Thankful Thursday

Louanne on Dec 18th 2014

I am thankful that my sister Tahni is coming to visit today! And thankful that I saw our other sister Bayli last weekend! Yeah for sisters!

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Visit to Albuquerque 2014

Louanne on Dec 17th 2014

Albquerque 2014

With Great Grandma

We planned to spend Thanksgiving in Colorado with our friends and just like our prior trips we planned to detour through Albuquerque on our way so we could see my Grandma and other family. We made great time to NM and after checking into our hotel we had dinner at a famous New Mexican restaurant called Sadies. The portions were huge and delicious. The Green Chili Queso was so different and tasty. The next morning we checked out of the hotel and headed over to my uncle Jim’s house to visit with everyone.

Albquerque 2014

My uncle is a baseball master so he gave my girls their first lesson in how to play. He was really impressed with how fast and strong Nadia was. Dani just made us laugh!

Albquerque 2014

Our girls with my cousin Leslie’s children Cooper and Clair. ADORABLE!

Albquerque 2014

My cousin Leslie and I.
Albquerque 2014

The girls and I made this for their Great Grandma. She is an amazing painter and I wanted to do something to honor that and she loved this. We had a great visit with everyone including my aunt Leanne and Aunt Angie and her husband Dave. It was a quick visit and I am so glad that everyone was free to see us. After that we hit the road to finish the rest of the drive to CO.

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Michelle and Jared Visit – 2014

Louanne on Dec 15th 2014

M & J visit 2014

Click to see the entire album

My sister Michelle and her fiance Jared came out for a quick visit in November. It was the one year anniversary of the proposal that happened at our house and a chance for Jared to meet Dani before the wedding. It was so super sweet of them to make time to come and see us again. We love you both!

M & J visit 2014

The real goal of the weekend was to chill out together and we succeeded. They flew in on Friday and we met Grammie at Fuzzy’s for lunch and had a nice visit. Then we headed back to our place for a nap and quiet time for the girls and the travelers. In the evening we had pizza and other yummy food at the house. The next morning Jared and Mike took the big girls to swim. Just before they came home, Michelle, Dani and I went to get sausage rolls and donuts for everyone. Then we headed out on the hunt to find boots for the wedding. All the girls and I are in the wedding and Michelle really wanted to try and find what she needed and we were successful! Yippie!

M & J visit 2014

Michelle and I took a trip to Michael’s which of course led to craft supplies :)

M & J visit 2014

The Frosty's

On our last trip we didn’t make it to Niki’s Italian with Michelle and Jared so we went this time. Since it was a weekend they had a live singer and we got a great table right by the fire. The food was fantastic as always and I have a new favorite. The portabella ravioli.

M & J visit 2014

After dinner at Niki's Italian

M & J visit 2014

Lots more hanging out and playing happened and then we went for dinner on Sunday at Bubba and Laura’s house. We had a great time and did crafts over there too :) Enough for us to make Penguin garland for our kitchen.

M & J visit 2014

M & J visit 2014

M & J visit 2014

Serious Lego time also happened. Nadia can’t bring herself to take this or the car that Jared made apart, so they are on display in her room. All too quickly our visit was over and it was time to take them back to the airport. I am so happy that you guys came to visit us!!! Hugs and love!

M & J visit 2014

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Wish you Happy Forever

Louanne on Dec 13th 2014

BOWEN_WishYouHappy_COVER_FINAL

Half the Sky is a US charity that operates in Chinese orphanages that was started by Jenny Bowen. She is amazing and her story is amazing and the amount of lives touched by her is AMAZING!!!

From Amazon:

“Wish You Happy Forever chronicles Half the Sky founder Jenny Bowen’s personal and professional journey to transform Chinese orphanages—and the lives of the neglected girls who live in them—from a state of quiet despair to one of vibrant promise.

After reading an article about the thousands of baby girls languishing in Chinese orphanages, Bowen and her husband adopted a little girl from China and brought her home to Los Angeles, not out of a need to build a family but rather a commitment to save one child. A year later, as she watched her new daughter play in the grass with her friends, thriving in an environment where she knew she was loved, Bowen was overcome with a desire to help the children that she could not bring home. That very day she created Half the Sky Foundation, an organization conceived to bring love into the life of every orphan in China and one that has actually managed to fulfill its promise.

In Wish You Happy Forever, a fish out of water tale like no other, Bowen relates her struggle to bring the concept of “child nurture and responsive care” to bemused Chinese bureaucrats and how she’s actually succeeding. Five years after Half the Sky’s first orphanage program opened, government officials began to mention child welfare and nurturing care in public speeches. And, in 2011, at China’s Great Hall of the People, Half the Sky and its government partners celebrated the launch of The Rainbow Program, a groundbreaking initiative to change the face of orphan care by training every child welfare worker in the country. Thanks to Bowen’s relentless perseverance through heartbreak and a dose of humor, Half the Sky’s goal to bring love the lives of forgotten children comes ever closer.”

In October 2013 when we were matched with Dani and I saw a video of her being held by a Half the Sky nanny my first thought was, “Jackpot!” I had read and heard enough from other parents whose kids had been in the program while waiting to be matched to know that Dani was most likely being very well taken care of. HTS trains the workers and nanny’s about how important it is for the kids to get a lot of attention and touch. They teach them how it will help them develop properly.

When we met Dani she had a big belly and chubby cheeks. She was healthy and once she was done being afraid of us, happy. She knew what it was like to be loved. She knew how to accept affection. She was far ahead of most institutionalized children. All because of the love and care received in the HTS program at her orphanage.

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About a month after coming home, Jenny Bowen came through our area on her book tour. I took Dani to meet her and get a photo and book autographed.

I could go on and on, but instead I am going to have a giveaway! This book will make you laugh and it will make you cry, but I wish it will also give you HOPE. Hope that anyone can make a difference. No matter what has happened before, you can make a difference.

The publisher of the book is the Skoll Foundation and they have given me 5 copies of the eBook version to give away.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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