Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Cousin Fun and More to Come!

These two are the youngest cousins! 
Maddy was only 18 months old  in the photo above and Grace was 4.
  Aren't they so cute! 
Ok,  I admit it, I forced them to dress alike for this photo. 
Poor Maddy was terrified of the photographer!!

We went on a Disney cruise together to celebrate our Aunt's birthday when
Maddy was 5 and Grace was 7 
We had a blast and the girls loved pirate night!

Fun in Chicago 2 years ago
[Maddy 8 and Grace 11]

Last summer -- Hilton Head!

More cousin fun to come soon!!! :)

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Windblown and Wonderful!

Isn't March such a fun month?!!
It's been very windy here and so hot last week, that
we turned our AC on -- in March and this is Nebraska -- crazy!!
[Heat is back on now!]

I finally talked my sweet girl into going out for a few photos last weekend,
but look what we got . . .
I'm calling it --
windblown and wonderful --
because she is just that!


Monday, March 12, 2012

More than Just Dolls!

Upon discovering the American Girl* dolls, we also discovered their books and so far, we love them!   In fact, Maddy has enjoyed them so much, she has been known to read an entire book in one day! 
 Besides the books on the actual dolls and their "lives",
AG has other books too -- guides, if you will!

Recently, there seems to be a little drama in 4th grade friendships.
  One friend is not good friends with another and doesn't like her . . . 
"Why are you playing with her and not me?"
"Why aren't you sitting next to me at lunch?"
You get the gist!  Oy!

Photos - courtesy of American Girl bookstore

AG to the rescue! 
We've found their "Guide" books to be incredibly helpful! 
They give real-life examples of friend
drama and how to deal with it, what to think about, questions to ask yourself. 

Besides the friend guide, we both think the manners guide is very helpful. 
And guess what, these hints coming from a book, instead of a Mom,
seem to be so smart and great ideas!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Nine Years Ago

Dear Maddy: 
Wow -- it's been nine years since we met you in a warm, humid and
noisy room at the Civil Affairs Office in Guangzhou, China. 
 You were so very brave -- you didn't even cry. 
 It was one of the happiest days of our lives, but I am sure it was a very confusing
 and hard day for you.
  You sucked furiously on your little fingers and put your head down
to escape the noise of the room.  You were so tired from the long bus ride and cried all night long. 
Everyone scared you so much, you tried to hide behind your sweet little hands.  

Daddy and I rocked you, played with you and kept you close so you would know that
we loved you and could be trusted to take care of you forever. 
You started to trust us fairly quickly, but strangers worried you for months.

It's been nine wonderful years watching you grow -- each one better than the last -- if that is even possible!  You're such a beautiful and sweet girl -- always thinking of others. 

Your tender heart and sweet nature make me smile every single day. 
 When you first came home, you ate ramen noodles every day and they are still a favorite!

Happy Family Day sweetie -- love you forever and ever.


18 months old  - July 2003

Sunday, March 4, 2012

A Foggy/Smoggy Day

Can you guess where this is?

Fog or smog?

Hong Kong! 

Nine years ago we were here on our way to our sweet Maddy!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Blueberry/Lemon Buttermilk Cake Anyone?

Don't you hate it when you're waiting at the doc's or at a hair appointment
 and you see a great recipe in a magazine,
but don't have pen or paper or ipad or iphone to jot it down? 
Guess what, I have solved that problem! 
 I  snag the mag!
[Actually, I run home and do an internet search to find the recipe.]
But, seriously, the docs like people to take magazines -- 
 it gets some of those nasty germs out of their waiting rooms!

Is it cake or a muffin on steroids???
   Valerie Bertinelli had a couple of low-fat, low-cal recipes in one magazine recently that sounded good.
Valerie's (yes, we are on a first-name basis) blueberry cake
 looked so good,
that I made it the other day!
It kind of took a lot of work -- zesting a lemon?? 
Holy smokes -- what is this Top Chef??  
 And it took forever to bake (may need a larger pan) but it was worth it. 
The Hubs really liked it and in the interests of our diets
(even though it was low cal and low fat),
he took it to work with him.

Maddy and I liked it, but thought it might be better with chocolate chips instead
 of blueberries!! :) 
Everything is better with chocolate chips, you know!