Thursday, February 28, 2008

There was a little girl who had a little curl...

right in the middle of her forehead :)

And then there was her sister!

Both girls were looking a bit shaggy as of late. The past few times we have gotten haircuts, Hannah has been "on edge", not quite sure she trusted the whole process. I kept the mamarazzi to a minumum during those trips; no need to upset her or make it feel stranger than it already felt.

This time, Hannah hopped across the salon, went right over the the chair and made no bones about getting her hair cut (she does still sit on my lap). I think Emily was more proud of her than I was. Emily made a huge point of showing her where your hair gets washed and how easy it was to get your cape wrapped. Hannah wanted to have a cape (with all of her climbing and acrobatics, apparently, she is channelling SuperBaby!). Our stylist had trouble cutting the back because Hannah would not look down, she kept her eyes fully focused on the mirrors and kept saying "Puuuhby" (pretty)

The other big hit was the dryers. Hannah kept insisting "Hat on Hannah" when she was finished with her trim, even though her hair had already dried. The girls in the salon really love the little ones and fawn all over them, grabbing lollypops and making their little princesses feel special. So, it was no surprise when they all scurried to lift Hannah onto one of the dryer chairs and make sure the air was cool.

Big hugs and thank yous rounded out a great visit to the hairdresser. Good job, ladies!

All ready

Finished product

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Raindrops on Roses and Whiskers on Kittens...

Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens,
Brown paper packages tied up with strings,
These are a few of my favorite things!

Emily and a friend went to see The Sound Of Music on Sunday. It was presented by the high school drama team at her school and it was magnificent. The kids worked so hard and had so much talent. Emily has always said she sees herself on the stage and I would not be a bit surprised if that could be in her future. In the meantime, she has been singing about the hills alive with the sound of music and all of her favorite things:)

She came up with a list of favorites for herself and Hannah, so we thought it would be fun to post.

Favorite color - "blue like my eyes"
Favorite food - noodles and chicken
Favorite Ice Cream - Vanilla with rainbow sprinkles
Favorite movie - Beauty and the Beast
Favorite song - You Shall Go Out with Joy
Favorite thing to wear - Hats
Favorite number - 5
Favorite toy - Littlest Pet Shop
Favorite holiday - Valentine's Day
Favorite thing about school - recess:)
Favorite animal - leopard (we won't be getting one of those anytime soon!)
Favorite jewelry - "the necklace Nanny made with me"
Favorite vacation spot - the beach
Place she most wants to visit - Disney World!

And Hannah...

Favorite color - purple
Favorite book - Snuggle Puppy by Boynton (used to be a Mother for Choco)
Favorite TV show - Tie between Sesame Street and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse
Favorite song - Sesame Street theme
Favorite animal - Boots the Monkey
Favorite number - 2
Favorite piece of clothing - SHOES!
Favorite toy - Sit and Spin
Favorite word - WHY???

Thursday, February 21, 2008

We're All in This Together

"We always need to be on the lookout for those teachable moments with our children ~ spontaneous lessons that appear in the side yard, the laundry room, and the grocery store. ~ Susan Card

A few weeks ago, we had the joy of hosting some of our dearest friends for a get-together at our home. The mommies (two of my girlfriends) are long-time friends. We watched each other get married and begin our families. We don't get to spend the time together we'd like, but when we are together, it is always a good time. Collectively, we have five children, all fitting in just the right age range to play together and hang out.

Emily and Jamie (the eldest of the bunch) asked if they could watch a video together. They couldn't come to a resolution of which movie to view. The mommies stayed out of it. They talked with (ummm, actually "at") each other until they decided on High School Musical. As I watched them dance and party like rock stars, I got to thinking about one of the theme songs of this modern, kid phenomenon. "We're All in this Together."

And I believe, we really are.

Who would pray for us if we weren't? Who would dry our tears and share our joys? Why would we ever need God if there weren't those unavoidable glitches in life that bring us right to His space and place?

