Friday, April 30, 2010

Fun Versions of Photographs from Emily's Party

Amy, with her "iPhone from God", sends me these silly renditions of photographs. She's a hoot. This is one of Emily...obviously "sketched out looking". Too funny.

Old Fashioned Photo Trick

Emily, Maylee (Rebecca's precious daughter), and me...on an old timey black and white t.v. This is right up my alley. I actually have a television similar to this one sitting on a desk in my bedroom. I could play Aunt Bea on future showings of The Andy Griffith Show...if they decide to re-invent QUALITY t.v.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Friday, April 23, 2010

"....and they lived happily ever after!"

This is one of the goals we have for our darling little girls.

Rina's blog says it in the most heartfelt of ways!
We love ya'll.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Spring Has Sprung

Simplify, Simplify, Simplify

My new mantra in life.

At least in theory...striving toward it in reality.

Betsy, mom to sweet Miah (home from China for a couple a years now -- adopted at an older age like Miss Emily) and mom to a whole slew of other cutie pie children, subscribes to the thoughts of the simple woman's lifestyle.

She's starting to rub off on me. Betsy and "THE" simple woman...and her views of life.

Gosh I love writing in incomplete sentences - no verbs, no subjects, only prepositional phrases. I guess that's b/c I spend ALL my waking hours working with children -- teaching them how TO write/speak in complete sentences.

At our house, the tv is not a staple in life. PBS cartoon shows and my FAVE man in media -- Fred Rogers -- are pretty much what gets viewed within the confines of our four walls. There are, of course, quality movies on tape (yep...still play videos) and dvd -- mainly on the weekends: Pollyanna, Anne of Avonlea, American Girl, Sound of Music, Cinderella - 1965 version, Singing in the Rain, Easter Parade, Barbie -- of all sorts, & just a whole shmear of other vintage flicks or classics.

YEP. 1965 makes it vintage...antique....OLD.

All that to say -- it's quiet at our house a LOT. I like it that way. It's during these times of quiet that I can hear Emily singing to herself, to her dolls...just like in a musical. She makes her doll conversations sing-songy, "I li-i-i-i-i-ike yo-u-u-u-u-u. You li-i-i-i-ike me-e-e-e-e. We best friends. (no verb) We talk together. We play outside."

And Emily adores playing with little holiday figurines during each season of the year - be they a family of rabbits dressed up for Easter, Mr. and Mrs. Claus - elves and company, Father and Mother Turkey & their little turk-lette children at T' name it. Em sits for the longest times and has these little cheap-o, breakable figurines talk/sing to one another.

Since the time Emily came home from China, I pretty much gave up 'playin' the radio (in the car). I knew between all the conversation times, learning times, question times, grieving times, exploring times, understanding times...she NEEDED the quiet. She had to have silence in order to process and work through what-the-heck-ever was going thru her mind at the time.

Her brain and emotions simply needed a break.

Mine did, too.

SOOOOOOOOO when I read this excerpt from a book, I could readily identify with it.

Just sharing.

Mitten Strings For God
Reflections For Mothers In A Hurry

Chapter Four~Quiet

"In silence, I become attentive. I see more: the slant of light across the kitchen table, the jewel-toned nasturtiums in their vase on the sill, the tentative expression on one's son's early morning face, the ready-for-anything entrance of the other.

I hear more, too: the breeze outside the window, eggs sizzling in the pan, a child singing in an upstairs bedroom, another's slow step on the back stair."

Being quiet isn't being unusual in our home. Hopefully it's laying the foundation for times of refuge to be carved out amidst this "screaming for our attention world" we live in.

"In quiet and confidence is your strength. " Isaiah 30:15

Monday, April 12, 2010

Don't Cha Just Wanna Cry...Watching a Great Adoption Video?

OMG. It's Deja Vu all over again.

I found this adoption video and was overcome with the very same flood of feelings I FELT when waiting to adopt. I would sit endlessly and watch various video clips of folks completing their government paperwork, waiting, getting their referrals, prepping to go to China...and then SEE them in the Adoption Affairs Registry room where I knew I was one day headed.

I watched boatloads of these things. day. There I was. I WAS the video-taped person. I was in T-H-A-T room with those pillows on the couches, with the photos on the wall, with a mass of strangers from around the world to do the very same thing I was doing: meeting their child for the first time. There I was meeting my frightened, confused, thin, tiny daughter - Mei Xia Ying - soon to be Emily.

To say it is/was surreal to be in that famous room/location is an understatement. You just have to live it out to grasp it. ALL adoptive parents who travel to China do not necessarily go to that room because they meet their child in another province; however, there are other rooms/agencies/procedures that are common to us all: the medical exam station (oh the joy), U.S. Consulate, Papa John's. Not really.

So here I was, surfin' the net, and I came across this video. Thought I'd cut-n-paste it over here in case anyone would get the notion to watch, live, re-live, remember, catch a glimpse of, whatever....

Now. I've gotta get an email off to Christy, my travel buddy, to see about getting MY adoption day video footage on here at some point. Fingers crossed.

When you click on the link below, quickly scroll down to the bottom of the page. That's where the video is. The music will start up right away. Sniff. Sniff.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Antique Trikes, Bikes, and Cutie Pie Girls

This is Emily and Rivers playing in a friend's backyard. Before Rivers came home from China, she was living in a caring facility called Eagle's Wings. If you just wanna read another tidbit of information about some of these darling children:
This link will lead you to the homepage for Eagle's Wings.

