Friday, December 3, 2010

From August to December

So much has happened since my last post!  Back in August, Miles lost his first tooth, then the next day, he lost the second one!  Then in September, Miles started Cub Scouts and Hannah started ballet class.  Also in September, the four of us went down to Glen Rose to Dinosaur Valley State Park and to see the Creation Evidence Museum.  I had been wanting to go for years, so this was my birthday request this year.  Then the next week, after 2 years and 3 months of wearing braces, I got them off!  I'm loving my new smile, and the fact that eating is not so much of a hassle anymore!

The day before I got my braces off.

 The day I got them off.

And for those who never saw me before I got my braces, here's what I looked like.

 The mold of my teeth.

At the beginning of October we went with Thomas, Mindy, Jason, Mama and Daddy up to the Wichita Mountains to celebrate Daddy and Thomas's birthdays.  It was nice to see mountains again, and the view off of Mount Scott was amazing.  Miles continued to go to Sonlight every Friday, while Hannah and I had our time together then.  We did story time at Barnes and Noble, ate lunch, shopped, and sometimes just came home and watched The Little Mermaid together.  At the end of the month, we left for a trip to North Alabama, and stayed for two weeks.  I used to live there as a child and have missed it ever since we moved back to Texas.  The trip was part vacation and part checking the place out to see if we'd like to move there.  Chip had never been out there, so it was really about convincing him.  And in case anyone's wondering, he was convinced! 
Mount Scott, Oklahoma
Monte Sano, Alabama
 Near New Market, Al

 Guntersville Lake from Sand Mountain, AL

 Above De Soto Falls, AL

While in North Alabama, we got to see my best childhood friend, and beloved friends from Church, and my girlfriends from junior high.  The mountains were absolutely beautiful, and the people were just as friendly and down to earth as I had remembered.  I really love that area.

When we got back from out trip, we went to a ceremony where Miles was awarded his very first Cub Scout badge, the Tiger Cub badge!  I was so proud of him!

Today, Hannah started her first day of Mother's Day Out, or "school," as she calls it.  We walked into her classroom and she immediately took off her backpack and coat and said, "Bye Mommy."  I had a feeling she would have no problems with me leaving her.  She just started playing with the toys and was fine.  I've really needed a break from the kid's lately, so now every Friday will be all mine.  Hannah's school is at the same church as Miles's Sonlight class, so it's really convenient.  I'm so thankful for programs like those!

Outside the house before school

On the way to school

Hannah diving right into the toys!

Now that we're in December, we're getting ready for Christmas of course, so tomorrow we're going to Lowe's to pick out a tree as we do every year.  This will be our first time to do all the Christmasy things with Hannah.  I wonder what she'll think of it all.  I look forward to experiencing it all with her.

By the end of the month, we hope to have our house sold.  On Monday I have rentals to look at, and Lord willing, we'll be moving around the middle of January.  I'm so ready to move!  The house I really hope we can rent is much bigger than what we have now, with lots of trees in the nicely fenced-in backyard.  It's also close to a good friend of mine and an awesome park, which makes it even better!  Please keep us in your prayers. 

Well, that about wraps it up for the last few months. We're going to take the kids to see Santa soon, and I'll post those photos as soon as I can.

My favorite of the ones I took this morning.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Tiger Cub

Last night we signed Miles up to be a Tiger Cub in the Boy Scouts!  Chip was a Cub Scout when he was a kid, and I was a Girl Scout briefly, and I've always wanted my kids to be in scouting too.  I'm hoping Miles will stay in it much longer than Chip or I did, though, all the way to Eagle Scout. 

Miles is super-excited!  He's ready to start going on hikes and camping trips and to learn how to use a compass.  And he's eagerly awaiting his first issue of Boys' Life Magazine.  I'm just so proud of him already.  He looked so cute last night in his Tiger Cub hat his grandaddy gave him!

Next year when Hannah is 5 we'll sign her up for American Heritage Girls.  It's a new organization similar to Girl Scouts, but it's Christian-based, and unlike Girl Scouts, is supported by the Boy Scouts.  I can't wait to have two scouts in the family!

