Posting at SHINE

After almost 3 years of posting to this blog I've decided I am going to simplify my life and put all posts (for all my children!) on my "photography blog": SHINE!
I hope to see you there!

Monday, December 29, 2008

I hope you dance!

Tia dances every time she hears music - it is so cute to see her little hand start coming up and her little head start moving - then she slowly turns around twirling. Belle & I were out in the front garden yesterday and we started singing and Tia started to dance. I hope she always loves to dance - it brings us such joy to watch her get caught up in the music and the moment (she really likes those shoes!)

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

What a wonderful Christmas! Tia enjoyed all the excitement and was happy with her gifts although I'm pretty sure she would have been happy with a large supply of "Tandy" (candy!)LOL!. I had planned for Tia and Bella to wear sleeveless white eyelet dresses for the Christmas Eve service at church however it was a chilly 65 so I threw Isabella's dress from when she was 2 on Tia and I loved the way she looked in it! (Though I did not get a single great photo - maybe later!) Here the girls are scattering the magic reindeer dust on the lawn to help guide Santa's sleigh!
First the stockings! Then the gifts! A new bike, kinda fun but a water bottle, now that is very cool :)
My prayer is that all my blogger friends have a blessed Christmas season and a very Happy New Year!.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Little Swimmer!

We just returned from a 14 day New Zealand Cruise. Tia swam in the pool on the ship almost every day and she is getting to be such a good little swimmer! She would jump right in and Daddy would let her head go under before he held her - she loved it!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Ice Cream (at the Honolulu Zoo!)

A couple photos of Tia enjoying some American Ice Cream while we visited the Zoo during our Hawaii trip. She loved the playground a lot also. Oh and the Giraffes :)

Monday, November 24, 2008

Knock Knock!

Tia: "Knock Knock"
Mommy: "who's there?"
Tia: (a little smile on her face) "Knock Knock!"
Mommy: "Who's there?"
Tia: (a bigger smile . . .) "Knock Knock"
Mommy: (with a sigh) "Who's there?"
Tia: (GIGGLING!) Knock Knock!!!!!!"

and so it goes, several times a day!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

My Little Miss USA

Tia and I spent a whirlwind 5 days flying to Hawaii to get her US citizenship - and US passport. Busy and FUN - and YIKES!!! 10 hours is a VERY long flight with a Tantruming, screaming (have I mentioned she has some rage issues??!!) 2 year old! Won't be doing that again for as long as possible. But yeah! she's really a US citizen now!

Oh and she is a darn good shopping buddy too :)

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Urgent PRAYER requested for family in China.

Please pray for this family! They are in China and the little girl they met has very serious issues and they cannot accept her. They are praying for another referral and thus far they have been told there are no children available at this time. Please pray that God would move mountains and they will get another referral!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Adding a Blog List

I had a question about how to put the blog list with updates on your blog so I though I would answer here:

Go into Layout then on the right side it will say "my blog list" , click on that and then you add the url and just check whichever boxes you want - you can even show the beginning of the post and their thumbnail if you'd like.

If that doesn't make sense let me know.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

more pigtails photos

I took these photos early Sunday morning while Tia and I were enjoying (her)bottle and (my) coffee. I love these sweet times with Tia - snuggling, giggling and just being together (oh and taking photos :).

I love those times with Jesus when I can just enjoy him too, when I let go of all my preconceived ideas about what He wants FROM me (as if!).
Today I am feeling blessed!

“It is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace” Hebrews 13:9

She is just so beautiful :)

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Look who's talking TWO!

a little lesson on how to talk TWO!

if anyone ever says "please don't . . ." you will always reply

"I NOT!"

If given a choice as to which you would like you will reply


If ever asked if you did something you will answer


when anyone picks up or touches anything of yours you will say

"MY ________"

Tia is talking a lot but it is funny to see how language progresses when you learn to speak when you are TWO years old :)

Friday, October 31, 2008

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Tammy won!

Tia drew Tammy as the winner of the Tuesday October 14th "Name this photo" contest. We just drew randomly. The captions were hilarious, thanks to everyone for playing!

Tammy can you send me your mailing address so I can get the surprise gift from Australia in the mail to you?!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Monday, October 20, 2008

one of the things we love about living in Sydney, Australia

This is Isabella, our 10 year old daughter's gymnastics team. Isabella is 3rd from the left. Can you tell what we like so much?

Saturday, October 18, 2008

"Jesus, tank you . . . .

lollies, tandy, go-gurt.


(Tia's first prayer, I was praying out loud while it was taking her forever to fall asleep for her nap . . . . she reached through the slats of her crib, held my hand and said her own prayer )

Thursday, October 16, 2008


looking at the photos my 10 year old says . . . . "oh Mom, sorry I taught her that!"

thanks Miss Belle and we thought you were the perfect one!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


Pink has always been my favorite color (with purple) ! it is so nice to have a little girl to dress up again! Tia and I did a little photo session on her bed yesterday and all I had to do to get her to smile was to feed her bites of ice-cream between photos :) (a natural light inside assignment for my class. lovin' that class!)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

name this photo!

