Sunday, March 30, 2008

Lost in Space

This afternoon we had the opportunity to tour the Space & Rocket Center and enjoy a great lunch, courtesy of the Madison County Medical Association. William is our future astronaut and he was in awe of the Saturn V rockets and the full scale model of the Space Shuttle. We didn't get to spend as much time at all the exhibits that we would have liked, since the kids seemed to prefer the kiddie area and, of course, the gift shop! We managed to get out of there with only one toy that they all could share.

In front of a small scale model of the Saturn V.

Dynamic duo

This was the big ride for the little ones. It shot them up around 20 feet then bounced up an down a bit before going back up again. The first time Rebecca rode she whined and cried a bit, but not five minutes later, she wanted back on. She ended up riding it 4 or 5 times. We even let Vivian on it and she was smiling the entire time.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Near mastery of the English language

Rebecca was disagreeing with me today about where she had left something (her cup, which was in the living room, where it's not supposed to be). I told her where it was and she just kept arguing. So I calmly pointed it out to her and she went over to it and said in a perfect little sing-song voice, "What-ev-er!" I couldn't help but laugh out loud at her!

Where does sarcasm fall in the developmental milestones?! :)

Thursday, March 27, 2008

High Maintenance

This post should contain a photo of Rebecca too, because she is the queen of accessories! But, I just had to share the pictures of Vivian in her shades. Today, my SIL and I went to visit some old high school friends' children who were involved in a serious car accident earlier in the week. (Please pray for Chasity and Hannah Dildine.) Vivian wore her sunglasses the entire time we were in the hospital and also during lunch (see below photo at McDonald's)!

Here's Henry with his new comb & mirror.

I love my new sunglasses! Thanks, Easter Bunny!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Easter Egg Hunt - Round Two

And finally, we lead up to Easter Sunday, the day of our Lord's resurrection. What an awesome God we have to place Himself among us, to be born of man, and to give Himself as the Supreme sacrifice to cover the sins for all mankind. Awesome indeed.

Our day started with treats from the Easter bunny. The children each got a toy, a picture Bible, a chocolate bunny, and other candies. We ran around in a mad rush to make it to church on time, and we did! Yeah!
We hosted Easter lunch for my dad & stepmom (aka Granddaddy David & MawMaw), Billy's dad (Granddaddy Bill), Rita's mother, Mary Emma, and my brother & family (Rusty, Beth, Anna, & Walker). Rita (MawMaw) brought the ham and a carrot cake, and Mary Emma brought a cute pink bunny cake. Beth brought deviled eggs and rolls, and I supplied the rest. After we ate, it was out for another egg hunt! Whew! I was glad that this was the last one of the year. No, wait...after the kids found all the eggs, they hid them for the adults to find. It was really cute; there were huge clusters of them instead of being spread out in the yard.
Rebecca ate so many boiled eggs, deviled eggs, and candy, that we just knew she was going to get sick! She has overeaten scrambled eggs on two occasions that we got to see again. (Too much information??)
After a short rest, we were back out to Sunday School this evening. How about pizza then for Easter dinner?! Finally.....BEDTIME!

In our Easter best!

Beth, Rebecca, & Anna

Vivian, do you see one?

Keep looking, Henry!

Walker calls it quits and decides to swing.

O.K., here is the prime reason that you don't see many photos of me on this blog! I have some sort of genetic anomaly that prevents me from keeping my eyes open when a camera flashes. I know it has to be genetic because my mom is afflicted with it too! :)

Easter Egg Hunt - Round One

Saturday was the annual Easter "eggstravaganza" at Nannie & PawPaw's house. There were tons of eggs (and kids)! We did the big egg hunt, Nannie & PawPaw gave Easter gifts to all the children, and then we went inside for a party for Fiona's 4th birthday. She got several dress-up clothes. All the girls were clomping in high heel shoes the rest of the day. Two-year-old Scarlett picked up one of the boys' toy razors (from a play shaving kit) and knew exactly what to do with it. She pulled up her pants leg and proceeded to shave her leg! It was hilarious!
Next we ate hot dogs and hamburgers and cake and ice cream. The children played and played all afternoon and had a ball!

