Thursday, December 31, 2009
Merrilee has played non-stop with all of her toys from Santa and friends.
She has really gotten used to her guitar. She straps it on, strums, and dances away. Looking forward to a time when toys don't make noise.
Oh well, at least her preference is guitar!
Sunday, December 27, 2009
She wore it to Doug and Kadie's for dinner on Christmas day. Merrilee loves this outfit. She calls it her "fancy Christmas dress."
Friday, December 25, 2009
Mommy also sent a picture of her roommate. Her name is Beth too! Merrilee is always happy to get pictures from her mommy...
Technology is a wonderful thing. It's amazing how quickly images and messages go from one side of the world to the other.
To everyone far away from home this Christmas, Merrilee says "be safe!"
As Merrilee said, she looked "fancy." She wore her special Christmas dress and shirt that were a gift from Aunt Judy and Uncle Jim. She event wore her special bow, though she didn't keep that in very long. (We'll have more pictures of the dress soon. We left our camera at Doug and Kadie's and won't get it back until Sunday...)
Merrille was showered with gifts. She loved them all. Her bracelet, teddy bear, games, jackets, and her Disney Princess FJ Cruiser electric car. That thing is so big it took up the entire back of the 4Runner on the way home. There were lots of other gitfs...dolls and games and more. And she loves them all!
Merrilee especially enojoyed seeing Jordan, and going up to his old room to see his Christmas garden and play his drums!
When we got home, she also had to play her "electric" guitar. She has a style that is a mix of James Burton and Jimi Hendrix...
Can't wait til Merrilee gets to entertain all the people who gave her these gifts. And Merrilee can't wait until mommy gets to see, and HEAR, all her new toys. Merry Christmas everyone!
At 6:10 a.m. Merrilee started calling, "Daddy, I want to get up. I want to get up." She toddled out to the baby gate at the top of the stairs, looked down and said "Presents! Presents! Santa was here!"
She could barely contain herself as she ran down the steps and over to her gifts. Santa brought her a lot of nice toys.
A special thanks to Merrilee's Aunt Brittany (she loved her Disney hoppy) and to Uncle Bart (she has taken her little stuffed animal everywhere, and we've already watched her DVD about five times!)
Here's a sample of some of the gift opening from Christmas morning.
Friday, December 18, 2009
A big thank you to Merrilee's niece Heather. We trekked over to get her early Saturday morning, and she is staying with us til Tuesday to help take care of Merrilee while dad is working early (going in at 4:30 a.m.)
It took a couple of hours to shovel out on Sunday, and a huge thank you goes out to Mr. Bob down the street. He came by with his snowblower and cleared out the foot of the driveway. (After we got out and shoveled, the plow came through and pushed up a huge snow wall on our cul de sac.
Merrille loved the snow. She loved looking at it and feeling it on her hand. She did not like it so much though when it ended up being almost as high as she is tall.
Meanwhile, Merrilee got her latest school pictures on Friday. Does anyone have a favorite?
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
They insisted she open it tonight, and she did.
It was a Disney princess musical instrument set, complete with trumpet, cymbals, castanets, maracas, and oh yes, the drum.
Lots and lots of noisemakers. Needless to say, Merrilee loved them. So much so, in fact, that she had to sleep with the trumpet in her bed tonight.
By the way, be listening for Ms. Anne, Mr, John, and Mr. Robert on the radio. You'll be hearing them all soon on the new OVERNIGHT shift.
Merrilee says if her instruments are keeping daddy awake, the people who gave them to her might as well be awake too!
Monday, December 14, 2009
Lo and behold, it was the jolly old man in red himself! Santa was riding on a fire truck!
He went down the street and stopped right in front of our house.
Merrilee waved and blew him a kiss. She said, "I've been good" and "Bring me some presents..."
Santa's elves gave Merrilee a candy cane. She's trying to be a very good girl.
We hung her stocking tonight, and ones for the dogs, Bogart and Bacall. Will they be filled with treats on Christmas morning?
Saturday, December 12, 2009
Merrilee was fascinated by the dreidel, and she loved the lighting of the candles on the menorah.
She also liked playing with Jonathan and his friends...especially the drums and the piano.
A few quick glimpses from our visit...