I am just so excited about scouting!  I wish that I had been in scouting for longer as a child.  I love that it's all about being a good citizen and having good values, and so much more.  I think the biggest draw for me is the emphasis on spending time outdoors in nature.  I so want my children to love nature and to be knowledgable about things in nature.  I hope to learn a lot along with them too.  In fact, I've heard of some homeschoolers who use scouting as their "curriculum," which I think is a wonderful idea, so I plan to use it as a big part of ours, since they will learn so much earning their badges and participating in activities, etc.  The ideas of "hands-on" and "real-world" learning in scouting fits well with my ideas for homeschooling our children in a natural way.

Our troop's first family campout is October 1st.  I'm hoping we can make it, but we probably won't be able to.  We've got a lot going on in October, including a trip to North Alabama!  The trip will be part vacation and part checking out the area to see if we want to move there.  I lived in the area for 5 1/2 years as a child, and have wanted to move back ever since we moved back to Texas.  Even though I was born in Texas, and have lived here most of my life, North Alabama is my home.  It's a wonderful place to live and to raise a family.  My most precious memories are of living there.  So, depending on how we feel about it when we're out there this fall, and trusting in God's guidance, we hope to move there within the next year!

I'll end this post with a shot of my adorable Tiger Cub:

Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Griffin Four

Wow!  I can't believe I haven't written in this blog since we got back from China!  As with many others who have gone to China to adopt, the trip was quite a whirlwind!  In fact, sometimes when I think about it, it almost doesn't seem like we even went.  It's that surreal.  But, of course, I know we did, because we now have this fourth person living with us.  In fact, in my opinion, we brought home the best part of China!

The first week back was one of the most difficult of my entire life.  I was suffering from extreme anxiety and depression, as a result of all of the changes, and not quite knowing how to deal with them all.  The biggest change of all was having two kids now instead of one, which honestly made having just one feel like having none at all! :)  While I'm still learning to deal with having two, I'm now at the point where I'm starting to enjoy it, which is such a blessing.  Some days are better than others, as it is with all moms of young children, but those "better" days are getting better and better all the time.  We do have our bad days, but they're no where near as bad as they were at first.

Hannah has had very little problems adjusting to her new life.  Aside from the language barrier, she is doing great.  And the language thing is getting better as she learns new words and phrases.  She understands way more than she can speak, so there aren't a whole lot of problems with Chip and I communicating with her.  She does have tantrums, though, when I don't understand her, but it really doesn't seem too different from a typical 2 or 3 year old whose language hasn't fully developed.  So life is pretty normal around here.

We have really embraced being a family of four.  It's as if adding that fourth person suddenly made us more of a family.  Of course, we were already a family before, but the dynamics have changed so much that it makes it that much more fun to do family activities together.  For instance, when we go to the playgound, the kids each have an instant playmate.  And in other things we do, Miles and Hannah interact with each other in ways only kids can.  At other times, Chip and Miles share experiences while Hannah and I do.  I love that our family is now even in the number of people in it.  It's nice that everyone can pair up and no one is left out.

If you've read our adoption blog, you know that I was seeing a therapist and taking a low-dose anti-depressant.  Well, I switched to a different therapist, a hypnotherapist rather than a traditional therapist, one who helped me with anxiety and organization last year, and I haven't taken the anti-depressant in a few days.  I've only had one session so far with the hypnotherapist, and she's already helped me so much!  I may not need to go back on the pills, but if I do, it won't be forever.  For me, hypnotherapy is so much more powerful and effective, that I may not need the medication again.  She gives me instant solutions that work, and that's what I've needed for the past few months.

