Girl Power


Our backyard pond is apparently the hip place for toads to have a party.  After suffering night after night of their wooing each other we have hundred of tadpoles.  The girls watched at they popped out of their eggs.  We then decided to bring some of the little guys into the house so that we could watch their development. Our goal is to let them go back to the scene of the crime so that they too can keep us awake next year during their season of love.

Curls & Camp

The other day Maisie asked me if she could have curly hair... so I rolled her wet hair in socks and the next morning Viola !!!   Curly Hair.  She loved the feel of it and wore her new hairstyle to camp.

Spirit Camp on Johns Island
Maisie spent a week out of the "big city" and got her "country" on by swimming in a lake, doing archery, washing dishes in tubs, eating s'mores by a campfire and sleeping in a tent with other campers.
(I was in a tent nearby suffering the 90-degree heat)
Maisie calls this experience:  "10 days at camp-1 life to spare."

Cool Artwork @ Camp

Beautiful Chickens



(An excerpt from my journal written on 6-28-04)
We woke up early in a hotel room in Hefei, China.  Neither of us speaking for a few minutes.  Soaking up the reality of the day.  We were parents about to meet our baby daughter for the first time.
At 9:15am we took an elevator to the 4th floor of our hotel and entered the Peony Room.  We were supposed to see our children for the first time at 9:30.  But when we entered the room, there they were... 5 beautiful babies waiting to be united with their forever families. 

I wasn't prepared for how it all happened.  All of the moms and dads peeking into the adjoining room, not really sure what to do, then all of a sudden there was a flurry of activity.  The orphanage nannies coming in and handing daughters to parents.  I was shaking, looking from face to face searching for Maisie.  Then all of a sudden she was in my arms.  A sweet bundle.... so soft.  My baby was dressed in a pink & white dress, white socks and pink sandals.  Fascinated, we just looked at each other.  Me-crying... Maisie just staring, taking it all in.  I began to kiss her face all over, on the lips, her nose, hear head.  She was kissing me back (well actually sort of tasting) when her mouth found my nose.  She promptly showed me what four teeth could do !

Maisie is perfect !  Brown skin, pouty lips, dark eyes and hair.  She never cried.  Instead she gazed around, inquisitive... not worried at all.  
Back in the hotel room we laid our daughter on the bed and she immediately showed off her skills at rolling over.  Nap time came and went, then the rolling continued.

She responds to her Chinese name Qiu Yu (Cho You) which means Autumn Rain.  Beautiful, just like her.

Maisie likes to play.  She can't sit up yet, so we practiced sit ups and tummy time.  8 1/2 hours after our first meeting, we were all so tired.  Our guide came by to take a copy of Maisie's footprint.  We then took our first bath togehter, put on her giraffe jammies and called it a night.  She was so tired she went down and slept a solid 10 hours.  We weren't as lucky, so full of emotion, that all we could do was stare at our miracle.

You are a pure joy to be around.  My beautiful daughter, you are so full of life.  You remain inquisitive and amaze me with how smart you are.  It is a privilege to be your mom.  I will ALWAYS love you to the moon and back !
Happy Family Day Maisie !!

Happy Father's Day & Happy First Day of Summer

Dad and his Girls on Father's Day

My Summer Reader

Learning to Swim

Murray & Flora floating away

My Summer Camper

Middleton Place Field Trip

Goat meets Goat

Juliette & Grammy at the Aquarium

Living Room Dance Party

Kitchen Fingers & Toes

We have a lot going on this summer.  Juliette was supposed to have surgery on June 16th, but the insurance company threw a wrench in the plans... so it's been postponed until July 12th.  So stay tuned on that front.  My mom came down for the week to help out, so instead of caring for a recuperating child, she got to spend some quality time with her grandkids !!

Maisie is making great strides in her summer reading program and has already received a medal for her efforts from the library.  She's becoming quite the swimmer too learning how to stroke and breathe.  All this is being done at home and various camps.  Jules loves being in the water and is happy as a clam just floating around on noodles.  She's learning how to hold her breath and is able to go under water without much of a fuss.  We didn't enroll her in camps because we thought we'd be dealing with the aftermath of surgery.... so right now she attends "Camp Mom".  We've taken some fun field trips.... so far to the aquarium, the beach and a local plantation where she was thrilled to come face to face with animals big and small.  Her favorites were the goat and peacock.

We continue to have dance parties in our living room and our dining room table is currently an art studio... and of course the kitchen is a nail salon.  My brother's girlfriend Karyn
 (who the girls call Kuh-na) got roped into the action.  Everyone now has Red, White and Blue nails.... 
Happy Summer !!

Summer Dance

Dance lessons @ Shangri-la from GlobalFamilyFieldTrip on Vimeo.


Maisie is wearing my wedding veil and carrying my nearly 14 year old bouquet of roses.  Surreal !

My Little Flowers

This is what happens when Juliette gets creative with scissors !

Murray and the dog days of summer !

I'm already getting a bit anxious about the fact that my daughters are growing up so fast.  Where does the time go?  It's been a week of firsts for both girls.  Maisie has learned how to blow a bubble with gum... something she's been trying to accomplish for a year now.  Yesterday, Juliette learned to balance herself on a noodle in the pool and kick back and forth between me and Kevin.  She was scared at first, but as she continued we noticed a smirk on her face.... it was the smirk of accomplishment !    Another lesson is planned for today.  I'll have her swimming laps before summer's end !!

My little flower is scheduled to have surgery on Wednesday, June 16th.  Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers.  I know she will come out like a champ because Juliette is a fighter... has been all of her short life.  I will post more about surgery this week !