Friday, January 30, 2009

Happy Chinese New Year!

It's the year of the Ox. We are easing our way into the Chinese celebrations. I love watching how others choose to do it and then picking out what works for our family. Today our FCC playgroup met at a chinese restaurant and we all had lunch together. The children were all dressed in their Chinese outfits. We really had a fun time! It was our first year attending the gathering and this is one event that we will hope to do yearly! Sarah enjoyed trying to teach us how to say "Happy New Year" (with a little help from the waiter)! She also thought it was quite funny listening to us as we our attempted to speak Chinese.

We will be going to an FCC Midwest celebration next weekend! We have really enjoyed meeting many of the local families that have adopted from China. It has become a wonderful support group for us. It is so nice for our children to see other families that are like ours. It just reinforces that it is okay to have caucasian parents and asian children - they can see that we are not the only family that is like that- parents and children do not have to look alike!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

We Have Slayed One of the Dragons!

So HS has been going so well I was all excited for today! It was letter M's chance at fame and fortune- okay maybe just a little recognition but when we got up in the morning Miss Sarah gave us the look of pain and held her right jaw. Oh no, not again. So back to the endodontist we went and this little petunia had a root canal. She did fantastic through out the procedure! They did not get to finish because it was so inflamed but the material in there should last us a while. I for one am thrilled that this dragon has been slayed- 7 dental visits later! He thinks the other side will need to be done soon, too! I am all for it- lets get that one, too!! She will probably have two lovely silver crowns on her 2 lower 6 years molars but it will they will be wickedly strong and the thought of not have to return to the dentist/ endodontist until our 6 month checkup and cleaning, thrills me to pieces!!

During the process I wanted to tell everyone don't move I need to take a pick for my bloggy friends BUT I decided that would be going to far and since the nice dr. fit us into his schedule- I did not want to irritate him! So sorry- no root canal pics!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Tomorrow is letter M!

Surprisingly so- everything is going incredible well. I know that since I have now said this we will be having a major meltdown in the near future- that is just how it always goes!

Billy is home safe and sound- thank you Jesus! It is so nice to have him home again! 

Sarah started HS on Sunday- I know what you are thinking why Sunday? Because I knew it would not go well and I decided to start it on a day Jim was home. Sunday was rough- she absolutely did not want to do school- today or ever. We had done a few things a week or so ago but then last week was filled with DR appts. and running around so it was time to get going again.  It is not homeschool that Sarah objects too- it is any schooling. She has not expressed any desire to attend the local elementary school. She is in the  building 4 times a week and has never asked to "go to school". She just says "Sarah, no school"! Well we made it through Sunday with plenty of tears and a dose of extreme stubbornness. Daddy and Mommy had to have a talk with Sarah and we made it very clear that everyone in the family does school until they are all done and Sarah will be doing school 5 days a week until she is done. The big sibs are great- she really listens to them. All the kids at different times talked to Sarah about school and they all said they liked it- thanks guys for your help! Dad made it clear that he wanted Sarah to do school, to be happy and to tell him all about what she is learning. Sarah has not said anything bad about school in China - she just says she doesn't like it. I have heard that school in China can be harsh but she has not said anything about it. I was thinking she may have a learning disability but I am not seeing anything I should be concerned about unless being strong willed is considered a learning disability- jk !!

WE have now had 3 days of school and she is doing so well! It is so exciting to watch her learn! Yesterday I was telling someone we had worked on the letters j and b. She looks at me and says "no momma", f and b! She was right, I misspoke. Way to go Sarah! Today our Math program came in the mail- we were both very excited to get it! We are starting with 1st grade Saxon Math- I am hoping to then move into 2nd grade math right when we are done. We have a bit of catching up to do BUT we have time! We are doing explode the code for phonics- preschool- kindergarten program. It is helping her with her english and introducing her to the  letters and sounds- after that we will move onto the 1st grade level. Sarah really needs a schedule and she needs structure and guidelines/rules. She is primed to learn and I can't see waiting any longer. She is counting to 100 and is learning the days of the week. We will soon be doing the monthly calendar and discussing the weather. It may be odd but I love this kind of stuff!! Going to the ESL classes and speech is really helping her, too!

The attachment part is going fabulous- thank you, Jesus! She seems to know we are a family and she seems to love all of us! (especially her Momma and her Babba- another huge thank you Jesus!)

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Hey! Thank you!

