On the Second Day of "Fill Their Stockings"

November 30, 2011

Coach Collage

It's called the "Coach Poppy Signature Lurex Layla".

Isn't she a beauty?
I would love to carry "Layla" over my shoulder!!

The handbag has a pushlock closure and subtle trim. Add wit and charm to a compact and pratically designed shoulder bag.
Made out of their signature sateen fabric with a patent fabric trim.
Inside Zip Pocket
Fabric Lining
Dimensions: 10"(L) x 6 1/4"(H) x 2 1/4"(W)


Wouldn't you love to have this handbag on your arm?

To win this item, or any of the items featured for this event we ask that you consider a minimum donation of $5.00. But, it is also possible to enter without donating. To do that, leave a comment that includes your name and email address so we can contact you if you win. All winners must have a shipping address in the United States or Canada. If you choose to donate, simply use our "CLICK TO DONATE" button below and you will be directed to the Half The Sky donation page that was set up for this event. Your donations are going directly to Half The Sky, which is a non profit organization that makes a difference in the lives of many children that reside in orphanages throughout China.

Click To donate HTS2

You have until Thursday, December 1st at 11:59pm to enter.

A special THANK YOU to my friend and fellow adoptive Mom, Shannon(and her adorable Yangxi baby, Cici) , for donating this beautiful bag.

Good luck to everyone entering and THANK YOU for the donations!!
It is exciting to see my little thermometer climb:)
Be sure to stop by both Stefanie and Diana's blogs to see the awesome items they are featuring today.

We hope to start posting winners by this weekend!

To those that helped us "Spread the Word" and were entered in the TinaSteinberg.com Gift Card Giveaway. We do have a winner.......Kathy H of "On My Front Porch Looking In" is the lucky recipient of that Gift Card. Way to go Kathy!!!

Just a quick family update.... We are heading to court early this morning with Reagan.
As of 9:30am she will officially be a US Citizen!!!
We could not be more excited!! Pictures to come very soon.....promise!

On the First Day of "Fill Their Stockings" - Take Two

November 28, 2011

We appreciate your patience and understanding as we worked through a few kinks that came to our attention this weekend when we tried to kick off this event. Collectively, we decided it was best "Re-Launch" today, Cyber Monday! We know so many families were super busy shopping, decorating, and enjoying the holiday weekend. No worries though, you did not miss a thing. We are giving everyone the opportunity to see the products we featured on Day One, again today! Those that previously commented and already donated need not worry. We received them. THANK YOU!!

That being said, let me reintroduce my first featured item.

Today, you will have a chance to win one of these AWESOME STRIDER BIKES in the color of your choice!!!

Strider Bike GIveaway

I am very excited to be featuring these super cool bikes on my blog today.
What little one would not want to see one of these waiting for them under the Christmas tree?

If you are not familiar with Strider Bikes, let me tell you a little bit about them:

These bikes help your child learn to ride a bicycle easily and safely without training wheels.
Strider PreBikes help your child learn balance and coordination BEFORE pedaling, which develops wonderful self confidence.

The strider bike in action
Riders can start on a Strider as soon as they can walk. Charlotte above, started on hers when she was 19 months and rode her first pedal bike at 3 years old. She never needed training wheels.

● One of the LOWEST seat heights
● One of the LIGHTEST running bikes
● The ONLY running bike with frame-integrated Launch Pad™ footrests
● Kid and parent-friendly EVA polymer tires - no flat tires!
● One of the most ADJUSTABLE running bikes - seat and handle bars adjust
● User-specific Progression™ headset
● Optional foot brake adds even more fun
● 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
● Choose from 6 Colors (blue, yellow, green, orange, pink, red)

Striders can go places training wheels cannot and are much safer.
Your child learns to lean when riding the Strider so they learn to balance. There are no scary training wheel tip-overs. The balance your child learns carries over into everyday life - whether it be dance, soccer or other sports.

You can see some pictures of the Strider in action by clicking HERE.

As the winner of this prize you will win:
one (1) Strider PreBike ($99.00 Retail Value)
one (1) quick release accessory ($6.00 Retail Value) for easy seat adjustment
and because the proceeds are going to benefit Half the Sky, the winner will also get one (1) XL seat post ($16.00 Retail Value) for when your kiddo starts to grow!

