Sunday, November 30, 2008

Broadford/Surrey Hills/Caulfield/Strathmore/Home!

Yep - another weekend away.
This time, the main reason was the FCC (Families with children from China) Christmas Picnic. I was the organiser so I simply had to go. Graham had hoped to come, but at the last moment it just wasn't possible. Sadly.

We headed off on Friday and stayed the night at our friends Bruce/Karen/Hayden/Matthew/Lachy's at Broadford. They hadn't seen Eb since she'd been home 2 months - so it was a huge difference for them. But she still fitted like a hand in a glove. The 3 boys are 14/12/10ish but it didn't seem to make an ounce of difference - they all had great fun......

First there was the trampoline.....now my daughter LOVES trampolines!

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and she loves 'rocking horses!'


...and being 'one of the boys' :)


...and 'rides' on ladybirds


Then we moved on to stay with Steve, Sandi, Molly and Ming. Ming was adopted from China earlier this year and is such a delightful little guy. Molly - well Molly is just a very beautiful and very special little 8 year old that has a special place in my heart. Ebony had lots and lots of fun with both Molly and Ming as you'll see ...

In the bath together...


Then 'playing together'.....




We had such a lovely night. This family is amazing. They are renovating 'big time' and yet they agreed to have us stay. How special. I loved my time with them all and as you can see - so did Eb.

Then it was off to the FCC Picnic. It ended up being a wonderful day for everyone - it was totally exhausting for me for many reasons - but what really didn't help was the forecast! it was meant to be showers in the afternoon top of 20 but ended up 28! I was living in a sauna all afternoon because I decided to wear a woollen jumper! It made the whole afternoon fairly uncomfortable, not to mention trying to be organiser and watch a very active 3yo! But everyone seems to have enjoyed it and that's the main thing. Santa was wonderful in the eyes of MOST of the children - but not mine! Ebony was absolutely terrified! - she absolutely screamed in fear when she saw him and did her famous 'koala clutch' where she just grabs hold of me for dear life (complete with an 80% finished ice cream in her hands!). She finally kinda took her present of Santa - via mummy's hands of course!

A frightened Ebby...


A happy Mei....


I was SO exhausted in the end I decided I couldn't possibly drive home safely - so I landed at Kate, Jim and Eliza's who were more than gracious in letting me stay! We had one more night of fun for the girls before I collapsed into bed.

Two little friends....


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I couldn't even bring myself to get the cot out so for the very first time Eb went to sleep on the bed with me beside her.....I got up briefly and then happily rejoined her. The next morning I was able to get up, pack etc without her even waking - I couldn't believe it. It was a good choice to stay.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Who loves talking on the phone?

I had to laugh....it's got to the point where Eb will take the phone of me and walk around 'talking' to whoever is on the phone. On this occasion it was Eb talking to my Mum. She's a hoot to watch. She will say the 'hi Nana' then 'good'....as if expecting that someone will have already asked how you are? Couldn't help but document her antics!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Chai Latte anyone?

I've been trying and trying to get Eb to do the whole 'Babychino' thing whenever we have the opportunity to enjoy a girls morning tea.....but she has just turned her nose in the air!....Well, finally I got there! She's like her Mummy.....a 'Chai Latte' girl! Couldn't resist taking some photo's of this long awaited moment :)

Saturday, November 22, 2008

My little artist

I'm sorry - I know I'm biased but this is too cute!


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Friday, November 21, 2008

Cooking fun

I couldn't resist..............how cute is this little girl?
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Monday, November 17, 2008

