Monday, June 30, 2008


I've spent the several days attempting to capture video from my camcorder to my computer. Needless to's been a futile exercise since I did not have the drivers for my camcorder. Naturally, I attempted to go online and download said drivers. But I couldn't find them to save my life. Next JVC and ask where I can download the drivers. JVC tells me that the drivers for my particular camcorder are not available online, but I can buy the CD for a mere $29.98 plus tax and shipping. "Are you kidding me???", I squealed into the phone. "You are going to charge me for something that came with my camera, that in all my craziness of trying to hold a house together with four kids, I can't locate it?" Imagine these words in a high-pitched, pig-like squeal. Because that's what I sounded like. Then the poor guy on the other end of the lines just answers, "Yes!" BRILLIANT!!!!

Of course, I had to be stubborn and NOT order the CD at that time. I attempted to use the ILO that I have, but that wasn't working properly either. So I broke down (one day later) and ordered the stinkin' CD. It killed me, but I was desperate to get some video off that camcorder to post to my blog.

Here's the coveted video: It's of the girls playing hopscotch with some other shenanigans going on with Gu-Gu Tucker. Little Miss Amelia was doing her best to keep up with her Jei Jei! It really was one of those special "Summer-Time" moments.

This is turning into such a great summer! I can't remember when I've enjoyed myself more...and we haven't even gone on vacation yet!!!!

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Sunday, June 29, 2008

He's got the POWER~VBS

Last week was VBS for Elise! She LOVED the music so I had to buy the CD and DVD for at home. This is a video of her dancing to "He's Got the Power!". She doesn't stop moving the entire time the music is playing. It's a great "wear-her-out-before-a-nap" activity. Too funny!

Unfortunately, there is a little bit of "Michael Jackson" imitating going on~but what's a mom to do??? I can't stop the video for everything!

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Sunday, June 22, 2008

One year ago....

I've been rather nostalgic the last few days. It was a year ago that I embarked on an adventure of a lifetime...backing at Philmont Boy Scout Ranch in Cimmeron, New Mexico. We started on June 19, 2007~so our crew number was 619D2. We did not actually hit the trail until 6/20 and that's when the fun began. Well, actually it began before I reread my journal about the first day at Base Camp~I recalled how much I wanted to just come home. I was overwhelmed with the journey that was ahead of us and a little more than freaked over leaving for China as soon as I returned home. I did not finalize our flights for China until a day earlier while in Colorado Springs. To say I was a little stress is an understatement.

As we were departing Base Camp on 6/20, we had to weigh our backpacks. Mine weighed in a little over 50 pounds and I was wondering how I was going to carry that for 11 more days. Fortunately, things were redistributed and I left base with a pack weighing around 42 pounds. That was still a little intimidating, but there wasn't much more I could do. I remember having minor panic attacks as I started out each leg. WOW~I kept thinking I had bitten off more than I could chew!

Click to play Philmont ~The Beginning
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I actually kept a written journal during that trip and I've been reading it. Holy Toledo ~ did I go through a lot of different emotions. The first few days were the roughest. We started out at a pretty low altitude, 6000 feet. That wasn't too bad, but on the second day, we made an accent to Touchache Springs and that was an elevation change of 2000 feet. Most of that change was done in a very short, uphill hike. It was BRUTAL! I remember our ranger, Scott, telling us to not stop and "just push through it!". I thought I was going to inflict physical harm on the poor boy. I wanted to tell him that he had four adults that were over 40, one was over 50 and he was 19~to "just chill out!". But I kept it to myself. I think the funniest thing that happened that first night was sleeping in a cow pasture with a herd of cattle. Yep, they came right in to camp and checked us out. Our first "wildlife" siting.

I'll probably post more about the trip and more photos. I would go back in a minute, but it doesn't appear it will happen next year.

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Tuesday, June 17, 2008


We are going on a family vacation this year...and it won't be a trip that will add to our family or one that only a few of us are going on (I.E. I won't be hiking with 40+ pounds on my back with just Tucker), and we won't be going with anyone else. Our last family vacation was before we traveled to get Elise and we went with another family. Can you say....DISASTER! Let me tell you something, you really get to know someone when you go on vacation with them. We will NEVER do that again!!!!!!

