Friday, October 30, 2009

a big surprise

My parents were out of town for Macy's birthday
but gave her her present yesterday....

What every teenager needs.....


Her very own laptop!
Wow!
She was so surprised!
K-Man was eager to help her get
up and going!



Then we called her friend Xiao Dan (Ellie)
and the girls talked for an hour
and a half!
All while on the computer, of course.


Such a fun day!!!

when Brenden gets the camera

Random. Completely Random.

When Dad works late....
and we wait to eat with him (well, we waited for a while),
things like this happen to pass the time.....


Brenden breaks out the spoons
to do a little ditty for us.


And Lucy insists on a few dozen
posed photos of herself.


And she's always gracious enough to
include her sister in a few.

Back to Brenden and his spoon creativity.

Big feet, little feet.

Peace out, man.

Then Brenden completely took over
the camera.
Out of over 100 pics that he took...
I can honestly say,
this is the most flattering.
Ummmm, photography ain't his thang.
Or could it be...that I'm not the supermodel
that I once imagined I was.


Have a happy Friday!!!!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Macy update....and more

I gotta tell ya real quick that Nick was a little miffed
yesterday that Brenden's lard toast
brought him so many laughs from you all....
and he didn't get one single ooohh-aaahhh comment about his
tatooed muscley arm pic.

I told him,
"Nick....don't you think it would be a little creepy
for women MY age to comment on what
a hottie MY teenage son is??"

He still didn't get it at all.

Please don't tell him I told you that...
and PLEASE continue your silence on the muscle matter.

*************************

Last night Macy TRIED to teach Lucy a
few Chinese characters.

Bless her heart.




I really need to go fix breakfast for part of my crew
but I thought I would give you an update on how things
are going with Macy.

She is so eager to learn more English.
I bought her a couple of vocabulary workbooks
and she works on them a lot, which is great.
But I'm really trying to get her to talk to us using
SIMPLE English, which I know that she knows.

I typed out a long list of questions and statements for
her to practice and USE.

For example,
"I'm not feeling well."
"I want to go to the Chinese market."
"May I watch TV?"

Things like that.

She seemed to totally understand what
was asking of her,
yet she still remains silent most of the time.
It can be frustrating and it can be interpreted as
a cold shoulder.
But just when I think she's miserable being here,
she will laugh hysterically at the boys
or come help me make dinner....or help with Lucy.
It really shows me that she is trying hard to
find her part in our family.
And everyday she does more and more.

One thing that bugs me (let's just be honest here)
is that she never says, thank you.

Don't get me wrong....
I'm not looking for her to be gushy grateful that
we "rescued" her from China.
NOT AT ALL.
In fact,
I'm sure there are times when she feels
as though we ripped her from the home that she
really did love.
I know that she misses her friends and aunts in
the orphanage very much.

I just want common courtesy and she is
very polite in every other way so this kind of baffled me.

As I was praying about it, trying to get the right attitude,
the Lord just spoke to me that I needed to treat
her as I do the other kids.
Duh.
So yesterday I bought her a little book light to use
at night when she can't turn on the lights.
She seemed thrilled to have it.
I then said to her,
"THANK YOU, MOM!"
She then giggled, reached out her arms to hug
me and said, "THANK YOU!!"

Yeah, it was as simple as that.

She is such a sweet, sweet girl
and I'm so THANKFUL to call her daughter.

I have more to say but I must
go fry some bacon now.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

white butter

Oh my gosh,
is Brenden ticked off about something??
What the heck?

Ummm, no.
A kid who was doing......

this, just moments earlier....
Yes, that would be my boys coloring
pictures while we shopped at Old N*vy.


isn't the kind of person who angers easily.
No,
he was just trying to make me laugh.

As usual.


*******************************
Yesterday Brenden decided he wanted breakfast
for lunch.
So, he pulled out all the stops and made
a huge mess delicious brunch for himself.
Later,
as I was cleaning up what he "forgot" on the counter,
I saw a stick of shortening.

That's odd.

I said,
"Brenden, what in the world were you doing with this?"

