Family Picture

Family Picture

Friday, June 28, 2013

The Best Kind of Tired

I have been trying my best to make fun memories with the girls this summer. A simple list I had read in an adoption book has been one of my guides in keeping my focus as we work on grafting Amy into our family.
 1.  No hurts/felt safety   2.  Stick Together    3.  Have fun

We have had several good days in a row. A glimpse of things to come.  Her attention span is growing longer and she is learning how to follow simple directions, given one at a time. She really does want to please most of the time. She remains a bundle of energy!  One day was picture perfect.  We had gone to lunch and the library.  Came home read books.  Did a fun glow in the dark star craft which took several steps of waiting in between.  While we waited, we read more books, had a snack and painted some more.  That evening we stayed out late catching fireflies.  Came inside and had warm pound cake and cold milk by candle light. Amy also had her usual banana. Because we eat an early dinner,  I am giving the girls bedtime snacks every single night.  Amy knows it is coming and she looks forward to it. I want her to go to bed with a full tummy........ I never want this little girl to be hungry again! Felt the same way for Anna when we brought her home.
We turned off all the lights so we could continue to see the fireflies outside our window. Hung our glow in the dark stars up in their bedroom so they could glow all night. Goodness it was late by the time I got them to bed and I was feeling it.

 Amy was beside herself with happiness. Bubbled up like a big ole fountain.  Her joy poured forth as she hopped, twirled and smiled while saying the following with great feeling and excitement:
I lovva you mommia!!!! I love everything!!!  I love my room, I love my dress, I lovva you mommia!!!!
I love my shower, I love my cake, I love my stars!!! I lovva you mommia!!  I love my bed, I love everything, I love EVERYTHING!!!!!!

Oh yes.  Made every single bit of effort.......worth it.  I am sleeping good at night and for those of you who know me well.......know that I am not a good sleeper......never have been.  But let me tell you, knowing when you are in the middle of God's will.....when you see first hand the difference being made in the life of one of His little ones........there is a peace like a river, and a joy like a fountain......... that fills my soul.  I am going to bed at night feeling the best kind of tired. Anna and Amy are sleeping peacefully as well, looking at their glow in the dark star masterpieces as they drift off to sleep.

The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save.  He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.  Zephaniah 3:17

First step is to sponge black glitter paint

Next is the blue and purple glitter paint for our night sky

Amy liked the sparkly sky

Anna wanted her stars to be spaced all over the sky

I'm thinking Amy prefers a constellation

Proud of the finished product

Went in the pantry to see if they glow in the dark

More fireflies.....Amy assists Anna.....she doesn't want to touch them but likes how they light up

Warm pound cake and cold milk by candle light

View from their beds........fell asleep by the glow of their stars

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Horse Collecting

Horse Royale.  Anna and Amy are collecting.  Anna because she loves the glamourous horses with interchanging manes and tails.  Amy loves them, we think, possibly because Anna loves them. No matter as long as she will play with them!   Time will tell.  Anna bought hers with birthday money and she completely understands that mamma buying Amy's is the best thing for everyone.  Anna was searching for a certain purple one and found one online at a Target that is farther than where we normally shop.  Wesley was a good and brave big brother to go for us.  The store was one he passes on the way to college.  Although he refused to take the pink scroll that comes in the box and lists all the pony names and pictures on it......... with the particular one Anna wanted circled.......... he agreed to call us when he located them at the store.  His comment went something like this, "No I will not take that scroll with me, unroll it in the girl section of the store, and make statements such as, "Oh this is the one I have been searching for my collection!"   Once he arrived at Target and found the pony section, he did call us then proceeded to dig around and call out names and colors until finding just the right one. Names such as Harmony, Misty, Brooke, Dewdrop, Starfire, Lavender and Sunburst.  Under his breath.  Hoping, I  gathered by the low tone of his voice....... no one would notice him.   Got one for Amy also.  Thanks Wesley.  You made two little girlie pony collectors very happy.  I am sure you didn't see anyone you know while accomplishing this secret mission! Now they each have three.....lots of tails and manes to interchange!
Lets have a parade. Wesley, we will make you master of ceremonies.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

School in the Dining Room

Sometimes in getting dinner on the table, a little school work in is order to keep certain someones busy and out of the kitchen..........we gotta eat!

