen often? I just don't remember having this problem before.

Anyways, here are the pics from Christmas Day.

Hillary Ashton & Daddy reading the "thank you" note from Santa Claus :o)
DSC03220
Hillary Ashton was (and STILL is) beyond thrilled with the make-up kit and Barbie Doll Santa left for her.
DSC03223
Santa got the girls' stockings mixed up and this really threw Sophie Le for a loop :o) She is all about order and keeping things in line :o) That is a nervous smile...haha!
DSC03224
This was Julianne's FIRST Christmas! She was quite puzzeled by the whole present thing at first.
DSC03227
She didn't understand why ALL of the presents weren't hers!
DSC03229
Hillary Ashton was so excited to find "arm make-up" in her make-up kit! Haha! That's deodorant :o)
DSC03231
The girls' presents have been under the tree for a few weeks, but they were not labeled. The idea was to keep them from knowing which presents were for them to encourage them not to peek :o) Well, my big girls are smart...they knew exactly which presents were for them! Haha! Le's were wrapped in Mickey Mouse paper, Hillary Ashton in Charlie Brown paper, Julianne in Santa paper and Jonah in snowman paper.
DSC03233
Julianne really likes my dad :o) I guess you can see where Hillary Ashton gets her whole "closed eye" reaction to flash :o)
DSC03235
That's my mom...she tried to keep Jonah quite during the Christmas morning frenzy :o) Haha! He slept through everything :o) Luckily, the girls didn't mind opening up his presents for him :o)
DSC03236
Applying her mascara, right in the middle of present opening time! Santa got clear mascara...so smart :o)
DSC03238
Le was in super serious mode while opening presents...all business!
DSC03242
Hillary Ashton opening one of her presents...
DSC03246
Sophie Le coming to help...
DSC03248
Even little sister came to help!
DSC03249
Have you seen these Plasma cars? They are so cool!
DSC03253
DSC03254
Julianne couldn't wait for her turn!
DSC03257
Applying her "under-arm" make-up :o)
DSC03258
Christmas Dinner! Yummy!
DSC03266
That dish to the right is fruit salsa with cinnamon chips (made from flour tortillas). I had it at my cousin's wedding a month ago and it was SOOOOO good. I found the receipe online and was really happy with how it turned out. The girls LOVED it too. I plan on making it again soon.
DSC03267
The cousins at the Mimi and Papa's house
DSC03275
At one point, Julianne's present pile was talling than her :o) By the time Christmas night rolled around, she was WAY into presents :o)
DSC03277
At Neil's parents, presents are opened in rounds. Presents are opened one at a time, in age order. This concept is hard for some kids (Hillary Ashton and Julianne), but right up Sophie Le's ally. She loves order! She was so patient waiting on her turn and always knew when it was her turn :o)
DSC03280
This one doesn't like waiting for her turn :o) Haha!
DSC03281
Each of the girls got tutus with leotards. Big hit!
DSC03283
DSC03285
DSC03288
Aren't these boots the cutest? Hill's cousin Ally got them for Christmas. Hillary Ashton was trying them out :o)
DSC03290

So here it is...the new haircut!!
Before (I don't think you can tell from the picture, but her hair has gotten pretty long)
DSC03138
After...
DSC03352
The back
DSC03353
Little bitty piggies :o)
DSC03358

Hillary Ashton is begging me to get her hair cut too. Daddy is "thinking about it" so stayed turned :o)

Merry Christmas from the girls...

christmascard2009 a

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Christmas Eve 2009 & A special day in Julianne's history...

December 29, 2008 - Our sweet baby girl was placed in an orphanage in southern Ethiopia. She was a very tiny, sick little baby. I hate that I wasn't there for her, but we didn't know about her at the time. Although we didn't know her, she was covered in prayer each day during this time. She spent the next few months in and out of the hospital getting nursed back to health and learning how to eat. We are so thankful to her Uncle for choosing an adoption plan for her. We can't imagine our life with her. She is a healthy, happy toddler today because of his decision. Praise God!

We had a great time celebrating Christmas with our four little angels this year! This time of the year is so magical!

