I am a wife to Kirk, a mommy to Ema and (fingers crossed) God willing Ema will be sharing that title with another baby we HOPE to welcome into our home by the end of the year. I am so blessed that putting it into words is hard. I have a wonderful family that supports me in everything I do. I have been blessed with Multiple Sclerosis - I say that because without it I would not know my sweet Ema Li - and I believe that God has my health under control and has a plan for my life. It's pretty sad that my ONLY hobby is running but that's what it is. I created this blog to keep up with memories of my family so I hope you enjoy!
Well we have had another 1st with Ema. She walked out onto our porch and was stung by a wasp. Oh my... I really don't think I have ever heard her scream like that. What you cannot see in this picture is the swollen place. Its was swollen for days. Poor Baby!
Every year we are blessed to have Camille visit for several days. I am always amazed at how much she has grown in a year. Kirk and I have known Camille since she was born. She was and still is a very special part of our lives. I remember when Ken and Kellie moved - I think I cried for months. I was use to seeing Camille everyday it seemed and I could not imagine going months or years without seeing her. I have to say that Kellie and I have kept in touch through the years and allowing Camille to come and visit is something we always look forward to. Ema adores Camille! Its funny at how much Ema reminds me of Camille when she was her age. We had 5 days of nonstop beat downs playing Wipeout on the Wii, Camille showed us her cooking talent and baked us peach cobbler, we took Camille and Ema to the Lady Tigers basketball court and toured their facilities, lots of golf cart rides and pool time.
This is the face that Camille used to get ice cream at 10:30 pm! She must know what it takes because we all loaded up and headed to Sonic!
FYI: Camille is a great cook but she definitely does not take after her mother with her housekeeping skills! (Just Saying)Half way through I was wondering what I had gotten myself into! Ema modeling Camille's clothes after they had been shopping with DeeDee Sending Camille back home is dreaded from the moment that she arrives and I think we can say that neither Camille nor I are good at saying goodbye.
We LOVE you Camille Grace Johnson see you soon!!!!
The 4th of July is always a day that I can get emotional over. If Ema was still in Vietnam she wouldn't get to celebrate this holiday. She wouldn't get to see the fireworks like we have here, no big family get together with lots of yummy food, and most of all she would not have the freedom that we have here. I will always be so grateful to Vietnam for allowing us to come there to get our daughter. We were treated with nothing but kindness while there for 13 days but living in the USA is something that many in Vietnam dream of. I still remember some of the girls there touching Ema and saying "Lucky baby". Having Ema with us here in the USA is the greatest gift and makes this holiday more special to us than it has ever been.
You have to know what she was doing here. She was given some of those poppers that you throw on the ground and they pop. She loved to pop them right beside your foot to scare you.
We were asked to join the Smith's and the Sampson's for a fun filled weekend at Pickwick.
I have to admit that I was a little nervous about this trip for a few reasons.
I am not a "roughing it" kind of person and when I think of the lake/river- I think of roughing it.
Ema is only 4 years old and she cannot swim. I do not allow her to swim unless we are with her. What if she gets out of my sight.
Ema sometimes is fearful of the pool so she will never get in the lake and what will I do with a 4 year old that will not get in the water.
I know there are snakes in that water and NO lake is big enough for me and a snake!
So those thoughts ran through my mind while we drove to Pickwick. Once we got there I suddenly realized we would not be "roughing it" at all. (Thanks Chad for not giving us directions to a dump house)
The next morning we loaded the kids up and off to the lake we went.
Christopher, Ema, Maddie, and Benjamin
This was when my third fear that was proven to be unecessary.
Ema LOVED the water. Don't get me wrong, she wasn't jumping off the boat or anything but she loved swimming around. I couldn't believe it! She swam around like a little fish!
That's right! She even got on the tube (or whatever its called) She was grinning from ear to ear. I think I have a little daredevil on my hands!
What a cute bunch of kiddos!
I have to admit that I did not see any snakes but we did see a raccoon. This raccoon lead to a very interesting conversation amongst Leigh, Susan and myself that proved my friend Leigh's intelligence about wildlife. This is how the conversation went...
Susan: Look at that raccoon! Leigh: Raccoon's won't bother you. Raccoon's are like cat's they cannot swim!
The following day at breakfast Leigh says "You know I have been thinking about that Raccoon. Raccoon's can swim. They have to swim to build all those damns in the water."
Emily: That's not a raccoon that is a beaver!
Thank you Leigh for inviting us to the Lake! I learned a lot at the lake.
Never take your phone to the lake!
If you take your phone make sure you have a bag of rice at the house
This year we tried to do a simple party so we decided to have a pool party at the CCC. It was HOT and the perfect place for the kids to run, play, and swim. Ema wanted a mermaid party so that is what triggered the idea to have it at the pool. We cooked out and had cake and ice cream and everything was wonderful. I always stress when it comes to Ema's Birthday party and in the end I stress for nothing because it always turns out great.
Ema's Gift Table
Ema also wanted the mermaid on her cake to look like her so YES we had a mermaid that had black hair. Yummy right!
Smile for a group picture! Everyone seemed to have a great time! Thank You guys for celebrating Ema's Birthday with us!
We have a tradition that doesn't just happen at Birthday's but anytime there are balloons. Dayton ( our God son that is now in heaven) LOVED balloons but for one reason. He loved to let them go. So now that he is not physically here with us, anytime Ema gets a balloon, she lets it go. She thinks it flies to Heaven to Dayton. So here is our picture of us letting our balloons go! We love you Dayton and miss you so much!
ONE MORE THING..... Ema- Your Ba' and I are so proud of you and we love you SO much! We are so thankful that God placed us together as a family. Watching you grow and seeing your personality blossom right before our eyes is amazing. You continue to be strong willed and independent and VERY competitive. (I have no idea where you get that from) We pray that God uses that big personality of yours in a big way and that you grow up loving the Lord with all your heart. You fill our home and our hearts with NOTHING but joy. We love you Ema Li Yen Richardson and we hope you had the best Birthday ever!
This year we were able to go to the beach in Destin. We loaded the car up and off we drove the whole 8 hours with Ema in the back watching her DVD's. Oh how I needed a 7 day vacation at the most peaceful place I know. This trip was mainly for relaxation and to get away from the craziness of life. There was no shopping (can you believe it), No cooking, and LOTS of memories. Ema loved the beach. She loved the ocean and made sand castles and sand mermaids everyday. Now that Ema is 4 it seems as though she is more comfortable with the ocean and doesn't mind the sand as bad as last year. We had so much fun and it was a much needed getaway.
OK so where do I begin? A lot has happened since my last post. With work, summer vacation, birthday's, and something else that I will mention later on time just gets away. So lets begin to catch up. First was Mother's Day! Ema is always gets so excited when therey kind of holiday. I guess she gets that after me. I LOVE getting together with friends and family and who doesn't enjoy getting sweet surprises. Every year we go to my mom's house and eat lunch after church. Its always nice because my grandparents are there and we have Ema as entertainment.
I love this picture! I am so blessed that both of my grandparents are still living and are in good health. I have some great memories with my grandparents!