Trying to Stay Cool

Sea Turtles

The girls painted stuffed toy sea turtles and we made sea turtle sugar cookies.  They were delicious with a cold glass of milk. We did a sticker page and counted the sea turtles on it.  Amy can identify most everything on the sticker page.  She is learning so quickly and is excited about going to the beach.  We showed Amy the picture of the sea turtle nest and eggs from our beach trip last year. They were right in front of Nannie's condo.  There is a new turtle nest outside nannie's condo again this year.  Would be so fun to see them hatch.  We will be watching for them!

Sea Horses

This is Anna's favorite sea creature so we spent all day learning about them.  Amy seemed to really enjoy also.  We painted seahorse watercolors, made sparkly seahorses with gems and stamped thumb prints on them to make a pattern, then brought out the play dough to shape seahorses.  Watched videos and looked at lots of pictures on the computer. Anna told us all about them as she did a project on them last year.

Sand Art Fish

Magnets for our refrigerator made from leftover sand

We started out with stripes in our sand art fish, but Amy, being on the move as she is, now has a multicolored fish.  Looks like she shook it up......I am sure hoping the plug we glued in.........HOLDS!

After a few days, Anna's fish got a little mixed up too.

Under The Sea

Because we are going to the beach soon, we have been learning about sea creatures.  Amy loves the Pout Pout Fish story book and that started her interest in the ocean.  We began with Jelly fish.  We look at pictures and video on the computer, try to get a book from the library and do some crafts.  Anna and Amy made their Jelly fish "swim" all over the yard pretending it was the big wide ocean.  Had to hang them up where they could see them at bedtime. The ceiling fan blew their "tentacles" and Amy would call out....."they swimming, the jelly fish swimming"! Over the week we focused on a different sea creature each day.  Too bad I keep falling way behind on blogging.  All the crafting.......keeping us busy!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Girls on the Go

One of their favorite shirts.........Thank you Aunt Darcey

These kettcars were Wesley and Will's when they were little.....lots of miles on them!

Having Some School Time

Because of our trip to China and allowing flexibility in our schedule as we adjust as a family, we have a little bit of school to finish up.  While Anna does her math and language, I am working with Amy on her numbers and letters.  She can count to 10, sing the ABC song and can write a few letters and her name for the most part.  Amy will be starting kindergarten in August, so we are trying to get a little bit of school in this summer for her also.  It is too hot to be outside during the afternoon anyways!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Anna's Mystery Birthdays

We did Anna's birthday differently this year.  Because we now have Amy, and Amy would not understand the whole, sister is getting presents thing.....we had mystery birthdays for Anna.
 The plan was for family members to take Anna out secretly for dinner and a gift.  She did not know when, where or with whom she was going until a few hours before hand.  Nannie and PaPa took her to Long Horns one night for a steak dinner.  Upon discovering it was Anna's birthday, the waiter made her a giant fancy ice cream sundae.  Then they went to the bookstore for books. She picked Horse Diaries collection.  Nannie also took Anna by Bed, Bath and Beyond to get a  sound maker so Anna could sleep at night. Anna and Amy share a bedroom for now.  Amy sucks on her fingers sometimes and it is loud. The sound maker has the choices of white noise, rain, brooks, evening sounds etc. but their favorite sound is the ocean waves, and everyone is sleeping better now.  Nice mystery birthday night for sure.
Her next mystery birthday was a lunch at Olive Garden with Wesley and Will.   They had presents for her and she quietly put them away when she got home so little sister would not feel left out. Another afternoon, there was a secret outside scavenger hunt and Anna found one of her birthday presents to be 3 riding lessons at the stables down the road from us.  One early morning, a  secret inside scavenger hunt led Anna on a long search for a new sparkly purple finger nail polish. One mystery Saturday, Anna and mom went out for lunch and a day of shopping and opening up a few more gifts.  Daddy plans to take Anna out at some point so her birthday has lasted several weeks.  Very special to have some one on one time with our birthday girl.  We did have a nice big cookie cake and ice cream on her actual birthday per Anna's request and a spaghetti dinner  the day after as that is one of her favorites.  We love and cherish you, our sweet Anna Faith Rui.  You are beautiful on the inside and out.  It is the beauty of you, that caused us to pray, seek the Lord and then return to China one more time, for another blessing..... for sweet Amy. You gave us bigger hearts, eyes that see and ears that hear. We will never get over the blessing of being your parents. Happy 9th birthday to you our very precious daughter.