December 27, 2006

Surviving Christmas.......

Well, we did it!! We survived Christmas, the last Christmas without Avery. I know I said that last year but surely, surely this is truly the last one. I will not lie and say it was easy, because it wasn't. We really had to make ourselves enjoy the season and the time with family and friends. There were a few tears shed but for the most part we kept on our happy faces and acted as if all was well in the world. Now all we can say is BRING ON 2007!!!!!

We are very fortunate that most of our family lives close by so we were able to make every family gathering and visit with everyone. Not to mention the food. THE FOOD!!!! I think we just practiced gluttony 4 days in a row. Christmas Day alone we went to 3 separate meals with unreal amounts of food. Needless to say the diet starts Jan 1st!!

Now on to the pictures:

The holiday celebrations started on Friday:

I got to have lunch with 4 of my best friends!! We had one MIA (missed you Jamie). We went to a tea room (fancy, smancy) and hijacked a table for almost 3 hours. We has such a wonderful time and even 3 hours wasn't enough. We could have stayed all day!!

Me, Christie, Kelley, Erin, and Valerie

Later that evening we had the holiday celebration of my paternal grandmother. There were over 40 people there and we held the party at the church gym. That way there was plenty of room for everyone!! Grandma is 93 and she had 10 of her 20 great grandchildren there. It was great to see everyone.

Our little branch of the family tree:

Dad, Mom, Chris, Danette, Kelby, Kolin, me, and Paul pose with Grandma.

Since we were able to use the church gym for our gathering the kids had plenty of room to play. They started the evening playing basketball but soon that turned into dodge ball. Some of the adults even got in on the action

One of the dodgeball pics. I am not sure if it comes through clearly but the in the background you may can see that one of my cousins was using another 4 year old cousin as a shield (look for the little body in a white shirt). Don't worry no one was injured during the game.

Christmas Eve we celebrate with my family. My mom always cooks a big meal and then as soon as everyone is done eating we move on to presents. The boys always eat at the speed of lightning and the encourage all the adults to do the same. It is usually a free-for-all opening presents. A couple of pics from the night:

The boys usually play Santa and pass out all the gifts. Sometimes they do get in a hurry and mistakes are made:

Dad mistakenly opened a set of pj's meant for my aunt. Sorry dad purple is just not your color. The sad thing is mom had to rewrap them so she could give to the original recipient the next day.

Especially for all my city friends:

How many of YOUR christmas celebrations included the unwrapping of a life size deer meant for target practice?? Kelby was so excited about this gift.

No family gathering is complete without a little wrestling match:

Kolin proves that sometimes the little brother is not always the underdog.

Christmas Day we woke early and went to Chris and Danette's so we could watch the boys open their gifts from their parents and Santa

"Can we come down yet?"

Kelby and Kolin were banned from coming downstairs until the grandparents arrived, that did not stop them from keeping a good look-out.

Where, oh where, to begin?????

After eating a huge breakfast there we came home, picked up Rowdy, and headed to next round of celebrating. We went to my aunt Kathy's for Christmas lunch and exchanged gifts over there. Our visit was a little short but we made the most of our time.

Early afternoon we headed to Paul's parents for the final family gathering of the day and even more food.

Rowdy was a star in his Christmas sweater!!

Sandra and Clifford getting cozy by the tree.

Grammy and Daddy Sonny show off the loot they received. Bet you can't guess they love to watch movies, huh?

Believe it or not we still have one more gathering this weekend. We will be going back to Oklahoma to see Sandra's family and should have a great time.

Hope your Christmas was wonderful!!!!

And as I said before: BRING ON 2007!!!!!

December 20, 2006


One year ago today our dossier was logged in at the CCAA. I don't even remember what the wait was then (maybe 8 months?) but I know it had not crossed the one year mark. The current wait is 15 months and who knows what it will be next month.

I could write a whole post on the emotional tolls of the wait but I don't feel like doing it and you don't want to read it so I will simply say "One freakin' year".

I do want to thank our family and friends for all the support, prayers, and love they have given us the past year during this trying time. We are blessed to have such an awesome support system.

So here's to one year down and may the next few months fly by!!

December 17, 2006

Lunch and Dinner with friends......

This past Friday I had a full social calendar. I started the day by having lunch with several of my adoption posse (as Christie calls us) then completed up my Christmas shopping and moved on to dinner with several gals from work. Aren't I a little social butterfly?

First we have lunch:
Christie had a last minute medical emergency so she was unable to join us and Erin of course was basking in the Caribbean on her cruise. Don't worry girls you were both there in spirit. We got together for this lunch because Jamie had a rare Friday off. You know us, we will use any excuse to eat and laugh with each other.

On to the pictures:

Miss Emily sat right beside me and we shared chips and crayolas.

Especially for Christie:
Girl, you know we love you and wanted to let you know we were thinking of you!!

Miss Mia was interrupted from her power lunch for a very important phone call.

The traditional group shot:
Me, Emily, Kelley, Mia, Valerie, and Jamie

After about 2 1/2 hours of shopping I joined my work crew for dinner

Keysla and Sandra enjoying great company

Me and Amy (who I affectionately call my "work mother")

Keysla and Debra are in the Christmas spirit

And the star of our dinner: Keenan. He is just the cutest little boy and kept us very entertained with his passion for chewing.

