Thank you's, Answers (part I) and a Giveaway!

Thursday, April 17, 2008
Saying thank you is more than good manners. It is good spirituality.

~Alfred Painter

This is a very long post (even for me) so I apologize in advance.

Thank you Michele for giving me the idea to add a memorable quote to my Thankful Thursdays.

Thank you to Lisa! Lisa is a Mom in Colorado who used to have a blog (and I was lucky enough to find her way back then). She adopted her daughter from China about 2 months before we adopted Kate. Kate and Lily are from the same town so I followed their journey very closely. Lily has a big brother, Jack who is about Harry's age. Lisa and I have struck up a wonderful e-mail friendship and I simply adore her! Lisa sent us a beautiful quilt square (which I have not had time to photograph yet). She also sent this adorable Corolle doll that looks like Kate. Lisa remembered the boys too and sent them a very cool popping gadget that they LOVE. Thank you friend! Someday we will meet!

My creation

(Doesn't this little doll look like Kate?)

Melanie, is Leslie's sister and she sent me an amazing quilt square and wish too. She also sent me the most beautiful and creative photo album in a decorated tin. I cannot describe it and the photos do not do it justice but it is BEAUTIFUL. Melanie is a gifted and creative woman. Thank you so much.

My creation

Now onto the queations people have asked... I will answer some now and some in the next few days...
Anonymous asked:
Where do you buy most of Kate's clothes?
I am an eclectic shopper. I buy her clothes in small boutiques, Nordstrom's, at-home trunk shows (Just Ducky, Orient Expressed and Matilda Jane are my favorites), on-line (Etsy is a great source but can be very addicting), Janie and Jack, the Gap, Strasburg, Old Navy, and Target. Last summer, I found some great things at TJ Maxx and Marshall's but I have not found anything cute there this year. I try not to buy anything unless I love it! I figure I only have a few years to dress her the way I want.

We live in a very small town, so I buy a lot on-line. Here are some cute clothing sites I have bought from
Dilly Bop Designs (Great clothes, well made and the owner is delightfully easy to work with--Tell her I sent you)

Evy Bleu Designs (and Etsy shop--adorable skirts)

Robin's Egg Pink (another Etsy shop)

Lollipops and Gumdrops (great monogrammed dresses)

Bows and Bugs (monogrammed clothes too)

Dimples and Dandelions

Everything but the Princess

Hugs and Hissyfits

Luna Belle Boutique (adorable)

Forget me not Kids

Abbe Designs

Princess Linens

Spoil the Baby


Julianne Originals (CUTE custom bibs and other clothes and gifts--she is great to work with)

Best Dressed Child

Hamptons Child (love this site)

Lynn said:

Okay, I want to know about the doll! The adorable doll is Lili from the Poupette Collection of Corolle dolls. As I mentioned above, it was a very generous gift. I think she the most authentic looking Asian doll I have seen (even more than the other Corolle dolls we have).
Anonymous also asked this:
And, from what I can tell, you have excellent taste in interior design. Is that natural for you? Aww, thank you. I am blushing. If you can believe Dad was actually in the business growing up. So, we always had beautiful custom window treatments and bedding etc. when I was a child. However, our styles were completely different. I was never interested in my Dad's business at all but once I had a home of my own, I fell in love with decorating. My husband and I love art and antiques and we used to enjoy shopping for them (before kids). I really enjoyed designing our house and decorating it but there is still a lot I would like to do.

Claire asked:
~Will you share a list of where you get Kate's clothing? I am "next" and can't wait to start shopping! Congratulations on being "next." That is very exciting!! See above.

~What led you to adopt?
Oh this is a good one. There is a long story and a short one, I'll give the medium version. I was told that I had MS when my oldest son was 2. Then, I had Harry and had a bad episode of MS symptoms right after he was born so I was advised not to have any more children. We accepted that for a little while but then I suddenly had a very strong desire to have a third child. We looked into many options (including simply ignoring the doctor's advice) but I was completely led to adoption. I always knew I would adopt...always. I just had to convince my husband. God planted the seed for adoption in my heart. There is no doubt about that. Oh, and I do not have MS!

