Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Snow, It is a Meltin'

I'm getting a bit compulsive about making these premie hats. Not sure what I will do with this batch. Perhaps I will see if my hospital can use them. Otherwise they will be boxed up for China again.

28 and Sunny!

For three days now, when Mya gets home from school, the have taken out their bicycles and ridden around the cul-de-sac. While they are busy circling, I am using an old shovel to break up the ice at the end of the driveway. All of us get a good dose of fresh air and muscles get used. Today, there was a big puddle at the end of the driveway and the kids found out that their boots are not totally water proof AND jeans are very absorbant!

The moon makes an early appearance, rising in midafternoon.

Keith got the kids little DVD players to use on the plane. I am glad because they can plug in their favorite videos and watch as they wish. Here they are pretending tea party, watching Leapfrog videos and eating fruit.

Noah has come a long way on his alphabet learning in the last month. We have really been pushing it and it's paying off! Mya is reaping the bennies too. She gets more phonics lessons with the Leapfrog pack. I think I may have to invest in a couple more of their product.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Home Again

The Holiday Inn Express had this sitting area. How very nice!

Whiling away the time til check out and then we will sit around the airport for a couple hours.
The Tampa airport had a kids play area. It was so nice. The kids kept busy for quite a while prior to our flight. Sorry, didn't get any pics of that.

Back to home life. Feels good.

Yeah, back to playing on "my" computer!

- - - - - - -

We have made it safely home. Our pick-up gal was a bit late. So, this momma did some creative playtime. Wish I had pictures but I'm pretty sure you can visualize this. At first we thought we were just waiting for a few minutes. Mya did some dancing, both jumped over my duffle bag and watched a bird fly around inside the airport. When we realized that is was going to be a while until Erin arrived, I took the kids and headed down the way to see what we could do. We found a small circular baggage conveyor. Mya ran around it about 6 times and Noah made it about 3 times. Then, we spotted an up escalator. Oh, the joy! Right next to it was a stairway. We went up the escalator, then down the stairs and up the escalator and down the stairs. Then mom stopped and the kids continued. Up, then down; up, then down for about 10 minutes, maybe more. They were the only ones using the escalaor for the most part. They kept going while I watched Keith for a wave to tell us to come on back. The kids were not ready to quit even when I got that wave. Bummer for them!

On the way home, Mya got fussy. Traffic was heavy and she was just plain tired of sitting and started complaining about a tummy ache--common for her. A game of I Spy was the remedy. What a great game to learn to describe. Noah did a terrific description of a fire truck. I got a bit tricky because Erin and Aaron were in the back seat. My clue was "something with holes in it and lines on it". Erin got it--the road! Roads in FL did not have holes in them and the tar was a nice, nearly shiney black. Hmmm . . . the blessings and cursings of road salt! Aaron did a good one too, a bit hard for the little kid though. I spy something makes you go faster and cars go slower?? No one got it--SNOW! You go fast sliding and cars have to drive slowly in lots of it.

Once home, daddy ordered pizza, and we ate off paper plates. Erin had to do a quick clean up. Her messiness had move up a level, literally spreading into the family room and kitchen. Bed time was abbreviated as Noah fell asleep on the sofa and Mya just went to bed. Our dentist would be very disappointed in us as tooth brushing took a back seat for a week. I was shot too and went to bed before 10!!! Keith stayed up doing whatever it is he does after we all go to bed.

This morning we are taking it easy. The kids had leftover pizza for breakfast and I got my morning coffee. The cat meowed for her food and dad is doing something in his office. Home life resumes as Noah goes to get a filling this afternoon and I'm heading in to work.

Tomorrow we will get up and go to church, another new church. For anyone who has done a "church hunt", you will know that this can be a difficult process. When we made the decision to find a local church, we knew it would not be easy for us. We have tried 4 churches so far. This will be the fifth. Please pray that God will guide us to just the right one. We'd like to have a great children's ministry, vibrant youth, good worship songs, family-like congregation and to feel the presence of God throughout our visit. No, we don't want it all!! ;) We have tried the local "mega" churches and while they have lots to offer, we felt cold and distance with the congregation. Folks have told us that the small groups are the way to shorten that distant feeling. Maybe so. We'll attend this one tomorrow and then consider our options once again.

Blessings to all of you. Thanks for your comments and for keeping us on your reading list.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Two Years Ago, Beijing. Today, Florida

As I sit here looking out at a Florida beach, I can't help but reflect on 2 years ago. This is the day we woke up in Beijing. Amazing how time goes by. It seems like Noah has been with us forever. We are just so blessed to have all of our kids--Bigs and Littles. Each came to us as God planned and they are special in their own ways, demonstrating His gifts in them.

You can look back HERE to stroll down memory lane.
( You will have to scroll down to find Feb 16 as this link includes all of Feb 2008. )

The waves are magnificent today. The wind has gotten stronger as the day goes on and the waves have gotten bigger. I wanted to include a video but blogger is not cooperating.

The kids are washing their shells today to get the sand and stink off of them.

Went to a botanical garden. It was nice but I forgot the camera in the car. We did see turtles, an alligator, mallords and other birds and, of course, lots of plants.

Monday, February 15, 2010

President's Day at the Beach

Today is supposed to be the warmest day during our trip, getting into the 60s here at Indian Rock Beach. The kids spent much of the morning digging in the sand. We all tasted the water to make sure it really was salty. We at McD's for lunch and found a local W*M to get a couple more sweatshirts as the wind is making us cold. I also got a pair of slippers for me as the wood floors are cold and it goes right up my legs and chills me through. I packed assuming it would be warmer. Of course, we found a couple that say Florida on them. Nothing fancy but fun anyway. Hopefully they will have actual memories from the trip.

Keith is kind of a driving sort. So we headed south on 275, across a huge bridge. No, I don't have the name in my head but it was cool.
Now the kids are back on the beach and I've got a lasagne in the oven that we go at Target last night. Sure is nice to have a kitchen.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day!

Luggage laden family.

Moving sidewalks are fun!

Mom got us each a new book for Valentine's day.

The beach is way neat. The sand is so fine, like dust.
Great for digging and a whole lot warmer than snow.

Watch out for the waves!
Happy Valentine's day from Sunny (and chilly -50 degrees) Florida!

Monday, February 08, 2010

Time Surely Flies!

Two years ago, we were preparing for the journey to Wuhan, Hubei, China to bring home our youngest son. What we knew was that he was nearly 2.5 years old at the time. A big boy from the measurements we had. He was pretty scared, I think. He has a little tear in his eye. I can only imagine that his foster grandma had said good bye and be a good boy. When I think of her, my heart hurts for her. We have no contact with her because the authorities do not share info about the foster families. What we do know is that she loved him and stuck up for him when a neighbor criticized her Ganggang (now our Noah). We are in debted to her for teaching him to love and caring for him with gentle hands. Some day, I hope to meet her. At the very least, I would like to send her an update so that she can know that her little boy is growing and learning and becoming a fine young man.

This video is from last week when Noah and Mya played outside for a bit. He is such a joy in our life. Thank the Lord for allowing us to parent this child!


Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Photo Catch Up

Keith snapped this shot one night while I was at work.
Apparently Noah crawled into his sleeping bag and zonked on the rug behind my desk.
Keith just picked him up and put him to bed.
Somehow, sister is always taking the lead!
Can't you just hear Mya telling Noah, "this is how it's done" ?
Nap time! Notice kitty is rolled up next to Noah.

Noah got a haircut. Mom wanted pictures. A toy car is under his chin!

Pigtail fun.

Horseback rides! Giddy up, Daddy!

Log Cabin building