Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Friends Love

Lea from Oh, My # 6 was so kind to pass this award to me.

Lea is such a sweet friend who I have met through blogging. She is caught up in this long wait as she anxiously awaits her newest daughter from China. Lea, like so many of you waiting during this painfully long wait....does so with such optimism and grace and I so admire her for this. You can read about this award below......

So here is how it all works!

"These blogs are exceedingly charming.
These kind bloggers aim to find friends and be friends.
They are not interested in self-aggrandizement.
Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships will be propagated.
Please give more attention to these writers.
Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this cleverly- written text into the body of their award."

Now, you all know that I am not a very good blog award recipient. hee hee! Lately, I have not had near the time I would like to keep up with my blog. But one thing for sure....I am blessed beyond measure at the friendships that I have made through blogging. You guys are truly the best of the best and the support that comes from bloggyland is like none other!

Part of the reason that I am not a good award recipient is that I always struggle with picking just a few people...... as all of you are very special to me. So, I will pass THIS award to the gals that have been so thoughtful as to take time and award my blog in the past and who have been understanding of my slacking in acknowledging the awards they gave me.

Just so you all do not think I am completely making up my own rules here....each of the ladies blogs that I pass this award to COMPLETELY fall into the Friends Love Blog Award criteria.....so here goes...

Ohilda, at My Bouquet of Blessings........what would I do without you and your blog? You are one of my friends who "get it" when it comes to attachment issues. We can often mirror one another's thoughts/feelings. I love your heart and especially your heart for the unborn. Thank-you for being their voice!! Also, I love how you keep it real in your blogging and I live for your Not Me Monday posts!!!!

Michelle, at Born in Our Hearts......if you have not visited her blog, please do! Her photography is wonderful and inspires me to improve mine! She is truly gifted in the photography area...and of course it doesn't hurt that she has absolutely adorable subjects! Please go and share in her joy as she is close to being DTC for her newest daughter!!! Woohoo!!!!

Sharon, at And Bai-Li Makes 3, .........I just love visiting her blog. It is always full of beautiful pictures of the amazing Miss Bailey. Sharon always has poetry and quotations to go along with her pictures and I really look forward to reading them! She also always leaves the sweetest comments and is a true gift to the blogging community!

Kristin, at A Family is Forever........her life is so similar to mine! She has 2 teens. Our teen sons have very similar "opinions". She also has 2 sweeties from China right around the same age as mine AND is a full time working Mama as I am! I always enjoy reading her posts as she often writes about the same things we go through here!

AZ Mom, at Family Life in the Desert ......what a sweet lady! I look forward to her stories about Bug and Busy Boy and also love reading her Monday Meal Plans as I am always looking for ideas about what to cook!!!

And since I am catching up with some of my slacking......I never gave a shout out to Diana. She was the one who did my last blog makeover several months ago. If you need someone to redesign your blog....please visit her. She is very talented and great to work with! She will even, from time to time, write me and tell me she fixed something that does not look quite right on my blog. Thanks Diana!!!

 

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Gung Hay Fat Choy

Or....Happy Chinese New Year!!!!!

Isn't China such a fascinating country?! Just so full of culture! We were very fortunate to travel to China this time of year...3 years ago when we traveled for Ella. Boy, do they go ALL out for this Holiday! Everywhere we went, there were decorations and then we were serenaded by fireworks each night! Which the first time we heard them, were so loud, we thought they were gunshots!

Below are some pictures that I took while we were there of some of the CNY decorations. I added the group shot picture, because if you look in the background, you will see how all of the homes decorate for this Holiday...with the red banners...bringing good luck into their home for the New year.






Ella's pre-school celebrated the Chinese New Year. One of her teacher's has a little girl from China and she really went all out for the celebration. I was so happy! She decorated their classroom and had them do the lion dance along with making some paper lanterns....she even wore a beautiful Chinese silk jacket for the celebration! I made some little goodie bags for the kids to take home.





We put some gold- foil covered chocolate coins in the lucky red envelopes.

I printed out a coloring page for each bag with a Year of the Ox theme and we made little cards with the meaning of CNY.




