Sunday, December 30, 2007

Drumroll please. . . .

There is a three way tie for Grand Champions of 2007 for most Creative Christmas card!!!!
Creativity with Christmas cards goes way back in my family. My mom thinks about the Christmas card all year to come up with the most creative idea. So every year we all pick our favorite creative card. There were three this year that were stand outs. Drumroll please. . . I know you have been waiting on pins and needles:)
The Murphys!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! - this card just makes me smile. We adore the Murphy Family. I coached both of the girls in Volleyball and had them in campaigners. Pat and Patty are the boys Godparents. The boy's new favorite Murphy is the sweet puppy in the picture, Maggie. We got to dogsit over Christmas and it was definitely one of the highlights. In fact Keagan can't stop talking about getting a dog. We keep saying one living thing into the family at a time. I won't tell you what he says next. Our cat is even named "Murphy." The photo is taken at one of the happiest places on earth.. . . Murphy Bay. It is one of our family's favorite places to visit.
The Millers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The Millers are some of our favorite people in the world. We love them dearly. Their kids are the sweetest kids on the planet. We spend tons of time with the Millers. Their card is hip and fun. . . . our pastor put it perfectly in last week's sermon when he called them out - "the Millers kept it real in their Christmas card." They own an online card company so the expectations for their own card are high and they managed to out-do themselves. If you love this card check out their online card company - the link is:
The Feryns!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Our dear friends who we do not get to see often enough. We became great friends with the Feryns in our first years of marriage and even worked it out to be next door neighbors. Those were some our favorite years living next door to our best friends. Their card is an "I Spy" of their year. It is so cute and creative. Ang, you hit the ball out of the park!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ok, I was looking at pictures today deciding which ones to frame in her nursery and came across this one. She is so beautiful and I WANT HER HOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Look at this little smirk:)
We flew in late last night from Salem and spent the day organizing the nursery and our life! Our home had been hit by the Christmas tornado. Here is one project I worked on -- getting the drawers all cleaned out and liners put in. Then I folded, sorted and got all of Lucia's clothing organized. I found all of her furniture at garage sales and repainted and put new hardware on. It is a great way to have cute cheap furniture.

We had a wonderful time in Salem and Portland. We flew over Christmas afternoon and spent the last 5 days with all the McMurrays. Bridget is almost 5 years old and I've never met a child more full of life.

All four cousins making silly faces..... Santa of course visited Christmas Eve. We sang songs and each child sat on his lap. He always makes an appearance at Grampy and Grammy's house mmmmmmmmm. . ... .
The boys made a darling snow man Christmas Eve.

"All I want for Christmas is gorkle."
"Who is gorkle, is it some TV character I have not seen?" asked mom.
"You know, so we can stay under water for a long time. "
"Oh, you mean snorkel gear. " replied mom
So, Santa brought "gorkle"
Christmas Morning.
No news yet on Lucia's date to come home. We know it will be in January. But the US Embassy is closed until Wednesday January 2nd. So, hopefully we find out soon. We are so ready. Please pray we get her pink slip (maybe even by the end of this week!!) with the embassy date soon. She just keeps getting older and we miss her so much. Will post pictures of the nursery and hopeful her 6 month pictures soon, and of course if we hear anything. Thanks for all the comments they are always so encouraging and I love reading them.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Christmas time at the McMurrays

I got a little teary when this package arrived. Look we have three kids!
Every year Grammy makes a gingerbread house with the boys. This year they are so proud of the finished product even frosting icicles.

My mom started a tradition with the girls to do lunch and spa the Saturday before Christmas. We both adore Auntie Grace. She is a perfect fit in our family. Damian could not have found a more classy, deep, beautiful, fun, and tender hearted woman.
Our house is filled with Lucy Jane this Christmas even though she is not here with us. Our tree is a Lucy Jane tree!
This picture was taken in front of Grammy and Grampy's tree. It was the annual Long Christmas card photo shoot. That has been done since the first year of my life. Every year Grammy comes up with a whopper of an idea!

Here are all the Santa pictures since the boys were born. Keagan is really worried where number 6 is going to go next year. Never fear Keagan mom can also find a place for more photos in this house. I wonder if Lucy will like Santa next year??
Yes. . . . mommy has been logging the hours spray painting out in the garage for the nursery. Here is a sneak peak of the AQUA and BROWN nursery. This is going to be her book shelf. I had been looking everywhere for a small shallow book shelf for her board books so she can reach them and you can read the titles on the spine. These are the kind of things you stay up at night worring about when you are a literacy coach. I couldn't find anything than Grandma Marilyn had this brilliant idea to use a CD holder. We had one in the basement. Yipeeeeeeeeeee! Paint it aqua and tie some brown polka dot ribbons on it. . . . so cute. I bet you can't wait to see the finished product!