This summer~we are going to the beach! And yes, all six of us are going. Steve and I are beside ourselves with excitement. I've arranged to meet another family that adopted about the same time we adopted Elise and we will be meeting them on the way! I can't wait to finally see Lisa and Ana Claire in person. The internet is a wonderful thing, but there's nothing like seeing someone in person.

So I'm being a little weired about the trip. We are renting a house so we'll be able to cook. I told Steve I was going to plan a menu to making shopping easier. I don't want to spend my time going to the grocery when I can be enjoying the great outdoors! He think's I'm crazy~I think it's efficient.

Anyway, just had to put those thoughts down today! It's the countdown to the beach!!!!

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Friday, June 13, 2008

One or Two????

Elise is at the awkward stage when a one piece swim suit does not fit her right (if you know what I mean). So I decided to step out (albeit, a little apprehensive) and buy her a two piece. I knew her baba would not be impressed. But you got to admit....she looks MARVELOUS!

Baba just stared at me when Elise pranced into the kitchen last night before heading to the pool. All I could say was, "You can either look at her tummy or look at her bum! Which do you prefer?" Needless to say, he picked up the beach bag and headed out with the girls in tow.

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Thursday, June 05, 2008

Last day of school, dentists, tornados and cicadas

Well, the last day of school has come and gone for Tucker. He is no longer at the Freshman school and will now attend the high school. I think he's very excited about it. I think he's more excited about the fact that the girls and I won't be waiting at the bus stop on his last day school ready to snap pictures of him on the last day. Since he was on early release on the last day(out at 10:45 a.m.), we went to the bus stop to wait for him. Imagine his surprise when his sisters were waiting on the opposite corner frantically waving and calling to him. I found it sweet and very special. It's something that I hope he will always remember.

Elise had another visit to the dentist...drama~drama~drama. She LOVES to brush and floss her teeth at home. But she has a complete meltdown when they start that cleaning tool. Holy cow~I made her tough it out! The tears were flowing, but we got them clean. Hip-hip-hooray for no cavities!

We've had some yucky weather in the past week. The other night we had a tornado warning. Tucker came tearing upstairs to tell us. We had just put the girls to bed so we had to get them up and gather a few of their comfort items before we headed to the basement. Tucker was busy running around the house gathering his precious electronics (IPod, PS3, Computer). He never once offered to help get the girls. I thought my head was going to explode. I did tell him to get the dog downstairs. I think we need to have some discussions about material items.

Click to play Let the Summer begin
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Finally, I have decided to start enjoying my children more~like SCC says..."I'll Dance with Cinderella!" I hope you enjoy the pictures. I love the ones of the girls "cooking".

I'm counting the days until vacation~I can't wait to get away and it won't be a backpacking trip or a 30+hour flight to a foreign country. Just a good ole fashion beach vacation~I can hear the blender spinning now....

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Monday, June 02, 2008

Graduation Day

Matthew graduated from high school this weekend. We traveled to Miami University in Oxford, Ohio to watch the 660+ graduates receive their diplomas. I have to give the administration credit...they accomplished all of that in a little less than two hours~very impressive! The class valedictorian was only 16 and graduated with a GPA of 5.01 (no, that is not a typo). That young man is going to Yale~go figure. The salutatorian had a GPA of 4.75~again that is not a typo.

The day turned out beautiful and we had family and a few very close friends over for an open house. It was such a great day and we all enjoyed ourselves so much. Family, friends food~it was great! We ended the day sitting on our deck with our neighbors saluting Matthew and all of his accomplishments.

Matthew leaves for Case Western in August. He is also working this summer~this is the first summer that he has not had any outside (school) commitments (band/summer school). Here's to a great summer for Matt.

We are all looking forward to our family vacation. This will be the first vacation in many years that we will not travel to China and add to our family ;-). We are all looking forward to heading to the beach, especially Elise.

Click to play Matt's Graduation
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