Monday, December 31, 2007

Just in time for the New Year . . .

. . . a new look for the blog!

Isn't it great? I totally love it. Aren't I so creative and great with computers and blogging and such??

Ha ha! Ok, I'd love to take credit for the blog makeover but I just can't do it. I've tried in the past to spruce up my own blog (changing the colours was as far as I got) and the result has been . . . BORING!

Soooo, this beautiful creation has been designed by . . . (drum roll please) . . . . my friend K at Two Kayaks. She has done quite a few blog makeovers and since I've met her, her own blog has taken on a few new looks - all of which are stunning. I love the new colours (which just happen to match our livingroom and diningroom paint colours - red and beige) and the three flags (Canada, Ethiopia and China) at the side are such a cool touch.

So I just have one thing to say to you K - thank you, thank you, thank you! You have some serious bloggin' talent!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

December 22, 2007

We decided to have our own little family Christmas on Saturday since that was a day we were all home together and didn't have anything else planned. With December being such a busy month for us (Christmas and two birthdays), it was nice to be home with just the five of us. Here are the kids before we opened presents. Can you tell which child has the hardest time sitting still for a picture??

A few presents being opened:

Victoria and Samara with their very own babies from Ethiopia:

There's nothing quite like new cozy pj's:

Thursday, December 20, 2007

My Stubborn Girl

Ever since we came home from China with Samara, she's been a morning napper. We tried to switch her to afternoon naps and it worked for a while but now every time she sleeps in the afternoon, she won't go to bed until about 9:00 or 10:00 at night. Bedtime for kids around here is 7:00 so afternoon naps are out. Anyway, over time the morning naps have been getting shorter and shorter and now she sleeps for 45 minutes to an hour max (unless she goes to Aunt Michelle's for the day and sleeps for 2 hours!!) The latest is to give me a really hard time even getting to sleep for that morning nap. Today I just didn't have it in me to fight with her on it so I just let her win. We came downstairs and she played for a while. Then about 10 minutes before we had to leave the house to go get Austin from JK, she came and sat on my lap at the computer and fell asleep! I actually changed her diaper, put her coat on and got her in her car seat while she stayed sleeping.

I'm sure she would've been a lot more comfortable in her bed. What age is it when they finally realize mom knows best???

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

December 18, 2007

Happy Birthday to our beautiful six year old!

We love you lots Victoria.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

I just love the look of freshly fallen snow on the ground and especially on the trees and bushes. Well, we sure had our share of freshly fallen snow yesterday. It was such a nice stay at home and watch the snow fall kinda day. The kids had a great time outside playing in all the white stuff. In the morning, Victoria and Austin got all bundled up in their outdoor gear and out they went with Daddy. It just so happened that it was right at the time that Samara usually goes down for her nap. As soon as the door closed and Victoria, Austin and Daddy were outside, the tears just started falling. Samara was so upset that she was left out of the fun in the snow. She cried . . . and cried . . . and cried. So finally Mommy gave in and bundled her all up and out she went. It was her first real experience with a major snowfall and I think it kind of stunned her. She just kind of stood there and stared at it all not sure what to make of it. But today she was already more used to it and was trying to pick up and throw it (imitating her big brother of course!) Here are some of the pictures from yesterday.

There's nothing better than a mug of hot chocolate after coming in from the cold.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

December 16, 2007

Happy Birthday to our handsome 4 year old!

We love you lots Austin.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

My Friend Marisa

After almost a year long battle with cancer, the Lord took home my dear friend Marisa. I love her so much and I miss her already.

Please pray for her husband Mendelt, three young children Zion (5), Jacoba (3) and Zekijah (1) as well as all her other family and friends.

Here's what Mendelt wrote on their blog:

"Late this morning, December 6, Marisa took her last earthly breaths in my arms.

She went to a mansion. With many rooms. Probably pianos.

Don’t be sad for Marisa. She doesn’t have cancer anymore.

Shine on Marisa, shine on."

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Christmas Tree 2007

After dinner on Friday evening, the men (Mike and Austin) went out to get our Christmas tree. We always get the tree the first weekend in December so with plans to decorate on Saturday, we thought we better get it Friday. It was a little strange since Friday was still November but we did it anyway. The kids could hardly wait one more sleep to decorate it. Here's the finished product:

Here are a few of our favourite ornaments:

Mike's favourite. Of course it's a young Elvis - he even sings "Blue Hawaii" when you push a button.

Victoria's favourite. She was only one week old when she had her first Christmas and this ornament holds a picture of her at that time.

