Monday, June 30, 2008

Duck park!

Before the weather got too hot, we hit the duck park! Miranda was more nervous around all these ducks than Lilyann was. It's feeding time. Miranda takes out the bread to feed the ducks.
Lilyann didn't get that we were there to feed the ducks. She feasted on bread, while the ducks stood by.
Down by the pond, there are many more ducks to feed.
Lilyann eats. She's liking the duck park. She thinks it's snack time for her!

Friday, June 27, 2008


There really are simple, cheap ways to have fun. Take dirt, for example, mix it up with some water, and dip your dogs paws in it.
Make sure you hold the paws down on the paper for awhile to get a really good print.
Wow! Those are some great "mudprints"! Good job, Pupcake!
I had been busy in knee deep cleaning around the house, when I continued to hear my 6 yr. old babbling behind me about some mudprints. I didn't really pay any attention, just thought, hope she's not referring to any muddy prints she tracked into the house. Little did I know that she had an idea brewing. I walked outside to sweep the patio, and there she was in the middle of a little art project that she was orchestrating with her dog. She was so proud of these mudprints! I was too! She is always creating new things to do with her animals, and it is so fun to see what her little mind is up to next. Mudprints. Who would of thought?

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

A Success!

My China adoptive families gathering was fun! It was so nice to meet a few other families from our area with little ones from China. We all feasted on Chinese foods, and I set up a dessert table, using very simple, inexpensive items. I got a huge bag of fortune cookies at our local wholesale grocer for $5, and I used this cute China doll material as a table runner. I also had white chinese lanterns hanging above the table that I found at the dollar store!
The kids ate, then ran through the yard playing. Here is one of Miranda's new friends. She has been home with her family for about 3 yrs.
Then it was time for some trampoline fun! One of the big brothers stood by to supervise.
Lilyann throws tantrums now if she can't get up on the trampoline with Miranda.
Miranda's bunny, Nibbly, got lots of attention too! It was a great night, and we hope to all get together again soon!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Another mom shares...

Check out this blog for another very interesting and truthful account of raising a child with attachment issues. You will have to scroll down a bit to start at the beginning. Her child was adopted from China. There is a misconception out there to some, that children from China do not have these issues. I believe it really can happen with any child adopted from anywhere.

Saturday, June 21, 2008


The more I strive for a slow pace, stress free, unhurried lifestyle, the busier it gets around here! I am working 3 days a week this summer in preparation for changing my work schedule to one day a week, so this is throwing me off a bit. In the middle of all this, we had an emergency c-section this week, with Miranda's cat, Summer! What drama. I had to rush her to the vet, and pick her up later that afternoon. I was told that the kittens more than likely would not survive, as the cat was in labor the day before and never gave birth! So, to my surprise when I picked her up that afternoon, they handed me a box with three live baby kittens! They are adorable, and Miranda is thrilled!
Today we are planting in the garden and flowerbeds, finishing up other household projects, and getting ready for the China adoptive families gathering I am having tomorrow. Since there are no local groups for people who have adopted from China, I decided to start one up myself. We are going to have a potluck with favorite chinese food dishes, get to know each other, and let all the kiddos run and play outside! I really hope it goes well. After this one, I don't know what I will plan for the next one and how often I should have these gatherings, so I will have a lot to think about! More next time, as things hopefully slow down after this weekend, I will have time to post about what we are doing for the summer to keep things simple, low cost, and fun.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

An important message on Adoption...

Go Here and read what Courtney shared in a very honest and transparent post titled "Things no one ever told me" that I fully agree with. We too, share a similar story, as we adopted an older child from russia a few years back. If you have adopted an older child, and are struggling, read this. If you have not, read it anyway. Many people that have never adopted an older child with a significant trauma history may not be able to fully comprehend what it is like, but this post will help. There may be someone in your life that is hurting just like she explains, and the reality is, it is very hard for these families to reach out to others for help, as the issues are so extreme, and the grief, hopelessness, and despair is so deep. My prayer is that this post will help those that read this in more ways than one.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Home Sweet Home...

