Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Thankful Thursday

A Disciple's Prayer
Loving God and Father,
help us to be people of prayer,
committed to the person and message of Jesus your Son.
Help us to grasp the integrity and beauty
of the truths of our faith and
the transforming power of our grace.
Nourish and strenghten us as people of faith,
disciples of Jesus, committed to the mission of the Church
and eager to share the gospel without restraint.
Let our hearts burn within us
as we catch glimpses of your heart in Jesus,
for through Him, we know your loving plan for us.
We ask this through Jesus the Christ
who lives with you and the Holy Spirit
in one loving Trinity. Amen.

This prayer card was given out at Church this past week. I though it fit well with Lent which began yesterday. What does Lent mean to you?

Today I am thankful for....
1. prayers being answered for my children's good health. May each year bring great results and nice surprises.
2. my "bloggy" friends who inspire me in many ways.
3. cameras. So when my memories start to fade, I can look at them in pictures.
4. restaurants. When I can't cook or don't feel like it.
5. lower gas prices. Now I can get our a visit with friends and family more often.

What are you thankful for?

Skating & A Surprise

The girls were invited to a birthday skating party last weekend. They have been a few other times and love it. This party was for their classmate Jasper. The picture above shows Molly with some of her little friends.
Molly showing off her skills at skating.

Lindy is a natural. (we had the rollers tightened up quite a bit)

Having fun!

Then Monday afternoon we had surprise visitors! Mamaw & Papaw stopped by after they were shopping in town. They were just in time to help out with our craft day.

Painting our own ring boxes. Molly kept saying "I'm an artist"

Lindy's was a masterpiece! She really enjoyed mixing the colors together!!

Yesterday we visited at Mamaw & Papaw's house. The girls took their box of play dough and had lots of fun with Mamaw. She likes to play with the stuff. They made pies and cookies, then pretended to put them into the oven. She is an awesome Grandma. She always has fun things lined up for them to do. Like a grocery store, a tea party, baking cookies & doing crafts.

My parents have a little outside dog named Spot. The girls are getting use to him. The first thing they want to do is throw him a treat. Yesterday my dad was showing them how to get him to do tricks.......
Dad: (holding a treat in his hand and waving it in circles) "Tell Spot circle, circle, circle" To which Spot would do doughnuts around and around!!
Molly: (holding a treat and waving it around said) "triangle, triangle, triangle"
I am still laughing today!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Thankful Thursday

Psalm 113:3

From the rising sun to the setting sun

is the name of the Lord to be praised.

Having the Lord in our hearts, on our minds and on our tongs all day is what this verse is talking about. For God is always awake and caring for us!

Once again it is Thankful Thursday. I missed entering last week. But I was thankful nevertheless. It seems the weeks roll around quickly.

1. I am thankful that my prayers were answered this week . Our tax return nearly covers a much needed new roof for our home.

2. I am so very thankful for my husbands job. There have been layoffs in the company. I pray it doesn't effect his job and the jobs of my friends. (I worked there 22 years before quitting). And I also pray for those who have lost jobs... may they find new ones soon.

3. I am thankful for my sewing machine. I really enjoy using it to make crafty items and quilts.

4. I am thankful for my ability to decorated cakes. It provides a little extra income for my family. And also for those who order them.

5. And most of all, I all I am so thankful for my two beautiful daughters and husband, who love me no matter what!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Puzzle Night

Lindy is acting silly(like usual). Look at the crazy hair!

We had two puzzles going a once.

Ta Da!!

Molly is concentrating on her puzzle.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Finally Home- 3 Years Ago

February 15, 2006

We traveled the whole day of the 15th We started out very early in Guangzhou with a short flight to Hong Kong. I believe our layover there was about 2 hours. Then the very long flight to Newark took 15+ hours. Here we had to gather all our bags and go through customs, then find our gate for the next leg of the trip and go through security again. But it all went smoothly. Molly did wonderfully on the fights. We did not reserve a seat for her, but as luck would have it we ended up with an empty seat between us. It was really nice having a place to lay her down some. Our last flight was delayed about 30 minutes. For me this was the worse part!! Our trip to Louisville went well. Molly slept most of the way.

