Friday, May 30, 2008

Update on Ms Mavery!

We sent a 2nd care package to Mavery through a sweet girl named Ann at Red Thread. (which by the way, looking for squeaky shoes, check her out, great deals!) Our fist package a friend took care of and we just sent a small picture album, a bear, a book and a camera. This time we used Ann so she could get us some answers to questions! We had hoped for pictures, but we are thankful for what information we did get.
Above is the package we sent. Ann is in China, so you tell her what you want, she buys the things and send them to the orphanage, plus calls to tell them it is coming, calls to make sure it made it there and can try to get you information. I just love the pillow and hope that they put it in Maverys bed with her so she sees us at night!
We did get updated measurements on her. She is
34.3 inches tall--Sage is 36
30 pounds--Sage is 27. I thought she weighed less, but just weighed her today
20 inch chest--Sage 20 inch chest
4.7 inch foot--Sage 4.5!
So the girls appear they will be very similar in size, which is very fun! (just an fyi, Sage & Mavery are just 20DAYS apart, in case you wondered!) And here is the information she gave us
Dear Shannon:
Below is the answers for your questions :
1.She sleeps in a crib.

2.Jin Cong does not have a speical sleep habbit ,she need not to carry or hold stuff to fall asleep.

3.During day time ,she will use a baby toliet (more like a big vase ,sorry i don`t know what the english name for this ),at night ,she need to use diapper.

4.She take regular cup when she drink liquid.
**I asked if she took a bottle at all.

5.She will get scared if leave her in the room by herself..
**Thank goodness no one in this house ever gets to be in a room by herself!

6.Food ,cookies ,ect can comfort her .
**maybe this explains why she weighs 30 pounds! ha!

7.She likes to eat everything except cucumber.
**This made us laugh, i can't even stand the smell of cucumbers, it ruins a salad for me!

8.The orphange told me that she close to all the nannies ,Jin Qiu and Jin Ming are her friends ,jin qiu will be adopted next month.
**We think we will be traveling w/ Jin Mings family and I have gotten to be friends w/ Jin Qiu's momma!

9.Jin Cong does not like strangers ,she is a timid girl ,she loves to play by herself or play with her friends ,she loves to smile ,her favorite activity is to play swing!
**Uh Oh! I love that she loves to smile, but I have yet to see one in her pictures. And I assume we are going to be considered strangers! Might be in for some fun!

10.Because Jin Cong has problem with her heart ,so you have to take good care of her when the weather changes ,it is easy for her to get a cold with the bad weather !
This just makes me even MORE excited and anxious and ready to get our girl!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Where in China is Mavery?

I have been trying to figure out how to get a map on here, and my friend Robin helped me out! Wanted to just give you an idea of where Mavery is in comparison to where the earthquakes are. As you can see, she is all the way to the right. Sage was from Hunan, which is right in the middle. We plan to fly into Shanghai this time instead of Beijing and take the train down to meet Mavery. To meet Mavery, what sweet words! Where is my LID!! ;-)

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Sewn With Love

I met Robin just since I found Mavery. She was matched with her daughter not long after we found out Mavery was offically ours. She lives not far from me, and I look forward to our girls being friends! Now unlike me, her paperwork went very quickly. However, they are short the funds to get their dossier into China. And as you know, every day we wait, is longer our children wait in China. So, she has some great things going on over at her blog. You can enter to win an ipod shuffle for a $5 donation. She is also selling clothes, that are just adorable. If you can, please visit Red Thread Stitches and help bring Mia Hope HOME!

So, so sad

I am sure you have heard that Steven Curtis Chapman lost his youngest daughter yesterday in a tragic accident. My heart is just aching for them. I just admire this family so much for all they have done for children & adoption. You can view their blog here. Please pray for each of them. We know that Maria is dancing in Heaven w/ her Heavenly Father, but that sure does not make it any easier for those here.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Summer Recipe

My children are so picky, so when they tell me I made something better than Dairy Queen, it makes me smile! So the picture is the after mushy melted mess, but it IS yummy! It is so simple and easy and YUM-O! All you do is take a pie crust already made. Melt about 1/2 a carton of ice cream of your choice in a bowl. Choose toppings of your choice. Spread the toppings, ice cream and more toppings, then freezer. Some of our favorite combos are
  • Oreo Ice Cream
  • hot Fudge
  • Oreo crumbles
  • This one is good in a chocolate crust or a graham cracker as above.

