Tuesday, December 18, 2007

And On We Go

As we move ever closer to Christmas, we've had all sorts of things going on around here.

There's the obligatory visit to the fat man. This was a couple of weeks ago. A local realtor arranged for the big guy to visit our community center.

This would be P explaining that when he brought all the furniture and figures for her Dora house last year, Santa did not bring Dora's dog and could he please bring it this year.

And here's Jo trying to make it clear that she doesn't care what Santa brings her, she just wants him to go away.

Here are the girls by the Christmas tree.

And Jo on her own by the tree.

And finally, just to get away from all the cute Christmas pictures, a picture that is not for the squeamish. P lost another tooth on Saturday. Have you ever seen a child so thrilled to be bleeding from her mouth?

This occurred Saturday evening. After being at the church for 4 hours in preparation for and attending Janet's service, I came straight home at 2:00 and put on my jammies. That would be me just barely in the picture on the left trying to stop the bleeding while P just wanted the moment captured on "film". She cracks me up.

Janet's service was wonderful, as I knew it would be. One thing about Episcopalian funerals, they are quite a celebration of the person's life. It was standing room only. We were squeezed into the pews cheek to cheek with a lot of people standing in the back. It speaks volumes about Janet and her life.

So, on we go. A week until Christmas. Shopping to do. Family to see. Friends with whom to have "breakfast for dinner on Christmas Eve eve". All dear moments to enjoy.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Our Dear Janet

Where do I start? This summer, our dear friend Janet found out she had leukemia. She went into the hospital June 26. Aside from a short 1 or 2 day visit to her home, she has been in the hospital ever since.

Until today. Today she left the hospital. To use MB's eloquence, "Janet passed peacefully into larger life this morning just before 8:00 a.m."

At the beginning of November, she had a stem cell transplant. Around Thanksgiving, we received word that Janet would be leaving the hospital the following week. There was much rejoicing. Then, there was a delay. Then another delay. And another. Turns out that the leukemia, despite rounds and rounds of horrible chemo, never completely went away. Add to that, her body was slow to accept the new stem cells, and you end up here.

Friday I found out that the decision had been made to discharge her to hospice care. I was devastated. The general feeling was that she would not actually make it to today, when she was to have left the hospital. I've been bawling all weekend. I'm not alone.

J was so thrilled about our adopting Josie. On the Sunday before we left for China, J grabbed me by the shoulders, gave me a big ol' kiss and said, "You are so loved. We are all going to China with you. Go bring that baby home." She was at the airport to welcome us home and to fawn over Jo.

I'm so not finished with J. We had things to do. Laughs to share. She and her husband had all kinds of plans. Her daughter just had a baby girl (after 3 boys) in September. We all knew that she was going to get through this in her tough British fashion.

But, she didn't. And now, we are left with a gaping hole in our lives. She will be SO very missed by so many people.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

The Adventures of Jo

Here's our little Jo on Tuesday. She's so proud of herself. She's just walked about 10 steps from the living room into the office to show me the remote. She took 2 or 3 more steps to me then stumbled and hit her chin on my knee and bit her lip.

Here she is yesterday, very impressed with herself for standing on the stool and being able to see all the cool things she rarely gets to see.

"I wonder if I can use these handles to climb higher..."

"Guess not. What's on Mom's desk?"

Here's a close up so you can see the "moisture" on her face. This is after she fell off the stool, cried some, then climbed back up. (No. She did not fall toward the desk and its glass top)

"Yeah. I fell. But, that's no reason to stop!" (Note the slightly darker red spot in the middle of her bottom lip where she bit it the day before.)

Monday, November 26, 2007

Scenes From a Photo Shoot

On a recent Saturday afternoon, we went over to our friends' house and had a few, or 150, pictures taken by close friend and uber-photographer, Doug. He has quite the eye, and quite the camera. A couple of these will be appearing on a Christmas card near you. None of these have been Photo-Shopped. They are basically straight out of the camera.

My Family

My Girls

My Boy

Jo On Her Own

Monday, November 19, 2007

At Long Last...

...the baptism pictures!!

Doesn't she look angelic with that perfectly timed sunbeam coming through the high window of the church?

She has no idea what's about to happen.

Uh...mom? What's up with THAT guy?

This seems bad. Mom?

Ready or not, here we go!!

You can't see Jo's face, but mine tells the story.

After doing that 3 times, she's dried off.

Notice how Fr. David is in focus and Jo's a little blurry? Uh, yeah.

"Receive the light of Christ..."

Sweet baby girl. She didn't enjoy that much, but she survived.

Friday, November 09, 2007


I can't believe it's already Friday.

I can't believe I haven't posted since October 27!

Hmmm. What's happened since then?
Halloween - lots of fun.

