Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Anna's Blog

I'm posting updates over at Praying for Anna. Please pass it on and PLEASE continue to pray. Thank you!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Urgent Prayer Needed!

(Anna - 2 1/2)

My dear friends Tony and Jo adopted little Anna from China two months ago with a known heart condition (pulmonary and aortic stenosis). Anna has been stable and healthy since coming home and the doctors suspected she wouldn't need any major surgeries anytime soon. This morning she went in for a heart catheterization to give the doctors a better look inside her heart.
Jo, Anna's mom, called me this morning to say that they nearly lost Anna on the table toward the end of the procedure when her blood pressure plummeted. After 45 minutes of CPR they were able to bring her back and she is on life support in the PICU. They believe that even though her heart wasn't beating on its own for a long period, they were able to keep the oxygen levels stable during resuscitation. Pray that she pulls out of this and that her little body hasn’t sustained any damage. These next few hours, in particular, are very critical for her.

Please, please pray for little Anna and her family (Tony, Jo, and big sister Grace who is 4). Jo and Tony have asked that prayers be concentrated on Anna, but I know they need prayer, too. They've been through so much these last couple of months and I just have to trust that God will not give them more than they can handle in His strength. We serve an amazing God; please call on Him for little Anna’s sake and pass this on to any prayer chains and prayer warriors you may know.

(Anna's precious little toes)

Friday, August 22, 2008

My Three Girls

I took the camera outside at dusk last night and even though it was too dark for good pictures, I had fun taking shots of the girls playing in the yard.

"Girls, where's the camera?" I said, trying to get them both to look at me at the same time...this is the response I got...
Beautiful Megan

Little peanut...

For a moment just before dark, the sky was an amazing blue....
Daddy/daughter bonding time....
I fondly remember my three sisters and I wrestling with my dad as a little girl, so I wanted to capture one of these moments with our girls. Miyah and Mei Lin will often say, "Daddy, I have a secret..." and then whisper, "steamroller!" in his ear. This is their way of asking him to play what they call "steamroller" which is kind of like play wrestling and if he agrees to play, they run into the living room giggling.
Mei Lin stringing beads during "school".

Hannah came to play last Wednesday!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

The Chapmans in the Media Again

I'm sure by now you've seen the recent interviews with Stephen and Mary Beth Chapman...Good Morning America, Larry King Live, and People magazine...if you haven't you must to do a YouTube* search and pick up this week's copy of People. I also just found out they'll be on Focus on the Family tomorrow sharing their story of adopting Shaohannah (this may be a re-airing of an earlier interview) and next week they'll be sharing about their loss of Maria. You can find your local station airing the broadcast by clicking HERE. Here's a little blurb....

Steven Curtis Chapman on Adoption

There are 150 million orphans around the world - have you ever thought about adopting one? Today's broadcast will encourage you to consider the possibility as recording artist Steven Curtis Chapman shares how he and his wife, Mary Beth, adopted a baby girl named Shaohannah from an orphanage in China. You'll want to tune in next week, too, as Chapman returns to our broadcast studio to discuss the recent death of his daughter Maria Sue, and how faith in God has sustained the Chapman family in the wake of this tragic loss.

"Caring for orphans at any level, I believe, is the most visible picture of the Gospel we'll ever see or show to the world around us."
- Steven Curtis Chapman

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Back to School

I can't believe how old she's getting! Last week Megan started her 8th grade year at her tutorial. It'll be a busy fall for her...she's at tutorial two days a week, and is homeschooled the other three days, but we'll only do math, geography, and a civics unit study at home this year. She's also dancing five days a week this year and is partipating in the dance company. She loves her new dance studio and will be able to have Miss Becky (from her previous studio) teach her one day a week. Miss Becky is such a blessing to have as a mentor and we're glad to keep her:). If you've read Megan's post about her dance intensive this summer, there's no doubt she's passionate about can also read Becky's post about the intensive. She has such a heart for these young girls.

Miyah and Mei Lin had their first day of school today, but we're just easing into it with a few subjects. Miyah isn't technically old enough for kindergarten (5 late in October), but the beauty of homeschooling is that we don't go by age and grades, but plug away at what she's ready to learn. And she loves her new schoolwork and loves to call me "teacher" all day long.

Mei Lin is only 2 1/2 but she can (or tries to) participate in quite a bit, though sometimes we simply have to find things to occupy her. She wants to do EVERYTHING Miyah does, but she's just not able.

The girls' good friend and neighbor, Ella, was here and it made our first day all the better. They did Bible, calendar, math, and science together.