In this world, we need to be in this together. It made me think about this family

I do not know these people. I have never met them, however, their story crossed my path and now I scramble to the computer everyday to check on them, evaluate what direction the prayer should go and rejoice when they have happy news about their darling little girls, especially Ayla as she receives treatment for retinoblastoma. You can read about them here.

Then, there is this family

Nate, a pastor, is the daddy, Tricia, the mommy, is a CF patient and awaiting a critical transplant and the little one not in the picture because she was born very premature is Gwenyth. I pray for this family daily, not because I would pretend to know them, but because for reasons only God knows, He brought it to my attention, they need prayer. I would encourage you to stop here and pray if you feel led or at least leave them some encouragement as they walk this road.

Somehow the enormity of the world seems less and more attainable with each person we gather into our fold. My hope is that I will teach my children about extending themselves, praying for others, serving God and the world because we need to be ultimately aware, we are all in this together.

This thankful Thursday, I am thankful for good friends, for their joys and their children. I am thankful for prayer, and for God's design in uniting us, especially in the world we live in today. I am thankful for blogging and the friends I have made that I never would have known. I am thankful that I have a forum to present prayer concerns and know that somewhere one more person will lift those I have mentioned just because they could. I am thankful that every morning when we get to a particular landmark on the way to Emily's school that Hannah shouts out gleefully, "Mommy, PRAY!" and she bows her pretty little head and folds those adorable fingers, keeping her eyes closed tight until Emily or I finish with "Amen".

We are all in this together...

Thursday, February 14, 2008

A Happy Valentine's Day!! Thankful Thursday

"What can we do to promote world peace? Go home and love your family!"
~ Mother Teresa

Love. Nothing better than love...

Emily said the other day that Valentine's is an "awesome" holiday because you get to tell everyone how much you love them. I agree with Emily, it is pretty amazing to share with others the devotion in our hearts and not be ashamed, uncertain or embarrassed. During Emily's party today, her teacher did a beautiful devotional on love. She said that one of the teachers had prayed this morning and thanked Jesus for being the ultimate valentine. Pretty humbling...Em's teacher went on to explain that the Bible is the best valentine we have ever received. I'm certain I have heard that before and even felt it myself, but in the presence of eighteen five and six year olds and their joy, it left me speechless. So, this Thankful Thursday, I am grateful for that valentine given to us that we might love others in just the way He has loved us.

Last week, Emily gathered her box of valentines, a red pen and a list of her friends. She then scoured the house looking for items with family names on them and sat herself at the island in the kitchen. She proceeded to write out valentines to all of her friends, signing them herself AND writing a message to each friend and family member. I was blown away. It was one of those moments where you think, "Gee this time last year she needed me to help her so much, now she is doing this without ever being asked." I had trouble deciphering if I should feel proud of her initiative or saddened by her increasing independence. So, I think I'll just feel thankful for her heart and encouraged by how she seeks to build positive relationships and cares for others.

From the heart filled doo-dads in her hair down to the little red maryjanes on her toesies, I am thankful that Hannah is home forever ~ celebrating, learning, growing, loving, especially loving, all the world has to offer. I love each holiday that marks yet another milestone. I love her wonder and excitement at the things she has never experienced before. I love her laugh, her giggle, the way she dances. I love our baby girl, she was worth every moment of waiting and I'd have waited a million more to get to her.

We know so many wonderful people. Our children are being raised with good examples and surrounded by loved ones who like to bless their lives. I am thankful for the stickers from Lindy Li (given the fact she is 2) I am certain her amazing Mommy had something to do with the great package filled with stickers that arrived in our mailbox yesterday:) Thank you Lindy Li, you made our day. We look forward to the time when we can be together with you and Meimei.

Are these not adorable???? Our good friend John (the girls call him Mr. Cow - Emily could not say his name and so it got shortened to Mr. Cow ) saw these cutie pie plates, bowls and cups at Tarjay and picked up a set for each girl for Valentine's Day. He gave them their gifts a few weeks ago and both have eaten every meal since then in their sweet bugware. We love them! Thank you for your special place in our family, Mr. Cow.