Emily adores Miss Rivers. I think Em gravitates toward helping/sharing with the younger girls because this is all she knew while living in China. The children with whom she interacted were nearly ALL younger than her.
It's such a joy to see friendships formed!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Just Too Cute for Words

Emily's on the Far Right...Standing on the See Saw Thingy

I love this antique swing set.
They just don't make 'em like this anymore.

Easter Egg Hunting Fun

Saturday, April 3, 2010

The Story Behind This Cross

A few years back I was in south Texas -- sitting with my cousin Kathy "Sue" -- chatting. She was talking about the old days and got on the subject of the church where she'd go with our grandmother. Her memories of sitting in that sanctuary with our Nana were so special to her. Kathy said the church had long since closed up shop because the area had dwindled away...due to crime, folks moving, and the entire flight of businesses relocating to safer spots.

She said vagrants often were found there, windows were broken out, and it was just a shame. Her next comment, "I wish I had some of that beautiful milk glass that the windows were made of. It's soooo sad to see the beauty of the building being destroyed and trashed."

My mom attended that church before she moved away from there. I've heard her speak of it often - revivals, special ministers who'd served as pastors, and how a great deal of her life revolved around the activities of that church.

My mind started thinking.....

So, while I was there visiting I took a little trip over to the "hood" -- in broad daylight with my 80 something year old aunt Topsy in the car with me. I nosey-ed around the perimeter of the church and found myself some of the broken shards of milk glass that were lying innocently on the ground. I was moving fast and having a blast.

I should've been a spy.

Anyhoo, I brought the milk-glass back home and commissioned good buddy Marlene to make some shard crosses from the pieces of window glass that I'd found. Thus...the creation you see in the pic.

I took this photo at Kathy Sue's house a few weeks ago when we were there visiting. The cross has been up in her house a few years now. It's hanging on a wall near her kitchen.
I have a cross just like it hanging in my bathroom.
Mom has one in her possession...and so does another family member or two.

I just think they're sooooo special.
It reminds me of the story where a little boy shared his lunch with Jesus. Jesus blessed it and multiplied it above and beyond. It goes on to say in the scripture that Jesus told His disciples to "gather the fragments...that nothing be lost".

I know these aren't the kind of fragments He was referring to, but...

Many wonderful moments in our family's lives have happened in the shadows & shafts of light coming through this antique milk glass in the church windows.
Destinies were changed.
Hearts mended.
Lives restored.
I didn't want all of the physical remains of the center of these memories -- of these life altering events -- to be lost.

Seemed to me that it was the right thing to do to scoop up some of that glass and have it preserved for its noble purpose. Might sound silly to some people. Felt inspirational to me.

It's all about The Cross.
Happy Easter.

Two Dog Night, Asian "American Girl" Doll,and Em

I've worked - for the past 15 years...maybe 1, possibly 2 weekends a month -- as a group home "mom" for some precious young ladies. I go on Friday afternoons right after school and stay until late Sunday afternoon.

Well, I literally pack up everything but the kitchen sink.
You know.
I just gotta have "my stuff" with me.

I once went on a girlfriend trip in southern Louisiana. Mona, the driver of our vehicle, had my wallet in her purse. I'd asked her to hold it for me. I have no clue what influenced me to do so.
That lasted about 2 minutes/43 seconds.
I had to get it back. I couldn't stand the thought of needing my wallet and having to ASK someone for it -- for my own money.
"May I have one dollar & fourteen cents for a Diet Dr. Pepper - from my wallet in your purse?"
Not gonna happen.

I have control issues. Comes from being single all my life.
Emily was asking me recently questions to the notion of why I'd not married. I sorta told her that I'd never met anyone that I truly wanted to marry.
Her reply, "And they no wanna marry you, too?"

Uh...well....if you put it that way.

Emily seems to follow suite in having her belongings with her. That apple didn't fall too far from the tree.
But if she has to be uprooted to come with me on weekends that I work and leave her domain, I think she outta have the right to serve as Princess to her mother: The Queen of Haul.

This photo was taken in the weekend relief's guest bedroom. I guess you can easily see who else is part of the family & who'd had way too much fun that evening.
Our puppy dogs. Emily ADORES going to the group home, visiting with all the girls, Mrs. Janet, Shotzy, Little Wyatt, Lexi, and the rest of the crew.

Asian Ivy-doll got to come along for this working weekend trip. Ragena, Emily's "adoptive aunt" whom she's never met sent her this. Ragena's fun and one of our fave folks on the planet.

We meet ourselves comin' and goin' at times. Often I think my life is a 3-ring circus with a different variety show taking place in each ring.
Just call us Barnum and Bailey.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Emily and Her "Kuzin" Kourtney at Chinese New Year Celebration

“There are those who think families happen by chance –
A mystery their whole life through.
But we had a voice,
and we had a choice.
We were working and waiting for you.” ~John McCutcheon

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Uncle Skipper and Uncle "Jeffu" at Emily's B'day Bash

Jeffu - on the left
Skipper - on the right w/Coke Zero in hand

Kiddos Making Pizzas at the Party

See the black olive eyes and pepperoni faces?
Good ole tacky cheese spread for smiles and hair.
Mozzarella, too.
These darling creations were atop English muffin
I'm just a regular Martha Stewart. (strategic eye rolling)

Uhm...Maybe Martha Washington...Martha somebody!

Choclate, Gold Coins at Emily's B'day Party