Monday, January 31, 2011



Prayers appreciated.
I'm crying like a baby.


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

My Montage 1/26/11 at

Celebrating having Abby home for one year. Don't forget to turn off the blog music on the sidebar so that you can enjoy this video. Then read the accompanying post below.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Abby's Adoption Celebration - Take Two

I had written this really nice, long, and emotional post about reaching the big milestone of one year with Abby. And then, I felt like it was all just re-hashed stuff. Touchy feely things that I have probably said a million times, and so has every other adoptive parent out there in blogosphere.

So, I scrapped it.

Instead, I thought I'd do another favorite of adoptive parents, which is much more light-hearted. A list of things about Abby. I went with twelve things, one for every month she's been a part of this family. 'Cause I thought no one would want to read 365 things about ANYONE else..... no matter how cute that person might be!

1. The girl can SLEEP. When she wakes up in the morning, she tumbles down the stair and has that "nobody talk to me until I drink my coffee" look on her face that she must have learned from me. I think most days she finally gets up just because she doesn't want to be alone upstairs. Which leads me to number two......

2. She HATES to be alone. I don't know if that comes from being in the orphanage and getting used to always having so many others around, or from having been punished by being left alone in a room, or from abandonment fears, but she avoids being alone in any room at all costs. The only place she's comfortable alone is the bathroom. Thankfully. lol

3. She loves salty foods. When most of my kids finish a meal, they beg for cake, cookies, or candy. Not Abby. She always says: "Can I please have some chips for a snack??"

4. She is gifted with a beautiful singing voice and is not afraid to use it.......... in the shower, or when doing chores.

5. She LIKES chores. I mean, she knows enough by now to do her share of complaining when she's assigned them. But she does them with JOY. And does not rush through them. She honestly looks every bit as happy doing chores as she does when she's playing. Either she loves them, or she's found the secret of doing everything cheerfully the way we SHOULD. But wait: she doesn't do schoolwork cheerfully - so maybe not.

6. She has the best handwriting out of any of my kids. There might be two reasons for this: 1- I wasn't her sole handwriting teacher!! 2 - There's something about learning to write those complicated Chinese characters that makes our alphabet ridiculously easy.

7. She cannot get enough of looking at her reflection. She says they had no mirrors at the orphanage, so she did not get the opportunity much for most of her life. But now she just can't stop. I've caught her fixing her hair using the microwave door for a mirror while on time-out. I found this kind of endearing at first but now it's just a little over the top.

8. For those of you who think I talk fast, you have seen NOTHING until you meet our Abby. Her English is GREAT - but we have to keep reminding her to please.slow.down!!

9. She has never taken a bubble bath in her life - but I'm terrified to leave her in the bath by herself. I'm going to have to sit myself in the bathroom with her so she can experience this indescribable joy, or figure something out.

10. Bible is her favorite subject in school.

11. She is great with babies, and baby dolls too.

12. She is a total Daddy's girl. And to think, before adopting, I worried about how Jim would bond with our adoptive child. You worry about the dumbest things sometimes.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

One Year Celebration

We celebrated our one year anniversary of Abby's adoption day, or gotcha day, or whatever you want to call it, yesterday. I can hardly believe it has been one year since we met that scared and TINY lil' girl. I've been meaning to sit down and write something deep, profound, and touching, something that will express all the feelings that have raced through my mind and heart in the last twelve months. But frankly, with five kids in the house plus homeschooling thrown in, I just haven't had the time. I'll get to it, hopefully before the end of the week. And I'll also throw in a nice detailed description of how we celebrated, with the ONE picture I managed to take.

But if I leave you wanting for inspiring adoption related reading, please hop on over to Sonia's blog and laugh and cry along with her and her crew, as they are in China RIGHT NOW adding two more sweet boys to their family. And Sonia has me beat now, with SIX children to call her own, she's two days post adoption, and she still manages to find the time to write witty and touching posts. I might need to hire her for some private lessons!

On a side note, Jim and I have been asked to speak at an upcoming Valentine's Dinner for the chapel. While my husband is quite talented in the public speaking department, I have no skills- or nerves - whatsoever for that type of thing. Plus, it made me feel really OLD that they would even ask us to do this. I guess they just want the young, hip couples to reach out and encourage the other young, hip couples, right??? Please pray that my nerves will be stilled and I can speak clearly and be an encouragement to others - not just blubber, and stutter, and sweat!!!

