"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

Friday, February 27, 2009

GOTCHA 4 years ago!!!

Wow. 4 years have gone by since we first lay eyes on Molly Shen in Hefei, China. Where has that time gone??? I love her Gotcha day... to me it feels like her birthday. I remember waking up early (you know those early pains of labor?) . We went for a big breakfast and the excitement was in the air. Lots of American families with no Chinese babies... yet all with huge butterflies as "today was the day"... we paced around our room- waiting for the call that they had arrived... Mom and Addie couldn't stand it and snuck down to the hotel lobby with walkie talkies in hand... didn't see her yet... Then the call... quickly get to the 5th floor. We waited, we paced, we tried to not pass out, we made small talk, and then around the corner came the most beautiful little creature in all the world. She was so much tinier than we expected her to be at 18 months old. She was scared to death (she had just been scrubbed clean, bundled up, left the only room she had ever known, and taken her first 2 hour car ride). I'll never forget snugging up to her for the first time. She was absolutely perfect. She latched on and never cried until the nanny took her from me to show me how she could walk (not) and then again when we took off her coat (she had 4 other layers on). Molly came to us at age 18 months- not walking, not talking, not sitting, not chewing, not even rolling over- and absolutely perfect...
Here is a post from China after we got Molly
Here is a post from our 1 year anniversary

Fast forward 4 years and you have the loudest, bossiest, kindergartener you have ever seen. Molly does nothing half way and goes at everything with a stubborn will like none other (a trait I am sure that enabled her to survive that first year and a half in the conditions that she did). She has a huge heart and loves all animals. She is the girliest girl, yet the first one to be hands on for whatever needs to be done. She is confident that she and Addie are twins and that there are no moms in China (don't you know there are no blondes there?). She thinks Noah's feet are perfect even though the poor little hunny doesn't have a little foot (her SN) like her. She lives life completely, sings at the top of her lungs 24/7 and is truely the laughter of our family...

So tonight we celebrate Molly and the miracle that she is... We will eat orange chicken, fried rice, lo mien, and drink Chinese tea ( and Molly will actually eat and not pick). We will watch our beautiful China movie and the video of our first days with Molly. And we will thank God that he chose our family to place Molly in. God truely is a God of miracles...

Friday, February 13, 2009

great toy giveaway

Check out this great site and this great toy giveaway...
Simple Kids

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Carolers performance

Noah is in a singing group at school. A volunteer group of kids with a fabulously wonderful teacher who gives huge amounts of her time to these kids. Noah really debated staying with the group this year. He nearly gave into the "it isn't cool to be a 5th grade boy in a singing group... you should play football" mindset. But he didn't. He went to lunchtime practices, after school practices, school day off practices. And loved it. The funny thing? We humored him because he liked it. We didn't know the kid could actually sing. In fact his teacher came up to me in the halls to tell me that she had given him a solo and I truthfully thought that maybe she felt sorry for the poor kid. I was so afraid for him. Afraid that he would get up on stage and when he realized he couldn't carry a tune be crushed. There was no way I thought this could turn out good.

Then I started to hear little murmurs about Noah and his talent... teachers talking at school, other kids talking. I (on purpose) stayed away from all the practices. I didn't want to know...
Guess what??? He can sing... and he is good at it... (I am not at all biased I'm sure!!) but it just amazes me. This kid doesn't like to be away from home, even for a night. Taking him into a store with lots of people nearly does both of us in... a trip to the doctor's office elicits panic attacks... but the kid can stand on stage and sing and dance and love it!! He is amazing!!!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Should I be concerned???

I cant find the cat. Clementine... the outside semi-tame cat. The cat that followed the dogs into the house this morning. The cat that I thought might be cold and could come in for a quick warm up. 6 hours ago... the worst part? I just realized that I lost her... hmm... closets or toyboxes first first... That's what I get for trying to switch to decaf. I'm going back to regular before I lose a child...


