Sunday, January 31, 2010

you gotta check this out!

You simply must go check out my friend Leah's fundraiser.

She's selling some rockin' cool handmade earrings.

Seriously, they are su-per great. Take a look at the pair I snagged...

Oh and the very best part is, the proceeds go to bringing home their sweet daughter waiting in China...who is one of Macy's friends! Woo!! Macy and I are so stoked for her to meet her new family! And they only live a few+ hours away, so the girls will be able to see each other *frequently*!!

There are MANY more cool styles...go check them out, OK?

Friday, January 29, 2010

attachment at the beauty shop

As a spry 13 year old, I clearly felt the calling to be a hair stylist. Wow, big calling, I know. But actually, when God calls you to do something, it truly is BIG and He will use it for mighty things!

Little did I know, so many years ago, that my calling to do hair would go far beyond just adding a few $$ to our income. Wow, there was so much more that God had in mind for this little stay-at-home-mom/hairstylist!!

Macy loves for her hair to look cute...but she doesn't like to do it herself.

*Big ol' flashing light bulb*

So I have slowly transitioned her into letting me do her hair. I first suggested it nonchalantly because I didn't want her to think I was trying to change her or make her feel that I didn't think she was capable of doing it herself.

But she has quickly discovered just how glorious it is to have someone, not only style her hair...but to wash, dry and flat iron it. And I'm not talkin' head hanging over kitchen sink while mom pulls and tortures (does this ring a bell with anyone else's childhood but mine?).

I mean my girly gets THE WORKS. We scamper down to my shop and she gets to lean back and get a good head scrubbin' and relaxing style...right in her very own "salon" at home.

God is no doubt using this very calling that I heard a gazillion years ago, to serve my sweet girl and to build attachment in a very unique way.

Wow, I'm so thankful!!!

No pics of Macy (she strictly forbids the paparazzi from her hair appointments!) but here is a cute one of Lucy enjoying hers!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

fact of the day...

Hands-down, it is nearly impossible (impossible, I say) to pry one's self out of a bed, laden with flannel sheets...on a cold winter morning.


The only thing that got me out of my snuggly nest was my empty coffee mug luring me to fill it.

How about you all...are you sporting flannel this time of year?

"THANK YOU, Lord, for a bed that is so unbelievably warm, soft and oh-so-very cozy. It's a blessing that goes way beyond what I deserve."

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Ummmm, do you all remember back around Christmas when I was without internet for almost two weeks (I get goosebumps just recalling it)?

Well, ummmm, during that difficult time in my life (ok, really?) I used my cell phone to check my emails. Often. I'm talkin' often.


Unbeknownst to me, I didn't have any kind of unlimited web service on my phone.

Blissful ignorance is highly overrated.


And each and every single time that I checked my mail...I was charged.

A fee.

It added up.


*Isn't this the sort of thing teenagers do?*

I'm now on parole.

Perhaps ya'll could have a bake sale to raise funds for me.

I'm just sayin'.

Monday, January 25, 2010

older child adoption

A couple months ago when I took Macy to her doctor's appointment, I was standing at the nurses' station as she got dressed in the little exam room. The nurses all raved about how precious she was. Yes she is.

Then one of them innocently said, "Wow, are you guys just having a blast with her? Is she just LOVIN' it here in America??"

Dumbfounded and speechless, I was.

My compassion for this ignorant woman (I say that with all kindness) kicked in as tears filled my eyes as the reality rang loudly in my heart and mind.

I told her bluntly, "NO. She doesn't love it here at all. She misses China deeply."

The nurse suddenly felt a great deal of understanding come over her, or so it seemed. Bless her heart.

The truth is, yeah, America is super great. We have everything here. Everything. But you know what? Even though Macy (and others like her) CHOOSE to be adopted and move here, they are taken from a place that was their HOME. Bad as it might have been, it was all my sweet girl knew. Her friends and caregivers in the orphanage (she never speaks of her life before the orphanage...yet) were her FAMILY.

The food, the smells, the language, etc., etc...are now half a world away. And though she does enjoy many of the perks her new home has brought to her, she still grieves her loss.