We got off the plane and found a bathroom. We all were about to bust (Molly's diaper was very full). It took us a few minutes to get all situated before we walked out of the secured area and saw our families. It sure was a sight for sore eyes. It was good to see them. We were surprised to see so many there, as I thought only my parents and another couple were going to greet us. The top photo above is everyone who met us at the airport. Then the bottom pic greeted us as we hit the city limits of Mt. Carmel. It was good to be home!!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Valentines Day- Thursday, Friday & Today

Molly got a hair cut on Wednesday. It is now up to her shoulder blades. Several inches shorter.
Wednesday morning the girls made out their Valentines for the school party.

Lindy was worried there wouldn't be any suckers left over!

Thursday morning was the Pre K Valentine Party. I took brownies and was asked to stay and help out in the room.

Here Lindy is painting her big lips on the board.

Molly's turn. They had a great time exchanging valentines with their friends and eating the goodies.

Thursday evening the pre K hosted a "stone soup" supper for the families. The girls had taken a can of green beans to school to make the soup with. Here they are trying it out. Of course they ate the dessert first.
This is Erica, a classmate. She's a sweetie!

After supper, they played and danced. Lots of fun for the kids.
Friday the girls did not have school, so we planned a play date with the JAM (just Asia moms) Group at the mall. We had lots of things planned. A birthday party for Kinsley, a Valentines Party, a Carousal ride and play area fun.

This is Kinsley and mom Amy. Kinsley brought valentines cookies for everyone. We sang happy birthday to her and she got presents. She will turn 4 on the 17th.

This is Emma and her mom Susan.

This is Laura and little Nicole (in the pink). I didn't get a good pic of her :(

This is Kaley and mom Krista.

This is Xia.

Lindy has a card from the carousal for her birthday. She could ride with 9 guests for free. So all the girls enjoyed this. Above is Emma.

(L-R) Xia, her mom Elisa, Nicole, Sadie (Xia's sister) and Kaley

And Molly & Lindy

Our Valentines Day started this morning with pancakes (made with white chocolate chips and pecans). We played around the house most of the morning. Then finished the day with a great meal at Applebee's.

Molly got a Valentine from classmate Jasper for a Applebee's dessert. She got strawberry. Yummy!

And Lindy got hot fudge. Thank you Jasper.
Happy Valentines Day!

Our Last Full Day In China- 3 Years Ago

February 14, 2006
I remember this day being very busy. We were on cloud nine with our little valentine!! The streets and shops of Shamian Island were decorated with balloons and streamers. The local shop workers called it "lover's day". Lucy's (our favorite place to eat) was all fancied up with table linens and dressed up waiters. It was a beautiful day.

Our group met in the hotel lobby in the morning to take the famous "red couch" photos. This is when you dress the kids in traditional Chinese clothing and line them on the couch and try to get some pictures before the crying starts. It was pretty hard getting all these little ones to cooperate, but it was fun. In the top photo above you will find Molly wearing pink on the right end of the couch. She sat there all calm and collected for some time, then as crying got louder, she decided to join in!! See the bottom picture. Isn't she the cutest even when crying!!

The pictures above are from that day as well. One of the three of us and the other is our entire group. It was a large group. 17 children in all.

Our trip was almost over. We were very ready to come home, but yet sad to be leaving Molly's birth country. We were also enjoying the carefree days with all the focus on Molly. Because that would all change when we return home. But I was looking forward to a real routine and my own bed! The weather is also hard to leave as it is very cold in the US. A snow storm had hit Newark (our point of entry) and the airport is nearly closed.

This afternoon we all went to the US Consulate to take our oath. We could not take anything into this building but our passports and basically a diaper and bottle. A very restricted place, and I have to say intimidating. We waited for it seemed forever, with cranky children. The room was filled with lots of families from all over. When the time was right, we were instructed to raise our right hands and take the oath that everything in our paperwork was truthful. Then it was over. What??? That's it??? Yep, done and gone! No big deal. It took longer to go through the security line that take the oath.