Friday, December 11, 2009
Merrilee is blessed with some great teachers and classmates.
Every morning when she gets to school, Merrilee runs in to see Miss Charlotte. Later, her teachers are Miss Richie, Miss Jessica, and Miss Debbie.
We are keeping Miss Debbie in our thoughts and prayers. Her husband is a marine, and he will soon be going to that other big sandbox where more of our troops are headed. Will hope he will be safe.
Today, the school email us some pictures of Merrilee. We thought we'd share them with you!
Sunday, December 6, 2009
Merrilee was fascinated by the snow, as always. She remembers it from this year. She stood at the picture window a lot yesterday, and just watched it come down.
Thursday, December 3, 2009
It says how much she ate, when she napped, when she used the potty, what they did for language and cognitive skills, creative arts, music, and much more.
At the very bottom, there is a block for a special message.
Today, Merrilee's said
"Today Merrilee told Ms. Debbie 'I miss my daddy. He's at work. I miss my mommy. She's at important work.'"
What an interesting and observant comment from a two-year-old.
Saturday, November 28, 2009
Merrilee told me she loved all the lights and trains, but she was a little scared of "Santa Closet." That's what she's been calling him lately.
When Doug stopped by to pick up Jordan, Leah snapped these photos. Leah really is an excellent and talented photographer!!!
Friday, November 27, 2009
Today, for instance, she was the picture of happiness.
It was all about sitting in the laundry basket, with her blue blanket, wearing her Crocs, and eating Cheez-its.
Merrilee says..."This is the life!"
Thursday, November 26, 2009
Merrilee loves her cousins Doug and Kadie. They are among Merrilee's favorite babysitters. We think she likes Doug so much because he is so willing to act HER age and play with her...
And cousin Kadie helped put Merrilee's hair in a pretty pony tail for dinner...
And this year, the holiday novelty at Hallmark is this flashing house that plays holiday tunes. You can buy as many as you want and connect them together, and they all flash their lights to the music. Merrilee decided they look good on the TV stand in front of the DVD player...
Merrilee is already anxiously awaiting the visit from the chubby bearded man in the red suit!
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
With the holidays coming up, it takes a little while for mail to reach mommy.
But, if you want to send a card, the address is:
Lt Col Beth Miller
Unit 2034, Box 34,
APO AE 09870
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
And daddy bought Merrilee a huge pyramid of crayons.
So now, Merrilee is spending a lot of time coloring at night.
One thing we noticed...she colors with her right hand. Merrilee does some things left-handed, and some things right-handed. It looks like she goes with the right for coloring...
Sunday, November 15, 2009
Merrilee got to see her and talk to her today on Skype. All things considered, Merrilee says mommy looked pretty good. Mommy doesn't have the internet in her room, but there are some common areas where she can get on line to check email, Facebook, and Skype.
The funny thing was, today, the background was a Subway. Beth says they even have $5 foot longs there.
If you would like to send a card, her address is:
Lt Col Beth Miller, MNF-I, Unit 2034, Box 34, APO AE 09870
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Merrilee has always loved the airport. She loves all the activity and she loves airplanes. But tonight, she was focused on mommy and telling her "I love you" and "Goodbye mom..."
There were hundreds of people near the international terminal, outside the Air Mobility Command gate. They were there on this Veterans' Day evening to greet servicemen and women who were returning from overseas deployments. One of the greeters was Gary Smith. Gary went to high school with Merrilee's dad, and he attends Merrilee's church.
Just before we parted, one lady from Operation Welcome Home went up to Merrilee's mommy. She said, "We are proud of you and your service. Please be safe."
That is our prayer -- that all of these people separated from their families, off in distant lands, stay safe and return home safely very soon. And that includes our friend, Billy, who has been away in Afghanistan. We hope he gets to see his precious daughter, Kassidy, very soon.
Saturday, October 31, 2009
Friday, October 30, 2009
I admit, the pants were a little too big in the waist. And since there wasn't a safety pin to be found, we made do with some velcro straps through the belt loops in the back. It worked!
And here's a little video message to mommy...
