Emma and Meilynn got the brilliant idea to use the "joke" canes that Daddy got for his birthday to roller skate around the kitchen.
Mommy had to put a stop to this activity. She did not want to be visiting the Doctor's on Christmas Eve.
Grandma and Aunt Debbie getting ready to enjoy some cookies.
This is our Grandpa Buddy.
Emma's big girl bed came. We have decided that Emma will sleep in a twin and Meilynn and Lily will sleep in the new bunkbeds. We hope that they get here before Lily does. All three girls will start out in the same room. After Lily comes we will make any sleeping adjustments if we need to. Awhile ago I wrote a post about getting rid of the "bunny bed", well I am happy to say that it has found a home in our house again. We had anticipated Emma and Meilynn having their own rooms with double beds, but that was before our plan to adopt again. I had saved the "bunny bed" that I had bought for the older girls when they were little. I loved it then and I still do. So now it will be in the extra room and whoever needs to sleep there when they are sick or at nap time can. Right now, until the bunkbeds get here, Meilynn is sleeping in it. That is the 100 good wishes quilt on Emma's bed. I am probably going to buy other quilts to go on the beds as well. Emma loves her new cozy bed. When she is a little bigger we will move it up higher.
Daddy and Nick (Mae-Mae's husband) worked on putting new shelves and drawers in the closets since we won't really have room for three dressers. Right now the plan is to have one dresser and then there will be shelves and drawers in both closets for the girls to share. I think it will be important for them each to have there own space to keep things. So there will be some drawers and shelves they will share and some that will just be there things.
Meilynn on the famous "bunny bed"
Meilynn loves her Hello Kitties
Playing around on the big girl beds
They are so funny!
Christmas Eve-Meilynn putting out the carrots for the reindeer.
Emma thinks the reindeer will come from over there!
Mae-Mae playing with Meilynn
Grandma having a little fun with the girls.
Aunt Julie with Meilynn on Christmas Eve
Daddy (Santa) putting together the Plasma Cars
Nick looking a little perplexed on how to put it together.
Mommy (Mrs. Claus) putting the stockings together.
We get to make gingerbread houses with our cousin Brookie. She is six so we like to pretend like Lily is here. We think that it will be fun to have a big sister. Mommy says that it will be hard for Lily at first and it will take her awhile to feel like she is part of our family. We talk a lot about what it must be like to live in an orphanage and how it will be so different to live in a family. Mommy says we will have to be patient and understanding.
Our newly married big sister Meghan (mae, mae) was here from Arizona for Christmas. She helped us make our houses and she even made one. I (Emma) did not want any Chocolate on mine. I do not like Chocolate at all.
Brookie is working on hers and I (Meilynn), did mine all by myself!
Emma's finished house.
Meilynn's finished house.
It was so much fun, we cannot wait until next year when we get to do it with Lily.
The cake we had made for Daddy for his birthday party. Daddy and Kami did most of the planning for the party. It was one of the biggest parties we have ever had. There were more than 125 people at our house. Daddy has made a lot of friends in 50 years!
Having a little snack before the party. Daddy and Mommy are going to let us come to the party, but then when it gets late our cousin Emily is going to go upstairs with us to watch a movie. We can't wait!
The best part of the party is that it will be catered. So Mommy and Daddy will get to just enjoy their friends. Here we are with the Sushi Chef. He is shaping the wasabi into leaves. He is going to let us help and let us sample!
We got to sit on his pull in refrigerator cart to help out. He was so much fun.
Here we are with the sushi we helped make and we got to sample it too! It was yummy!
Maybe we should have a sushi chef for our birthday parties?
This is the last picture that Mommy got that night. She was so busy talking to people that she didn't get any pictures of the actual party!
It was a great party and Mommy and Daddy are so thankful to have such great friends!
Emma and Meilynn with their best friend, Zoe. We met Zoe when Emma was just a baby at Gymboree. We had been trying to get together for a Disneyland date for a long time. We finally made it happen just before Christmas. We left at noon, just after school. Big sister Kami was able to go with us. The girls actually made it until it got dark.