~What kind of car do you drive (I want good "mommy car" suggestions!)
We traded in my SUV for a white Honda Odyssey mini-van right before Kate came home. I did NOT want a mini-van but I LOVE it! My last 3 cars have been white (Acura MDX, Mercedes SUV). I love a white car. Oh and my Odyssey has a cute little monogram on the back window.

Karen asked:
As a mother of three what advice to you have for first-time parents. I certainly am not a perfect Mom but I try so diligently to be a good one. I feel as though it is the most important thing I will do here on earth. My advice is "Start as you mean to go!" For example, we have never cooked our kids "kiddie" food for dinner, so they eat all kinds of food. If you don't want children sleeping in your bed, never let them in (although I do think lil adopted sweeties are an exception until they attach). I have taught my kids please and thank you from day one. We are very consistent and always follow through with our rewards and punishments --ALWAYS. And while our children are not perfect, they are very well behaved and those who know us would vouch for this! But the biggest thing I try to do every single day is connect with each one of my children individually.

I think that children NEED routine and discipline and consistency and I think that is is easier to not have those things in a house in the short run. Sometimes, I want to ignore rude behavior instead of put Kate in time out or remove a privlege from the boys but I know that they will learn that the behavior is acceptable and it will be worse down the road. I plan to post about my favorite parenting books very soon here.

You might think we are mean but once when Will was really young (I was pregnant with Harry), we told him that we were going out for ice cream after dinner but he had to eat his dinner or he would not get any. He was 3 and he refused to eat dinner, so we went to Haggen Daaz and Dave and I got our ice cream (I needed it--I was pregnant;) and Will sat there watching. He did not cry or fuss or complain. He learned that we will always follow through. He learned that he can make choices about his own behavior.

One of the best things I learned when I was training in family counseling is "children behave badly when they feel badly." I think it is our job as parents to figure out what is not feeling quite right when our kids are misbehaving. So when my kids are not behaving well (as one is right now), I ask myself....Does he feel well physically? Is he tired, sick, hungry? Is he okay emotionally? Is he scared? lonely? embarrassed? feeling left out? Is he okay spiritually? I think many parents miss this and to me it is KEY!

The WORST that any of my children has ever behaved is when one of them was very, very sick and we did not know it.

Do you have a decorator or does it come naturally? I have never used a decorator. I love shelter magazines and decorating. We did hire an ASID designer when we built this house to oversee our builder but she did not design or decorate anything. We were building long distance (very long distance) so we hired her to make sure that everything we chose was actually what was done. She caught several near mistakes but I chose and designed everything. In fact, she raised her eyebrows at some of my choices along the way but when our house was completed, she told me that she was very impressed with my choices and asked for many of my sources.

Jodee asked:
My question is -- where did you find Kate's bracelet? Kate has several bracelets. I got a favorite one

here. E-mail me if there is a specific one you were curious about. I recently got her an adorable one at TJ Maxx.

Daleea asked:
How do you get your photos so vivid? I cannot take credit for this. I am shooting in Aperture Priority and I am constantly fiddling with the f stop and ISO. Many,many of my photos are out of focus these days and it is bumming me out. I have a very shaky hand. I think the Nikon's are vivid. I do very little editing these days because I don't have time (a little Picassa cropping and lightening). Sometimes I will hit saturate color if it looks very washed out. But it can make people look orange so be careful.

What speed do you have your camera on? I never keep it set on anything for very long unless I am taking photos of quilt squares--then it is on Auto! I have been doing some on-line photography tutorials and I will look for the links to send to you!

When are you coming to see me???????? Soon, my friend, soon!

Steffie asked:

How on earth do you find the time to do all of this? Play group, shop, blog, have a give a way....what's your secret? ;)
Oh Steffie! You know I don't have time for it all. I have no clue. I seem to always be falling way behind on my "to do" list. I will admit that although I clean a lot myself, we do have a once a week housekeeper to do the heavy cleaning (changing sheets, scrubbing bathrooms etc). And that helps a lot. Also, my husband (who I affectionately refer to here as "houseboy") is extremely hands on. He cooks, he folds laundry, he puts the kids to bed every night and bathes Kate. We are truly partners in parenting. I am very lucky.

