Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A surprise for Grammy

I met this wonderful new friend, who happens to be a photographer, and she spent some time photographing the girls playing. The result is hands down some of the most intimate, close-up, not posed photography that I've ever seen.

These pictures were taken in late November but I didn't want to put them on the blog until after the holiday because they were a surprise for Grammy. My new friend currently resides in Belgium but I'm hoping she is going to make a return visit next year so I can get some more of these beautiful pics. You can check out her work here at her website at

Now for a look at two beautiful girls.....

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Saturday, December 18, 2010

Family Pics from 2010

So for the first time ever, my family got together for family pics. The group included: Grammy, D-Daddy, Uncle R, Aunt M and cousin RJ, and of course R and the girls.

The pictures were taken right before Halloween at Grammy and D-Daddy's house and turned out much better than I expected. The goal was to come away with a good group photo and then anything after that was icing on the cake. What I've loaded here is just a sample of some of the great shots that we got.

The pictures were taken by a wonderful, local photographer. You can check out her website here Tell her we recommended her, if you call:-)

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Thursday, December 16, 2010

Let's talk about the tree......

The tree has been with us for five years and it's been a good tree. It's withstood the family cats, child number one, and I was hoping it would make it thru child number two but much to my dismay, Charlie Brown has come to our house this year.

I'm not exactly sure how it happened but it appears to now have an unnatural lean from the top third up. Picture the tree in "How the Grinch Stole Christmas". And to add further insult, it is only decorated from the middle to the top.

Baby K has now added "tree wrecker" to her resume. To stop further desecration we have pushed a large tote full of toys up to the base of the tree to hinder her pillaging.

It's an embarassing tree, really. There will be no full-size pictures of the tree this year and it has been decided that the tree will take immediate retirement after this season :-)

Here's a few up-close pics of the girls putting ornaments on said tree.

"Do I have to put this back on the tree?"

A relaxing moment after decorating the tree at Grammy's house.

And here's a photo of my wonderful Aunt M celebrating her 60th birthday! Aunt M-you don't look a day past 35!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Christmas Cards are in the mail

I've been a bit behind this year, okay, maybe no different from any other year, but it seems like I've still got a lot to do before the big day.

I'm thinking about holding a "Jones Family Wrapping Party"-anybody game????? :-)

I'm still back here on Thanksgiving pics-see how far behind I am?

Cutest Little Indian ever

The Cutest Indian and the "I'm not participating squaw"

More later, hopefully before Christmas............

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Here Comes Santa Claus.......

And it started out so well......of course, there is always next year :-)

Monday, November 1, 2010

Trick or Treat

Wow! October is gone and today we welcome in the first week of November-getting closer to Christmas all the time! The weather has also taken a turn towards cooler temps-it's hard to think about Christmas when it's 80 outside.

The last two weeks of October were packed with activities. We had the opportunity to attend a halloween party, a fall festival, G got to cheer on the field at the FCS Homecoming Game, she got her ears pierced and had two teeth removed (yes, the same two that we had crowns put on last October), and we had some great family pics taken of the entire family.

Playing games at the Halloween Party

Fun with friends at the Fall Festival

Getting ready to cheer at the homecoming game

Ta-duh! The Jones family pumpkins for 2010. I know I wimped out by not carving them but the picks are sooo much easier!

Elmo and Princess Kitty

This was just a sweet moment that I happened to catch and since the sibling squabblin' has already started I figured I need to document these rare moments whenever I have the opportunity. They look so sweet in the picture just sitting together and drawing, and so it went until K wanted to get down with the pencil and G would not let her. Jones family house rule: all marking untensils (pencils, crayons, pens, markers) must be used at the kitchen table.

Sittin' and drawin' with my Sissy

And finally, here is Halloween 2010. Grammy and D-Daddy came over and we went trick-or-treating around the neighborhood. K did really well walking around though towards the end she spent more time riding in the wagon. We had a system worked out to where G would hit two houses to every one that K went to. It worked well though I believe that next year K will be leading the group.

A monkey and a fairy, oh my!

"But I don't want to go home yet!"

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Pumpkin Patch time

October is finally here and we seem to be getting some cooler weather, with the exception of yesterday when we went to the pumpkin patch. It seemed more like summer than fall-it's not supposed to be 90 in October!

Even though it was a little warm for long-sleeve shirts and coveralls, we still had a great day. The weather has been reasonably good and so the fields weren't muddy and the girls got the chance to get in there and pick their own pumpkins.