But yet...a family is what she wants and it's what she wants for her friends still in China.

Several times she has come to me and said, "Do you know so and so (insert Chinese name)? He/she asked me on QQ (Chinese Facebook) if they have a family coming for them."

You guys, that question haunts me.

Sometimes my answers to her are, yes...they do have a family! But sometimes the answer is, I don't know....or, like it was last night, NO...not that I know of. It was all I could do to not burst into tears and I think she could see that.

I asked her if most of the older kids want to come to America to be adopted. She said that ALL of them do. Oh my heart. So I then had to explain to her why so many families want babies....and why most people are afraid of adopting older children.

Yeah, that was tough, my friends. Telling this sweet, shy, compliant child why so many people are afraid to adopt a child just like her.

I then explained to her that that's why I post things on my blog about that people won't be so afraid.

Yes, it's true. There are horror stories of adoptions gone bad. Believe me, I've heard them, even had a sweet friend experience it. My heart goes out to those who have tried with all their might...only for their adoption to be much harder than they expected, or worse yet, for it to end in disruption. It's sobering. It's not something to enter into lightly.

But look, I've heard from so many of you through emails asking questions...because you feel that perhaps you are being called to adopt an older child. I can't say that your fears will ever go away as you take the leap of faith...but let those fears lead you to the Lord for courage AND let it lead you to educate (beyond what is required) and prepare yourself for such an adventure.

There are a couple of boys and a brother and sister on the WC list from Macy's orphanage (and MANY more from other places). If you want more info, go to WACAP's website. Email them to get the password....then look at the OLDER kids...say, 9-14 years old.

I dare you.

If you should choose to go forward with an older child...yes, they will go through a tough transition...yes, they will GRIEVE, yes, YOU will grieve. Everyone involved experiences loss...the loss of what once was. Your child might even give you a run for your money and you will question why in the world you chose this road (or rather, why God guided you there) and believe me, your child will question it also.

But it will stretch you like you could never imagine. It's terribly painful sometimes...but it's also pure joy, MOST of the time.

I was chatting with one of Macy's new friends (also from China) on Facebook recently. She's been in America for over a year now. I asked her if she misses China...she said, "I used to but not anymore...I really love America so much!"

It just takes time, a ton of love and PATIENCE.

I am amazed to look at how far Macy has come in four months (yes, it's been FOUR months!). She blooms a little bit more each day.

She is a delight.

**Please appreciate the great amount of courage it took for me to post this picture of ME between two teeny tiny Chinese noses! LOL.

**Please don't think I'm minimizing the need for adopting babies (especially special needs babies)!! Oh, that's so not my point here. They need families desperately! My point is that I know many of you have a curiosity about older child adoption but you are fearful. Don't let fear guide you. There is too much good in it to miss out.

public service announcement

I'm in the middle of writing a post but I just need to say that for the love of husband keeps telling me of all my typos in my recent posts!! Seriously, what's wrong with me?

Please, ya'll...if you see I've made a mistake...TELL ME so I can fix it right away!! My sweet hubby doesn't read my posts until sometimes days after I've written them. Don't make me wait until then to realize what a goof I am in my writing.

Grammar/spelling mistakes drive me CRAZY but yet, I make them constantly!!!

Thank you.

Sunday, January 24, 2010


I really need to go get ready for church
but I wanted to post some pics really quick of our day


And no, there are none of the actual game. Two certain someones, tend to get
the attention of my camera more than the game these days.

Oh, but we did win, btw.

Anyway, here are two of my feistiest kids.....

I don't have time to explain each pic, but believe me,
there is a story for each one.

And please note Lucy's's her new do-of-choice. And accessorizing is at its peak in our house with this munchkin.

It pretty much sums up her personality.

And just for the record, as much I *love* basketball, I am SO READY for golf season.

Friday, January 22, 2010

I'm such a dork...

No really, I am. And it's OK because it keeps life very interesting (just ask my husband).

Let me share with you this week's examples (so far)...

