Wednesday, July 30, 2008

To all of the extraordinary woman who read my blog :)

My dear friend Lisa is a wonderful and talented lady. Lisa is an entertainer and a singer/song writer that lives in the Los Angeles Area. This past Christmas, Lisa sent me a CD with a wonderful song. She also framed the lyrics and included them as a gift to me, as she wanted me to know that I am an extraordinary women in her life. The letter attached will explain how and why she decided to write and then produce the song and the attached video. It is a testament to how extraordinary she is. Please take a moment and read the following letter and then follow the link to the video. It is a project that can change the world and you, my friends, can be a part of it.

Lisa and I share a special life long connection and I am so proud to call her my friend. She and I both know that women have the greatest power of love, nurture and true inner strength. We can change the world with one act of kindness at a time.

Please take a few minutes and read the following e-mail that she just sent to me. After reading it please click on the link to see what the power of love can do.

There is even a clip of Katie Starr and I in it :)

Thank you all!


For the last year and ½ I have been on quite a journey and it has been a true blessing for me. I have so much to be grateful for and I’ve had this overwhelming desire to do something really special for the wonderful woman in my life.

In December of 2007 I wrote a song called An Extraordinary Woman. At the time my dear aunt had been diagnosed with cancer so I decided to send the song to her in hopes that it would inspire her to heal. Sadly she slipped into a coma the day it arrived and one month later my Aunt Bobbie passed away. If I had only sent it one day earlier maybe it would have changed the course of her life. It was then I realized that there are so many women in the world who don’t know how truly extraordinary they are and more often than not the message arrives one day too late.

So….. I’m sending this gift to you to let YOU know how EXTRAORDINARY I think you are. Take a moment to be alone with no distractions and click on the link below to receive this gift. Then please pass the gift on to at least 20 women in your life along with this note and a personal message if you like and ask them to do the same. Send it to your Mom, Grandmothers, daughters, sisters, Aunts, cousins, friends, and colleagues. Remember it doesn’t matter who you send it to because every single woman is Extraordinary!

As a result of my Aunts passing I felt a strong calling to create a resource to help women who are fighting cancer. I wanted to find a way to raise funds to get help for these women who struggle to accomplish everyday tasks like house cleaning, grocery shopping and getting to treatment which in my opinion can hinder their ability to fully heal.

The way I will be raising money is through the sale of the song “An Extraordinary Woman”. 100% of the net proceeds will be donated to two great organizations featured on the website. By sending this gift to all the women we know, imagine how many lives will be touched by this simple act of kindness and imagine how many women who are fighting for their lives will be given the opportunity to start the healing process. The possibilities are Extraordinary! I thank you in advance for participating and I have unwavering faith that this project will bring lots of peace, joy and healing to all women across the globe.

Click on this link:

Saturday, July 26, 2008

A little work and hopefully a lot of play!

Tomorrow we are off to the Century 21 Florida State Convention. It is actually the second largest Century 21 convention in the world only second to the International one. It always takes place on beautiful Marco Island, Florida. I play a part in running the convention, so there is work involved for me and Marc is the entertainer and emcee for the convention so he is really tied up. We asked Judy (our future DIL) to come with us and help us with the kiddos. At the time she was not working while waiting for the school year to start as she was waiting for her first teaching job to begin. Well, it just so happens that the county job fair for teachers falls smack dab in the middle of the convention. Judy called me and told me about the scheduling conflict and then made me the following offer:

Why don't Justin and I come and stay at the house and watch the children there for you while you are at the convention?

I hesitated (I must be temporarily insane due to being around two 3 year olds too much) and told her that I needed to speak to Marc. I called him and asked him what he thought. He said......."OF COURSE!!!! Why would you even hesitate?!? Take them up on their offer. Justin has lived with them up until about 3 weeks ago. He knows them as well as we do and they adore him and we can be alone... NO CHILDREN!"

We also received an extra room night for free and when I told J & J about that they insisted that we use it and enjoy ourselves.

Can you believe it....Marc and I are going to be alone and you know what? I am gonna enjoy every minute of it :)

Be back in a few days......Ciao!!

Friday, July 25, 2008

What do you want to be when you grow up?

This morning as Marc was leaving the house, Katie asked me why he had to go to work. Hey, good question Katie!! ROFL!!