Bren,
"Oh, I put that on my toast."

Me,
"You WHAT??? Brenden, it's SHORTENING!"

Bren,
"What's shortening?"

Sigh.

Me,
"Brenden, basically it's vegetable lard!"

Bren,
"Oh, I thought it was butter that just wasn't very yellow."

Oh my.


Monday, October 26, 2009

tattoo and gun show

Who says I'm not a cool and hip mom?
Who says?

And even though I really despise tattoos,
I'm all about keepin' my kids
happy.

I let Nick get one...

HA!!
Not really.
Happy shmappy.


But, just for fun....Macy gave Nick a much-desired
"tattoo"
via, not-so-painful ink, a Sharpie (marker).

Here is our Chinese tattoo artist at work!


An impressive tattoo...and gun!

Fun times!!
Ok, the way Nick is positioned, you
would think that his tattoo did hurt him!
Loosen up, kid!
Oh and by the way,
it says,

Super Man!

If any of you want to get on the fake-tattoo
bandwagon,
swing by...our parlor is open daily til Midnight.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

sunday night = family fun

I suppose that just sitting around with the family,
watching TV (AFV, of course)...joking around and being goofy
sounds a little boring.

Oh, but it's not!

Here's a little peek into our Sunday night.....

Lucy has started wearing glasses....just like Macy does.
Except that,
they are...sunglasses.
But, no less...she now has glasses, just like her sister.
Ahuh.

Perhaps I could pop the lenses out for her.
Naaa, that would be too easy.

But, between the darkness and gazillion
fingerprints all over her shades,
they end up on top of her head.


K-man and Macy.

And no evening would be complete without
a Lucy performance.
Her ego was damaged (somehow) and she ran
to one of her body guards for cover.
NO MORE PICS of Ms. Lucy, please.

Brenden plopped down on my lap and started
reading The Two Towers to me.
BORING.
So I finagled a way to take a *lovely*
picture of us.

A FUN evening, for sure!

Chinese Church

Golly, I sure hate a post with no pics.
But,
I don't have any that would relate to
what I'm writing about...though I wish I did
(more on that later)!

Macy and I went to a Chinese Christian church this morning!
They meet at the private school that my kids
are involved in so it was already somewhat familiar
to her (she's been to the school a few times now).

There were SO MANY families and tons of babies!
It was soooo great!!!
We had the option of staying in the main service,
which was in Chinese or go to the
youth class.
We opted for the youth class
(they were gracious enough to let me join in...
even though I'm not so youthful...ahem).

I was disappointed that it was in English but the
great part was that all the kids (ok, there were only 3 of them)
are bilingual and talked to her in Chinese!
There was a guy who is slightly older than her and he is
SO CUTE!!!!
I wanted SO BADLY to whip out my phone and
take a pic cause I knew y'all would want
to see him cause he's SO CUTE!
But, knowing full well that a mother of teenagers
just doesn't do such things, I resisted the temptation.
But dog-gone it he is soooo cute!
And SUCH a gentleman!
*Husband material*

It was super great because they are doing a
verse-by-verse study of the Bible,
and memorizing portions.
I was really encouraged by that and hope to
take her there again and again.

YAY!! I just love these divine encounters!
God totally led us there!!

fresh oreos

I kid you not,
this is Brenden's sincere reaction
to a freshly-opened package of Oreos.


And if you are paying attention,
you noticed that I'm posting this at 2 AM.
That's right.
Lucy started crying...I woke up to go sooth
her. She went right back to sleep and
I didn't.

Now I'm going to grab some...

Oreos.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

the celebration

THANK YOU all for your sweet Happy Birthday
messages yesterday!
I kept showing Macy as they came in and
she was a bit confused as to what
the fuss was all about!
I told her that birthdays are a really big deal in America!

We had a simple celebration.....
Starting with, a FROM SCRATCH Chinese dinner...
made my ME.


Kung Pao Chicken that was
sooo yummy!!
And please note my redneck wok...
aka, cast iron skillet!
Can you tell I live in the heart of the
Midwest?


A cake loaded with candles,
of course!



