Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Day....Lots of Presents



Well, we had a great time last night at Chads grandma's house. We had good food and great company with each other. It is always nice to see everyone. Today, Barb is having over her side for dinner. One thing here, is they are all great cooks. Taylor, Aiden and her cousins were spoiled with way too many gifts... but they don't think so! It was so cool to see Aiden open his presents. He was just so happy and squealing with joy. Taylor and her cousin Otto were having Nintendo DS fever all day today. We also celebrated the real reason for Christmas last night at a little old country church here in Michigan. It is such a sweet thing to hear your kids sing good old Christmas songs. Taylor loved the candle lighting at the end of the service, although I was a little nervous about that. Hope you all have a great day with your families. - Oh and Travis and Jennifer - I hear you view my blog! I hope you had a great Christmas and I hope Santa brought you lots of presents!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas from Michigan



Well, we made it up to Michigan on Saturday. It is a winter wonderland up here that is for sure. It has snowed a little everyday (yipee!). It is nice for the kids and Chad to be able to enjoy the Zeigler side of things up here. Aiden just loves everyone. He met his all of Chad's relatives for the first time. He just loves the attention. He is probably wearing out the grandparents! He loves the snow and went on a little snowmobile ride yesterday. Taylor loves snowmobiling as well. I hope you all have a great Christmas. Wish we could be with you all but this is what happens when friends and family lives all over the world.
I am trying out my new camera Chad got me today. It is an SLR Cannon Rebel XSI, I LOVE it. What a great hubby I got! I am just learning it so if the pictures are a little blurry you know why.
Tonight, we will be going to Chad's grandma Zeigler's for some yummy food and exchanging presents with his side. Mom, dad wish we could be with you but will see you soon. I am missing that good old Pennsylvania dutch filling and dried corn. Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

This is really good - Advent Conspiracy... Christmas

I just found this video on my friend Stephanies church's website : (http://valleychurch.tv/blog.php) ... It is so good. I had to look it up on "You Tube" and embed it here. It is so true! Thanks Stephanie, for all your kind words and words of encouragement. This video is powerful.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Taylors Christmas Program

I will post some video here tomorrow of Taylors program (for the family who checks this blog to get updates I thought you might like to see it)... It was great, wish you could have been here. Taylor did a good job and Aiden actually was really good. It is great seeing Aiden in awe of the Christmas music and clapping... just to think last Christmas he was stuck in an orphange with no heat and so sick! I am so thankful for him... Here are a few pictures. You have to love when you are trying to get pictures of your family how it turns into a three ring circus!

video
video

Tissue anyone?



I just had to post this... I asked Aiden to go get a tissue. About 5 minutes later I hear this soft "mom mom"... this is what I found

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Gearing up for Christmas...



So, for the last few weeks we have been gearing up for Christmas. This year we are going to Michigan for Christmas. It will be nice for Taylor to see her cousins whom she just loves. I think it will be interesting for Aiden to see all the snow, I hear they have a foot of it. I am not looking forward to the 16 hour drive in the car with Aiden. Going to Massachussets wasn't bad, but he was constantly saying, "mom mom"... so I am thinking after 16 hours I may be going crazy. That is the only thing with being in the military. It seems like we are never home for Christmas, it is us going to someones house. It seems like we are always the ones going. One day we may just have to come up with our own traditions... but it is hard letting go of wanting to be with extended family.

I love being with my family, going to Christmas Eve service, and then usually my grandparents have us all in for appetizers. It is hard being every where at once though. I really want my kids to have some traditions of knowing the real reason behind Christmas and not just the gifts. It seems like Christmas is so focused on that. I think that is why I have been a little stressed out. It just isn't how it once was. I guess that is on me as a mom to make sure she knows what the true meaning is. This year, Taylor made Christmas boxes for children less fortunate and sent them off. I think she enjoyed doing that. Tomorrow night is her Christmas show. She told me she is a "national" singer. I asked her what that meant and she said, "That I am one of the best singers in my class"... always so humble.

Aiden is doing great. He started his early intervention for communication this week. He learned the sign for "more". So now he does it all the time. He is such a cutie pie if I do say so myself (haha). Well, I am signing off... hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

Worldwide Candle Remberance December 14





Worldwide Candle Lighting
The Compassionate Friends Worldwide Candle Lighting®, held annually the second Sunday in December, this year December 14, unites family and friends around the globe as they light candles for one hour to honor and remember children who have died at any age from any cause. As candles are lit at 7 p.m. local time, creating a virtual wave of light, hundreds of thousands of persons commemorate and honor the memories of children in a way that transcends all ethnic, cultural, religious, and political boundaries.

