Wednesday, January 30, 2008

A Princess Party

You are invited to a princess party
honoring Princess Esther and Princess Emma's 5th Birthday

Saturday, January 19th 1-3 pm
Esther & Emma's castle
*Please wear your favorite Princess dress!*

6 am, My day started bright and early as I started
cooking and baking! Fortunately, I had two little helpers who helped me clean up.
1 pm, The Princesses and their entourage have arrived!
Mom isn't home yet, so I entertained all of the girls by having them make their very own Princess jewelery!
Poor Ivy even got dressed up!
Helping to even out our Asian population, Princess Ellie (left)
and her sister Princess Davie Ann!
Princess Emma and Princess Kayla enjoying their royal luncheon
Four little Princesses: Brooke, Emily, Esther & Angelina
A table of royalty!
The Royal Cake
(My first attempt at making a homemade cake.. I ran out of time so I didn't get to finish decorating. That brown "blob" is supposed to be a castle.. and I was supposed to ice it with icing spray, but it didn't arrive in time! That's Belle and Ariel decorating the cake!)
Princesses Brooke, Emily & Esther
Princess Mia dressed as a beautiful Cinderella!
Playing "Pin the slipper on the princess"
Pinata time.. Emma takes a swing
Prince Asher also joined in on the festivities.. he helped hold up the royal pinata
Princess Esther takes a hit!
Even Princess Ellie got to have a try... =)
But the little princesses were not strong enough, so we let the big, tough prince charming help out..
Mass candy!
The Royal Princesses--
Ellie, Esther, Abigail, Kayla, Emily, Angelina, Emma, Brooke, Davie, Micah & Mia
Uh oh.. there's one princess we forgot about!
(Princess "Ash" showed up a bit late)
Cake time..
Making wishes and blowing out the candles..
What princess doesn't lick the icing off of her candles?
Looks like a bit of Mardi Gras!
Present time.. the Cinderella castle, a gift from the King & Queen (AKA Dad & Mom)
More royal gifts
Apparently, this is what I looked like after all of the guests left..

Having virtual twins presents some challengers, but we just learn to deal with them.. or come up with a compromise! The girls' party went great, it was the first time we have had a party for the two of them. Since their birthdays are so close (Esther-January 6 & Emma-February 14) we had their party in between their birthdays. Both girls have the same friends, so it didn't make sense to have two seperate parties. Since they act much like twins, we will continue to celebrate their birthdays together, but of course have a family party on their actual birth day. We will continue this until they are older and can decide on their own what they want to do.
It was a fun day, but I was mighty tired by the end!! =)

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Dishes, Umbrellas & Bicycles

The girls love to wash dishes.. they don't see it as a chore, just fun with water & soap!
I sure hope they continue feeling this way...
Moving outside.. here's Emma and her umbrella
Bike riding
Hehe.. I just love her face!

Silly girls!

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

We Have a 5 Year Old!

Our sweet Esther turned five on January 6th, and we celebrated with a pizza & ice cream cake party the night before. As if you couldn't guess by the pictures, the theme of our party was Hannah Montana. I swear Esther is a teenager trapped inside the body of a five year old. Unlike Emma's ambition to be a Disney Princess, Esther is all about Hannah Montana, AKA Miley Cyrus. She knows all of the songs, has seen all of the episodes and even proclaims Hannah's boyfriend, "Jake Ryan" as her own boyfriend. She got two of the Hannah Barbie Dolls for Christmas, so we got her the stage for her birthday. It's cute and she enjoys playing with it. As if we didn't have enough Hannah music playing throughout our house, this also belts out about 5 of her favorite songs.. all day long!
Surely everyone has heard of Hannah Montana and her rising fame among pre-teen girls.. and our five year old! While we weren't willing to pay $150 for a concert ticket, we will be more than happy (or willing) to sit through the 3-D movie coming next month! As soon as the five o' clock hour rolls around, everything stops for the younger three girls as their attention is directed to the television for the next hour. Esther & Emma even put on a little dance as the theme song rolls around.
Esther is just so funny. She's already wise beyond her years. I think sharing a room with 16 year old Elena is part of the reason why her favorite's include Hannah Montana and High School Musical 2! However, she is also a die hard Princess Ariel fan and is excited about our upcoming trip to Disney World in February.
It's hard to believe she has only been apart of our family for two years, come March. While she had a rough adjustment at first, she has blossomed over the past 22 months and continues to be a very sweet and loving child. She does have quite a fiesty streak about her.. and she and Mom tend to disagree about things! Esther is a great leader and older sister to Emma, which is something I was very concerned about when we first brought her home. The two have very similar personality strengths, but they get along so well. It's hard to look at the girls and realize that they come from cities that are as far apart as Miami and New York, yet they are so close you'd never know they weren't twins. Most people assume they are, and for lack of getting into a 20 minute conversation about how they aren't twins, I usually just say they are! Although, the girls know they aren't twins so when asked they tell people, "No, we aren't twins. But we are sisters." That's the right answer. =)
Esther has already started reading and completed her first Bob book just last week! She's anxiously looking forward to kindergarten and I'm afraid she's going to catch up to Asher a little too quick! She brings a lot of laughter to our home and we are so glad that God blessed us with Esther in our lives. We love you Estee Joy!!