Favorite new decoration this year. Janny and Ryan got us these new frames. I love them!!!!!!

Ok, new tradition in the McMurray household. On Christmas Eve there will be two hidden ornaments on the tree one pink pig and one green pickle. The kids go on a tree scavenger hunt for the ornaments whoever finds the green pickle opens the green pickle present and so on. The boys are so excited. They have been talking about it for days. They love anything where something or someone is hiding.
We had to hang pictures of Janny and Ryan on the tree too. . . .we miss them so much. Keagan asked yesterday how many more days until they come home. I told him only about 350 left. I'm not sure we are going to make it.

Lucy Jane is officially on the walls now. When we got that Birth Certificate I framed pictures that day and put them up.

Another ornament of Lucy Jane . . . am I pathetic. . . . I just miss her and she is so cute!
Sweet little angels at the Church Christmas program. Our goal was not to pick our noses. We almost accomplished it.
More church program pics. . . . .We were really proud of them.

Keagan and Kinkade made these at preschool. I think they are so adorable.

Damian and Grace are Here!!!!!!!!!!!!! Each year instead of a gift they take the boys on a sledding adventure. They had a blast.

Aaron is singing in the a Christmas choir at church (a first for our church) he said he would do it if they could wear robes. So this morning they surprised me with this.

Pretty entertaining . . . .

We'll end here. More christmas photos to come. And hopefully Lucia's 6 month pics will come right after Christmas. Next post I also might announce the winner of the most creative Christmas card. There are three in the running right now. It is going to be hard to choose. Yes, we have this contest every year but have never gone public with it.
If you made it this far on this marathon post here is a little surprise: Click and enjoy

Friday, December 21, 2007

2nd DNA done!

This is the picture from her first DNA test when she was one month old. I thought it would be fun to see how much she has grown.
Here she is TODAY getting her 2nd DNA test. Of course being such a good sport. I love that I can picture her today in this outfit and know exactly how she looks.

"Hi Mom and Dad I am ready to come home!"

Aaron and I both burst out laughing when we saw this picture. Her face is so sweet and goofy. I can barley contain my excitement to go get her. It is really going to happen!

We just got news that Lucia's 2nd DNA was done today. We love the pictures she is looking so big. From that point on we begin the two week countdown to PINK! So most likely we will receive pink in the beginning or mid January! Pink, for those that don't recall, is the US Embassy's notice to adoptive parents of their Embassy appointment to finalize the adoption paperwork and get the baby's passport and visa to travel home!
This 2nd DNA test began recently in August to aid in eliminating any issues with regards to switching babies. Our agency is incredibly reputable so we never feared that problem, but every baby adopted from Guatemala now has to have this test done. This is a good procedure to have in place - to be able to compare the baby's 1st DNA test with his 2nd DNA test. Pray for a speedy pink!!! We can't wait to go and get her.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

2nd DNA charged

Only people adopting get excited when they see a random labcorps charge on their credit card!!! It means we are getting closer. Now we will be on the lookout for an email that says Lucia had the doctors appointment and will have pictures attatched of her getting her 2nd DNA taken. I can't wait to see new pictures of her. It has been way too long. WOW, this waiting for pink has been way harder than I expected. I thought we would just be in a state of bliss that she is legally our daughter and cruise in for an easy landing to the end. NOPE. . . not stressful like the PGN wait, but really hard. She is getting older everyday and we are missing her life. Not to menthion that the baby stage is my very favorite stage. The older she gets the harder the transition will be for her and her foster family. Christmas is such a special family time that we are all sad she is not here to meet family and experience the joy of the season with us. It constantly feels like something is missing.

At this time, I am asking for you to come alongside our family and pray for Lucia. We are thinking it will be about 3 more weeks until we go get her. I know it will be hard for her to leave her foster mom. She is the only mother she has known for 6 months. My heart already aches thinking that she will be sad. Please pray for her. Please pray that God will give her a love for us and that the transition won't be so hard. Please also pray for her Foster Mom and her three foster sisters as they prepare to say goodbye to Lucia. The sisters cry each time we come for a visit. It is going to be hard on everyone. I am so thankful for the way they have cared for Lucia.
I know that they love her very much and it will be very emotional for their family to say goodbye.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


All three of us have been taking ice skating lessons every Tuesday. Fun . .. . and glad it is over!The best part is walking through Riverfront park to get to the lessons and seeing all the seasonal changes each week. I finally took a pic of the boys infront of the Falls b/c they are so pretty.