Last Sunday I took both the girls to the Chinese church. Lucy went into her class (English) while Macy and I sat in the main service (which was in Chinese). All was perfect for everyone involved. Well, except me, who didn't understand a lick of it. No biggie. As I attentively observed my surroundings(paying close attention to know when to stand, bow my head, etc...always about 15 seconds behind everyone else but no one seemed to notice), I looked around at all the beautiful Chinese faces. Then all of a sudden I noticed a white guy sitting in the back row. What the heck? I'll just tell you flat out, I was a little miffed because frankly, I like being the only white person there. I guess that's sort of prejudice but it is what it is.

Anyway, after the service I was talking to some new friends and the "white guy" came up to me (kind of interrupting, which added to my annoyance) and said something to me that was completely foreign sounding. I quickly surmised that he was speaking Chinese, and as much as I'd like to pretend that I am, in fact, Chinese (or at the very least, speak it), I didn't have a clue what he said. I responded quickly with, "I don't speak Chinese." He gave me the strangest look...with a long pause. I then graciously (or so it seemed) turned back towards my friends and continued our conversation and the man walked away.

Wow, that sure was weird.

But later as I played the scenario over again in my mind, the thought came to me...what if he was speaking English to me (hence his long confused pause), and it just didn't register in my brain (you know, when someone says something fast and it takes you a minute to figure out what they said?)...and I responded prematurely with, I don't speak Chinese??

So now I'm left with, either the guy really was weird or now the only other white person in the all-Chinese church thinks I'M a weirdo.

That's just dandy, either way. :/

And if that's not enough, Wednesday night, long after I had drifted off to sleep, Lucy woke up crying (as she often does). I got up (this routine is something I can do in my sleep, or so I thought) to check on her, and quickly shuffled across our room, not noticing a single thing (or the extreme darkness). I had no idea our bedroom door was closed, nor did I even take precautions in case it was. I walked (more like trotted) smack into our door. Not, a bump into it...I slammed, face first, into our door.



Thursday, January 21, 2010

tutu-wearing physician and winter formal

A few random things for you...

I do believe this could be a snapshot of Lucy's future. Her career of choice will either end up being a graceful ballerina, who insists on monitoring everyone's health. Or she'll be a tutu-wearing physician.

And not wanting to let up on her busyness, Ms. Bossy Buns has discovered the joy of conversing online. So far, her emails are limited to her Ninny (grandma)...but who knows, YOU just might hear from her also. If so, let me know if you need me to translate...I'll do the best I can. Between her Chinese heritage, a very American spirit, and her obsession with Dora, she's got a good mix of SpaChinglish going on.

Watch out world...your email accounts are no longer safe.

Last but certainly far from least, here is Brenden getting ready to go to the winter formal last Saturday night. No date (fine by me!), instead he went with a big group of buddies and they had a blast.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


Well, my goodness.

I was sure surprised to have so many of you come out of hiding yesterday! Ya'll need to stop in and say 'hello' more often!

As far as my blog goes, we'll just play it by ear. But I will definitely let you know if something changes, ok?

As you know, I'm always trying to figure out ways to build my relationship with Macy, without cramping her teenage-style. It occurred to me that we have been working hard on her English...but what about my Chinese?? So I broke out the dusty R*setta Stone (Mandarin) last night and we got started. Macy was a HUGE help to me!!! Plus, it helped her English because I had her translate for me. It was really great. We laughed (actually, we both laughed at me) and I realized that this situation was so good in so many ways! We both were learning a new language (some of us learned more than others), we bonded a bit, and it gave her a sense of empowerment...she was in a position of being the one "in control." I think it boosted her confidence. Yay!

We will definitely continue our lessons for all those reasons. And before you know it, I'll be wow-ing you with my bi-lingualness!

Well, something like that.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

it's generic from here on...

Things are going great around here!

It feels as if school has been hit or miss more than anything between, Christmas, New Years, several snow days, and MLK holiday...whew. Though it's fun to have days off...we need to get focused and get back to a good routine!!