The rest of the day was spent packing our bags for the trip home. Our night ended with Molly losing her bedtime bottle all over me and her!! Or I guess I should say bottleS!! Yes I gave her extra because she was crying for more!! Hey!! I was new at this stuff!! Anyway, the bags were packed and we were saying good night to China. I think I stared out the window for an hour that night. I wanted to remember everything about it. This country provided us with something we couldn't for ourselves, a beautiful baby. It was hard to leave, not knowing if we would ever be back here.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Vias Photo, Physical Exam, & Park- 3 Years Ago

February 2006

My days are running together in my mind. I am now not sure what we did on what days. By a few things we did do... Above we we to a really nice outdoor park. Not a park for kids, like botanical gardens kind. It was beautiful and the warmest day of our trip. It got 86* and very humid!

Here we are at the clinic to have Molly's physical exam taken for purposes of issuing her visa to enter the states. There were three stations to go through. Listening to her heart, check her hearing, height and weight. Then a all over exam, no clothes. She sis not like most of this exam! It didn't take too long. She is a healthy girl!

These photos are reversed. We actually had her visa photo (top) taken before the exam. Then walked over to the clinic. The sign at the clinic (by Dave's ear) says "clinic for international adoptions). We are getting closer to coming home!!

Passing The Time In China- 3 Years Ago

February 2006
There were days while in China that we did not have official business to take care of. So we passed the time exploring Shaminan Island and hanging out. The above photos were taken in our hotel lobby. It is a beautiful place and very baby friendly!
Here is a few shots of our little princess.

There is a Catholic Church right on the island. We enjoyed the service, even though it was in Chinese. Father Tom spoke very little English, but thanked us for being there. The bottom pic is also taken at the entrance of the hotel. It represents the terracotta warriors (famous in China).

We spent a lot of time in the hotel hallway visiting with our travel group. We would gather up various toys and the kids had a lot of fun crawling all over.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Chinese New Year Tea Party

The Invitation

Host:Carol Blair
Location: The Blair House Evansville, IN
When:Saturday, February 7, 2:00PM
Gung Hay Fat Choy!
The Blair Girls invite you to a Chinese Cookie Tea Party!
We would love to have you dressed in Chinese attire, but not necessary.

The girls were excited about going to their first ever tea party.

So they got all dolled up in some of their Chinese outfits we brought home from China. Aren't they the cutest ever!

Carol had a great turn out. There were 23 girls there all from China! Here we have the BLUE couch photo.

Mom & daughters

Just the Moms.
There were a few dads there, but they opted out of the picture.
We had a great time. The girls played and played. It is always nice to visit with the moms in this group of friends. We have all at least one thing in common.... our China Dolls!
Thank you Carol!

Day 8 In China- 3 Years Ago

February 8, 2006
Orphanage Visit
This day I had been dreading. But I was going to make myself go, because I wanted to be able to tell Molly about it when she is older. I think what made this trip today even worse for me is we were the only family going on this trip. Molly was the only child referred from this orphanage on this trip. So Shirley hired a driver and and a local guide to occupancy us. The guide is nice enough (I forget her name) but she spoke broken english. The driver was nice enough but I think he was a race car driver at heart!!
The trip took about 2 hours and was mostly highway traveling. The city of Shenzhen is mainly a industry town. It was not as "pretty" as Guangzhou or Beijing. After a few wrong turns we made it there. The orphanage is off a busy highway, with a guard and gated entrance. The building itself is new looking and well kept. The staff met us by the van and couldn't wait to get a hold of Molly. We were lead though to the courtyard/ playground area. The orphanage has about 5 stories to it and you could hear children all around. We were not allowed to photograph the other children. We were taken to Molly's room. The front area was basically a empty room with a wooden floor and some toys and walkers around. Very neat (they knew we were coming) and organized. Through a door was the bedroom area. Cribs on one side and toddler beds on the other.