Erin asked
Where DID you get those pearls??? The pearls (the big ones with the silver monogrammed clip that I wear a lot) came from a shop in Houston and they do not sell them anymore. BUT because SO many people ask me, I found a place that sells the silver clip and they are making a blog reader pearls like mine for her sterling clip. You can contact Wanda Webb Designs for something very similar. Also, I did recently see the pendant in the Room Service Home catalog.

There are many more questions and I will answer more tomorrow....

Now, for the giveaway (if you're still reading this). I noticed this week that my hit counter has surpassed the 200,000 mark and in light of all of the incredible blessings I have received from this blog, I wanted to give something away. I wish it were more interesting and exciting but I have decided to give a subscription to Cottage Living magazine. I love it and I hope you will too. Leave a comment and I'll enter you in the drawing. I will have one of the peanuts draw a winner Sunday night. So, enter by 5 p.m. Sunday. Best wishes!



  1. Wow, what a great post! Thanks for the answers to the questions all of us have! i love the magazine and hope lucky #1 wins!

    Angela Conklin

  2. Am I really the first? Probably not...Wow! I'm checking in befre I leave work. I loved this post! It's so fun to see what other moms do and how they parent. I can't wait to hear the parenting book you recommend. I agree, consistancy is key...but we would have punished ourselves by not going for ice cream. I like your idea.

    Thanks for sharing!


  3. I love that you are answering these and I totally agree with your comments about consistency with children. That is key in our house too.

    A special thank you for what you wrote about "children behave badly when they feel badly". It was timely and I needed it.

    OK, can I enter the giveaway????

    Have a beautiful Thankful Thursday.

  4. Hello-I'm not sure that you got my email? I wasn't sure if you are still swapping "squishes"? I think I sent you my address but do not have yours. We are waiting on our 3 year old daughter in China. My blog is if you'd like to visit! Just let me know about the quilt swap. Kim

  5. Dear Kim,

    You are such an amazing mom and friend! Thank you for all of your advice and support this past year. I am so lucky to have you at my MOPS table this year;)

    Love, clare

  6. Yeah! Cottage Living! The one I do not subscribe to but LOVE!!!!
    Thank you for being so kind! I enjoy doing those little albums so much.... Especially for precious little girls like Kate.
    Your Q and A's are a great idea. I got so many great tips!

    Enjoy your day!


  7. I loved reading all your answers. I would have asked alot of the same ones. I can't wait to get to buy all those cute clothes.

    One day, I'd like to hear the long version of why you adopted. It sounds unbelievable.

    Sign me up!! I love magazines!

  8. Kim,

    Thank you so much for the shout out for my site! I love all of your advice especially about the behaving badly part. It was a lightbulb moment and I needed it :o). I have not forgotten about the "special" square! Thank you so much.

    Julianne Originals

  9. I forgot, yes, I did recieve the beautiful quilt square. Thank you so much. I am sorry I did not let you know sooner.

  10. Oh Kimber, I loved all of your answers and getting to know more about you. I especially LOVE all of the sites where you get sweet Kate's beautiful clothing. I am certainly going to check them out. I, too, live in a VERY small town (pop. 1000) and I have to order alot of things online. Thanks for posting these links.
    We have that Corolle doll and I agree with you that it is the CUTEST asian doll ever. I love it!
    I look forward to hearing more of your answers.
    Sign me up for your "giveaway". I used to get that magazine but decided when we started this second adoption to not order any periodicals. So, maybe I will win. :)

  11. Great post -- please throw my name in the pot for the magazine too. Thanks!


  12. Oh Kim!

    Thank you for the nice "thank you". I am flattered.

    I love what you wrote about parenting, consistency, and follow through. So true. I also never thought to ask those ??? when my kids are misbehaving. Great ideas. I have learned so much from you.

    Thanks again for being you!
    Lisa W.

