Hi-Ho It’s Off To Kindergarten I Go!


Yesterday was Catherine’s last day of preschool…my how time flies!  It’s hard to believe she will be in kindergarten in the fall.  She has really blossomed and thrived in school and loves to learn so much!  I feel blessed that we had the opportunity to put her in a program that provided her with a loving and caring experience.  Now we are off to our next adventure…kindergarten!

Catherine’s teacher gave each child a beach ball and a sand bucket.  They got the chance to sign each others ball, just like a yearbook!  Such a sweet idea!

John bought Catherine a butterfly wrist corsage to wear at her graduation.

And being valedictorian (at least we pretended)…she led the classes to the stage.  I hope she makes a great leader one day!

With her preschool diploma she received the character award for creativity.  Fit her perfectly!

And to end the wonderful day she got to ride around the reception room on the back of a motorized wheelchair with one of her classmates.  How fun is that?

Congratulations my big, big girl!

Mother’s Day

It’s Mother’s Day.  I’m not sure what this day is like for those mothers that have successfully raised their children to adulthood.  For those of us that are still in the trenches, this day is filled with a mix of a sense of accomplishment for all that we have been able to do for our children over the past year and also a sense of guilt for what we haven’t been able to do.  Well, at least it is for me.

Mother’s Day is a mixed bag of emotions for me.  On this day 7 years ago, I felt led down the path of adoption.  The next 2 years, this day was a symbol of loss and angst, waiting for Catherine and what future Mother’s Day would look like.  And then for the last 4 years I have struggled with that sense of accomplishment and yet feelings of guilt.  I don’t think I am a good enough mother.  This job is so hard and the days seem so long and sometimes the moments seem so lonely.  Those many moments of self-doubt I feel sure that Catherine is wondering how she got stuck with me.  While I feel much more comfortable in this role, I still wonder if I could be better and do more.  This last year I feel I have had more days where I know that I am good enough for her but there will always be a little shadow of doubt.  Well, at least most days I feel like I am at least better than average.  What gives me peace at night is when she is getting ready for bed and I give her a hug and kiss goodnight.  She always wants another hug and she always wants another kiss and I can always see in her eyes just how much she loves me.  That is what gives me hope that she approves and knows that I love her with all of my mothering heart.


And for my mother who put her heart and soul into mothering me, thank you!  I love you very much!  And for my sisters who are raising children and expecting new ones, I hope you know how much I think of you and know how wonderful a mother you are.  And for my friends who treat Catherine as if she was your own, thank you for loving her.

Sweets & Treats


It wasn’t too hard to come up with a birthday party plan for Catherine. I am not a fan of commercialized party accessories, so I knew I had to come up with something created. For me, that’s the easy part…mostly because of Pinterest. I decided on a party that would have an activity or two relating to the theme. While Catherine loves unicorns and sparkling pink dolphins, I couldn’t come up with games or things to do based on those things. However, we picked sparkling pink for her cake. I ended up choosing a sweets and treats theme because I had seen several pins on Pinterest and various blog posts that featured candy shops and cupcake decorating. Now given the choice between pink dolphins and candy, Catherine will choose candy every…single…time. I knew that putting together a party around this theme was going to be a big hit both for Catherine and her friends.

I was really surprised that Target, Hobby Lobby and Michaels had some super cute decorations for cupcakes and candy, however my favorite decorations came from the Cupcake Express Etsy shop.  This lady makes fabulous party printables!  Her candy shoppe printable is what I ended up using.  She is super fast and so sweet!