Since it was also a holiday, we had the luxury of not having to hurry. The girls had the opportunity to see and pet the animals, to play in the hay and on the swings and to wander thru the sunflower fields. It really couldn't have been any better of a day.

The girls petting a baby calf

G on the rope swing

and falling off in the hay

Could somebody get me out of this hay?

On the way to the field

Grammy and K in the sunflowers

Every year since G was little and we've been going to the pumpkin patch, I like to get a picture of her sitting on a pumpkin. This was K's first year to actually sit unaided. You can see from her expression that she really doesn't get this whole "sittin' on the pumpkin thing".

K rides the pumpkin

And you can also tell from G's expression that she just thinks sitting on these pumpkins is way too silly for a six year old, but I got the pics and that's what counts:-)

G on her pumpkin (begrudgingly)

I don't want to forget to mention that K is now 18 months old. She celebrated the milestone by learning to make silly faces. Hey, what are big sisters for anyway?

Had to add this pic of K in her chef's outfit-too funny!!! K went to a friend's birthday party at the Young Chef's Academy and brought the hat home. Presto! With a little scotch tape it fit K perfectly!

Chef K

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Here Comes the ...........Flowergirl

This past weekend we had the honor of participating in a beautiful wedding. G was the flowergirl in Russ' cousin's wedding (I hope I got that connection right :-)

I'm not sure who was the biggest princess-the bride or G :-)

I'd like to tell you she danced all night but while dancing with the bride and bridesmaids she literally fell asleep standing up. We took our princess home and put her to bed at 10:00pm.

And you ask, where was Baby K? She had her first night away from home at Grammy's house. It went well, so we're hoping that this will be the first of many:-)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Fall is on it's way.....

Fall is officially on it's way--the weather has become cool enough in the morning to wear a sweater and the girls each have colds. I will miss the laid back days of summer where we would just get up in the morning and not have to hurry anywhere. The days of just hanging out at the pool with the girls and doing whatever came to mind at the moment. We've gotten back into our hurry, hurry, don't be late schedule-school, homework, Daisies, Toddlin' Time, work......before you know it, the holidays will be here.

While I'm sad to see that time go, I'm not sad to see the humid, hot weather go. The cooler afternoons mean that the girls are more apt to play outside a little more. Last week R was doing some much needed home improvements and the girls were "coloring" with chalk. It was really neat to watch G show K how to hold the chalk.

Big and Little

Halloween is just around the corner and the girls are busy deciding what they would like to be-K is going to be a monkey and G thinks she is going to be the tooth fairy. I managed to come up with a fairy costume that could be used for lots of different fairies in case she changes her mind. I'll try to post some pics shortly.

This past weekend, G and I completed our first races. It was her first 1k race and my first 5k since I've resumed running. (and might I note that it is much harder this time around:-)

I had originally tried to get G to do the Couch to 5K running plan with me but that was disastrous-anyone watching those first couple of training sessions would of had the impression that I am some type of super over-achiever parent pushing my child too hard and we were only doing the first week of training where you walk for 5 minutes to warm-up and then alternate 60 seconds of jogging with 90 seconds of walking for a total of 20 minutes.

After that, she and I decided that it might be best for her to just try the 1k and see if she liked it. After the race she said "she loved it" so I'm hoping that I've been successful in helping her to find something new that she likes to do. We also decided that we would try the Turkey Trot in November.

We are so proud of her!!!!

Me and G

This waiting for the race to start is serious business!

I'm thinking K might be our sports girl. She'll pick up any type of bat, racket, or ball. She could be the first ambidextrous tennis star!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

It's all about Baby K

My last post was all about G and so I'm going to take an opportunity to brag on Baby K a little.

You all know she's the cutest girl ever but did you know how incredibly smart she is? She's such a charmer. We've been doing baby signs with her since she was about 6 months old and now she has started verbalizing along with using her signs. There is nothing more heart meltin' than when she signs and says "please" at the same time. With the right person this will often get her just about anything that she wants-even if it is M&M's at 10:00am in the morning:-)

She recently had a well baby check-up and surprisingly had only grown a 1/2" and gained about 13oz. I would have thought it was so much more than that because we've gone from 12 month clothing to 12-18 month clothing. Of course she is so active now, that she most likely is just running it off. The pic below is like deja vu'-G wore the same dress to her well baby check-up at the same age.

"Oh really, this is the same dress?"

When was the last time you discovered your belly button? Well K found hers and it's incredibly funny to watch her trying to look at it. She uses one hand to "pull up" her little belly and the other hand to touch her belly button, all the while bending over to try and catch a look. Eventually she is almost toppled over trying to see.

