Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Nandy, Nandy!!

Pictured: Thatcher, Elizabeth, Mei Lin, and Miyah
(aka Pumpkin, Cowgirl, Minnie, and Mickey Mouse)
Happy Halloween!

The girls and I met up with some friends for our tradition of trick-or-treating at Children's Hope. All the ladies at CHI are so great.

They love to see the little ones and the little ones love the candy....kidding, the girls really do love all the ladies there, too.
We went to the CHI office a few weeks ago and Miyah said, "This is where we go trick-or-treating!". They actually do a lot of other wonderful things there besides hand out candy once a helping make families through adoption!
With Amanda, our social worker.

Oh, and the "Nandy, Nandy" title is Mei Lin begging for candy. There is no doubt she has a sweet tooth. We couldn't get her to eat any meals today because she only wanted candy. She doesn't understand quite yet that she doesn't get any "nandy" if she doesn't eat her meals. The worried look on her face in the picture up there with Amanda is because we cut her off at one piece of candy...notice the lollipop in her hand. She couldn't get anyone to agree to open it for her, but she was persistant. She didn't cry, she just went and asked another person.

Miyah's 4th Birthday Party!

The same weekend as Megan's party, Mei Lin's dedication, and two of Miyah's friends' parties, we also had Miyah's birthday party!!

Crazy? Yup!

Miyah wanted a Mickey Mouse theme (and she had to wear her Mickey costume). So, we heard Mickey Mouse music until a few adults developed a twitch, jumped in the bouncy thingy, and just played outside. Miyah had a blast.

The really sad thing is that the day before her party she went to two parties at those inflatable places. So when she woke up the day of her party she said, "Mom, do you know where I want my party?". "In the backyard?" I urgingly replied. "No, at (the inflatable place)!". Hmm...that didn't feel so great after all the work I put into her party. But she did have a good time. Just remind me next year that I swore to have a party where someone else does all the work!

Savannah pinning the ears on MickeySuper Mickey!

At least someone was looking after Mei Lin...thanks, Don!

Megan and Hannah were a huge help!

My parents were in town for Mei Lin's dedication and Miyah's party. Here's a picture that says it all. The Papa (my dad) obsession continues...

Birthday breakfast of Mickey pancakes

Mei Lin's Dedication

(Mei Lin's dedication prayer)

Yes, Mei Lin's been home for six months and we've just finally had her dedication. We knew we couldn't wait too much longer or the little white brocade dress and shoes we bought for her in China wouldn't fit her soon.

We waited primarily because we were thinking that the new church building would be completed early this winter and we'd have her dedicated in the new building. Well, that's not happening, so we thought we'd settle for the little place our new satellite church is meeting's a YMCA, not the most traditional place for a baby dedication, but it works.

For those that may not know, a dedication is much like a baptism, except that we believe in baptism after a confession of faith (which a one year old is clearly too young for). In dedicating Mei Lin, we are covenanting with God to raise her in a loving, Godly home. It truly is humbling when I think about the fact that God has trusted us with another one of his little ones. It's only by God's grace that my kids are as amazing as they are. I'm much too flawed to raise Godly children on my own. Parenting is such an incredible responsibility.


ALMOST as big as mama...okay,not even close...and probably never will be. The girls are always trying on clothes that come out of the clean laundry.

Miyah loves to write her letters in cornmeal.

In Case You Didn't Believe Me...

...about the rotting pumpkins I mentioned earlier. This was last week after four solid days of rain. The one on the left is Mickey Mouse and the right is Minnie (but I'm sure you could tell that)!

Megan's Party

Megan turned 13 on the 16th! A teenager!! I can't believe it.

We had a small family celebration that night and then last weekend she had a few friends sleepover. They pretty much just hung out for the night. I appreciate how easy birthday parties are for teenagers. They don't want decorations, party bags, games, etc. All they want is time together (well, and cake, and snacks, and movies, and snacks, and soda). They stayed up until about 4:30 am playing games and watching a movie.

Oh, and she'd been begging us to replace the iPod she broke, and I was glad to have my iPod back. She's proud to show off her new nano...

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


Pumpkin guts, anyone?Of the four seasons, I LOVE fall the best by far.

It's been a long, hot summer and the heat has finally broken.
We seized the opportunity over fall break to get out and enjoy the cool, crisp air.

