Tuesday, March 31, 2009

My First Glimpse...

I got to talk with Jon for a longer period of time today and it was wonderful to hear about their new lives and how they and the girls are adjusting to each other.  It's such a huge answer to prayer that things are going SO well!  Jon had to go into work for a few hours today so we got to catch up on his commute home.

Later this evening Jon set up his laptop so that we could Skype for about 10 minutes.  What an awesome surprise!  He set it up so that they didn't see or hear me but I was able to watch and listen while the four of them played together.  It was so touching to hear O & L calling them Mommy and Daddy and to see how well they are all bonding already!  The girls were putting make-up on Jenetta and were dressed up in ballerina costumes.  They were absolutely adorable!

Thanks for that special glimpse into your new lives Jon and Jenetta!  I am so proud of you both and am continuing to pray for all of you!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Getting the creative juices flowing again...

I love to make things with my hands. It's fun to create and to see something new emerge before your eyes. I used to make jewelry, but since Priya came along it has been placed on the back burner. Recently my sister-in-law, Emily, inspired me to try something new. She made a bow holder to hang in Ella's room that neatly organized her bows (see Emily's handiwork below).


I've kept Priya's bows in zip lock bags and stored in a basket in her room, but I wanted a way to store them that made it easier to find what I wanted. I wandered over to Walmart one evening and came back with supplies that ended up costing me only $5 - fabric, ribbon, and some 50 cent jungle animals that matched the theme in Priya's room. Coupled with some cardboard, batting, staples and glue a new creation soon emerged. I had to get creative with the limited wall space in Priya's room (hence the ever-so-fashionable thermostat in the pic). But in the end I was happy with the result.

Thanks for the inspiration Emily! It was fun to try something new! :)

J&J Update!

Jon and Jenetta have a new post with a couple of photos! They are exhausted after their first day with the girls but things seem to be going well. We are so excited for you J&J and are looking forward to the day when we'll be able to meet O&L in person! We love you!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Today Is THE Day!

Today is the day that my brother and sister-in-law will meet O & L for the first time. In approximately one hour from now Jon and Jenetta will meet these sweet little girls at the airport in San Diego. We are bursting with excitement and are eager to hear how the first meeting goes.

They have been working hard to get their home ready and were blessed with a shower on Saturday. Check out Jon and Jenetta 's blog to see some of the fruits of their labor. :)

We are praying for you J&J and O & L!!!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Another Day of Fun

Ashish went back to work today, but I get to continue with the Spring Break fun until Monday. So this morning Priya and I hit Jump River Park and let the fun continue. She spent some time on the swing and going down the slide, but seemed to primarily enjoy practicing going up and down the stairs today. She is quite good at going up the stairs and is getting close to mastering going back down too. The kid-sized railing definitely helped in the process.

She is wearing a beautiful Indian top that was given to her when she was born by her Uncle Arpit and Aunt Binal in India. It's fun to be able to be able to expose her to various aspects of her Indian heritage along the way.


When Ashish got off work we headed back outside again and had a blast walking around the campus...

And then headed over to the McConnell Foundation for a nice walk.


It's been so nice to have this extra time with Ashish these past few days and to see him bonding with our little girl.

Friday, March 27, 2009

A Surprise Vacation!

On Wednesday afternoon Ashish came home from his classes a couple of hours early. He explained that his clinical for the next couple of days had been postponed and that he now had 2 1/2 days free! This was welcome news as that meant that we'd finally be able to have some quality time to spend together! He then went a step further and said to pack my bags, we were going away as a family!!! What an awesome surprise!!! (I'm on Spring Break at Simpson so the timing was perfect all the way around.)

We got a timeshare reservation at a good price (thanks for your help with that Mom) and ended up going to Windsor, California (about an hour north of San Francisco). So we quickly packed everything up and hopped in the car for what would very soon turn out to be a wonderful vacation!