"I can almost see it"

Last week we attended cousin J's birthday party at the park and I got some great pics of Baby K on the swings. The picture that I didn't get was the one where all the kids were sitting on a blanket and cousin J was opening his gifts and out of nowhere Baby K comes over and hits the birthday boy with a plastic bat. Not the best way to get yourself invited to future parties.

Just a swingin' at cousin J's party

I know it's only August and there is still time for Halloween costume shopping but I couldn't resist getting this for Baby K when I saw it. Guess what she is going to be.....

Saturday, August 21, 2010

HI HO, HI HO, It's off to school we go.........

Wow, that was quick!! It seems like G just had her last day of school yesterday and now we're starting a new school year. While I'm looking forward to the consistency of the routine, I'm going to miss just hanging out with my girls and just doing whatever we feel like doing for the day.

It's been a month since my last post and lots of things have been going on. G went to summer camp for the first time this year. She did a two week camp thru her school called, "Sing, Spell, Read, and Write"-which she loved. She also did a mini-camp for cheerleading. The pic below was taken the last evening after they performed for the parents. I was impressed that they were able to learn so much in such a short period of time.

G at cheerleading camp

Last month we attended an adoptive families reunion for Baby K-this month it was G's turn. Each year on the same weekend in August we get together with the families that we traveled to China with. This year, eleven of the twelve families were able to be there and what a weekend. I am constantly amazed that even though the girls don't see each other but once a year that the bond they share remains strong. When we first arrived they were all a little tentative but by the time Sunday came around they were playing together like friends that they see quite often.

It's hard to believe that it's been five years since we made that trip. This was probably the first reunion that the girls actually verbalized their sadness over leaving each other. It was really sweet to see them hugging each other goodbye-I overheard, "I won't forget you until next year," and "I'll be sending you love," and the cutest of all, "Get your mom to send my mom an email and I will send you a letter." Yes, that last comment was put forth by G which means that maybe I use our email too often:-)

Here's a couple of pics from our reunion weekend:

G and her China sisters

G and friend at our China Travel Group Reunion

Our family

We got home from the reunion on a Sunday and then school orientation was Thursday, and the official first day was Friday. I almost can't believe that G is in first grade. Here's a few pics from that first day:

G and Mrs. Shaeffer

Friday, July 23, 2010

Happy Birthday to Me, Happy Birthday to Me............

Yep, it's finally here....another birthday. Last year on my birthday we had just come home with Baby K from the RMI. In fact, we arrived home on July 22nd, the day before my birthday. I remember being so happy to finally be home that my birthday was just an afterthought to all the blessings that I was counting-a new baby, a safe return home, running water, consistent electricity, the impending start of kindergarten, iced coffee, Subway veggie sandwiches.....

Now a whole year has passed and once again I'm thankful for all the blessings that have been bestowed on me-two beautiful girls, a healthy family, good friends, way too much good food.....

The summer is flying by! My G has taken to the water like a fish this summer. My child who didn't even want to get her face wet in the bathtub is now jumping off of the diving board. I like that she has conquered her fear but now I'm a little fearful of her fearlessness:-)

G jumping off of the diving board

D-daddy, Baby K and Grammy at the pool

Last weekend we attended the Midwest Pacific Islands Reunion in Lexington, KY. It was a nice trip and a great opportunity to see lots of blended families like ours. The reunion was organized by adoptive families but the agency brought some of the CAA (Central Adoption Authority) officials over from the RMI. I learned that all of my letters have been delivered to Baby K's grandmother or BuBu in Marshallese (pronounced BooBoo). I can't tell you how happy that makes me to know that someone from her birth family knows how well she is doing. With any luck maybe we will get some correspondence back.

Baby K on the inflatables

Our friends from NY that we met in the RMI-and Baby K sleeping (just in time for the group photo)

While we were in Lexington we went to the Kentucky Horsepark and to a children's museum called The Explorium. I would have loved to been able to share some pics from the horsepark but I left both cameras and the video camera in the hotel:-( The park was 1200 acres and was home to retired racehorses, several equine associations and two different horse museums. The highlight of the visit for G was a tie between petting the foals and riding one of the ponies.

Both girls had a great time at the Explorium. There were age appropriate areas for both Baby K and G. Baby K had the most fun in the tot play area crawling on and off the tot sized furniture-hmmmmmm, I wonder what Santa might bring this year???? G loved the bubble room. I'm hoping you can see the bubble that she is pulling up around her in the pic below. (and no, Santa is not going to bring a bubble machine like that!)

"This chair is just my size"

G pulling the bubble up around her

In the Bubble Room at the Explorium