The bottom picture here is the bed Molly slept in. Her name was still on the foot of it. She did not want to be on this bed! We visited with the staff as they passed Molly around getting a hug from her. There were several little kids here. Most were crawling around our feet. I am told many have special needs with heart defeats. It is very difficult to see these little ones. I bent down and hugged on some. Most were a little frightened of us. But as we prepared to leave the room, one little one in particular laid on the floor at my feet and cried. Very sad for this new momma that would take them all home if they let me! The photo on the top is Molly's primary Nannie or caregiver at the orphanage. She did not want to let her go (even had some tears when we left).
We were taken to the office area and offered hot water to drink. The guide and staff were trying to find directions to Molly's finding spot. So we talked to those who could speak a little English and I fixed Molly a bottle. I had switched her to the Playtex bottles that take a bag in them. The nannies and folks there were so amazed with this. They were bringing people in from I don't know where to see it. Finally it was time to leave. I used the bathroom before we left. My first squatty potty. It was clean enough I guess. But when I washed my hands at the sink the water ran out onto the floor under my feet to a floor drain.
So we got back in the van and started looking for Molly's finding spot. The traffic was horrible! Sights were a little scary for me and the guy was driving like a mad man. We had to stop several times for him to ask for directions. At one point he slammed on the breaks to keep from hitting a dog. This sent us to the floor and Molly started to cry (I wanted to too). They had the heat on in the van and it was 70+ degrees, so I was sweating like a pig and holding on to Molly for dear life. (no car seats or seatbelts in china) She was getting tired of it too. At one point I looked at David and said I wanted to go back to the hotel. But the driver kept to his task and we finally pulled over to the side of the road and announced we were here. Huh? Sure enough the guide read her paper and agrees with the driver. So we get out. We walk to the corner and under the street light (in the top Pic) near the bushes in a cardboard box is where a police officer found her. She was wrapped in a yellow towel. The police station is located just opposite of this corner. This tells us her birth mother wanted her to be found and be safe. The bottom photo is us standing in front of that police station. In another direction is a farmers market. We are stared at by a lot of people but none ever approached us. Finally we were on our way home.

I were glad the day was over and back at the hotel. Some of the families gathered in the hotel hallway to exchange orphanage visit trips with eachother. At the end of the day I was glad we went.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Day 7 In China- 3 Years Ago

February 7, 2006

We went as a group to a Folk Art Museum in Guangzhou. It was rich with history and the building was so pretty. It was right in the middle of the city. It showcased many Chinese artifacts and handy work some Chinese are known for. Like embroidery, carvings, calligraphy, palm painting, just to name a few. Molly slept nearly the whole trip. The above photos are in the garden of the museum. There are many of these sculptures around the island and here at the museum. It was a beautiful day.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Our Week

We've had a good week around here. The girls have finally went back to school. Monday was hard getting them around, we all had gotten use to sleeping in. It is still very cold and it snowed again on Tuesday.

Wednesday my mom and I went to see Celine Dion in concert in St. Louis. It was a long day. We left her house at 1:00. We parked at the Union Station and walked around there for a while. We decided to eat at Landry's Seafood Restaurant. It was yummy!! Then we walked a few blocks to the center for the concert. It was very good. We really enjoyed it. I got home at 3:00 in the morning. David had taken a vacation day so he & the kids were sound asleep.

Here the girls are coloring their dot to dot pages they worked on.
They really like to play card games. Their favorite is Go Fish. They have a hard time holding the cards in their hands so most of the time they spread them out on the floor. Here they are playing by them selves. They are not having any luck getting matches!! HUMMM! Maybe it's because they have the deck of alphabet flashcards instead of the go fish cards! But they didn't care, "it's fun momma".
The weather is warmer today. I'm hoping after lunch the girls can go out on the carport and use their "see saw" for a while. The snow should melt away today. But they are predicting a lot of rain. Yuck. We have a packed weekend coming up with a couple of parties to attend. We are looking forward to that.