Seriously though, I told her that we all have some type of work that we do and she would work when she got older. I asked her what type of work would she want to do and without hesitation she said she would be a Fireman like Fireman Sam!! I love that girl of mine; she is no nonsense! She proceeded to tell me that Ethan was going to be her helper (he did not look thrilled about that) and that they needed a ladder so that they could work.

She then went on to add that when I grew up (didn't I tell you she was the best?!) that I was going to be a Princess and when I got really big that I would be a Queen. Marc would help me in the castle and also he would be a Spiderman.

I think my girl is on the right track.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

The Choi 3 + The Dynamic Duo = 5 times the fun!!

After our FCC Luncheon ended today our good friends, Kim and Rich, tracked us down to one of my usual haunts (a fast food drive through for a diet coke) and while they were laughing at me and taking pictures at the same time they asked me if we could watch their kiddos while they get some last things done before their move next week to Shanghai, China. Of course, we were more than happy to help, even though I was the butt of their jokes.

As they were following us to our house their oldest daughter, Aimee (6) asked if they thought that we could handle 5 children...ROFL. Smart kid knew that we were more than double outnumbered. The rest was a blur of activity and fun that even included some swimming. Thanks goodness Aimee is quite the fish or we would have been in over our head so to speak. We could handle two inexperienced swimmers each but that was definitely our limit.

The kiddos basically brought out every toy that we own and even some we did not know we own. We played games, swam, ate, watched Big Bird goes to China, ate, read books and played more games. Katie Starr was completely enamored with Aimee (she loves big girls) and kept referring to her as her big sister. Marc had the nerve to say to me that we could still adopt a big sister for Katie.....NOT!!!! She will have to be happy to have friends that are pretend big sisters cuz I am so done!

When Kim and Rich came back for their brood we felt quite sure that we had shown them a good time and we were so happy that they were able to get some things done without the constant interruption of children.

We had loads of fun and the fact that our children fell asleep within 1 minute of hitting the bed was the icing on the cake. We will get to see our good friends once more before they head off to China and bid them adieu for now. I miss them already!

The Choi's are truly the most awesome family and this move to China has been a lifelong dream for them. It would be so great if all of you, my personal and bloggy friends, would go to to wish them well as they embark upon this awesome adventure.

Choi 5, We love you guys!!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Papa; don't you know that I am a girl?

I swear that I could create a whole new blog based on the funny things that the kids say and do. That was part of the reason that I have kept this blog going. I figure it will help me remember when I am not as young (ahem!) as I am today ;-)

Today, Marc went out to partake in a little golfy with his friend, Tom and I took the DD out to meet my mom and dad (Nana and Papa) for some lunchy.

We were having a nice time and Katie was her usual VERY talkative self. Every time she received something or someone said something nice to her she said Thank you (She has gotten very good with her pleases and thank yous) My dad turned to her and said.....

Papa: "Katie, your manners are impeccable!"

Katie: "Nooooooooo!!" (looking horrified)

Papa: "What's wrong? Impeccable is a good thing!"

Katie: "I'm not PECKABLE, I'm a girl!!!" Of course, at this point my pop is playfully pecking at Katie with his nose...sheesh!

Me: "We know that you are a girl honey. The word is IMPECCABLE and it is a good thing. Would you like to know what it means?"

Katie: "Yes."

Me: "It means just about perfect; that your manners are just about perfect" (as I am writing this I am realizing that she did not understand the word: wonder she was so mixed up)

Katie: "I'M NOT PECKABLE: I'M A GIRL!! At his point she folds her hands over her chest and goes Harumph!! I am angry!!" ROFLMAO

Me: "We know you are a girl Katie :) It's OK."

Man oh Man; I sure wish that I had access to a blog 23 years ago when Justin was a baby. I remember that he was always cracking me up but for the life of me I cannot recall most of the funny things that he said now.

Oh and BTW, my pop was always throwing words like that at us when my sis and I were growing up. We also had to read about 90 minutes a day, aside from our homework, so you can only imagine the words that come out of my mouth sometimes. I used to hate it when I was a kid but I sure do appreciate it now. Of course, Marc and Justin tease me unmercifully about my choice of words. They are such haters (smirk)

Thursday, July 17, 2008

"Ding Dong the Witch is Dead!"

