Sunday, October 30, 2011


Tonight, we did our annual pumpkin carving. This year however, there was a lot more laughter, and my heart felt full! For the last several years, holidays have seemed as if they were on hold as well as the rest of our lives, but especially holidays. John and I, for some reason, have really looked forward to having a little one to enjoy Halloween with and the rest of the upcoming holiday season. Olivia and Annelyn had a lot of fun tonight running around and playing together. I think they have finally started to like one another.
Grampy has spent several days coming up with the perfect design for each girls' pumpkin. They got there and changed it both designs! Typical girl, right?!? We have never been much on the character thing, rather done the creative jack-o-lantern faces. Each year dad comes up with something better than the last. We were all a bit disappointed to see that the girls wanted Elmo and a Cinderella. However, I think he has now raised the bar for his carving ability. He doesn't use stencils and draws them free handed. They turned out amazing! Both girls were pleased and we enjoyed a great fall night together!

You want me to put my hand in there???

Annelyn took it on like a pro this year!

Olivia started to work a little, but her hand was not going in the pumpkin. She was satisfied with a spoon.

Annelyn is showing off her progress!

She finally let her hands get a little dirty.

Silly girl!

Wait a minute, this stuff is fun!

Hmmm, what's in there?

Wonder how this stuff tastes?

How's it coming, Grampy?

Annelyn and her daddy still digging out.

Annelyn went to take a bath while Grampy finished up on Olivia's pumpkin. When she came back, she was up on her daddy's shoulder which meant Olivia wanted 'upa,' too!

Oscar was overly thrilled tonight, can't you tell?

Olivia took her first look at her carved pumpkin.

Is the inside still empty?


They watched Grampy carve on Annelyn's pumpkin for a minute....

....and then they played under the table.

Somehow, they ventured off to the den, and Annelyn had Olivia as the "baby."

We lit the pumpkins and asked the girls to come in to see.

They loved them!!!
This is Olivia's 'I am so happy!' scream. This is followed by a lot of jumping up and down!

They headed into the living room to play a little "pia."

Olivia came back to kiss her pumpkin she liked it so much.

Look at those eyes! "Did you get this picture, dad?"

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Dinosaur World

**Best comment of the day (people ask some hilarious stuff!): "Are you all a part of Big Brothers and Big Sisters?"-asked by a random bystander at Dinosaur World as he observed a bunch of adoptive mommas with their Korean children at a playdate.

This morning we left home and headed to Kentucky to meet several people at Dinosaur World. This was a great outing as we got to meet many other families with asian cuties--most of whom have a blog that I have kept up with!!!! I always love getting to actually meet the families! We wanted to call today the asian invasion (hello, we love our children, but there were alot of them today!), but apparently, some took offense to that. Really people, c'mon, have a sense of humor! I met several of the mama's that will be attending the conference in March, and I was excited about it, but now I am SUPER excited about it!!!! We are going to have a great time. For the first time, Olivia wasn't the only girl! There were three other girls. It was so fun to be with so many adoptive families and share our stories. It is amazing to talk about our journey's to our little one's and our time in Korea. All of the children were about the same age. They ranged from 1 1/2-3! With that many kiddos, not many good photo chances came around with group pictures, but we really tried. I can't wait to meet up with everyone again. It was a great day!

Finishing up breakfast before running off to play!

This was a very popular slide!

Olivia loved being up high on the mammoth!

Our attempt at a group picture with the big dinosaur right off the interstate.

And NOW she cooperates.....everyone else is gone except Will.

Back to the playground....

Fossil dig!!!

Bates and Brodie are ready to dig!

Ella and Mabel are working hard!

Olivia is really getting into the fossil dig!

2nd attempt on a group picture....

Yes Mabel, do you have a suggestion to help us with this picture?

Mabel and the other kiddos had a great time swinging from the rings!

....but Mabel had the dismount to go with it!!!!

Sweet Brodie!!

My sweet girl swinging before getting in the car to head home.

She was asleep within 5 min. of being in the car!!!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Say Cheese, Olivia

As I have mentioned, Olivia has not been cooperating with pictures lately. Today, we were upstairs (more on that in a minute) and I got my phone out. She said, "cheese!" I got the camera ready and held it up and her face dropped. She stared at me like I had 10 heads! I started saying, "you can't smile. Do you have teeth?" Silly questions or comments. Before I knew it, she gave me this.....

She completely gave me a little ham smile!!! It was so cute!
We had gone upstairs to play, and were greeted with 12 pee spots from the day. It wasn't just pee, it trailed around the room after each spot. He must have tried to stop and couldn't. My poor baby boy! Her response, "uh-oh!!!" Oscar is taking prednizone and the vet told us it would make him have to go to the bathroom more. We haven't had a problem, but we have also been home so we have been taking him out more frequently. I felt so sorry for this sweet face.

He truly couldn't help it, so I loved on him and headed upstairs to start cleaning. An hour and a half later, I had soaked all the pee up and was ready to oxy clean and scrub! This is very difficult to do with a 2 year old. She successfully stepped in it several times and would say, "uh-oh!" So, I asked Olivia to go down and get me a towel. She came back with shout. I asked her to go try again, and she came back with a tide pen. Obviously, she has seen me stain treat one too many times. :)
Just so you know I wasn't exaggerating the mess, I happened to snap a picture which is why I originally got the phone out. All the white stuff is paper towels to mark where I had cleaned and sprayed oxy clean. I then went back and SCRUBBED! When we were done, I thoroughly washed Olivia's feet and my feet as well as our hands. :) Fun times!

Can we say hardwood, please?!?!?!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

8 Months Home

It is hard to believe that 8 months ago we were currently flying home from South Korea. We have come so far in so many ways. Olivia has many words, but is not stringing many words together yet. She has several 'security' words. She repeats these quite often. They are mama, dada, Oscar, home, bampy (that is Grammy and Grampy), and BeauBeau. The teacher in me is determined to get her to recognize her letters as her friends already do. (Yes, I know they have heard this language and have been worked with for two years vs. her 8 months, but a mama's gotta try!) The comment I made to John as we drove with our screaming, inconsolable child from the agency has bitten me several times. I said, "I sure do hope she gets some kind of personality!" Well, she has one! She is so fun! She is spunky, sassy, and stubborn. All in a good way, as I have many of those same traits. For example, I was trimming her toenails earlier tonight and she was letting me have it and then she leaned in and gave me the best hug. Her 'love pat' is a smack typically across the head....just ask her Grampy. When she sees the camera these days, she just turns her head or looks down. It takes a ton of coaxing! She is extremely ticklish, but if she doesn't know you or doesn't want to be bothered she will not crack a smile no matter how much you tickle her. This girl has a mind of her own and isn't afraid to express it! Oooohhhh, we are in for it, I know!
It is amazing to me how in 8 months she has picked up some of our quirks. We are struggling still with sleep, but I think that is to be expected since she co-slept for 18.5 months. Her current eating is to eat anything in sight. I have no clue why she doesn't gain weight....I wish I had that problem! Yesterday she measured 33.5 inches and 23 lbs. She is still tiny as we are coming up on 28 months next week.
I know I have posted these pictures before, but I still look at our Korea pictures in amazement. I truly can't believe how much we have been through. It has been a whirlwind, but I really don't think I would change one second of it.

Thank you God for blessing us with this precious child. We are very blessed!
Olivia Rae, we love you so much, and WE are the lucky ones in this family! God chose you to be our daughter. How amazing is that?!?!? It doesn't just happen.