My parents came to our house to spend Christmas Eve night with us. The girls were so excited to see their grandparents. We got so much rain in Central Arkansas the day before, the interstate was closed so they had to take a few sides roads. Luckily, they made it just in time!
DSC03161

The girls enjoyed opening a few presents Christmas Eve night.
Hill modeling her new gymnastics outfit...
DSC03168
After opening presents, the girls got a quick bath and changed into their Christmas Eve pjs. That is the one present they open from us on Christmas Eve...pjs. Usually I get the Christmas pjs, but this year I decided with year-neutral pjs :o)
Le Le in her pjs
DSC03176
Julianne in her pjs...yes, this was the best pic I could get :o)
DSC03178
We got these pjs while vacationing in Destin this Fall at the Gap Outlet...gotta love a great deal :o)
DSC03182
Of course, the girls wanted to "Christmas Curls" so we got the rollers out.
DSC03188
Then they carefully picked out cookies for Santa...
DSC03196
After much discussion, they finally came up with the perfect combination.
DSC03204
They carefully placed Santa's cookies by the fireplace.
DSC03212
And then Daddy read them the story of our Saviour's birth
DSC03218
And then they wanted to check on the cookies. They asked if maybe they put out too many cookies..."maybe we should eat one each since Santa will be eating cookies at the other houses." Haha...nice try!
DSC03219

Sweet memories!

Come back tomorrow to see Sophie Le's new haircut...it is chin lenght now!!! Sooooooooo adorable :o) The little bitty piggie tails are back :o)

Monday, December 28, 2009

Milestones...

Our baby girl turned 18 months old this month! Her vocabulary grows each day and her sweet personality is second to none :o) We are so in LOVE with our Ethiopian princess! We are also celebrating SIX months together as a family this month!!!! Here is a little video I put together to document our wonderful time together...



Thank you GOD for our little MIRACLE!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

My heart is heavy...

I haven't really felt like blogging this week...it has been a hard week. Today I felt it pressed upon my heart to share with my blog friends about two situations that need to be covered in prayer.

Last Saturday, I received the horrible news that my younger cousin took his own life...


...he was just married a month ago and has a baby on the way...please keep his parents, sisters, new wife and unborn baby in your prayers. It is truly a heartbreaking situation. Click here to read more.

The other family that NEEDS prayer RIGHT NOW is the Battle family. Back in April of this year, my friend's husband survived kidney cancer. A few days ago, he was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer...inoperable. They have two precious baby girls. PLEASE pray for a MIRACLE for the Battle family!

In the midst of all of the saddness, there has also been joy & hope as we celebrate the birth of our Saviour...
We have made lots of cookies
DSC03090
and we have eaten A LOT of cookies...
DSC03097
I found this picture when I uploaded pics...not sure what is going on here, but it has daddy written all over it...
DSC03099
Last Saturday, we attened a party at our first adoption agency. We got the call about my cousin as we were leaving the party. Life is so fragile. Enjoy every minute.
Rudolph the red nose reindeer and white nose reindeer at a Christmas party...
DSC03082
DSC03080
DSC03076
DSC03071
Another visit with Santa...the little girls wanted no part of this :o)
DSC03068

I don't know why bad things happen, but I am thankful for God's promise to us in Romans 8:28...
"And we know that all things work together for good to those that love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose"
I know one day we will understand...for now I choose to trust.

This morning in church, we sang "In Christ Alone." I have heard this song hundreds of times before and I have always liked it. However today, it spoke to me on a different level...it gave me so much peace. I am so thankful that I serve a compassionate God.


In Christ alone my hope is found
He is my light, my strength, my song
This Cornerstone, this solid ground
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm
What heights of love, what depths of peace
DSC03131
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease
My Comforter, my All in All
Here in the love of Christ I stand

In Christ alone, who took on flesh
Fullness of God in helpless babe
This gift of love and righteousness
DSC03133
Scorned by the ones He came to save
'Till on that cross as Jesus died
The wrath of God was satisfied
For every sin on Him was laid
Here in the death of Christ I live

DSC03132
There in the ground His body lay
Light of the world by darkness slain
Then bursting forth in glorious Day
Up from the grave He rose again
And as He stands in victory
DSC03134
Sin's curse has lost its grip on me
For I am His and He is mine
Bought with the precious blood of Christ
DSC03136

No guilt in life, no fear in death
This is the power of Christ in me
From life's first cry to final breath
Jesus commands my destiny
DSC03137
No power of hell, no scheme of man
Can ever pluck me from His hand
'Till He returns or calls me home
Here in the power of Christ I'll stand
DSC03135