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!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

little snorkeler

I'm wondering what she is thinking!?

Thursday, December 17, 2009

We've been busy!

It has been so busy around here . . . We've had wonderful overseas guests, Tia had surgery to cap 3 teeth, we went on Holiday to Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef, all the children finished school and now we are FINALLY getting ready for Christmas. Just in case you've missed us I thought you might enjoy a photo of our "Princess of Quite-A-Lot" taken on an island we visited in the Great Barrier Reef. She wouldn't put her head under the water to check out the fish, and turtles, and octopus and stingrays, however she loved playing with the shells :)!

Tia sends a very Merry Christmas from Australia!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving to all our friends and family. We have so much to be thankful for . . . . like this little turkey :)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

floating w/ Grandma

Grandma Cookie (ellie's Mom) has been visiting us here in Australia for the past 2.5 weeks. Tia is really enjoying having another play mate during the day - and one who likes to swim. Today Tia and Grandma were practicing floating - and blowing bubbles under water :) We are thinking Tia will be swimming alone any day now!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Thank You Jesus for . . . .

letting me go swimming today!

After we prayed before dinner Tia stopped us and said she wanted to pray too. She just wanted to thank Jesus for her swimming lesson that day. She loves her swimming lessons :)

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Our Model Bug

Her big sister was getting some photos taken dressed up for a party - she decided to teach T to "model" Here is our Little Bug, she ran to get this ladybug dress on so she could model too! (and note the pink princess dress up shoes)

Monday, November 2, 2009

my little LadyBug

ladybug on tramp
Tia (my Love Bug/Lady Bug) playing on the trampoline at our Halloween Party. I really want to get more photos of her in her costume - hopefully tomorrow :)

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

It's all about the goggles!

She loves wearing the goggles. as long as they're pink. She didn't like the fact that "that boy that helped me swim" was replaced by a girl instructor. Luckily "that boy" came by and told me to pop her in the water against her will or she would never have gone in. Once she was in she was havin' fun. until it was time to get out. she was not a happy camper. not even what with the pink goggles and all. (for a bigger view of her closed eyes just click on the photo)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

an engineer maybe?

She's three. (and 3 months) We have not taught her to use a screwdriver (of course!). For me it was tricky to learn (when I was like 30!) . . . the whole "righty tighty lefty loosy thing, just to remember which way to turn it ya' know.

She was waiting for me to play trains with her. I noticed her getting the screwdriver out and trying to use it. it was cute - it was the wrong type of screwdriver but I didn't think there was any harm. I laughed out loud 15 minutes later when I realized she had taken the whole thing apart (14 screws!) and was carrying around parts of the roundhouse to that train set.

Does it seem a little unusual that she can do/did that? I'm thinkin' so. Maybe she is a bit bright?! I'm just callin' her "Our Little Engineer".

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

More Ours.

As promised a little photo shoot in honor of Equal Day :) She chose the outfit, she wasn't happy about the pigtails until I promised candy :) She only wants to wear her hair like Bella's (one ponytail in the back). The pigtails were out the minute I said we were done. She is a character. We are incredibly blessed :)

ps I couldn't figure out WHY this photo is so grainy and then I realized the ISO was at 1250. bummer.

Equal Day.

We couldn't think of a better name :) Today marks the day that we have had Tia as long as she was without us. We are calling it Equal Day (any better ideas?)

It is amazing to think our precious peanut has been with us for 19 months and 3 weeks! YOWZA. We love her, she was a giggle box today (so fun!) but boy does she bring a lot of attitude to our lives :) I will try to get a photo of her tomorrow,

Today she celebrated by taking her first swim lesson. Did she like it?? "that was so so fun!" she told her sister afterwards! (I forgot my camera :(

Happy Equal Day Tia (okay I admit that sounds pitiful :)

Friday, October 16, 2009

jammies at the park?! oh my.

jammies EVERYWHERE - oh and about 3 or 4 changes per day! She LOVES her jammies!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

purple fairy

My mom got a new lens. I wore my jammies today (most days I have 2 or 3 different jammies on during the day) I put on my new purple fairy wings and started jumping on the trampoline. Is that any reason to try out a new lens? in the middle of the day when the light is too harsh? Mom thinks so :)
My creation

Monday, September 21, 2009

my little LOVE bug

she cracks me up because she is so serious trying to learn how to play :)

She had an adorable dress on, but (of course) she changed before we left the house. She had cute pig tails too but (of course) she had to rip those out . . . no point in pretending to be compliant when you're really not :(

It's alright, I LOVE her just the way she is!