Our local University has a group of Chinese students that so generously donate their time in holding classes for the girls and boys adopted from China. The class is called Little Dumplings! It is held 4 times a year and the students organize the whole thing....always geared toward teaching Chinese culture. I think this is such a wonderful thing for them to do and a great opportunity for the young kids! The students really seem to love interacting with the young children. There is usually a ratio of 1:1.
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Here we are learning the art of Calligraphy.
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Sophie is not fond of social events such as these, but we took BaBa along, so he could kind of sit in the corner with her. The Chinese students kept eagerly coming over and trying to help her....and that did not go over well, because they kept touching her and getting in her space. Nuff said!
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Next....the art of paper cutting! How amazing is this art? We have many pieces that we bought in China and it is just fascinating! What skill!
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Then a student with a lovely singing voice, taught the kids some Chinese songs.
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Some motions to go along with the music.
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Game time. One of the games involved throwing pretend fruit in kind of a dodge ball type game. My girls did not quite know what to think of this!
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Ba Ba...can you help me with this game? Mommy always tells me not to throw balls at people.
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The girls with their friend Alexis.
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Lucky red envelopes were given out as a CNY wish! You can tell by Sophie's face that it was time to go home. lol!
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Ella has been busy making paper lanterns to decorate our home with!!!
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So, that is some of how we have been celebrating the Chinese New Year. We are not over, yet, though! This Saturday we are driving out to Atlantic City, where there is going to be a very large celebration. And the Saturday after that, the girls Chinese school (where they take classes each Saturday) will hold their celebration and each class will perform some songs they have learned. We are looking forward to both and will share pics when they happen....weather and viruses allowing! : )

Have a great week!!!





 

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Sophie Update

Happy Birthday # 4 to our Sophia!!!!!!

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If you followed along with Sophie's story when I journaled about it over the summer, I have written an update that I have decided is best kept on our private blog. Please drop me an e-mail and I will send you an invite to read it. hispurpose@rcn.com Please know that I so appreciate ALL of the people that follow our blog...taking time from your busy lives to check in on us, but for personal reasons, I am not able to share this post with everyone...only those that followed the initial story of Sophie's RAD. I am sure that all of you that blog understand the fine line of what to share on a public blog...and what not to. Sometimes that is hard to decide. So, thanks for understanding!!

Have a wonderful day filled with God's blessings!!!!!

 

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Mary and Martha

Luke 10:38-42.]
Martha had invited Jesus to her house. When the men sat down to listen to Jesus teach about God, the women were usually working around the house. They would prepare food for the guests, keep the house clean, and clean up after meals. Martha was getting mad because Mary was sitting and listening to Jesus. She wasn't helping with all the chores. Martha was a busy bee. She was cooking and setting the table and she wanted some help. So she complained to Jesus and asked him to tell Mary to help out. She didn't stop to think about what she was saying. She just knew she didn't want to do it all herself.




This was the girls Bible lesson on Sunday at Church School. I had the day off of work today and was really on a roll getting things done around here...that have needed done for so long! Ella comes to me in the midst of my busy-ness and says to me..."Mommy, you are very busy today...just like Martha. You need to stop and take a few minutes to spend time with God".

Oh, you are so right, my sweet girl. Today and everyday...right in the midst of our busy-ness....we need to just stop....and spend time with the One who loves us most!



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These pictures were taken a couple of weeks ago. They are scanned in, so the quality is not so great, but I really was happy with how they turned out. The dresses are adorable, aren't they? Jen made them and you can check out more of her creations here.

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I had Ella's pre-school conference today. I am really thrilled with her pre-school. It is at our church, so that makes it even more special! But the staff is just so warm and friendly. Her 2 teachers this year are just the nicest ladies you could meet. They said Ella is doing very well and is a joy to have in class. I asked if there was any child in particular that she plays with and they said she plays with everyone...but tends to like playing with the boys more. Yup! That's my gal.....she loves doing girlie girl things, but loves the rough play of boys...just a bit more! Here's a funny story.....we were at a family gathering a few weeks ago and there was a little boy there...same age as Ella....so they were pal-ing around. I watch as the little boy starts to initiate a little bit of rough play as boys tend to do. Ella thought this was great and joined right in...laughing and having the best time as they were wrestling around. Well, I think this totally threw the little boy off, because he really was not a match for my gal and it was starting to bother him a bit...so I had to pull her away. Ha! Look out boys.....girls can be very cute on the outside, but that does not mean they can't hold their own. lol!!!!

I need some suggestions....Ella really has a heart for Jesus and wants to learn so much about Him. I have not yet touched on the story of the Crucifixion, because it is a hard thing to hear about...even for us adults. She saw a picture recently that had Jesus on the cross and was asking so many questions, including the pain that was caused by the nails. She wants to know why Jesus was nailed to the Cross. Of course, I told her the reason, but she wants more. I told her I would have to look for a children's book that talks about this. This was 2 weeks ago and she has asked me EVERY day since then if I got a book about Jesus on the Cross. Any recommendations??


