Tuesday, September 30, 2008

A fun day with the girls...

We picked up Summer this morning and then headed off to a park to play and have a picnic lunch. The girls were having such a good time together that we stopped at another park on the way home and they played some more. Then we came home for naps and more playing. We had a great day and all the girls got along well -- no bickering at all (amazing). We took Summer back home at 5:00, and now everybody is tired and mellow. Yeah -- I love days like this!!!!

Ready for our picnic lunch...
This is a typical Elizabeth "I'm ornery" look...
My fearless Nora sliding down a pole taller than I am...
Sweet Summer -- it still amazes me when I spend the day with my granddaughter and daughters and they're all the same age...
Ruby the monkey...

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Wedding pictures!

Yesterday we went over to Derrek and Samantha's apartment to have pizza and look at the wedding pictures. I wish I could sum up all the emotions I feel looking at these pictures. I can't -- by a long stretch -- but here's a try...

Pride in my son who is all grown up -- his heart and just who he turned out to be, happiness in the awesome decision he made in choosing Samantha, melancholy for the years of his life that I loved and wish I could have back again for just a few minutes, gratitude for the years of his life that were very hard and I am so thankful he got through safely and whole, thankfulness that he loves me even though I was so much less than perfect as a mother, and basically just total and complete love for my son.

Friday, September 26, 2008

My eyes are FINE!

There is nothing wrong with my vision! However, because some lame-brained manufacturers think it's a good idea to put print like this on medicine bottles...

I had to go out and buy these...

It was either buy the glasses or risk giving my girls an overdose of something!

P.S. It's really hard for a woman to look hot when wearing reading glasses.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

One of my favorite pictures...

I love this picture of Pammie and me enjoying a beautiful Vermont night at the lake. I miss Pammie. Hopefully we will enjoy a night like this again sometime in the next decade!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Christopther Dodge Smith

I said the other day that the boys don't get enough blog space. So...today I'm posting about Chris. We're very proud of Chris! Chris is 22 years old and a very fine young man. We're really proud of him. He is so sensitive, kind, and caring. He's great with his little sisters, and definitely the apple of Nora's eye. I'm sure he'll be the apple of Ruby and Elizabeth's eyes too after they know him a little better. At Derrek's wedding, Chris could have been hanging out having a beer with the older crowd, but no...he was dancing with and taking care of his little sisters so that I could mingle a little bit with the crowd. I'm very proud of Chris. He's a great guy, a wonderful son, and an awesome big brother! Here's Chris...

He's not really as tall as Tony -- he's standing on his toes!

Chinese Moon Festival

We took the girls to a Chinese Moon Festival yesterday at Antioch park. It was hosted by a group called Families Blessed with the World's Children. It's a large group of families, and most of them have Chinese children. But there were a few adopted kids from other countries there as well -- even one from Ethiopia! The girls had a great time eating, playing, and decorating their own Chinese lanterns. Then all the kids took their lighted lanterns on a parade around the park. And wouldn't you know it -- I forgot the camera! That's not like me at all! I wish I had a picture of them parading through the park with all the other adorable kids. It was so cute.

P.S. I had to take the Chinese lanterns away from them this morning and hang them up high in their room. They were using them like those large punching balloons!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Can I show proof that she's my daughter?

Today we went to get Ruby's ears pierced. The lady asked if she was mine since a parent has to give consent. OK, that's a fair question. I told her nicely, "Yes, all three of them are my daughters, actually." Then she asked me if I had any PROOF I could show her!

Now I can understand why the lady needed to ask if she's my daughter...sort of. But asking if I have PROOF? What, like I'd bring along my Ethiopian paperwork to show HER? And what does she think -- I abducted these children and brought them in for a quick ear-piercing before I made my get-away?

I looked her directly in the eye and said "Why because they're black and I'm white?" She didn't quite know what to say and just mumbled something in an embarrassed way (she was white). So I said, "I'm their mother. They are my ADOPTED daughters -- all three of them." I wanted to tack on "ever heard of adoption you idiot?" But that wouldn't be very polite of me or set a good example for my daughters...

Oh, and Nora ended up getting hers done too. At that point the lady knew better to ask for proof again.