  • butter pecan ice cream
  • Caramel
  • Heath Bar crumbles or pecans or both!
  • Graham Cracker Crust

  • Chocolate Chip Mint Ice cream
  • Hot fudge
  • andes mints crumbled
  • Chocolate Crust

Can't mess it up, I promise! Cheaper than taking the family out for ice cream and your kids might think you to are better than DQ!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Miracle of the Moment

There is much that could be learned from my youngest daughter. Sage ChenYi Mae LIVES life. She embraces life, she loves life. She really does. I swear you are unable to spend time with her with out laughing. Sage does not worry about tomorrow, or even actually what is going to happen in 5 minutes. She simply lives in the moment. Sometimes this does not work in her favor for it gets her hurt or in trouble. And there is no doubt, she can wear me out. But that is simply because I don't live in the moment enough. I am always wondering about the next moment. Today Sage is 2 1/2 years old! We have made it HALF WAY through 2! I can't believe she is halfway to 3, My baby is not a baby that is for sure. I hope that she never ever loses this amazing laugh. I pray that she embraces Jesus with the same passion that she embraces life. I wish that she could always keep this ability to not worry about things. I hope that she will continue to never meet a stranger and always meet everyone with a huge HI and a smile.
My Sage, she is a spicy girl that is for sure. but it is what makes her Sage. I can not imagine my life with out her. How am I so blessed to be her mommy? Thank you God for choosing me to mommy her. Thank you for allowing me to hear this belly laugh and watch her dancing every single day. And yep, thank you even for the worn out moments of cleaning up lipstick on walls or markers on couches or running onto ballfields because she thinks she should be able to play w/ the 10 year olds. Thank you for chinese smiles and silky black hair. Thank you for making my heart beat for children not only that could grow in me, but that were born to another. Thank you for giving me each moment that you have and help me to live in the miracles that I have.
As you can see, Sage enjoyed ChuckECheese yesterday! The only thing she does not like is the mouse himself. It is quite funny to see this fearless child, afraid! She walks in saying, no chucke, no chucke! And when he comes out she pulls my hands over her face. yet then she did shout out a hi to him w/ her famous wave. She loves the rides. If the ride does not go high or fast, she bounces around to make it SEEM to be fast.
Some Sage Stuff for 30 months..
  • She weighs 24 pounds and is 36 inches tall.
  • She sleeps from 9pm-at least 9am, alot of days till 10! (thank goodness we homeschool!)
  • And yep, she naps at least 2 hours. So there are advantages to having a spicy girl!
  • Her language is exploding. It is so funny hearing her say such big things.
  • She loves to watch Nia Hao kai lan, the only show she will watch.
  • She has the biggest sweet tooth I have ever seen.
  • I have not changed a dirty diaper in over a week!
  • She only has about one "wet" accident a day. So we are close.
  • She loves to tell us the colors of everything and count for us. (of course it might be 1,5 2, 7!)
  • She is getting to be a picky eater. Ah, just like the others.
  • She still takes a bottle and pacy at bedtime. But I don't care, did you see how well she sleeps!
  • She talks of Mavery and knows she is in China and that mommy & daddy are going on a plane to china. She does not really get it.
  • She is hilarious, really.

Here is hoping we can all learn to live in the moment more!

Monday, May 19, 2008

We have a Graduate in the house!

Today Malaine Shaye graduated from pre-school! She was so excited, as were we! It was a very cute ceremony we all enjoyed. We were very thankful that she had Ms Sheila for a teacher this year. Malaine thinks she is the best!
When Ms Sheila asked the kids what they were excited about in going to kindergarten, Malaines answer was "homework"! Mark was thrilled to hear that answer, he is convinced he is going to get a "studious" child like himself this time! I have to say, I am excited about homeschooling Malaine. She actually IS excited to begin school! We have already been working on some of her curriculum and she is so easy to sit with. Malaine is just our easy child overall. She has her moments, but really, she is just sweet. You can talk that girl out of a bad mood with in about 5 seconds. When you tell her to do something, she typically says sure mamma, w/ a smile on her face. Our middle child, our surprise, our gift. Now on to kindergarten. How thankful I am that I do not have to send her off in the fall. I get to keep her right here with me!
We celebrated with lunch at Chuck E Cheese, a family graduation tradition. (more on Sage and the mouse to come!)

Thursday, May 15, 2008

And it is off! Flower Text

I just got the email that our Dossier is leaving today and will be to China tomorrow!!!!!

DTC =Dossier to China Dossier=All that paperwork we have done!

Next 3 letters we are looking for is LID. (Log In Date) Then we offically being counting, and waiting and counting and waiting! But we know the date SHOULD be one day next week. So I told Mark I figure I have about 50 days of peace, then it will be back to crazy mama again!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Freezer Club

My trunk with my bags of food, ready to be exchanged!
So it is a little bit of mass confusion, did you get my meal, did I get your meal?
Food all over the church parking lot!
Enjoying a cake break, I had to get the chocolate cake out of my house, so breakfast for friends!
My freezer stocked and ready for dinner!

