Wednesday, December 31, 2008

It's that time again! ~UPDATE! I was wrong!!

Oh how I love the night before referrals get into a new parents hands :) Here is a Mom and Dad- to- be that have waited over 3 years to see their daughters face for the first time. Tomorrow they will no longer be wondering..

UPDATE- My guess below was WAY off :) - Take a look at her beautiful smile!!! M+S have some shopping to do~!

I'll put my guess out there for the record..
Province = Jiangxi (staying in Nanchang while in Province)
Age = 10 months
Weight= 16 lbs when they take all the layers off :)
Hair = wispy strands of dark brownish black :):)

Congrats M & S!!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

A sweet spirit

This year it was my intention to keep Christmas simple. I did very little shopping and decided to focus all energy on making a festive and memorable day for my family without the commercial influence as much as possible. We did end up with much more under the tree than I would have liked, but mainly the goal was accomplished.

My Mom came and is sleeping upstairs as I type. I can't tell you how much we treasure our children's only Grandparent left. We had a wonderful home cooked meal of Citrus herb turkey, apple sage dressing, holiday corn pudding, fresh fruit, and more seasonal favorites. After dinner, we watched old videos of Christmas's past, the birth of John David, Elizabeth's 'Gotcha' day in China and many other memories. I would look over from time to time as we were watching them all and see tears trickling down my Moms cheek. It was really the first time we watched anything that had my Dad in it who passed away not long ago.

Our son John memorized much of Luke Chapter 2 and this was his gift to his Grandmother. He drew a picture of the manger scene on a card for her, wrapped it up, and then when she unwrapped on Christmas day he jumped up and stood in front of the fire and recited it. What a joy it was to hear his precious sweet voice and knowing these verses will be tucked in his heart for the rest of his life.

I realized that time is passing so quickly. Life changes unexpectedly and we never know what the next year will bring forth.

I can't help but feel a sense of urgency to stay even closer to our Heavenly Father as we enter such an uncertain time in 2009. Our family's goal this year will be to focus ever so strongly on Him as we travel along the path God lays before us.

Monday, December 22, 2008

What would you do differently if you knew...

Here is a portion of a Christmas letter written by Mary Beth Chapman. Her entire letter is found here. Thinking about how the mother of Jesus might have known the time with her son was short and how she translated that into those precious years she had with Him on this earth...
As I anticipate Christmas 2008, I have many thoughts flying through my heart and head. The last several days, my mind has not been able to stop thinking about Mary, the mother of Jesus. Pregnant and scared, knowing that the baby she was carrying eventually would pay the ultimate price of His life. How would I have lived differently if I knew that my time with Maria was going to be this short? Regretfully, I would have lived much differently. I would have purposely hugged and kissed more. I would have tried to memorize and lock away in my heart certain smells and smiles. I would have colored more and worked less. I would have laughed more and fussed less. Bedtime wouldn’t have become a chore to check off the list of things to get done. Instead it would have been more of an opportunity to listen about the day and offer whatever words were needed. The swimming pool wouldn’t have been too cold to swim in. The flowers in the garden would have all been picked, and definitely more ice cream would have been consumed!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Friday, December 19, 2008

OVER 1.5 BILLION U.S. taxpayer dollars (YOURS AND MINE) are being considered for the Abortion industry bailout by President Elect Obama

I went to bed but could not sleep thinking about this tonight. A very large chunk of this money would be designated to fund Abortion Groups like UNFPA, an international aid organization connected to coercive abortion as part of China's coercive one-child policy.

As I read the emerging data on "the Abortion bailout" being considered by the next administration, I am *beyond disturbed* to know that part of our family income will be given to these "causes" by the future President.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

A study in pastels

One day I saw Elizabeth perched on the dining room table near the window posing for John. I asked him what they were doing and he said he was drawing her portrait using natural window light. ...humm, ok... sounds like a plan... so I resumed my daunting laundry chore and left the room.