And I thought I should mention,

**you will need to read between the lines**

a certain precious someone has stumbled upon this place of posts. And because of this discovery, limitations are now in place as to the particular information that can be portrayed.


Not sure where to go from here except to keep things rather generic. But for those of you who actually may learn from things we do here, based on our experience thus far, please feel free to email me (as many of you already do) to ask questions.

Or perhaps I will start a private place to post progress & such. Let me know if you want to be invited, should I choose to go that route.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

headbands and basketball

We live in the country. Ten miles south of Small Town, USA, to be exact.

But last Friday night we ventured out even farther, all in the name of high school basketball.

Much farther.

We drove about two hours into the heavily hidden NOwhere, USA. Our GPS was beeping wildly, I think I even heard it mutter, 'don't say I didn't warn you...'


But it was fun, that's for sure.

Here ya go....

Lucy just loves basketball games, can't you tell?

Brenden learned early on that's it's best to just do whatever Lucy says...even if it is in front of all his buddies. He is going to make a wonderful husband.

Of all Lucy's big sibs, this one indulges her the most. What a great sport, wouldn't you say?

This is a pair to be reckoned with, I'm tellin' ya.

I actually suspect that Macy may have enjoyed herself...I think she's finally resolved that multiple basketball games per week are just the norm in her new family!

Oh yeah, there was a game going on in the midst of all of this...see there behind Lucy? It was a nail-biter (what I saw of it).

Friday, January 15, 2010

some "me" time

Well jeepers creepers. I just don't have time, nor much material, to blog lately. Life is busy, busy, busy...lots of funny things going on...blah, blah, blah, but for the life of me, when I find a minute to sit down at the computer, none of it comes to mind.

I will tell you that yesterday held some glorious "ME" time. Yep, it was months in the making as I planned and waited anxiously for the day to finally arrive. I woke up with a rush of joy in my heart and chugged down my coffee/chocolate cake breakfast. Then I carefully primped and prepared for my big event.

It happens about this time every year...a chance for me to leave the kids behind in the safe care of my dear husband. I drove away feeling giddily alone in my mini van, that is usually packed full of a very vocal Lucy and three teens complaining about it.

But this day, was all about me.

You're way ahead of me, aren't you? You all know me too well.

I got to go to my Well Woman visit! I couldn't even wipe the smile off my face as I told my doctor (whom I LOVE) that I felt like I was at a spa. She cracked up and told me she could totally relate (she has a 2 1/2 year old...but that's she can't relate nearly as much as she thinks she can).


I was in and out much sooner than I had hoped. Didn't even have time to read an outdated magazine. Nor did I take the time to stop for a cappuccino like Dr. Holly prescribed.

Oh well, it was a great time, no less.

How sad is my life?

Then life went on as usual as I was whipped back into reality....lots of school work at shopping...a little (and I do mean little) housework...then off to yet another basketball game.

Life is fun.

I'll leave you with this sweet pic of Lucy. She quickly got into her post-mode when I pointed the camera at her.

I'd like you to take note of her TWO headbands and black patten leather shoes (with jeans). The girl's got style...all of her own.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

prodigy child...well, so it appears

Would you take a look at how advanced my child is?? Lucy is so smart and is even writing in Chinese characters....

Ahem. Well, so SHE thinks. And I dare you to convince her otherwise (believe me, we've all tried).

She also insists that the new words she makes up to say are Chinese words and that only she and Macy can understand them.

Poor delusional Lucy (I feel really bad that in reality she doesn't know a lick of Chinese, beyond Ni Hao).

POOR MACY (who just shakes her head in wonder...and is probably a tad *jealous* of Lucy's English!).

**And no, Macy doesn't seem the least bit interested in teaching Lucy any Chinese. Perhaps down the road a bit she will.

Monday, January 11, 2010

basketball, cheerleaders, and nachos...

Can you possibly stand two basketball posts in a row? Oh I sure hope so...cause it may end up being that it's one bball post after another.

This is my life right now.

A groupie.

Look at my rock star! This amazing shot not only made it was right at the buzzer. It was so cool.

Brenden and Lucy enjoying the game. However, they aren't very friendly to the paparazzi.