Camping

I got home from Lakes Entrance on Thursday evening and left for camping on Friday afternoon! Boy what busy time it's been - but it's also been lots of fun.
We headed off, stopped at Myrtleford (about 40 mins) to do some shopping then went to pick up the key to the property we were staying on only to find it wasn't where it was meant to be - so I walked the WHOLE street looking in letterboxes only to find it was in the second last one (which was incidently the end of the street I suggested we look first!).
As a result we were a bit pushed for time so Graham probably went a bit faster than he should have and we ended up with a car sick little girl (never happens when Mummy drives!). He wasn't going too fast and I (who normally suffers quite badly) didn't even come close - but it started to become very obvious that Eb wasn't feeling (or looking) very well, so I brought her into the front of the car - it was very quiet windy back roads - and after a while she was sick. She was pretty well ok after that and when we arrived at our destination (only about 1.5hours from home) she was firing on all cylinders again.
By the time we set up we didn't get to eat until about 9.45pm! Then the guys decided they wanted to go for a drive around the property and I didn't feel comfortable just staying there Eb and I on our own (only the husband of one of the other couples was there on that night - the rest of the families joined us on Saturday) so we went with them - Eb was having a ball until about 11pm when she fell asleep in my arms and stayed soundly that way for the next hour or so. I was easily able to transport her into her cot when we got back.
The next day dawned absolutely beautiful. It was a lovely spot close to a creek (with a fence for safety) and gorgeous views. We had breakfast and just sat around until the other families arrived.
Basically it was a relaxing time - didn't do much although the guys went and did boys stuff together. Ebony had more fun that I've seen for a while. It was a fabulous weekend. We had a campfire and Venison roast on Saturday night - a combined effort. We didn't even leave until 5pm on Sunday...that says something with my husband!

having fun 'driving'


waking up with Daddy



a spectacular morning


'playing' with a stick insect...although she wasn't sure at first!


playing in the creek - even though the water was FREEZING!




a fashion statement....bathers and blundstones!


just one of the kids!


this is so much fun!


a very happy camping family


he'll kill me - but I couldn't resist!


last brekkie camping

Thursday, November 13, 2008

A trip to my Dad and Mum's

Well - another adventure.
Mum had a shoulder replacement about 5 weeks ago. I had planned to surprise her with a visit over a number of weeks but her rehab kept stretching out. Finally she came home and we arrived unexpectedly there on Sunday. Dad knew of course - but Mum was thrilled. We had such a lovely time with them - but I didn't take many photo's really. A bit unusual for me.....a lot of driving and a little girl who is insisting on waking very early at the moment meant I was quite tired a lot of the time - but we still had a great time together. I would have loved to stay a bit longer if I could have - but we're off again this weekend camping.....it should be good fun - Eb hasn't camped since April last year!

Mum and Eb reading 'Dora' together (well Eb acting and Nan watching)



I really love these two photo's of Eb and Nana in the pool - it just shows something of how their relationship is blossoming....especially the first one.



and just a cute one of my little girl relaxing and enjoying the water - for the very first time she actually jumped from the side of the pool into my arms which was so exciting for me - she only had one term of lessons during 4th term 2007 - so to do this is great. She rarely gets to a pool because we only have a summer one here.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

'Wuv you'

It happened and it deserves a post all of it's own.
My darling girl said 'wuv you' to me all of her own accord without any prompting for the first time ever. I'll never forget the moment - never, ever. What an amazing and wonderful feeling to have your little girl look you in the eye and say those magical words - even more magical because she can't quite say them properly yet.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

2 years ago today...we were handed a photo that would change our lives

It's so hard to believe it's been two years. Two years since that moment we had anticipated more than any other at that stage. We saw the face of the little girl who was destined to change our lives forever and ever. Two years since we took the trip to Benalla ..... a very, very nervous and anxious trip. How would I feel when I saw my darling daughter. Would all the love and emotions that had welled up in me for years and years spill out suddenly when I saw her face - would there be fear/delight/joy/uncertainty...what would be the reaction. I had barely slept in anticipation of this moment - I was terrified that I wouldn't find that 'connection' that I so desperately wanted with my daughter - how do you really bond with a photo - what does a photo of a little girl on the other side of the world really mean to me? How will our two worlds connect? I really didn't know - didn't have the answers ..... I was just terrified.
But God did know. He had it all planned. He knew many, many years ago as I cried for the first child I lost. He knew exactly what she would look like and what I would feel. He had me....and her.....in the palm of his hands. Thank you Lord for your goodness to me. More emotions than I ever knew possible exploded that night - I felt blessed beyond measure and the darling little girl that looked at us from that photo became one of the greatest joys my life could have ever known. For 7 weeks her photo slept with me under my pillow until the day she was finally placed in my arms.

