Friday, December 30, 2011

An Early New Years Eve

Decided to celebrate the new year with the girls on Friday.  Took our chances in being able to get a table at Carmine's (our favorite restaurant) and luckily were able to get in.  Enjoyed the food and family time.  Shortly after dinner we were going to go to the blossom of lights but once again the line was huge so we decided to catch a movie and saw Hugo.  It was a very good movie and one we recommend.  Really enjoyed just spending time with the family though.  I sure love them all.


Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas Day 2011

It took Santa a while to show up at our house because Kailei was waking up about every two hours in order to see if he had come.  Finally, he was able to slip in and leave us some nice presents under the tree.  The girls woke up about 7:30am which wasn't too bad for Mom and Dad.  They opened their presents and were grateful for all that they got.  I think what I loved most was how kind the girls were to each other.  (see video below)

After presents are over, we quickly get dressed and head over to Grammy's house for the best breakfast ever.  I actually suggested at one point of moving the Christmas breakfast to another day so Grammy doesn't have to cook all day but the resounding "NO!" from everyone lead me to believe this is a tradition not to be messed with.  So we ate, opened more presents and ate some more.  Grammy's meals were delicious and the kids were spoiled as usual (actually, we all were).  We missed having Kevin and his family but they were in our hearts.  I'm bummed that my camera battery died so I only have a couple of pictures but trust me that good times were had by all.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

What a Good Lookin' Couple

Christmas Eve

This year we headed out to Kiowa for Christmas Eve mass as Nic was a scheduled to be a greeter at church.  We all managed to get a seat which was a bonus this time of year.  The mass well done and soon after we went to Tracie's house for some party grub.  We have our traditional finger foods and enjoy eating a lot. 

Friday, December 23, 2011


Met up with the Wyman crew to view the wildlights.  It was cold so the walk was quick but the kids had a good time.  We watched The Grinch on the big imax screen and enjoyed the holiday atmosphere.


If you don't watch Nala closely, she often gets into trouble.  She particularly likes food so when Kailei left her mac n' cheese on the table, Nala took full advantage.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Cookie Day

And yet another tradition that can't be overlooked is Cookie Day.  I can't even remember how long Lynn and I have been doing this but we have it down to a science.  That said, we still look forward to the day when Keara and Kailei run the show.  We made caramel corn, sugar cookies, oatmeal raisin cookies, chocolate chip cookies, split seconds, snickerdoodles, fudge, dipped pretzels, rice krispie treats and mice and reindeer cookies.  Always more than we need but we enjoy sharing.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Family Dinner

Well, it would not be Christmas without our annual family dinner out.  The gang got together and went to Olive Garden this year.  As usual it was a great time and fun to be out together.  Why we only do it once a year is beyond me but guess I'll take what I can get.

Monday, December 19, 2011


(at the cookie counter)
"Tell him what you want to order Kailei. "
"Hold on Mom, I'm thinking of my speech."
So my extremely stubborn 7 yr old daughter (so stubborn that her apologies are in sign language which is huge for her) got mad tonight and when she went to apologize to me she put on pink sunglasses so she didn't have to look at me directly. It was sooo hard to take her seriously.
I was telling Zeb that I had captured some of Kailei's recent performances on video so he could watch them later.  Kailei quickly piped in, "I'm better in 3-D though."

MWCC Playdate

Enjoyed the company of Lynn Merwin and her family today.  Also had a few other children to share in the fun as well.  So nice not to have to go to work so us moms had tea and got caught up on life and the kids did come crafts, played, and decorated cupcakes.  It was a great way to spend a Monday.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

The Nutcracker

Purchased tickets to the new theatre in Parker that recently opened and we went to see The Nutcracker.  It was done by a local ballet company with kids playing all the roles. The girls were very excited to go.  Personally, I prefer jazz or better yet a musical with words but who wouldn't love the seeing the excitement on the girls faces as they watched the performance.  You would have thought we were at a rock concert because when it was over the girls had many of the the dances sign their autographs on the program.  It was too cute. 