Its been awhile since I have posted. Christmas is suppose to be happy and all but sometimes do you ever feel overwhelmed? Or that your joy is taken? I guess I let my joy get robbed a few times in the last few weeks. Did you ever have someone say something to you that you just can't believe and it kept knawing at you? I really have to work on letting things go...

I guess another thing is Christmas is a time for family and friends, but it is also a reminder of the child who should be here and is not. Holidays, and the dates surrounding his birth, death are all so hard. I am reading this good book right now about how this pastor who was a grief minister lost his son. http://www.amazon.com/Life-After-Death-My-Son/dp/0834123657 It is so well written. It is one of those books which really explain what it is like to lose a child. It validates that it is okay to grieve at the pace you need to. I think it would be great for anyone who is family, minister or the person who had a loss to read. Its interesting that after a year, I feel like people expect you to move on, don't talk about it, and really want you to move on from feeling sad. So of course, I have learned to live the new normal and concentrate on everything else... but it just hurts so much. I guess it makes other people uncomfortable and that is understandable, but imagine losing one of your children and how uncomfortable that would be. All parents who have lost a child, just want them remembered or don't forget about the pain that it has caused for the parents who have lost them.

I am thankful for a few of my good friends who do remember and let me talk about my journey. I am eternally grateful for that, it means the world to me to have that release of a few confidants. Grief is a funny thing, one day you can be happy and loving life and then something happens to remind you of what you are missing. I am so glad that God, has helped me and given me hope for the future, he is one person who never leaves and is always there. The paster in this book said that he counseled someone who lost a stillborn and it was the grandmother he was counseling. He said, he realized that it didn't matter if someone lost a child that was 16 or a newborn, a childs death is the death of hopes and dreams for the future. It is so true. For us, he was 5 years in the making.

So thanks for listening to me ramble on about this. No don't worry, I am not plunging into a depression or anything like that. Sometimes I just got to get it out though. Somedays are harder than others. Am I glad for the family I have, of course over and over. I love Taylor and Aiden with all my heart. But it doesn't take away from the experience of what happened and the child lost. I am so thankful for Aiden coming into our family and the happiness he has given us. He is such a blessing.

Thanks for letting me bare my soul on this post... Usually, I write on my other blog, that is for my eyes only, but I just felt like sharing. It is one of those rainy days today so I guess that doesn't help things. Monday, I will be attending a Memorial Service for a rememberance day for those who are not with us for Christmas. I just need to take time and remember... although I never forget.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Yankee Christmas Center AWESOME!

Wow, Megan and Adam took us to the Yankee Candle Christmas Village, it was awesome! If you ever head up to South Deerfield, Massachussetts it is worth the visit. It is so big, and lots of cool things. Mom and Heather - you would love it. We ate at a great restaurant and the kids were actually pretty good, which is a good thing. Tomorrow Megan and I are headed back so I can do some Christmas shopping, it is a little hard to do with hundreds of people around and pushing a stroller. We are having a great time. It is great visiting them. It is nice Chad gets to spend some time with his brother since we have lived away so long. Megan is also wonderful and a great hostess!

Thanksgiving at "The Other Zeiglers"

We are having a great time up here in Massachusetts with Adam and Megan. They had a great meal prepared for Thanksgiving. Here are some clips of it. Today we are going to a huge Yankee Candle store and maybe a butterfly habitat. The kids are doing well... Aidne is like jabber jaws and Taylor just loves getting him going.

I love it up here though, very quaint. The scenery is great. Hopefully we can get together more often. Okay I am off right now, hope you all had a great Thanksgiving. We got up at 4:30 for some great deals today!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Thankful for all I have...



What is Thanksgiving to you? This year I just want to let people know what I am thankful for.

First and foremost, I am thankful that I have a God that is there for me in good times and bad, who has given me hope for the future and to know I have eternal life with him in Heaven.

Secondly, I am thankful for a wonderful husband who has always been there. In good times and bad, I can always count on him. Who would have thought 13 years ago, our lives would be where they are today. I couldn't ask for a husband who is a better dad and who has given up so much for all of us.

Thirdly, I am thankful for my sweet daughter who is the light of my world. She is the best treasure a mom could ask for. She is considerate and thoughtful, along with spunky and forward. I couldn't ask for a better little girl. I can't even put into words what she means to me. Time is just flying by...

I am thankful for this sweet little boy that has opened a whole new world for us. I couldn't have asked for a better little son. He has been such a blessing to us. People say, we are a blessing to him but really he is the biggest blessing to us. I thank God for making a way for Aiden to join our family. I thank God that the staff at Foshan Nan Hai took great care of him and the wonderful doctors who saved his life.

