Friday, September 26, 2008

Harvest Moon Festival 2008

This year's Chinese Moon festival landed on September 14th. I held another gathering at my house to celebrate this day. My friend from Hong Kong gave me all of her old chinese lanterns. These are the kind you place a little candle inside so it glows under the light of the moon. Miranda emjoyed dancing all over the porch with these lanterns.
Lilyann wanted to join in the fun, so she grabbed a lantern and started dancing too...later we shared them with all of our friends, and each child took one home. We had some new families join us this time, and it was a lot of fun.
Here are the authentic moon cakes we ate. One of these babies costs approx. $6.50! They come in a tin box, in sets of 4, so this was not a cheap little appetizer! These mooncakes were filled with Lotus seed paste, and they were actually quite good!
But the highlight of the afternoon was riding around the yard in Miranda and Lilyann's Barbie car! The kids had a blast taking turns driving each other around, and pushing it up the hill and flying down as fast as they could.
We are going to gather again for Chinese New Year 2009 which will be in Jan. or Feb. We are enjoying our times together getting to know these wonderful families, celebrating adoption, friendships, and the chinese culture.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Home at last!

Fifty six hours on an Amtrak train, and we are now home. It was actually 28 hours there and 28 hours back. It actually wasn't bad at all! I don't enjoy flying, as I like to be grounded, and traveling this way was more comfortable than a plane too. You can stretch out and sleep, and get up and walk around a lot. There is a dining car, where you can eat meals, and you can get out at some of the stops and walk around. At this stop (pictured above), we were in Shelby, Montana. Miranda ran around in circles, and got some of her energy out. There were around 35 stops between Seattle and Devils Lake, North Dakota where my relatives live. We met so many interesting people on the train, from a buddhist monk, to a couple taking a trip from Washington state to the mall of America in Minnesota because it was something they had on their bucket list. And then there was also the cutest older man with a strong english accent that couldn't wait until it was 7:30am on the timetable (his words), so that he could get out in Rugby, North Dakota and take a picture, because he was from Rugby, England. The trip was fast, and went well. It was a huge family reunion, and I got to see every one of my cousins that I hadn't seen in 20 years! My grandmothers funeral was beautiful, and I believe she is with the Lord now. My grandma was one of 17 children, and there are only two sisters left. I got to meet Rose, her younger, 90 year old sister. She was very sweet and when asked if she knew the key to longevity, she said she once heard that there are 3 things you need to do to live a long life-go barefoot, drink sour milk, and never get married!

I would take the train again in a heartbeat! It wasn't bad at all, I got a lot of handmade projects done, enjoyed conversations with people, my brother, and Miranda, and got some reading in too! And who knows, I might just start a bucket list too, and take a trip over to the mall of America myself. What fun that would be!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Off we go...

Miranda, my brother Alan, and I will be leaving on a train soon to attend my grandma's funeral. We are off to the great state of North Dakota. It will be a long trip. We will be there awhile visiting relatives. It's been many years since I have been there. This photo pretty much looks exactly like what I remember. It is a very small town. It will be good to see lots of relatives that I haven't seen in years. Have a good week!

Lilyann update

Looking back over the last 10 months, it is amazing to see all the changes she has made.
She is walking, starting to talk, eating on her own (everything!), and starting to potty train!
In the spring, we started working very hard on attachment issues, as she had a tendency to go to any stranger, and want to be held. Our hard work has paid off! She is so well attached now, and she doesn't go to strangers. When a stranger wants to hold her, she often cuddles in more and looks the other way. This is a huge difference, and much healthier!
She loves music, and is now singing songs such as "Twinkle Twinkle little star". Right now Miranda is playing that on the piano, and Lilyann is singing "Inkle, Inkle, deetle sarrrrr!!!"
She continues to love books, and food! Her food issues are still there. She broke down crying after eating 2 bowls of oatmeal this morning, as she was taken out of her high chair. She was also seen licking the bowl-this girl is just NEVER filled issue of post institutionalization we continue to work on.
She is doing very well over all, and we are so blessed! She makes us laugh every day with her little happy feet dance, and she showers us with hugs and kisses daily! What more could we ask for?

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Urgent prayer needed!!!

There is a couple in China right now who went to meet their daughter on gotcha day and found out she was in the hospital...dying. They are able to visit her in the hospital, and their baby girl is weak...they are weak...they are frustrated and losing hope. Please pray. To follow their story, go here.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

This sums it up...