Our friends the Wymans were also there so we enjoyed sharing the experience with them.  Their kids are even bigger Nutcracker fans.  We all went out of pizza after which provided bonus fun.

Kailei's JCCC Program

Kailei has been in Chinese since September so today we got to go into the classroom and hear a little of what they are doing.  I'm always so impressed to hear her language skills.  I hope she continues to enjoy learning Chinese.

Our Big Date!

I have no pictures of this occasion but wanted to make sure it is documented so I can blackmail my husband when needed.  We had a big date scheduled for today.  Kids are staying the night at Grammy's house so we have the whole afternoon and evening to ourselves.  We got all dolled up as we were to attend the theatre and then do dinner after.  Things were great as we headed downtown to see West Side Story.  I was thrilled to have some alone time with my hubby but as we sat in line to park the car Zeb's phone rang.  It was his work calling and they needed him to take care of some items.  Knowing he would not be able to focus on the show and that duty called, it was decided he would go home.  So Zeb dropped me off at the curb and I saw West Side Story by myself.  It was probably the best show I have seen in years and he missed it, and I was alone, and I looked fancy and it was a bummer.

Zeb did redeem himself a little by taking care of business in time to meet our dinner reservation at The Broker.  We used to go to this restaurant a great deal but have chosen other places the last few years.  It has wonderful atmosphere and I did enjoy having dinner with my handsome husband.

That said, he won't get the chance to live down ditching me.  :)

Friday, December 16, 2011

Kailei's Holiday Program

Unsure if it was really a holiday program but the 2nd graders at Kailei's school put on a program today. It was very cute.  They have been studying various countries around the world for the past few weeks and so their program took us on a journey of music and facts.  The kids were adorable and the program was very well done.  I enjoyed myself a great deal and was glad I took off work to be there.  Unfortunately Zeb and I had to divide and conquer so he want to Keara's party in the afternoon. After the program, the students returned to their room for a small holiday party.    

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Kailei's First Confession

So today Kailei made her first confession today.  We are so proud of her but the journey wasn't easy.  Poor thing has been terrified every since she learned what she had to do.  I think she just doesn't want to admit any wrongdoing on her part.  She was great about memorizing her prayers and she dutifully did her workbook so I thought it would go OK but not so.

Prior to her class meeting today she spent 40 minutes in Daddy's arms crying.  She rallied for a little while in class and we had a pizza party with her classmates prior to the advent service.

It was a short service and all was going well.  We rapidly got in line in order to avoid the long waits and then the tears came again.  The line was long so I popped in first.  When I came out I attempted to send Kailei in.  She was not having it.  She was scared and crying and just beside herself.  Meanwhile everyone is watching us and trying to talk her in there.  I did tell her that she did not have to do it now and so did the priest.  We wanted her to be ready but that didn't seem to cut it either.  I let someone else go and told her we were going to go ahead and leave and we would come back another time.  When that person came out, she decided to go inside.  I was shocked but I think she just wanted to get it done too.

She came out and did her penance but was still unsure about the whole thing.  She commented that, "If you didn't make me do it Mom, I would have never done it."  She has also told us that she is OK with doing it once a year but no more than that.

Well, it is done and she is very relieved to know her first communion only involves saying "Amen."

Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Davison Christmas

We had the Davison Christmas today. Merle and Phyllis drove up for the festivities. A soup and sandwich spread was enjoyed by all. The kids had a great time as usual and were grateful for the gifts they received. Merle is looking better and the best gift for us all is that he is feeling well right now.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Anticipation in Hong Kong

(Zeb was cleaning recently and came across this.  He wrote it in China when we were adopting Kailei.  I had not seen it and he recently shared it with me.)

