Cole, Alex, & Anna Grace

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Disney Days 1 & 2

We are having a great time this week at Disney World. Today is sunny, but we have had several days of off and on rain due to the tropical storm. That has not stopped us from having a great time though. We just put on our ponchos and keep going. Afterall, we are the family who vacationed in the Costa Rican rainforest during the rainy season! A little Florida tropical storm has not stopped us!! I don't have much time to do a long post, so I am mostly going to include pictures this time. I know my mom wants to see what a great time her grandkids are having!
Anna Grace loves her Minnie Princess ears!
waiting on the bus to take us to the Magic Kingdom
an evening bike ride to eat supper
fun on the water slides
We were the first to ride Dumbo for the day (yes, I am the crazy mom running with a stroller, 3 kids, and a hubby in tow to beat the crowds for the first rides!)
"It's a Small World"
"Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin"
The teacups
Lunch at the Crystal Palace with Winnie the Pooh and friends (Anna Grace was not too thrilled with the characters)
Poor Anna Grace was exhausted from all of the excitement!
When I get a chance, I will post about yesterday's trip to Epcot and today's trip to Down Town Disney and the luau supper at the Polynesian.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

How to have a perfect playdate...according to Anna Grace

Anna Grace has perfected the art of the perfect play date. Step One: Invite your best friend (in her case it is Carly) to come over and get out ALL of the dress up clothes. You must spread them all out all over the floor to find the right outfit. The outfit must have a princess dress, crown, high heeled shoes, jewelry, and most certainly a pair of wings.
Step Two: Get into the princess castle and pretend to be a princess.
Step Three: Cook up some yummy pretend snacks.
Step Four: Get out of the dress-up outfits (so that they won't get too messy) and do some crafts.

***Helpful tip*** Watch out for annoying big brothers who might be spying with walkie talkies!!
Step Five: Get back into more dress-up clothes (this might mean you have to get them all out again if your mommy has cleaned them up) and have a tea party. You will probably need to pick a new outfit this time because a girl can never wear the same thing twice!!
Step Six: All that changing of outfits gets exhausting so you might need to take a break and watch some cartoons!!
***Last helpful tip*** Your mommy will probably freak out if she overhears you say to your friend, "Hey, you can cut my hair and then I will cut yours."

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Celebrating 2 Years!

Two years ago today, we were united with our precious little girl. She was scared, hungry, and in need of a good bath. It was her birthday, but she was not in the mood to celebrate.
She cried for the foster mom who had cared for her for the last few months and our hearts broke for her as she stood in at the door to our hotel room calling "Mama, mama!" We were her new Mama and Daddy, but she did not understand the change that was happening to her.
Today, we happily celebrate Anna Grace's adoption. She is 4 years old today and has come so far. The delayed, tiny little girl who was placed in our arms is now spunky and active. She loves her preschool, finds new friends wherever we go, and always has a song to sing. Anna Grace has bonded with our family and we can hardly remember what it was like without her. Not only has she overcome her delays, but she is already learning to read!! Everyday we are amazed by the change that has taken place.

Today on this Family Day, Birthday, and Mother's Day we are also reminded of the family that Anna Grace lost- her biological family. We may never know them to express our appreciation for the sacrific that they made, but we pray that they have peace in their hearts and may somehow know that their precious little girl is loved, healthy, and thriving.

Anna Grace was so excited yesterday when my mom and I took her on a trip to Babyland General, the "hospital" where the Cabbage Patch Kids are "born." We watched the "birth" of a baby and Anna Grace chose a baby of her own.
She proudly named the baby "Anna Grace" and gave her the same birthday and adoption day as the real Anna Grace. This is the picture of her taking the "oath" to love her new baby always.
On this Mother's Day, I am so thankful for the 3 precious children that God has given us, and I remember to mother in China who gave birth to our precious little girl 4 years ago.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Anna Grace's Art Party

Today we celebrated Anna Grace's 4th birthday with an art party. We invited her friends with this card that I created asking everyone to help her "create a masterpiece." We cut holes in the cards and attached real paint brushes so that it would look like she was holding a giant paintbrush in her picture. I thought the invitations turned out really cute.
We decorated the patio and the rest of the backyard using pink, green, and yellow tissue paper pom poms and homemade pin wheels.
I used a piece of pink and white polka dot fabric on the food and present tables. Lots of ribbon and scrap booking paper were used to decorate. I made paper cones and Mike made pink and green colored popcorn to fill them. We also had fruit on a little sticks and spinach dip with flower-shaped bread. The kids cooled off with pink lemonade from a jug labeled with scrap booking paper and little water bottles covered with more of same the scrap booking paper.
We set up two white tents for shade so that the kids could work on their craft projects. We painted "bubble fish" and assembled Styrofoam spiders under one tent and made felt cupcakes and birds decorated with feathers under the other tent.
Alex had a table set up to with play dough and Cole had another table to help the kids slide beads onto pipe cleaners to make bracelets.
Of course, we also had the trampoline (or, "jumpoline" as one little girl called it)and play scape for the children to play on. Mike used a piece of ribbon to make a drying line for the art projects. We also had bags labeled with each child's name (I used more scrap booking paper to decorate them) so that we could keep up with everyone's projects.
Anna Grace's dress was made out of fabric that coordinated with the party colors. It was a pink polka dot pillow case dress with a cute little bird appliqued on the side of it and her name monogrammed across the bottom. I ordered it from very sweet lady off Etsy.
My mom and I (well mostly my mom) made the cake. It was made up of two round cakes and covered with a smooth buttercream icing. We made cookies to look like paint palettes to decorate the sides. We also used little candies and more polka dots to give more color. I made a little banner for the top with Anna Grace's name on it that was a smaller version of the banner hanging from the covered patio. Of course, both banners were created from the same scrap booking paper that I used on all of the other projects.
After the children had their fill of cake, it was time for presents.
All of the children took home their bags filled with their art projects. They were also given little bags with homemade crayons and little tubs filled with homemade play dough (of course labeled with more scrap booking paper, hee hee...)
Anna Grace's actual birthday is not until next weekend, but we celebrated early so that it would not interfere with Mother's Day plans. I think her little party was a hit. All of the kids enjoyed the projects, and they had a great time getting to play. The weather was hot, but we had plenty of cool drinks and several shady spots in the yard for the adults to relax. We are all tired tonight, but we had a great time celebrating Anna Grace's birthday.