  13. I bought a few bibs when you first mentioned them and posted a picture and I totally agree that Julianne is great to work with and the quality is great. I purchased one as a gift and she mailed it to my sister for me and my sister also loved the personlized bib. Thanks so much for letting us share a little piece of your life. You inspire me!! Erin

  14. Oh, I just love Cottage Living! Thanks for all the mommy tips. I'm saving them for when I may need them one day :)

  15. Great parenting tips! As a teacher all I can say is that consistency does always pay off! :-)
    Birgit :-)

  16. Love the fun questions and answers (and who doesn't love a giveaway?) Thank you!! You have such fantastic taste, it's great to be able to 'steal' your sources! Also, the parenting advice is always helpful - as much as we try to be consistent and set clear boundaries in our house, it can be so tough.

    By the way, my littlest daughter recently received a Corolle doll (Melodie) for her first birthday and all 3 of my girls LOVE her!!

    Happy Thursday!

  17. Ohhhh...throw my name in the hat!! :o)


  18. Sign me up, sign me up!

    I feel like I know you so much better now. :)

  19. Oh Kim...
    Thanks for all the info and btw Wanda Webb was fabulous to work with. My slides were not so tight and one was lost...they actually sent me a replacement for each much more than I expected. Anyway I feel like I can shop til I drop now that you gave us all your "special" shopping finds. Thanks...oh and the parenting tips for this "almost mama" so good.

  20. I enjoyed this post so much. You always put me at ease, I learn something new and have fun all at the same time. Thanks for sharing so much in the Q & A...that was fun.

    I love Cottage Living, don't currently have a subscription and would love to be entered in your drawing.

    Off to find out if my son is feeling badly because he sure is behaving badly. I love that tip!

  21. This is my 2nd time commenting on your blog. I love reading it and think you have a wonderful family. You are all fantastic. I am of Mom of 8. (5 bio. and 3 adop. and I am a Grandma of 11. I love reading all about your fun family adventures. Keep you your good work.


  22. Ok, count me in for the giveaway. And I feel blessed that I can just come over to your living room and ask all the questions I want!!!

  23. Wow- what a post!! Full of good information!! Thanks for all the transparency & great links! Your famil is so beautiful.....

  24. Thanks for being so transparent in answering so many questions. I love reading your blog & seeing your beautiful pics of your family.


  25. Kim,

    Can I just say, you are just wonderful.
    You are so forth coming with your info. Love, your BLOG my friend. Thanx for all the nice tips!


  26. Your pictures and previous videos are superb!!! I love how you are so intune to your readers and how you want to answer all our questins. Thanks again for opening up the window into your life and sharing!!! You are a true blog/cyberspace friend!!!

  27. I can't wait to hear about which books you recommend for parenting....

    Thanks for answering these questions.... My question is "What are you doing with all of Kate's hand me downs?" If you are selling on Ebay... I want to know.


  28. Wow! Lots of great info. Please sign me up for the prize. Thank you!

  29. Wow! What a great post and lots of great answers! I just love how you parent your children. We don't have kids yet, but when we do I think you are a great role model! Thanks for sharing, Kim.


  30. As always, I love reading your posts! This one was great! We recently went to look at SUV's when my jeep lease was up. The one we thought we would buy was burgandy and tan...not my colors. As we drove up, I saw a white one and told hubby that was it! My male coworkers asked "man questions" like what kind of engine it had...I told them I honestly had not a clue but it's WHITE!

  31. Kim,

    What a great post...I love learning more about you. I do have a question, or maybe it is something you will do a post on sometime. You mentioned when Kate was sick, that you usually do homeopathic remedies. I would LOVE to know more about what you use, books on the subject, etc. I think with Lucy since we know so little about her it would be wise to do some research on this. Thanks.

    AND...I would love to enter your giveaway...Fun.

  32. Thank you for the "answers"...I can't wait to check out clothing shops!!
    I love your perspective on life and your and the houseboy are doing a great job and raising these children to be such special people!

  33. Cottage Living is my favorite magazine, so please count me in! I love how you put so much effort into your answers. You really are a woman who cares for others. Your genuineness just shines through your blog.

  34. A Giveaway! I would love to win! My baby is finally here and I am no longer on bed-rest! I have had a very difficult recovery (my c-section got infected and has a month of wound clinic visits) but other than that, our Gracie is beautiful and perfect in every way! We will have to send Kate a little present soon. I hope you are all healthy and happy and well! Lisa :)

  35. Thanks for letting so many readers share your journey and parts of your life with all of us. You have a beautiful family and I always enjoy reading your posts! Have a blessed week!