Later, he presented me with the finished work.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

on dasher, on prancer, on mastercard, on visa..

she got an extra bone for this.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

A chilly rainy day in Colonial Williamsburg..Perfect!

If you have never tried this,,,you must!

Christiana Campbell’s Tavern *AMAZING* Rum Cream Pie
(one 9-inch pie)

Crumb crust (see below)
1/2 cup dark rum
1 envelope unflavored gelatin
1 1/2 cups whipping cream
5 egg yolks
1 cup sugar
unsweetened chocolate (opt.)

Prepare a crumb crust (see below).

Soften the gelatin in 1/2 c. cold water. Place over low heat and bring almost to a boil, stirring to dissolve.

Beat egg yolks and sugar until very light. Stir the gelatin into the egg mixture. Cool.

Gradually add the rum, beating constantly. Whip the cream until it stands in soft peaks and fold into gelatin mixture.

Cool until it begins to set, then spoon it into the crumb crust and chill until firm.

Grate chocolate over top if desired.

*************Crumb Crust***********
2 1⁄4 cups graham cracker crumbs 2 tablespoons sugar
1 ⁄2 cup butter,melted 1⁄2 teaspoon cinnamon
Combine the ingredients and press into a 9-inch pie pan.
or.. just go buy a pre-made one :)

For more "tastes" of Williamsburg such as Christiana Campbell’s Tavern Sweet Potato Muffins and Christiana Campbell’s Tavern Spoon Bread, go HERE!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Uganda. 2 toddlers. mom of 7. now of 9 and soon to be 10!

Join my sweet friend as she embarks on a journey of a lifetime to Uganda bringing these children home. She just turned 50 and she's not finished yet!!! Go grab a cup of tea and pop over to read a story you won't forget!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Earth Fare conversation w/ gentleman who measured out our pound of curry chicken salad

Gentleman- Did you adopt her from China?
Me - yes.
Elizabeth with a gasp- How did he know I was born in China???
Me - Because you are so beautiful.
Elizabeth - oh. Can we eat here?

I think we are making progress!

this one was taken just after returning home from China...

and this one was taken a few evenings ago.. :)

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

3 x 50 =

We spend a great deal of time in the car driving from one activity to another during the week and recently I calculated how many hours a week were spent on the road. Usually, we are 'in transit' for about an hour (or more a day). This has actually turned into quite a blessing for our family especially since we started listening to THIS kids program whenever possible from 3 PM to 5 PM on weekdays.

It has been amazing how much John and Elizabeth have learned and grown through it. Sometimes we let them call in and they have actually been on the air on several occasions with "Mr. Matthew". It is one of the very best things we do on a regular basis. I can't tell you how much J + E enjoy the programs and how much I am thrilled with the content! On days we are home, the children get to listen to it while they clean their rooms :)

On average, I would estimate they get to hear about 3 hours a week worth and that adds up to about 150 hours a year! Then, as this chain of thoughts progressed, I realized how many minutes we could translate into similar learning experiences and how it really does add up to a worthwhile amount of time!

If you live in the broadcast area of this wonderful station, you can pick it up via 91.5 FM from 3-5 PM weekdays or listen online.
Be sure to check all the other programing offered as it's been an incredible blessing to our entire family.

Monday, December 1, 2008

In the very beginning of the long and winding China adoption road

we were very blessed to begin our journey with a group of families in our community that were also in the process of adopting from China. Its hard to believe that was almost 5 years ago now and it has been a wonderful experience to watch these children grow, celebrate fun times together, and become almost like extended family with them.

Even though as all the children get older and lives seem to become busier, it is still wonderful on those rare occasions when we gather and enjoy the incredible gift of these amazing little boys and girls we share. This, was one of these special occasions. As you can see in the pictures below, our "princess" was overcome and humbled by your kindness. Thank you friends.

A special welcome from visitors coming from Kelly's Korner linky!