Then a special card and a few gifts.


We ended the big day with....


EAR PIERCING!!!


I couldn't believe it when I had asked Macy
earlier in the day if she wanted to
get her ears pierced that she said YES!
I re-explained what I was talking about, just to make sure
and she totally understood and she confirmed her decision.
Woot!


Ok, she looks terrified....she probably was.
But she didn't even flinch...didn't even blink!!

Stupid me, I didn't take an after photo!
But she now has beautiful little "diamond" studs in
her teeny tiny ears.

I truly hope that her first American birthday
was as special to her as it was to us.

Friday, October 23, 2009

groucho, marshmallow assault, and happy birthday!

Ok, seriously....I keep thinking, are we going to have
any uphill battles in our transition with Macy?
Because so far,
it just gets sweeter each and every day!
The awkwardness is almost completely gone...
and though our routine still needs to be
ironed out a bit,
everything is so very GOOD!!

The boys have loosened up A LOT around Macy
and aren't as intimidated by the language
barrier. They enjoy opportunities
to make her giggle....and here's one of those moments:

This is what went on yesterday when
the kids were supposed to be working
on schoolwork....

And then Lucy insisted getting in
on the action.

I'll give you one guess who Brenden is going to be for Halloween.

Another Lucy-requested photo.


And we ended our day with a full-blown family water fight,
BUT...being that it was completely one-sided
(Dad was the only one with a squirt bottle)
I sent Lucy to get the big guns....
moving our battle to a (much more pleasant) marshmallow attack...
right in the living room...and kitchen.
Macy was laughing hysterically.
There were marshmallows everywhere.
She must wonder what kind of crazy family she
has gotten herself into!!

Oh and guess whose birthday it is today??

MACY'S!!!!

Our sweet girl made it to her forever family
with one month to spare
before turning 14.

Today is a super sweet day!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MACY!!!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

AFV

Oh my stars,
it's almost 2 AM and I'm wide awake.

*Grumpy sigh*

Anyway,
at least my internet is nice and fast this time of day (night...morning).

For those of you who are getting ready to adopt an older child,
I have a few words of wisdom for you....

America's Funniest Videos!!

That show has proven to be such a HUGE hit with Macy!!
It's about the only thing she can watch
and really enjoy.
She laughs soooo hard!!

And thankfully they show re-runs frequently!!


Lucy insisted that I grab my camera
and take some pics.
She is apparently grooming Macy to have that
model-attitude and poise...
just like her.



Ok, I'm heading over to F*cebook...
someone better to awake.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Blog Shower Update!!

You guys are awesome!! We have put a nice dent in the needs for Morning Star Foundation's new home! Lynsay has updated the list, which is posted below. THANK YOU SOOOO MUCH for helping these little ones get comfortable in their new surroundings. It's not too late to participate if you would like. If you need information about how to donate, just scroll down to previous posts.
THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!! for letting God work through you!!


Morning Star Foundation Needs List September 2009
We are renovating a 10 room house. All the furnishings for 3 bedrooms, a dining room, kitchen, bathroom and laundry are needed.

Items in RED have been received!!! THANK YOU!

Bedrooms-

* Cribs- 8 cribs needed. Working on getting a better price, will probably have them made. Worst case means purchasing from major store-$100 each. 6 gifted!!
* Bedding- Sheets, bumpers and blankets. $20 each crib
* Artwork for walls- $40 per room (3 bedrooms)
* Changing table- $20 x 4
* Dresser- $100 x 3
* Window Coverings- $60 x 3 bedrooms

Dining Room-

* Dining table and chairs- $100
* High chairs- 4 at $20 each
* Wall art- $25
* Window coverings- $25

Kitchen-

* Stovetop- $100
* Refrigerator- $375
* Misc. Kitchen supplies including Knives, 2 wok ($30,) utensils, plates and bowls.
* Sink- $125
* Sterilizer- $250

Playroom-

* Artwork- $50
* Window Coverings- $40
* Small indoor play toys- currently working on price, probably around $150
* TV- $150
* Bookshelf- $50