This is the 3rd time we have exchanged meals and I am just loving this! I read the idea in a book, called up a few friends and now I get lots of different meals that I did not have to cook! We had 11 of us this month who exchanged. We typically have 10, but I am thinking more is even better. So each person makes the SAME meal 10 times. For example, this month I made pulled pork sandwiches with a side of cheesy corn. I made up 10 freezer baggies full of pulled pork. 10 Freezer baggies full of corn. Gave everyone a small container of Carolina Red Sauce, a bag of buns and the directions on how to thaw it,cook it etc. Some examples of what has been made

  • Pizza Casserole
  • Pork Tenderloin with Twice Baked potatoes
  • Various stews/soups/goulash
  • Italian beef
  • Variety of Pastas
  • Meatballs with noodle casserole
  • Enchiladas
  • Chicken of every variety.
  • Steak Roll Ups

Everything has been really delicious and the best part, I did not make it! Yes, it is alot of work for one day (or 3 depending on who you are and how long you procrastinate!) hehe! But, it is much easier to make ONE recipe 10 times than to make 10 DIFFERENT recipes 10 times. Some tips if you start a club.

  • We freeze the meals before exchanging them.
  • Freezer baggies work great, just be sure to lay them flat in your freezer so they freeze flat for easier stacking.
  • We ask everyone to make enough to feed a large family. Small families just get leftovers!
  • We ask all to sign up for what they will bring, so we make sure to have a variety of dishes.
  • We do not omit anything for picky eaters. The rule is, if you are picky, don't sign up. No one is allowed to ask you to leave things out!

Let me know if you have questions or need recipes. I am hoping to stockpile a bunch of food before China!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

BackPack BackPack

Our agency just emailed and our I-171 has FINALLY landed in their hands! So we will be DTC this week and they think we will have a LID of next week sometime. That means the official countdown can begin! I will be putting up a timer for that soon.

Don't you just love this cute ladybug backpack? My sweet friend Brenda had it made for Mavery and we will be taking it to China with us. Can't you just see her carrying it around with her like a big girl! Sage is enjoying it and I am thinking we are going to need to get her a matching before Mavery is home.

I also got myself a new backpack to take to China. Mark was so tired of me complaining about ours last time in China. I am not a fan of backpacks, one big huge hole everything falls into. So here you have it, an ORGANIZED backpack! See all the compartments? A place for everything! No more hunting for kleenex or hand gel or gum or whatever else I might need during a 500 hour flight with my arms full of Mavery. Now, if I can only remember which compartment holds what!

Nesting 201 Makenna's Room and Matching Socks

Makennas room has been driving me CRAZY! That girl, could care less about clutter. She is my creative child, and I do think creative minds tend to just be clutter bugs. My mother is the most creative cluttery person I know! And her clutter is so organized! We always say it is organized chaos! ;-) So, I guess Makenna takes after her Grammy. Makenna has all the barbies in her room along with polly pockets, which means a million tiny pieces everywhere. So we spent a day trying to divide and organize it all. She still does not see the point, but I sure enjoy walking in and not stepping on a barbie brush or shoe!

Here are the before......... Surely you can see that we needed help in here!

And here is the after. I feel so much better, even if she does not! All barbies in the trunk.

Polly Pockets in the trunk at the end of the bed. Thought you might enjoy seeing some of the cute things Grammy made for her room. Fun letters over her closet.
Artwork. The crown picture we bought, the pug Grammy made. Isn't that cute?
And then, there is the laundry. I despise laundry. I really do. Though I have to admit, it is getting better. I have now taught certain children how to start a load, and 2 of them are able to divide into piles. Plus one is very able to put all of her own away. Socks and undies were the worst. So, I found this idea. Each of us have our own laundry bag. All socks and undies go into your own bag. You throw the whole bag into the wash, then we are each responsible for our bags. Of course not all socks make it into the bag, so I started baggies for those stray socks that we find. Each person has a baggie. If you have one stray sock is found, check your baggie, you might find a match. It is working out really well overall and laundry is taking up not nearly as much of my life as it was! Again, these might be ideas everyone out there already knows about, but I just figured it out!

So there you have it, more nesting. Tomorrow is our exchange with my freezer club, I will post details on that. It is a fabulous idea that we are just loving and I would encourage you to get a group of friends and try it out!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Mavery is OK

Many have asked if the earthquake in China affected Mavery at all. As far as we know, no. She is near Shanghai, so if we hear that on the news, we get worried.

The earthquake hit near where my cousins daughter was born, and I have many friends with children from that area also. (all home here now) I read in one town 1 out of every 10 residents was killed. It is just horrible. Today our agency talked about a high school that collapsed, and all the students killed. These parents did not lose one of their children, they lost their ONE child. so we need to join together, and we need to pray. It is scary, SO, so scary. I just want to get in there and bring my daughter home. It seems it is one disaster after another. Please pray for all those who have lost lives, and the destruction that is there now. And please continue to pray for Ms Mavery, that God would hold her safely in His arms and that this mama could just continue to have peace about her.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Hip Happy Mothers Day!

