Wednesday, December 31, 2008

2008 in the Rearview Mirror

JANUARY Happy New Year 2008! LOA for The Princess! Celebrated Godzilla's 9th birthday with a Godzilla party. FEBRUARY Godzilla wins 1st place in Pinewood Derby for Bear Scouts and 1st place in Cub Scout Pack! The Queen’s stage performance at big Chinese New Year party. Celebrated Big Tuna’s 16th birthday, and my birthday. MARCH Celebrated Captain Daddy’s birthday. APRIL Spring break! Easter-egg hunting. Tax-season ends!!!! MAY TA for The Princess!!! JUNE School’s out! Travel to China for The Princess! Gotcha Day!! The Princess is officially ours! JULY Captain Daddy & Big Tuna white-water rafting in Idaho. AUGUST Lots of family boating and beach times. School starts. SEPTEMBER Celebrated The Queen’s 4th birthday with a “My Little Pony” cake! OCTOBER Celebrated 19 years of marriage (together for 32 years!). Trick-or-treating with two Scary Toddler Princesses and Military Guy. NOVEMBER Big Tuna got his driver’s license. Enjoyed roasted oysters for Thanksgiving. DECEMBER Celebrated The Princess' 3rd birthday with a princess cake! Big Tuna got his braces off! Ready to celebrate The Princess' first Christmas. Thanking God for all of the blessings He has bestowed on our family this past year.

Christmas 2008

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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Another Prayer Request

It seems I know many that are suffering so much during this time of year. Another dear friend of mine lost her mother this morning. Miss Ann had been fighting lung cancer for the past 2 years. Today was the day that she finally went home to be with our Savior. She will be missed by those of us that knew and loved her. Please pray for my friend and her family that God will give them the comfort, strenght, and peace, that only He can give at this time.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Thank You Aunt T & Uncle K!!!!!!!

A few days before Christmas a big box arrived at our house. The box was from Aunt T and Uncle K that live on the other side of the US. Every day I would be asked often "can we open the delivery now?" I would reply, "No, we will open it Christmas." Five minutes later I would be asked, "Can we open the delivery NOW?" Finally on Christmas Eve I gave the "ok" to open the delivery.
The girls' gifts wrapped in Dora the Explorer Christmas paper. As the girls say, "Dora is everywhere!"
What could this be????

WOW! A swimming doll!!!!

Thank you Aunt T & Uncle K!!
The boys thank you for their gifts too!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas Eve

We spent Monday and Tuesday attending my friend's mother's wake and funeral services. That left Christmas Eve for all of the Christmas preparations. I had a lot of baking to get done which wouldn't be a problem with all of the helpers at my house!
Our Christmas dinner menu and desserts were going to be simple as it was only the family plus Captain Daddy's mother and step-father. After a survey of what desserts everyone wanted, the list included three items: pumpkin pie, white cake with white icing, and our famous cut-out sugar cookies.
Let the baking begin!
Cut-out sugar cookies are interesting at our house because they usually don't look very Christmas-sy. We have cookie cutters of reptiles, dinosaurs, fish, Texas, North Carolina, stars, moons, etc.

The girls taking turns cutting out cookies.

I like baking!

I like Stegasaurus cookies!

Beach Mama giving the girls a lesson on the proper cookie cutting technique.

The white cake with white icing turned into a two layer Christmas tree cake. It actually looked more like a Godzilla Christmas tree cake as it was about 5-6 inches tall. Godzilla putting on the final decorating touches.

Christmas Tree cake (plan view)

Praline Pumpkin Pie (praline pecans are on the bottom).

Naked cut-out sugar cookies.
The children didn't want to mess with icing/decorating the cookies. They think Santa likes them better this way. Due to the time constraints, it worked for me!

We are so excited!!!! Santa please hurry!!
These are a few things wished for this year:
Big Tuna - a drum set, new iPod, some DVDs
Godzilla - iPod, PSP, DVDs, Electric Guitar, Legos
The Queen - a Fishing Pole with Animals to Catch, PeePee Dolly, Microphone, Guitar
The Princess - What The Queen said.
Ho! Ho! Ho!


