Friday, January 18, 2008

An Irish Blessing

May the road rise to meet you.


May the wind be always at your back.

May the sun shine warm upon your face.

And rains fall soft upon your fields.

And until we meet again,

May God hold you in the hollow of His hand.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Creativity at it's best!






Kate is very creative. Claire is quickly following her lead. On Sunday after Mass, we came home and the girls were playing. I heard them but didn't see them for a while. I would only see them dash by looking for this and that throughout the house. About an hou later, they came into the kitchen and showed me their creation. Kate had found a cardboard box and had made copies of puppets figures out of paper that she found on http://www.nickjr.com/. She created a castle out of the box that was unbelievably fantastic! They played Backyardigans for hours after that. It was too cute! If you have never watched this wonderful cartoon, then you must do so because it is great! Susan & Riz love it too and are already taping episodes for Sophia! Riz pointed out to me that he liked their shadows the best and now I love it even more because of the brilliant use of shadows!

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

A Very Cold Day

Last week it was so cold in Savannah that I found myself lighting many fires in our kitchen fireplace. Well, I picked up Claire from preschool and it was so cold. I fed her lunch, made a fire, and went about cleaning the kitchen. When I turned around a few minutes later, I saw this beautiful sight. Claire had fallen asleep with her blanket and her kitten on the floor in front of the fire. Is that not too cute?

Monday, January 07, 2008

Song of the Dragon and Phoenix


The music you hear playing on this blog is traditional Chinese Folk music and it is called The Song of the Dragon and The Phoenix. In China, the dragon and the phoenix can often be found in the decorations for weddings. This is because the Chinese consider the dragon and phoenix symbolic of blissful relations between husband and wife, another common yin and yang metaphor.

A Difficult Lesson...

When we went to Miami for the wedding, Kate was very excited to see her Ye Ye & Suk Suk. These very important people are Catherine's parents who we have adopted as our grandparents. They love Kate so much...and Claire, but Kate was the first! Anyhow, the night of the wedding, YeYe and Suk Suk were very busy with the wedding party and their out-of-town guests and Kate just totally melted because she couldn't understand why she wasn't the one in the spotlight. I had to laugh, though I felt badly for her, but it was funny because Catherine used to say to her parents, all you talk about is KK. You love KK and spoil her too much. She can do no wrong... and it was a big ongoing joke for several years. Now it was Cata's night and KK was altogether unwilling to give up the spotlight but had no choice. She cried and sobbed very silently throughout the wedding feast. Thank God everyone was having so much fun they never noticed. Finally, YeYe came over and gave Kate her wedding corsage filled with beatiful red roses and she told Kate that she loved her very much. Then Suk Suk came over and kissed her and said she was his very special little granddaughter and that he loved her very much too. Finally, the sorrow subsided and she was happy. But the icing on her cake was when Cata came over and took a picture with her and said she loved her very much too. It was a beautiful evening.

The Chinese Wedding



We were invited to attend a traditional Chinese wedding in Miami over the holidays. As ever, it was steeped in tradition and it was just beautiful! Catherine and her husband were a beautiful couple and so happy. Cata greeted her guests in a beautiful red cheongsam. When I first saw her I wanted to cry she was so breathtaking. Then, after a while she changed to another dress. A gorgeous pale gold sleeveless cheongsam. Then finally, she changed to a chocolate brown evening gown. She was absolutely gorgeous the entire night! We were treated to a traditional 12 course wedding feast. This included some delicacies such as shark fin soup, which the girls and I liked very much and abalone and lobster with jellyfish which was also very good. The main courses commonly feature fowl that mate for life such as duck or geese. Peking Duck is often served, since this is a red dish. Chicken and duck will also be found on the banquet table - the two fowls represent a balance between the man and the woman in their new relationship. 7 UP is the soft drink of choice at Chinese weddings. In Chinese the word "up" sounds like "happiness" so 7 UP is considered to be a very lucky drink! Tea and alcohol are also served. My favorite dish was the ginger fish, a whole fish that was truly delicious.

On her wedding day, Cata participated in a special hairdressing ritual, where her mother combs her hair and gives her advice for a successful marriage. Three days after the ceremony, she returned home for a symbolic visit with her family before beginning her married life. She brought several gifts, including a roasted pig, which symbolizes the bride's purity. Then her family returned gifts to the grooms family of various fruits.

We gave her beautiful gifts of the Dragon & The Phoenix which are symbolic as well. In Chinese culture, the dragon and the phoenix symbolize the yin (the feminine side of our nature) and the yang (the masculine side of our nature) respectively. They are also associated with goodness and prosperity.

Cata and her family are very important to us as they helped take care of Kate and teach her Chinese when we returned home from China. They fell in love with Kate, and Cata's parents are now Kate & Claire's adopted grandparents. When Kate was 4, she said she was going to marry Cata's brother Eric. She said, "Mama, I just love Eric!" We love this family very much and were greatly honored at this family wedding.

Santa Pics







I have the cutest picture of Riz holding Claire when Santa came through the crowd. This was the absolute best Santa I ever saw. He was the real thing for sure! He entered his North Pole Cottage through the line so he could stop and visit the children. He spoke to everyone and was lovely!

Downtown Disney







The Rizzos took us to Downtown Disney the Saturday before Christmas and we had a great time! We stopped at Ghiradelli's and had hot chocolate and chocolate ice cream! I read a funny slogan today that said, "A balanced diet is chocolate in both hands!" On this day, we definately had a balanced diet! Then, the girls rode on the little train. They loved it! Then, they got a picture with Santa, and if you have never had a photos with Santa in Disney, make sure you put that at the top of your list when the babies come home! It is so beautifully done! We had such a wonderful day! Thanks Susan & Riz for making it all the more special by being there with us!

Christmas Eve


We had Santa's Elves come to the Rizzo's house on Christmas Eve and leave pajamas and chocolates for the girls. They were so excited when they ran up to their room and looked on the bed to find their surprises.

Backing Up!



I haven't had time to really update our blog and I have so many wonderful pictures to share with you from our Christmas holidays! So I am going to go back to the beginning of December with a Gingerbread House Party we had at our good friends Karla & Brian's! Karla bought houses for all of the kids and then she and her husband put them together. When we got to their house, the little houses were all set up on the table and all kinds of beautiful and yummy decorations were available for all of the children to make the most beautiful little houses ever! Thanks Karla & Brian! We adore you!

Friday, January 04, 2008

Bring on the Year of the Rat!


My log in date was January 20, 2006. I thought for sure we would have a little brother running around our house by now! However, China has slowed down to a crawl with referrals, sending first-time waiting parents over the edge! The only thing that keeps me sane is knowing that the process does work, as I have living proof at home in the form of two gorgeous girls, who are currently leaping around the house like the 12 Dancing Princesses! I figure if they continue to refer only 5 days each month, then my referral should arrive either in August or September. So, looking on the bright side, as always, we should be travelling AFTER the Olympics, which would be a blessing! I wish everyone out there in blog land a very Happy New Year! Bring on the Year of the Rat! That would be ME! LOL