 

Saturday, January 10, 2009

No Dogs Allowed

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Now, just look at that sweet face....no way she could cause any trouble, right? Well...take a look at the picture below that Ella drew and you can see that she does not share the same opinion. lol!





Ella is at the age where she just comes up with the funniest things every day. She is very observant of street signs when we are driving and seems to know what they all mean. I can assure you that I did not teach her this...so not sure where she picked it up. If there are any signs with a red line through them...she will tell me it means..."no walking" or "no trucks" or whatever is pictured with a line through it.
So, a few weeks ago she took it upon herself to draw several of the pictures you see above and then she went and found the tape and hung them up in places she did not want Daisy going into...such as the toy room, the upstairs, her bedroom. I thought this was the funniest thing! The next day, when Daisy was clearly not obeying the signs, Ella was quite upset that Daisy was "not listening to the signs!"


Fun Stuff!

We bought this kitchen set for the girls for Christmas and we love it!! If you are looking for a kitchen...check this one out. It has very deep cabinets that can store lots and lots of "stuff"!



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I have wanted one of Suzanne's Name Charm necklaces for a long time. This was my Christmas gift this year and I really cherish it!!!


And these were a gift that came all the way from Australia. I met the nicest lady, named Jo, through the Shaoguan SWI yahoo group....we both have daughters that began their lives in that SWI. She is the sweetest lady and sent us a package with some books and music. These CD's are so much fun...we are enjoying hearing the children's music with that wonderful Australian accent! And even more special...the Colin CD is Christian Music for kids and it is a very fun CD. The girls walk around the house singing the songs . Jo does not blog..but she reads this....so a big thank-you to you, Jo!!



Also, we were so surprised to receive this special gift in the mail from Ella!! Ella.....if you are reading this....my Ella loves it and says "thanks so much"!!! Tell your mommy that I lost her contact info.

Hope you are all well and enjoying your week. We are having a very cold week here and woke up today to find our hot water heater is not working. brrrr! I am off to make some phone calls about that.

If you have not read Abby's story.....please click on the picture below and be on your knees in prayer for this sweet girl and her family.



 

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Happy New Year

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Yes, I am alive!!! I know it has been so long since I posted last, but I honestly don't know where the time is going. I do know that there is not enough of it, though! We had a really nice Christmas...everyone was healthy and we enjoyed the family time! The pictures above and below were taken on Christmas Eve. I wasn't able to get any really good pics, but I did not spend much time trying...didn't want to torture my kids on a Holiday. lol! Chels will read that part and ask "since when?" : )
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I tried so hard to keep Christ in Christmas for the little ones. Mostly for Ella as Sophie is still not really in the "present" enough to understand. It is really tough to keep the commercialism out of Christmas...the pull is so very strong for the materialistic part of Christmas. But, I did the best I could, not really sure if I was succeeding...but about a week before Christmas, Ella started counting down the days and kept saying, 4 more days until Jesus' birthday and so on. She was truly excited about the upcoming Birthday and no mention about what she might "get". And one night, she came into me with a towel over the back of her head and told me she was Mary. Not a Super Hero or cartoon character...but Mary! Success!
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The girls each had 3 gifts under the tree to open. The 3 gifts were to represent the 3 wise men that traveled and brought gifts to Jesus after He was born.

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We are all well. Chelsea is packing to go back to College this Saturday. :sniff sniff: I do not like her being far away!! We were away over the week-end to attend Dave's Uncle's funeral. He was 91...lived a good and long life and it was his time to go home to his Creator. His quality of life the last few years has not been so good...it was time. Now, Dave's mom is 89...it was her brother who passed away. There are 5 siblings in the family...all in their 80's/90's and he was the first to pass away. Their parent's also lived into their 90's....some real longevity in their family genes!!
We had to travel about 6 hours each way and the little ones were really good on the trip! The big kids did their typical get-on-each-other's-nerves thing that they do. It was nice to be able to see so much of Dave's family as it has been a long time. Several of his relatives mistook me for Chelsea...thought I was Dave's daughter...not his wife. I think we may visit those relatives more often. hee hee! Okay, you are right...I did just tell you all how up there they are in age...but still!
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These 2 pictures are just for your viewing cuteness!!!
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The picture below was taken by Ivy. I love it! It is my girls to a T.....mesmerized by those goodies...the only thing missing is a little drool! : )
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Happy 2009.....may it find you all happy and healthy!!!!!!

 
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