Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Taking Baby Steps Back to the WWW

Birthday Girl...January 26  
Her dream party...At a stable riding horses!(It turned out to be a beautiful day.)  

Chinese New Year

At the home and garden show...Tori and I wanted this garden in our yard!
Going tubing at Ober Gatlinburg
Tori much preferred the inside attractions at the lodge.

 Hello out there!  So, so sorry it has been so, so long.  I have been catching up with some of my blog friends and their lovely and funny blogs. I owe each and every one of you a great big apology.  I never meant to ignore anyone with my long hiatus.  But I am slowly getting back to reaching out to the world via the Internet.  However, I do this with a heavy heart, and I am holding my breath as I type this post.

Let me explain briefly the circumstances surrounding my trepidation in posting or reaching out to anyone since late January.  In early February, Chris and I received word that a man was posing as Chris on Facebook in order to attract female victims.  We discovered that it involved several innocent women who were captivated by this creep.  In fact, not only did he use pictures of Chris, but also included some with Chris and the kids.  This has been on-going since then.  As you can imagine, we have been sick about this whole fiasco.  Until now, I haven't had the desire to use the Internet, Blogger, and Facebook at all.  In fact, I only used it when necessary or when Chris showed me something I needed to see or respond to.

As you can see, I did decide to include some pictures from this winter of the kids.  They have had some fun adventures in the last six months, and both have been doing way too much growing for my taste!

Where do I go from here?  I am not sure.  I have seriously considered doing a different type of blog that mainly features craft ideas, antiquing, and scrap booking.  I would only post a few pictures of the kids here and there.  It is something that I have been turning over and over in my head for the past two weeks.

Well, I am going to try this post and see what happens. I owe this to all my blog friends, and I hope that I have not lost your wonderful friendship.

Many hugs to all!!!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Celebrating Five Years as a Family...

She is ours and we are hers...An arrangement that was destined by that red thread that connected us together, forever!
Her forever family gift from China revealed a tea set from the White Swan hotel in Guangzhou.
JJ was happy with some cash to save and spend later!

Today marked the day that we became an official family of four, plus the two furry babes.  Five years ago today, we met Tori for the first time, and the next day, we officially became her parents and she became our daughter.  Plus JJ gained a new little sister to love and pester!!!

 Today we had a great day starting out with the fact that Dad was off for MLK.  Later in the morning, we headed to the Olive Garden to make the day even more special.  Yes, we feel blessed that God sent us these two treasures to make our family complete.  We couldn't imagine life without our "Little Man" and our "Baby Girl."  We love you to pieces, our precious twosome!!!  (Yes, even when you argue with one another...)

Monday, January 14, 2013

The First Post of 2013...Thirteen Favorite Holiday Moments!

Giving Santa a quick hug at the Fantasy of Trees on Thanksgiving Day...

Pretty surrounded by pink...

The Great Leaf Rake the day after Thanksgiving...

Getting her sprinkle fix at her school's Crafts and Cocoa event...

An advanced band Christmas concert...

Turning 13 with 007... (PS--Thank you to the manager at Regal Cinemas at Pinnacle who gave up her movie billboard in order for a teenage 007 fan to have it for a surprise at his birthday party.) 

Christmas morning..Chris and I discussed that this was one was at the top of Jonathan's best ever!

Easy Bake Oven...This was at the top of her list and woe to Santa if he missed this one.

Two happy kids even in the early morning...

Mamaw's birthday afternoon tea at The Gallery...

A chilly afternoon on New Year's Eve at the Chimney Tops in the Smokey Mountains...

Ringing in the New Year at Park Vista watching the fireworks from the Space Needle...

Just being together and making lots of memories!

 Happy 2013 to everyone...Yes, it has been awhile.  I am happy to report that everyone is well in the New Year.  Chris is back to work and almost back to 100% since his illness, the kids are in school, and what is Cindy doing?  Right now, whatever she pleases for the most part!  I am totally into not being a teacher and going to work gig.  Do I miss it?  Well, I do miss seeing my students and having daily contact with my friends.  However, I do not miss the hectic mornings, lesson plans, constant scrutiny, and just the overall feeling of being confined to a room all day.  I think my family is enjoying seeing another side of their old mom and wife.  Unfortunately my personality doesn't allow me to be totally stress-free (Thanks, Mom!), but I am certainly lots more relaxed!

The holidays were one of the best in the Whaley household.  We had lots to celebrate in the fact that Chris and Tori were better by Christmas Eve for all the holiday festivities.  Yes, Tori missed the last week of school, her Christmas party, and a special lunch for students who did a great job of listening this last nine weeks.  She was so sick with her asthma and a temp that never dipped below 100 for  five days that she really didn't care that much.  After two doctor visits that week and a dose of antibiotics, she was on the mend, thank goodness.