Matt's at school camp this week and begins classes next week. I'll have to post his first-day picture...if he lets me take one

Happy Back-to-School to you all!

Beijing Olympics

November 2004 ~ In front of the Olympic Countdown Ticker
In case you can't read it, we were in Beijing 1,371 days, 10 hours, 30 minutes, and 15 seconds before the lighting of the torch (though we wanted to, we didn't get a shot in front of the ticker in '07).


Like most of you, we've enjoyed watching the olympics...or I should say the "Beijing Olympics" as Miyah and Mei Lin consistently refer to it. Miyah (and all of us) gets excited when she sees some of the popular tourist attractions and remembers visiting them last year. And now she's making plans to become on olympian...I think she's settled on the trampoline because it looks fun. She saw the girls doing all the twists and twirls and said, "I'm going to do that some day and go to the Beijing Olympics." She's going to be surprised when the next olympics aren't in China.

Here are the shots we took of the olympic facilities being built back in March '07...

The "Ice Cube" and "Bird Nest"

Part of the olympic village.

We were amazed at row, upon row, upon row (seemed like miles) of temporary housing for the workers building all these facilities. How many Chinese does it take to build an olympic village? Apparently a lot!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Time with Friends

"Every good thing is better if you can share it with a friend."
Pam Brown
The last couple of weeks, we've caught up with a few friends we haven't seen much this busy summer.
Friday, Heather and her kids came over to watch the opening ceremonies of the olympics with us. Heather will be traveling to China in a month or so to get her little guy, so we couldn't pass up an opportunity to celebrate with Chinese food...weren't the opening ceremonies amazing?
Whitney made us this awesome olympic cookie. Chinese food and chocolate chip cookies are strangely complimentary, I think.

Pat and Matt went on a rafting trip with the men from church, so Heather and her daughter, Whitney, spent the night and helped me paint and decorate Miyah and Mei Lin's room. Actually, Heather did so much of the work. She's incredible! Like the Energizer bunny...she's always at least five steps ahead of me. She did such an amazing job painting, sawing, drilling, sewing a cute little valance, and helping me decide on fabrics and colors. Thank you, Heather!!

We ordered bunk beds since we think Miyah's old enough to sleep on the top bunk now. It will be a huge surprise because she's been begging for bunk beds for nearly a year. I'll take some photos once the bunks are in the room and all the finishing touches have been made on Heather's masterpiece.

(Below) Whitney and Megan helped, too!

Never a dull moment.

Megan, Heather, Whitney


Earlier last week we had a playdate with my friend, Stefanie, and her kids. I grabbed my camera when the kids headed out into her abundant garden. They picked and ate tomatoes and strawberries, and we got bagfuls of goodies to take home.

Stefanie's sweet Davis.

The week before we introduced Mei Lin to her new friend, Anna. Anna (Grace's new baby sister) came home from China in June and we couldn't wait to get them together. Anna has a heart defect and goes in for a heart cath. in a couple weeks, so please keep her in your prayers.

Mei Lin and Anna playing together.

Miyah and Grace are always up to something.

Don't mess with the Supergirls!
And earlier that week, we met up with Anne and Elizabeth for lunch at the mall and playtime in the play area.

I had to throw this in...Miyah drew this little rabbit on her magna doodle a few weeks ago. Isn't he cute?

Ah, all caught up. I've been trying to prepare for the new school year so haven't had much time to post. Our fall schedule looks crazy, so I'm not sure I'll be a great blogger for a while, but hopefully we'll get some first day of school photos in the next couple of weeks.

Happy Back-to-School to you all!

18th Anniversary Getaway

Pat planned a little getaway for us last weekend for our anniversary (which was in July). We realized this was the first time in four years the two of us got away by ourselves and that we definitely need to do that more often.

We had so much fun relaxing on the beach and at the pool for three days.
I actually finished a book!

I was a little worried because Mei Lin still doesn't like it when we leave, but she did great with Pat's mom. They did art projects, saw a movie, went out to eat, and stayed very busy. Apparently she didn't miss us until day three and only mentioned it in a matter of fact tone! Thank you, Nancy, for your wonderful care of the children. We didn't worry about them at all.

My private little spot on the beach. Ah, I want to go back already.

Our attempt at a photo together - Scary.

Pat, enjoying his rental upgrade.
The ONLY thing the girls wanted us to bring them back was a big lollipop and they asked us about them every time we talked to them. Believe it or not, they're not easy to find and we had to make a stop at Cracker Barrel on our way home. Oh, were they excited!