Our sweet five year old
The proud new owner of a Hannah Montana stage!
Esther.. I mean Hannah Montana!
Cake time!

Everyone got a chance to be "Hannah Montana!"
My friend's are all Esther & Emma's friends too.. so my (I mean Esther's) friend Bethany joined us
during our celebration..
Mom & Dad
Oooing and aahing over the new toy
Our "almost" five year old..
The crazy boys.

January 6, 2008--Esther Day

Our sweet girl is now five years old!!

"Who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?
Esther 4:14

Dear Esther,
Our prayer for you is that you will grow strong in the Lord and follow after your namesake of Queen Esther in the Bible. Like Queen Esther, you were born "for such a time as this." God brought you into this world knowing you would have a plan for your life, and what a plan it is! You have already overcome so much in your short life, and we pray you will use your life to bring glory to God. We pray that you would be influential in the life of others and be an inspiration your China sisters and brothers left behind, just like Queen Esther was to her people. You are a constant reminder of God's amazing grace and you bring us so much joy. Your happiness and sense of humor keeps us all laughing throughout the day.
We love you so much Esther Joy!

Interesting facts about Esther:
  • She is very flirtatious!
  • She is our youngest child to start reading
  • Home just three months from China, she was already fluent in English!
  • She tends to have a bit of motion sickness
  • She is a die-hard Hannah Montana fan
  • Hands down, the best eater out of our family!

Monday, January 07, 2008

Christmas 2007

Christmas in our home was relaxed, wild, wacky and fun! Dreams came true, firsts were experienced and we all got sick and tired of hearing Hannah Montana's voice echo throughout the house! I took lots of pictures and a bit of video and have compiled it into a little video below.

Highlights of this Christmas:
  • First off, Asher experienced his first Christmas with our family. He had a blast ripping into each present and echoed many "Yipees" and "Thank you's" throughout the evening. He received MANY Lego sets and has spent the last few weeks putting them together. It's so exciting to watch each of our adopted children experience Christmas for the first time. I'll never forget last year during Esther's first Christmas when she woke up that morning and started crying because she thought Santa Clause had unwrapped all of her presents! This year, we didn't have any tears.. only screams of joy and delight.. more on that below.
  • Ian received his much anticipated Wii. Upon seeing this startling gift, he proceeded to dash outside running laps around the pool screaming, i mean SHRIEKING.. "I GOT A WII! I GOT A WII." I did get it on video, and once I ever figure out how to upload it onto the computer, I will. =) Needless to say Christmas day and every day since then, Ian has spent playing his beloved game. And God help you if you touch it without his permission!
  • Kayla got her much anticipated Gameboy DS. After going through hand-me-down gameboys throughout the years (geez.. poor kid.. has to have hand me downs!) she finally got her very own one.. and it's pink! Despite the fact she despises that color, she loves her game and has also spent a lot of time playing it. Along with that, she received lots of gift cards to her favorite store, Limited Too.
  • Elena was the proud recipient of an iChair, which blasted all of her young poppy music throughout the day on Christmas.. and still does to this very minute! She also received lots of gift cards too.
  • I've realized that as you get older, your Christmas piles start to dwindle down to very little, unlike your younger years. However, I can't complain at all! I received a much anticipated pair of Ugg Boots, a *fake* Dolce & Gabana purse (but I still love it) and several other little gifts. I must say, while my extended family was more frugal this year.. my work was not! I must have received at least $200 worth of gift cards from the kids I watch at preschool, and a beautiful Betsey Johnson purse from my boss! (My first *real* designer bag!!) (Don't take the above as a complaint at all, because I am very happy and appreciative for everything I have.. it's just something I've noticed and found funny. =)
  • And, last but not least.. Esther and Emma are the proud owners of their own bikes! Esther has a beautiful blue bike, and Emma has a *pink* Disney princess one. They also received a dollhouse.. I take that back, doll MANSION! It's quite cute and much more elaborate than what I had to play with as a kid! Esther also received lots of Hannah Montana things, including the huge poster which is hanging in her playroom right now. Emma is a Disney Princess freak, but she likes Hannah Montana too.
  • Mom and Dad didn't suffer throughout Christmas.. I just can't remember what they were gifted with this year! Ooops.
Like I said, Christmas was great and many of my most treasured memories happen during this day. It was nice realizing that we finally spent Christmas with our entire family together at last. It took almost 18 years, but at last there are seven stockings on the fireplace and all the more gifts under the tree! It's something you don't really think about, but now that we're all together it's such a heartwarming feeling. I look forward to all of the Christmas's we will have together as the next family members will be husbands, wives and grandchildren! Yikes.. that's getting a little too ahead of myself!
We hope your Christmas was just as joyful and wonderful. Only eleven more months until the next one! =)

Holiday Re-Cap

I have a lot to update on over the next few days, especially since a lot has been going on.
Let's see here..
  • We had Christmas
  • Asher celebrated his first Christmas
  • Dad, Elena and I went to Honduras two days after Christmas
  • We ended 2007, and started 2008
  • We had record breaking temperatures here in Florida..
  • Esther turned five on Sunday
  • We're adopting again.... JUST KIDDING. That would be funny, huh? NOT!
I'm working on getting things uploaded! You can expect some updates over the next few days.. =)