Saturday, December 8, 2007

O Christmas Tree

Ava Lu's first Christmas Tree! We had such an amazing day going up the hill to cut our tree down with Ava Lu. She remembered the surroundings from our Pumpkin day and thought that's what we were going to do again! It's amazing to see her wonder and excitement with all the newness of the Christmas holiday.

The tree is up - only a few broken ornaments thus far. We're having a joyous December thus far with our precious daughter!

Michelle & Jim

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

A heart filled with Thanksgiving

Ava Lu doesn't understand Thanksgiving yet but she is freely saying "thank you" when she appreciates something being done for her. Her "thank you's" are often for the simplest little things - a reminder to me to be thankful at all times, even for the small things in life!

As we reflect over 2007, our hearts are filled with thanks. Thanks to God for our dear daughter of promise, thanks to our family and dear friends who have stood by us these last several years on our journey to Ava Lu and thankful to each other for another year of dedication and love.

Here's our Thanksgiving picture as a family. Those of you who know Ava Lu well know that it took many "takes" to get one of her posing for the picture. I'm not giving up - we'll get a good family portrait yet!

Also, you can see Ava Lu enjoyed meeting her cousin Hannah while we were in Nevada for Thanksgiving.

And, Ava Lu even did well with the long drive over the weekend.

With a grateful heart -

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Fun at the Pumpkin Patch

Ava Lu picked her first pumpkins. She calls them pumpum. Jim and I started going to this pumpkin patch years ago and always talked about taking our little girl. It was a day of great fun including pumpkin hunting, apple pie and looking at the animals on the little farms in Apple Hill.

We certainly have a lot to be thankful for this Thanksgiving - not the least of which is our little pumpum girl!


Monday, October 29, 2007

Travel Group Halloween Party

We attended a fun Halloween Party with some of our travel group mates in the Bay area on Saturday. Stephen and Christine hosted a wonderful party for the girls and parents.

Here is sneak preview of Ava Lu and her China friends in their costumes. Ava is the green, turquoise and orange butterfly.

More costume and pumpkin pictures to come later this week!

We just love our little bug!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Six months of blessings!

It's amazing to think that we've had Ava Lu for seven+ months now. We can't imagine life without her. Each day is an adventure and joy. She started gymnastics and is enjoying all the jumping, flipping and running.

One of my favorite times of the day is post-bath with Ava Lu - when she's all wrapped up in her towel. Those moments of snuggling, warmth and looking into her eyes as I hold her so close. It's the best comfort a mom can get.

And, Ava Lu met her first NBA celebrity. She was enthralled with Francisco Garcia at first and made eyes at him all day. . . but we waited until the end of the event to take our picture with him and she was tired, hence she didn't look at the camera and wasn't as thrilled to be in the limelight with a nearly seven-foot star. Oh well, there will be more times for NBA fun and player meetings!

We love Ava Lu more each day and truly look forward to every single minute with our Daughter of Promise.

Ava Lu, we are so blessed to be your mommy & daddy!

Saturday, July 28, 2007

San Francisco Zoo

Ava Lu had a great time at the SF zoo. She was intrigued by the penguins, grizzly bears, kangaroos and peacocks. That said, I believe her favorite thing was riding the little train through the zoo and waving at all of the people as we passed.

She's truly enjoying life!

First 4th of July

Ava Lu is our dream come true! It was wonderful to celebrate 4th of July for the first time with her. She loved all of the fireworks - in the sky, in the front yard and the star-spangledness of this celebrated American holiday. She just loves her red Radio Flyer wagon. Doesn't she look great in red, white and blue?

Truly proud to be her parents,
Jim and Michelle

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Reunion #1 with travel group

We went to the Bay Area this weekend and had a picnic with some of the families from our travel group. It was so fun to see how the babies had grown in just four months!

We missed those from Southern California and other areas who couldn't attend.

Here's a picture of the happy mom's, dad's, babies and a few siblings.

Jim and Michelle

Saturday, June 9, 2007

First trip to the beach

We took Ava Lu to Santa Cruz for her first trip to the beach and ocean. There wasn't too much sun but she loved playing in the sand!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Ava Lu turns two!

It's hard to believe, yes, our Ava Lu is now two. She's growing so much in her exploration and love for life each and every day. We celebrated her birthday with family and friends. She loves the "Happy Birthday" song. We sang it to her for a few weeks leading up to the party so she'd know it during party time.

I'm posting a number of pictures of our joyous times over the last few months - Easter, her first Kings game, Mother's Day, other fun moments, and, of course, on her birthday.

We are more and more in love with our daughter every day. We are so thankful for the blessing of parenting Ava Lu and look forward living life with our beautiful and brilliant two-year old!

Jim and Michelle

PS - if there's an experienced blogger out there that can advise on how to place borders around photos, please advise!

Monday, March 19, 2007

We are home

We've been home for more than a week now - time flies when you are having fun! Ava Lu continues to bring us joy and new insight on a daily basis. And. . . we're working on taking naps too. Truly, she is adjusting well and loves her new home.

In the time that we've been home, Ava Lu has been to Fairytale Town, Funderland, the neighborhood park, church and out to lunch and dinner at some of our favorite local restaurants.

It's been great to share Ava Lu with family and friends in person. The reports we've heard is that "pictures don't do her justice." She has an amazing spirit and personality that lights up the room.

We'll plan to update pictures on our blog of Ava Lu so that all can see her latest exploits and adventures.

Feel free to call us or stop by to meet Ava Lu. She loves people!

We sound like a broken record, but, thank you for your support, prayers and love during our amazing journey. We truly are blessed by the outpouring by so many.

Love to you,
Jim, Michelle and Ava Lu

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Last days in China


Here are some photos from our last few days in China.

We went out to downtown Guangzhou yesterday and on a Pearl River cruise (it was cold - hence the scarf and hat). Also, we were so happy to have Ava smiling during her bath that we took pictures! You can see that she was the belle of the ball tonight at our farewell dinner party. Is she amazing in her pink outfit? Oh my, she danced her feet off. In fact she cried when it was over and time to leave. She truly was outstanding at the party. Individuals we didn't even know were taking video of her dancing and twirling around. You can see, by the end of the party, her bow is off.

We have our farewell group lunch tomorrow and get Ava's visa, then off to Hong Kong for our last night in Asia. It truly has been a remarkable time. All of my months of holding back the tears have come to an end. Our hearts are full with joy and sentiment. What an amazing journey God has allowed us to take to get our daughter. We wouldn't trade it for the world.

We may be able to post an update from Hong Kong - if not, we'll be in touch after we return home later this weekend.

Love to you from China -

Jim, Michelle and Ava Lu