Austin's favourite. Every year the kids get ornaments from Grandma and Grandpa Carmody. Grandma always writes their name and the year on it. This gingerbread man was given to Austin in 2003 when he was only nine days old.

My favourite. This is an envelope ornament I got from my mom and dad some years back.

Oh, did I forget someone? :) I really didn't want to ask Samara which one was her favourite. We've been trying for two days to keep her hands off the tree. She's so attracted to all the lights and interesting things hanging on the tree . . . she just can't resist touching it. I'll just assume her favourite are the Chinese Cloisonne ornaments we got in China. Here are a few. (the pics didn't turn out very good but you get the idea).

So, I guess we're all ready now. I'm pretty much done my shopping. Just have to pick up a few more things and then we're all set. Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

First big snow fall

When we went to bed last night, there wasn't even one flake but we woke up to a winter wonderland. The kids were so excited and now it even seems like Christmas is coming. Here are Victoria, Austin and Samara checking it out this morning when they woke up.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Fingerprints . . . deja vu!

You know that "I've been here before" feeling? Yesterday we went to the local police department to get the ball rolling on our police checks and fingerprints. It doesn't seem like it was that long ago we were there the first time around. Honestly, with three kids, I haven't had time to commit a crime in the past few years. :)

Anyway, it's just one more thing done and out of the way. Austin even got a little card with his fingerprint on it. He was tickled pink.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Carmody News!

Here's a letter we sent out to some of our family and friends earlier this week. Wanted to share it with the blogging world too!

Dear family and friends,

We just wanted to let you all know that we have begun our homestudy update. For those of you who don’t know, a homestudy is a detailed written report of our family compiled and prepared by a social worker. It was one of the first steps in our adoption process to Samara. So why are we updating it? Well, we have decided to begin the adoption process again to add another child to our family – this time from Ethiopia.

God is awesome. How he works in our lives is amazing and new everyday. We as parents are so blessed to have Victoria, Austin and Samara in our lives. We have learned from them, laughed with them, lost hair over them (ok just Mike) and cannot imagine how we lived without any of them. We are a family and God had intended so very long ago for the five of us to be together. The idea of being 'called' by God has always been difficult to understand . . . what does it mean to be called, how do you know it is from God, etc., etc. Although there is no "Finding God's Calling on your Life for Dummies" book, there are times when you just know. You know that, for whatever reason, God leads us in ways and our job is to listen. We did that when we started the adoption journey to bring Samara home and, well, we would have an empty spot in our hearts and home if we didn't listen to Him then – that is for sure!

One of the questions I’m sure we’ll be asked a lot is “why Ethiopia?” That’s a hard question to answer. When we started our first adoption process, we thought that would be our last child. But somewhere along the line we started researching Ethiopia – the county and their adoption process and we feel very lead to adopt from this country. I guess we could say the reason is that the need is great in Ethiopia and their process of adoption is fairly stable and predictable. And those are two true facts; however, a more accurate response would be that God has placed Ethiopia on our hearts and that’s where we know our child is.

We ask that you will please pray for us as we begin this journey for a second time. We’re told that the process from Ethiopia will take about 9 – 18 months but we know from experience that this is just an estimate and things can change almost overnight. When our file went to China over two years ago, we were told it would be six months and it actually took 15 months. Please pray that everything goes smoothly and that God will prepare our hearts and our home for another little addition.

Thank you.

Mike, Karen, Victoria, Austin and Samara Carmody

Thursday, November 01, 2007


The carved pumpkins and proud artists

The princess, Bob the Builder and the bunny

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Nap? What nap?

So Mommy decides to go shopping for the day and Daddy is home with the three kids. They're laughing, playing and having a grand 'ol time when all of a sudden Daddy realizes he forgot to put Samara in bed for her morning nap. Here's what happens when Samara misses her morning nap. She's trying so hard to eat her lunch . . .

When lunch/highchair nap was finished, she somehow found some energy to climb by herself into the exersaucer and . . .

A little more sleeping. Too funny!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Playdate at Zoe's

We finally got together with Samara's Foshan Nanhai crib neighbour and her fantastic parents on Sunday. We had such a fun time and it was so good to see them again. They only live about 15 minutes away from us but life gets so busy and we don't see them nearly enough. The kids had a great time playing with Zoe (and her toys) and it was neat to see Zoe and Samara together. They're both in the same stage where they love to kiss all the time. And they have so many similarities in the sounds they make and even some of their mannerisms. I guess that's what happens when you live together for the first 11 months of your life. Are they ever cute! Thank you Andre, Michelle and Zoe for your hospitality - hope to see you again soon.