Hintons 2015

Hintons 2015

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Christmas Photos

We had a marathon of activities from Christmas Eve thru the weekend. We did back to back familiy events & then headed to Milwaukee to visit friends of ours that recently moved there. (I am sad because I forgot my camera for the Milwaukee trip, but I have photos from other family events)

We are so blessed to have so much of our families still living including great grandmas.


Check out my apron & new dolly

Running some energy off

Looking at what cousin Hannah got

Jammies on, ready for the ride home


Reading the Christmas Story

Check out my new camera, now I can be like Mommy

I love my new dolly

Whoa, cool new train River!

Photo opp with Grandma

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!

We want to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and wish Jesus a Happy Birthday! Please take time over these next days to enjoy family and friends but also reflect on the real meaning of Christmas and why we celebrate the birth of the saviour.

We are sending a special prayer out today for those who have lost loved ones this year and the difficult time this may be. Also, for those who are alone or lonely, we are praying that God's peace be with you this week. Even in the midst of many people, it is possible to feel a deep lonliness that others do not understand, I say this & give a big hug to my friends out there who are still waiting yet another Christmas for their child (or children).

May you all have a wonderful Christmas!!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Making cookies

This year, since Maddy has really gotten into the Gingerbread Man story & her doll she got from Grandma for Christmas last year, I decided to try making gingerbread man cookies. Mind you, I am not Martha Stewart & most of the cookies I bake come from a plastic tube or a bucket so this was quite an undertaking. I could have bought the pre-made kits they were selling at work, but I wanted to hold true to the story (they mix, the dough, cut out the shape, .....). Daddy was a great help in the mixing & rolling because I had no idea gingerbread cookie mix turns into such a thick consistency.

My biggest mistake was not getting enough or the right frosting to let Maddy really go to town with decorating. She was having fun & wanted to do it 'self' as she says, so she got a little crabby with mom for trying to ration & help her. I saved some to frost as a Christmas Eve activity & I may even attempt to make my own frosting. Anyone have any good cookie frosting recipes (that will actually dry on the cookie?)

Mixing the dough with Daddy

Cutting out the shape with Mommy

Decorating by herself

The result (with a little help from Mom)

This was the gingerbread monster Matt made out of the leftover dough

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Update on mom & tree trimming pics

Thanks for your prayers & e-mails about my mom. I am happy to report that mom is home now & feeling better. We discovered over the weekend with our trips to see mom & do a few things for her around the house that Maddy just loves going to Grandma's house. She gets very excited when we say we are going to her house & very upset when it's time to leave. Grandma has a little wrought iron chair with a bear on it & Maddy loves to pull them both over to the middle of the room and sit next to it.

These picutres are from a couple of weeks ago when we decorated our tree, but fitting all the same for the season:

Friday, December 12, 2008

Pictures with Father Christmas & a prayer request

We took Maddy to get photos with Father Christmas at a neighborhood coffee shop that does them every year. He is dressed in a Victorian Father Christmas outfit, which I really love. Last year was a complete bomb, but this year we were able to prep her all week.

Also, my mom is in the hospital so I ask for your prayers. She is doing better today & should get out tomorrow.

Here are the pics:

This is last year's photo:

Saturday, December 6, 2008


We had a couple of inches drop over night. Maddy has been wanting to go outside & play in the snow ever since seeing the Ni Hao Kai Lan episode where they went sliding. She was excited to finally get a chance to do that today. She also 'helped' daddy shovel the driveway with her little orange beach shovel. He would take the snow off the driveway & she would put it back on.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Amazing song & video

I saw this video on another blog & had to post this. This song 'Merry Christmas' by Third Day really meant a lot to me when we were waiting for Maddy. I am thankful that Maddy didn't have to spend a Christmas without us since she was born in February, but I am also sad for all of the children (in China & around the world, including this country) that will spend another Christmas without a Forever Family to love them.

This video also touched me because the family adopted from Jiangxi where Maddy was from so I am seeing some of the same places we sat & went. The room where we first met Maddy has a very distinct dark wood, so that really caught me breath to see this in combo with such a beautiful song.