Looky who made herself an honorary member of the cheer squad...

Sorry no pics of my Macy-girl. She's a little camera shy most of the time and since she's the newbie around here, I gotta ease her into my photo shoots.

But I will tell you that for two games in a row, she's had nachos from the concession stand. Another little baby step that I count as huge progress.

Americano, baby!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

the 'ttude of my cheerleader

As promised, I finally got Lucy's cheerleader outfit made (after much blood, sweat and tears) *Because I know someone will ask, S*mplicity 4040 but the instructions are HORRIBLE. Don't say I didn't warn you). And boy does she love it!

Not only does this firecracker cheer, she is also the self-appointed team photographer. *Disclaimer* 3-D glasses may be necessary to view the year book for this year.

Lucy with her basketball hero, who looks a little annoyed in this picture but really, he's just exhausted from playing an entire game with hardly a break...oh, and they lost. :(

And just so you know, there is quite the 'ttude that goes along with the cheer uniform, hence the non-approved pink headband that clearly doesn't match. It was a battle the administration (me) chose not to fight...however, I did insist on putting some gold sequin on it to TRY to make it coordinate.


Friday, January 8, 2010

winter wonder land

Look at how our Creator decorated our trees for us!! Isn't it beautiful and wonderful?? I absolutely love it. Never will you hear me complain about heaps of snow that falls...never. And poo-poo on the nay-sayers who whine about it. I feel sorry for you. Seriously. **This pic was taken from my bathroom windows. Please ignore the unfinished paint job (which is totally my fault) and no, we have no curtains or livin' folks!! Love it.

Lucy has been itching to get outside. Finally one of the big people in the house caved in to her sad baby-browns. That would be Dad, of course. She looks anything but enthused here but that is only because Dad told her he wasn't taking her outside until she let Mom take a picture. So she posed, best she could. Bless her heart.

Sorry but this is the only pic I have of Lucy-bug playing outside...and if you look closely at the photo, you will see a tiny "grid"...hence, is why my quantity (and quality) of pics are limited...yes, that's the screen you see because I was INSIDE.

I fully expected this little pink-adorned powerhouse to return inside quite quickly after going out because of the bitter cold, but no...she absolutely loved every second of it!

Thank you, Lord, for the absolutely gorgeous display of your creative hand. You did a great job frosting our trees and blanketing every inch of ground with snow flakes, none of which are alike...that's so like YOU! It's beautiful beyond words. Oh and I'm also SO grateful for the incredible WARM house you have provided so that we can fully enjoy the snow outside...while we are inside. Thank you!!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

a macy update

Much progress.

I'm so very thankful for each little ounce of progress that Macy makes as she settles into our family. I truly celebrate every little how she gets comfy on the couch and pulls a blanket over herself. That's SO small, I know. But really, it's huge. It shows me that she is starting to feel at home. Oh how it does my heart good.

Yesterday we received a big box in the mail. It was for Macy from two young women to whom I am forever grateful. Chrissy and Julee spent time in Macy's orphanage pouring the love of Christ into the kids there. Just before coming back to America, they went on a shopping mission to find Macy some great Chinese movies and books to send to her. These gals are on my good list for life.

I wish I could have captured Macy's expression when she saw all of what was in the was priceless as her surprised eyes took it all in.

I also wish I could have captured her expression when she saw me taking pictures of it all. She once again had confirmation that her new Mama is a little on the nutty side. Oh well, she needed to learn it sooner or later.

THANK YOU CHRISSY AND JULEE!! You two ROCK!! Totally. **Please do check out their blogs...they haven't updated in a while (hint, hint) but their pictures of the babies they ministered to are priceless.


Another area that we've seen some progress in is food. I'm telling ya, this sweet girl has struggled greatly in this area. I won't lie, it's been a tad frustrating for me, as the cook. But I constantly remind myself of how I felt about Chinese food the first time we traveled to China. That always gives me a great amount of compassion for her.

But just in the past week or so, something has changed. She's starting to like it...ever so slightly. Woot woot.