One last thing...on the way to work today, daddy stopped and got a cup of coffee. While he was checking out, the man behind him was wearing a uniform too. He was a sergeant in the U.S. Army. Daddy bought the sergeant's coffee. If you see someone in uniform the next few days, buy them a coffee. It's the least we can do.
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
We are trying to keep her occupied and thanks to a few friends, Merrilee has some new entertainment.
First, our good friend Edie Brown is handling PR for the Disney on Ice show. Edie gave this flashing tiara to Merrilee and she just loves wearing it around the house.
Next, Miss Kristy, who works with daddy, gave Merrilee this musical card. Merrilee loves musical cards. This one has that hamster music. Merrilee wanted to dance, but she couldn't really get those hips going until she took off the tiara.
Thank you, Merrilee, for the gift of joy you bring to us!
We are so lucky, and so blessed!
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Mommy leaves in the morning for two weeks of training. She comes home late on November 5th, and then heads to the big sandbox on November 11th.
We are already missing her.
One thing Merrilee does every night is say her prayers. She prays for her mommy and daddy, her dogs (Bogart and Bacall) and for herself.
This is the way Merrilee ends her day...
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
At every Ravens game, the pre-game festivities include the Baltimore Marching Ravens and a military color guard performing this routine to Lee Greenwood's "God Bless the U.S.A."
It's not the hippest song in the world, but 71,000 people rise to their feet for it every week. And then, this is the way the Ravens handle the team introductions.
By the way, October 11, 2009 was breast cancer awareness day, and thus the Ravens cheerleaders had pink pom poms.
Thank you, Steve Bisciotti for being a professional sports team owner that we all admire!
Saturday, October 10, 2009
Merrilee enjoyed it so much! The fireman were very nice.
She started off with a big hug for Sparky, the department mascot. Then, she got to sit inside a BIG fire truck, and she got a fire ducky for the bath tub and a bright yellow fire hat.
She saw lots of demonstrations about fire safety, the tools the firefighters use, and how they rescue people from burning houses and vans in crashes.
And after the open house Merrilee took daddy to McDonald's, where they share an M and M McFlurry!
Sunday, October 4, 2009
While they were here, mommy took them to the Naval Academy and it just so happens it was the day before the big Navy-Air Force game. They caught up with the Air Force band practicing, and they even discovered that the Navy mascot, "Bill the goat" had been painted Air Force blue.
We also enjoyed time with Merrilee blowing bubbles, and sitting outside on the patio just visiting.
Uncle Jim gave Merrilee some T-ball lessons too!
Friday, October 2, 2009
Rev. Mark Waddell, the pastor of Catonsville Unitd Methodist Church, offered the invocation.
Lt. Col. Will Manley, the Deputy Commandant of DINFOS, introduced the guest speaker.
Col. King Gillespie has been a mentor to mommy for most of her military career. He was the guest speaker, and he also administered the oath of office.
Mommy's uncle and aunt, Jim and Judy Brady, flew in from Arkansas and helped "pin on" her new rank.
After taking the oath and pinning on her new rank, mommy said a few words, and had some special gifts for those who took part in the ceremony. The sweetest moment was when she presented Merrilee with her first "big girl" wrist corsage.
Lt. Col. Beth Miller. We are all so proud of you!
Thank you Jason!
Monday, September 28, 2009
By the way, Merrilee is learning to speak Spanish. No kidding. She can already count to ten in English, Chinese, and yes, now Spanish...
Sunday, September 27, 2009
We have some major news coming soon -- let's just say Merrilee will have a little adjusting to do!
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Everyone who applies has to have a social worker do a home study report. In our case, because our wait grew so long, we had to have that home study updated a couple of times.
Even when you get your child, the paperwork continues.
You have to have your social worker come back six months after you get your child and do a post placement report. And, then again at twelve months, your social worker comes back for one final post placement report.
In our case, we were blessed to have a wonderful social worker. Anne Pearce was referred to us by another family who adopted from China. She works for the United Methodist Board of Child Care in Baltimore. Over the past few years she has become a friend working "behind the scenes."
She offered so much support while we were going through the adoption process.
She paid what we think will be her last scheduled visit to us last week, in preparation for the twelve month post placement report.
Anne, we couldn't have done it without you! We will forever be grateful. We hope you will continue to follow the blog and visit from time to time.