Isolation room/clinic-

* Locking cabinet- $125
* Window covering- $30

Storage room-

* Wire Shelving- $25 x 8
* Rubbermaid style boxes for storage- $5 x 20

Office-

* Desk- $50 x 2
* Laptop computer (for purposes of being able to take with us to avoid theft and so that we always
* Have info with us) ? Unknown cost. Around $800? Would like to purchase outside of china.
* Futon- $90
* Window coverings- $30

Dorm room-

* 4 beds- $100 each
* Nightstands- $15 x 4
* Lamps- $10 x 4
* Shoe rack- $10
* Bedding- $40 x 4
* Window Covering- $30

Laundry room-

* Sink- $50
*

* Hot Water Washer- $350
* Clothes drying rack- $100
* Shelving- $75

Bathroom-

* Shelving with individual locked cubbies for ayi storage- $200
*

* Towels and washrags- $50 for all

Yard-

* Sod- Unknown price
* Playground- also working on price

Day to day needs-

* Diapers- $28 for box of 170 (working on better pricing)
* Formula- $14 per can, need 2-3 cans a day with 12 kids
* Money for staff and baby food- Approx $10-15 a day (with new home staff)
* Medicines- Spend approx. $50 a month on local meds, donated meds always needed.
* Wipes- $2 per pack

Large Items-

* Air Conditioning units- 6 units, 4 small units, $350 each, 2 large units, $750 each
* Heating system- currently unknown, greater than $3000
* Yearly heat and electricity cost- estimate- $3500
* Safe- $400
* Time Stamp- $150

pianos and tornadoes

The other day Lucy broke out her little piano keyboard.
And as I was fixing dinner,
I suddenly heard a familiar ...little lamb...tune.
It perked my ears because
as much as Lucy thinks that her pounding is music,
it's well....not.
So I glanced around the corner to see Macy
pecking away,
playing the world-famous lullaby.

I asked her if she knows how to play the piano.
She said no but that she would like to learn!
Woo!
But wouldn't you know it,
we just gave away the piano we have had setting in our
basement for years.
Actually, it was in need of some major repairs so maybe it's for the best.

SO....now I'm on a search for a decent keyboard to buy
Macy for Christmas. Though the problem is,
we don't have a lot of money to spend.

Any advice?



Last week we saw an advertisement on TV for the show, "Storm Chasers."
Macy looked mildly alarmed.
I asked her if they have tornadoes in Ch*na...she said no.
So,
not wanting to miss out on a spontaneous science lesson,
I quickly drew a map of the United States....
showing her the northern cold air....
mixing with the warm southern air,
creating a crazy swirl (my artwork was amazing),
more commonly known as a tornado.

A few days later, we watched the first episode of the season.
Poor Macy sat and watched
(no English necessary to understand the terror going on),
in our state.
I'm sure it left her thrilled to be here.

Here we are watching the tornadoes run
amuck. Macy is the little head on the right.
Poor girl. Welcome to the Midwest!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

origami

Many of you have asked about how the boys
are doing with Macy.

Very well, actually.
But, even though they have been eager to
build a relationship with her,
I know that the language barrier has been a bit
intimidating (Brenden wouldn't like me using that word
but I can't think of any other way to word it!).
But they are starting to learn to
communicate with her in other ways and
she REALLY enjoys having them around.

She is very much a teenager.
No regression in her behavior at all as far.
She enjoys Lucy a lot but really, I know she
wants to be around kids her own age.

After church Macy, Lucy, our friend Holly and I
set out to go ice-skating.
Well, we were really disappointed to find
a hockey tournament going on at the rink
so that idea was nixed.

So we went shopping, of course!
One of our stops was a craft store to find something
for Macy to do in her free time.

It was proving to be an impossible task until
she spotted an origami kit!

Brenden insisted that she help him make
something.
As you can see, he was a bit overwhelmed.

I just love how she laughs at him
constantly...we all do!

Lucy got in on the action....no, she
didn't make this, she's just the
glamorous model showcasing it.



Really, let's get serious.


Yay!! Sucess
Ok kids, say cheese!


I heart my kids!!

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