  36. I enjoyed your questions and answers post. As I have told you before, Cory and I parent our kids the same way. We are very structured and consistent. Therefore, I couldn't agree with your advice more!

    I may have to head to our T.J. Maxx to look for that bracelet!

    Please count me in for the giveaway!

  37. Great post! I will take note of the great places you shop. Thanks for answering my question on first-time parenting advice...wonderful advice. Can't wait to hear your parenting book recommendations. Count me in for the drawing. Have a wonderful weekend!


  38. Wow, Thanks for all those clothing sites! Looks like the laundry's going to have to wait a little longer while I do some shopping. Just don't let my kids know this is what I've been doing instead. We'll keep it our little secret.

  39. Kim,
    I love your blog. It is one of my two favorites that I tap into everyday. It is uplifting and your family is beautiful. What a blessing you are to your readers.
    Toss my name in, I would love to win!

  40. Kim you amaze me! You are the most organized, efficient and thoughtful person that I know. Even if you think you aren't your old self yet, I sure admire you! This is so fun getting inside of your "head"! Thanks for this wonderful information. When are you going to write a book? Oh heck, just go for a talk show! I was thinking about you today and I missed you. Is it strange to miss someone you have never met? You are just such a special friend and I pray that someday our paths cross! Oh, I almost forgot to say I love that magazine and would love to be entered in your giveaway. Can't wait to hear the rest of your answers! I do love those pearls by the way! I always have, even my high school class ring had a pearl stone in it, my mom had done that so Mel and I both did as well. Have a great weekend!

  41. Well, you know we all come out of the woodwork when there is a giveaway. I frequent your blog daily. I rarely comment but love to check in with you. I'll try to do better. Thanks for answering all those questions and for the clothing links. I'm off to check them out.

  42. Now the mini van is something I did not know about you!!!! Funny, that car I was telling you about the other day. We probably are ordering it in white!!!! Great post. Thanks for sharing so many of your links. I am sure I will have to do a little shopping soon!

    You know I have so much respect for how you manage your time, and raise those precious children. YOu are doing a GREAT job!!! Not to mention what a great friend you are too.


  43. I loved reading all your answers. It is always so great to get to know someone better. We did the same thing the other day and EllaKate and the ice cream thing. She was having a tantrum in the car (mainly because she was tired) and we told her she would not get ice cream if she continued to cry. Guess what? She continued to cry and the girls and Scott all got ice cream and she didn't. I have reminded her several times about not getting it. Hopefully it will help her make a better choice next time. Also what does Kate do when you put her in time out? EllaKate cries like she is dying. I talk to her about why she is there and how she can be excused. Usually I just have to let her cry it out. Anyway, can't wait to see what you write later on.
    ps I LOVE Cottage Living!!!

  44. This is like Oprah's big- seriously!!! I love all the tips for clothing- especially! I am so hoping to get quilt squares sent- maybe i can get out this weekend to look!! It has to be super special for a such a sweet girl!

    would love to be added to the BIG GIVE!!!


  45. What a wonderful post!
    Thank you so much for taking the time to share so much with us..... you are such a blessing....
    My favorite part.... when you said you will be coming to visit me soon....
    Love you

  46. LOVE the post....
    LOVE all the clothes sites...
    I just ordered three of those amazing bibs ...and she knew I had found her by your site when I was mentioning adopting..
    Have a Great Week..
    Can't wait for tomorrows post..