Jonathan (aka Jonny)!

I usually post about what's going on with the girls, and the older kids don't get much blog space. I guess they don't do as many "cute" things to talk about. Jonathan (his friends and brothers and sisters call him Jonny but we call him Jonathan) is a senior in high school in Tarpon Springs, Florida. He's a great kid -- can I still call him a kid? Here are a few pics of Jonathan when he was younger -- and now!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Fashion faux pas or creative style?

As I've said before, if one of the girls does something, the other two are quick to copy it. I went in their bedroom a few minutes ago and saw them all wearing their princess clothes and each carrying a backpack and a purse (or in Elizabeth's case two backpacks). They keep me laughing.

Also, last night Nora walked up to me in the kitchen and said, "Mommy did you have a hard day?" The answer -- yes!

Monday, September 15, 2008

The Dogs

This morning the girls were looking at this picture of the dogs and saying their names. Ruby and Elizabeth still haven't quite got down the who's who in our dog family. I love this picture -- Chris managed to get all the dogs to hold still long enough to take it! It was even on television once!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Fun at the Circus

Remember the other day when I posted about the circus tickets Tony got for my birthday? Well, today was circus day! Everyone had lots of fun -- I love the circus! They had ten elephants, which I thought was pretty impressive. I think it was just a tiny bit too long for the girls though. Nora was getting restless after intermission, Ruby actually said to me in English, "Mama let's go" about ten minutes before it was over, and Elizabeth was trying to fish Life Saver Gummies out of Daddy's pockets. They really liked it though, and Ruby was getting into the music. Here are a couple of pics (notice they wore the new pink outfits)...

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

I'm tired!

I'm so tired -- bone tired! Tony is reading the girls their books right now and putting them to bed. I'm just sooooo grateful for a few quiet moments. Am I too old for this...really? Well, I guess it's too late to be asking THAT question! :-)

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

"They're so precious. Are they twins?"

Today a nice lady in Wal-Mart asked this question. It would not have hit me funny, except this is the third time I've had someone in a store ask me if Nigate and Amsalu are twins. They don't look that much alike, and one of them is very obviously older than the other. Hmmm....

Monday, September 8, 2008

Happy birthday to me!

Today is my birthday...

Now there was a time that my birthday was a BIG day of the year. Generally surrounded by somewhat lavish gifts such as concert tickets, new Coach bags (I have a purse problem), lobster dinners, and great wine. Yes...I have been a wee bit spoiled by my dear hubby.

Today, however, I have spent the day at the international adoption clinic getting tests run and figuring out the best game plan for de-worming my beautiful new daughters.

Just had to share...

P.S. I did get some tickets for my birthday. Tony got us great tickets to go to the circus next Saturday! I love the circus, and it will be so fun to take our girls! Plus I got a new book I've been wanting AND beautiful red roses. OK, so I'm STILL pretty spoiled. :-)

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Two new pics...

Daddy four-wheeling the girls! (I know they don't have on helmets but they were only going three miles per hour.)

If one of the girls wants to wear a hat, they all must wear a hat!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Dick Van Dyke fan club?

Of all the children's movies we have (and we do have most of them), the current favorite is without a doubt Mary Poppins! Yes, that's right...not Cars, Shrek, Shark Tales, Toy Story, or Monsters, Inc....MARY POPPINS! Ruby Nigate just loves Dick Van Dyke. She's completely enthralled by this movie, and tries to copy all the dancing (no chicken dance available thank you very much). Elizabeth Amsalu just tries to copy whatever Ruby is doing, and Nora tries to do whatever will get a laugh. It's really something to see. And their second favorite seems to be The Wizard of Oz!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

I have the best husband in the world!

Even though Tony works all day (sometimes long and stressful hours), he still has time for his girls...and time to give me a break. Tonight he is cleaning up after dinner AND reading stories AND getting all three girls in bed so that I can have a break. In case I haven't mentioned it lately, I love Tony sooooooo much and I'm so grateful that he's my husband, my best friend, and such a great father. I'm not sure what I did to deserve him, but I sure am glad I finally got the man of my dreams! It took me a while to find him. :-)

Monday, September 1, 2008