Saturday, October 27, 2012

Pumpkin Carving

Today we finally had some time to cut into our pumpkin. The girls were SO excited.  Of course I don't think they knew what we were doing at first. Then they got into it. Their faces lit up and they LOVED cleaning out the pumpkin guts.

Here are a few photos from this afternoon.  I just love seeing the smiles and hearing the giggles.  Today has been such a calm day. Not sure if it's the weather (it's cooling off just a little) or what. But everyone has been calm today and happy.  I was even able to take a nap.  :-)

Enjoy the photos....

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

More Firsts for Hope & Maggie

Wow, it's been over a week since I've blogged.  I have not had much time to sit and type.  So I'll do my best to get as much on this post as possible.

The other day, the girls saw on Disney Channel how to make popsicles. So I made some Sunny D ones. After school I offered it to all the kids. They LOVED it. I thought it was funny because they don't like to drink Sunny D, but they liked the popsicles.  :-)

We have been debating for a few weeks now about going to a theme park. We have passes to Busch Gardens & Sea World but we would need to buy them for H & M.  We can cancel our passes at any time because it just keeps renewing every month.  We are itching to get Disney passes again but we are not sure how H & M will do.  So we thought getting SW and BG tickets for them is a lot cheaper than Disney tickets.  IF they do not do well then it did not cost too much.  So we decided to go to Sea World.  We went with the expectation that it will be hard and that they might be over stimulated. Well they had a lot of fun.  Yes, it was hard. But mainly hard keeping up with 6 kids.  We saw the Shamu show (and all 4 of our girls had their cameras out taking lots of photos. Too cute.)  They went on their first roller coaster (Shamu's roller coaster) and LOVED it.  They went on a few other rides too and loved it.  They have Trick-Or-Treating on the weekends so they did that (another first). They loved getting candy.  We were there about 4 1/2 hours and we were all ready to go.

The girls are so excited about all of the Halloween decorations that neighbors are putting out.  They think it's neat.  We have some that we have inside and they love the lights that we put up.

After Sea World we decided to go to the pumpkin patch that we have gone to for over 10 years.  The girls got so excited. They have never been to one before (that I'm aware of).  They all chose a small pumpkin and we chose 1 big pumpkin. We have not carved it yet, but plan to soon.

Tiff got a bow & arrow and let the kids try to shoot it.  H & M LOVED this. Well they love anything that involves Tiff.  They are pretty good at it too.  Of course, makes me nervous.

Yesterday Hope & I were taking silly pictures on my phone. Maggie joined in. I snapped this photo. Then M went away upset. She told me Hope pulled her hair.  Yup! They are sisters. H pulled her hair because she did not like M invading our silly photos.

Hope went to the dentist yesterday. She was terrified.  She did not want to go.  I told her they were just going to clean her teeth.  She finally calmed down and did great. I knew she would if I was not with her.  They spent about an hour with her.  She let them take x-rays and also examine her teeth & clean them.  They said she has 2 teeth (her front teeth) that are decayed. We need to go to a pediatric dentist to see if we need to do a root canal or pull them.  :-(  She also has 3 cavities.  And she had a lot of plaque buildup.  Well, I know they told her to floss, because she is now obsessed with flossing. LOL  I love how she follows directions.  At least directions that others give her.  :-)

The girls are doing great. Their English is coming along great.  Hope is communicating  in English more than Maggie.  But Maggie is trying. I love watching them think before they speak.  They were so excited yesterday because it was one of their teacher's birthdays.  So they made her (drew her) a card.

Please pray for Hope as we will be starting the dental work.  Pray that it's not too much for her.


Saturday, October 13, 2012

A Lost Tooth & First Yard Sale!

Another first.....The dentist.  Thursday night Maggie complained her tooth hurt. So we took her first thing Friday morning and they said her tooth was infected so they had to pull it. She was so brave. I believe they just gave her some Novocain.  It was a baby tooth, so that is good.  But it was still a big tooth. Well last night she put it under her pillow. And this morning she woke up EXCITED. She had $1.00.  Bill said "where is your tooth?" She put her arms out and said "I don't know".  LOL  I loved seeing the excitement on her face.

A year ago we were participating in the community yard sale to help raise funds for Hope & Maggie's adoption.

And now, the girls are home experiencing their first yard sales.  They were so excited. They brought their own money too.  Hope was first to find something.  A math workbook.  She was so excited and said "Please-a Daddy???"  It was $0.50. How could we say no.

Maggie found some shorts that she can wear for school, and also a school book a math tablet and a BIG pencil.  I think the pencil was her favorite find.

Jadyn paid to get her hair wrapped.  She also used her own money.

The girls had fun today. We walked and they were tired.  It's so fun to watch them witness so many first. Who would have thought yard sales would have gotten the kids excited. :-)

When we got home, guess what Hope did?  She started doing her math book.  Yeah, this girl LOVES math.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Church & Homework

Sunday night was Hope & Maggie's very first time going to church to worship.  They have been going to youth group at church on Wednesdays. But they have not been to "big church" until Sunday night.  I was a nervous wreck.  You see, Hope talks LOUD!  And I was afraid she would just start talking.