  47. Kim,
    Your decorating style is actually one of the things that drew me to your blog in the first place. Second, of course, to the adorable Kate and her handsome brothers =). I, too, am into interior design and it's almost silly how excited I get when the latest issue of House Beautiful, Southern Accents, or Better Homes and Gardens arrives at my door.
    I completely agree with your parenting ideas and philosophy. I hope that when I finally become a mom (come on CCAA..) that I can be as consistent and in tune with my little girl and always "start as I mean to go" .
    Gin =)

  48. Enjoyed reading your post... love the sites for shopping! Would love a subscription.

  49. I am new to your blog, and I am enjoying reading about your family.

    Tricia Stringer

  50. Ok.....I soooooo did NOT need you to post all these adorable clothing credit card bill is going to sky rocket this know that Sophia has a thing for dresses.....and I have just found some fabulous ones! lol

    It's a good thing we don't live close by....we'd for sure make a dynamic duo shopping team! lol

  51. Ok...first of all let me just go ahead and say "For the Record"....I WANT TO BE YOU when I grow up!!!!
    Oh my truly are amazing! So beautiful inside and outside....just perfectly precious!
    I have loved reading all of your responses to these questions....Now....I have one for ya....I want to see pics of your home! I'd love a peek into your beautiful windows!!!

    Have a wonderful day sweet friend!!!
    Denise C

    p.s. I am watching out my windows for your white mini van to drive up anytime! Your guest room is ready!!! hee-hee!.....Oh...and if you'd like to redecorate our home....we'd just love it! ;)

  52. I am always very impressed with how "put-together" you and your family seem. I'm rather "organizationally challenged" I wish I could blame it on the third child, but it has been a constant since I was a child. I completely agree that you have to follow-through every single time with both consequences and rewards.

    I could use some new ideas for my home!


  53. I love reading your blog and now my twenty-year old daughter reads it too!!! You're a very inspiring person. Your quote for Thankful Thursday was great.:)))

  54. Hello! I just found your blog and would LOVE to win a subscription to Cottage Living!!! I always considered my house a cottage and would LOVE that magazine!!!! :) Thank you soo much for the chance!!! Have a wonderful weekend! :)

  55. Kim,

    I love your idea of question and answer ... you have so much wisdom to share. I am going to return when I have more time (we are leaving for vacation tomorrow) and read each answer.

    I also just had to tell you that I LOVE that picture of Kate and her Daddy ... it's perfection.

    Enjoy your weekend!

  56. Thank you for all of your great answers (especially the pearl pendant source!)... I love your tips, and will definitely be buying a Mom Agenda! I have been searching for something like this for a long time. I LOVE Cottage Living, and would love to enter your giveaway!

  57. Thank you for all of your great answers (especially the pearl pendant source!)... I love your tips, and will definitely be buying a Mom Agenda! I have been searching for something like this for a long time. I LOVE Cottage Living, and would love to enter your giveaway!

  58. Kim,

    Here are some more questions, if you're still taking them.

    1. Do you miss working at all? Do you think you'll ever go back to work at some point?

    2. Are there things you do that are just "yours" and don't have anything to do with your kids?

    3. Do you ever have a babysitter or do you have family near by who help you?

    4. Did you ever find great a great skin care line? (I need one!)

    4. Want to go to downtown Chicago and have lunch and "run errands?" :)

  59. I loved reading your Q and A's. Your family is beautiful!!

  60. I love that you are answering these questions, but how in the world do you have time to do it?! That will be my question for you to answer and I will be stealing any hints or tricks that you respond with!

    I really do admire you and what you are doing. I'm going to let our blog go for a while, just too tired to do it but I will certainly be catching up with yours each day.
    Take Care,
    Kim and Katiebug

  61. Kim! You are awesome! Would love to enter your giveaway too!

  62. I love checking in to see your family photos. I love them all. I'm a mom of 4 and take less photos these days. I love Country Living magazine! Great give away. Would love for you to stop by sometime and say hello!

  63. Kim,

    Thank you so much for sharing all of your sources! You are an inspiration in so many ways!! I am definitely looking for great decorating tips so I would love to win your giveaway....what a nice idea!!

    Best wishes,


  64. I am slowly crawling out from under the rock I've been hiding under for the past few days...There is so much to catch up on in your world and my other blog friends!

    I will have fun reading the q&a.

    Thanks for hosting such a nice give away!

    More comments to come...


  65. You really are an internet shopper! What did we all do before the internet?!?!? I would for sure be lost without it now!

    Thanks for all of your favorite net shops too....I had seen some of them before....but you introduced me to many new ones! I especially love Wanda Webb....she will certainly be getting some of my business soon! Mother's Day is coming! Have a great week!


Thank you for your kindness.