The current color in stock is blue. Adam’s Bike Shop will work with you to ensure that you get the color you want. If would like one of the other colors shown or listed above, there will be a 2-3 day wait due to shipping.

Contact Adam at Adam’s Bike Shop if you have any questions:
Adam Emanoff - 612.217.0064

Are you ready to try to win one of these fun little bikes for a special little toddler in your life?

To win this item, or any of the items featured for this event we ask that you consider a minimum donation of $5.00. But, it is also possible to enter without donating. To do that, leave a comment that includes your name, email and mailing address so we can contact you if you win. All winners must have a shipping address in the United States or Canada. If you choose to donate, simply use our "CLICK TO DONATE" button below and you will be directed to the Half The Sky donation page that was set up for this event. Your donations are going directly to Half The Sky, which is a non profit organization that makes a difference in the lives of many children that reside in orphanages throughout China.

Click To donate HTS2

You have until Tuesday, November 29th at 11:59pm to enter.

A huge THANK YOU to Adam, of Adam's Bike Shop for making this generous donation.
Not only is Adam an adoptive father, he and his family also support and do volunteer work for Half The Sky.

Best of luck to everyone entering!
Make sure you stop by both Stefanie and Diana's blogs to see the fun items they are featuring today.

Last but not least, come back to find out who the lucky winner will be and to see all the new items that will be featured. Remember, we will be featuring new items every Monday, Wednesday,
and Friday from now until December 23rd!

Who Says Two Is Terrible?

November 23, 2011

Hip Hip HOORAY for Two BLOG
We have another Birthday girl in the house and today we are celebrating the big "TWO".
The twos are known to be terrible, but we think that they are going to be pretty terrific.

Reagan is at such a FUN age and her personality is just bubbling over. She keeps us on our toes, but she also has us in stitches most of the time.

We love you to the moon and back sweet baby girl and could not imagine a single day without you.

We were extremely blessed to have two little girls brought to our family through adoption, both born in the month of November, which happens to be National Adoption Month, and both of the girls' birthdays happen to fall within the week of Thanksgiving. We will be hosting the holiday at our house and we will be celebrating the many blessings that have been brought to our family the last few years.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!

Be sure to stop back on Black Friday to see the first of many fabulous items that Diana, Stef, and I will be featuring on our blogs for the "Fill Their Stockings" fundraiser.

Ready, Set......

November 21, 2011

UPDATE: To those that helped us "Spread the Word" and were entered in the TinaSteinberg.com Gift Card Giveaway. We do have a winner.......Kathy H of "On My Front Porch Looking In" is the lucky recipient of that Gift Card. Way to go Kathy!!!

Wow, have we received some fabulous donations.

We feel so blessed by the number of people who have reached out to help us “Fill Their Stockings” this Christmas. Truly, we have been just blown away by each and every one of you that has reached out to help us with this effort… thank you all so much.

The best part? We are just days away from kicking off this event – a fundraiser that will make a difference in the lives of some very special children in China this Christmas.

And each of you has an opportunity to help us, help them.

Are you ready?

Here is just a sampling of some of the delicious items that will be featured…


Looks like fun, doesn’t it?

So, here are the details. Starting November 25th and running through December 23rd, each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, we (Diana, Stefanie, and I) will feature a special product on each of our blogs. That means 3 items each giveaway day, for a total of 9 items every week. The gifts will range from $50-$500 in value – and all of them are fantastic.

How Do I Enter to WIN?
To win any of the featured items for this event we ask that you consider a minimum donation of $5 to the organization that we each represent: Stefanie for An Orphan's Wish, Diana for Pearl River Outreach and me for Half the Sky. But, it is also possible to enter without donating. To do that, leave a comment on the post that includes your name, email and mailing address so we can contact you if you win. Also all winners must have a shipping address in the United States or Canada.

So, you get a chance to win an exciting gift for yourself or someone special on your Christmas list and, at the same time, you can help to make a difference in the lives of orphans in China, halfway around the world.

Sounds fun, doesn’t it?

But right now, just days before kickoff, we need to spread the word about this special event. The more people who know about it, the more money will be raised for these very special children… and that’s a very good thing! If you’d like to help us in this effort and to keep in the spirit of “giving” this holiday season, read on – there just might be something special in it for you, too!

