31 August 2007

Tomorrow's the big day!

Rich and Emily's wedding has finally arrived! We look forward to the wonderful celebration with family and friends. We also have a fun, long weekend planned with a visit from Morgan's older brother, Ben and his family. Can't wait!

Faith looking like a big girl.

Gracie.

Grace helps Faith put on her hat.

Grace looks like she may be up to something.

Faith having fun.

Grace too!

Thirsty after all that playing.

30 August 2007

A new adventure

Many months ago, even before the girls came home, a new business opportunity presented itself. Although it sounded very interesting at the time, we sort of put it on the back burner just because we didn't know what our life was going to be like with two babies. A few months after the girls came home, the opportunity resurfaced. This time, because of some circumstances that had changed surrounding the business, it became more difficult to put aside. After careful consideration and much prayer, we decided to purchase the business. We are the new owners of the Tutoring Club! The Tutoring Club is an international franchise. Our goal is to bring each student up to their desired academic level as quickly as possible. We use the most advanced curriculum in tutoring combined with a positive learning environment where kids actually have fun! We also have a team of passionate tutors, structured lesson plans and a reward system that encourages students to keep trying and learning.

Although the TC is only open for a few hours in the afternoon (four days a week), we realized that it would take precious time away from our family life. For that very reason, we felt a partnership was necessary so we enlisted the help of our long-time and dear friends, Robert & Emily. We also felt that their background in marketing and public relations would be a perfect fit. Since all four of us already have full-time jobs, our goal at the moment is to get our office manager trained as soon as possible. One of the ways I help is by taking care of the inventory and supplies. I can do that pretty easily with the girls in tow during the morning hours, even before the club opens. The girls enjoy going shopping with me and running around the club afterwards. For Morgan, although his responsibilities have increased some, his long-time investment management business and his commitment to his clients remain his top priority. With the TC, we look forward to becoming a more active part of our community as well as helping young people reach their academic and personal best. I'm sure Faith & Grace will be spending lots of time there in the years to come!

On a deeper note...

I have to admit, there have been some days where I wonder, "Why now, Lord? We were just getting comfortable and settled into our new family, home and routine. I just recently re-read what I wrote last year in a post titled, "A new season." This post was written back when we made the difficult and somewhat reluctant choice to move here, ahead of "our time schedule." Looking back, there is no doubt that God knew exactly what He was doing in preparing us for our double blessing (the girls), even before we knew anything about it.

In that post, I wrote that change is the hardest thing we go through sometimes but so often, it is an invitation to experience God's blessing. Well, we know that this new business opportunity has been a God thing. Just like our move last year, we weren't sure about the timing of it all and yes, we are, or should I say, we were, somewhat reluctant to get out of our comfort zone. But like so many times before, we continue to learn to rely on God and pray daily for His guidance, wisdom, plan and purpose for our lives. We know that He is using this to teach us to trust Him for what lies ahead. I think we'll probably spend our whole lives learning to trust Him, right from the start. We can be pretty hard-headed at times. With that said, we will actively wait with anticipation for the why and what is to come from you, Lord.

27 August 2007

Family Pizza Night

Enjoying our evening.

Daddy is the funniest person Grace knows.

Mom and Faith smile for the camera.

We were supposed to have our quarterly pizza night with our Twins Club tonight but since it got cancelled this afternoon, we decided to go ahead and have our own family pizza night. Enjoy the pictures from our fun evening. Goodnight, all!

22 August 2007

17 months old

Waiting to go shopping with mommy.

They were giggling hysterically because they put moss
in each other's hair.

The twins are practically toddlers already! At this age, they move fast and get into EVERYTHING! Case in point, the second picture.
This was taken yesterday afternoon. I can usually hear what the girls are up to, even if I can't see them for a minute. When I don't hear anything, that's when I start to worry. It was silent for a minute, followed by hysterical laughter. When I went to go see what was so funny, this is what I found. I didn't know whether to laugh or scream! First I took the picture, laughed, then screamed... then vacuumed. :)

21 August 2007

Dear Foster Family

Yes, we received the lovely comment you left on our blog (see Curtain Call). I was very excited to see a comment left in Korean and although my ability to read Korean is slow and somewhat limited, Morgan and I anxiously hoped that the comment left was by you, our girls' beloved foster family. I immediately called my mom to help me translate. We were all overjoyed with tears when we found out that it was indeed you! For all these months now, we weren't sure if you were able to follow the blog. Most importantly, we wished so much for you to be able to see the pictures of the twins on a regular basis. I hope you have received all of the pictures that we have sent to you through the agency. I will continue to send pictures from time to time so that you have something tangible as well.