We have a eggplant color, leather chair in our house. The Queen refers to this as the "Purple Chair" and it is her throne. There is a lot of fussing and crying when someone sits in the Purple Chair besides The Queen. The bad thing is, it is the best seat in the living room. You wouldn't expect anything less than the best for The Queen!
The Queen always asks me to "hold her in the Purple Chair." Usually when I do this, she will take a nap. Then I am pretty much stuck in the chair until she wakes up. After The Queen fell asleep in my lap, The Princess decided to get in on some lap action and climbed on too. She soon fell asleep. Then the phone rang. My son thought this would be a good photo of us. All that is missing is the cat!

Prayer Request

I received a phone call from my dear friend on Monday morning, December 22. Her mother passed away Saturday in her sleep. My friend's son has been a friend of Big Tuna's since they were in 1st grade. My friend is an only child so the entire burden of the estate, the funeral, etc. falls upon her shoulders. Her mother lived out of town, so she will have to manage everything from a long distance. Her father had passed away many years earlier. Please pray for them. It is hard enough to lose a parent, but it is especially hard at this time of year. Thank you.

Family Photo

How can it be so hard to take a family photo??

The Sunday before Christmas I wanted to get a family photo as everyone had gotten a little more dressed up than usual. The boys have outgrown all of their clothes from last year, so at the last minute we were scrambling to find something for them to wear. Godzilla had no long pants that fit! Not even jeans. Since the weather here in these parts usually is mild in the winter, Godzilla hadn't needed anything but shorts so far this year.

Finally, we pulled it all together as best we could. Off to church we went.

Here is the first photo of the girls. Don't look too happy! Why didn't the flash go off?

Next we tried a photo of Captain Daddy, Beach Mama, and The Princess. For our 6-month post placement report we are required to have a photo of just the 3 of us as one of the photos. Does it matter that The Princess is looking down?

Let's try it again. Good shot, but blurry.

One more time...Princess, who are you raising your arm to??

Moving right along, let's just try the parents and the girls. It's ok, but no one really looks too happy.

Let's bring everyone in. The Queen looks like she is hiding and The Princess is looking at The Queen for "cues."
One more time... Ok, I give up. This is the Beach Crew, as good as it gets!

A Visit with Santa Claus

This year our church held a live Nativity the week before Christmas. It was a special night when the Jolly Man himself left the North Pole for a few hours to come to the church to visit with the children! My children were excited about going to see Santa Claus and talked about it all day. The Queen, displaying queenly reservation, was concerned about whether we were going to the North Pole to visit Santa. I assured her that Santa was coming to our town and that we wouldn't have to travel far.

Santa Claus and #1 Elf
Godzilla was one of the first to hop up and tell Santa his wish list.

The girls, being royalty, were much more cautious. This is the Princess' first Christmas, so everything is new to her. The Princess looks to The Queen for the royal clues on behavior. If The Queen is out-going, then The Princess is out-going. If the Queen is reserved, then the Princess is reserved. Sometimes there is conflict when the Princess' heart wants to go one way, but The Queen indicates another. Anyway, The Queen gave the royal signal that she should hide behind mama! The Princess was conflicted as Santa was sitting right before her! Should she go up or shouldn't she. The Queen was definitely not!

Santa pulled out an arsenal of singing/dancing animals from his bag. How enticing! The Princess edged closer, but not quite there.

Closer and closer the royal duo moved in to see the singing animal choir.

They got close enough within in range that Santa was able to lean in so that I could take a photo.

Finally, The Princess went to Santa and told him her Christmas wish list.

Not to be out-done, The Queen bravely went to Santa. However, she quickly decided that she had changed her mind and wanted to get away.
After all of the excitement and trauma, I shared a Coca-Cola with the girls. Coca-Cola is like a magic potion to the royal girls. A few sips, and they become the most friendly, pleasant girls. Next thing I knew, they were waving to Santa, and running up and "High-Fiving" him. The Princess joined in with the singing animal band and sang and danced "Jingle Bell Rock" to Santa. Don't you know that is when the battery on my camera decided it had no juice left for me to take photos. I wish I had given the girls a sip or two of soda before we went to see Santa Claus!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Christmas Tree