Monday, September 14, 2009

strawberries - Tia style

She takes one bite out of each one. such a Princess. sigh.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Fashion? Friday

Today Tia went upstairs for a few minutes and I could hear her happily playing. When she came down I asked her what she was doing and she said "I got Lijie's undawear". When I looked at her I could see she had a lot of underwear on! I took some photos and then she took them all off. I counted them. 20. Silly girl, I think she needs someone to play with, maybe preschool might be a good idea after all!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Today I told her about how we waited for her . . .

Tia, black polka dot
She likes to say "talk to me Mommy, . . . ." and tonight she was just not ready to sleep when I was putting her to bed so I asked her if she wanted to hear about how she came to be our daughter?! she said, "tell me Mommy".

I shared that after we had her older brother and sister we wanted another little girl, we were matched with precious Casiana in Romania but they never allowed her to come home. We went to Ukraine where we saw the face of and met and brought home her precious brother. Years went by and we still had an ache, a little girl missing in our family . . . we looked for her, we couldn't find her but we filled out the paperwork anyway and we waited. One day they called - they sent her photo and we saw the face of the little girl we were waiting for. Our Tia, our beautiful daughter. Now we enjoy that precious little face everyday.

She liked the story, she started kissing me, she was being silly. I love that girl. She still couldn't fall asleep.

She drives me crazy.

Dad took over and she is asleep now.


Friday, August 21, 2009

Twirly Girl.

Tia is so fun! She loves to twirl and dance and sing her way through the day! For some reason if I sing she says: "Talk Mom, no singing, just talking"! - hmmmmm should I take that personally?

Friday, July 31, 2009

XiXi and Tia - a tale of two sisters

It has been almost 2 years since we first saw the face of our precious daughter Tia. On August 12, 2007 we were emailed her referral information which we excitedly accepted. A few days later we were able to view the entire new special needs list where we would see another little girl living at the same baby house who surprisingly looked so similar to our future daughter - with a birthday only 1 day earlier. I had a few hours of fear imagining that somehow these two little girls were actually twins and someone would take our baby from us to keep the twins together... After (unsuccessfully)trying to convince my husband that we could adopt both of the girls I emailed our agency. I was comforted by them with the fact that they didn't think the girls looked much alike, had different special needs and were found in different areas so it was unlikely they were twins. I was relieved but I still had a sense that these girls needed to stay connected somehow.
In the following days I was able to get in touch with Judy, little "XiXi"'s mom-to-be and was excited to learn they lived in a suburb that was very near where my sister lived. Someday we hoped to meet and get the girls back together.
It was a highlight of our trip to America in July when we were able to reunite these little YiWu Sisters and meet XiXi's family! It took a little while for the girls to relax with each other but by the end of the visit they were really enjoying each other as can be seen in the photos of them drawing on themselves with chalk! XiXi even said she remembered Tia :)
We had such a wonderful visit with Judy, Steve and all their children and I was amazed that immediately they felt like family! confirming the sense that these girls should stay connected . . . they are after all sisters! Happy 3rd Birthdays XiXi and Tia! May you grow up to be friends as well as sisters!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

3 Years Old!

Tia was a lucky little girl being able to celebrate her third birthday in America! She had two parties, one with each side of our family. Here she is trying to figure out how to blow out her candles at her first party at Grandma Cookies house.

The second photo was taken at Grandma & Grandpa Froggie's house for her second party.

I wasn't happy with the quality of either photo but I guess it is a good excuse to make another birthday cake and have some of her little Australian friends over to celebrate her birthday again!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

back in Australia!

We're home! It is 6:30 pm and the kids have been asleep for hours - we can hardly keep our eyes open! I will post more photos as soon as possible :)

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Things Tia Loves

at age 2.

Her pink silky blankey
Dora The Explorer
Pincess Dwesses
her pink gumboots
swinging on the bar
jumping on the trampoline
her bottle
milk - with chocolate in it
not wearing clothes
spinning around
Her friend Lauren

she is 3 now. (as of 7/15/09) ouch.. I so miss her 2 year old self. birthday photos when we are back at home :)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

taken 14 months ago

I just ran across this photo of this tiny, serious-looking baby.
Where did she go?
Tia, in smocked outfit

Thursday, June 18, 2009

smelling the flowers

I decided to work on my photography skills with these flowers. Silly Miss Tia who never likes to be in photos for me, didn't want me to take any photos without her in them either! She climbed up on the counter in her Princess outfit-of-the-day to smell the flowers (or get in the way of me taking a photo!).
processed in lightroom with Rebecca Lily's Faded Olive preset (just learning Lightroom that I recently purchased for the $99 student price, anyone with a child in school qualifies! anyhow I don't quite have it figured out.).