I am thankful for a wonderful mom and dad who have always been there for us. My dad always said through good and bad your family will always be there for you. They instilled Christian values that have never departed... you may stray but you always come back to what makes you - you . My family has made me who I am. My mom is my best friend (well along with my sister)!

I am thankful for a wonderful brother and sister. We truly have a bond that cannot and will not be broken. I appreciate you both so much. We certainly have the stories to tell of growing up. We won't mention dressing DJ up as a girl and sending him to the neighbors. You both have grown into great parents and for that you should be so proud. I am thankful that you have married wonderful people that compliment you so well. Heather you are the best person with the biggest heart. Who would have thought my "little" sister would be so big to me.

I am thankful that Chad comes from a great and loving family. It makes him who he is today. I am thankful for having Christian grandparents who have been the rock of our family from the start. You have taught me about giving and putting Christ first. Sometimes when you are growing up you roll your eyes at these things, but again it never has left me. I always remember my grandfather saying, "Take time to read and pray", not really understanding the importance of this until later in life.

I am thankful for my wonderful friends. I have so many that I don't see but I know we will always be there for each other. There is nothing more comfortable then an old friend who loves you just the way you are. It is fun remembering the past... it is what has made me who I am. I am so thankful for my new friends, especially in the adoption community, we have such a special bond. I am thankful for my support group friends from silent grief, I can't say enough about the strength of these women.

I am thankful for all the wonderful things that have happened in my life. Thanksgiving is the day I found out I was pregnant with Chase 2 years ago - I am thankful that God has allowed me to go through this experience. Do I still hurt from it? Of course I do, and I still do not understand why, but I have embraced that this is the path God has choosen for me. I do believe that we have been blessed with a beautiful family, and wonderful little boy who is such a joy and makes us smile so much. Then there is Chase who lives in heaven and one day we will see him. Taylor reminds me all the time about Chase in heaven, she tells her teacher that she will see him one day again. She is wise beyond words.

I know that there is a bigger purpose out there for my life, and I think with the hardships comes a bigger picture - like what can I do to help others? How can I be a blessing to someone? What does God want me to do? I tell Chad all the time there is a bigger picture out there for us... so who knows exactly what that is, but I know there is a plan. I know to some people may think I have gone out of my mind by sharing so much, but why keep what we feel inside. I have learned that life is short, I don't want to live with regrets and the biggest regret is not letting people know how I feel about them and how important they are.

So, Happy Thanksgiving and for those of you who I am not with on this day, I wish I were and I miss and love you all... I have to write when the feelings come and this has been on my mind. Thankfulness, I have alot to be thankful for..



Thursday, November 20, 2008

Older Children Waiting...

http://www.cwa.org/1hope/21.htm

I just had to post this on my blog. My friend Maggie sent me the link and you can't view the clip without having your heart break. I just have such a heart for these kids, who knows maybe we will go back someday. If not I want to try and advocate for them. They really do not have much of a future in China being an orphan. Aiden watched it with me and he was going crazy pointing at these kids. I think he liked hearing the Chinese songs, but it is ironic to see him pointing at these kids who just want a home like he has.

I am posting this from another site:

http://www.cwa.org/1hope/home.htm
CWA's site:Christian World Adoption is honored to be one of three agencies chosen by the CCAA to help the precious children who are waiting for their forever families, the children of Hope Project. Prayerfully consider if you are the right family for one of these children. These children are all older- and in the Beijing area. CWA spent a weekend with them and interviewed each one personally- video clips are included- tissue alert! I pray this new program finds these children families! The children wrote letters and drew pictures for their new families...oh, if I could only psychologically handle one more right now!!!There is a 13 year old who ages out on Feb 4th- and she realizes it. She broke down during the performance - and I cried for the next hour praying for her.Please, please pass this on. It is powerful, I hope it is very successful. I am told the CCAA is bending rules to bring these kids home.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Kandy Kisses Black Friday Giveaway !





Laurie is an awesome designer! Check out her link below - giveaway every hour for Black Friday! Taylor had a beautiful outfit made from her - just awesome!
http://tinyurl.com/6jjubm ( I wish I knew how to link it with her name on not show the link... anyone tell me how to do this?)




Thursday, November 13, 2008

Carrie Underwood CMA performanace ~So Touching ~

Last night, I was watching the CMA awards when a lady appeared and started talking about her husband who wasn't here anymore and how music has helped her cope with her loss... very touching. Carrie is just so awesome and pure with her music. I know for me music has always helped me. The music video to this is really touching as well. (remember to scroll to the bottom of my blog and click on the volume of my music to turn my blog music off)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Getting back to business or trying too..