We arrived around 9pm on Wednesday and checked into the Worldmark Windsor Resort. Below is a view from our room.Thursday morning we woke up and eagerly prepared for a fun-filled day!
First on the docket was a trip to the swimming pool. Priya danced around happily after we got her dressed in her swim suit.
And she was elated when we hit the pool! Yep, Priya has a bit of an "outie" belly button. :)


We then trekked on down to Santa Rosa and briefly hit the mall.
And then visited a Tourist Info Center to see about finding the best way to get to the ocean.
We ended up taking a trip down to Bodega Bay (where The Birds was filmed) and Priya had her very first experience visiting the ocean!
She was a bit hesitant with the sand at first and definitely did NOT like the feel of the sand between her toes, but once she realized the treasure that awaited her a few steps further she quickly changed her tune!

She was crazy about the water (despite the fact that it was far from warm) and would have headed straight into the ocean if we hadn't held her hand.
Needless to say she was not very happy about leaving the water behind. But more fun was ahead...
We then made a loop up and visited the Redwoods at Armstrong Woods.




It was dark before we knew it so it was time to trek on back to Windsor. Priya was all tuckered out from a fun-filled day so we put her to bed and Ashish went to work on the BBQ and grilled us up some delicious tri-tip (his FAVORITE!).
Before we knew it Friday morning had arrived! Priya had fun jumping on Daddy!
And then we hit the pool for another hour before putting Priya down for her nap and then checking out and saying farewell to Windsor.
We took a detour on the return trip and went through Napa. It was an absolutely perfect day (upper 70's) and perfect for a last bit of sightseeing.





And then in what seemed to be a blink of an eye (well, probably not to Priya) we were back in Redding armed with a ton of wonderful memories of a very special family vacation. Thanks Ashish for an amazing surprise and for 3 wonderful family and fun-filled days!
video video video

Thursday, March 19, 2009

2 New Additions To The Family!

We received some very exciting news today! Two little girls will be joining our extended family a week and a half from now!

My older brother, Jon, and his wife, Jenetta, have been seeking to adopt for a while now. Today they made the decision to move forward with 2 little girls, aged 3 and 4, and they will be coming to live with them on March 29! We are extremely excited about this news and what this means for Jon and Jenetta! They have so much love to give and will be a tremendous blessing to these young sisters. They will be living with them as foster kids until the adoption is complete.

This will be a huge transition for them and they have a very short period of time to finalize details for the arrival of the girls. Their lives are about to change in a very signifcant way, but they are excited and eager to enter this new stage of life. They would greatly appreciate your prayers as they seek to make the transition a positive one for the girls. You can probably imagine that being uprooted and moving into an unfamiliar home with strangers can be very traumatic for anyone. Jon and Jenetta are especially concerned that the girls realize that this change is not happening because they did anything wrong - it's not their fault! But that can be difficult for young minds to grasp.

Jon has also recently taken a new job and is transitioning with that as well, so they are facing many changes and adjustments right now.

We will not be posting the names or photos of the little girls until the adoption is complete, but for now we will be referring to them as O and L.

Welcome to the family O & L! We are so excited to meet you and are praying for you as you transition into a new life with a new family! You will be blessed and very dearly loved!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Genesis Weekend

This weekend is Simpson's preview weekend for prospective students (Genesis Weekend). It's been fun meeting new people and having a chance to reconnect with some old friends. Below are a few pics from our time wandering around the campus this afternoon.


Sunday, March 8, 2009

PRIYA KISSED A LION!!!!

Today Priya and I joined my dad at an RV and Boat show. The weather was gorgeous and we really enjoyed being outdoors and checking out some RV's and boats. Priya seemed to enjoy herself too!
Along the way we encountered a taxidermy booth with an array of various stuffed animals - just not the kind that Priya is used to. The first animal that we saw was this lion which Priya excitedly called "Baby!". She tried to pick it's nose...
Then touch it's eye... Then even gave it a kiss just above its nose!! This somehow frightened her (maybe the coarseness of the fur?) and she wouldn't go anywhere near any of the other animals after that.
Priya also saw her 1st horse today but was also a little afraid of it after her encounter with "Baby".
Mom and Dad came over in the late afternoon and we enjoyed a nice dinner together. Then went out for a walk around campus.


Priya enjoyed climbing all over the bleachers. The steps and seats were just low enough to make it very easy for her to climb up on them.