Monday, March 31, 2008


Every year Lauren and Brandon spend the week after Christmas with us.

Lance always has that week off work, although I usually don't (except for last year, right after we brought Ting Ting home).

Therefore, I have no idea what they're doing every day.

Which leaves me with no explanation for these photos. I can't even tell you what that red thing is that Ting Ting is wearing, never mind trying to figure out why they chose these particular accoutrements.

But it looks like they were having a good time, and that's all that really matters.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Ah, the wonder of it all

I always have loved Christmas, but there is nothing better than sharing it with a little one.

Here's Ting Ting with the beautiful tree at the home of Aunt Chris and Uncle Keith.

We always get together with Lance's family at Christmas time to celebrate. Like many of you, we have:

Lots of good food . . .

especially cookies. Plenty of cookies.

We spend time with our loved ones . . .

and get our photos taken many times.

We also have many special family traditions. For example, after the gifts are opened, we have a wrapping paper fight:

And then at some point Uncle Keith breaks out the wacky costumes.

Because, really, nothing says, "unto us a Savior is born" quite like a sumo wrestler.

Lauren did the honors, while cousin Candace put on the costume that made it look like she was riding an ostrich.

And, no, I couldn't really explain it to Ting Ting.

But it was all in good fun.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Rachel's recollections

Ah, yes, Christmas of aught seven . . . I remember it well.

I didn't really understand about this Santa guy until Christmas morning when I saw he had left me some new clothes for Baby . . .

a cool red wagon . . .

and a feeding set for Baby.

On the way to church later that morning, I commented to my parents, "Sack Oz . . . Ting Ting . . . presents."

Ahh, yes. Now I understand.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Christmas treats

A few more shots from Christmas (and I have more to post!)

Lovely Christmas decorations

Babysitting Baby Jesus after the Christmas program

Apparently he needed a snack

Here she is at the controls

Daddy's little Geek In Training

Remember this photo, which many of you were kind enough to rave about? Well, I'll let you in on a secret: It wasn't shot in a studio. Lance took it in the church basement after the children's Christmas program. Just like this one:

Then he worked his magic in Photoshop, cropping out his sister (sorry, Aunt Gloria) and blacking out the background.

Isn't Ting Ting's daddy amazing?

I do so like Green Eggs and Ham

One of Ting Ting's favorite books right now is the well-loved "Green Eggs and Ham." Reading it to her reminds me of this classic bit from Saturday Night Live:

The quality of the video isn't the best -- it might be easier to just listen to the audio without the distractions of the unsynched video. Even so, it brings a smile to my face.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Hey! It worked!

Truth be told, I don't think Lance has read the latest post, but it doesn't matter because he gave me some photos anyway -- and they're nice! And they go all the way back to Thanksgiving!

Here's Ting Ting with "Baby."

Playing with Cousin Candace.

Wrestling with Uncle Keith.

Loving on Uncle Keith.

Cuddling with Papa.

Cuddling with Candace.

And cuddling with Cyrus.

Feasting with Cousin Brad.

Night night, Papa.

After Ting Ting went to bed, some of the boys started playing ball.

In the family room.

Isn't it nice to see a Vanderbilt alumnus and a Kentucky alumnus playing together so nicely?

Great action shots by Lance, don't you think? He really should share his talent with the world more often.

Meanwhile, in the dining room . . .

Aunt Vivian and Aunt Gloria were posing for family pictures with Elmo.

Say goodbye, Kay.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Yes, these photos are from Christmas. So sue me.

I know you really come here because you want to see photos. Lance is the better photographer, so after his camera was broken in September, we haven't had as many good photos to share. However, he has taken some good stills with his video camera, and I figured posting these inferior shots I took, three months after the events, might just spur him on to get those downloaded and to me. It's worth a try, anyway.

I took Ting Ting to see Santa Claus at an event sponsored by our adoption agency. She was a little hesitant about approaching Santa until he held out her gift, then she went happily to him and climbed on his lap and smiled really big. I'm telling you this because I have it on video, but no still photos. Can you believe it? Her first time in Santa's lap and I don't have a photo . . . help me, Lance.

Ting Ting's gift was a Dora the Explorer book. At the event, she visited with our social worker, Uncle Bob and Santa, opened her present and stuffed her face full of cookies. So what do you think happened on the drive home?

Yep, out like a light.

Santa was so nice to share cookies with her that Ting Ting was happy to leave cookies and a refreshing beverage out for Santa on Christmas eve. Here's what was left of it the next morning.

Yes, in our house, Santa drinks Sprite. Sprite Zero, to be precise. What do you do in your house, leave a glass of milk out to spoil? EEEeuuuuwww.

Ting Ting had so many presents to open that we finally just stopped about halfway through. It was too much for one little girl! It made it more fun for her later as she continued opening presents and going through her stocking for several more days.

One of her favorite gifts was her Dora pajamas from Aunt Kay.

The other nice thing about Christmas was that Brandon and Lauren were here for a week. She enjoyed hanging out with them.

I realize it's spring already, but you wouldn't know it if you lived here. Snow today! Argh!

Coming soon (I hope): our visit to Brentwood, Ting Ting's birthday (in January) and the Chinese New Year celebration (also in January). And maybe Auntie Debi will send some photos of our visit to Washington.

I know, I'm pathetic. But don't you like the new banner? I did it myself!


SCENE 1: Mama and Ting Ting putting together a Dora the Explorer jigsaw puzzle in the family room.

MAMA: Oh, no, a piece is missing! Where is it?
TING TING (tilting her head and looking at Mama out of the corner of her eye): Ting Ting's ear?


SCENE 2: Daddy sitting on the bed with his laptop computer. Ting Ting climbs up beside him, and he reaches to turn on the TV.

DADDY: Susan, do you know where the remote is?
TING TING (cocking her head): Ting Ting's ear?


SCENE 3: Brandon prepares to set up his weekend entertainment.

BRANDON: What did I do with my video game?
TING TING (turning her ear toward him): Ting Ting's ear?

Gee, do you think Daddy has performed that magic trick just a little too often?

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

If you saw a puddle on my kitchen floor this morning, it was me

At breakfast Ting Ting was telling me a story -- best she could -- when she mentioned a friend's mother.
"I like T___'s mama," I said. "Do you?"
"Yeah," she said.
"T___'s mama is nice," I said.
"Yeah," she said, looking a bit worriedly at my face. Then she held out her arms and spoke with all the passion she could muster.
"Ting Ting's mama, too!" she said.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Best buddies

If you've been reading awhile, you know that we have a cat, Cyrus. Before Ting Ting joined our family, I wondered if we would be able to handle a baby, given that we really couldn't handle the cat.

Cyrus does still seem to be under the impression he owns the joint.

But I have to say he deserves to sit in Ting Ting's chair from time to time -- what a great cat.

He lets Ting Ting give him rides in the wagon, even though it bores him.

He sits patiently at her kitchen table and waits for her to cook his meal.

He checked out the toys Santa left to make sure they were safe before Ting Ting woke up.

Sometimes Ting Ting and I play with her barrettes and hair ties. We fix the doll's hair and Ting Ting fixes my hair. Then she always looks for Cyrus.

And he's a good sport -- he proudly wears a barrette even though yellow really isn't his color.

And he patiently submits to hugs.

Lots and lots of hugs. Is it any wonder he was at the top of the list of the the things that made Ting Ting thankful in the last year?