So, I am trying to get back into my business of creating boutique style clothing for my ebay store and Taylor. I finally got my room organized and thought I would dive into things. I bought some patterns from Sandie Hendersons Portabello pattern http://portabellopixie.typepad.com/portabellopixie .I am working on the Gracie pattern and trying to decide which fabrics I should use... what do you think? Leave a comment! Taylor is going to get one and then if it turns out well I will list it in my store online. I love her material as well, althought this material is from another designer.
I was sitting in my sewing room with my IPOD on because right outside my door it seemed as though there was a wild party going on. Chad and the kids were playing as loud as could be.. and for me I am ADD when trying to do something. Next thing I know there is a knock at my door and this is who came in...
Stay tuned to see how this turns out... I know for some of you this is really exciting (LOL)

Veterans Day... remembering





My Daddys Got Your Back
I am a small and precious child,my dads been sent to fight..
The only place I'll see his face,is in my dreams at night.
He will be gone too many days for my young mind to keep track.
I may be sad,but I am proud. My daddy's got your back..

I am a caring mother. My son has gone to war..
My mind is filled with worries that I have never known before.
Everyday I try to keep my thoughts from turning black.
I may be scared,but I am proud..My son has got your back..

I am a strong and loving wife,with a husband soon to go.
There are times I'm terrified in a way most never know.
I bite my lip,and force a smile as I watch my husband pack..
My heart may break,but I am proud..My husbands got your back..

I am a soldier..Serving Proudly,standing tall.
I fight for freedom,yours and mine by answering this call.
I do my job while knowing,the thanks it sometimes lacks.
Say a prayer that I'll come home. It's me whose got your back.


I just wanted to remember all my fellow veterans and their families on Veterans Day. It is easy to talk about the war and all that is going on in the world, but the reality of it is for the families and the veteran himself. Today, Chad went with Taylor to her school for a Veterans Day rememberance, she was so proud he was going with her. She tells me that dad goes away to the far away places to keep the bad men away from here... it is amazing what children understand. Thanks Chad for all you do, and to all my friends deployed I wish you a speedy return home, and thanks to all the Veterans who have come and gone.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Love this little face...



I know more pictures... I can't help it. I just want to squeeze those cheeks!

Trick or Trunk Night



Friday night, my friend Stephanie and I took the kids to the church for "trunk or treat" night. It was really a nice alternative from trick or treating. The kids loved it. Aiden thought it was pretty neat that all these kids were dressed up. The church had a magic show, drama play and then the members lined their cars up and gave out candy. They even gave out tickets for free food.. that is always up Aidens alley, he LOVES food. He eats more than Taylor! I had to take a picture of the one person dressed up with the "hiney" cheeks... it was funny I have to admit, I don't know about wearing it to a church even butt...


Sunday, October 26, 2008

Chuckie Cheese, potty...





Well, Aiden had a big day today. He got to experience "Chuckie Cheese", because Taylor had a party with one of her friends there. He was totally into it, a little scared at first with some of the rides but he loved it. It is great to see him growing and doing normal kid things. He isn't just standing by us any more he is venturing out. I just am amazed at the progress he has made since he has joined our family. He is just such a joy and blessing. I look at him and am so thankful that we are blessed by him. He is a really happy kid (most of the time). The tantrums have died down and I am so happy about that. I have to admit there were days were I was thinking, "OH MY"! I still think of his biological mom and look at him and think about what she is missing. As a mom, you can't help but feel compassion for someone who gave up their child.

I also had a surprise when we got home. He points "down below" when he wets himself or goes "number 2", well I could tell he was going to go so I told him to sit on the potty. We had tried it before just to introduce it to him and he just laughed or cried... well he sat there for 10 minutes and then he pointed. I couldn't believe it he actually went - (both things). He was so proud of himself. I know to some people they probably think this is not a big deal. But considering we have only had him in the states for a little over a month and he is 2, I thought it was great.

Taylor is doing well with him too. She still carries him around like her baby doll, but he doesn't seem to mind. Right now they are playing house and she has 2 necklace around his neck, a diaper bag on his shoulder and is making him carry the baby, and she is calling him "sir"...










Yummy Salsa!






Well, I have been craving "On the Border Salsa" but cannot find it around here. So I found a recipe that says it is a close copy to the salsa. It was great! The best part is, Taylor my pickiest eater wanted to help make it and then she ate it. Which is amazing since she is a "plain jane" type of girl. So I thought it I would share it with you... whoever you are out there. I loved it. The only thing is, the recipe was enough for a party bowl, so if you want enough for just your family I would cut it in half.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Can you say how to torture your kid...

