Friday, July 31, 2009

Dog Training!

While Sarah was training the dogs Anna was training Elmo!

We took Mia- the red head to puppy classes so she can sit, lay down and shake hands. However she did not graduate from puppy school because we neglected to attend the final class (we feared failure).

Here, Mia is demonstrating for Missy. 

We have tried to teach Missy to sit, shake and lay down - she is not a good homeschool student. We also did not have time to take Missy to puppy school. Once we got her, we quickly realized getting a puppy was not going to replace our desire to adopt. So very quickly we hopped on the adoption paper trail!

It didn't take Sarah long at all to teach Missy how to shake, sit and lay down! We were truly impressed!! Sarah's chore in our home is to feed the dogs each day around 3:00. Consequently, they love her AND listen to her! Way to go Sarah!!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Happy Forever Family Day!

2 years ago hubby and I were in China. A precious little 15 month old was put in our arms- she took one look at me and thought I was the scariest person in the world. The only other person more scary than me was that big salt and pepper guy taking pictures of us. That day was very traumatic for our darling little Anna Violet LeYi. She cried until we got back to the room and then exhaustion took over and she feel asleep. 

I have a totally different perception of that day. For me it was the day I realized dreams really do come true! How could a couple 49 yrs old and 50 yrs old actually be blessed with a precious treasure from China? A precious little girl that was from that moment on our daughter! It was a down on our knees, thankful to Jesus day!

She is such a blessing to our family! We love our little Anna so much. This little girl was meant to be in our family, she was hand picked by God! We feel so blessed and so grateful to our dear Lord!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Conquered Fears!

I am gonna do this! I am ready to go!

On second thought, maybe not! I'm out of here!

Okay, you said I can have candy! I guess I will give it a try!

Yippee!! This is fun!

Oh Ya! I did it! Now let's have the candy!

I gotta do this again! This is too much fun!

Yes, here I am attempting the diving board! All eyes are glued to me! (Well, at least my parents are watching!) The crowd is silent!

Yahoo!! I did it! Do I get double the candy now?

Sarah is making such good progress with swimming! They even told us she may be done with lessons in October and ready for the strokes class! She is doing the freestyle, backstroke and the butterfly! She still is working on getting her breathing coordinated with the strokes while doing the freestyle. She loves the water and is just like a little fish in it!

Today was a big day- she is jumping off the diving board and going down the slide into the deep end! She knows to go right into her stroke and swim to the side! She has been working on this and working on getting the courage up to go off the diving board and the slide! She is so thrilled with herself and her accomplishments this summer! She said tonight " Now I just have to do those monkey bars!"

Thursday, July 23, 2009

One Step in the Right Direction!

One year ago Anna was sitting on the royal potty and having success ! I was very excited but did not appreciate it as much as I should have! I knew we would be going to China in the semi near future so I decided to wait until we got home- huge mistake!

I took her until 11 months later to be successful again!

I shouldn't even say this BUT I did fear potty training this cute little 3 yr old. I know I have potty trained 5 before her and it all went pretty well! Our little Anna is not one that can be easily coerced into sitting on a potty hair IF she doesn't feel like sitting on a potty chair! And then being a nurse I started to thing of medical reasons why she didn't go potty in the potty chair. After that I thought of all the psychological reasons why she wouldn't go potty in the potty chair- really us nurses just think too much!

My next step was to buy everything potty related! We have potty Hannah and her movie and teddy bear. We have numerous potty books! We have two itty bitty potty chairs and one that fits on the big toilet. We have 3 potty movies that are playing on all the DVD's continuously 24 hours a day- okay just kidding! 

I had always heard that they like the little potty best, where their little feet can touch the ground- oh no, not Anna she on the big potty and she likes listening to her potty hit the water in the toilet!! I had candy to give her when she was successful but she is happy enough with the sounds she hears!! Sarah keeps asking "hey where's the candy we get when Anna goes potty?" She figures I now owe her 5 smarties! I am saying SHHHHHHhhhhh- this is working, let's go with it!! I have promised them 2 smarties tomorrow. I'm buying her silence!

I don't want to get too excited here but I just had to share our good news with you- hopefully the progress continues!!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


This pic should be an ad for sonlight curriculum!! Yes, we were thrilled to get the box and open up our new curriculum but it is more the case of "we just like gettin things delivered to our house" than us anxiously awaiting the new curriculum. In all honestly- I was very excited, Sarah just likes to have her pic taken! We are starting at a low level (P4/5) so our sweet girl can understand the stories. It is a new concept for her to be read too and especially for her to be read to stories without pictures. I am reading them twice and we are talking about them. I only have to remind her to listen carefully 4-5 times per story! ;-)

Has anyone lost a deck of card? I may know where they are?

Some may be scattered about in our house!

TA DA! but most of them are crammed in our printer/ copier!
Compliments of Anna!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Family Bike Riding!

We went bike riding this weekend! It was so much fun!! It felt good for Jim and I to get a little exercise! There are many trails around our home. They are so pretty to ride on and they are safe!! 

