Bree Mei age 4yr

Bree Mei    age 4yr







Wednesday, July 15, 2009


Our 4 generation picture

Last Sunday as we were returning from Chicago we learned that my dear and loving grandmother had gone home to be with our Lord. Grandma was 88 years old and lived a fulfilled life. She was the girls last surviving great grandparent and I pray that at least Brynn and Brooke will have wonderful memories of her. This past winter she stayed with my mother in Xenia. We were so blessed to be able to spend so much time with GG this past year because of this. We drove to upstate New York this past Wednesday through Friday for her services. Some of my most cherished childhood memories involved my Grandma. At her funeral the pastor asked many times if anyone would like to say something-I didn't and I should have now I am going to say in this blog what I should have stood and said at the funeral but just couldn't begin to say in words at the time.

These are the sweetest memories of my Grandma:

Her unbelievable tenderhearted nature
Her ability to never say anything mean
Her devotion to daily Bible reading
Her soft and silky white hair (that I loved to style for any event growing up)
Her incredibly soft, satin hands (that she always said was from doing dishes for 80 years!)
Her cute little giggle when she laughed
Her favorite color being pink (even had the farm house painted pink for a time!)
Her sometimes hard of hearing when watching TV, but then the ability to hear what you
didn't want her to from three rooms away.
Her fierce independence that she developed after my Grandfather died 18 years ago.
The stink she would put up if we wanted her to travel and stay with family for extended periods
of time as she would miss too many of her club meetings and parties with friends!
Her always waiting to order her dinner when eating out after everyone else and then getting
something someone else had ordered instead of what she really wanted (my dad caught
onto that eventually and then made her order first!)
All of the summers as a child that I would spend at the farm for a month at a time
Her saving of every plastic container that any food item came in (definitely from living through
the depression)
Her being the mother of four very successful children who then raised her eight grandchildren
who in turn are raising her twelve great- grandchildren.

My mom awoke the night before GG had died to see her with her arm and hand stretched out before her. When she asked her what she was doing she replied "I'm trying to reach that angels hand"-what an incredible ending!

"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth......but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven....For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also" Matthew 6:19-21

Sunday, July 5, 2009


Last year we had gorgeous weather, this year it was supposed to be gorgeous but as we are definitely used to in Toledo, the weather in the great midwest can change on a dime. The sun was shining but with the wind off Lake Michigan it was a bit nippy at times. We started off our day with The American Girl store, 9 a.m. sharp! Since the older girls had gotten their first dolls last year while here and Bree had gotten a Bitty Baby from her Aunt Riki and Uncle Bill, this trip was for clothes shopping and doll "pampering". Bree was more interested in pushing the sample dolls around in strollers then actually picking out outfits, but when she spotted the potty seat ensemble (with Brynn's help)-she was all over that! Since she has been potty trained, she loves Brooke's and her doll getting a new hairdo.

to do this to her dolls at home.
After American girl had tired us out, it was time for some shopping on Michigan Avenue and then a trip down to the Navy Pier. We had lots of fun at the Children's Museum and riding all the
The girls jammin it up on stage and then building a sailboat

Of course the Navy Pier wouldn't be complete without a Build A Bear store. Now, I am far from a fan of stuffed animals, but have seemed to have lost that battle in my house. Brynn and Brooke have been saying that Bree needs her own-so no time like the present. When we walked in she looked at all the choices and the one she decided to go with was the Panda Bear! We had a stuffed panda bear sent to her at the orphanage when we sent her a care package over a year ago. So it was interesting that she chose this as her animal (the panda we sent to her came with her on our gotcha day and has been packed away with other memorabilia from her orphanage).
Bree definitely got a kick out of creating this special bear for herself.

We had dinner at this awesome Italian restaurant called Maggiano's-they served family style so two entrees were more than enough to feed all of us. It sure is a good thing you do a lot of walking in Chicago................

Friday, July 3, 2009


Last July 4th weekend we traveled to Chicago for our first time as a family. We had so much fun that we decided to repeat our trip this year. I worked a half day and we headed out arriving around 5 pm. Last year we stayed at the Doubletree-very nice, but this year I had a difficult time finding a hotel that would cater to a family of 5 without having to get two rooms. Everyone said "just tell them 4", but I couldn't do that in good conscious and didn't want to be cramped in a hotel room. So with prayer I just kept calling around and checking and finally stumbled upon the Hilton Suites which would accomodate 5 in a decent size room that actually slept six. The rate when I first checked was a bit steep so I sat on it for a while and sure enough it dropped $30! So FYI for anyone with more than 4 in their family-you can get this room called an Alcove suite without having to "sneak" one of your children in!

We ate dinner tonight at the Cheesecake Factory--yummy! Dougs favorite dessert is strawberry cheesecake, so that was a nice finish. Me-I prefer anything chocolate so the girls and I ordered this Giardelli brownie/ice cream dessert. The waiter came back to our table after placing our order to tell us that someone had left all the ice cream out this morning and therefore they had no ice cream desserts available-bummer....I will make up for it tomorrow that is for sure!


Last weekend we had the cousins spend the night-total of 6 girls ranging from ages 6-11 years. I never got to grow up seeing my first cousins on a regular basis, so getting our girls together with theirs has always been a priority. They all get along so well -it is such a joy to watch and listen to them interact. It is also so wonderful to see how they have adapted to Bree and just love to play with her as if she had been with us since birth. On Saturday we awoke to beautiful weather-not too hot, nice cooler breeze so we decided to play in the water. The pond was a bit cloudy due to the recent rain so we did the pools and waterslide instead. As you can see by the pictures they all had a blast!
Dear Family and Friends
We are so happy to share with you this wonderful journey we are taking to bring home our daughter

Those beautiful rosebud lips!