Is it really THAT noisy around here?

I mean, I know we like to get a tad lively now and again.

Really and truly though, I feel this may be a bit much!

Okay.  So maybe he was just cleaning out the gutters, but it made me laugh so hard when I came outside to put something in the shed and caught sight of him a way up there!

To all the Dads and those who love them,



Ahhh the memories

Just now as I was walking past Grace’s room on my way to bed, I had a sudden urge to check in on her.  You see, she hasn’t been sleeping well for the past couple weeks and normally we hear from her every so often in the couple hours between her bedtime and ours.  So, walking past I suddenly wondered if she was actually asleep.

I opened the door and saw a quick movement of the blanket, followed by a very still and motionless form lying there.  Hmmmm this looks familiar.  🙂

I quickly threw off her blanket only to find her buried underneath with her new Leap Pad from Christmas.

I hear her intake a deep breath, “Okay.  I was doing this.”

Good for you, I think to myself.  You admitted you did wrong.  (Little proud moment there.  Trust me, if you lived in this house, you’d understand.)

I took the Leap Pad.  Told her I’d be keeping it for tonight, that I loved her and good night.  And down the hall to my bedroom I go.

Once there, I explained to Stephen what had happened.  Then I followed it up with a chuckle and asked him to reminisce.

“Sooo I remember reading under the covers and hiding books, what did you do secretly in your room after bedtime?  Did you ever get caught?”

He shakes his head no and then breaks into a blush and a grin…

“Actually, my parents bought an old used black and white tv one time.  I carted it into my room and put it in the closet  where I could see it from my bed.  That night I rigged a couple of skipping ropes that I could pull from my bed in order to shut my closet doors in a hurry if they suddenly came in after it was lights out time.

Sure enough, long after bedtime, my folks came in – my room was across from theirs.  I quickly shut the closet doors and suddenly I saw the flaw in my plan.  There was a bright glow emitted from the TV screen in the closet.  The volume didn’t hurt either!”

We had a good laugh over that!  Sometimes it’s so nice when our kids just plain old behave like, well, kids!





On the Menu Today…

Green Slime



Ummmmm, no.

Garnet has been taking a certain medication for awhile.  One of the possible side effects is loss of appetite.  And the accompanying Mommy worry.  He doesn’t have a lot of spare change to lose, if you catch my drift.

Bring on the Green Slime aka a green vegetable based protein drink.  I think the picture clearly explains why my children have named it as such.

Do you think his appetite will return for supper?

As for item #2 on said lunch menu.

Well, all it took was a shriek from my littlest dude of, “Mom!  ‘Pider!”, with wild finger pointing at his luncheon plate.

Well after practically breaking my neck from the race across the kitchen, I soon saw the evil beast critter in question.

Okay, once my heart calmed down from the thought of a spider crawling in my son’s salad, I shook my head and thought about it for a minute.

This little guy was fairly cold to the touch.  He was crawling in Samuel’s salad which, I confess, originally came from a wonderful little pre- washed and bagged package.  After our first round of the salad TWO nights ago, it was put into a plastic container and into the fridge.

Talk about survival against all odds.

And, well, yuck!

I kind of felt bad when I took him outside into the 10 degree Celsius weather.  God bless him.

But oooo – yuck!

Hopefully Samuel’s appetite will have returned for supper too, as after I had extricated the ladybug from his foliage, he quickly scrambled down from his chair and said, “All done!”

Can you blame him?  hehe


And We Have a Winner!

The winner of my little contest from yesterday was Cydil

I used Random.org to choose our first winner.


Why yes!

Once I chose, I happened to be going through my photos and realized that Kristi was more correct in her guess than I had even realized!   So she wins one too!

Here’s the first photo:

Notice Samuel pointing and Stephen behind him with the girls?

Here’s what happened just prior to that:

Turns out I had forgotten that Samuel wasn’t just chattering and being adorable. 


He was tattling. 

And the pair of girls? 

They were sent inside for baths.

But, yes, in answer to your many comments, we do go through an obnoxious amount of {pants}.

God Bless my sister-in-law, Carmen, who has been perusing Value Village in order to keep us well stocked.

Cydil and Kristi, I’ll be e-mailing you both for your addresses.


Everyday Chatter


Click on the photos to see a larger version of the  {Real} us.

I need to write about our trip to Portland Shriners.  I really am very thankful for the prayer we have had on our behalf.  We came back 100% confident in the team there, but I’ll need to save that for a day when I have a bit more energy to pour into an update.  I came home and woke up the next morning with some king-sized stress knots in my back.  Moving slowly and spending time flat on our hard as rock mattress has helped a lot.