Sunday, November 30, 2008


Ok, so I am a little late for Thanksgiving post to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving, but hopefully you all had a good weekend. We hosted my family as has been our custom now for the past few years. It was fairly low key this year with only 7 of us at the table. Maddy enjoyed playing with her cousin River though at times I think he was not quite a thrilled to have his little 21 month cousin wanting to be part of what he was doing.

Later in the day we went to Uncle Bob & Aunt Janita's house for some yummy pumpkin pie. Since Maddy was the only little one there, she got plenty of attention from everyone. She also got to see Great Grandma Julie which was a special treat.

We count every year that we have Maddy's grandmas & pa & great grandmas & pas around a special blessing. We know that there will come a day when they will no longer be here so we are grateful for each holiday we can spend with them.

Here are a few pictures from the day:

Maddy got a kick out of the olives on her fingers

Playing with River & Auntie Lydia after dinner

Great Grandma Julie with Maddy

Photo opp with Uncle Bob, Auntie Janita & Brandi

A game of ring around the rosy to burn off the pie

And they all fall down!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

10 things we love about Maddy

10. How she says 'nusic' when shes talk about music or songs.

9. How when you ask her what she wants to eat she says 'chicken, rice' no matter what time of day.

8. How no matter what drive thru we are going thru (Starbucks included), she always yells 'fries' when we are ordering.

7. How she takes one of our hands and pulls us where she wants us to be & says 'sit, down' so we can play or read her a book.

6. How when we play hide -n- seek with her, she always goes to the same spot to hide.

5. How she asks to sit in her little play kitchen at her little table when it's snack time.

4. How she blows kisses to you when you are leaving and says 'see you later.'

3. How she has to have 5 specific stuffed animals in bed with her & will go thru the inventory until she's named each one.

2. How she gets excited when you say 'we're going to grandma's' no matter which grandma we are going to visit.

1. How she loves to put this little bucket on her head & call it her 'helmet' :

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Hangin' with the cousins

This weekend we spent Friday night celebrating the birthdays for 2 of Maddy's cousins and then we met up with everyone at the Christian Community Fair in St Paul at the River Center. The fair was a lot of fun and a great deal. It was free to get in and they had lots of fun kids things to do for free. There was a petting zoo, several inflatables, music, and free stuff from vendors. It was the first time all of the cousins had gotten together since July when we spent the week at the lake.

The birthday girls with Grandma

Hannah & Joey

All the cousins together

Larry & Bob from Veggie Tales made an appearance at the fair

Uncle Adam & Uncle Chad doing the bungee run

Little Miss Tori

Feeding the animals

Monday, November 10, 2008

Group 92 - one year later

Our travel group (aka Group 92 from our agency) recently got together right before our 1 year anniversary together. We are so blessed to have this common bond we share of our daughters from Leping. Maddy is starting to remember the girl's names and is so cute when we say one of the names (like Bri), she will recite everyone else's.

Here are pictures from the Red Couch last year :

And these are from our recent get together, we were hard pressed to recreate the Red Couch, but managed to get a couple of pictures-

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Busy week & reflections from our last days in China

This has been a busy week! I have been working on a new project at work that has taken up too much of my time and I was an election judge in Minneapolis on Tuesday. This is my 4th election doing this and though it is an exhausting day (6 a - 11 p) it is always fulfilling to be part of the process. I am proud to say that our state has one of the best / cleanest processes in addition to one of the highest voter turnouts in the nation. Of the nearly 1800 voters in the precint I worked, 23% were same day registrations. It is always truly excited to be in the thick of things on election day!

Back to last year at this time.....After our Forever Family Day on Oct 28 we spent a few more days in Nanchang to finalize the adoption and get Maddy's passport. Honestly much of this was a blur for me because I got sick. Here are a few photos:

Here is where we officially became a family (meeting with the notary to finalize the paperwork)

Our celebration meal (that made us sick later)

Old fashioned stroller we saw in Nanchang

We arrived in Guangzhou on Nov 2nd. While there we went through the process to complete the US requirement. We really like this city and especially being on Shamian Island on the river.

Outside the medical exam office

Lunch at Lucy's with Adam, Tracy & Charlotte from Minnesota too!

Maddy learned how to crawl while we were in Guangzhou

After the American Citizen Swearing In ceremony

Here we are arriving in the US- I got scolded for taking this picture in immigration

This was Maddy's first ride in her car seat