Saturday, February 19, 2011

We're going on a Disney Cruise!

2.18.2011: Yup! That's right! It's hard to believe. But we decided after a rough year--we all needed something fun and stress free to look forward to and plan for.

Our reservations are made and we couldn't be more excited about it.

Thankfully our agency is hosting the trip--so the prices are hard to beat. And we're excited and hopeful we'll be able to reunite with some of the precious families we've met along our journey to China--and since home--and those that traveled to China with us. So, fun!

Izabella is so excited. She'll be 4.5 at the time of the trip--so it's just perfect. But not surpassed by our excitement. Dan and I didn't really have a honeymoon and always use our vacation time for trips home to NE and VT to see family. So, this is a new adventure for us too. We've never cruised before--except in our own boat--which we sold before Izabella came home. So....we're off on February 9th to Sail away with Disney Magic. It is so much fun!

The brand new ship we'll be on just had it's maiden voyage on January 12th, last month. And it's spectacular. They improved all the things they wanted to improve from the Wonder and Magic ships. It's fabulous. We've been surfing the Disney Cruise site to get a look inside our short trip. They have a first ever--water roller coaster that takes you out over the ocean at one point. And Character greetings and signings that are relaxed and fun. And shows, and great food, and play areas designed for each age group. And of course lots of sun and fun at the ports--which will be  a welcome sight--in the dead of winter in Iowa. And we even have a veranda off our room to see the ocean when we first wake up. Perhaps we'll spot some dolphins or other sea creatures. The possiblities are endless--and I've heard 3-days isn't long enough--and I wish it was longer--but this timeframe is the most affordable--and we're thankful for that--or it wouldn't be possible.

So--ei, ei Captain Mickey! We're on our way!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Mommy...look I'm an Artist!

After school last week. I turned around and Izabella had decided her "coordinating cover pants" would make a great hat--and her tights a good scarf. And the pants really did look like an artist burea. Too funny. We stepped out on the deck to grab a bit of the unusual 72 degree February Day. It was glorious. Ahhhh...a little taste of Spring.

Making V-day Cookies for Daddy!

Putting a ball of dough together with the left over scraps from our first cookie cutting.

Why not. She can run a mean rolling pin.

She rolled it out all by herself. Seriously.

You go girl.

She's pointing to this one and saying "PRETTY. PRETTY."

Now that's some serious decorating~


Bringing them to Daddy.

Monday, February 14, 2011

"Mommy. I'm a Cowboy Girl."

2.14.11: Too funny not to post. She yelled to me as I was cleaning up from lunch to take her picture of her as a Cowboy Girl.

The cutest thing was the way she had that hand on the hip. Like a cowboy would do. Too funny.

Izabella and her Valentine's Loot!

I don't remember getting all these goodies when I was little!  Geez wheeze!

Happy Valentine's Day with Love,  Izabella, Mommy & Daddy!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Chinese New Year at Izabella's Pre-School

Izabella's class celebrated Chinese New Year this year. The teacher was so great. She added these activities to the curriculum that day, which was a lot. Especially on a week when we were catching up from 2 snow days!

They made "Chinese paper girls and boys", a beautiful paper lantern, stamped with "bunny" stamps, had a lantern parade, and sang a dragon song/dance. Izabella wore her red Chinese New Year outfit (as she calls it) and gave each of her classmates a little "bunny" for the year of the rabbit. Each one in a little chinese take out box--each adorned with a paper lantern with each one's name in it--in english and mandarin. I was able to get these at the CNY celebration the weekend before--they were perfect to teach the children that different languages have different letters and languages.

We also presented Mrs. Piatt a gift of thanks. A tiger-head hat we purchased from Jailyn Designs last fall--just for this celebration. She loved it--and will share it with children at Shepherd's Flock ELC for years to come.

Paper Lanterns lined up waiting for the parade.

Mrs. Piatt, (from left to right) Beau, Kayla, Joey, Izabella, Jack, Lily and Jimmy.

Holding their lanterns and paper dolls.

Izabella's Lantern.