OK- wonderful one year post coming up, VERY SOON!!!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

A Hero

I just got the sad news that my dear uncle gave up his fight with leukemia this morning. It is difficult, as it always is, for all of those who loved him to say good-bye (well - see you later). His battle had been long, though, and there is great peace in knowing he is at rest in his Father's arms. And although I hadn't seen him in the last 20 years - I just wanted to note that he was regarded as a hero in our little family circle. I would need to open a separate blog just to give enough detail about the ways he gave to others. He was an amazing father, an incredible brother, and I know many not-so-young-anymore nieces and nephews that still called him "favorite" - and when you are one of TEN siblings you have stiff competition for that title. He also dearly loved God and walked hand in hand with Him.

Anyhow, thanks for your prayers over the last few months. And to my family in every corner of the world - I love you bunches and wish I could be closer!!!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Need a Little Inspiration?????

This song is a great reminder to get off our duffs and DO something!
(Don't forget to turn off the blog background music on the sidebar).

Monday, January 10, 2011

Big Boy

My baby turned 3 this past Sunday. Boo-Hoo!!!!!! I am so sad happy to see him getting so big!! OK, I'll admit this is bittersweet for me. All it takes is one look at my big boys (the oldest of those now being taller than me, by the way) to remind me how crazy fast the time goes by. I'm going to miss his baby ways.

On Monday, we were leaving the commissary and the lady pushing out our groceries started making conversation with him, and dared to call him "baby". He quickly turned around and said: "I am NOT a baby. I am a boy." Luckily, this smart lady must have had a bit of experience with toddlers, because she did not snicker or even break a grin. If there is one thing that drives him crazy is when people laught at what he says. Instead, she apologized and then asked how old he was. He was SO excited to get to hold up three little fingers and announce "I'm THREE".

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Excuse Me???????

I just about died today......

Now I have to say that schooling Abby has not been an easy feat. The girl is extremely smart, but also has been very, well, unmotivated. Which is to be expected considering she was never challenged academically before she got here. So, to her chagrin, she got a nutso mom who is a little too motivated when it comes to teaching her kids. So, I've really cut her no slack and have pushed - err, I mean, encouraged her, to do her best. But it can be exhausting work. And there's times I want to just have a good day with no confrontations and just let her get away with doing next to nothing. Luckily for her, I 've had six previous years of experience and don't easily succumb to those temptations.

We've come a very long way......
She knows tears don't get her out of school, she knows I know how much she can do, and she frankly has turned a big corner and has stopped fighting me on it. She still freaks out when I ask her questions, like she thinks I'm trying to trick her into being wrong or something, but we're working on that....

And yet I was not ready for today. I mentioned recently that Abby does most of her work on the computer. She is doing the third grade program from Alph* and Omeg*'s Switched* on Schoolhouse*. In China, she would now be in fourth grade, as she would be here based on her age. Lanie is in fourth grade now, and she is a few months younger than Abby. The third grade program has been just right for her, though, considering she is still learning English.

Well, today Abby came to me and said: "Mom, I wanted to ask you if I could do fourth grade over the summer. I want to do it but I don't know if you will let me."

I just about fell off my seat. Actually asking to school over summer break??????? Are you kidding me? She then told me she is anxious to catch up to Lanie and the rest of their friends. Peer pressure at its best!!!!!!!!!!!

I explained she'll catch up eventually, and the only reason she is behind at all is the language. Luckily, she seemed pleased with that - for now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, January 3, 2011

New Smile

See the little cutie on my sidebar, Marcelle??? She is the child we are privileged to sponsor through An Orphan's Wish. I just got word that she is having her lip repaired!!! That is amazing news and I am thrilled for her. Not only will she have a beautiful new smile, but this will make eating so much easier for her!! What a thrill to get to watch the changes this will bring. Please praise God along with me for this milestone for Marcelle, and pray for a speedy recovery!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Too Cute

Abby does most of her schoolwork on the computer. It really helps her to be forced to read mostly everything on her own, instead of having me read to her all the time, but the computer is set up to help her with pronunciation when she needs help, plus it also gives her definitions of new words, etc.... It is definitely not something I would do long term, but for now it is really working out well.

I require her to come tell me what she has learned before she can move on to the question part of the lesson. So today, after her Language Arts lesson, she ran up to me and said:

"Mom, they're teaching me about what to put at the end of a sentence. I already knew about periods and question marks, but now they are teaching me about EXPLOSION MARKS!!!!""

So cute! Love my language learner!