Kami got us to go on the teacups, (not one of my favorites). This was a first for Emma and Meilynn. As you can see, they thought it was great fun. However we did not spin the cups at all.
Emma likes it!
Putting your arms up make it so much more fun!
On Dumbo, it is starting to get dark.
Meilynn on her horse.
The day of the Christmas Program at school. Meilynn with her "friend" Simon. He had a box of candy canes to share with the class and if you know Meilynn she was really excited to be friends with the person with the candy.
In the program, Meilynn sang the song but Emma was not happy to be wearing long sleeves so she refused to participate. She very much wants to wear what she calls "up-sleeves" everyday. It is the first thing she asks when she wakes up in the morning. "Mommy, can I wear up-sleeves and a skirt?" She also is so aware of what people are wearing and tries to put together outfits that she sees in books and on other people. None of my other daughters have been so into clothes. I know I am in trouble when she is a teenager!
I have some real catching up to do. Emma and Meilynn attended their first birthday party that was not someone from our family. They got invited to a Princess Tea. We made good use of our flower girl dresses.
The girls had a great time and I was able to slip out for an hour to do some Christmas shopping.
Emma and Meilynn sang and danced in our Church Choir's production of "The Legacy of Love" and they actually participated for the first time. I wonder if the pixie sticks they were given at the birthday party had anything to do with this. It was their first pixie sticks and maybe the sugar before the performance is the trick?
And with most things that take place at our Church their was a little sugar after as well!
Making "snowballs" to give to our teachers.
You have to roll them in powdered sugar twice. Which is twice the fun!
Meilynn loves to get her fingers messy
The finished product. We delivered them to our Teachers the next day.
Here is one of the new pictures we received last week. I don't know where this is but I think it is in front of the orphanage. I have seen it in other referral pictures recently. Our Lily is growing.
We finally got the mistake taken care of on our I800. They had put the wrong birthdate on the I800. When you get to China everything has to match exactly. So first thing Monday morning, Karla at my agency, Lifeline, started calling the Hague Adoption Unit. She would get the switchboard and then when they transfered her to our case worker she would only get a voicemail. She left numerous messages. I was worried that maybe our officer was off for the Holidays since she was not responding to the e-mails. We were out at the desert with minimal cell coverage and I felt helpless to do anything. On Tuesday she still had not gotten through. She asked the person who answered the phone if someone else could help us, but he said only the caseworker that worked on my case could fix it. I was feeling so down. I knew that this would be a setback to our going to Lily. We got home Tuesday night and I asked my friends on "rumor queen" for help. They all told me that we needed to insist on help. Karla at my agency had e-mailed me that she would call on Wednesday and insist that someone help us out. I e-mailed her and we decided that it couldn't hurt if we both tried calling on Wednesday. I sent an e-mail first thing and then tried calling, but I could never get through. Karla was able to talk again to the switchboard but they still insisted that only the officer that processed our I800 could help. Then an e-mail came through from our officer saying that she had corrected it that morning. So it is fixed and I feel great relief. My hope is that it doesn't change anything on our wait, since it has already been cabled to Guangzhou. I pray that we get article 5 next week and by then the corrected I800 will be there. There are so many ups and downs to the adoption process. It is not for the weak of heart.
The good news is that we got our I800 approval on December 18. We got it in the mail on December 24th. The bad news is that made a mistake on Lily's birthdate. They are off by one day. And from what I understand everything has to match up perfectly. Karla, at my agency (Lifeline) answered my frantic e-mail on Christmas Eve. She said we would take care of it on Monday. Meanwhile I also got the letter saying that Lily's approval, with the visa application were cabled to China on December 23rd. I am hoping we can get this matter of her birthdate taken care of quickly. The next step will be to receive Article 5. When we get this then everything will be sent to the CCAA and we will await the final step, Travel Approval.
I just love this photo! We got four photos today and new measurements. I will post the other photos later, but this is my favorite. She is growing up! Lily Noel is now 44.1 inches tall and 39.6 pounds! We think she is just beautiful!