Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Happy Anniversary & Gotcha Day!

First and foremost.....it's my anniversary!!
19 short, long years.
We really had to pull our act together to make it this far.
Next year we are going to celebrate big.
We are going to take a VACATION!!!
Who wants to come babysit 4 kids?

Also in the news......
today is Sophie's Gotcha Day!!
We looked at pictures this morning of that day one year ago.
So much has changed since then.

She tells me all the time she loves us and that we are her favorite.

From the moment Tang Ting saw me she was hugging and holding me.
This is the first picture Kim took that Sunday afternoon when we walked into her orphanage.

She had a smile on her face most of the time on that day.
She had such a sweet, innocent and loving personality.  And even though the trip for the two of us went downhill from there--she hasn't changed a bit.  

As we were getting ready to leave her orphanage she said something to the orphanage woman.  
They translated to me that she said, "I am not going to cry."
This girl was ready to go!

I often wonder what was going through her mind on this day.
I know for me as I got into bed that night all I could do was cry.  Actually, I cried for the rest of the week.  I didn't know how I was going to go through with this adoption.
She acted like a 3 year old and did weird things.  She couldn't do basic kindergarten math and could barely read chinese.  The only things that kept me from not signing all those papers the next day was that I didn't want to hurt her feelings, and I wondered what people would think of me.
Whether that's right or wrong I don't know.  And even though I "saved"her from what could've been a pretty crappy future, I know that God has her here in our family, as my daughter, for me to learn something.  And as time goes on I am more and more thankful she is here!!
Yes, it has been a very hard year for us, and even though I knew it was going to be hard, it didn't make it any easier.  I'm telling myself the only way to go from here is UP!  I have every confidence that she and I will make leaps and bounds this year.  She has enough language to start piecing things together such as school, discipline, behavior, social situations and family gatherings.  
One thing I have noticed is that she has become more confident  and acts her age more and more.  I can't wait to see how she much she will grow and change in the next year!!  I can't wait to see how much I grow and change this year!!

Monday, July 30, 2012


What a week!!
What a weekend!!!

After an awesome and very busy week at the fair, my two best friends came to town for our 25 year class reunion.  It was so fun to see a few classmates and reminisce both Friday and Saturday.

On Sunday the girls and I drove to Hays for Kim's bridal shower.
I was reminded the other day the wedding is only two weeks away.
Can't even believe it!   Holy Cow!

So, the next thing on my list (after a very special birthday) is to find a dress for the wedding.
That will require another long trip somewhere out of town.  Ugh.

Because last week was so crazy I hadn't even thought what was coming up this week.
It is Sophie's first birthday here with her family!!  Tomorrow, July 31st is my wedding anniversary and her Gotcha Day.  Thursday is her 15th birthday.  I am so excited for her first birthday home!
Now I just need to figure out how to do something special in only 3 days.  Any ideas????

Isabella and Sophie got to get in on the fun and have a sweet wedding dress designed for them!!
Both girls absolutely adore Kimmy and can't wait for Wesley to marry her.
Isabella's advice to Kim during the shower was, "to have a baby girl."   Too cute!!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Fair Fun

Just to show it wasn't all sweat and tears.
Here is a little fun!!

Thursday, July 26, 2012


Sheep are stinky and stupid.
And I have a lot of pictures of them!!

When you take care of them everyday for 3 months they kind of grow on you.
You become attached.  You give them names.
They start to watch for you to feed them.
You go for long walks together,  bathe them and give them woolcuts.
Before you know it they are part of the family.  A pet.
(We won't talk about what happens after the fair.)

Then the competition starts.  Who has the nicest lamb, who has the best looking lamb.
Each one thinks theirs is the best no matter what some judge in the show ring thinks.
As they should.

Before the 4-H Sheep Show starts we have to give them another bath.  
The have to sparkle and shine!!
(And not stink so much.)
Isabella and Pedro

Grandpa and Grandma are our 4-H mentors.  
They love to see the kids do well and take pride in all their hard work.
Grandpa helps Sophie dry her sheep, Belle.

All done!!
Now it's time for THEIR showers before the show!!!

After everyone has had a shower and lunch we head on over to the Livestock barn to show.
Here are 6 of the 9 cousins walking over from the camper.

I cannot say how proud I am of Sophie!
Although she couldn't really converse with the judge when he asked her about her lamb, she smiled the whole time and showed her lamb well.  I was just hoping she wouldn't trip over her own two feet!!
For a girl who doesn't like to sweat and get dirty, she has done amazing!!!

Of course this little Diva is just happy doing WHATEVER!!!

This little guy is amazing.  He looked like he had been doing this as long as Trey!
He will definitely be winning some purple ribbons in the future!

Trey had the best attitude.  He really fell in love with his lamb this year.
He won Reserve Grand Champion in Fitting and Showing.

Here is Sophie with the judge.  See the smile?

Sophie got a blue ribbon in the Market Lamb class.   Wait.....is that a smile?!

This is the Junior Class for Fitting and Showing.
It should've been called "The Cousins Class"!!
This is 7 out of the 9 cousins!!!
It was so sweet to watch them all show their lambs together.

Isabella talking to the judge.

Hudson is trying to set his lamb up.

I caught a picture of Hudson petting his lamb in the ring.
All eyes are supposed to be on the judge while your lamb is bracing.

Trey winning Reserve Grand Champion.

Isabella makes us all laugh!
Here she is resting her elbow on her sheep IN THE RING!!
Not only did she do this but when she first got out there she did a little dance.
Not even kidding!!
She also does this on the softball field.  It doesn't matter if she's in the field, on a base or up to bat.  When she feels like breaking out into her happy dance- she does it!!!


Little Pedro got away from her twice and she just smiled and shrugged her shoulders.

One year ago on this day, Sophie was sitting in China waiting for me 
to come and get her a few days before her 14th birthday.  Look at her now.  

Sophie and Trey with Grandpa Garrett.