Here are the photo's we were handed on that momentous day.....and some taken today.





Some more video memory's from Jamieson

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3 1/2 happy girls!


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Feeding the Fallow Deer

Some video memory's from Jamieson

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This is Ebony and Meiya at play on the first day at Jamieson

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And this one is the four girls helping brush the Pony

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This one really makes me smile! ..... more to follow in next post

Friday, November 07, 2008

Trying to make a difference

I've decided that Eb and I would take time out and visit the local Nursing Home on Thursday's. We've been twice now and it has been very special. The first time Ebony was really relaxed and comfortable. Yesterday was a bit of a different story - but she came around. She's been a bit different since our weekend away - but I guess that's to be expected.
I've done this so Eb would become more comfortable with older people.....I see so many youth these days that just can't relate to older folk. Hopefully this will help Eb. Here are some precious photo's of the two times.....





Tuesday, November 04, 2008

4 little Suixi princesses get away together......

We have had a weekend and a half. It's been wonderful. I'll also post some video's shortly.
The weekend was a tiny bit sad because two of the Suixi girls couldn't be there - but what a special weekend it was anyway.
The place we stayed wasn't my first choice - but it was certainly meant to be - we couldn't have picked a better environment for the girls at this stage of their lives and the accommodation was perfect for us all too. Here's what it looked like.....













We arrived on Saturday and left Tuesday. Sadly Ruby and her Daddy and Mummy could only stay Saturday night - but it was so lovely to have them there no matter how long!
Saturday we just kinda chilled out. We didn't arrive until around 2pm anyway - but it was a fun afternoon and evening. Emerald Park in Jamieson was the name and it was a 'Host Farm'. We played with the girls in the park that is part of the farm and located just a short dozen or so steps from our back doors.....


Ruby and Eliza


Meiya and Ebony

then at 5.30pm and 9.30am you can take the children along to watch the feeding of the horses/chickens and just view the animals in general so we took the children along for the 5.30pm session.....


The four girls with one of the Pony's


Ebony 'helping' feed the chooks


Eliza and Meiya watching closely! (Don't you love Eliza and Meiya's tutu's! Meiya's barely came off all weekend!)

Day two we decided to go to Mansfield Zoo (I never even knew it existed!). But before then we had decided on a 'tutu' photo shoot. It ended up a bad idea because somehow or other Ebony's tutu didn't make it to Jamieson and Eliza just decided that she didn't want to wear hers and if I remember rightly, Meiya was happy to wear hers...but not to get on the play equipment! Anyway, we did have fun and I hope it's obvious.


Three of the four! Meiya, Ruby and Eb


Eliza looking just gorgeous even without a Tutu!


Eb contemplating!


Ruby enjoying!


Meiya not so happy about it all :)


Eb got to borrow a spare of Ruby and I loved the view from the back!


Couldn't pass up on one of the guys looking SO happy to be there :)


Three little princesses enjoying a motor bike (that's a fixed in place one in the playground!)

The Zoo was amazing and the girls got to see all sorts of animals from Camels, Deer, Roo's, Ducks/Geese, Lions, Monkeys - it was just amazing. The weather really turned out for us too with some of us Mummy's getting a bit sunburned!


Feeding the Camels


Eb and Daddy hand in hand


Eb and Ruby chasing the geese


Eb feeding the deer


I'm very glad that Lion is BEHIND bars!

Day Three we simply stayed around 'home' and enjoyed the girls. Kate was wonderful and brought along some paper/stickers etc for the girls to play with and they had a ball - Eb found her nose was a good place to put the stickers! We also fed the animals again in the afternoon.

Girls playing with paper and stickers!


A nap Ebby style! She slept over 3 hours and unfortunately wet the cot....but she must have been sleeping VERY deeply. Poor little girl - it's the first time this has happened and she was quite distressed.


Chook feeding time


Then it was time for a swing and down to feed (and brush) the horses


I happened to capture a beautiful family having fun





Then the 3 girls had some painting fun

And finally - almost ready for bed, they settled down to the new Justine Clarke DVD -
'Songs that make you smile' - they were all captivated!