OK, these legs are not attached to a real witch but to a woman who has recently become engaged to a friend of the family. You see, the woman (Lindsay) and our friend Dean came over for a visit with another couple of old friends of ours. That is when Lindsay decided to get into the Dynamic Duo's tent. When the whole thing collapsed on top of her this was the picture that just demanded to be taken. I totally think it looks like the wicked witch from the "Wizard of Oz" under the house with her legs sticking out. Of course, it is obvious that Lindsay has much better legs than the witch did.

Don't worry, our new friend was not hurt at all by the collapse of the house; in fact she played in there with the DD for quite awhile after all of that; strange but true ;-)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Ignorance is Bliss

Today we hooked up our new Nin*tendo W*ii and excitedly started with the bowling game. We were having fun with it and the DD were happy to watch and cheer for us for all of 2 minutes before they both wanted to play. I put the controller into Katie's hand first and tried to show her what to do but at this age there is no way that they can handle it. They were both so upset that they could not play and then Marc came up with the following ingenious idea...

Yes, we gave them the cordless phone and remote control and told them that they could play the game with them!! They were waving those items around like they were really controlling the game while Marc was controlling it from behind. They were cheering for themselves and totally happy! Hey, whatever works...right?

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Whew!!! What a Weekend!

We just finished up our whirlwind weekend of parties with Justin and Judy's engagement party on Saturday evening and Ethan's and Mia"s 3rd birthday party on Sunday morning.

To sum it all up...

The weekend was amazing and lots of wonderful memories were made.

The engagement party was a cocktail party and after some mixing and mingling we got down to the serious business of playing the Not so/Really Wed Game based on the old Newlywed Game from the 60s. Marc, who is a Disc Jockey/Entertainer owns a game show system that he entertains with at all types of functions. It is a blast. The Not so's won the game (Justin and Judy) and the whole thing was a hoot. We found out that Shannon and Alan's first date was at an MC Hammer concert (snort) and that the first thing that Mary would crave if she was stranded on a desert island would be a beer and not Neil as he thought. That Justin and Judy had their first lip lock before their first date and that Judy's parents were not far behind as their first smooch was on their first date.

L to R - Judy's folks, Mary and Neil, Shannon and Alan and the newly engaged Justin and Judy

Then we segued into dancing and we all had a blast. I was so proud of my son and his bride to be. They made sure that everyone at the party felt welcomed and made sure to spend time with one and all. I really enjoyed watching them with all of their friends; some have know them since elementary school. It sure is amazing to see your child and their friends mark this new stage of life.
The newly engaged couple, Justin and Judy
Mary and Neil

Dom and Heidi
Marc says Cheers!
and more dancing (Judy's folks)
My mom enjoying herself
My pop as well
Me mingling with my in-laws to be

Bright and early, and I do mean very early, we were back to partying and this time for Prince Ethan and Princess Mia. That was the theme of their party. Their royal highness's had a blast at P*ump it Up, an indoor inflatable party venue. A huge thanks goes to my gal pal and partner in crime, Shannon (mom to Mia) who took the lead on the planning of this fiesta. This was the most wonderful place to hold a party. The birthday kiddos had a blast and so did everyone else including the parents.

We came home and napped the dynamic duo and when they awoke we had the lovely surprise of having Justin come home for his first visit. The DD were so happy to have him at home and we all watched as Ethan opened his gifts. Katie had one to open herself as well and she took the whole birthday present thing like a champ. I was a bit concerned as they are so close in age and rationality is usually not the order of the day when you are 3 years old and not the one getting oodles of presents. Katie did not look pleased that Ethan had like 15 gifts to open but she did not freak out ;)
Here are a few pics from the gift opening

We all sat down to dinner and lively conversation punctuated by DD chatter. This is not always conducive to easy discussion but somehow tonight it was much easier and we all enjoyed ourselves very much.

I had such an overwhelming feeling of happiness and gratitude that we have the love of our three children and our family and good friends to enjoy it all with.

It was a weekend to remember and I am so glad that I can blog about it so that the memories can be more easily called upon in the future.

Friday, July 11, 2008

I am Sam; Sam I am!!