Sunday night is breakfast night. We love it- 1 day a week I know what we are having for dinner. No thought. We alternate between sausage, bacon, or eggs and pancakes with and without blueberries (that we all picked over the summer). Up until now I have used Bisquick, but with 7 large pancake eaters I was going through the mega size box in no time. Until now. I found (actually was given) the recipie for baking mix. The kids love it even better. It makes a sturdier pancake and the kids fill up on lots less. I still make a large amount and we usually eat pancakes for breakfast most of the week.

Baking Mix:
(this makes a large amount- I store it in a food grade bucket with lid in the pantry and then just substitute it for Bisquick.)

10 cups of flour
1/2 cup sugar (I use 1 C sugar- we like it a bit sweeter for pancakes)
1/4 cup baking powder
2T salt
optional 2 cups powdered milk (then use water in your mix)

Butter Syurp
1 stick margarine
1 cup milk
melt on stove and remove from heat
add 1 cup sugar
splash of vanilla
2T flour to thicken (back on low heat for just a minute or 2)

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Instead of sleeping...

Sheesh!! I wish I could sleep like normal people do. You know from the hours of 3-6 am??? Instead I'm awake or dreaming very vivid dreams. And what is on my mind during these hours? Lately, it has been fabric. Crazy I know. But I have these very vivid dreams of sewing something VERY specific. Then I wake up and I'll I can do is lay there and go over it in my mind. So, this is a picture of what I dreamed last night and finally just got up and sewed... Now just picture this cute little model wearing her pink sparkle light up boots and mucking out pig pens at the fairgrounds ...

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

pictures from Noah's birthday

We had a fun filled day yesterday. Started out by waking the kids up at 5 am and heading out to Denny's to celebrate Noah's birthday with a FREE grand slam. Then I decorated 50 cupcakes and 1 cake. Took cupcakes to school for the 5th grade, picked up 3 other boys (upon after spending the afternoon in the company of 11 year old boys, Addie has decided that her brother is quite "normal" and not as weird as she thought... at least compared to all of his friends). Thank God for beautiful weather which allowed the boys to play football outside and have pizza, pop and cake on the porch (thus preserving the clean house for the family party later). The boys all left at 5 and 10 minutes later my folks showed up bearing gifts and pizza (we had 10 pizzas!!!). Mom and I started baking and at 6 pm we were joined by Grandpa Joe and Grandma Cenobia and Jen (the wife of the kids' dad). We had a very fun evening of pizza, pop (way too much of this- Addie couldn't sleep) visiting and presents.

Check out this blog

Seriously, this girl is 20... can you say amazing??? Truly the hands of God. Check out her work in Uganda

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Happy Birthday Noah!!

Happy 11th birthday Noah. Today is always such an emotional day- it brought an end to a pregnancy that turned out so much better than predicted. I spent most of my pregnancy in bed or in the hospital. They never figured out what was wrong and the prognosis for you was not good. They said I would not live through the pregnancy and that you would never be born alive and IF by some miracle you lived, you would surely suffer from severe complications and never be "normal". We placed you in God's hands- we would love you no matter, for that was how God created you. For a purpose. At 20 weeks we found out you were a boy and we named you- we wanted to know you for as long as we could... we wanted others to know you and for your big sister to know her baby brother Noah. In the end you were born early but alive and from what they could tell, without complications. You were such an answer to prayer.

You have grown up so much and are so much fun. Your sense of humor keeps us all laughing, your friends laughing, and your teachers laughing. You are a fabulous soccer player and a wonderful actor/singer. Who would have guessed??? You make friends till the end and are always polite. Just this morning as I dropped you off for school I watched you as you stopped to open a door for a teacher on your way out to the gym. You have such a tender heart. Our family would never be the same without you. Everytime I look at you I am so thankful for each and every day that we have had with you. We love you so much... and are so thankful that God chose us to be your family.