...Just a Reminder...This story builds FROM THE BOTTOM UP...so if you're joining late, be sure to catch up by reading from the beginning...Thanks.

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Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Happy Forever Family Day, Ashley. Can It Really be SEVEN Years?!

Good evening All, Dad here with another short post to mark the SEVEN YEAR anniversary of Ashley joining our Family.

 Here she was Seven Years Ago...

With Aunt Rita in Wuhan

On Adoption Day with Kyle and Ashley's Foster Grandmother

And here she is more recently...

With the Lockhead Extended Family at Labor Day

At Winterthur Gardens in Delaware
 More pictures are below...after the post...

Ashley is a few weeks into THIRD GRADE, and she enjoys her Teacher, her Friends and her school.  She continues to be a strong reader.  She's a bit of a creative, and she enjoys working on many craft projects and even takes the lead when we need Birthday Cards for friends and relatives.  She's still as active as ever and enjoys most every outdoor activity (hiking, bike riding, trampolining).

She's growing into a very helpful Big Sister to her younger Brothers Ryan and especially Tyler, who she sometimes refers to as "My Little Munchkin"! He's still learning English and Ashley helps Tyler with his Letter and Number activities, and even with his writing.

We're coming off a very busy summer filled with tons of activities (most planned, but many spontaneous).  We visited lots of museums, parks, and gardens and made a ton of great memories.  We visited Grandma and Grandpa and Uncle Mark and our cousins in Michigan over the 4th of July.  Ashley even learned a little about fishing from her older brothers.  We even went on a cool Dune Buggy Ride in Saugatuck.

In the spring we visited Punta Cana, and logged a ton of Beach and Pool time.  And toward the end of the Summer we had the chance to visit Southern California.  We enjoyed our time at Disneyland and California Adventure, and roamed from San Diego to LA along the PCH.

We've been very fortunate that Ashley's health continues to be very good.  She's able to manage her challenges pretty much on her own; but she's getting to mature enough to know to ask for help if she gets in a jam or if things aren't exactly right.  It's hard to believe that she's TWO YEARS Post-Op for her reversal surgery - it seems like it was just last week!  She's a very strong and courageous little fighter, and she hasn't looked back.

We're looking forward to a Fall full of great activities: Fall Festivals, Hayrides, Corn Mazes, Pumpkins, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and then Christmas.  Soon enough, we'll be staring at her 9th Birthday!

Not so fast, though, let's just enjoy the memory of that Day in Wuhan seven years ago.  We have so many memories of her Adoption Trip.  I enjoy rummaging through old Blog Posts and photos to relive the magic...

Sharing one of my favorite moments/pictures from that trip -  the first photo and the last photo / story from THIS POST

Happy Forever Family / Gotcha Day, Ashley.
We Love You Very Much.
Love, Mom & Dad

Here are a few recent pictures...

At Winterthur Gardens

With Mom at the DC Zoo (All Growed Up!)

On the Swings at Dutch Wonderland

Tyler and Ashley rode the Kiddie Whip at DW 12 times...in a row.

At Longwood Gardens

With the Michigan Cousins at Lake Michigan on July 4th

First Day of Summer!

With Kyle in Punta Cana

With T-Bone in Punta Cana

Ashley and Dylan in Michigan at Meier Gardens

At Hershey Gardens

On the Beach at Cape Henlopen Park, Delaware

Tubing on the Delaware River

Trying to take the chill off...

On the Beach in Stone Harbor

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Happy 8th Birthday, Ashley!! (And Happy Forever Family Day, too!)

Hi All,

Just a quick post to mark Ashley's 8th Birthday!  It's been a tremendous year for our Ashley.  She's blasting through her year in 2nd Grade, and many of her Kindergarten and First Grade friends are in her class again this year.

Since her last surgery, things have stabilized really well and she's in a good place.  She is very active and enjoys jumping and flipping on our Trampoline, riding her bike and scooter and generally trying to keep up with her FOUR brothers. (I feel sorry for the first date she brings home!)

We are winding up our Christmas holiday vacation, with one more free day before school starts again.  Grandma and Poppa visited from Michigan, so we were HOME for the first time in many years.  It was nice, but the kids and I both missed the trip to Michigan - and the usual snow that we see there.  They had a very nice visit and had a chance to meet Tyler for the first time.  He bonded almost immediately, as he has usually been doing with his aunts, uncles and cousins.

Ashley continues to do well in school and enjoys all of her subjects.  She's a great reader and is solidly above grade level.

We also just passed Ashley's anniversary of her Forever Family Day - October 11.  She has been a Lockhead for SIX wonderful years.

We are all looking forward to an exciting 2017.

Happy Birthday, Ashley - We Love YOU very much!
Love, Dad & Mom

Here are a few photos of Ashley from earlier tonite...

