Sunday, September 21, 2014

Yikes, It Has Been Awhile

Wow, I have been a very bad blogger. Hard to believe my last entry was over six months ago. When we were in the long process to bring our sweet boy home this blog was my release, the place to come and put it all out there, to work through the hard stuff that was going on in my head. Now, now he has been home and settled and life is full of crazy adventures and sports and activities. There is no doubt that my littles keep me busy, my hands full, but right along with those full hands is a very full heart. 

So, Let's play CATCH UP!! 
We can pretend that I have been diligently updating this space in a timely fashion. 
You know, pretend that I am on top of everything. 

Lunar New Year!!! 

How cute is this little guy all dressed in the hanbok his foster Omma picked for him?

Here he is holding his umbilical cord. It arrived in the USA a few months after he was home and I am just so thankful to have it.  

 Awards Day :) 

First Pageant! 

James meeting his friend Paul who just came home from Korea. 
We could  not be more happy for Paul and his family. 

Easter Egg time!! 

Chilly Spring on the boardwalk.

My life ♥

Taking after his cousin Haley - Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles!! 

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

It's not Goodbye, just see you on the Other Side

Michael Leonardis 

8/11/67 - 1/4/2014 

Just a few days after Christmas, my Uncle Michael went into the hospital. In an unexpected turn of events, 
things took a very strong turn for the worse. Modern medicine does miraculous things, but it isn't an exact science, we quickly learned. I used to think about cases that you see on television, cases like Terri Shiavo or even Jahi McMath, which I was following in the weeks before our family stood around a bed faced with a far too familiar situation. I could have never imagined just how difficult a situation it is. 

Uncle Michael was just ten years older then me. 
So many childhood memories included him.  
He had a way with kids that just could not be explained. 
 (Us together 1980ish) 

Zoey was very close with him. They had a special bond. 
When Zoey was having great difficulty with her anxiety, she would not open up to many, but she opened up to him. When she was too afraid to go into grandpa's house where he lived, he would come out to my car in the driveway and spend time with her. He understood her. 

After a week in the hospital, the family together day and night, searching and praying for a miracle, it was  time for us to say goodbye. We found comfort and support in each other, and in music, and in the memories. Laughter sometimes came in between the tears, as we all waded through this unfamiliar place. We had all lost someone we loved before, but none of us had ever known that the moment we would lose someone was just moments away, and that we would need to be strong, that we would be there to tell them it was ok to let Jesus carry him home. 

We spent those last hours playing his favorite music, all of the classics, the ones that he could strum out on his guitar just as good, maybe better, then the original artists. 

Our families love language is music. 

 We grew up with it. 

And we played every song that we could remember. 

And the music gave us strength. 

Van Halen. 

Guns -N - Roses 

I wish the music didn't have to end. 
I wish we could go back just one more time. 
One last jam session. 
One last horse shoe game. 
One last anything. 

I am not sure how we all found the strength in those last moments, but the moment strengthened us all, individually and as a family unit.   It changed us. 

We all held onto him as he took his last breath, and knew that he was safely home. 
We knew that he would be greeted by all those that we loved and lost before him, that he was at peace, in a place far better than here. 

Then I came home. The kids were asleep. 
Zoey woke shortly after and told me that she was dreaming of  Uncle Michael. 
She knew little of what was going on in the prior days. 
She told me he is in heaven now, with his mommy. 
She never knew my grandmother, she passed when I was twelve. 
I can only believe, that he sent a sign, that he was safely home. 

Father Ken remarked at his service that it was so admirable to see that he was never alone. Whenever he came to the hospital, no matter the time, his room was always filled with those who loved him. We might not have a large family, but we sure do have a mighty one, and I am incredibly blessed to be a part of it. 

We all miss him terribly. 

We know that he is at peace. 

We know that we will see him again, one day. 

Tomorrow isn't guaranteed to any of us. 
We have to make the most of every single day, every single moment. 

♦ And in the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years. ~Abraham Lincoln

Happy Holidays

The Wong's had another busy couple weeks of holiday cheer. 
We had a week of sickness right before Christmas, and poor baby girl had to miss 
her school sing along and the caroling I arranged for her Daisy troop at a local retirement community. 
She was pretty crushed and I just prayed that she would be better for Christmas Eve and was so very thankful that she was. 

Christmas Eve we celebrate with everyone at my house. 
I love filling our home with love and laughter among family and friends. 

How are these two growing so fast?

My greatest gifts ♥

Christmas Morning! 

What little man wanted most was a garbage truck. Santa did not disappoint with a great big one - complete with garbage and recycling cans. Sister says that he can be a "garbage canner" when he grows up. 

Zoey put in a very last minute request of Santa, she wanted Saige, the American Girl Doll that would be retiring. Lets just say, I am sure that Santa sweated a little over this one when it went out of stock just days before Christmas (when it became her #1 Christmas wish). 

If this expression doesn't scream Christmas magic I am not sure what will. 

Opening the gifts Santa brought for sharing. 

James is excited for a whole lot of Seaweed his grandma brought. 

The months of planning, weeks of shopping, waiting in lines on Black Friday, wrapping, and preparing are all worth it when I look back on the pictures and remember the magic. I wish I could bottle it up, and save it forever. The innocence, the joy, their smiles. The look in their eyes. Oh, if I could keep them little - forever. 

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Party at the North Pole

This year I told Zoey she could have some friends over for a mother and daughter holiday night of fun. 
I had seen the theme "Party at the North Pole" and just went with it. 

She wanted to invite her entire class, cheerleading team, Daisy group, old playgroup friends, and all of her other friends and cousins. We worked on her understanding the concept of a small group and finally she decided.  Unfortunately, between the stomach bug and the snow several girls were unable to make it but we still had a great time 

Just about every single idea can be found on Pinterest. What did I ever do before I found that site?

Reindeer Food Bar 

Labels can be found and printed on Pinterest. 

Gingerbread houses - hot glued before the kids arrived for durability. 

Place card signs with popsicle sticks and gum drops. 

North Pole cupcakes. 


Frosty's Favorite Popcorn 

Snack Table 

The girls working hard on letters to Santa. 

Painting ceramic ornaments. 

Most of these girls have been friends since they were a year old. 
Without them, none of us mama's would have become friends either. 

Seeing them hard at work on their projects makes it hard to believe that they ever were tiny toddlers wrecking havoc together during playgroups that would last hours because everyone was having a great time. 

Hard at work! 

Such great jobs they all did. 

We played pin the nose on Rudolph. 

The girls were giggling and laughing and having so much fun. 

Picture Time!!! 

I can't help but to think 11 years from now we could be looking at a picture like this in the yearbook - you know the section with all the old photos - as we prepare to watch our babies graduate from high school. 

Yeah, I am fighting back the tears. 

Ummm, why does 11 years suddenly seem so short. 
Can we freeze time?!?!

Reindeer Food!! 

Winding down, or maybe full of energy from all the treats is more like it. 

It was just a great night with friends. 

Have I mentioned - I love the holidays?!?!