Sunday, April 10, 2011

PROM!




Prom 2011 . . . What a magical night!

I thought Alex looked especially handsome.


Nicole looked beautiful and her dress was AMAZING.




But her shoes . . .! They just stole the show! :)


The guys . . . and their gorgeous dates!



And here's a short video clip of Alex and Nicole in the "Grand March" - a renowned and long standing Central Catholic High School tradition.



video



The evening's festivities concluded at our house, along with about 20 of Alex's friends who came for the AFTER after prom party from 3:00am - 7:15am. They watched movies, gamed, crashed, had breakfast, and then off to 7:30 mass they went. All in all it was an AWESOME night. Oh, to be young again! :)

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Scoop

Well, since I'm so terribly tardy with an update, here's a quick run down of what is new and exciting in the Miller family!

We had a GREAT time in Marco in late February but we all missed Alex big time!

Nick celebrated his 14th birthday! And he is now, by the way, officially taller than me.

After submitting his first and second quarter grades from this school year, Alex received a new scholarship offer (a Dean's Scholarship!)from Augustana College, bringing his grand total in scholarships to an impressive $62,000! Might sound like alot, but when you tally up the cost of a 4 year degree at Augustana, Mom and Dad are still gonna be broke before all is said and done!

We made a quick trip to the Ozarks to "check things out" and look around at some properties on the market.

Junior High track season began!

Alex officially committed to Augustana College! He will be a Viking in the fall!

Prom preparations are underway - the big day is THIS Saturday - April 9!

By the way, when I said we made a quick trip to the Ozarks to check things out, I forgot to mention that we FOUND a wonderful little 4 bedroom condo that was in foreclosure . . . it was love at first sight. We made an offer, negotiations continued for the better part of a week and . . . WE GOT IT!!!! Closing is set for May 4 - YIKES we have lots to do in the next 29 days! It is nice to feel a "good" stress for a change! We are soooooo excited!

We celebrated Carly's 6th "Gotcha Day" - I held her in my arms for the very first time on April 4, 2005 in Nanning, China!

We are staring straight at the end of another school year - I think the boys have only 6 weeks of school left before they graduate - Nick from 8th grade and Alex from high school. Wait - did I say high school? Yep - we'll soon be the proud parents of a high school graduate - WHERE DID THE TIME GO?

Looking forward to SUMMER - but first, I'd really like a little bit of Spring! Come on SUNSHINE!

I promise to post prom pictures this weekend!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Marco Time . . . Once Again!

WE'RE HERE!!! . . . Our favorite little slice of paradise! We escaped the cold Midwestern weather (although temps really haven't been too bad lately) to spend a much needed week away from it all - school, work, the usual chaos that is our everyday life. Ha! Planning to soak up that glorious south Florida sunshine, relax, and enjoy good ole family time. We are minus Alex on this trip - he opted out due to other commitments he had made for the week - we all miss him big time but we keep telling ourselves that this is something we need to get a little more comfortable with - he is, after all almost 18 and a soon-to-be graduating senior so I have a feeling this may happen a little more often in the coming years. :o). But still, it doesn't change the fact that we wish he was here too!

Today promises a high of 80 last I checked. There is not a cloud in the sky ..... Better go put my swimsuit on - the beach is calling my name!

More later!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

BIRTHDAY GIRL!

I can't help but wonder if somewhere in China there is a special woman who is thinking about the beautiful baby girl she gave birth to 7 years ago today . . .

This was Carly's "finding ad", which was placed in the local Guiping City paper (standard protocol in China) shortly after she was found and takent to the orphanage (on February 12, 2004). My precious, beautiful daughter. I can only hope and pray that somehow her birth mother knows that she is loved and safe and that she is a very special part of a family in America.

And here is our princess now - 7 YEARS OLD already.



Her "friends" birthday party was a princess/diva theme. We had a face painter, we did nails, we decorated cookies, and we played games. A fun time was had by all! And Mom was especially exhausted after those 2 hours of jam-packed fun. LOL. In Carly's words . . . "It was the BEST birthday party EVER!". Kind of makes all the blood, sweat, and tears that come with planning a 7 year old's birthday party worthwhile. :o)

The girls:

The table:

The cake:



Happy Birthday to Carly!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

What?! January Already?