We thought this would be a wonderful idea now that Sarah is riding a bike! Once she saw that Anna was getting to ride in the Burley she wanted to get in there, too. We tried to let her know how cool it is that she can ride a bike. We let her have a try inside it and a brief trip around the block but she is too heavy to pull for a longer distance (and together they are over the weight limit). 

So often we think we are doing such good things but really you never know how the kids will react. We just have to persevere through some of it and stay on course. ( I think that is why I was frustrated this weekend- we just couldn't seem to please her) They will work it all out in their head somehow! We can't make our darling daughter younger or smaller- we love her just the way she is! I know she would like to be younger and smaller and to have those baby opportunities with her family but it is, as it is! So we will make the best of it and enjoy our time together!

Everyone did rally and had fun! It's always a good idea to bring a snack and a thermos with your name on it, especially if your name is SARAH or ANNA!!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Our Imaginary Friend!

Our little Anna seems to have an imaginary friend! We have seen her play jump rope with her friend and wait for her while walking up the stairs! She also had dinner with us the other night! It is so cute- we all have to snicker a bit! Her imaginary friend's name is SALLY!! Yep and Sally has a friend named Bryson.  Has anyone heard of these names before?? Well if you haven't - visit this BLOG

All of the immunizations that Sarah had while in Ch*na were not effective, so she has had to have them all over again. She had 5 shots in the winter - all at the same Dr visit. She did not shed a tear. This time she had 3 shots and it was totally different. My sweet little girl cried at just the thought of it, she tried to fight it and then nestled in my arms and had a good cry. You know - it just seemed like that was the more healthy (if that's the word) response. I was able to comfort her- which felt oh, so good! And then we went and got gum ( I never let her have gum) as a special treat- sugarless of course!!
If your adopting an older child from China definitely have their titers taken! Sarah's records showed that she had all the necessary shots in Ch*na, but they did not seem to provide her with the necessary immunity she needs. She has 2 more coming up in August and then we are all caught up!!

Anna also had her immunizations in Ch*na. Half of them were good and the other half we needed to redo. 

The pics are from our mini trip to Iowa. They were taken in the hotel lobby.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

The "Brothers" to the rescue!

Little Sarah was playing with the neighbor girl and her friend. You know, sometimes kids are not very nice. Everyone has their own reasons why sometimes they don't treat others nicely. Maybe a child is a victim in other areas of their life and when given a chance they victimize others to help their own self esteem. Relationships are complicated and I really can't even begin to analyze this one.

Sarah's time is limited with peers. It is time for her to focus on family and to understand what being in a family means. Even with this limited time she has learned a lot. There are many days she decides not to play with certain kids for the rest of the day because they were mean or excluding. Sometimes these lessons are painful but at the same time they are so valuable!

Yesterday, she came inside bewildered. She was trying to process what happened and why. At one point she just broke down in tears. She hid behind the a chair and sobbed. So, as her Momma I called in the troops!! "Hey kids come here, Sarah is sad and she needs us." Mark, Johnny, Anna and her Momma all gathered around her and gave her hugs, pats on the back and comforted her. It didn't take long for the tears to subside and she decided she'd rather play with her brothers! After a little mario kart the kids went on a bike ride! A really fun  and long bike ride with her big brothers!!

I love big families!! It seems like there is always someone you can count on- and usually more than one!! Thanks guys!!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

She did it!! She can ride a two wheel bike!

She is very excited to give it a try!! The training wheels are off!!

A little wobbly at first but she's doing it!

Wow, she is really getting the hang if it!

She is picking up speed and having fun!

The neighbor friends are cheering her on!!

This is one happy bike riding girl!

Now we are going up and down hills!!

Look Ma, only one hand!!

We took the training wheels off!! I helped Sarah for about 10 minutes and then she started trying it on her own!! It was amazing to see her ride a two wheel bike!! She learned so quickly!
We are so proud of her!! She has accomplished so much in such a short period of time!!
Way to go, Sarah!!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Bike Riding Fun!

Sarah got this idea from Johnny and thought she'd try it out with Anna. They were so cute, I had to snap a few pics!!

Being the worried Momma I am I kept saying "Be careful, Be careful!" But ride just a little bit more so I can get a good pic!!

Anna's shoes kept acting as breaks so Sarah decided to ride her bike. Soon the training wheels will be coming off! The only thing that holds us back is we can't find the tools to take them off! Did I ever tell you how handy we are... not!!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Our daughters in China!

I can't say anything and yet, I want to shout it to the world! These girls are so precious- we are completely in love with them! This blog will be their blog, too- they are our Princesses from China along with Sarah and Anna! Our girls know about them and we often talk about them- about the changes that will happen in our house and about what they can do to help them adjust.

When they see their pictures they say their names- it is so cute. I have told them it will be awhile (quite awhile) until they join our family. 

Their birthdays are coming up- we are praying for them- these sweet daughters of ours in China! If you think about it please pray that we find favor with China and the girls will be able to join our family. It is not a done deal, until we receive PA...

As soon as I can I will give you more information!

We have been contacted by the family that saw them having their pictures taken in China. They have given us 2 more pictures- they are beautiful! If I could I would like to receive a new pic everyday of our girls!

Please keep praying for Emma and Ellie! Yes... those are their first names!