We think about you often with love and gratitude. We know how heart-wrenching it must have been for you to say goodbye to Do Eun and Do Hee after caring for them for so many months. Your family must miss them tremendously. It is our hope though, that these pictures have brought you joy and comfort. As you can tell, the girls are growing up fast. They have remained healthy, they eat well and sleep 12 hours a night with two naps during the day. They are walking and talking. They love to play, listen to music, dance, read books, and swim in the pool. Both girls are sweet, smart, charming and affectionate. They have brought so much joy to our whole family. We thank God everyday for them and the privilege of being their parents. We will never forget you and the love you poured on our girls. We hope that if you ever come to California, we can meet again. We also hope to bring our girls back to Korea one day when they are older. We thank you, we love you and we pray that God would continue to bless you and your family always.

Catherine, Morgan, Faith & Grace

20 August 2007

TGIS!

Quick family photo before we leave for church.

Grace says, "Weeeeeee!"

"Yay, daddy!" (Faith)

All tuckered out and dizzy.

We look forward to our Sundays not only because it's the Lord's day but also because it's our day to relax and re-charge as a family.
The girls receive undivided attention from the both of us and other than the occasional afternoon golf outing for Morgan, it's really a day that we've designated for family. We had a busy week and Sunday was exactly what we needed.

18 August 2007

In bloom



The summer flowers in our backyard and garden are blooming beautifully. It's amazing how much they've grown since we planted them just a few short months ago. Much in the same, our girls are growing and blossoming everyday.

Just this past week, they showed some signs of a little separation anxiety. The first time was when Aunt Mary came over to babysit for a few hours and the second time was when Aunt Jennifer and cousins, Kyle and Mitchell came to visit. Both times, daddy had already left to go to a business meeting so maybe that had something to do with it? Usually, the girls enjoy guests and have never cried when someone comes over. They will eventually need to learn the skills to cope on their own when mommy and daddy are away for a little while. It's up to us to teach them that everything will be OK and most importantly, that we will be back. I guess it's all a part of growing up. Other than that, the girls are doing great! We are feeling blessed and grateful that they've remained healthy. In fact, that we've all remained healthy! Other than a springtime cold shortly after they arrived home, our girls have not been sick at all. We think this is due to their healthy appetites, long sleep patterns, good initial care from their foster parents, the grace of God, and of course, the fact that they aren't in school yet. They are blossoming like little flower buds and it's such a joy to watch them grow.

On another note, I took the girls to Costco with me for the first time without Morgan. As I mentioned in the past, I can do that because Costco has those double-seated shopping carts, which the girls just love. They were quite the little entertainers while we were there. Not only did they have many admirers come over to talk to us, but I would catch them smiling, waving and saying hello to people. When I looked to see who they were waving at, it would inevitably be someone who was waving at them from afar. They were talking up a storm, smiling, pointing at things and being friendly little butterflies. Despite it being 110 outside, at least our trip was fun!
Happy Saturday!

16 August 2007

Curtain call




The girls just can't resist playing with mommy's new drapes in the dining room hallway. And who could blame them? It's the perfect place to hide and play peek-a-boo. :)

13 August 2007

Summertime

Morgan, Gregory, Emily, Bridget and Rich.
Grace, Faith and Catherine (on the float).

Faith & Grace hangin' out in the spa ( it wasn't heated).

Grace getting ready to take the plunge to see daddy.

Uncle Rich and Auntie Emily came to visit us this weekend. They wanted to squeeze in a little R&R before their wedding in less than three weeks. They also brought along Emily's brother, Gregory and two sisters, Bridget and Catherine. We all had fun swimming in the pool and playing with the girls. Hope everyone had a great weekend!

09 August 2007

Bosom buddies

We often find the girls crammed into their toy box when we walk into their room. They love to sit in there together. Sometimes they even have a hard time climbing out because of the tight fit. Both Faith and Grace are extremely mobile these days and are quite busy getting in to just about everything. It definitely keeps me on my toes! They have also started to mimic everything we do. The girls are growing so fast and learning something new everyday. Fun times!

