Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Chinese Almond Cookies

I made these almond cookies for a play date with Hannah's China group last week, and several moms asked me for the recipe...

Chinese Almond Cookies

2 cups flour
1 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 egg
1/2 pound (1 stick + 2-3 tablespoons) butter-flavored Crisco
2 1/2 teaspoons almond extract
Almond halves or slivers

1. Preheat oen to 325.
2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, and baking powder.
3. Add the shortening, egg, and almond extract; knead the ingredients until just combined (do not overknead).
4. Place 1-inch balls of the dough on 2 ungreased cokie sheets, about 2 inches apart. Place an almond half or sliver in the center of each, pressing down slightly. Bake 18-20 minutes, until cookies are big and yellow (avoid overbaking).
For larger cookies, make larger dough balls. Makes abut 30 cookies (I make smaller cookies, so I get a lot more than that).

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Happy Fifth Birthday, Abbie!

Happy fifth birthday to our sweet baby! I can't believe how grown-up she's getting. Five just seems so, well, mature! It's school-age. Such independence! But I still call her "The Baby"!

Thought I'd share a few baby photos of Abbie...
This is her referral photo. The first glimpse we ever had of her, and the earliest photo we have.

This is one of my favorites, taken while we played on the hotel bed in Guangzhou.

Love those soft little terry sleep-n-play outfits! Cuddly!

She was already pulling to stand and cruising the furniture and walls when she was placed with us at 8 months! Check out the cute feet!

Playing in her kitchen - age 10 months.

Her first Christmas, 10 months old.

Pretty in pink!

Snoozing in her high chair.

I love this shot of Abbie, examining the wave drum so intently. Love those little feet!

Playing peek-a-boo in her high chair.

Abbie would walk around the kitchen, pushing our little plastic "Naughty Chair" in front of her like a sort of walker. Note the chubby thighs and feet!

Snoozing in the Exersaucer I would put her in to keep her safe while I showered. She slept well in odd places - too bad she didn't sleep so well in her crib at night!

I always bathe my babies in the kitchen sink when they're really little!

One-Year Portrait

Two-Year Portrait

Three-Year Portrait

Four-Year Portrait

Our Abigail Lihuan today!

Monday, February 16, 2009

In Honor of Rachel's Six-Year Gotcha Day...

...a few of my favorite pictures from our trip to adopt Rachel!

Waiting patiently at the Civil Affairs office.

The official footprint.

Walking to the Friendship Store in Changsha.

Rachel fell asleep on the playroom floor at the Dolton Hotel. She's wearing an outfit that Hannah wore in China, too (down to the socks).

Rachel's always been my good sleeper!

Snoozing again, this time at the Yun Tai Gardens in Guangzhou.

She always wakes up in a terrific mood!

Posing on the famous red couch with our social worker, Bethanne, and our China facilitator, Bill.

Rachel was such a good eater!

Eating some more for Mama!

Trying something new with Daddy.

Did I mention she loved to eat?

She even gave the remote a try! Look at those great, chubby legs!

She adored her Daddy from the moment she met him!

The only baby I know of who smiled through the Guangzhou medical exam!

Enjoying her Daddy's music at the Dolton Hotel piano.

Daddy reads a favorite book to her. Doncha just love those chubby little feet? I still love those feet!

Such a happy, cheerful baby! Check out those cute yellow shoes!

We love you so much, Rachel Zhiheng! You fill our lives with sunshine, laughter and love!

Monday, February 02, 2009

Chenzhou Sisters

Rachel and her three girlfriends from Chenzhou, Hunan, got together for their annual photo shoot. They're growing up so fast, and getting sweeter and lovelier every day!