Oh My! You all are too kind! Wow, 22 followers- thanks! I was all set to be completely embarrassed and not have anyone add themselves- whew- thank you for saving me from me!
I loved your comments, too! It is so neat to connect with others who love children/family, love the Lord and love adoption!

Our dear son Billy is coming home on Tuesday! We are so excited to see him and hear all about his trip. He is having a great time and seeing so much in Europe. I am glad he got to do this- how interesting and what a great educational experience. He has been to Frankfort, Amsterdam, Paris, Barcelona and Venice. Please continue to keep him in your prayers for a safe journey in Europe and a safe trip home!
This past week has been so busy with Dr appts and hubby out of town. It is time for us to work a little harder on homeschooling with Sarah. We received a school book in the mail- Sarah was ssooo excited to open the small package until she saw it's contents. She opened the book and says immediately "Sarah no school", then she quickly shuts it and tosses it back to me. I think I may have a challenging task with HS this little sweetie! I'll take any prayers I can get with regards to HS Sarah! And btw it is time to work on pronouns! We can't talk like Elmo all our lives!

Right now- hubby and the 2 girls are at Chinese dance, Johnny is at a friends house and then soccer. I am home listening to my christian radio station and blogging! Life is good, God is good- these little breaks really help! Thank you Jesus!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

I Need Followers!

Okay I have been stuck at 12 followers for a very very long time. If anyone reads this blog and hasn't signed up as a follower please consider doing so- it would just make my day!! I have a friend that does not like odd numbers- she was stuck at 49- yes I said 49, I would kill to have 49 followers- just kidding, not really! She actually became a follower of her own blog in order to bump it up to 50- (can you spell desperate) - do you believe it! Don't tell her I told you ! My excuse is that I am sick of the number 12 so please join us if you can!!

Thank you and God's blessings to you!!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Backseat Betty!

We am I sure glad that Sarah took drivers ed. in China, before joining our family! I don't know how I did it without her these last 34 years! Oh yeah- I pretty much get instructions on how to drive every 200 ft. Drive faster, whoa mom be careful, green is go so go, turn here turn here, there there, red is stop, look look- at which point I briefly try to explain I can't look I am driving!

I also want to apologize to anyone that may park next to us- IF your car is wearing white-I have nothing to do with it BUT I may know the guilty party! She has beautiful brown eyes, a sweet smile, goes by the name of Sarah (or backseat Betty) and if you ask her if she had anything to do with it, she will say very politely "I don't know".  Which translated means I am pretending I don't understand you so I don't have to fess up! Her head will be tilted to the side, she have the beginnings of a smile on her pretty little face, her shoulders will be slightly raised and her arms gently bent to each side- get the picture! 

Monday, January 19, 2009

Dragon Breath

Okay- I have been a little hesitant to share some of the experiences we have had with our sweet Sarah. I never want two discourage anyone from adopting older and I thought I should give the girl a break and a little time to adjust. I want to start by making it very clear- I love, love, love her and I know she loves me, too! So for that reason I can find humor in our interactions and not sugar coat everything! 

When Sarah first came home - she liked to tease us (still does). Her dear brother Mark seemed to be victimized often. She would tell him he stinks in Chinese. The word is something like "tosa". Still being a teenager he was beginning to get a bit self conscious - he started showering twice a day! Sometimes he would even have a hurt look on his face or avoid Sarah- well, as it turns Miss Sarah teases those she likes the most. Mark no longer smells according to Sarah and he is definitely a favorite. Now, I know she really likes me and she even loves me but I must say - I am still getting the "tosa"- it's my breath. Yes, I am brushing my teeth- 4 times a day but it's that morning coffee that does me in- I'm doomed after that! So here we are at Johnny's basketball game- I don't get out much and see those big people we like to call "adults" so I was looking forward to a little visiting! I sit next to a friend that I haven't seen for awhile. We chat off and on throughout the game as we watch our boys. Near the end of the game my friend turns to me to say something and my dear daughter out of the blue puts her hand on my crotch and giggles- I was straddling the bleachers and I think she thought is would be quite funny. No, she's never done that before , no, I am not concerned with any issues. I quickly say softly "Sarah, that is inappropriate" with that she covers her little button nose and says "tosa"- you would have thought I had just abused her- I was only breathing... the next moment Anna who has on Daddy's lap right next to Mommy's face sneezes. Oh my - Anna has a repaired  Cleft L/P but she has a fair amount of food that comes out her nose and when she sneezes- look out! We have seen whole raisons, whole cheerios and noodles come out of that itty bitty nose. (if you sneeze with our family around we will all run to get you a tissue- we are a well trained bunch!) Anna just so happened to be facing her Dad- so it landed on him- on his face. After all that I think my friend forgot what she was going to say!