Yes! Home is sweet, it's where I want to be...and where I will get to be...more! After many, many years of working, from full time to part time when I became a mom, I now will be working out of the home only very day a week!!! I am so happy, and feel so blessed! My entire work week will be cut in half from 20 hrs a week, to only 10. Working 20 hrs. per week doesn't seem like much to a lot of people, but when I stopped to think about it, I was away at work 80 hrs. a month! That's a lot of time to be away from my sweet girls, and for us, it was just too much. Since we homeschool, I really need to be home as much as possible to do a good job of that. Not only was I gone 80 hrs. per month at work, but I am also away from home at other times too, doing things like working out, shopping, meeting with friends, bible studies, etc. So, I really needed to evaluate what was most important. This definately comes with some sacrifices, but I am willing to sacrifice for more time at home raising my children. The closer I got to knowing that this is what I was supposed to be doing, the more things were thrown at me to try to get me off track. The first was a big raise in pay. This doesn't just happen every day. In fact, I have never had it happen before, but because there is such a high need for Occupational therapists, physical therapists, and speech pathologists in almost any setting these days, my employer thought they better do something to make us stick around. In this field you get recruitment calls, and mail asking you to come and work for them on a weekly basis! Sometimes with large sign on bonuses, even! Then, a few months later, I got a 2nd raise! What?? Here I am wanting to basically not work much at all, and I am tempted by two raises in a matter of months?! This just doesn't happen. It was tempting...and I really thought about all that I could bring in if I worked a 40 hr. week like many parents do. But, I continued to pray about it, and with the blessing of my husband, decided that working less was best, best for all of us. Financially, it will be harder, and sacrificies and cutbacks in many areas will be made. We have managed on two part time paychecks for 7 yrs, so I know we can continue. I feel very much at peace with this decision. I want to be the best mom and wife I can be, and to do that I really need to make family, and home my main priority, and be able to devote all the time I can to this awesome job God has given me!!

In my next post, I will talk about some of the things we do to live a simple, yet very full life on a pretty small budget. I have so many ideas and projects going, and I hope to share! I also need to fill everyone in on the foster/adopt journey we are on, and what has been happening there, as well as give some updates on Lilyann, my baby who will already be two years old in a matter of weeks!!! For now, I leave you with this quote;

"A hundred years from now it will not matter what my bank account was, what sort of house I lived in, or the kind of car I drove...but the world may be different because I was important in the life of a child."


Tuesday, June 10, 2008

A day at work...

Yesterday was my first work day of the week. I played all day! I started off working with a little boy with autism, and we got to swing, then play with bubbles and balls! He had fun at first, but when things didn't go his way, he began to hit and get quite aggressive. Nothing I haven't dealt with before. It is always good for them to work through this to start to learn to follow rules and routines. Later I worked with another little guy and we got to work on eating new foods, and tolerating movement on swings and spinning and rocking in colorful plastic tubs. Later in the afternoon, I got to help a couple older boys with their handwriting issues, and listen to one tell me all about how he loves country music, and especially the banjo! He is so cute! My day ended with another boy who is struggling to listen and follow directions, so we worked with that, and I encouraged his very tired, worn out mom. They left on a pretty good note! And, there were no meetings to attend! Now that is a good day at work!
This is a pretty typical workday for me, minus the paperwork, emails, and phone calls that I also do each day. Is my job fun, or what? Pediatric Occupational therapy is such a great career! I love it! However, I missed my girls so much yesterday, and wanted to be home! Can you imagine? I have worked at this place for 10 years, and I love every day I have worked there, yet, I want to be home. God has been preparing me for this, and growing me in this direction for a few years now. I am excited to tell you what has come about! Right now, my little ones are calling! Check back soon!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

7 months ago today...

This sweet baby was placed in my arms in a very excitement filled room in Guangdong, China. We recently recieved this photo from Kevin and Deb, another couple we were with on our adoption trip. They were united with their sweet daughter, Lotus, just a few minutes later. I was so grateful for this photo, because it is different from the others we have. I love how it captures the excitement and joy in Miranda's face as she sees her baby sister for the first time. Thanks Kevin & Deb, it is a treasure!!

Just yesterday we watched the video of this day for the first time! I couldn't believe I had not watched it yet! It was so much fun to see. Lilyann was watching too, and she couldn't stop running up to the t.v. and pointing at things, yelling something like "Dah!" and then running back to sit in my lap. It appeared that she really loved watching it too, and it seemed as though she might have even understood it a bit. What really floored me is just how much she has changed in 7 months. In the video, she finally wakes up, and she actually looks at me, then lays her head on my chest to be comforted as she peers up to really check me out. She never smiles, but she just looks around, and is very content in my lap. She finally starts kicking her legs, and bouncing and appears happy. She was so little. I actually take out a cheerio and offer it to her, not realizing she had never had anything but a bottle at 15 mos. of age. She didn't have a lot of fine motor skills at that point either, and she really didn't even know how to pick up small toys. In the video, Miranda takes out some toys, and Lilyann just looks at them briefly, never reaching for one or anything. We soon learned that she didn't know how to play with toys.

She is emerging into a full fledged toddler these days. She runs around the house following Miranda around, is into EVERYTHING, and she is going through a hitting stage right now. It's funny, because she has never seen anyone hit, (at least since we've had her), but it is something she just does when she frustrated, (like when she asks for a cracker, and is told she is all done with crackers, and turns and hits the first thing in sight, like the fridge). This is new to us because Miranda never went through a hitting or biting stage like this, and we know it is very typical for this age. So, we are doing our best in redirecting this behavior and trying to get through this phase.
Lilyann loves to play ball, and run, and pound on the piano, and she especially loves books and music. I just love watching her twirl around in circles when a song comes on that she likes.

We are so blessed. This little girl is such a joy, and a bright ray of sunshine to have in our home. We thank God for such a precious gift.