I talk a lot about how we are too busy in our society...well this message sums it up, and tells it just like it is...only now we know the source. Even though I completly agree with this, and have been working on it, it is still so easy to fall for this trap. Please watch it to the end.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Good-bye summer, Hello Fall!

It is the end of the summer here, the weather has definately changed, and I always welcome fall with open arms! We started homeschooling again last week, and I am doing some fall cleaning, getting out all my pumpkins and fall decorations, and spending lots of time outside, in the crisp, sunny fall weather. I think fall is the most beautiful time of year. Besides homeschooling, I have tons of projects planned this fall. Some of them include:
*Painting the girls new playhouse that Daddy built. This was started right before we went to China last fall, and we've been a *little* preoccupied since then. ;)
*Our craft room is almost ready to go, I've got all my scrapbooking items organized and I'm ready to get to work!
*I am half way done with my first quilt, so I will be spending a few more days on that, then I'll have pictures to show!
*I am still knitting and almost done with my 3rd scarf. Someone special :) will be getting it for Christmas.
*I am going to start working on some of my primitive crafts as well. I have some adorable doll patterns I can't wait to get started on, and I have Jeff out in his wood shop cutting wood for some other ideas I have!
*Miranda is starting a sewing class soon, and I found her the cutest pattern to make. I am sure she will let me take a picure of it to show when it's done!!
So we are very creatively busy, and that's the most fun! And we have also been busy in the kitchen canning again this year. There's more to do this weekend, but I will have to squeeze it in since Sunday is the Chinese mid autumn moon festival and we are having all the adoptive families over for another get together for that! I am excited. My friend at work, a sweet lady from Hong Kong went to Seattle the other day and brought me back some authentic mooncakes, the same brand she used to buy in Hong Kong, so we will be snacking on those on sunday. Since her kids are grown and in college now, she also gave me all of their old chinese lanterns, also directly from Hong Kong. What a blessing! We are looking forward to it, and I have already heard from some new families that are going to join us this time. I'll post pictures of the event when it's done!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Wow........ all I can say. To read the most amazing story, go here.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Miss Lily's little friend...

On the day of Miranda's craft club, Lilyann had fun too. A friends adorable little girl, Olivia, latched onto her, and they were inseperable.
They walked around the house arm in arm or hand in hand and never let go. It was sooo cute!
How sweet to watch friendships blossom with our children. It is such a precious thing to see.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Miranda's craft club

Miranda has been planning a "craft club" for many months. She is a crafty girl, and thought it would be fun to have a bunch of kids over to join in on the fun. It was a success!
Here are some of them decorating sun visors, and making mice out of pine cones. We also made felt flower magnets, and a little tag scrapbook for summertime memories.
After awhile they got hungry, so up to the porch they went to snack on homemade zucchini bread and lemonade.
Later they played on the swingset and some of the girls worked on paperdolls in the playhouse.
It was a fun time for all, and we hope to do it again in the future!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Here she is!!

This is my new vintage travel trailer, from the 1960's! These things are all the rage, ya know. I don't have a name for her yet, but I am sure Miranda will help me think of one. This is it, my big purchase. Besides my house, this is the largest thing I've ever purchased. What I originally wanted to do was find one from the 50's or 60's, and restore it. I decided to place a wanted ad on craigslist, and right here in my town, there was a guy who had purchased this one 2 yrs ago, with the intentions of restoring it, and he did. So, most of the work is already done. It has sort of a 1950's diner theme going on inside. The colors are red, white and black, with red and white checked curtains, and coca-cola curtains. The guy even purchased old curtain hooks from a vintage trailer supply place like they used when this trailer was new. He wasn't completely done with it, so I got a really great price on it. We have a couple of things to do, like fix a window, and sew up a way cool canvas bunk in the back-he provided the canvas material. I am so excited. I plan on making lots of memories with my little family as we take many road trips and camping trips with this little trailer. I still hope to find one even older, and smaller someday to restore myself, but I would need to get it practically free, and allow myself years to work on it.
The week after I got my little trailer, I went into my favorite scrapbooking shop, and what did I find, but this adorable vintage travel trailer paper!! How perfect! It came with many other coordinating papers, and I am so excited to do my first layout about our first camping trip in our new trailer!