A “Spread the Word” giveaway…


Before we kick off the “Fill Their Stockings” event – to encourage y’all to spread the word – we will be giving away a $100 gift certificate to Tina Steinberg, maker of “unordinary personalized jewelry”. To enter, all you have to do is grab the “Fill Their Stockings” button below and post it on your sidebar, and then leave a comment on this post letting us know that you’ve done so. If you have not visited TinaSteinberg.com, you must. And be sure to check out her “Love Touch Collection” – sterling silver charms and pendants with your loved one’s fingerprint. Each design comes with a short inscription on the back. Truly one of a kind!

To double your chances to win the $100 Tina Steinberg gift card, just post on your blog about our “Fill Their Stockings” effort, with a link back to one of our posts detailing the upcoming event. Remember to leave a comment on this post to let us know what you did to help spread the word, and you’ll be entered. Please leave one comment for each entry… so if you posted a button and shared a post, leave two comments.

Fill Their Stockings

Entries for the $100 Tina Steinberg.com gift card will be allowed until 11:30pm Eastern Time, Sunday, November 27th. Winner will be chosen at random and announced soon afterward, so be sure to check back often to see if you’ve won!

And remember, the “Fill Their Stockings” event kicks off bright and early on Friday, November 25th!
We are going to have so much fun!

Sunday Snapshot - "A Birthday Fit For A Princess...Or Two"

November 20, 2011

Cake Collage
This morning before the birthday girl woke up, I got up and set the table with Sarah's gifts and her special birthday cake! When anyone asks Sarah what her favorite color is, she replies "My favorite color is Pink, Purple, and Glitter". So we were sure to pick out a cake that was decked out in her "FAVORITE COLOR".

She was so excited when she saw it, but like any other child on their birthday, she was dying to rip into those gifts!

We are having a small party for her later today when we will actually dig into that cake, right now we are all drooling as we sit here staring at it:)

We were trying to decide what to buy Sarah for her birthday..... there are more than a few things on her Christmas list already, but she kept talking about this FurReal Walking Dog, so we decided that would be her big gift from Mommy and Daddy. She was SO EXCITED when she realized what was under that wrapping paper. What we didn't realize..... was that Reagan was going to be just as excited!! Just look at those faces. Could they be any happier than this?

Reading My New Princess Book BLOG
While Pat and Nick wrestled with the box and all the plastic packaging that kept the dog in place, Sarah started to read her new Princess book that was sent by her "Fairy Godmother".
Thanks Aunt Ann!! Sarah loves her new book!!!

Walking The Dog Collage
I thought the dog was sort of cute in the box, but OH MY.... this little pup is absolutely ADORABLE!!!

I want a turn
You remember those two happy faces when the dog appeared from under that wrapping paper??
There were quite a few tears shed this morning by our little spicy girl. She wanted that puppy and she wanted it all to herself. I think we are quickly approaching the "mine" stage.

Reagan's turn with the dog BLOG
Lucky for Reags, her sister was willing to share her new bday gift and gave her a turn!

Reagan's birthday is on Wednesday and we have her gifts already, but I am thinking I may need to put those away for Christmas and get her a puppy too! They would look so cute walking them side by side!

Okay, I am off to get things in order for the birthday celebration tonight.

Happy Birthday Sweet Sarah.
Welcome FIVE...... we have heard it is FUN and FABULOUS!

Sunday Snapshot

Stop by my friend Stefanie's blog for more Sunday Snapshots.

Favorite Photo Friday - "Five"

November 18, 2011

Five and Fabulous2 BLOG
We are just days away from someone's very special day!

From the top of her head to the tip of her toes Collage
This Sunday we will be celebrating Miss Sarah's Birthday.

It's fun to be FIVE BLOG
Can you believe that she is going to be FIVE?

Hands on her hips  BLOG
I cannot.....
It seems like yesterday she was placed in our arms for the very first time.
She was this teeny, tiny. precious, little thing and in what seems like the blink of an eye, my precious little baby has turned into an independent, smart, funny, and beautiful little girl.

I wish I could keep her young forever and tell her to never grow up, but I know that I can't....
Ready or not..... Look out five, here we come!