For the sweets and treats theme I put together a candy shoppe where I laid out containers full of various candies. I bought all of the candy from the Dollar Tree, so that ensured that I was able to get lots of candy. They have a great selection and so we had a huge variety of it. The kids were so excited about her candy store. That was the very last thing we did and I think most of them had a hard time waiting to go ‘shopping.’ At the beginning of the party the kids decorated chef hats and aprons with fabric markers, felt stickers and gems.  After that they got to decorate three cupcakes and two sugar cookies.  I had Target bakery bake the cupcakes without icing which saved on a lot of time, although Catherine and I baked a couple dozen of our own because we ended up having more kids than we thought.  The baker at Target thought I was crazy asking for cupcakes without frosting.  You should have seen the look on her face.  I also bought sugar cookies from a grocery store bakery.   The kids had the best time creating their master pieces and they all looked so cute wearing their chef outfits.  After all of the decorating we had the kids get in line for the candy store and then filled their bags with colorful candies.  On the candy menu were lolipops, cupcake shaped gummies, twizzlers, jelly beans, gum balls, lemon heads and more.  It was so much fun to watch their eyes light up!  Then we quickly shuttled the kids outside to burn off  a bit of the sugar.  We had a cupcake pinata that we found at Target.  It was a well-built pinata so the men had to get after it with their knives and the baseball bat.  They cracked us all up when they tried getting that candy out!

We had a wonderful party but it was a lot of work!  The last two years we have had big parties.  Next year I am really, really, really going to try and lay low.  We shall see how that goes!  I have put the photos into gallery mode because there are so many of them.  Just click on the photos and you should be able to see them enlarged.  I also apologize for the terrible color of the pictures.  My kitchen area creates bad lighting and so most of our photos have a yellow tint.

Catherine’s 5 y/o Questionnaire


  1. What is your favorite color? pink
    2. What is your favorite toy? Parrot stuffed animal and Barbie unicorn
    3. What is your favorite fruit? strawberries
    4. What is your favorite tv show? Team UmiZoomi
    5. What is your favorite thing to eat for lunch? Macaroni and Cheese
    6. What is your favorite outfit? Dresses
    7. What is your favorite game? The one on my Leapsters
    8. What is your favorite snack? Fruit gummies
    9. What is your favorite animal? Parrot
    10. What is your favorite song? Rudolph
    11. What is your favorite book? Biscuit books and Llama Llama books
    12. Who is your best friend? Rory
    13. What is your favorite cereal? Fruit Loops
    14. What is your favorite thing to do outside? Going for a walk with Daddy and the puppies
    15. What is your favorite drink? Sweet tea (a special treat)
    16. What is your favorite holiday? Halloween
    17. What do you like to take to bed with you at night? Stuffed parrot and stuffed unicorn
    18. What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast? Drinking yogurt
    19. What is your favorite movie? Rio
    20. What do you want to be when you grow up? A zoo doctor 
  2. 21. What makes you happy? When I go to the zoo
    22.  What makes you sad? I’m always happy…oh, wait.  When I get hurt!

I got the idea from this Pinterest pin.  I did add a couple of questions to it.

Week in the Life (4/27 & 28)

Friday 4/27- I had to fly to Baltimore, MD for a training session for a new camp that the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation is putting together for children of fallen firefighters.  I am hoping that I get to be a camp counselor or assist the camp in some other way.  I hopped on to a morning flight so that I could get there in plenty of time to have dinner with my ‘adopted’ East Coast family, the Reids.

I saw this really neat ad in the Spirit magazine on the airplane and thought I would post it:

Once I checked in, I had a quick snack of crab bisque and mini crab cakes while I waited for the Reids to get off work.  This hotel serves the best crab soup!

Unfortunately I didn’t get any pictures of dinner with them or with all of my friends that came in for training.  Those firefighters are like my second family because I see them 4-5 times a year at different fallen firefighter events.  They are a hilarious group of people and I love being with them.  Because of the work that we do in helping families of fallen firefighters, seeing them and talking with them about our experiences helps to ground me.

Saturday 4/28- The training for the camp was on this day.  I checked out of my hotel room and then headed straight for our working breakfast.

Of course there are always a few people in classes or trainings that like to talk about random things.  One of the firefighters I was sitting next to kept writing really funny comments on his iPad.  Passing notes have come a long way!

We got out of training fairly early, so a bunch of us made a beeline to the airport so that we could get a quick snack/dinner before our flights.  Again, I didn’t get a picture of that.

I got home just in time to help put Catherine to bed and then to admire and water all of the flowers in my garden.

It was a busy but great week to document!  I had fun doing this year’s Week in the Life but it did get hectic trying to find the time to document it on the website.  It’s done though!  I hope you enjoyed following along!

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