Two peas in a pod (or basket).

They throw all their toys out and climb inside.

Dancing to a Korean song that grandma taught them over the weekend.

Yay!

Beautiful Grace.

Gorgeous Faith.

Exploring under the kitchen table.

Faith stops to smile for the camera.

06 August 2007

Young at Heart

The 75th annual Pageant of the Masters.

Sunset dinner at the Hotel Laguna before the show.

Lunch at the Vue Restaurant.

Morgan enjoying his smoothie by the pool.

Afternoon pool time.

View from our resort.

Wedding crashing from our balcony.

The theme of this year's Pageant of the Masters was Young at Heart. This meant that many of the famous art pieces included children.
We felt like kids ourselves on this short but sweet little getaway.
It's official... we do miss the beach! It was a wonderful time of relaxing, lounging by the pool, catching up on some reading, eating good food and just being together as a couple. We enjoyed the Pageant but more importantly, we enjoyed our time together. The girls were in great hands and we know they had fun. Grandma and grandpa are probably exhausted! We missed our girls and couldn't wait to see them when we got home! All in all, I think all four of us did great for our first time being apart. Thanks, mom and dad for taking such good care of the girls while we were gone. We really appreciate it!

05 August 2007

Beachside getaway

Morgan & I are headed to Laguna Beach for some relaxation, couple time, cooler temps and our annual trip to the Pageant of the Masters. This is our 5th year going to the Pageant but our first time actually staying overnight in a hotel.
In the past, we were only about an hour or so away from Laguna so we made the drive home after the show. Since we're about 2 hours away now, we thought we'd take this opportunity to enjoy an overnight trip, for two! This will be the first time since the twins came home (5 months ago), that the two of us have stayed anywhere overnight without them. We're so fortunate that my parents have come to take care of the girls.
They wanted to make sure that the girls were comfortable in their own environment, plus make things easier on us. It's so nice that we didn't have to pack all of their stuff, too! The girls will have a ball with grandma & grandpa!

We told ourselves before having children that we wouldn't let our couple time dwindle away or get lost over the years. Of course, the children always come first but our marriage is extremely important to us too and that requires time and conscience effort. Yup, we are very much looking forward to our little getaway! Believe it or not, one of the things I miss most about my hubby is holding his hand. Both of our hands are full these days but with the kids now walking, we're incredibly blessed to have little hands to hold too. :)
See you when we return!

03 August 2007

We love Grandma!

Grandma and the girls.

Grace getting tickled by Grandma.

Grandma G stopped by for a visit yesterday to have lunch with the girls and show us her new do. We really like the new hair! It looks great on her! We have all been praying for her since she was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma last month. She has gone through two rounds of chemo so far and although the first treatment left her feeling sick and in need of a blood transfusion, we're all hoping that these next treatments will be easier on her. As usual,
she is in great spirits. She has always been a role model for me and a shining example of faithfulness and grace. She understands that trials and suffering are all a part of life and they help us become more like Christ himself. I'm reminded that it's not hard to be faithful in good times, when everything is going our way. I pray that I too, would be just as faithful and strong when seasons of life change.
She told me last week that this has brought her closer to God in her prayer life and that she has a peace that transcends all understanding. Of course this may not make sense to some but those who know her, know that she has already won the battle.
We praise and thank God in advance for His healing and goodness.
We love you, Mom/Grandma!

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7

02 August 2007

Busy little bees... Part II


This afternoon. :)

Busy little bees




Faith feeding herself.

Gracie laughing with the spoon in her mouth.

We have another cabinet in the dining room that we haven't yet baby-proofed, on purpose. The girls know that this cabinet (containing the excess storage of plastic water bottles and gatorade), as well as the tupperware cabinet in the kitchen are free game. They like to walk around with the plastic bottles and actually work up quite a little sweat carrying them from place to place. We've also started to allow them to try feeding themselves with a spoon. Since I'm a self-proclaimed neat freak, and I do mean "freak," we only do this with certain not-so-messy foods like mashed potatoes. They think it's fun! Here's daddy helping them with dinner last night.

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