Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Bicycle!!!


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Clare's birthday in January 6. Since the weather is supposed to be nice this weekend, she got her birthday present a little early.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Clare and Claire!





Today, Clare and her friend Claire Bowlby had a play date to McDonalds, then to Hafer Park in Edmond, Oklahoma. The weather was absolutely gorgeous and the girls had a great time swinging and sliding. We have introduced Sue and Claire Bowlby in earlier posts. Sue and Bill Bowlby were so very instrumental in helping us keep our "chins up" during the long wait for Clare. It is wonderful that Clare and Claire can be good friends.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Clare's Nativity Sets & Jenga Blocks


Clare has been enjoying her Fisher Price nativity set this Christmas. Her cousin Darcy (Aunt Jan and Uncle Dave's daughter) made a woodblock nativity set for Clare. Clare's brother Blake got her a Jenga game for Christmas. From those things, Clare (with help from Daniela) created the beautiful scene you see above!!

Aunt Jan & Uncle Dave!




Clare's Aunt Jan and Uncle Dave have been visiting from Jacksonville, IL. Jan is Jim's sister. Today is their 41st wedding anniversary! Wow! Happy Anniversary, Jan & Dave! Here's to 41 more! It was such a beautiful day today - 65 degrees on December 29th - so Clare shared a "Coca" and a Snickers with Mama. Clare loved it down to the wrapper!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Clare's Godparents

Dear family and friends. We would like to introduce Clare's Godparents, Kent and Paige Keithly, from Enid. We first met Paige in early October, 2006, when we attended our first adoption seminar sponsored by Great Wall China Adoption. Paige is the regional director for Great Wall. Over the next two years we became close friends with Paige and her wonderful family. We have determined that we have much in common with Paige and Kent. Choosing Godparents is a daunting endeavor, if done in the proper spirit, and we are absolutely confident in our choice. Thank you Paige and Kent.

Meet The Keithly Family




Today Clare and her Mama and Baba had the privilege and honor of having the Keithly family from Enid visit in our home. From top to bottom please meet Paige, Joe (playing with Marley, Clare's brother Blake's dog), Mary, Harris, and Alice. Thank you for coming to meet Clare. We had a wonderful time.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Merry Christmas and God Bless

To all of our family and friends we wish a Merry, merry Christmas. May God bless you all; may you all travel safely. We are traveling this evening to Guymon, Oklahoma, out in the Oklahoma Panhandle, for Christmas. We hope that you will continue to follow our blog. We will begin posting again on December 26.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

All Dressed Up for Mass

Clare's First Cookie Bake






Clare, Mama & Baba had a good time baking cookies at the Ventresca's! Party on!!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

"Munner" September 26, 1916 - December 20, 2007

















One year ago today we lost Jim's mother (Munner). Today we are thinking fondly of her and the many memories we all shared. Rest in peace, Munner. We love you.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Some Pretty Images













Just some pretty photos taken on December 19. We were out in the yard taking some pictures of Clare and spotted the hot air balloon, the geese and the jet. Enjoy. Check tomorrow for some photos of Clare's first cookie baking experience.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Perfect Song for Our Adoption Journey



This song is "Merry Christmas" by Third Day. We bought the CD in December 2006, as we were starting our adoption journey. We cried while listening to this song during two Christmas seasons because we were longing for Clare to come home. Now we can cry tears of joy because "It's Christmas time again and now [Clare's] home. [Her] family is here so [she] will never be alone."

God bless you all! Happy Birthday, Jesus!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Clare's First Hallmark Christmas Ornament

















Brycie has been getting a new Hallmark Christmas ornament every year since 1978. Clare got her 1st one today! She chose the High School Musical ornament - it has music and everything!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Clare says "Have a Nice Day"













The check-out person at WalMart gave Clare some stickers. As Brycie was driving home she looked back and Clare had decorated herself. So, Clare says to all of you -- "Have a Nice Day!"

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Decorating Grandad's Christmas Tree
















This evening Clare, Mama and Baba went to visit Baba's Baba (Jim's dad; Clare's grandad) at the Bradford Village Assisted Living Center in Edmond, Oklahoma. Aunt Jan (Jim's sister), who, as a retired third grade teacher, is always full of decorating ideas, created a Christmas tree to display outside grandad's apartment, with felt ornaments with pictures of all the kids, grandkids, great-grandkids, and grand-dogs. Clare's job (along with help from her parents) was to begin decorating the tree. Many more ornaments will follow with the arrival of Jason's family and Kelsey's family, and Blake (Jim's children and grandchildren). The top picture is "grandad." He turned 92 in late September. Merry Christmas and God bless, grandad.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Clare's First Hayride


















Tonight Clare got to go on her first hayride. Each Christmas season our neighborhood association has a hayride to take people around to see the Christmas lights and decorations. This is the evening before bad weather is supposed to arrive and the moon was clear and bright.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Bedtime Stories












One of our very favorite times of the day with Clare is bedtime. After her bath we say our prayers, then Mama lies in bed with Clare (and her American Girl doll, Amy, and her Chinese Cabbage Patch doll) and reads stories to her. Tonight she is reading "Samantha's Winter Party."

Clare's First Haircut














Clare got her first "trim" this week. She wants her hair to grow longer, so she just got it trimmed. Doesn't she look cute?

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Tumbling Tower




















Clare enjoyed playing "Tumbling Tower" this evening at the Ventresca's. What she loved most was "losing" when she pulled the block that tumbled the tower.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Eskimo Joes New Eskimo Joe
















Clare continues to crack us up!! She is a hoot!!

McDongLou?

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Clare's favorite Chinese/American restaurant is McDongLou! She can spot the Golden Arches from miles away!! Mom and Dad aren't sure how much they can take!! ; )

Saturday, December 6, 2008

First Fingernail Painting














Clare got her first fingernail painting tonight and she is so excited.