Friday, January 1, 2016

7 Years Old Today - Happy Birthday, Ashley!!

Good day all, Dad checking in...

Just a quick post to wish a Happy Birthday our our little girl today.  SEVEN YEARS OLD!

We just rolled in earlier this evening from our annual Christmas week trip to Western Michigan to see Ashley's Grandma, Poppa, Uncle Mark, Aunt Avery and her three cousins.  As usual the trip seemed too quick to be over, but we had a nice visit - and we actually saw some real snow for the first time in three years!

It's been an incredible year, and most of the good stuff from earlier in the year was captured in my last post, pictures and all.

But in November, we got a great piece of news about Ashley's health - she's on her way a to a hopefully full recovery!!  One day at a time for now, but we're very optimistic about the direction that things are headed.  She's never let anything stop her and now she's been cleared for ALL types of activities - including gymnastics, which she may start in the spring.

After a "challenging" trip to the jewelry store - let's just say that there was only one employee on staff that day) Ashley walked away with pierced ears!!  Mom offered Ashley a new set of "big-girl" pierced earrings as a reward for doing so well after her procedure.

She has taken on the role of "Big Sister" to Ryan with her usual level of enthusiasm.  She reads to him nearly every day and is helping him along with his words and letters.  Her reading is outstanding and she's above grade level - and also did really well with her other subject at the last grading period.

She has really excelled on her bike and scooter this fall, and has even showed her coordination and athleticism (with Dad on the sidelines) during her brothers' winter baseball workouts.

We're looking forward to a fun winter and we're hoping for some snow here in Harleysville soon!

Happy Birthday, Ashley!!
Love ya baby!
Mom & Dad

Sunday, October 11, 2015

FIVE YEARS Today!!! Happy Gotcha Day, Ashley!

Hi again, Dad here for a quick drive by post to commemorate Ashley's 5th Anniversary of joining our Family!

It's been a busy handful of months since we last visited, and so much has happened.

Ashley is now a BIG SISTER to her new brother, Ryan.  He joined our Family in May of this year and we were so excited to welcome him to our world.  Ashley and the rest of the crew made the trip to China (along with Aunt Rita) to bring Ryan home forever.  She loves being a sister and loves being an older sister even more!

After a GREAT year in Kindergarten at Oak Ridge Elementary, Ashley started FIRST GRADE and she even has some of her Kindergarten friends in her class.  She really enjoys school and has become a tremendous reader.  She's reading well above her expected level and has been reading everything she can - even advanced chapter books!

Since her surgery two years ago, her confidence, strength, athleticism and energy have really increased.  She's a very capable cyclist and scooter rider, and she's doing her best to help Ryan learn as well.  We are actually looking forward to her second surgery next month, and are confident that her system has recovered to the point where she can find her new normal.  We are all pulling for you!!

We visited Mexico in the spring, and Michigan this summer to catch up with Uncle Mark, Aunt Avery, Paityn, Luke and Logan.  Ashley's a strong swimmer and has been working hard on her strokes - and her jumping.  It seems that she'll be moving into soccer soon since that what she seems to be liking most.

All-in-all, summer was a lot of fun and was filled with activities, day trips, day camps, and lots of time at the skate park!

We just wanted to drop by for a few moments, give a brief update, post some photos and let her know how excited and proud we are of all that she's accomplished.  Here's hoping that First Grade won't pass by too quickly - it's been fun watching her grow into a beautiful young lady.

Mom & Dad love you very much!  So does Grandma and Poppa Wedder, Grandmom and Pop-Pop Lockhead and all of your Aunts, Uncles and Cousins!  Until next time, keep it going!!

Love ,

With the Natives in Cancun

Ashley & Ryan in China

The sign above Ashley's head is where she was born: Hubei Province

800 Feet up (in the Oriental Pearl Tower in Shanghai) with only some glass to sit on!!!

Keeping cool at home this summer

First Day of First Grade

Cartwheels at Logan's LAX Tournament

A Wagon Ride at Cherry Crest Farm

Ashley's Signature Pose - at the Wetlands Institute in Stone Harbor, NJ

In the Pumpkin Patch at CC Farm

At Longwood Gardens

Looking good in Mexico

With our Birthday Card for Ryan - that we photographed and sent to him in China

Ashley and Charlotte

With the Bros in Mexico


First Time EVER Face paint

At the Great Wall, Beijing

With Robert, our Beijing Guide in China

About to enter the Forbidden City

At Crystal Cave

Dorney Park

At the Mack Truck Museum

Surf Dancing in Cape May

An SI Cover waiting to happen!!

Making Pretzels at the Sturgis Factory

Making Ice Cream at the the Turkey Hill Factory

At the Sprinklers in Saucon Valley

Dorney Park

At the Nature Center

Cape May

With Mom in Stone Harbor, NJ

Uncle Ed's Jet's Jersey

Picking up Chicks - at Cherry Crest Farm