Well, that's all for now.  I'll do my best to post again soon about what's been going on with us since May.  I'll leave you with a few favorite photos:

Saturday, April 10, 2010

We Need a Little Help

Chip and I talked it over, and although we didn't want to ask anyone for money related to the adoption, we've decided we need to. We've already saved (and gotten loans for) everything for the adoption itself, but now we just need funds for expenses while in China. These expenses will include food, transportation (taxis), other miscellaneous expenses, and/or emergency or other unforseen expenses. Also, Chip recently got a paycut, and that combined with saving for the adoption will leave us with very little left when we get back home. Chip will get a paycheck about a week after we get back, so we'll need just enought to get us through that week.

We're unable to take out any more loans, so we have no other option than to ask for the money from our friends.

If you can give anything at all, please do. Just click on the "ChipIn!" box, and it will take you to PayPal to make a donation. It will all add up, and EVERY BIT will help. Thank you so much!

It Won't Be Long Now!!!

Exactly one month from today, on May 10th, we'll finally meet little Shi Lin face to face.  I can't wait for that moment!  I know there will be lots of happy tears on Chip's and my part, at least.  I'm praying for Shi Lin; I know that at the same time that it's happy, it will also be a very sad day for her because she'll be leaving the only family she's ever known.  I hope she can come to feel someday that we are her family and know how much we love her.

On May 10th, our family will finally be complete.  I've had this feeling, a feeling I couldn't even describe for so long.  It felt like something was missing, event though I wasn't even consciously aware of it.  Something just seemed wrong, and I couldn't put my finger on it.  Now I know there was a hole, a hole that was meant to be filled by Shi Lin.  I am so aware of that hole now, and I seem more aware of it the closer we get to getting our daughter.  I can't wait for her to fill in that hole, so that our family can be whole at last.

Please keep us in your prayers as we prepared to meet our daughter.  We have so much preparation left to do.  Getting the house in order, packing (LOTS of packing!), mental and emotional preparation, not to mention physical preparation.  About four days before we get on the plane, I plan to start getting Miles and myself on China time.  The plan is to get us up a couple of hours early, then take Miles to the playground for a few hours to get him really tired, and come home, have some supper, take some Benadryl, and go to bed two hours earlier than usual.  The next day, get up earlier, maybe 3 hours, then go to bed 3 hours earlier.  Then the next 2 days, continue to get up and go to bed earlier until we're on China time, or close to it.  They're 13 hours behind us, so hopefully we can adjust to that before we leave so it won't be quite so hard on us when we do get to China.  Poor Chip won't be able to do this, since he'll work up until the day we leave.

We're going to shop today for things we're going to need for the trip.  I'm so excited!  Every step we take makes it seem more real!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Happy 6th Birthday!

A few weeks ago, we had Miles's sixth birthday party. We did it a week early, since my brother was getting married the next weekend. We kept it really low-key this year. Just us, Granny and Grandaddy, Meema and Jason.

The proud six-year-old:
Making a wish:

Miles and Jason enjoying the birthday cake:

The official Birthday Jedi Knight:

Meema and Miles:
I ask Miles every once in a while, "What happened to that tiny little baby I brought home from the hospital?" He usually answers, "I grew!" Then I'll break into pretend tears and crying, saying, "I want you stop growing and stay my little baby." And he'll say something like, " No, because then I would have to stop eating healthy foods and then I wouldn't be healthy!" So I say, "Oh, ok, I'd rather you be a big, strong, healthy boy." I also say often to him that no matter how big he gets, he'll always be my baby.
Oh, I almost forgot, around the time of his party, we also discovered Miles has his first loose tooth! And if I remember correctly, it's the very first one that came in when he was five months old! So many exciting Milestones ahead!

Thursday, January 14, 2010


It's been a few weeks, but we've all been sick off and on and I'm just now getting a chance to get some Christmas pictures on here. This was very much a homemade Christmas for gifts for extended family. Above is a jar of hot cocoa mix I made. Below are ornaments made with cinnamon and applesauce.

Miles making sure Santa has a snack:

Checking the next morning to see if Santa was thirsty:

I loved that in our Christmas pictures this year you can see our White Christmas outside!

Just what he wanted!

Fun in the snow:

Oh, and I almost forgot, Miles's visit with Santa!