Most of the photos here at Rabbit Run Cottage
can be enlarged just by clicking on each one!
There you go...see? Easy!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Fall Means...

Fall always means back to school and this year is no exception! Wow. Middle School!
How did that happen? She was nervous and excited and Mom and Dad were proud yet wondering what happened to that little girl who loved to throw tea parties! *sigh* Middle School...
But she was ready!

Early Fall also means school football too! Another year of cheer leading adventures!
And always, the Proud As All Get Out Cheerleader daddy/Carrying The Camera Bag For The Wife   handsome husband is never far away!

Hoping your Fall is off to a sweet start! Sending each of you lots of love!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Kipper is Fifi-fied!

Not too long ago, the talented Donna painted this wonderful portrait of our Kipper.
We are so pleased with it and Kip is so proud of it! In fact, we were so pleased that, when offered the chance, we had another painted done! This time it's a watercolor created by the talented Fifi!

Yes, Kipper thinks that having your portrait painted is even better than
eating Ritter's 'scream. Well, almost.

Thank you to Donna & to Fifi. You have each given us a treasure!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


"They reach out empty arms. Children from another land move into them,
and people who waited months or even years for these moments think,
"Gotcha!" That memory inspires many of these parents to informally celebrate
"Gotcha Day" — the anniversary of their child's arrival, celebrated
much like a second birthday."
~Sandra Pesmen, "'Gotcha' for good,"
Chicago Sun-Times, August 29, 2005

This photo was taken of our Grace less than an hour after she was placed in our care...

I wrote this in 2008~

September 2004...Bill and I were in China and it was there, in Chongqing, that we became the parents of a little girl...a shy, frightened, sad little girl. A stoic child, constantly on the verge of tears, who spoke no English and had never seen a television, an escalator, a McDonald's or a Caucasian. She had arrived in Chongqing, from her rural orphanage, after a 5 hour bus ride. She was exhausted, hungry and scared to death.

We signed the papers in a hot, stuffy, crowded office, the papers that would legally make her our child. While we took care of these very important matters, this small soul sat in a, much too large for her small frame, chair, her body shaking almost uncontrollably. She would not allow us to hug her, hold her hand or touch her in anyway, accepting no comfort, no affection. Yes, we had chosen this 6 year old angel to be a part of our lives but she had not agreed to this arrangement. It was out of her hands. Her life was taking a dramatic turn and she had no say about it at all.

September 2008...she races back up to her room, the shrine to all things pink and fluffy and Hannah Montana, to grab her jacket. The pink one of course. She stops to hug our cat Henry, then runs back down the steps, breathless with anticipation. "Mom? What time is Kelly coming?" I assure her that Kelly will be here by 6 PM for the long awaited sleep over. Ah, a teacher's in service day is always a cause for delight! No school tomorrow means a long night of giggling and movies and Jonas Brother songs.

As we sat on the stairs this morning, I rubbed her back and listened to the non stop chatter about gym class, which boy was the silliest, Halloween costumes and
ice cream. "There's my bus Mom!" and she flew out the door and bounded down the porch
steps. She stopped, turned and grinned. "I forgot!", she shouted and ran back up to give me a big squeeze. "See ya latah baked potatah!" and she was off again. "I love you...see you after school..."

Her transformation from frightened little girl into a fun loving pre-teen has
been a joy to watch, to experience. But it is she who transformed us.
We are now a family of four. We are complete.

This photo was taken this past Spring, in Destin, Florida

My heart never truly rested until the day she came into our lives.
With her arrival we became whole.
6 years ago today was our "Gotcha Day". The day we could finally say
 she was ours and we were hers.
Gotcha! Now & Forever...

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Friends Drop By...

...and good times ensue!

My good blog friend, the always delightful and beautiful,  Kari was back
 in the area (You can read about her last visit here) so we decided
to spend some time in charming Lebanon, Ohio.
We met the sweet, and oh so pretty, Joan and her very lovely sister June
 and had a great time!
Kari & Joan on the balcony of The Golden Lamb.

