Wednesday, September 23, 2009

September 18, 2009 -- WE MISSED IT!!!

As of September 18, 2009 Noelle has officially been with our family longer (by one day) than she had been in orphanage care without a family.  Amazing!!  Eric and I are so honored to be the ones God chose for her parents. :-)

Some dear friends of ours celebrated this milestone with their daughter last year.  We actually were priveleged to help them celebrate Reagan's important day.  Eric and I thought it was a very nifty idea and planned to copy it for our family.  But darn it, with all the sickness and "other stuff" we've been dealing with recently, we both plum forgot!  I'm bummed. :-(  It may not have seemed significant to Noelle, but it means a lot to us.  We cannot go back in time, but I'm wondering if there is some way to recoup what we missed.  Hmmmm....  My fortune (cookie) says there is a Chinese meal in our immediate future!

Can anyone think of what the significance of this particular date is???
You win a *GOLD STAR* if you can guess correctly...

Monday, September 21, 2009



After all of us being sick the past couple weeks and spending waaaaaaay too much time in the house and with each other, I was looking forward to preschool today.  I mean really.  A lot.  I was look forward to preschool really a lot.

(come on, moms! who's with me!?)

In my defense, Noelle was too.  She loved her '1 day of school' from 2 weeks ago, and was excited to attend her first gymnastics class, and to see Teagan and the Rodrigez kids (friends from church).

BUT Chattanooga is under water. 

And I mean that almost literally.  It has been raining for days and days and many areas are flooded.  Eric and I feel blessed that our cosy church parsonange home is high up on Missionary Ridge and not in the numerous small valleys across the area.

So we were shoving food down our kiddo with 5 minutes to spare before I tossed her and her Dora backpack in the car...when the phone rang.  Eric grabbed it, read the caller ID out loud and we both groaned.  (My groan might have been a bit louder and longer than his.)  "Cancelled due to flooding."

I love my kid more than life.  But I'll say it again.


(Note: The building was not flooded. Just the parking lot.)


Notice anything wrong with this picture?

The mirror is missing. 
A large one that covers the wall and most of the window. 
(Ok, you probably noticed that this is poor placement for a dresser with a mirror, but in our bedroom there is literally no other place to put it.  Between the 2 awkwardly placed windows, the 2 closets, the door to the hall and the door to the bathroom, there is no other available wall.  I feel lucky that we were able to get our bed in this room!)

While in the shower I heard a terrible crash.  My first thought was that maybe the cats had knocked the tv to the floor.  My second thought was, "That had to have woken Noelle.  Grrrrr, those cats better not have woken up Noelle."  I dashed out of the shower to investigate and immediately noticed the dresser mirror was not in it's usual place.

It was here, on the floor.

So much for the mirror I've had since I was a girl.
I guess I won't be checking my outfits or putting on jewelry here any more. 
My antique jewelry/music box also bit the dust.

And so did my (previously) unbroken last collectible figurine given to me by my husband.

Here are the culprits.

I found them cowering under the bed.  When they did eventually slink out, there was narry an apology for the mess and destruction they had left behind.

What led to the cat-astrophe?  They had been up in the window behind the mirror watching birds and squirrels.  Evidently something spooked the kitty-girls during their vigil. 
We have a large tree so close to the house that the area wildlife, from the wooded area behind the parsonage, frequently leap from a branch and race across the roof then back again, all day long. 

The cats love it.
As indooor felines, they find this amusement a wildly entertaining way to spend an afternoon.
I never did love it.  Even more so, NOW.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Noelle's First Japanese Steakhouse Experience

The fire scared her so much she jumped into Eric's lap.  Each time our cook lit something on fire, she screamed a bit and either hid in her daddy's shoulder or covered her eyes.

Showing more interest in the process...

You can practically see her mouth watering over the steaming chicken.  She cried out, "MEAT!!MEAT!!" when the chef tossed the pink breasts onto the sizzling grill.  (Our girl does eat fruits and veggies, but she is quite the carnivore.)

The hostess loved chatting with Noelle and noticed her struggling to eat with the huge fork.  So...she brought her a pair or training chopsticks instead!  Just moments before, Noelle declared she was "All done!" and wanted to get down to play.  But, when she got those chopsticks in her hand, her focus suddenly changed to cleaning her plate.  And she almost did just that!  She had quite a knack for picking up even bits of rice with this new tool.  Our table-mates were quite impressed.  (Unfortunately we forgot to take them with us when we left the restaurant.  Noelle was sorely disappointed and wanted us to turn around.  Eric consoled her with, "I can make you some chopsticks just like that at home!")