Aiden loves pushing this container around and chasing after the dogs... Well he wanted to get into the container and have us push him around. Chad took it a step further... but he liked it!

For those military wives out there..


Someone sent this to me today, I thought it was so true. I thought I would share it with all my military friends out there.

Letter to a military spouse
While I have never had the pleasure of meeting you or your husband, I felt the need to write you and express a very deep feeling that I have in my heart.

I, as a person, am not brave. I do not tackle things head on, as I hate confrontation. I will travel 100 miles out of my way just to avoid a conflict. I am an American woman that has no idea what is going on in the military other than what I hear on the news.

I have never had to let go of someone so that they could go fight for people that they didn't know, people that sometimes do not appreciate or understand what they are fighting for.

I have never had a sleepless night of worry because of a report that another bomb has exploded and I still haven't heard from my husband.

I have never had to wait for months on end to hold the one that I loved so.

I have never had to tell my children that daddy wasn't coming home tonight because he was so far away fighting for something that they aren't yet old enough to understand.

I have never had to hold my head high and suppress the tears as I hear that it will be at least another six months of separation before my loved one gets to come home.

I have never had to deal with a holiday away from the one that I thought I would share every day of my life with.

And I have never had to feel the panic rising in my heart at the sound of a ringing phone or knock at the door for fear that it is the news that everyone is terrified of getting.

For the reasons listed above, I can not tell you that I understand how you feel. I can not tell you that you must be strong. I can not say that you shouldn't be angry, because you "knew what you were getting into when you married a military man". I can not say these things because I have never had to walk in your shoes.

What I can say for certain is that because of your unselfish acts of bravery and your husbands willingness to stand up for those who see him as "just another soldier" - - I will never have to walk in your shoes.

I do understand that as a military wife you are expected to uphold a certain amount of control, but I never understood how you could do it, until now. I have figured out that you are not like other women. You are of a special breed. You have a strength within you that holds life together in the darkest of hours, a strength of which I will never possess. The faith you have is what makes you stand out in a crowd; it makes you glow with emotion and swell with pride at the mention of The United States of America.

You are a special lady, a wonderful partner and a glorious American.

I have more respect for your husband than I could ever tell you, but until recently I never thought much about those that the soldier leaves at home during deployment.

Until this moment I could never put into words exactly what America meant to me.

Until this moment, I had no real reason to.... Until I heard of you.

Your husband and his military family hold this nation close, safe from those who wish to hurt us...but you and those like you are the backbone of the American family. You keep the wheels in motion and the hearts alive while most would just break completely down. Military families make this nation what it is today.

You give us all hope and you emit a warming light at the end of a long dark tunnel.

Because of you and your family...I am able to be me. I am able to have my family. I am able to walk free in this great land. Because of you and your family, I can look ahead to the future with the knowledge that life is going to be okay. Because of you and your family, I can awake to a new day, everyday.

I realize that you are a stronger person than I will ever be because of these things and I just wanted to take the time today to say thank you to you and your family for allowing me that freedom.

I will never be able to repay this debt to you, as it is unmatchable. However, I hope that you know that no matter where you are...what you are doing...what has happened today...or what will happen tomorrow...Your husband will NEVER be "just another soldier" to me.... And you, dear sweet lady, will never be forgotten.

You are all in my prayer's everyday and I pray that God will bring you back together with your loved one safely.

May God Bless You!

(Author Unknown)


Distance is not for the fearful, it's for the BOLD. For those willing to spend a lot of time alone, in exchange for a little time with the one they LOVE. It's for those who know a good thing when they see it, even if they don't see it nearly enough

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

New Baby!











Well today, my sister had her baby unexpectedly a week earlier than planned. Her precious little Leah Grace was born at 5 pounds 3 oz. She is the littliest thing. Mark is a proud dad and Heather is doing well. Hopefully tomorrow we will get more pictures.
Update: Got some more pictures. Mark wasn't there so needless to say I didn't get any of him with the new little one. It is hard visiting with two kids in tow, but they both loved little Leah. She is such a cutie pie. They are so very blessed to have her and we to have her in our family.

The sisters and the boys!






Our neighbors are great! Taylor and Grace are already taking over their brothers... showing off their moves.


Taylors Field Trip

Taylors class went to Russo's Orchard here in NJ last Friday. Aiden and I went along and he loved it. It was neat to see him intermingle with the kids!