Today I simply want to blog a long string of quotes from my very precious children.  They are treasured things I’ve overheard them say over the past 2 months.  I tend to scrawl things like this on post-it notes and every so often flip through them.  With my latest foray into blogging, I figured why not post some of them? 

From Faith to Grace, “Whine always leads to bad things!”  Exclaimed by Faith when Grace was whining over a lesson.  (Yes, my children do whine on occasion, but you can imagine which winemy mind leapt to!  :))

Samuel, May 17/11: “I tsee you!”, in a sing song voice.

Samuel, April 9/11: I heard, “Smack!  Smack!”, like someone smacking their lips together.  I peeked around the corner and found Samuel using a purple glue stick like lip gloss. 

Garnet: “Tell Dad I have a garbage can in my tummy.” (Too full after a snack.)

Samuel, May 21/11:  Apparently undecided, “Yup!  Nope!  Why?”

James, April 22/11: James using a crayon resist effect on his Easter egg that is intended for his 87 year old great grandma {Granny}, “Eat Pork!” (She giggled herself silly and that’s why we love her.)

Samuel, May 12/11: Calling from his spot at breakfast, “Wake up!”  “Samuel”, I say, “Are you calling for Gege James?”  “Yeah!”, he nods, “Gege three!” (With fingers to show three.) (Gege= Big brother)

Grace, April 6/11: “…Because in this family everyone is special, right Mom?” (Said with an air of, “See!  I told you guys!”)

Faith to Grace: “Just put the angel in the back with the extra toilet paper.”  (Meaning that they had been in charge of building a replica tomb in which to entomb Jesus body over Easter Weekend.  They needed to hide the angel until Sunday morning and apparently they decided that the way they clean their rooms is good enough for the burial site of the King of Kings too.  :))

Garnet: Said extremely cheerfully, “I don’t really want to go, but thank you!”

Samuel, May 3/11: Loves to eat “‘Pie-see”, “Icy-team” & of course, “Choc-a-yee!” (Spicy Thai Chili Sauce, Ice Cream, Chocolate).

James, April 22/11: Again decorating an Easter Egg with craypn resist, “I shouldn’t have gone in the Hot Tub!” ( The colour of the egg?  Well, let’s just say that they don’t call it potty humour for nothing!)

Garnet: Describing some thing’s size, “It was a boat as big as Jesus!”

Samuel, April 9/11: I hear, “No!  No!”, said very sternly from the other room.  It was Samuel looking into the mirrored closet door, telling himself under no circumstances to enter.  hehe

Faith, May 23/11: “I don’t know why, but it makes the family feel really small when one person’s away.”  {This one makes my heart sing!}


Ahhh, to be 3

I have been unpacking school books and reorganizing the school shelves.  Just now I gave Samuel a piece of the left over bubble wrap.  I heard “pop, pop, pop”.  Then I heard something a bit different.  “Smooch, dwaybuchi (sorry), smooch, dwaybuchi (sorry)”. 

Yes, he was kissing the bubble wrap all better.  🙂

All this from the same threee year old who had people (Adults, mind you) covering their ears from his piercing screams in the check out line at Costco yesterday.  He had wanted down.  Now! 



Catching up

So I think I am over my general feeling of malaise.  Now I am onto Full Speed Ahead.  Haha 

Thank you to everyone who commented and e-mailed to check in on me.  I really REALLY appreciate every word.  It’s so good to know I’m not the only one…

In the meantime, we made a quick trip to Grace’s specialist at the closest Children’s Hospital.  She’s doing really fantastic and somehow those words always put me at ease.  We visit that particular specialist twice per year and it’s easy to forget that there is even a need for the visit until just beforehand and then suddenly I get to wondering how things are beneath the surface.  As usual, those thoughts were for nothing.  And for that I am truly thankful!

We also celebrated a really big milestone birthday as James turned 15 this week.  Everbody says this about their kids, but How On Earth did He Get this BIG?  And how come every year we enjoy him more and more?  We are really thrilled with our young man and we had an absolute hoot the other night on our birthday date with him.  Accoring to a certain arcade game, we are Ace shots at killing giant spiders and leeches, but are not really all that compatible as mates.  Uh ,yeauuuuh?!  Lame plot line, but too funny laughing with our teenager.  🙂

I’ve been polling friends for tips on which size diapers or pull ups to bring with us.  Samuel is trained duirng the day, but we expect a regression (you know, hope for the best, prepare for the worst and all that…).  He’s about 20 lb.s and will be 3 (!) next Tuesday.  factoring in his limb difference, but knowing he’s a little guy has made me go a bit crazy.  Input welcome.  🙂

The realization also dawned that while we way over pack every time we travel, we also like to bring a lot of donate-able items.  But, on this trip, we will be flying into Beijing and then taking a bunch of domestic flights followed by an international departure via Hong Kong.  That means less than half our usual luggage allowance.  Not sure if our arrival into each city will allow enough time to shop for items to bring to each orphanage.  We’ll have to see…  Any tips (Americans!) on what you do when you fly into Beijing and exit via GZ or HK? 