Favorite Photo Friday Button

Crazy For Her Baby

November 16, 2011

Me and My Cabbage Patch Collage
There are lots of things that Reagan likes to do and play with, but these days you will most likely find her walking around or attending to one of her babies.
One for her and one for me collage
Just after feeding Reagan her breakfast and getting her dressed to start the day, she grabbed her favorite doll along with a cup and spoon and climbed back into her booster seat at the kitchen table and began to feed her. It was so super sweet to watch her pretend. She treated that baby with such care and concern....... but I had to laugh when I saw her sneak a bite or two of the food for herself.

Spoon Wrong Way BLOG
Our girl loves to eat even if it is just "Pretend food".

I really needed something to make me smile today, and these photos certainly did the trick.
Things have been not so good around here. You probably would not even believe me if I told you all the illnesses that have passed through our house in the last 3 weeks.

The new germs that the girls are encountering at school are taking over in a big way. We have all had the flu, then just days later, Reagan got sick again with a stomach virus, and now the latest was waking up Sunday night to Sarah, who sounded more like a barking dog, then a little girl.....the Croup!

I am about at the end of my rope and hope that we are done being sick for a while. I pray that the girls build up a resistance to all these germs.....and soon! We rarely get sick and since the girls started daycare, we have all been sick more than we have been well. Hopefully the worst is past us and it will be clear sailing ahead through the holiday season. I am looking forward to the long Thanksgiving Holiday next week so we can relax, enjoy, and maybe actually get out of the house to do something fun as a family! That being said, can you believe that Christmas is just a little more than five weeks away? I cannot....and I am nowhere near ready!
Anyone start decorating yet?

Favorite Photo Friday - "Two Cowgirls and a Cool Dude"

November 11, 2011

Time is passing by so quickly I can barely stand it. I am trying not to let myself go into panic mode, because the holidays are coming fast and furiously. My "to-do" list is a mile long and instead of crossing things off my list, I keep piling things on. Not to mention that I got a summons for Jury Duty on a Federal Case during the month of December!!! I need that like I need a hole in my head. I know there are many of you out there that feel the same way this time of year. Getting out from the under "the growing list" is a bit of a challenge.

There is one thing that always kicks the stress level up a notch or two for me..... the Christmas Card photos where you want all of your kids giving you that perfect smile for the perfect card. Yeah, it never quite happens that way and things usually do not go as planned.
All that being said, I wanted this task off my plate, pronto!

Our weather turned cold pretty quickly this year, but we did have a few days that reached mid 60's this week, so I figured I better take advantage of the warm days while we had them.

Wednesday, after work, I had exactly 45 minutes of daylight left to try to capture what I had in my head. Talk about putting the pressure on yourself.

I didn't get exactly what I wanted, but I think I have something to work with. They are the only photos that I took this week, and since I don't like to share my photos before the cards hit the mail, I thought I could give you this partial sneak preview!!!

Fancy Feet BLOG
Thanks Aunt Marla for sending the girls an early birthday gift that just happened to coordinate with their outfits!!! They are digging their new pink boots and love to stomp around in them. They look super cute with almost everything they wear.....I just can't get enough of them. Thanks for sending a little "Texas" our way! Every time we look at them, we think of y'all:)

Have a wonderful and warm weekend everyone!

Favorite Photo Friday Button

Help Us Fill Their Stockings

November 7, 2011

We are so excited to share a way for you to be part of a wonderful - and fun - opportunity this Christmas. We hope to make a difference in the lives of some very special children Christmas season: orphans in China under the care of Half the Sky, An Orphan’s Wish and Pearl River Outreach. And we need your help to do it!

WHO: Lisa, Diana and Stefanie

WHAT: We will be hosting 12 Days of Giveaways... for a total of 36 prizes to be given away just in time for Christmas giving or keeping ;)

WHEN: Between November 25th and December 21st

WHERE: Our blogs - First a Pearl, Then Three Rubies, The Long Road to China, and Ni Hao Y’all

WHY: For Orphans in China


Fill Their Stockings

To get this party started, we are asking you, dear reader, to consider donating an item for us to give away. We need a total of 36 fabulous donations, all to be given away to benefit orphans in China. For 12 days, from November 25th to December 21st, Stefanie, Diana, and Lisa will be promoting this event on all three of our blogs. Our goal is to make a difference in the lives of these precious little ones who are still waiting in orphanages for their chance at a forever family. And with your help we are sure we can... and have a fantastic time while in the process!