Friday, June 12, 2009

Gumboots with . . .

a smocked dress?

okay, I wasn't too sure it was the right occasion when the Princess of Quite-A-Lot was emphatic that she was going to wear this smocked dress to Bible Study Fellowship on Tuesday. I was even less sure that the gumboots looked good with it. She chose a pink rubber butterfly hairband too (at least that went with the gumboots!). hmmmmmmmmm. I wonder how opinionated she will be about fashion when she is 3!

(not the best photos, but hey, we were on the way out the door for Bible Study!)

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Wild Olive Tees giveaway!

Check it out! These tees are super cute and have some of my favorite scriptures on them - and right now they are having a giveaway! click on the link for more info. and to check out these super cute tees!
Wild Olive Tees

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Fashion Friday!

Both these outfits were chosen by Tia. I let her choose her outfit on Thursday and she put on her most favorite t-shirt - an Old Navy USA t-shirt. I don't know why but she just loves this shirt. She grabbed these size 12 months jeans (that are not meant to be cropped!) and insisted on wearing them - then she had to wear these crocs type pink shoes (her gumboots were missing) and the ball cap. (check out the apple, she had to grab one again this week before we headed outside to take her photo - too funny!) I was actually a little worried when she looked so boyish in this outfit of her choice :) I worried too soon because the next outfit she chose was her "Belle" Pincess dwess with leggings because it is cold here - and her pink jacket and pink gumboots. That's the Pincess I remember :) Check out all the cute child-chosen outfits at Salsa in China

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Tia Talk

Some conversations with the Princess of Quite-A-Lot that I don't want to forget:

Sitting at the table one evening Tia kept getting up and walking around so we secured the strap on her booster seat. She kept yelling "up! up! when that brought no response from us she changed her cry to "abawo, abawo" we just looked at her and shook our heads, not understanding what in the world she was talking about. Finally Jonah(12) started laughing . . . "she is saying ABAJO, it's from Dora!, it means DOWN,DOWN!"
we all cracked up!

I was pouring some chocolate powder in Tia's milk and the floors had just been mopped, so when some of the powder spilled I asked Tia to please not touch. She said: "I NOT touchin', I just lookin'!" a few seconds later I noticed she was rubbing her finger in the chocolate powder and putting it in her mouth - I reminded her that I didn't want her to touch it. Tia's response: "I NOT touchin', I just lickin'!"

Last night I was sitting next to Tia's bed as she was supposed to be falling asleep.

T: Mom, you seepy?
Me: Yes,
T: Mom, you supa hungwee?
Me: No
T: you vewy sick?
Me: No
T: Mom, you just vewy vewy tiwad?
Me: Yes, I replied, I am very tired, please fall asleep."
Tia: you seep Mom, you tiwad!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


Lake Mckenzie - Fraser Island
I was loading photos to a book about our Fraser Island trip and I found this one of Tia & Elijah building sandcastles at Lake Makenzie, Fraser Island, Australia. Something about the fact that Tia is from China a few hours from the East China Sea and Elijah is from Ukraine near the Black Sea - and here they are in a small island off the coast of Australia in the Pacific Ocean building sandcastles at a little beach at this World Heritage Site . . . well, I love the whole idea of that :)

Friday, May 22, 2009

Fashion Friday!

We are joining the Fashion Friday over at the "Salsa in China" blog. Check out all the entries! this is such fun! Here is Tia's creative outfit this week:

oh she's cute! She chose & wore this mixed up swim suit proudly! and what would a Tia outfit be without her pink gumboots? The balloon is from The Wiggles show she went to. I think she had a good time although she walked in the door after the show and asked to watch Dora. That's my Tia. love her :)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

For Angel

I know this photo is out of focus but I just had to post it because I think it looks more like Kaiya than it does Tia! Can you believe how much these little YiWu sisters look alike??

Friday, May 15, 2009

Fashion Challenge Friday!

This was Tia's choice of outfit yesterday. Yes, I know the boots are a big surprise! She cried when I put the "Pincess dwess" in the washing machine because she had spilled chocolate all over it. But then I found her another and she said "nother Pincess dwess!" She never noticed that she had these until yesterday! She is a "Pincess" alright :) Check out all the other fun entries at Salsa In China.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

my little monkey.

Tia hanging
she loves to hang & swing & climb & jump! silly little monkey :)

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Running away from this blog?!

Fraser Island - TT
I've been meaning to post more photos of our Fraser Island Trip - however there are very few of just Tia - which leads me to my ongoing problem with this blog . . . I actually have 4 children! I am going to start posting more often to "Shine" and then just updating this as Tia's online scrapbook.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

In the land down under . . .

on a little sand island called Fraser. . . on the far south end. . .in what are called the champagne pools. . . on a hot day in April. . . while on holiday with her family. . .

this little girl swam. . . like this. (and we tried to keep her clothes on, oh how we tried!) Luckily we were in Australia where this is considered normal. (really!) yikes.
"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