Here we are once again at the start of a new year ... I'm scratching my head wondering HOW IN THE WORLD the time goes by so fast!!! 2011 is off to a great start - so long as chaos, hectic schedules, and too many activities to pack into a week are your definition of "great"! Ha Ha. Like they say, "time flies when you're having fun"!

We had a wonderful holiday season -- but with two family weddings packed into the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas, the time between the holidays felt super compressed! That just meant we did all the same things we usually do . . . albeit with less time!
Favorite Christmas gifts this year included iPads (for everyone . . . YES, I said everyone! Are we spoiled or what?!), a new powerful gaming laptop for Alex (who decided to 'trade in' his iPad for the new laptop - thinking the new laptop will get more use when he goes to college), UGG boots for yours truly (my very FIRST pair!) and a variety of other awesome goodies. With the turn of the New Year came a big bad fever for Miss Carly, who spent the entire New Year's weekend laying on the couch and 'drinking' Tylenol and Advil every 3 hours to keep that darn 103+ fever under control. Also with the New Year came a very adorable little houseguest who is staying with us for the month. None other than Anastasia (Oma and Pappy's 9 month old Schnauzer puppy). While Mom and Dad head to the sunshine of south Florida, Anastasia stays with us and acquires all sorts of new 'bad' habits. LOL! We've had a great time with her . . . she is settling right in to the craziness of being a Miller.

January 14 was a BIG BIG BIG BIG day for two special little girls ... My friend, Jen, and I took Carly and her BFF Ella (Jen's daughter) to Chicago to . . . yep, you guessed it - the American Girl Store!!! *WOW* is pretty much all I can say. If you haven't yet experienced it, you MUST. But I will honestly say that there is a REASON they say those dolls are for girls ages 8 and up ..... LOL. So Carly and Ella have entered into this new world about a year earlier than some .... good news for the American Girl Store because this just means they'll get an 'extra' year of purchases out of us, but bad for us because ... well, the American Girl Store will get an 'extra' year of purchases out of us! Ha Ha! We rode the train to the city and as the girls boarded, guess what they found in their seats?! Ivy Ling (for Carly) and Lanie (for Ella) who were sitting there looking adorable and holding signs that said "I'm looking for Carly" and "I'm looking for Ella". It was magical. Honestly, I don't know who had more fun that day ... the girls or the moms! It was an awesome trip and a truly wonderful experience. I can't wait to go back again soon. Here are a few pictures of that incredibly fun day.
At the train station:

Finding their dolls:

At the store - Shopping Divas (Yes, the bags were ALL ours):

And back at the hotel, ready for bed (note the matching PJs - girls/dolls - seriously, this place is 'over the top' - as you can see, we were an EASY sell):

Other 'goings on' in our household include Alex's participation in TEC (Teens Encounter Christ) last weekend (it is a 2 night/3 day retreat), which was ever so powerful and emotionally moving - for him personally, and for us as his parents. It is difficult to put into words what we experienced during the evening parents were invited to participate ... we're already looking forward to doing it again with Nick and then Carly. :) And this weekend, Alex headed to Washington DC, along with 45 other Central Catholic High School seniors, to participate in the Right to Life March on Monday, January 24. They took a bus and traveled through the night last night, arriving in Washington DC this morning. Today is a sight seeing day, then they'll spend the night in a hotel, and tomorrow is the big march. They'll have a little more sightseeing tomorrow afternoon, and then they'll climb back on the bus for another overnight trip home - he'll be back early Tuesday morning. A whirlwind trip, but what a great opportunity.

And with that, I think you're pretty much up to date with our lives! Still pulling together details and facts to make that long awaited FINAL college decision. At the moment, Augustana is #1 . . . stay tuned!

Hope your new year is off to a great start!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Happy Holidays!

Wishing you all a MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

She's a FLOWER GIRL!

















Carly's big flower girl debut was at her cousin's wedding. Jen (our niece) and Matt got married on November 26 in Columbus, Ohio. What a magical weekend we had! The wedding was PERFECT - beautiful, romantic, wonderful. I even managed to make it through my assigned reading without shedding a tear. It was questionable for a while . . . but I did it! :o)
Carly and the ring bearer (EJ) became fast friends at the rehearsal and were pretty much inseparable the rest of the weekend. Very sweet to see. We hardly saw her at the reception - she was very busy trying to keep up with her new friend. What a fun, fun time we all had! A magical wedding we won't soon forget.