If you would like to donate an item, please contact us via email.

We will need to have the items selected by Wednesday, November 16th. We are looking for items with a retail value of $50 and up, and we would also ask that you will be willing to ship your item to the winner. A few examples (but certainly not limited to): jewelry, electronics, accessories, weekend get-a-ways, high-end children’s items, gift certificates. Really, anything a mom would love to win! In return for your generosity, we will feature your item on one of our blogs during the event and we will highlight your item as well as your business or organization.

We are very excited about this, our first joint effort to raise money for something very near and dear to our hearts: orphans in China! So, thank you in advance for joining us on this adventure!

Remember to check back on our blogs on November 21st to see how you can help us spread the word. It’s an opportunity for you to win a very special giveaway so don’t miss it! Together we can fill their stockings with love this Christmas!

Stefanie, Lisa, and Diana

Favorite Photo Friday - "Two More Cooks in the Kitchen"

November 4, 2011

Getting Messy in the kitchen BLOG
The girls decided they wanted to "help" me make brownies the other day.......
I am all for help in the kitchen, but I was a little concerned that the brownies they were so excited to eat, would not taste so good. So I offered them a deal that they could not refuse.

Sarah Scooping and Measuring BLOG
As soon as I was done making the brownies and had them baking in the oven, I would let them make their own "special dessert" using all of my ingredients and the big mixer.

Some Serious Mixing Going On Collage
They absolutely loved the idea! They measured, leveled, and mixed all on their own with no one telling them what to do. There were no rules and no recipes to follow.

Going in for some chocolate2 BLOG
One of the cooks in the kitchen thought the unsweetened Hershey's Cocoa Powder smelled good enough to eat, so she gave it a try!
I will never try that again Collage
YUCK, I don't think she will try that again!!
Poor thing was trying to scrub her tongue after she ate a big spoonful.
How could something that smelled so good, taste so bad?

Spoonful of sugar BLOG
My kitchen looked like a war zone by the time they were done.

All Smiles in their red aprons BLOG
There was sugar, flour, water, and cocoa powder covering every inch of counter, cabinet, and floor, but none of that mattered when I looked up to see that my girls that were overflowing with joy from the top of their heads..........

Cooking at the counter Little Piggies BLOG
to the tips of their toes!!!

The girls got the best of both worlds......they got to eat good brownies and got to have great fun!

A special thanks to one of my best friends, Shelly, who gave the girls these adorable aprons!
She knew they would put them to good use with the holidays just around the corner.
There will be lots of baking in our kitchen this year.

The aprons were purchased at Flirty Aprons.
You can visit them by clicking HERE

~Happy Weekend Everyone~

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Favorite Photo Friday Button

"National Adoption Month" - Magazine Interview

November 2, 2011

A few months ago, we were one of two families that were selected to be featured in a magazine article about adoption that would be printed in their November Issue.
(photo courtesy of Lehigh Valley Style Magazine)

We were pretty excited when we found out that we were chosen to share our story and the miraculous journey that we traveled to bring both Sarah and Reagan into our family. It was a wonderful opportunity for us to help spread the word about adoption and possibly educate and influence others to consider adoption.
The interview and photo shoot all took place this past summer and now the magazine has officially hit the streets.

The Magazine Photo Spread BLOG
I figured the easiest way to share the article, was to scan it in.

Adoption Article Part 1

Adoption Article Part 2
I have to say, I was anxious and nervous to see the article in print. I have never been interviewed for something like this before, so I was not really sure what to expect. I just answered the questions as I was asked and really did not hold back. I was not thinking about the words I was saying staring back at me as quotes in print. In fact, I did not think about what I said at all, I just spoke the truth and spoke it from the heart. The part that made me nervous was not knowing how she was going to take my answers and form them into a story.

We are happy with the outcome of the article and I think she did a really nice job with the piece. Of course there are a few things I wish I would have added or explained differently and in greater detail, but hindsight is always 20 20.

Ultimately, if this article pushes just one family or one person to consider adoption here in America or Internationally, we did what we set out to do.....spread the word and share how special and life changing adoption is for us as parents and for the children who are waiting to find families.