Saturday I spent the day finishing up some scrapbook projects and hanging out with Paul and then Sunday it was back to work.

Welcome Home Bob, Erin, and Mollianne....We hope you had a fabulous time on your vacation and can't wait to see the pictures!!

December 12, 2006

Holiday Lights

I finally got around to uploading some pictures, however, blogger was being weird and would only let me do 5 at a time. So be sure and scroll down to the 2 previous posts to see the pictures of the "ICE" exhibit I mentioned earlier.

The past week has been crazy at work and it seems as if Paul and I have been "on the go" all the time. I think it is just this time of year.

This past Saturday night Paul, me, my mom, Kelby, and Kolin all went to see the Holiday Light exhibit our county puts on. It is a great drive-through display of Christmas lights and each year they add to the collection. The best things about it are that it is 5 minutes from our house and it is FREE. We like free stuff!!

I know the pictures do not come across on the computer too good but it really is a great display:

Only in Texas will you have Santa water-skiing behind a boat driven by Rudolph!!

Besides work and getting ready for Christmas not much else has been going on here.

Thanks for checking in!!

ICE.....part 2

Paul took his turn on the ice slide. I think we were the only adults to give it a try.
Paul, Sandra, and Cliff freezing next to the toy soldiers.
Happy Holidays Ya'll!!!
The Coca-Cola Polar Bears
Yes, even I took a trip down the ice slide!!!

Overall, fun was had by all. If you have the opportunity to see this exhibit, DO IT!!

ICE....Part 1

Here are some of the pictures I took when we went to see the "ICE" exhibit at the Gaylord Texan last week:
The toy displays were incredible. They had a huge stuffed animal on display and then an ice replica right beside it.
As you can see, Paul was very tempted to be mischievous.
Me standing next to the wall of toys mentioned earlier.
Believe it or not, the chariot I am sitting on was made of ice too.
Paul and his mom as we were entering the exhibit hall.

December 5, 2006

Playing catch-up

So last week I promised a catch-up blog and even though I am a few days later than I planned here goes.

Friday Paul and I along with his parents went to the Gaylord Texan to see the ICE exhibit. This is an exhibit that comes through each year where sculptures are carved out of ice. It was truly amazing what these artisans are able to do. The display is kept in an environment that is 9 degrees. We were all given huge parkas to wear as we looked at the exhibit. I was leary about taking my new camera in the cold exhibit hall, so I took a 35mm and have not gotten around to getting the pictures developed yet. When I get those pictures back I will be sure to post so you can get an idea of the amazing display this was

I did take a couple of shots with my digital that you can see now:

Paul and I sitting in front of one of many huge Christmas trees the hotel had on display.

Sandra and Cliff posing in front of the same tree.

After we visited the display we did a little Christmas shopping.

Rowdy showing off his new Christmas sweater.

As I had previously mentioned we had a small snow fall last week. Since we don't see much snow in Texas we take advantage of it when we can:

Paul, Kelby, and Kolin loved getting the 4-wheeler out and tracking through the snow.

There are several wooded areas around our house so there was a little more snow gathered there.

This is what we woke up to Thursday. Our first snowfall of the season.

Our latest way to have some fun: Guitar Hero.
This is a game you play on PS2 where you are the guitar player in a rock and roll band. It is a ton of fun and I have to admit the boys are alot better at it that Paul and I. But we have fun playing it anyway.

Kelby and Kolin playing away

I try to get into the act. You can see on the tv where the notes come at the bottom of the screen and the player had to hit the appropriate note at the appropriate time. It really is a lot harder that I thought it would be. Kelby tells me that it is really going to improve my hand/eye coordination. What??? This coming from a 12 year old.

Anyway I think that about catches everyone up on the goings on around here.

Thanks for stopping by!!

December 3, 2006

Now THIS is how you spend a Saturday night.....

Saturday night "my girls" and I got together for another night of fun. This time we actually let the men join us. We had a total blast and many thanks to Kelley and Chuck for letting us invade their house.

I could go into great detail describing all the fun we had or I could just show you the pictures:

Erin and Valerie
Don't ask!! But this picture was just too cute not to post.

Our host and hostess, with an extra person thrown in for good measure:
Anton, Kelley, and Chuck....and see Kelley we did get a picture of you wearing the antlers.

Little Miss Mollianne
She did not want to be bothered with pictures while trying to open a present.

Freeze Frame
Valerie definitely knows how to work a crowd

Kelley shows Gary the "loser" sign
Obviously the lottery tickets Gary is holding are not winners

Emily all in her pj's and ready for bed
Presents always come before sleep

Erin and Bob looking all cozy
Obviously this was before she threw him under the ya E!

Don't these lovebirds just make you sick?
I don't think I have ever taken a picture of Christie and Anton where they are not all smiles.

Last but certainly not least
Mia gives us her true opinion about what she thinks about going to bed rather than staying up with this crazy group.

As always it was an awesome time girls and I can't wait to do it again.