Trying to figure out what my thoughts are today, and what do I want to blog about, here on Mothers Day. Do I..

  • Talk about my mother and the amazing mom she is? how she raised 2 children who love the Lord and how thankful I am for the heritage she has given to me and her grandchildren? Or Marks' mom(who was not here yet when we were taking pictures) and how blessed we are to have 2 grandmas that love Jesus and love their grandchildren? Along with the fact that they both live near us and are willing to take on 4 grandkids and did not even pause when we told them they had another waiting in China so they get to watch spicy girl for over 2 weeks (along w/ her 3 siblings) while we go and bring home their new granddaughter?

  • Blog about how amazed I am that I get to be a mom to many! I always wanted a bunch of babies and God has surely given me that! Maybe I should mention that my kids brought in breakfast in bed this morning, and though Dad quickly took them out because they were fighting over who exactly did what job, it was very sweet. Maybe I should say that I asked so nicely that Sage would not pee pee on my floor at all today, but she could care less that it is mothers day and why go on a potty today, she did that yesterday. Sigh...

  • I could not surely post with out mentioning that while it is a happy day, I am still a little sad knowing one of my babies is not here. And so while my arms are full, they also ache just a little bit wondering how Mavery is doing.

  • Or, maybe I should talk about how mothers day is no longer just about me or my mom. It now includes 2 mothers that I will never meet this side of heaven. (and please Lord, let us meet there) 2 mothers who gave birth to 2 of my daughters. 2 mothers who I envy, just a little bit, for the things they got of my babies. They felt life kicking inside, they saw the brand newness of Sage & Mavery. Oh how I love that first newborn cry and the amazing moments that followed. But though they were given that short time with them, I have been given forever with my girls, our girls. And so I think of them today with thankfulness for making a choice to give these girls life.

So, since I have nothing to say, ;-) I guess I will just say, Happy Mothers Day to all! I hope your day has been full of not to much whining, very few potty accidents on the floor and many hugs and kisses!

Friday, May 09, 2008

Random Things

Such an angel, Ms Malaine!

Showing off their matching sandles. Sage is so proud of her fli flops!
Smiley girl!
First year playing tball!

Sweet Sage
Spicey Girl!
Model Makenna, I need to post a picture of her now permed hair!
She is loving playing ball this year! (first year to play in 5 years!)

And the boy, who never wants his picture done!

  • How is Potty Training Going you might wonder? Actually, pretty well. I was getting frustrated, but decided I was going to stick it out. My girl might be spicy, but I am going to win this battle! I would say she is 95% there. Which is good right? She is not quite 2 1/2, much younger than some were in this house! it has now been about a week, so I am happy. Tonight was huge. We were at costco and she asked to go FOUR times. Which is so annoying. but she went every single time. And she ASKED.
  • We have 2 playing ball, one "playing" karate and one who wants to play so badly, but for some reason they don't smile on 2 years olds running the field during game time, or entering into the "karate room". One dad who thinks it is more fun to coach than to sit the sidelines w/ a certain someone who wants to run on the fields. So, in a way, I am playing to. Running to keep up with all of this! What in the world do you all do who have lots of kids in lots of things? Is it wrong to pray for rain every game night? ;-)
  • The children have passed 4th grade and 1st grade. YEEHAW! I have to say, there were days I thought I myself was going to pass them somewhere. And it involved the words boarding and school in it. ;-) But we made it. We think we dotted our i's and crossed our t's. Remember, Illinois, annoying adoption rules, but AWESOME home school laws. We are now about to move on to 5th grade, 2nd grade and Ms Malaine will be in kindergarten! I need to do a post on all this crazy home school stuff & what we are using. We are going to start school this month. No rest for the weary! We plan to home school year round, and take breaks as needed. Believe me, they are needed. And we want to have a good chunk of time off when we head to China.
  • Paperwork should head to China this week! The kids are just thrilled to eat at McDonald's again. We have been fasting from Fast Food almost since we started the paper chase. So they asked if we get to celebrate there this week! I could use a drive through for point number two, that is for sure.
  • Just wait till I post my nesting project that I worked on all day. Makenna's room. It was about the worst room in the house. I did take before and after of that.
  • I got one page done in my life book. It is a start. A slow start though!
  • Last MOPS meeting was yesterday till September. My last mops meeting as a steering member. I am not sure I will know what to do after 8 years of being on steering. Going to it and just sitting? Not being able to boss anyone around, it is so not in my nature! ;-)
  • People have asked me if I have LOST WEIGHT! So, at least something on my to do list is working. Been trying to exercise and make better food choices. Now, can I get it off and keep it off till china?

Ok, there you have it. Our life right now. But notice, I did not complain once about paperwork? Isn't that a happy post?