So what do we have in store for 2013.  You know us...We have some adventures ahead.  Hopefully one of those adventures will include seeing our China travel group from five years ago.  It's so hard to believe that these little girls and one boy are growing into such happy, thriving kindergarten students.  Speaking of thriving, Tori will celebrate the big 6 on the 26th.  She has chosen to go to a local horse riding stable to officially start her sixth year.  Of course we will have more on that later.

And for me...Well, my days are not just filled with novels and bon-bons.  I start volunteering at Tori's school next week.  Jonathan's language arts teacher wants me to aid her in doing research projects (much to JJ's chagrin!!! Moms and middle school evidently are taboo.)  Chris has me serving on a few boards through the college, and as of tomorrow, I will be serving on the board at Bethany Christian Services (our adoption agency).  Also, to help out my brother and sister-in-law during the school year, I am watching my munchkin niece one day a week.

Well, Chris is being his usual thoughtful self by cleaning up the kitchen while I type this.  I feel just a tad guilty, so I will end here.  I know that I always promise to be better about blogging and never follow through, so I am not gonna!

Until next time...

Friday, December 7, 2012

We Are Home Ahead of Schedule!

We are sending up many praises right now!  Chris was able to come home this afternoon!!!  As you can imagine, the whole family is rejoicing.  In the earlier post, I did indicate that he was very sick.  Let's just say that without modern-day antibiotics and the treatment process, Chris may not have been so blessed to have recovered.  This was such a shock to everyone because Chris hardly ever gets sick, minus the occasional cold or a migraine headache. 

Thankfully, he is not due back to RSCC until after the New Year.  We owe so much gratitude to Pam, Chris's administrative assistant; his vice-presidential cabinet; and departmental deans.  They really "came to bat" for the whole college this week and in the next two weeks before the holidays.  Thank you, thank you, thank you from Chris!!!

Our parents are our true blessings in this whole story.  We appreciate them stepping in to take care of J and T and the furry ones.  We love you beyond measure!!!

This weekend, everyone is going to get some much needed rest.  The kids are emotionally exhausted from dealing with the fact that their dad was sick and in the hospital.  And as for myself, I am trying to get rest when I can...Chris has really been a good patient.  I have been able to give back to him all the times he has taken care of me when I have been sick.  But, really when it comes down to it, that is what love and marriage is all about. 

The kids and I do have a few fun things planned this weekend while dad rests, and I am really ready to get my mind back to the holidays. 

All I can say is that the Lord has been good to us, and He has seen us through this week.  Thank you so much for thinking of and praying for us.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Prayers Are Needed!

I have had every intention of sharing our Thanksgiving holidays with you, along with some festive holiday posts.  We have been very busy, but things were going along as far as everyone feeling pretty well.  Early Monday morning, Chris awoke very ill and running a dangerously high fever.  Long story short and after going from our small local hospital to a larger regional hospital 30 minutes away, we have finally found out what is making Chris so, so sick.  He has a major bacterial infection throughout his body caused by what was a small wound around his toes on his left foot.  The doctor has told us that Sunday was an optimistic goal of going home, but it could be longer.  Even if he does come home, he has major recovery time ahead. 

Please send up any prayers you can spare for Chris.  I will keep you updated on his progress. 

Monday, November 12, 2012

Halloween 2012

Click to play this Smilebox scrapbook
Create your own scrapbook - Powered by Smilebox
This free digital scrapbook customized with Smilebox

Here it is.  I am not very fond of this scrapbook, but I only have this evening at home.  There is no time to redo, and I realized I didn't have the best photos to work with.  I guess I am my own worst critic!  Enjoy...Laundry and organizing for tomorrow's rush awaits!!!

Hope all of you have a perfect week!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Fall Break 2012

Click to play this Smilebox scrapbook
Create your own scrapbook - Powered by Smilebox
This digital scrapbooking design made with Smilebox

In my frantic effort to get somewhat caught up with my blog before my schedule gets even more full and the holidays get even closer, here is a Smilebox creation to recap our really great Fall Break.  Expect a Halloween post soon!

I don't know about you, but I am so glad this election year is about to wind down. On another note, our prayers are still going out to everyone who was affected by Sandy.  My relatives in Brooklyn sustained only minor flood damage compared to others, and they lost their vehicles.  They were without power and phone service for days, but thank goodness, they are up and running again.   Let's hope that this next storm the forecasters are talking about fizzles out!  Let's keep our fingers crossed and seal it with many prayers for all the East Coast residents!!!