Saturday, November 28, 2009

Sarah's First Thanksgiving!

We're off!

Playing Jenga... Anna's way!

Hanging out a one of the tables!

Playing more Jenga... Anna's way!

Anna's new recruits!


Our family... for now!

All the kids... for now!

My brother and his family (missing Meghan ).

Turkey in the afternoon can do this to you!

Another one bites the dust!

More chatting!

Another game... Anna's way !

One year ago on Thanksgiving Day we were eating cold rice on the floor of a hotel room in China. We had an angry and sad little girl and a Momma to the point of tears. Katie went to get the rice and I stood guard over the door and the little girl. We have come a long way since then- praise the Lord! 

Sarah wasn't so sure about this holiday after all there are no presents and no candy- what's up with that? As it came closer she became more and more excited- after all it was her very first Thanksgiving! We read books on Thanksgiving (thank you TM) and we talked about what we were thankful for and what the day would include. What I love about this is that family being together actually meant more to her than the thrill of candy or gifts. This was a day that she and Anna loved. A day to play with a whole bunch of people she doesn't get to see that often. A day to try new foods and a day were everyone just hung out- together! 

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Who Me?

When we started homeschool this fall we were all organized. Both girls had a box filled with the things they would need for school! Pencils, crayons, markers, scissors, rulers, etc. 

Since then little Anna has had a few things taken out of her special box! The scissors had to go because instead of cutting the paper Momma gave her she thought it would be more fun to cut books ;-)  The special super duper sonlight crayons had to go because the purple one fell on the carpet in pieces and well now our carpet in the school room has purple dots all over it.  The markers were put out of reach because it is much more fun to color your arms than a coloring book. Oh, you are wondering about the ruler? Well, it worker well for hitting your sister! And just in case you didn't know pencils are good for poking people!

Okay, she really isn't as naughty as she sounds but her box is empty and the family is safe! (I still let her use them, they are just too high for even our little mountain climber to get!)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

This was a good idea!!

Last week hubby said to me "This was a good idea!" I wasn't quite sure what idea he was talking about but I soon figured it out as he was played patty cake with Anna. The IDEA- it was God's idea and it was a really really good one. Hubby was referring to our girls from China. 

It was an idea that he planted in our heads in 2006. We may have toyed with the idea before that but in the summer of 2006 God gave us the courage to step out of our comfort zone. It was really a whole new world for us. We did not understand the process, the timing, the needs or his plan. 

With each step we take we still don't know our future or our plan but our comfort and guidance comes from him, the words are written in his book. They are there for all to see. Over and over again he asks us to trust him. 

I am so grateful to God for allowing us to take this journey- the journey of adoption. I wish that more people would take this journey. I pray that others will trust him and go for it. We are getting so much more than we are giving!

The joy that we get from "Life with our children" is insurmountable! Sometimes I feel like my heart is going to burst! When I feel like that all I can say is "Thank You Jesus"!

I love the bond that has taken place between siblings. Not just these two but all of the siblings! I am a big family kind of person. This was a dream of mine as a child. I never thought that God had the same dream for me. I am grateful that he did and I am thankful that hubby is flexible with his dreams! 

This was a good idea! I loved hearing those words! To know that hubby was as happy as I was felt so good!

There are challenges, everyday there are challenges. We need to walk close to our Lord so he can guide us through. We make mistakes. We keep on trying.

Now doesn't this look like fun! Such joy from such simple things!

Look at that smile! (the hairdo too- she did it herself!)

This was a very good idea!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Excuse me?

MOM- Excuse me! Little miss Anna! What are you doing on the computer? You cannot play with the computer!

ANNA- Mom (eye roll and a big sigh), I'm writing my paper. (slightly disgusted tone) I need to be on it to write my paper...

MOM- Oh... well... of course... you are writing your paper. 

What was I thinking??? Why else would she be on the computer???

Oh and please notice both hand are typing while she is looking at the screen. Isn't she amazing!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Double Standards?