Nine July, two thousand five, Hong Kong.
Anticipation, though not for a show
Busy streets, people, autos, shops and carts
Interesting Asian take on Italian cuisine.
Bamboo scaffolding supporting steel and concrete
Neon lights illuminate and draw the eye
Shops stay open late, attracting crowds
Street market sells an eclectic mix
Several blocks of tiny, mobile stores
So many deals, but no cheap sneakers
And no size thirteen or XL
The harbor beckons, something is going to happen
A strange thrill
My hand on Jackie Chan's stone handprint
A buzz is building here
Crowd is gathering along the water
Looking across the bay
Lasers and fireworks, choreographed
Colored lights reflect off rippled waters
Firework smoke haloing building towers against an overcast night.
Photos and video don't do it justice
Head back to the hotel.
Still anticipating.

Monday, December 5, 2011

MWCC Holiday Celebration

Got together with the Mom's with Children from China (MWCC) group this pas Friday night.  We had our annual holiday gathering.  We were minus two families this year who we missed dearly but hope to have them next year.  As usual we ate, we crafted, we talked, and we watched the annual slide show I put together.  I'm going to insert it below but because of copyright issues, the music is stripped out of it.  Trust me, the music adds a lot but you will be able to see the adventures we had this year.  We are truly grateful to have such good friends in our life.

Getting in the Spirit

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Keara's Choir Concert

Every Thursday morning this school year Keara has been getting up a little earlier to attend choir practice.  She really enjoys it and we got the chance to see the results of all her efforts on Thursday night.  We just loved the whole concert.  I'm sure we will be hearing and seeing more of Keara in choir. Way to go Keara!  We are so proud of you! 

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Just Because

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thanksgiving in Walsh

We left after school on Tuesday and headed down to Walsh.  It was actually tough to leave just because we were scrambling to get Keara some glasses before we left but somehow we made it out the door.  We actually got stopped twice for a broken headlight but fortunately no ticket.  Grandpa and Grandma were happy to see us and we were them. 

Grandpa is losing his hair now but really is as handsome as ever.  Mitch and Lieu came down as well that night so the cousins got to maximize their time together. Zeb and Mitch took the kids to climb Two Butte's Mountain which is really just a big hill but they had a great time.  The weather was gorgeous so we got to be outside a lot.  

Thursday brought Curtis and Amy, Sue, Uncle Alvi, and the Griffin family who all joined us for Thanksgiving dinner.  Phyllis made a great feast and we were quickly full.  There were mean games of Nertz (card game) going for most of the time in Walsh.  I always volunteer to play and be the loser so no one feels bad.  It's my duty and I do it well. 

We left on Friday so I could begin the holiday shopping as our time is short this year.  Had a great time in Walsh and look forward to seeing the family again soon.

A Trip to the Grocery Store

So I sent my Zeb to the grocery store with a list that was numbered 1-12. He actually bought that many of each item instead of just the 12 items. 12 cans of pears, 11 tomatoes, 10 bags of corn, etc. Being married to an engineer can be interesting at times. :)

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Things I'm Thankful For by Keara

Since it almost Thanksgiving I've been thinking what I'm most thankful for. There are lot of things to be thankful for like the arts, electronics, animals and family.  I love everything but if I wrote down everything, that would be a long story.

The first thing I'm thankful for is the arts.  One of the arts I'm thankful for is art.  In art being creative is a good quality. You also have to have a good imagination.  I also like music.  Music is amazing because you can express feeling and emotions with every note or word.  It is also soothing, so if you're angry or sad turn on music and calm down. Theatre is another art that I'm thankful for.  It makes me feel like an eagle, free, free in the sky. It also makes me feel confident.

I'm also thankful for electronics. The electronic I'm most thankful for is my kindle. I like my kindle because I can learn new words and read new books.  Another think I like about the kindle is that you can download flash cards in different language so you can learn new languages. I also like computers because they can help with homework and project for school. You can also play games. They can be educational or just for fun.

Another thing I'm thankful for is animals. I'm thankful for a lot of animals but dogs are way up there.  I like dogs because they are loyal and friendly. They also can help police, the blind and investigators. Other than dogs, horses are my favorite. I love horses because they are gentle giants. They are friendly like a dog and they certainly are pretty.

