BIG LOVE BLOG- Our story of love and family


Sunday, August 31, 2008

All kinds of new stuff!!!

When we visited Auntie Candy in Springfield this week we took lunch to Fisher's school and got to hang out during lunch. It was so much fun! We had lunch in Fish's class and then Bianca tormented Fisher for the next half hour! We surprised him and he loved it. This is a photo of Auntie Candy, Fisher, & Bianca.

Road Trip!!! We have been having A LOT of these in the past few weeks. This week we went to Nashville and back , then on to Springfield to see the cousins! Bianca is becoming a great little traveler, and she takes Monkey everywhere she goes.

Bianca got this cool new backpack from "Aunt" Cheri and she is loving it! I did not realize how small she looks beside it, but it is funny to see. She can barely carry it but demands to do it on her own! So much bling for such a little girl! She took her new pack to school last week. She is really loving school. She goes one day a week and just has a ball!

Thursday, August 21, 2008


Check out the official BIG GIRL!!!! Okay, I am sooo proud to report...drum roll...Bianca is off of the bottle...Our dirty little secret is no more! She was soooo hooked on taking a bottle at naps and bedtime when she came home, we just let her have it..for too long.
Anywho, a week and a half ago I decided it was time for it to end. She was the kid that "still takes a bottle" at mom's day out and I could not let it continue. So last week I spent a few miserable days putting her down for naps with major tears...(and she cried too). It was truly a sad couple of days as she screamed her head off when I left her for her nap...But, alas, she finally is getting used to it...Then on Sunday night after being out all day we decided to try NO bottle for bedtime. She was so tired, it actually went okay, then followed by a few more days of bedtime misery. Tonight, when we put her to bed Eric explained to her it was book time, then bedtime, and sure enough when he finished the book and told her it was bedtime, she walked over to her crib and was ready to get it....Not one tear! She pulled the blanket up to her little body and put her arm around her favorite stuffed animal and that was it....Eric swears she was even smiling! This is SOOOOOO huge for us! I cannot explain it, but it is big. What a right of passage..No more bottle, now ready for a little sis, and just look at her pics, she just does not look like a baby any more. It is with mixed emotions I write her little sucess story. I need to get over myself and realize that her growing up is a good thing.
I think I had envisioned my 8th grader still taking a bottle and me- a poor sap of a mom allowing it!
Okay, so that is our BIG GIRL news, and now for even better news for our friends.... Our great friends have been waiting to bring home their second Guatemalan child and they found out today they are OUT OF PGN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Check out their blog and congratulate them!!!
They will now have 6 wonderful kids!!!!! What an awesome family! We love you VonStroups!
I celebrate for you right now!!!! To more good news to come and to us all growing our families and loving bigger tomorrow than we did today!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Ethiopian Adoption UPDATE!

Okay, I want to get everyone up to speed, and I am feeling ready to start talking more about the process this go around! At this point, we have FINISHED the paperwork! WAHOOO!!!! And of course I sent it to our agency in perfect OCD order, only to have them let me know I forgot to get all of the documents State Certified! Ding Dong! I am not sure how I possibly forgot that IMPORTANT detail. So, I am either driving to STL on Wednesday or will overnight the documents there tomorrow.
Our homestudy update in HOPEFULLY being completed as we speak. Have been waiting a bit for it now, and once it is complete, we can go up for fingerprinting with Immigration...Such EXCITING DETAILS!!! ha ha But actually for anyone who has gone through it- you would not believe how exciting these details are!
From this point, we basically wait....I am hoping we get a referral by Eric B-Day September 15! I might be pushing it a bit but hey, it could happen!
We are working with a great smaller agency out of Colorado, so the wait list is not nearly as long as it is for some of the bigger agencies. Also, I think this is different than most, we will get a referral once our dossier is submitted-then the Ethiopian side of things begins.
I am putting this in writing so I can look back later and remember what my initial thoughts were...I am thinking the end of January to bring home our new baby girl. Some might think that is nuts, but I think it is just about the perfect time. We will see as things progress. This process is so much different than the adoption process in Guatemala, I am not sure I totally understand the process at this point!
Okay, enough for now....I am going to have to come up with a "blog name" for new baby while we wait. I will be thinking about this one and get back to you!
Have a fantastic week!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

My Auntie Rocks!!!!

We took Bianca to her first Candy Coburn concert today. My sis, Bianca's auntie Candy is a major musician. She travels all over the country performing and she can rock the house! You can check her out at She has been performing all of our lives and I am guessing very soon will be a household name. I cannot imagine how she is not already though she has a HUGE following. Okay, enough bragging on my sister....but seriously-check her out!
On a different note...Is anyone else exhausted from staying up too late to watch Olympic stuff? I CANNOT STOP MYSELF....I keep saying every night...OKAY, one more event....Thanks Micheal Phelps for finally finishing with all of your mega golds! I need some rest! Tonight it is gymnastics....Yikes! It never ends and I am obsessed! I feel exhausted after these I participated! But alas, I was here on the couch or snuggled up comfy in bed maybe even enjoying a snack. Why can't we have more Olympics in our lives? I say bring it on!
Happy Perfect Sunday Night Olympic Season-Chantelle

Thursday, August 14, 2008

The Girl Effect.....