Well this week the music was led by the youth. So Tiffani was up there singing. Hope & Maggie LOVE seeing Tiff sing.  And, the songs that we sang this week were songs the youth sing on Wednesday night. So Hope & Maggie were excited because they knew the songs.  They were singing and smiling and swaying back & forth.  It was precious.  Hope was good during the sermon, she even fell asleep on Bill lap.  Maggie was good, but bored.  They were polite to people who said "hello" to them. I think it made Hope & Maggie feel good that people said hello to them.  The highlight of the night???  Seeing the girls praising God.  Maggie was singing and lifting her hands.  Yes, I started to cry!

Sorry, but I did not take a picture of them at church. I so badly wanted to. But I did not.

Every day when the girls get in the van, they tell me "Mama yes homework" or "Mama no homework".  This is their way of telling me if they have homework or not.  If they said "Yes homework" I groan (and they laugh).  If they say "No homework" I cheer and they cheer too.  So we get home and immediately Hope says "Daddy...homework-a".  Yes, Bill is in charge of homework. Because it's math. And I'm clueless and the girls quickly figured that one out. LOL

This is usually where you will find the girls between 4:30-5:00 most nights.  I'm so thankful Bill works from home, because he is able to be home with them to help with homework.

This post-it is her scrap paper

Hope gets upset when Bill helps Maggie and not her

After I showed her what she looked like upset, she laughed

Maggie was excited that she finished her homework. 
The school called again yesterday and also sent us an email.  Here is the email that we received.  I'm so thankful that the school is showing an interest in Hope & Maggie. And wanting to teach the other kids about China.

I am writing to you because I have another service-learning idea that would fully revolve around Maggie and Hope, and I wanted your thoughts and feedback before I proceed.  My idea would involve teaching the student in their wheel group about China and then having the students create three ring binders for Maggie and Hope that included translations as well as phonemic and phonic exercises.  The students could also assemble a power point about China since they are learning about ancient civilizations in geography.

We replied to the teacher saying that we approve and to let us know how we could help.  Then she replied saying she has more great news. She has an 8th grade student who reads & speaks Mandarin and he is willing to help the girls.  Wow!!!!  God is So Good!!!!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Two Months!

Can you believe it?  The girls have been our daughters for 2 months.  Really?  How can that be?  Why does time go by fast once your kids are finally home? I mean it took forever for them to be part of our family, and now life is back in full speed.

So many first for the girls in these 2 months:
-knowing a mom & dad
-staying in a hotel
-on an airplane
-on a train
-having their own bed
-to ride a bike
-to ride a scooter
-to swim in a pool
-to go to church
-to go to school here
-to go to a friends house
-to see their mom scream at football :-)
-to see a big dog
-to learn about Jesus
-to know what family really means

I know there are more first that they have experienced in these short 2 months.  And I know there are still a lot more first that they will experience over the next few months to a year.

They are growing and learning daily.  Their English is coming along great.  Hope is now saying "I'm-a sorry" instead of just "sorry".  Hope knows her ABC's and is learning how to spell.  They are learning friends names and making friends.  They are using manners more and trying hard to act like everyone else.  Maggie is coming out of her shell. She's actually a crazy girl. Full of spunk and energy. She loves to be silly and make us laugh.  She also wants to learn and is eager to try her English.

Two months is a short time. But so much has happened.  I'm so excited we listened to God's call and decided to adopt both girls.  I do wonder what life would be like if we had only adopted one. But I feel that we would have felt like part of our family was missing.  Even though Hope & Maggie were not best friends in China, or possibly not even close friends in China, they have bonded and are a pair now.  Just like Abby & Jadyn are a pair.  All 4 girls get along well but there is something special between Abby & Jadyn and Hope & Maggie.  So thankful they have each other.

And.....NO, Ethan will not be getting a brother.  Yes he has said "I want brother" but I think that's only if someone puts it in his head.  He is happy being the only boy. Because he gets everyone's attention and he also does not have to share his room or any of this toys.  :-)  Ethan is very happy.

Look at how much Hope & Maggie have changed in appearance in 2 months.  God is So Good!

Gotcha Day 8/6/12
1 Month 9/6/12
2 Months 10/6/12

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

A Fun Post

What do you get when you have 4 girls and 1 boy?  You get 3 girls and 1 boy having a tea party:

And 1 girl doing her homework.  Because, after all, homework is more important than a pretend tea party (at least to Hope)  LOL

And guess what Maggie stumbled upon???  The dress up clothes.  She's been home 6 weeks and has just now discovered the bin of dress up clothes.  I could hear the angels singing....Maggie was in dress up heaven.  The pictures show how happy she is.  Have we said what a "girly-girl" she is???

Some new words that we have been hearing the past week or two:
-Daddy, COOL!
-Come Here
-What you doing?
-Yummy (looking at what I was making for dinner)
-I don't know

Hope had her EKG today. Praise God it looks good.  Unofficially no signs of a heart murmur.  She did GREAT!  Just she & I went and she was calm and did not cry.  It was a good bonding moment for us.  She wanted to hold my hand the whole time.  I enjoyed every moment.

Hope also sat on the computer with Abby for about 45 minutes.  Very calm. Abby was helping her.  And when it was time to go to bed, Hope came into Abby's room and said "Abby thank you computer". This is a FIRST!  Hope has not had real contact with Abby or Jadyn.  Praying that this will continue.

Until next time.....Thanks for praying.