Oh yeah, the other best part peppermint hot cocoa at Starbucks if we had a good day skating. You might be wondering what is a good day. . . two rules 1. try your best 2. have a good attitude.

They loved it when she would get out hockey stuff at the end.

Keagan shouting to me as I take the picture "Make sure you get my skates!"
By the end we can all kind of skate . . . it is a miracle!

Shoveling snow in PJ's.
Keagan kind of helping shovel snow. The boys love to shovel snow more than play in it.
No update on Lucia. . . waiting for Guatemalan passport so she can travel to the US, and second DNA test. We predict we will be traveling first week of January.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Getting Closer. . .

Here she is wearing AQUA moms favorite new color!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I have always loved this sweet picture of her sleeping. Mandolyn made this blanket for her. And, I have decided to use the same fabric for her bedding.

YEAH!!!!!! Lucia's Birth Certificate was e-mailed to us this morning. It is so amazing to see our last name with her birth name. Now we can check off the first 5 steps and we are on to her passport an d 2nd DNA test. From the DNA test our agency says it is about 2 weeks until you get your pink slip with the date to come and get her. The only problem is I have heard the US
Embassy is closed for the Holidays from Dec. 22 - Jan 2. So we will probably be traveling the first week of January to go and get her. Lucia's birth mom and foster mom have really been heavy on my heart. As her birth mom did sign off for the final time, and her foster mother is preparing to to give Lucia to us. I am praying for peace and strength for both of them. Wow, this little sweet bundle is causing a lot of emotions. She is loved so deeply.
You might be wondering why I am blogging in AQUA and BROWN today . . . . well these are the two colors of Lucia's nursery that is starting to come together. I will post pics of it when it is finished. I did not let myself start the nursery until we exited PGN. So we have made several trips to the fabric store and paint store. Thanks for all your prayers. We are getting closer!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, December 7, 2007

Missing her today. . .

Taken after Thanksgiving dinner in the lobby of the hotel.
I want to kiss this sweet little face. Pray she will be home soon.

Aaron said before we collapsed into bed after campaigners that he really missed Lucy all day. I have been feeling the same way the last couple of days. We haven't heard anything since last Wednesday when we got the out call. I put the list below of all the things that have to happen before she comes home. Watching the other babies timeline it takes anywhere from 3-6 weeks for it all to turn around. I have been praying for her birth mother as she signs off the final time. I just really miss her. We are so close, yet it seems so far away when I look at the list and haven't gotten any updates that any of it has taken place. Thanks for checking the blog and caring about sweet Lucia. Keep praying that she is going to be home soon.


*Birthmother final signoff

*Adoption Decree Issued

*Request Birth Certificate

*Receive Birth Certificate

*Birth Certificate Sent to embassy

*Get Passport Picture

*Get approval for 2nd DNA



*Get PINK slip email (appointment for Visa)Embassy appointment

*Visa Pickup next day

*Go home

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

November agency photos

Here is Lucia laying on her tummy she can roll over from tummy to back now.
Looking a little serious I think she might miss us. . . .

Cute tights and head band I think her foster mom is starting to get the hang of this:)

I love the side view she has a such a sweet profile.

Miss serious. . .
At her 5 month doctors appointment. She weights 13 pounds now so she can finally wear 3-6 month clothing.
I can't wait until she is home. We are so relieved and having a ball putting together her nursery. We did not want to start it until she was out of PGN.

Here she is at a Surprise visit to her foster mom's house. Wearing Anna's sleeper. I love that comfy puffy sleeper.
If you are interested I copy and pasted her 5 month doctor's report. Maybe next appointment will be here in Spokane!
I hope you are doing fine, this afternoon I had the opportunity to review little Angela Daniela, she has now reached 5 months of age and has been, I am told, doing fine in the time since her last visit with me, she continues to show a steady growth and her development also appears to be progressing well, she likes to listen to music and continues to enjoy being talked to,making cooing and some babbling noises in return, she will also vary the pitch of the sounds she is able to produce and will laugh a out loud, she is now able to roll form her stomach onto her back and will attempt to roll over completely, attempt to grab things that are nearby using a single arm approach, of course everything she manages to get hold of will end in her mouth, she ill also bear weight upon both legs. The caregiver shares with me that this little one takes well her formula and is receiving her ordered vitamin supplement. Upon evaluation today I found her in good health with a normal physical and neurological exam, her weight is 13 lbs 2 oz, length of57.7 cms and head circumference of 40.2 cms. Please find some pictures attached.
Best Regards