Friday, September 30, 2011

Favorite Family Photos Friday

Finishing up posting pictures from AA's family birthday party, here are my favorites!

After an early dinner, presents and cake, the girls headed for the pool even though it was overcast.

Grand Dylan being her cute self:

All four in the kiddie pool:

AA having some play time after everyone left; she loves her ribbon wand, hula-hoop and purple fairy dress:

the long road

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Busy Few Weeks - Catching Up

We have taken alot of pictures over the past few weeks and I still have not taken the time to write up new posts, so I am back in the catch up mode! Lots coming for our family blog/photo album.

We didn't do much for the Mid-Autumn Moon festival; AA colored a picture I printed and we looked at the bright moon for several nights. Our local FCC group hosts a beach side gathering that is a bit of a drive for us so we didn't attend this year. I must be more prepared next year!

We went swimming: AA and her Nana.

Since we are United Methodists and there is one Florida UM Children's Home, you have heard many times how we love to respond to any needs they have. The word was put out that luggage or duffel bags were needs (and used is fine) as most children who enter the residential home program have very little and usually nothing to put their personal belongings in. The budget doesn't always have room for these "extras" that we would normally provide for our own children. So here's the photos of all the donated items which included 62 pieces of luggage, duffel bags, gym bags and personal tote bags plus 46 packages of new underwear (a total of 276 pieces of undies)! Thank you all!!

With my Mom here visiting, she has played with AA and taught her some new games including checkers and Slamwich (sort of like "war"):

Also brought a set of puzzles to do called Squzzle - Animal Babies (visit mindware on line). They were not the easiest to complete, but we did manage! Here's a picture of one completed puzzle - have fun if you attempt these!

And lastly, AA playing with Daddy's iPhone:

Hopefully, I am caught up with the blog, now off to catch up on snail mail and thank yous!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Pinegrove Market Deli

You probably have one where you live. The foodie delight known by locals but seemingly hidden from those visiting or just passing through. These taste bud, stomach filling treasures are much like pirate booty, seemingly buried away with their whereabouts a carefully guarded secret so it would seem.
Least the likes of folks like you and I start showing up :)

One positive aspect of living close to the city is the opportunity to enjoy many of these local favorites for ourselves. Most cities are a composite of individual neighborhoods masquerading as one large metropolis. Each hosting their hidden gems of culinary diversity not to be limited to linen tablecloths and a wine price list that weaken the knees. Case in point, our most recent lunch came complete with paper napkins, plastic forks and catsup kept in the soda/beer cooler you fetched for yourself. Our (my) intended quest was to sample the best "burger" in Jacksonville which in turn led us to the eclectic neighborhood of Avondale and their "buried treasure" known as the Pinegrove Market Deli.

As you may have gathered from the pictures, our appetites came before the camera :)

The chicken salad sandwich, hummus, fries and burger all fresh and tastefully satisfying!

Today also happens to be a special day for our family.
Happy Birthday to our first daughter - may you have a wonderful day Leaa!
We love you so much...


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Last 5th Birthday Gift

AA's final gift was too large to take to the beach party, so she opened it up after our return home.
She did a good job of ripping off all the paper (I used lots of newspaper too):

"Helping" assemble the hoop:

Shooting Practice:

Success! (we need to raise up the pole one more notch!)

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Sunday Snapshot

I am joining the Sunday Snapshot over at Ni Hoa Y'all since I mostly post snapshots. Many of my long term bloggy adoption families post photos on Sunday and hopefully it will be a great way for me to catch up on everyone's news.

We celebrated Forever Family Day at P.F. Chang (and in 2010) and my Mom was here from Maine for her September visit. We are still in wonder that we climbed on a plane on 09/11/2008 to China just 30 days after our referral day and had our new little daughter on the 16th! Happy Three Years!

Sunday Snapshot

Friday, September 23, 2011

Weekend with "Auntie Carolyn" - Favorite Photo Friday

Having Carolyn around is so nice; AA loves playing with her and that gives us some short breaks in our routine (and some mental rest too). They play school and enjoy having fun together. A perfect weekend! So here are some of our favorite photos from this visit!
Heading to the Riverside Arts Market (RAM - we have mentioned many times - our favorite place to buy veggies for the coming week).
In the butterfly cage area with Aunt Carolyn (I took pictures from the outside, looking through the screening):
Later in the afternoon, we walked the neighborhood, the weather has cooled a little and less humid - time to get back outdoors!
Hoping our cousin returns soon!
To see everyone's favorite photo, check out The Long Road to China.the long road

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Welcome to Primi Piatti!

If you love Italian food in a warm and gracious atmosphere, you must try Primi Piatti!
We recently had an evening out as AA stayed at the church's "Parent's Night Out". They hold it once every few months and we have taken advantage of it as AA thinks she is just playing at her school.
This time, Sweet Hubby found an Italian restaurant we had not been to but is in our favorite area of Jacksonville - Riverside at 2722 Park Street.
Our experience was perfect. It was a bit quiet for a Friday evening, but we did dine early. The food was delicious and the service very nice. We had a server that we remembered from the now closed Blue Grotto (Fleming Island - Sarnelli family).

Overall, a very nice restaurant. For others opinions follow these links and decide for yourself!
At Urbanspoon and Yelp.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Maine Trip - Frisbee Lesson (Catching up on Maine Trip)

Nana kept AA very busy during ourMaine trip. She took AA to play with Emily (lives at the top of her street and is also an adoptee from China) so they played on a trampoline, at the lake shore, on the playground, played softball and had lots of fun (I wasn't there, so no pictures). Later it was learning to play horse shoes and throw the Frisbee! Here's a few favorite pictures I caught of AA playing Frisbee with Nana.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Happy Birthday to Alyzabeth!

We had a happy birthday party with family this past Sunday, but today is the real birthday for our little daughter. Happy 5th Birthday!