The important people in my life are at the top of the list of things I'm thankful for, even thought it is the second to the last paragraph. My friends are important to me.  All my friends are nice, caring and special in their own way.  My family is special too.  My mom, dad and sister are very supportive of what I do and love. My extended family is also great.  My cousins Nic, Syd, Keenan, and Tighe are fun but my Grandpa who has leukemia is the one I'm worried about.  Soldiers are important too because they save lives and help many people.

Obviously I am thankful for a lot of things and wish I could tell you all of them.  Happy Thanksgiving!

Giving Thanks

Kailei:  "My family and stuffing."

Christine: "My family, and friends.  Our health and happiness."

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

New Glasses

Well, the $500 pair of glasses lasted two months.  We were hoping for more but such is life.  The dog ate Keara's glasses last night.  Nobody was happy about it but the new glasses come with a warranty. 

Monday, November 21, 2011

Turkey Cookie Time

As is tradition, we made turkey cookies again this year to distribute to the girl's classes.  It is a fun tradition and we invited some members of my mom's group also came.  Chocolate was everywhere but there was not denying the fun that was had. 

Thursday, November 17, 2011


Kailei just informed me that the pumpkins need to stay for the "twelve days of Halloween."
So Keara walked into the kitchen and said, "We weren't eavesdropping."
Kailei walked in behind her and said, "Yeh, we aren't pig droppings."
After putting some powder on Kailei stated..."My stomach is as soft as a baby's foot."
"I don't know how to draw a monkey Kailei.".
"Come on Mom, do it for the kids."

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Jungle Book

The girls auditioned for another Missoula show.  This time both got to be a part of it.  Keara was the assistant director and Kailei was a monkey in the show Jungle Book.  Both were ecstatic to be a part of the show.  It was a whirlwind week and Keara got especially exhausted trying to juggle being out late, up early, homework and activities but she did it and we were very  proud of her.  It was another great show and the girls look forward to the next one.

Friday, November 11, 2011

A Favorite

A teacher isn't supposed to have favorites but sometimes there are those that just work their way into your heart.  Andrea is one of those people.  Got to have lunch with her again this month.  It had been too long but it is easy to pick up where we left off. 

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Kailei's Recital

I love that the girls are both enjoying taking music lessons.  Keara is taking guitar but doesn't really have the opportunity for a recital per se.  Kailei is taking piano and we had our first official recital. It was so much fun.  Maybe I'm living vicariously through my children since I have no musical talent whatsoever but I sure love that they are enjoying it.  Kailei has been practicing like crazy.  Originally she was supposed to have it Friday night but as luck would have it, she got strep throat and we had to cancel.  Fortunately, there were two other times so her teacher was able to move her to Saturday for which I am grateful.  It was a really fun event and I can't wait until the next one.

Can't resist those eyes!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Halloween 2011

Another year of pumpkins and Halloween costumes.  The pumpkins were carved with care.  The girls looked great.  The weather was terrific.  Tracie's family along with Mom, Dad and Mark came over for pizza and then we hit the neighborhood.  Syd and Kailei literally ran from house to house.  Nic and Keara were more cool in their approach but enjoyed the goodies nonetheless.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Discovery Education Workshop

Somehow I got myself roped into helping out with Discovery Education events in the state of Colorado and we had our first big even on Saturday the 29th.  I enjoyed it but what made it even better was having Lynn there. 

Zeb's Artwork

Zeb left this drawing and this note for me...

Over the past month or two, I've been drawing this in my spare time. Maybe I think of a place where you and I can get away for a picnic or a relaxing walk together.  And, like you, it always makes me smile. 

Love,  Zeb

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Keara's Artwork

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Kailei's Artwork

Monday, October 24, 2011


So the kids were talking about rude hand gestures. Keara was trying to show me that the pinky finger was considered rude to Chinese people. Kailei said, "I am the Chinese people."
Kailei came to work with me on Friday. She was a treat to have. Naturally I was working on the computer quite a bit. At one point a student came by and needed some assistance. Kailei promptly said, "Finally, you are doing some work."