My mother found these excellent banks to help teach our children about stewardship. I am crazy about them and the lessons they will help us teach the girls. Fine examples of being good stewards of their resources, I feel my parents set a great precedent and we want to pass that along. Thank you for finding these, knowing how much we would love them.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Think S-P-R-I-N-G

Boop, booop, beep, boop, beep, beep

Dear God, can you send spring?

I am ready, NOW!


What a fabulous Chinese New Year we have had this year. When we were waiting for Hannah, we decided to try to find ways to celebrate her without her physically being here. Now that she is home with us, it makes this particular holiday very poignant for our family. Our paperchase began during the Chinese New Year and our referral came during this time as well. At the beginning of our paperchase, we met a wonderful couple, April and John, who went just a few short months after us to receive thier sweet daughter Julia. Last weekend, we were able to be with their travel group for a gathering. Did I get tons of pictures? Nope, I was having too much fun chatting and playing - but, I did manage to capture sweet Julia


Emily shared about Chinese traditions in her three year old and four year old preschool classes. She chose gifts for her classmates and wanted to carry on the tradition again this year. Thursday morning, our family was invited into her kindergarten class to read several stories, share treats and answer questions. I was surprised by how interested and intrigued the children were, not only with Hannah, but with the location of her previous home, and all the details about her becoming our sister and daughter. I am so grateful for her wonderful teachers; there were some difficult questions (insert lump in throat). We chose Chinese moon cookies for treats and each child received an orange and a gift bag with several traditional toys. I even found fortune cookies with scriptures inside!

Each of our daughters received a Chinese drum for their celebration gift, they absolutely love them. Emily even wants to put hers "up high" so nothing happens to it, oh how quickly they grow!

Hannah gathered a chair quickly and settled in for the morning routine. She loved kindergarten:) She is incredibly verbal, which I will post on another time, but we are all enjoying watching this little cutie blossom. The girls finished out our weeklong celebration by having a slumber party in Hannah's room last night - very tender the love of two sisters.

7 Things...

I was tagged by several blogger friends to share seven things about me. I am not the most interesting banana in the bunch, but here are a few...

1. When I was a senior in college, I participated in Disney's College Program and had a four month internship in Walt Disney World. I finished up that internship as a roller skating waitress at the Sci-Fi in MGM. They offered me a full time job and to finish my classwork in Florida... I was ready to go home, so I declined and put my roller skates away for good!

2. I have freckles, lots and lots of freckles. It used to be, in the school district where I attended elementary school, mandatory swim class occurred in the fourth grade. As I was sitting in my pea-green-district-approved-way-too-big-had-to-be-shoe-laced-in-the-back-awesomely-humiliating suit (I still have anger issues over not being permitted to wear my own swimsuit, can you tell?) a little girl next to me kept inching further and further away. Once she was a safe distance, she advised me she DID NOT want whatever I HAD, those spots were awful. I am still sensitive about my spots:)

3. I want to write a book, truly I do. It is on the list of things I will do before I leave this world.

4. If I could have one real talent that I was not blessed with, I would be a rock star - I know good ol' conservative me. Not so much a rock star, but pump a rockin' voice. In my little world, some days I am a rock star!

5. My Chrohn's Disease has been in remission since I had Emily. The doctor told me the pregnancy would either cure me or kill me. My sweet daughter saved my life on so many levels.

6. Our good friends won't travel with us since 2003, when I developed a kidney infection from a stone, got horribly ill on a plane ride from Puerto Rico to home, had to have the plane landed early, was ambulanced off the tarmac and then taken to the worst hospital in the history of man. Come to think of it, Rob won't travel far with me anymore either. It was quite a scene! Someday maybe I will post the story in it's entirety...we do laugh about it now.

7. I believe the Lord blessed me with a servant's heart. I love serving others. I worked in a senior center for many, many years. I tried corporate life for about five years and it didn't suit my character...I needed a servant's job and have remained in that vein ever since.


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