Joan's pretty sister June, Joan, Kari and I had lunch at The Golden Lamb and talked, laughed
and talked some more. It was such a lovely afternoon! If you ever have a chance
to spend time with blog friends, do not think about it! DO it! I am so blessed to
have met a few and count them all as dear friends.

I hope your September has been sweet so far! Love to you all...

Monday, September 06, 2010

All Good Things...

...come to an end. And so it is with Summer too. Happy Labor Day to each one of you. I hope your Summer was sweet. Now let's take a deep breath an jump into Autumn with both feet!

It's time to put away the flip flops, bathing suits and beach towels.
But I hope you and those you love created many lovely memories of Summer 2010.

Friday, September 03, 2010

St. Louis: Days 3 & 4 *Finally!*

I know. I KNOW! But not only did life get crazy but Blogger decided it did not like me. I tried everything to make up with it yet Blogger still refused to speak to me. Let's hope it is over it's little hissy snit. *smile*
Shall we continue?

On Day 3 we headed back to Lafayette Square to have lunch at The Lafayette Fire Company No. 1. Owned and operated by St.Louis fire fighters, it is such fun! The food is delicious as well. Grace decreed her club sandwich as "The very best EVER!"

As the daughter of a career fire fighter, this warm and friendly place just made me happy!
Aren't the lamps the perfect accessory? Made from old fire helmets!
Then it downtown and a visit to The Arch.
A bit cloudy but the visibility was still good...
The quintessential "Look Mom! I'm holdin' up The Arch" shot!
Up, up and away...

Grace loved being up in the clouds...
Mr Baseball, and a truly fine gentleman, Stan Musial's statue just outside the stadium.
That evening we headed to the beautiful and historic town of St. Charles.

Dinner at Lewis and Clark's...
And, as  reported 3 posts ago, we shared a wonderful evening with dear blog friends...
Pat and her handsome husband J...
...Terri and her good looking husband Bob.

All the girls: Terri, Grace, me and Pat! What a joy to finally meet them in person!
Back at our hotel, we sat on the sports deck and watched the end of the game...

A sell out crowd!

The next morning found us back in the Central West End. It was always a
 favorite haunt for us while living in the area.
Brunch at Crepes Etc. was quite the treat!

Just next door is Bissinger's Chocolate Bar. Oh. The smells. The tastes. Heavenly!
Around the corner is The Cupcakery!
Such a cute place! I had two good looking, friendly young men to wait on me!
How can I possibly choose?
Uh huh. Chocolate. Perfection.
That afternoon we visited the Butterfly House on Pat's recommendation. It was such fun!

It is a pleasure to be inside with these beautiful creatures! They are everywhere and float across your cheek, land on your head, your shoulders and just seem to have fun playing with their guests!

I caught Grace with one on her finger. It just flew down and landed there...she was mesmerized!
Our afternoon could not be complete without a stop at the St. Louis landmark,
Ted Drewe's Frozen Custard. If you are in the area, you MUST stop by! Yummy!
It is always busy!

That evening we attended the retirement party for our friend Dave. I posted about
his ceremony 2 posts of the finest men we have ever known, Bill's former boss and a dear friend.
Bill & Dave...
We were so blessed to have known so many wonderful people while being stationed
at Scott AFB. Bill worked with some of the best people in the world.
Grace with Dave's wife Cheryl...she is beautiful and so special.

That night we headed home, got in about 2am, tired but having had such a good time and made lots of sweet memories. Being with good friends is always special.
We all love the St. Louis area. If you have never been, do plan a trip soon! It is one super city!

Whew! Again I apologize for taking so long to finish posting about our getaway.
I have lots more to share with you...Bill and I just celebrated our 32nd anniversary with Garrison Keillor and the Prairie Home Companion gang, Grace's  cheerleading season has begun, middle school started for Grace, college classes for Daniel began and even Bill who is working on his 3rd Master's Degree.

And last week I was able to visit with 2 dear blog friends, Kari and Joan! More on this in a day or two! I promise!

Wishing you all a sweet Labor Day weekend. Do something that makes your heart sing and your pretty face smile.
Love to you all.