November 4 - Josie was baptized. She screamed her way through it. I promise I will post pictures as soon as I get them from the friend who took them.

This week - Allen traveled for work, so my mom stayed with me for the week to keep me from losing my mind. Well, to keep me from losing more of it. We had lots of fun. Josie has really taken a liking to her. And last weekend when my dad was here? Forget about mom! Josie loves my dad. She wanted to be in his lap whenever possible.

Tomorrow is Phoebe's last soccer game of the season. I can't believe the soccer season is over. Seems like just yesterday when it started. After the game, we're going to drive my mom and meet my dad half way between where we each live so mom can go home. I think she may sleep for a week. She has been such a blessing this week. Catching me up on laundry, cleaning Phoebe's closet so that those too small clothes are gone, watching Jo so I could have some me time. I keep asking her when she's going to move in.

On Monday, we meet with the social worker for our SIX MONTH post adoption visit. Six months?! Sheesh. I can't believe it.

I guess we ought to get that new family picture taken, huh? You know, so we don't have to use that one in the post below.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Trunk or Treat

Our church had "Trunk or Treat" this evening, so we debuted the Star Wars family costumes.

Aren't we an interesting bunch? P is Darth Vadar, of course. Allen is Obi Wan. I'm Padme(! - NOT Leia. No cinnamon bun hair!) And J is, well, Yoda.

Watch out, Yoda's trying to use the force on you.

Happy Darth

Mean Darth (but still awfully cute)

A Yoda close up. The teens at the church started calling her Joda. She actually kept the hat on the entire time and didn't seem to mind wearing it. Must go shopping for cute hats.

Monday, October 22, 2007


Isn't she too cute?
Here's Jo practicing her walking.

Sometimes she makes sudden right turns.

The "walk behind" also works if you stand in front of it.

Here are a few shots from P's soccer game this weekend. It was the first loss of the season (Phoebe's first experience with losing a game), BUT P did get more into the game...

AND actually got her feet on the ball a few times....

And had a shot on goal...

Alas, this girl isn't on our team. Otherwise, P's shot would have been directed into the goal.

Monday, October 15, 2007

One Small Step

It has happened. And there are no pictures. Sorry.

Friday night, Little Miss J took her first unassisted steps. This story really has two tidbits of information. Apparently Josie is going to be quiet the girly girl. And girly things are very motivating for her.

Friday night we were all sitting on the couch. My friend Sue, and her daughter Audrey, and Sue's friend Cheryl, were here. The couch is a sectional, so it's shaped like an L. We had the ottoman pushed up into the corner of the L and Josie was crawling around on the large cushy space this made. She found one of her sister's headbands and HAD to have it on her head. I put it onto her head and she smiled and hit herself on the head and crawled over toward Sue and stood up beside her on the couch. I reached over and took the headband off of Jo's head an put it onto mine. She laughed and then took a step toward me reaching for the headband.

Hmmmm. "Could be on to something," Sue said. So, we repeated this process several times. Each time Jo took from 1 to 3 steps toward me while standing on the couch without holding on to anything.

In my mind, it seems like if she can walk on a less than stable surface like a squishy couch, the wood floor shouldn't be a problem. She has yet to be so brave on the floor.

I will try to get pictures next time this happens. We were all so in awe that we didn't grab a camera. We didn't want to mess up the scene lest she decide she didn't want to do it anymore.

Hmm. I may need to shop for shoes....

Monday, October 01, 2007

The Gap Between Posts

You may be wondering why there have been so few posts lately. Why no cute pics of the girls? Well the answer is over there on the left, just under the "About Me" section.

Around about the time we got our referral of Jo in March, I kinda lost any time I previously had to make jewelry. Well, a couple of weeks ago, my friend Sue told me about this site called Etsy. Now I'm in trouble. It's pretty addictive, but it has gotten me back into making jewelry. I have a little store there that you can access by clicking the link over there on the left under the pictures.

I have to warn you. It isn't just addictive as a seller. It's addictive as a buyer. It's an entire virtual marketplace of handmade items. Pretty much anything you can think of is there. And buying from there supports individual artists. I've heard there are mass producers masquerading as independent artists on the site, so you may run into that. For the most part though, it's individuals. It's a cool place. I may do most of my Christmas shopping there.

So, now for the reason you're actually here.

Here's all the girls in the family - including the dog. Senna was diagnosed with Addison's Disease last week. It's totally treatable and she's feeling much better now that she's on a daily dose of Prednisone.

Look how much Jo is filling out. She's definitely had a growth spurt!

Jo loves her sister. And I think the feeling is mutual.

Jo also loves to play in the toilet. Dad didn't want that in the pic, but yes she's holding the toilet paper roll holder and putting a foot up on the toilet lid. We have a lovely lock that holds the lid down now.

And, this picture is just P in a nutshell. My sweet girl.