At the pumpkin patch

feeding Mr. Goat

Feeding the ducks

We ran into one of Pat's reps with her new beautiful baby. Isn't he sweet! The girls thought he was great.
Matt, thoroughly engaged in this family-togetherness.
(with eyes rolling, and shoulders slouching, Megan pointed out that they were the only teenagers at the pumpkin patch)
Miyah soon learned why we all urged her to sit on top of the tire and hold onto the rope...she couldn't hold on and smiles soon turned to looks of sheer terror.
Tired legs...time to head home.


Pumpkin carving tip #1 for those who live in a warm climate:
Don't carve pumpkins two weeks before Halloween. All four of our pumpkins have decomposed on the porch and I never got pictures of them carved...mostly because I was busy for three hours carving Mickey and Minnie Mouse
Well, we had fun and the pumpkind seeds were great.
We borrowed a friend's truck to get a load of mulch and the kids thought it was great to get a ride around the neighborhood in the back....perfectly safe, I'm sure.

With the cooler weather, we were able to have a fire and s'mores!

`` Sticky girls ``

Various Pictures

Here are a few photos from Matt's school picnic. We didn't get any pictures of Matt because he was off with friends.

And Miyah's friend, Grace, had a birthday recently....Happy 4th Birthday, Grace.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

6 Months with Mei Lin

Mei Lin 6 months ago - the first day we met

Mei Lin today at 20 months

Today marks six months since we first met our sweet little Mei Lin. It's hard to believe it's only been six months. It feels like she's always been here. It's funny how quickly these little ones just meld into their new families.

That's NOT to say we didn't have a long, sometimes difficult transition and don't need to continue to work toward stronger attachment and bonding. It wasn't until a month or so ago that I felt she really, truly trusted and loved me like I was her mommy. Most of the time that was the case and she was happy, loving, and smiley with me, but for those first five months she still had occasional episodes of rejecting that closeness and intimacy with me.

Now we have many days when she only wants mommy and she's now consistently and totally relaxed and trusting with me. I was so relieved when we turned that corner. I have to be honest and admit that there were a few brief moments when I was afraid she'd never totally love me like her mommy.

She's doing really well. She's generally a happy, easy-going little girl. She definitely has a mind of her own, though. She just carries herself with confidence. I've had several people comment that she has an attitude about her.

Don't get me wrong, she's so incredibly sweet, but don't mess with her! She holds her own. Unlike Miyah, this girl does not need anyone to teach her how to defend herself. Here's an example: I was just looking through the pictures of her "Gotcha Day" to post here and she saw a picture of a baby (herself) with her blankie and pointed saying, "Mine, mine!". And even though she loves her big sister, she's been known to scratch, bite, and pull her hair.

Mei Lin isn't keen on being left in the nursery yet. She does well sitting through Sunday morning church because she usually falls asleep on daddy. Bible study isn't so easy. I stayed with her the first day and then tried to leave for about ten minutes, but she cried and cried. So now I have the privelage of hanging out in the 0ne year old classroom. I hate to not go at all because Miyah and Megan love their classes. By the way, if you're looking for a Bible study, Community Bible Study is an excellent non-denominational study and they have them all over the country (and the world). I highly recommend it.

Mei Lin LOVES reading books. Right now her favorite is "Mr. Brown Can Moo, Can You?" and she asks for it every night by calling it the "Boom, Boom" book. She also loves coloring, play-doh, the sandbox, trampoline, bikes, bubbles, anything out of doors. But her absolute favorite thing is her blankie, affectionately known as "stinky pinky" (it's pink and she likes to smell it). I'm not even sure where her dad and I rank with that blankie. She's also the best snuggler! That little body nestles in and she's got you completely wrapped around her finger.

She's talking quite a bit, too. In the last few days I've written down about 75 words she says. She's even stringing some words together. Of course, her favorite word is no! Yesterday she told me no in refusal to come get her diaper changed. As she screamed while I held her down for a diaper change, I told her she needed to say "yes, mommy", suddenly she completely stopped screaming, looked at me, and said, "no, mama". Alrighty then! The twos should be interesting, indeed! She's a firecracker, for sure.

Thankfully she's a good sleeper, though I'd prefer she'd sleep a little later. She's awake every morning by 6:30 AM and naps exactly 1 1/2 hours every afternoon. She's also a picky eater, but loves almost anything with noodles or cheese (macaroni and cheese is a favorite) and peanut butter and loves her "milp" and "bapple juice".

We're so blessed that God's entrusted another little person to our family. It's absolutely fulfilling and satisfying to see her with the kids and realize that she perfectly completes our family.