If you post a caption for this photo I will enter you into a drawing for a surprise gift from Australia :) (hint, your child will love it!) You have until the 21st - so please leave a comment!

Monday, October 13, 2008

I've been tagged!

Lynn from Somewhere in the Sun tagged me . . . . This is fun, I've never been tagged before!

7 random/weird facts about me . . . .

1- I walk the dog between 10 -11 pm every night (and a possum usually jumps over our heads as we pass under a certain tree - and it startles me every time :)
2- I chew my cuticles, so I'm always hiding my hands.
3- My husband brings me coffee in bed every morning.
4 - Members of our family have lived in 5 different countries: USA, Hungary, Australia, Ukraine (Elijah) & China (Tia obviously, who has never lived in America)
5- I have some great pieces of furniture in my house I have gotten from the side of the road on "Big trash pick up day" (I'll post some of them on my blog in a few days).
6- the only thing my kids could think of when I asked them for an interesting fact about me was that I talk to myself. :(
7- I'm always thinking about (and probably talking to myself about :) the next place I want to travel to.

I'm tagging:

Simply Family
Gute Cuties
The Voice of Adventure
Slugs & Snails & Little Pigtails
China Caboose

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Tea Party!

I had to do an assignment for my photography class - Tia enjoyed playing Tea Party!

Tia's first haircut!

I'm pretty sure Tia had her head shaved a few times in China, however today Tia had her first official haircut since she has been home with us. Love the Wiggles cape! That lollipop was so necessary! (ps I will take some better photos tomorrow in natural lighting)

Sunday, October 5, 2008

it was written in his book.

your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me
were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
Psalm 139: 16

One year ago today we received our pre-approval from China to adopt Ni Chou Zhou - who is now Kristiana Hope (which means "Anointed Hope"): our little Tia. This meant that as long as we were who we said we were (and we obviously were/are!) we were approved to be Tia's Forever Family.

It would have been my Mom & Dad's 50th anniversary. A Happy/Sad moment really. In Chinese adoption we call that a red thread. Those moments give me chills . . . those times in our lives where we are so aware that God is orchestrating our lives with his eternal purposes in mind.

What an amazing year this has been! I'm so glad we finally have our Princess home. We feel incredibly blessed and honored to raise Tia in our family - and to think it was all written in God's book before we even came to be!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Starfish . . .

We found a starfish at the beach today and Tia wanted to touch it. She was so interested in it and kept going back to it when we threw it back in the water. When I got home and looked at this photo of her holding it I was reminded of the starfish story often used about adoption.
One morning after a particularly fearsome storm, a man arose early and decided to go for a walk along the sea. As he neared the beach, the early riser saw an old man in the distance slowly, yet purposely, ambling down the shoreline. As he watched, the old man stopped, picked something up, and tossed it into the ocean. Then, the old man slowly straightened himself up, walked several more feet, stooped down, and once again picked up something, which he tossed into the sea. Intrigued, the early riser moved closer. As he drew near, he realized suddenly what the old man was doing. Littered all down the shoreline, as far as the eye could see, were thousands upon thousands of starfish cast out from the ocean by the fury of the now-passed storm. As the early riser watched, the old man bent down, gently picked up a small, helpless starfish, and tossed it back into the ocean. He repeated the same process every few feet. After a minute or two, the early riser approached the old man. "Good morning, sir" he said. "I couldn't help notice what you're doing. I commend you for what you're trying to do, but the storm has washed up thousands of starfish on this beach. You can't possibly save them all! What possible difference do you hope to accomplish?"

The old man paused for a long time, pondering the early riser's question. Finally, without saying a word, he bent down, picked up a starfish, and tossed it far into the ocean. "It made a difference to that one," he said.

Monday, September 29, 2008

playing in the pool

Image hosted @

ok, seriously does anyone know how I can get this mosaic to the correct size?? HELP!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


Soooooooooooo do I give in and cut her bangs? or do I just keep trying to get those wisps to stay in the pigtails? (or clippy or barrette . . .) a few friends are saying CUT! but I am not a bangs type (for my girls anyway). any opinions?

Monday, September 22, 2008

a few photos

I've just started an online photography class through this site (the next class has not been announced yet) just to teach me to get my camera off the automatic setting.(So far this class has been exactly what I need!) Hopefully my photos will soon improve - the models I photograph are already perfect however :)There is something amazing about the relationship between these two. Words cannot express what it does to this Mommy's heart to see my oldest son's sensitive heart towards his baby sister. so very sweet :)
She loves to climb!
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Jeremiah 29:11