Anna is very petite. She weighs 27 lbs and is probably about 33 inches tall. Much of what goes on at this house happens at a higher height. She often wants to be carried or will stand on things to get up to where the action is! 

I would think it would be so frustrating always having to look up to see what everyone is talking about! When we see her up on the countertops we usually take her down and remind her she shouldn't be up there but it is pretty cute and she can finally see what's happening! Sometimes we let her be for awhile. Of course big sis Sarah thinks this is no fair.  (Sarah is right- it is no fair. )

If we had more little ones we couldn't let it happen at all. She is so darn cute up there we can't help ourselves- I think it's resourceful of her!! When we have Emma and Ellie home I may have a mutiny on my hands and a countertop full of kids- yikes! 

Okay, maybe she isn't resourceful... maybe it's just better viewing?

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


Okay,  others may think this is silly but when a little girl comes home at 8.5 yrs old and she cannot pump a swing, do the monkey bars, ride a bike, do a somersault or a cartwheel. In other words she cannot do anything that children her age in America can do. Instead she constantly runs into her mother, she is bumping into things and often falling (her record is 7 bandaids on her legs... at the same time!)- to us Sarah's accomplishments are huge! Seriously huge! As she has been home we have set little attainable goals and this little girls has enjoyed reaching her goals! We have had 11 months of amazement! Her latest and greatest is the cartwheel!! Yep!! That's right a cartwheel! She has been in the beginners class for 3 maybe 4 sessions and honestly there is some hope she may move up a level this next time! Woohoo! Just so you know her mom at 51 yrs old did cartwheels for her this summer! That was definitely a motivator!! ;-)

We are so thrilled for her because this is so much more than a cartwheel. It is her willingness to work hard to strive for a goal. It is her confidence, her faith in herself, her endurance, her strength and her attitude. For Sarah we could see that this is a possibility, that this may be worth the efforts. We do not know that we will feel the same way with all our other daughters. Meaning we may choose something else that better fits them? Time will tell. We will see what they are interested in! For Sarah, it has to be something attainable not something that will bring her down. For Sarah this works! 

Sarah is not in gymnastics to see how far she can get or for any competitive reason. We are doing it because it is great exercise, close to our home, fits into our schedule, she seems to like it and seems to be making progress in it... that's all. As far as anything competitive- been there, done that and not planning to do it again! (Sorry Kate!)

Monday, November 2, 2009


Anna gave up her nap when Sarah came home. I knew she would never stand for going to bed while her new big sister and her mother (who left her for two weeks) were up. So we did not even attempt reinstating the nap thing... That does not mean she does not need a nap. For 11 months we have been living with an over tired little girl! BUT she has solved the problem! Around 2:00 Anna goes looking for her Daddy! She fusses a  bit, whines a lot, he picks her up,  and she nestles in for a little shut eye! The only problem is he works five days a week! As far as Anna is concerned the weekends are where it's at! Thank you, Daddy!

Now, Daddy is no fool! He positions himself in front of the TV with a great football game on... such as a Vikings/Packer game! Both father and daughter are equally happy!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Happy Halloween!

Our trick or treaters! Johnny went out with his friends- he was a hot dog but I was unable to get a picture of him.

Our little ladybug!

Katie went as Swine Flu!

Our adorable trick or treaters! They were the only ones that came to our door- ;-(
I do miss seeing the other kids but for some reason they just don't venture over to our little driveway. I guess the kids nowadays are smarter- they go for the high volume spots!! Lots of houses = lots of candy!

She is already excited for next year!

The candy basket before- 

The grand finale- the counting of the candy!

The candy basket after- not much difference other that what our own children took! 

This was Sarah's first Halloween! She was very excited about it and thrilled that an American tradition revolved around candy!! She's liking America a lot- lately! I did try to explain Thanksgiving to her and she wasn't quite as thrilled about being thankful and eating a turkey dinner! But Halloween- it's the bomb!

At one point Sarah got really quiet. We could tell she was very nervous. She thought it might be too scary going out in the dark but once she found out that Daddy and Katie would not leave her side she felt better.

The evening was a huge hit!