Saturday, September 19, 2009

All Moved In!

A rainy day in Ringgold

Derek, Eddie and Ramon came over to assist.  You guys are AWEsome!

Much of the sorting of household items will take place in the garage

The Master Suite

The Great Room

My tired sweaty dad, taking a well-deserved water break

That's the last of it, guys!

Hi, handsome fella ;-)

Hey, where did this cute lil' squirt come from??  Was she in one of the boxes??  Can we take her home with us?? :-)

Friday, September 18, 2009

My Parents!!!

Are finally, officially, moving down to the Chattanooga area from Knoxville -- TODAY!!! They have been living half time at their new condo, doing flooring projects, painting projects and such, while waiting for their house in Knoxville to sell. Unfortunately it still has not. :-( But we are trusting and praying for God to bring the right buyer along.

Anyway...this evening they are heading this way with their moving truck with the remainder of their belongings. Please pray for their safety as dad drives the truck and mom follows behind in the car...with a freaked-out, car-crazed feline in the front seat. eeeeekkkk!!! (I'm hoping they put Spanky in well-secured box - he's been known to escape!)

I've been trying to reach their cell all day to no avail. Sooooo we are not quite sure when they will arrive. We just want them to get here safe and sound. I am SO excited to have my parents here full time! It's been a long time coming. Thanks, God! :-)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

icky sickies around here

***Thursday Evening Update***
We are all doing sooooo much better. Noelle and I even got out of the house today. And the Tamiflu I started taking yesterday seems to have helped.

Please keep us all in your prayers. Noelle and Eric still haven't quite beaten the flu (since last Thursday and Friday, respectively), and Noelle actually developed a concerning rattle in her chest this evening. And the bug finally caught up with me yesterday.

Many, many folks all over are struggling with the same thing. We are praying for all of you out there, even as we pray for a quick end to our illness.

{{{Air-hugs}}} (anything else would spread germs),


Sunday, September 13, 2009

~The Blessing Place~

On Wednesday, Noelle started her first day of Mom's Day OutThe Blessing Place is a program run by a church in our community for preschool aged children.  It is a Monday / Wednesday program that follows a regular preschool curriculum.  The kids are divided into classrooms based on age, and they have bible lessons, crafts, music, basic Spanish, field trips (that come to the school), etc. ...and they even have a gymnastics class once a week (super cool!). 

Noelle really enjoyed her first day, and she didn't cry, which made me very relieved, as this was a new school.  I think checking out the room and "inspecting" each and every toy at the open house the previous week helped immensely.  She seems to like her teacher, Mrs. Heather, and enjoys her 5 other classmates.  Only one boy, poor kid - or maybe not!  He seemed to not mind the girls teasing and giggling all about him! lol  Noelle also has a buddy in her room-- Teagan from our local Families with Children from China group (her mom is Terri of Our Hearts' Desire blog).

Here are a few pictures:

Noelle, Teagan and 'the one' boy (I'll have to learn his name)

You might be living with a toddler if... can rattle off the words to the Barney theme song or the text of "Good Night Moon" but can't seem to recall your social security number or zip code when asked. scream in the shower because you see a gaping wound on your leg...thankfully it's only the red Elmo sticker your child stuck there last night.

...your cupboards and drawers are filled more with sippy cups and Dora or Cinderella flatware sets, than with dinner plates or ceramic mugs. And you value these plastic and rubberized items more than your fine china. find you've come to prefer the kids' menu (i.e. chicken nugget meal and apple juice) to your grilled chicken salad and water with lemon.

...your discarded containers, boxes and bottles are confiscated from the trash can and used as toys.

...before leaving the house, you ask your very manly husband, "Do you need to go poo-poo before we go?"

Thursday, September 10, 2009


Please visit our Taiwan adoption blog for the details I posted tonight. Thanks.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Our Girl Is 3!!!

Happy, happy birthday, precious Noelle JiaZhen! How did you get to be sooooo big? We are so very proud of you and the lovely little girl you are becoming. We LOVE being your mommy and daddy and look forward to many, many birthday celebrations with you in the years to come!!

All our Love~
Your Mommy and Daddy
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry