Family Picture

Family Picture

Monday, May 27, 2013

Will's Birthday

Will officially turned 20 on April 30th.  I am a bit late posting this. Feeling like I'm running at least a month behind since we returned from China.  That's okay. Wesley still has not had his birthday dinner with us. His birthday was April 14th and we were in China.  Made him his favorite chocolate fudge brownie cake during our first couple of weeks home, but did not take a picture so we need to do it all over again! We will get to it! I remember feeling as though just getting his cake made was a great accomplishment. Those first weeks home were tough.
Back to Will,  a home made cookie cake with vanilla buttercream icing, please leave off the chocolate icing.  Just the way he likes it.  20!??? Really......Will?!
How did this happen so fast. What happened to the teen on the end of your age???
We love you and celebrate you.

Anna's Recitals

The month of May has been a busy one. Finishing up school for Anna and including her end of year recitals.  Well done Anna, you have practiced and performed beautifully.

Friday, May 24, 2013

She's a Mess......Now I'm a mess

Let me start by saying, I am a germaphobe.
 I try to touch as little as possible in certain places such as public restrooms.
I am a hand washer.
I wash my hands.....a lot.
 Amy touches EVERYTHING.......every where.
Then she touches.......ME!
She is constantly pulling on my arms and loves to put her hands on my cheeks to make sure she has my undivided attention.  MY FACE, fellow germaphobes! Maybe she thinks I will understand her Chinese better if I see her talking.

I have turned into a walking, antibacterial wipe dispenser.

 I realize some things are fine to touch....its the yucky, dirty things she touches that drives me crazy.
Toilets, floors, trash cans, oh how she loves to grab or push open a trashcan to try to see what is in it.....high alert!
 Even after she washes her hands in public restrooms, she then feels the need to swirl the sink one good time with her hands....... chasing soap bubbles down the drain. Yikes.  Then I feel the need to wash her hands all over again.  Sometimes I just squirt her hands with my nifty antibacterial hand gel hanging from my backpack pocketbook so that we can get out of the bathroom.  Yes, I have to have both hands free with this girl when we are out and about.  Love my backpack pocketbook.  I got used to it back when I had my broken foot and it sure comes in handy now!
Back to what she touches.
She loves to hand print or drag her hands down automobiles. Friends in our area.....if you should happen upon a slightly unusual hand print on your car, it was us! We strolled past your car in the parking lot. If you should see me out and about with black on my face and clothes.....well, she touched me after she touched your car. I do still bathe.  Believe me.  I take the longest hottest showers I have ever taken. Below, she hand printed my van and Will's car.  Looks like she may have changed my oil.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Amy Sings and Dances

This video was taken after bath time which is supposed to be our winding down time.  As you can see, she doesn't always wind down as fast as I do.  She cracks us up.  Where she gets her energy from I do not know. We play outside several times a day, run around in the basement, dance and all sorts of other activities. Trying to wear her out is only wearing the rest of us out. Even Anna is exhausted at the end of the day.  Amy does sleep well at night though so we are very thankful!
She is having to catch her breath in this version of twinkle little star as she had been dancing prior to me taking the video. She can usually say starrrrr very well and really accentuates her r's at the end of words. I have no idea where she got the idea of what appears to be her holding a microphone ( her thumb) as she sings. Her dancing style seems to be a combination of thai chi, hip hop, and ballet as I catch a quick, triple arabesque at the end.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Will and Amy

In Chinese philosophy, the concept of yin-yang, which is often called "yinand yang", is used to describe how seemingly opposite or contrary forces are interdependent in the natural world; and, how they give rise to each other as they interrelate to one another. Many natural dualities (such as male and female, light and dark, high and low, hot and cold, water and fire, life and death, and so on) are thought of as physical manifestations of the yin-yang concept. ( Wikipedia).   Will and Amy are like yin and yang.  He is quiet, she is loud.  He is gentle, she is on the rough side.  He is calm, she is high energy.  
They get along perfectly.
 Will often watches her for me to take a walk.  Thank you, Will.  You are a great big brother.  That 45 minute walk is important to me. God most often speaks to me then. More appropriately, that is when I am more apt to hear.   I can often only get quiet on the inside, when my body is moving on the outside. 
Amy continues to adjust and bond with us in every way.  We are thankful. She is also keeping us busy, busy, busy!  We don't just go to sleep at night......we collapse.  

As the garden causes the things that are sown in it to spring forth, so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth. Isaiah 61:11

Will blowing up a giant beach ball and riding bikes. He possesses a gentle and quiet spirit.  He has the patience of Job.  As you can see, Amy likes his company.

Saturday, May 11, 2013


Amy is a talker.  Talks all the time.  To anyone who will listen.  She is picking up new English words every day.  Whenever the phone rings she will shout.......Hellooooo!  While rummaging through my kitchen drawers, she found my plastic melon ball maker.....thingamajig......what do you call those!?  She had a five minute conversation with whoever she imagined was on the other end.  She even
said "gooooodbye" before she put the thing back in the drawer.

What she says most often.......Mommia, Daddia, ( I have no idea why she adds the "ia" on the end because it really does sound Italian)  Whoa, Stop, Wait, Be Nice, Swing, Ice cream,  Later, Come here, Please and thank you,  I don't know and maybe, plus our favorite...... I lovva you ( has an Italian twist also)!

She sings Twinkle Little Star, Old Mcdonald, and Bah Bah Black Sheep.

We used to nod and say yes to most of what she was saying, but after realizing we should be careful,  now we often find ourselves just saying, "maybe or I don't know" when we are not sure.

We are working with someone to get a bilingual tutor for Amy soon.  Will be so helpful to be able to get some things translated between us.  We are able to translate some things to Amy with phone apps. or google translator, but they do not seem to recognize Amy's dialect. Oh how we would love to know what she is saying!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Amy's First Popsicle, Chickfila, and Bumble Bee Encounter

She loved the popsicle especially after it melted enough for her to suck the flavor out of it.  Eating cold things is not common in China.  No refrigeration.  They even prefer hot water. Even at our five star hotel restaurant, if you asked for water, you got a cup of hot water. Maybe it is what they are used to after having to boil water regularly.  Amy is learning to like cold things.  Ice cream is one of her favorites and she asks for it for breakfast.  We go through the whole "ice cream is not for breakfast" explanation so she has learned the word "later". Have used google translater. She knows that "later" means some time later in the day she will eventually get her ice cream.  So hard to wait!  Harder still to explain   "later" for the 100th time.

Also had her first Chick-fil-a.  Two thumbs up for the waffle fries and ice cream!  Not sure about the chicken. Only took a couple of bites. Tried grilled and fried. Have been twice and she ate a couple bites more on the 2nd visit than the first so we are hopeful.  She is not much of a meat eater though.  Nor fruits and vegetables for that matter.  Its mostly carbs for this Northern China girl.  Breads, crackers, noodles,  rice and french fries.  Ranked in that order.  Oh, but she does love bananas.  Eats three a day.  Fitting for her character at this point. And a dried prune....she pops the whole thing in her mouth.  Seems to like the ones that come individually wrapped. Yes, I am giving her 3 different kinds of gummy vitamins to fill in the gap.  Trying not to take on the whole food issue deal.  Not yet.  There will be time for that later.  I feel for her.  I think of how I felt in China, all the food just killed my appetite. So out of the range of what we eat.   She may be in the same position on our food as I was on her turf.
As a side note, she played very nicely with other children on Chick-fil-A playground. I was relieved. One never knows under these circumstances.  Did mow over one little boy who tried to block her way.   Without me even telling her....she  quickly came back to help him up.  Gave him a hug and planted a big kiss on his cheek, told him " its okay, its okay" in Chinese then went on about her playing. He mumbled sorry with a dumbfounded look on his face and stayed out of her way the rest of the time. Poor guy.  Didn't know what hit him. Could almost see his wheels turning as he pondered what in the world she just said to him.

Had her first encounter with a big ole bumble bee.  We grow em big around here, must be all the woods around our house.  Every spring they are such a  nuisance, boring holes around our porches.  Sawdust blows in on my screened porch and it drives me crazy! My porch is my happy place. Evidently,  there were a couple of bumbles boring on the wooden part of the playground.  As Amy would swing in her happy place.....there was one bumble in particular that would hover.  As she came up, he would be there to face her.....hovering.  My goodness, the shrieks. It appears she has never in her life seen or heard a Bumble Bee. She would ball up in the swing and shriek.  HE was intimidating.  All that buzzing and hovering!  Gave me a chance to be her hero though.
Nature lovers....stop reading at this point although this story does not include pesticides!
 Wesley and Will have been know to hit the bumbles with badmitton rackets. Grand idea. Got Anna to bring me a racket as I was afraid to leave the Bee hovering and Amy there swinging, balling up and shrieking.  Heck, with all the adjustments being made around here and fatigue to boot, I must admit the thought of WHACKING something was feeling pretty good.
 Of course this was after trying to shoo him....nature lovers. After all, they are destroying my property. Stubborn ole bee. Hit him so hard across the yard......we looked.....but never found him. May have whacked him into bumble bee powder. One less aggravation in my life. Amy loved it and talked about it for the rest of the day.  Her Mommia (that is what she calls me...Mommia sort of italian/chinese) is so very brave you know. She acted out the story for Scott when he got home. Still talks about it a week later.
 Confession: I am afraid I enjoyed the whacking more than I should have. It may be my game for now. Who needs tennis.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Welcome Home Party

Nannie and PaPa hosted a wonderful "welcome home" party for Amy.  The entire family came which means lots of cousins. There were presents, balloons, good food and cake.   Amy had a great time and hugged and/or kissed everyone.  She likes her new extended family as much as I thought she would!  That is another beautiful thing about adoption.  It is not just our family that loves Amy but so many cousins, Aunts, Uncles and grandparents.  Fills us with joy to know Amy will be a part of our clan.....boom.....she went from no lots of family!

Psalm 68: 5 & 6a  A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling.  God sets the lonely in families.