The next day we went to another basketball game - yes, we were brave enough to return. The kids did pretty well... until it was time to leave. That's when we got the whine not wine- "the whine"- carry, carry, carry and it goes on and on and she doesn't care who hears. Now we do carry Sarah in our home when she asks and when we can. I have a few safety rules- no carrying 2 at a time. If I carry you down the stairs and then I go up and carry your sister down the stairs and then I have to run upstairs to get something I forgot AND you two follow me up... I don't carry you back down again- my back is beginning to hurt as I'm typing. I am sure she is thinking if I am your new baby and she is also your baby and you are carrying her then excuse me, hello- aren't you supposed to be carrying me. Hey, all the other children 3 and under were being carried how about me! So we made a new rule- we only will carry sweet Sarah when we are at home or if it is late at night. We are also going to encourage Anna to walk more. She is so little it is almost dangerous for her to walk with the crowds at the games plus I think she likes the birds eye view from our arms instead of looking at everyones knees!

Note to self- talk about appropriate behavior at basketball games BEFORE going to them. Don't straddle the bleachers be an example for your kids and sit like a lady! Maybe don't sit so close to friends- try the smile and wave from afar thing instead! Remind junior b-ball fans that they will need to walk when attending games! Buy Mommy breath mints! When Mommy has stinky breath let's communicate it kindly to Mommy - maybe no verbalization just a gentle touch of her nose and a nod. I'll let you know how that goes- wishful thinking! I have been told that I have a nose like a Golden Retriever well now I have a daughter that has a nose better than mine. Jim would come home after work and I would tell him what he had for lunch- poor guy that must have been so annoying. I guess I'm getting what I deserve!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

27 years together!

Jim and I celebrated our 27th wedding anniversary yesterday! It was been a wonderful adventure being married to my dear hubby! When I think of all we have done in those years together-I have to say thank you Jesus! We have had so many great times and a few challenges- we have learned so much in this time. God has been so faithful and loving and has been with us every step of the way! I am so grateful to him! Our prayers are for another 27 years together- that would be so cool! 

While we were in Florida we kind of celebrated our anniversary - with our girls of course!! We knew once we got home daily life would kick in and the idea of a date was just a dream. So we made the best of it and celebrate throughout the whole week! Hubby brought me a dozen roses! They are absolutely beautiful! Last night we spent a quiet evening at home visiting (with the girls crawling all over us) and after they went to bed. That is actually my favorite thing to do! So many blessing, so much to be thankful for- God is so good!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

House fire!

The most important thing that is happening in my life right now- is not in MY life it is with my bloggy friend Linn and her husband Dw. I got on the computer midday and found out that this dear sweet family's house was on fire. I was in shock as I read this and I am so sad for their many loses and for the pain they must feel. Everyone got out safely- praise the Lord! All they have is the clothes on their backs and Momma Linn was in a bathrobe at the time, The home is not a total loss- the roof is intact but what is not a total lose has extensive smoke and soot damage. Please bloggy friends venture over to Joyunspeakable (a mutual friends blog - check under my favorite blogs) for updates, prayer requests and donations. God bless this dear family and their 9 children- soon to be ten!
Thank you, Jesus!

Monday, January 12, 2009

January journey!

Since this is a family blog I want to keep it updated regarding the whole family. Our son Billy is in Europe- he is taking this adventure with a friend. They are in Brussels now and will be heading to Paris. God bless him on his journey. We miss you and look forward to you coming home soon! Please keep him in your prayers for safety on his journey and flight home! We love you Billy!!

Lost Pics ;-( and lesson learned!

Daughter Katie's computer crashed a couple weeks ago- we got a call from a crying 23 yr old in the middle of the day. One moment everything is fine, she runs to the kitchen comes back to her computer and it crashed- really crashed- everything was lost. Her pics mean so much to her, I felt so bad for her. She loves photography- in fact after getting college degrees in elementary ed and journalism she now wants to be a photographer. I think she is just trying to avoid the real world and wants to forever be a student- JK honey jk. After trying everyplace in Iowa City she then went to Des Moines- the apple store tried to recover some things but didn't have much luck. 

Next she was bringing it home to us and ALL she wanted for Christmas were her pictures back. (one year ago I know she had 10,000 pics on her computer- I have no idea how many more where added in this past year- but with trips to Fiji, New Zealand, Australia and China- I am guessing - MANY). It was a bit of a parenting dilema. We already had a few things for her and yet we could feel her pain- recovery could be A LOT of money. We put away the old hard drive and didn't even look at it over the holidays- too painful. Once we left for Florida Katie felt it was time for her to deal with it. She brought it again to a new place- the price again was high and their were no guarantees. We talked about it and I told her we needed more time to think it through and we should pray about this. She wasn't too happy she just wanted it all better right away. We ended our conversation and I prayed for our daughter , her pictures and wisdom on how "he" would like us to help her- for God's guidance. Honestly, 24 hours later she called us - she had been working on her computer- it turns out the apple store had recovered a file and in that file were copies of many, many pictures. Thank you Jesus!!

Well, the Lord was kind enough to help us in this situation but there is a lesson to be learned- BACK UP your pics!!- 2nd hard drive, CD's, time machine, etc! 

The picture is from Christmas- it is my two adorable nieces- Emily and Meghan with Katie and Sarah!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Silly Mama!

My little girl thinks that her Mama had very long bleach blonde hair and that I cut it shorter before she came home. I have tried to explain to her that it wasn't my hair and that it was a wig.  She loves looking at the picture of her and her friends from China- they no longer upset her, instead she wants us to look at them with her and she tells us about the pics- it is so interesting. Anyways as she was going through my i photo she found pics of me with my friends at one of our 50th birthday parties. She was shocked! She looked at that hair and said "pretty"! When we get home I will be showing her that wig! Stay tuned for a bleach blonde 8 yr old from China!!

When Katie and I were in China we met up with a family from the U.S. They where a run of the mill Jesus loving, upwardly mobile young couple that had a nice house in the burbs and were beginning to start a family. Through their love for the Lord the decided to make some huge changes in their life. They felt called to China to start an orphanage. That is not an easy thing to do- especially when you have to leave everything you have known all you life- all your comforts, all that is familiar to you, your jobs, your extended family and the list goes on. I can tell you already they are much braver than I. I guess that is a perfect example of really trusting the Lord. 

It was a joy meeting Lynsay and actually a privilege to spend some time with her! Anyway- their orphanage/childrens' home will be for special needs children only and most likely they are hoping to focus on downs syndrome kids. It is not often that a child with downs syndrome is adopted from China- they are really a left behind group of kids and yet they have so much joy in their hearts- it is very sad.  Lynsay is a nurse so that is so helpful as she and Bill care for these children.  Right now they desperately need a van to transport the kids. My blogger friend Lori at is trying to raise money to help them get their van. Their are some great prizes from those who donate and it's only $10 each time to get your name in the drawing. 

Please, Please prayerfully consider donating $10 towards this important cause - they are truly serving the Lord and his orphaned children in China! God Bless you!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Dad, Mom and their two little daughters!

Thank you Jesus!!

Double Dare!

Well, it just so happens I have been dared to show a pick of my cocker spaniel hair (in Florida) on my blog. I will match your dare and I double dare you to show a pic on your blog of your poodle hair in China!
Humidity is a nasty thing! Nobody wants to cooperate with their neighbor (regarding the hairs on my head) !

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Family Dinner

Usually when someone says family dinner one would think that the mother is busy cooking in the kitchen preparing the feast, she is setting a lovely table and the family is visiting and happily waiting for the meal to me served... NOT... hey, this is 2009, times have changed and thank goodness! Jim and I took the kids out to a sushi restaurant. We all sat at a big table where they cook in front of you. It was wonderful for everyone, including the mother!! It was a nice celebration with everyone there- what a treat!! Thank you, Jesus!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Childrens' Museum!

What a bore I have been- I am so sorry bloggy friends! I have been keeping up with "Journey to Me" entries but I have let my blogs go a bit too long. 

Johnny, Sarah, Anna and I went to the children's museum. It was a bit crowded but the kids did great. Sarah does better in a crowd when we don't know the other people, that way we just focus on each other. Half way through we went to McDonalds to eat- Sarah loves chix nuggets and fries with catsup- sad to say, that makes me very happy!  We went back and played more and then it was straight to the DR office. I could see that Johnny was fading fast. Turns out he had pneumonia- poor guy. We got antibiotics and then we were homeward bound! 

It has been brought to my attention that we talk like 2 yr olds at our house! I think it is because we are trying to teach Sarah english. She is doing so good  but at some point we are going to have to talk like... maybe 8 yr olds!