I was telling Kailei her adoption story last night. At one point she said, "I am the Chinese person, there are two Irish people and one regular."

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Zeb and his Dad

We headed down to Walsh this weekend.  It was a quick 24 hour visit but Merle was done with his first round of chemo and we wanted to see him before his second round started.  The timing was pretty good so we just packed up and headed out.  It was fun because Sue was there as well as Mitch and the kids.  Almost like Thanksgiving.  Phyllis once again out cooked herself and we enjoyed being with everyone.  Merle continues to be in our prayers and we hope that he can beat this thing.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Kailei at the Piano

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Race for the Cure

Got up way to early for a Sunday but it was Race for the Cure today.  Keara really looks forward to doing it and this year, I decided to try and bring Kailei.  It is 3-mile walk and fortunately the weather was beautiful.  We had a little hiccup during the walk but I'm sure Keara would prefer I not post it to the world.  All in all we had a great time. 

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Harvest Festival

I love the fall!!! The colors, the temperature, the smell...I just love it.  Escaped from work for a short time today to enjoy the Harvest Festival at Four Mile Historic Park.  We had Lily Trautman over for a playdate earlier so she joined us.  We met the Peterson's there from our MWCC group and enjoyed walking around we them.  The girls panned for gold, tried to walk on stilts, walked through the pumpkin patch, took a wagon ride and enjoyed caramel apples.  Not a bad way to spend a few hours.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


Kailei: (sigh) I've always wanted to be a princess...
Zeb: You're MY princess!
Kailei: Too bad you're not the king of the world!
Kailei's fortune: Don't ignore minor details; they are the key to your success.
After reading this she said, "Oooh! Now I have a key to my success!"
Kailei bought a necklace today at Kohls' that had a gift tag on it to fill out.
She filled it out: To: Kailei
From: Kohl's
At dinner...
"Can I fix your potato Kailei?", I asked.
"Why? What's wrong with it?", she answered.
After Zeb returned from a trip, Kailei ran up to him while stating..."Our family is complete once again. Group hug everybody!" 
Kailei-ism: "If I don't get all the questions right on my reading test tomorrow, I'm sooo getting an easier book."
Turning over the hourglass I could hear Kailei saying, "You have 3 days to say your sorry.   If you don't, you will have to stay in your room forever.  And forever is a very long time."

Monday, September 5, 2011

Kailei's Card

Sometimes we forget how Kailei's life started.  It seems like she has been more interested in her story lately.  We are happy to tell her what we can but occasioally we know there will always be an empty space in her heart.

The other day she wrote me this card.  It was too sweet.

"Dear Mom,
I now you for seven years now. I was born in China but I had old parant but they could not take care of me.  So they left me on a rock and put some money and some milk.  I love you so much. You are the best.  What is your birthday?    Love, Kailei"

Winter Park

Woke up yesterday with a desire to do something fun.  We decided to head for the mountains since it was a beautiful day and landed in Winter Park.  The alpine slide was calling our names.  We had Nic with us and we all had a blast at the Winter Park Fun Park.  We got to go down the slide 3-4 times and then Keara and Kailei also did the trampoline jumpy thing.  Nic and Zeb both wiped out on the slide but fortunately it was on the last run for the day. Not sure what they did but they scraped themselves up pretty good.  We had a great time.  Looking forward to next year. 

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Kailei's 7!!

Kailei celebrated her birthday again with Sydney this time.  We decided to have a pool party which would have been awesome had the weather held out.  Fortunately we got there early because it was soooo hot so everyone got to swim before the clouds rolled in and forced us to head to our house for dinner and cupcakes.  The girls were spoiled with gifts from family and Kailei's godmother, Lynn.  Kailei did get her first American Girl doll which was a big deal.  She has been playing with barbies, listening to the Glee Concert cd and pretending her AG doll, Molly is going to school.  Happy to see her happy.