We just left dinner and we are in the car when the following dialogue takes place:

Katie: "Where are we going?"
Me: "We are going to Sam's Club."
Katie: "We are going to see SAM!!!" (this is the name of their cousin that stayed with us for a few days two weeks ago)
Me: "No, baby..we are not going to see Sam; we are going to Sam's Club to shop."
Katie and Ethan: "Yaaaaaaaay!!! We are going to see Sam!! Yaaaaaaaay!!!"
Me: "OK Guys calm down; we are not going to see Sam; he is at home with Aunt Jane and Uncle Steve."
Katie and Ethan: "Ooooooh, OK!!" (Both look like they have lost their best friend)
Me: "OK, here we are...This is Sam's Club!"
Katie: "This is not Sam's Club; this is Home Bepot!" (That is not a typo)

Then while we are in Sam's Club Katie continues to ask "Where's Sam? How come I don't see Sam? Bwahahaha!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Please let him act like this when he is 16!

Like most toddlers, Ethan and Katie both like to help. Of course, their help can make the task take twice as long but I do my best to encourage their behavior. Ethan is one that especially likes to help. He begs to assist in any way possible and with any task that we are undertaking.

This morning, as I was putting away the folded laundry before work, he ran towards me while shouting "Help me!" I am the official translator for Mr. E and even though he is saying "help me" he really means that he want to help us. I tell him to follow me into the his and Katie's room and then instruct him to put away his clothes while I put away Katie Starr's. This child knows where everything belongs, both in his drawers and closet as well as where Katie's clothing goes. He has amazing attention to detail.

As he finished his task, he shuts the closet door, turns to me and tells me the following....

"Thank you Mama."

How sweet is that?!? He thanks me for helping me. Please, oh please let this attitude stick through the teenage years :)

Our boy really touches my heart.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Yup...we are crazy!!

This weekend we will be celebrating two big occasions. On Saturday evening we, along with our future in laws, will be throwing Justin and Judy an engagement party and then bright and early on Sunday morning, we will be co-hosting Ethan's and his friend Mia's Three Year old birthday party. Now, who's bright idea was it to make both parties on the same weekend, you may ask?!? That person will remain nameless to protect the not too innocent...LOL

Our to do lists are procreating and producing brand new to do lists and we are in the throes of the final days of planning before the big weekend of fun. My creative hubby Marc is actually making the centerpieces for the engagement party as well as hosting a game show for the event. He is amazingly creative and he is not afraid to execute on his creativity which is the skill I lack. The weekend should be a fun and crazy blur of activity.

I will leave you with the statement from the woman who took the cake orders for both affairs.

"Your celebrating your son's engagement party and your other son's three year old birthday? That is amazing!!"

It surely is :)

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Happy 3rd Birthday Ethan!!

Our mischief man turned 3 years old today! It was so wonderful to finally celebrate a birthday with him. He did not really understand the whole idea of turning 3 but he sure liked the party, presents and cake :)

It was a great day for him and it ended up with him asking his daddy if he could go into the pool. Well, even if it was already bedtime daddy honored his request. Of course he did; he was the birthday boy!!

I like my birthday present

See, I can drill things just like my dad.

I am going to help you Ethan

This Harley motorized vehicle was given to us by Kim and the kiddos loved it! She is cleaning house to move to China.

Katie is loving the Harley as well

Aunty Kira came to wish Mr. E a happy birthday

so did Aunty Shannon

Hey Katie; don't forget who's birthday present that is!

For me??
Blowing out the candles..he got them all :)
I love this birthday stuff!

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Red Threads

One of the wonderful added benefits of the adoption of two of our children are the amazing friendships that we have made through the process and beyond. I could go on and on about our friends but I will spare you. Suffice it to say; they are just the best.

One of our closest friends and their family are moving to China and I cannot express properly the feelings that I have about this turn of events. Yin and Yang would be apt as I am overjoyed that they are making their dreams come true but at the same time absolutely saddened by the loss of them in our day to day lives.

Tonight, we got together with them and two other couples for an evening out at a local restaurant called the Melting Pot (fondue restaurant). It was the perfect place to go as it fun and interactive. We literally sat for hours talking and laughing.

These couples share a bond with us that is awesome and unbreakable - even if one of them will be half a world away. All I can say is....thank goodness for Skype and the Internet!! Kim and Rich; we all love you and will miss you like crazy. Don't forget to leave a light on cuz we are all gonna be visiting :)

Mary and Neil
Kim and Rich - Moving to China...sigh
Shannon and Alan

"Forever Friends"