Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas memories

Ava Lu enjoyed the joyous Christmas season so much this year. She had her own tree and Nativity in her room. Here's Ava Lu in her Christmas jammies ready for her goodnight story time with mommy - one of my favorite times of the day!

And, I was able to capture a few photos of her enjoying Christmas morning. You can see she had just a few gifts to open (mostly due to the generosity of family - daddy and I were very good about not overspending this year :)).

As we count our Christmas blessings, our Daughter of Promise reminding us of the true meaning of Emmanuel - God With Us is the best gift of all.

Merry Christmas!


Friday, December 12, 2008

Ava Lu's "camera debut"

Ava Lu participated in a commercial photo shoot last week for ads for my company. I wasn't sure how she'd do since she's not always been the best at posing for photos. But, she was really just an accessory for this shoot - the "model grandaughter" for our hired grandma/senior woman who was the focus of the shoot. And, these photos are very lifestyle in nature and given that Ava is great at life I thought she'd do well. She did!

Here are a few of the photos from the shoot. She didn't really care for the large ducks! You can see in one photo she was saying "enough"with her expression! Nonetheless, I was a very proud mommy. She's my precious girl


Saturday, October 18, 2008

Pumpkin Farm Field Trip

Ava Lu's first field trip was last week. Went went to a local pumpkin farm. Okay, how many preschools can you fit in one pumpkin farm? There were hundreds of little ones all over the place - in the corn maze, slide on hay bales, a little farm of animals and, of course, pumpkins.

I can't download my camera's photos for some reason but Alison (mommy to Michelle & Stephany - twins who are sooooo cute) sent me this photo of Ava Lu and her friends, Michelle & Stephany, from the trip. She loves her little twin friends! Thanks for sharing the photo, Alison!

I'll post more photos from her trip once I get my camera to cooperate!

Harvest days of fun,

Saturday, October 4, 2008


Each year we head up to Apple Hill in the CA foothills to cut our very own pumpkins. This year was filled with pumpkins, sun and harvest fun (code for AMAZING APPLE PIE). Ava Lu enjoyed herself cutting her own pumpkins, sitting on the farm tractors and enjoying a beautiful fall day.

This week we are going to another pumpkin patch with Ava Lu's preschool class - our first field trip! Such fun. I'm looking forward to it.

Enjoying my harvest,

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Girlfriends and Ballet

Ava Lu has had a fun few weeks.

We went to the circus with our dear friends - Melinda, Brian, Eliza, Liam, Maggie & Danielle. Brian, Eliza, Maggie & Liam were here visiting from Georgia. It was great to spend the time with them! You can see the three girls love being friends and have fun together. It warms my heart to see Ava Lu loving people and girlfriends. Those are pinnacles of her mommy's foundation!

And, on Friday, she started her pre-ballet class. It was mostly just movement, twirling, circles and wearing a pretty leotard but Ava Lu loved it! She told me in the car after class "that was fun - really, really fun. "

Ava Lu waited for daddy to come home before taking off her "balledina" outfit. She wanted to be sure he saw her.

Such joy it is to experience the fun and laughter of our dear daughter.
A grateful mommy,


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

First day of preschool

Today was the first day of Ava Lu's 3 year-old preschool class. She dutifully posed for a few photos after mommy begged - before we went to school.

It's hard to believe she's already going to preschool. I had the "in two years, I'll be taking her to kindergarten" thought after I took her to class this morning. Time does fly and we're working on living for each and every special moment.

She had a good day at school after a little instruction and dialogue from teacher Paula on "kitchen play time." Ava Lu loves to run for the play kitchen when she gets to any school (last year's 2 year old class, Clubhouse at church, etc.) but in her new 3 year old class, the "kitchen isn't open" until after opening activity time and circle time. She'll learn and do very well - I'm sure.

Day #2 tomorrow - we'll see what fun it brings.


Friday, September 5, 2008

Breakfast with Ellie!

and, Maria & John too!

While we were in So. Cal, we got together with John, Maria & Ellie for breakfast one morning. This truly was one of our highlights.

John and Maria were in our China travel group and Ellie and Ava Lu are both spicy girls from Chonquing. It was so wonderful to spend time with such dear ones to our heart - we were together with us when we received our beautiful daughters in China and we had such a great time bonding with them in China over the course of our two weeks there. I called Ellie "the Empress" from day 1 and she truly still is "the Empress" - such deep, striking beauty! She's a beautiful, spirited girl. It's wonderful to see her as she grows.

After breakfast, Uncle Robert treated the girls to Cold St*ne Ice Cream. Such fun!
When Ava Lu sees Ellie's pictures, she says, "I love Ellie." They are such cute friends.
Thank you, John, Maria & Ellie, for the breakfast date. It was great to see you and we look forward to more time together in the not-to-distant future.
Jim, Michelle & Ava Lu

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Fun in So Cal

We made a trip to So Cal to visit my brother. Such fun on the beach, shopping and, of course, spending time with family.

Ava Lu got reacquainted with cousin Nicholas too. They had such fun in the pool and hiding under the barstools at Uncle's house.

And, here she is out to lunch with mommy in Santa Monica on Main! Ava Lu is a great lunch date.

Each day continues to be a joy in experiencing life as Ava Lu's mommy. The more we experience, the more I'm amazed at the gift of motherhood. Sunny So Cal never looked so good.


Sunday, August 31, 2008

CA State Fair

A few weeks ago, on opening night (in 100+ temp), we took Ava Lu to the CA State Fair. She enjoyed it so much more this year - it's amazing what a difference the year makes. She rode a pony without clutching for life to our hand, rode several other kiddee rides and had a great time running from fun to fun!

She sure enjoyed using her FUNPASS on all the colorful rides. As she went by on the airplane, helicopter, spaceship, train. . . . she waved and said "hello" to all who would greet her.

Oh the joys of a warm summer night at the Fair!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Dr. Ava Lu

My brother works for All Heart, a large medial supply and unform company ~ he brought Ava Lu these scrubs when he came to visit a few weeks ago.

Here she is modeling them in her "doctor" outfit the first time she wore them as jammies. Of course, the fact that they have Ariel on them makes them all the better - Ava Lu just LOVES Ariel.

The crazy part about this is particular "doctor story" is that my mom was in the hospital for a week (last week) and Ava Lu now says she wants to be a doctor. This was even before she ate the hospital food delivered to my mom (stew) and said "yum." Who says that about hospital food? Maybe she is destined for a life in the medical center!

Ava Lu makes us laugh each and every day and in the meanime, she now has the right outfit for her hospital life - and really that's all that's important for her to play out her dreams at this time in her life.

Thank you, Uncle Robert, for my Ariel doctor outfit!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Tahoe Fun

We went on our first family vacation with Ava Lu - to Lake Tahoe. It was a week filled with fun and relaxation. Ava LOVED the beach, playing in the sand, riding in the boat with mommy & daddy and just exploring new things. She called the cottage that we stayed in our "little house."

She had her first sailboat ride, first boat/raft ride in the lake, first gondola ride (up 8,200 ft, no less), first movie in the park AND first shopping trip at a art fair. All very much part of what Jim and I enjoy doing in Tahoe - so fun to have our girl with us to carry on the tradition. Ava Lu's excitement for life and the beauty she brings to each new day is truly a blessing!