The lantern Parade!
Showing me her "stuff".

Just a cute pic of our girl.

Izabella's lantern and the little Rabbit gift she gave her friends.

Playing with her doll.

Happy Valentine's Day Early!

2.8.2011: Daddy surprised his girls with flowers and sweet cards EARLY. So fun. He really hates the "RUSH" of Valentines Day and often will do this. We were thrilled. And we discovered, Izabella can keep a secret. Daddy came home and I was still working in my studio. Izabella ran down to meet Daddy as always and came running back up the stairs to say, "Mommy you need to come down right now--Daddy has a surprise." So down I went--to find two bouquet's of flowers--red for Izabella and yellow for me. Dan always buys me yellow roses--ever since we met. It's a sweet tradition.

The cards were beautiful. Izabella's was a princess card that played music. She adored it. These were Izabella's first flowers--all her own. And she was soooo excited. We arranged them in a little princess vase for her. And she sat at the table and admired them.
And read her card....

And couldn't stop smiling!

And smelling them!
Then, while I was making dinner--she decided she needed to sit them down on the floor where she could see them in the sunlight.

And here, she's showing her "princesses" on the card--her flowers. 

Daddy love you so much Izabella!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

It's Zophias Birthday Party Day!

We had a very busy day yesterday! 

It started out with a "Heart Screening for Mommy and Daddy!" It was a very early appointment--8:30am! A special friend gave us these screenings as a gift--the perfect gift of love. It was  little scarey, as I had never had a screening like this (of my heart health) and at 51 it was about time! They discovered a blockage in my left carotid artery--it's not at the critical stage--but definately a wake up call. I have always been so healthy--good diet and exercise. I'm not a fanatic on either one--just believed in a healthy balanced approach. Well, since moving to Iowa--I fell off exercis wagon, I still eat pretty healthy--always have--but yeah--I have definately dropped the exercise part. I know not good. I have to say it's not all Iowa's falutl,  life's stresses and age didn't help any either. So....time to get back on the exercise wagon.  On the other hand--Dan came out with great results. So...that was a big plus! BTW--of the 4 test--there was only 1/2 of one that was bad--so--I will keep the positives of all that upfront. :) And take care of this thing--now. I am especially thankful for this gift--thanks a million Liz--as staying healthy is more important now than ever. I want to be around to enjoy our Izabella as long as I possibly can--for if what we've seen of all that entails in the last year is any indicator--surely there are years to come that will blow my socks off--and I don't want to miss a second of it--not one teeny-tiny milla-second!

Next we headed to Cracker Barrel for breakfast. That's where I captured this shot of Izabella--lovin' this little perfectly sized rocker! Can you see how much she loves it!

Then we were off to the "Home and Garden Show". (no pics I'm sorry to say) The highlight of that was when while riding on top of my shoulders, our little princess fell sound asleep, slumped down with her little head on my shoulder--drooling and snoreing away. As we made our way to Daddy, so he could take down from my shoulders and carry her, the looks on people's faces ranged from giggles to horror. Some even advised me she was going to FALL! Ahhhhh...not so much. I would never let that happen. Another highlight was running into one of our Adoptive Family friends Charisse, her husband and daughter Meilee. I am always touched by how--we always see one of our sweet friends out and about doing what families do. And it's always so wonderful to see each of them!

Then, finally, it was time to head out to Zophia's birthday party. Like always I took the wrong exit and we arrive a bit late--UGH--that's what happens when you are always chauffeured everywhere by Daddy! It was so much fun.

The kids played and played, and when it was time to go--Izabella refused to say goodbye and thank-you with any sincerity or enthusiasm (see the photo of Izabella and Zophia--note hands down, chin down--yup not happy at all) as she really didn't want to go. She said with a plea-ing and very sad voice, 'But Mom! I really, really don't want to go!"  We did say good-bye and once in the car it wasn't a matter of 5 minutes and the little princess was fast asleep!

Happy 5th Birthday Zophia!
Ahhh...such a fun day. Zophia is a sweetie!