When I was a child, the boxes of Christmas decorations usually came out soon after the Thanksgiving meal was eaten. My mother insisted that the tree go up Thanksgiving and that it be dismantled the day after Christmas. We always had artificial trees. Our first artificial tree was aluminum! It was silver and my mother covered it in pink balls. The tree stand base had four colored panels that would rotate. The tree would change colors as it played "Silent Night." The successive artificial Christmas trees were green with branches that resembled commode brush bristles! My mother would position herself in her favorite chair and direct where each and every ornament would go on the tree. The tree was always pretty.
I am not my mother! We have always had real trees. I love the smell and look of real trees. I am also not Martha Stewart. Our tree doesn't have a theme. It is basically our children's tree. Our decorations do not coordinate. They are a mixture of children's crafts, handmade baubbles, and gifts from friends. I also don't drag out the Christmas decorations on Thanksgiving, but I wait until the last possible minute. I guess because the bulk of decorating is usually left to me. I am, shall we say, "challenged" in the decorating department. So whatever I can accomplish in a few hours is usually as good as it gets.

This will be the Princess' First Christmas! The Queen has prepped her well. The Princess is awed by all the Christmas beauty she sees. It is so precious to see Christmas through the eyes of a child!
Last Saturday we decorated our tree. Unlike my mother, the ornaments go wherever the kids place them. Usually the lower 3 feet of the tree contain the most decorations! Sometimes they are grouped in clusters with several in the same spot.
Here is The Queen hanging ornaments.

Godzilla and The Princess.

Here are a few of our favorite ornaments:

Guess who this is for?

Panda Bear finger puppets.

Glass shark.

Hand-painted, salt dough T-rex.

Hand-painted, salt dough snake.

The finished product! According to Godzilla, this is our best tree yet!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Introducing Our Beach Crew!

This is the 3rd family blogsite that I have created for my family. The other 2 were private as they were during the adoptions of my two daughters. Now that our family is complete, I wanted to have a blog that wasn't adoption specific. So here we are!

First there is Captain Daddy. He is the head of this household and the man that holds my heart in the palm of his hand. We have been married for 19 years (together for 32 years!). He was born and raised in this heavenly place we around here like to refer to as "downeast." He can set a net, gig a flounder, go through the muck for oysters, and loves to fish. He is the best Daddy in the whole world. He is a man with a heart for God.

Next comes me, Beach Mama. I am a child of the King. Mama to the power of 4! I am a stay at home mom that is always on the go!

Up next is Big Tuna. I'm not sure how he aquired the nickname, but he likes it. He is our first born. He is smart, handsome, and has a dry sense of humor that cuts to the point and makes us laugh! He is the bestest big brother!

Hold onto your hats as I introduce, GODZILLA!! Our second child. This child, at the age of 2, could group toy dinosaurs into carnivors, herbivores, and omnivores (for fun!). He became hooked on the "Godzilla" movies at an early age. He is creative and is always thinking up stories, movies, cartoons, and drawing. He makes me laugh with his silly sense of humor.

This is The Queen. Yep. When asked if she wanted to be a princess when she grows up her response was, "No, I want to be The Queen." Not "a" queen, but "the" queen. She definitely rules things and no matter what she grows up to be, she will be "in charge." Tis better to be her friend than her enemy! She is a good big sister and gets along well with her siblings. Well, as long as they do as she says!

This is the "Princess." She dons her gown and tiara all of the time and tells everyone that she is a Princess. Who are we to doubt it?
Also in the family are 3 cats (sometimes 6 if you count the visitors) and 2 dogs.
Welcome to our family!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

A Glimpse at My World - Heaven on Earth

About a month ago it was one of those b-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l days here along our neck of the shore. The weather was sunny and clear, and in the low 70s. We decided after church to go out in the boat as this is one of the best times of year to go out (i.e. no tourists or party boats). The girls were all for it; the boys didn't want to go as the water was to cold for jumping into. So off we went for a few hours of total relaxation. I am always humbled by the beauty that surrounds us. I thank God everyday for planting me here as I never imagined this is where I would be.

We are READY!
I like to drive the boat FAST!

Fishing with Daddy is FUN!!!! (even if you don't catch anything but the plastic bait)

The back creeks.

Sunset as we head back home.