I made my famous (or not so) steak fajitas last night. And of course, since Macy will not (willingly) eat beef (I sneak it in sometimes...shhh), I made some chicken for her fajitas. Well, my eyes were wide and mouth to the floor when I saw her loading it up with all the fixins'. Sauce, guacamole,and even, *gasp* SOUR CREAM. What the heck? It was all I could do not to jump up and down.

We sat down at the table and K-man said, "Wow Macy, you are turning into quite the American eating Mexican food like that."

Ha! Yes, indeed.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

URGENT need for older girls about to age-out

Oh my heart. I got an email from our agency that there are two adorable girls about to age-out. All the info is below. Please note that you must have a dossier already in China with an approved I-600. I can't post their pictures but trust me, they are cute as can be!! **Take notice of what I put in bold in the description of the first girl. Could that be any more heartbreaking? Every child should know the roll of a parent.


There are only a few weeks left to find these two girls families before they age out.

Only families with a dossier already logged in with this country and an approved I-600 (not I-800) can adopt either of them. If you know someone in this position who may be interested, please contact us immediately! 206-575-4550

First precious girl....

**** is in an older old girl in an age appropriate grade in school where her favorite subjects are singing and Chinese. She wants to be a philosopher when she grows up. When asked whether it is best to be a boy or a girl, she said it’s better to be a boy because boys are tough. She says she has many friends. When asked how she reacts when she is mad at someone, she says she ignores them. When asked about parents, she said she knows about mothers and fathers but doesn’t know what they do.

We were advised that she has “fragile bones”; that both her femurs had broken, but in 2005 she had surgery where rods were put into both her legs. Since then she has not had further breaks. Due to this she is extremely short for a 13 year old.

She has a low voice and speaks some English.

There are up to $9000 in grants to help a family who makes less than $125,000/year adopt her.

Second darling girl...

**** is a 13 year old young lady who dreams of having a big adoptive family, with lots of brothers and sisters. She admits to being “bossy” with the younger kids in the orphanage but also says that she is proud of herself when the teachers praise her for helping with the younger children. When asked she says she would like to become a policewoman when she grows up. She’s a typical pre teen as she loves to talk and play with her friends, describing herself as outgoing, and not liking to be by herself. Her cleft lip and palate have been repaired and her speech is clear. She has a sweet, slightly shy demeanor, but spoke confidently. While she reportedly had abnormal liver function at admission to the orphanage, she appears to no longer have any symptoms of liver problems. WACAP offers a $4000 grant to families who make less than $100,000/yr to help with adoption expenses.

Please contact Jo at WACAP as soon as possible if you have any questions. 206-575-4550

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Merry Christmas! **better late than never

It seems a little anticlimactic to be posting Christmas pics at this point. But since several of you asked and since I can't stand not to post a good pic (or 12), here you go!

Christmas Eve...

Macy and Lucy waiting to dig into their stockings at Ninny's house!

My big boys

Out of 15 grandchildren...only 3 are girls. Aren't they darling? One of them looks ever so slightly different from the other two. But not much.

Christmas Morning...

Those snuggies on TV look so innocent but how scary is this?!!

Nick and his new sock monkey (that HE asked for). My young men still have some little boy left in them. LOVE IT!!

Is there anything better than a little one sitting on your lap on Christmas morning? I dare so NO!

Carefully examining some gifts...

Sweet Macy waiting to open her next present. **Could I not have had her sit in a more picturesque and festive place?

Ok, seriously. I'm ready for a major present.

What? For me? A brand new stereo for my car? Life is good.

Yep, now that's what I call a great present!

Lucy and my great-nephew...I don't just mean he's great (he really is) but...yes he is my GREAT-nephew. Yes, I'm that old.

A well-rounded girly-girl sporting her new ride...and tutu...and glittery shoes.

I absolutely love Christmas and I'm quite sure that I get even more excited about it all than the kids. I am so very thankful for all the wonderful gifts that were given and received, symbolizing the generosity of our Savior.

God is amazingly good...I just can't get over that.

And I hope I never do.
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