I love my daughter from Ethiopia though I have not met her yet. I can only imagine daily life for many girls living in 3rd world countries. This is an awesome website for change. And isn't that we should all be about?
Life is too short to live it without passion.
Much Love

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

New Pics of Hot Stuff

I know most of you check in to see new pics of little hot here are a few. I admit I have been bad...very very bad when it comes to taking new pics lately. We bought a Flip video camera and I have been taking tons of video...and have not figured out how to load it yet...But do not worry, I will post all of the funny stuff Bianca is up to very soon.
She is obsessed with shoes right now and the taller the better it seems. First thing in the morning, bed head and all-she is putting on the highest pair of my shoes available!
The others are after she got the Dora castle....Sometimes I buy random stuff and still not sure she is going to love it, but HEY-seemed like a good idea at the time of purchase.
Her big word right now is AMEN! Which cracks me up. And the way she says it is in this big southern momma. She is working on many other words, but after prayers at night we hear loud and clear A-MEN!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Please Watch The Sidebar Chapman Family Interview Clip.....

I just watched the Larry King interview with the Chapman family, and then found this interview with Good Morning America. If you have not seen it, it is so worth your time. Here is a family that has gone through such a tragedy and still see God in it all. I am so moved by seeing the strength in this family and ONCE AGAIN...such a reminder of how precious life is.
I know so many of us have been in prayer for this family and will continue to do so, and for me, it was really inspiring to see them sharing publicly their grieving process. I know it will help others.
Much Love-Just keeping it real-Chantelle

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Check out my new TATTOO!!! - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more

Blessed BIG!

I woke up this morning just thinking about life. It seems that events can happen in life in the blink of an eye and just forever rock your world. As I write this I am thinking about Jason, Eric's brother. And if you are reading, we love you man.
Also, just this past weekend Eric's best friend from high school was involved in a terrible accident. His friend's name is Mike Carlson, and many of you who read our blog locally already know his situation, but for those of you who do not, he and his family need your prayers. He is in critical condition in Barnes Hospital in St. Louis, suffering from a brain injury in addition to other medical issues. If there is a guy who can make it through this, it is no doubt MIKE! To his family and especially his wife Dawn, we are thinking of you also every day and praying that guy well.
This blog has been a powerful thing, and literally people all over the US have come together in support those in need.
Now I look at my charmed life, at least in this moment, and I almost feel guilty for not taking in every moment with my loved ones.
I cannot wait to bring another little life into our home and to think of Bianca becoming a big sis just blows my mind. I feel so blessed that God would allow Eric and me to be the parents of our babies who are coming from such different parts of the world. It is amazing how God works in that way. Just a few years ago I could never have imagined having a large family, but after what God has done in our lives through Bianca and now her little sis to be, I can hardly wait to grow our family even more....Okay, just to cover myself for future reference...I guess I should see how I can handle two!
I love seeing all of the places that are checking in with us also. I did not put a counter on our blog until yesterday, I am not sure why...I am thinking because I was not all that blog savvy at first!
I want to add a link on the sidebar also for all of our fellow bloggers, so comment if we can add you...Some of you already know who you are! This has been such a cool way for us to connect to other families going through adoption, and also to just keep up with old friends....because you all know I hate to talk on the phone!
Much Love

Monday, August 4, 2008


Yes, it is true! We are adopting again! This time Bianca will become a big sis! We are adopting a baby girl from ETHIOPIA!!!!!! We are SOOOOO excited!
I know I have not posted since Sarah's death, and it has just been because I wanted to give her memory time on our blog. She will always live on in our hearts.
And now a new day for us, and a new chapter to our lives. We have begun the adoption process for Ethiopia. I have gone back and forth trying to decide if we should start a whole new blog in honor of little sis Ethiopia style....And it is a good idea, but now the part none of you blog lovers will want to read....NO PICS will be posted of her until it is official.
Ethiopia has strict rules about this...So as so many of you checked in on the many many trips to Guatemala, to see Bianca's latest photos, this will not be the case for little sis.
So sorry.
We will keep posting all new Bianca pics and major updates on our adoption process. Please join us as we move into a new place in life! We so appreciated all of your support while adopting Bianca and we are just as excited this time around! The process should be much faster and smoother than the Guatemalan adoption process.
We are paper pregnant!!!
We have never had a counter on the site to see how many people check in, but in honor of our new chapter in life I am going to add one.
Love and thanks to all of you who keep up with us, and we thank you in advance for your support!
Chantelle, Eric, & Bianca
Here are some new photos of the BIG sis to be! She is almost 21 months now!