We received our last monthly update on Samuel (which I will post separately) and it said something that made us curious.  Guess we’ll understand more once we meet him. 

We were able to Skype last Sunday night.  He is a total monkey boy (and we LOVE monkeys in this house).  He loves to climb all over the desk, point the web cam around, show us his belly button, flex his muscles, play peek-a-boo (his favourite), and accost the pig shaped light on the desk. hehe  We notice that his rendition of “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” is getting clearer and clearer each week.  His new haircut is often styled by his nanny into a very manly swoop across his forehead and he is often dressed to chat with us in a sharp little sweater.  Very adorable handsome.  🙂  We have played with him this way for so many months now.  What a tremendous blessing – one we never dreamed of. 

I am ignoring the second half of my Chinese New Year cleaning by writing this post.  We are beginning CNY early this year as our church group is coming over tonight and treating us to some very yummy sounding homemade Chinese food.  Our contribution will be a little more western in that it will need to be picked up from our local restaurant shortly before the party.  🙂  Grace has told me that my version is just not quite right and so we jokingly order what we call Fake-Chinese food and don’t even try and pretend its the real thing.  I’m even serving Chocolate dipped fortune cookies from this site.  She has amazing ideas – totally worth the look!

I think I have just about come to the end of my catching up, but before I go finish catching dust bunnies (Hey, it’s the Year of the Rabbit – aren’t I clever?!), I want to make a quick mention about a very special little girl by the name of Sharaya.  Our friends the Berzenji Family is raising funds in order to bring their newest child home.  We travelled with them on our journey to Miss Grace and their daughter Jade Ping is Grace’s orphanage sister. 

Anway, back to Sharaya (don’t you just love her name?  Brings back memories of a certain Amy Grant song – and yes, I am that old.)  Sharaya is a young friend of the Berzenji family.  She has decided to raise money for their adoption fund and the Canadian Cancer Society by cutting off her beautiful, long tresses and not only donating the hair to make a wig to bless a person fighting their cancer, but is also taking pledges in order to give financially to this special family trying to bring home their child from China.  Who says kids don’t have great big hearts?  In addition, both she and Adrian (Baba Berzenji) are taking part in a Congee fast right now!  You can read all about it and all of these fantastic people on their blogs: Sharaya & Adrian’s.  And please, do more than read.  Won’t you encourage them with a donation? 

Off to herd up those bunnies….

And don’t forget to weigh in on the great diaper debate & luggage fiasco of 2011.  I could really use the advice.  😉


Sometimes you just can’t do anything but laugh…

Life is such a strange and wonderful mystery.  And sometimes life just makes you shake your head.

I’ve been an absentee blog author lately.  Lots going on behind the scenes.  And a whole family full of snifflers {cough.  hack.  wheeze.}. 

Anyway, no news on the adoption front, but I added a quote to my “Quote Billboard” gizmo today and also came across this video of a Chinese Taxi driver driving the opposite way down a high speed freeway.   First off the video and then the quote.  I think the one nicely follows the other. 

Laughing at ourselves as well as with each other gives a surpising sense of togetherness.  ~ Hazel C. Lee


Halloween Humor

“Goodbye!  Thanks!  Have a fun time!”  ~ Grace to an older gentleman as she ran off with her loot. 

She got a big smile and wave in return.  🙂

The joy of a first Halloween.


Around our house

If you had come over to visit over the past few days you would’ve seen us:

 preparing Samuel’s “Introducing Your Family” package.

(It only took about 5,000 tries to get this one!)

When I mailed it today, the postal worker at the mail counter asked me if I reeeeally wanted to send it.  Surely it would be too costly (it was a lot!).  I felt like saying, are you kidding me?   This is for one priceless kiddo!

Garnet received this balloon from us for his birthday.  For a whole week he asked if he could send it to Jesus in Heaven.  Finally, before bed one night we sent it off into the night sky.  I think his smile speaks volumes.  This guy has a big heart for Jesus.

He is also really growing his range of vocabulary.

Lately we’ve caught him saying, “Yes, you may.”

Another time we heard him say, “The deal’s expired!”

(The deal, for those of you who don’t know, is that he told each of us that he doesn’t want kisses anymore <sob>, except on his birthday.  You can guess the sheer volume of kissing that went on that day!  The next morning?  Apparently, the “deal” had expired.)