Nannie's famous bunny cake

Ethan, Fiona, William, Anna, & Rebecca

Vivian & Scarlett

Hey, there's an egg in the apple tree!

Rebecca's becoming an "eggspert" egg hunter!

There is candy in this one, right?

Notice Walker in the background on the Barbie jeep. Not a fan of the egg hunting.

Got one!

The hungry egg hunters

Friday, March 21, 2008

Good Friday

What a gorgeous day, and we made the most of it! We spent the morning at the park with my sister-in-law and her 2 children. We fed ducks, played, and picnicked. My girls were fascinated by the ducks. Vivian would try to call them over, "Here, duck!" After we came home, we stayed outside most of the afternoon and finished up the day with a walk around the neighborhood after dinner.

By the time I got around to getting the camera out, the ducks were pretty full, plus there were other families there with the same idea. I brought several bags of stale bread that I had saved, so I'd say the ducks are good for a few days! Henry would throw an entire hamburger bun in the water.

Vivian & Beth

If you enlarge this photo, you will notice all the scratches on William's face. No, we don't have a cat. We have a Henry! (Henry got his nails trimmed after this little incident!)

Rebecca & Anna hangin' around

Monday, March 17, 2008

Bunny Hops and Horsie Rides

On Saturday we spent time with our FCC friends at a wonderful Easter party and egg hunt. There were all sorts of activities for the kids, a touching slideshow featuring all of our adopted Chinese children, great food, the Easter bunny (who led the children in the bunny hop), and, of course, the egg hunt! The egg hunt had to be held inside because of the very soggy ground outside. It is quite humorous to watch kids "these days" (oh, no, I'm sounding old here) hunt for eggs. Several of the children would pick up a plastic egg, and if there were no candy inside, would just throw it back down! Back in my day...(ha)...we were just happy to get an egg! :)

After church on Sunday we had lunch with my grandparents. My grandmother (aka "Mema") prepares a good home-cooked lunch for a crowd every Sunday. It's not called lunch though. It's Sunday dinner! The kids then all had tractor rides on Granddaddy's John Deere, and after that, it was off to Nannie & PawPaw's house to see their new horse.

Rebecca loved to brush Doc.

My first ride on a horse!

The boys each had a turn. I think this was only their second time on a horse, but it has been a while. PawPaw borrowed a horse for their first birthday party (a farm theme).

Nannie takes Vivian for her first ride.

Here's where I could have inserted the photo of me on the horse, but I'll spare you!

After Sunday night services, we went out to eat Chinese food in celebration of Rebecca being home with us 6 months! It's hard to believe 6 months has already gone by, but at the same time, it is like she has been with us forever.

Well, I paid for the busy weekend today. We went this morning to the park for a playdate and picnic, and by the time we left, the kids were super-cranky. We ALL enjoyed a nap this afternoon!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Week in review

We spent Sunday afternoon with Billy's grandmother, who turned 85 on Tuesday.
Happy Birthday, Grandma!

Playing on the hill at Grandma's

Lovin' my ice cream sandwich, Grandma!

Wednesday, I took Rebecca to her appointment at the UAB International Adoption Clinic in Birmingham. She is doing great on her attachment and she has made huge strides in her developmental milestones in the six short months she has been with us!

Thursday was the day for the preschool Easter egg hunt and party. The kids made a cross Easter craft and decorated cupcakes. Vivian really enjoyed it, as she thinks of herself as a "big kid" anyway.

I love this picture of Rebecca with "the look" and her hand on her hip. This is her signature "look" when she feels the world is no longer revolving around her! She gets to use it a lot!

Vivian is happy with her one egg.

Henry is very serious about the cupcake decorating.

Today, I took Rebecca for her follow-up appointment with the cardiologist. Everything looked great, and we will see him back in 3 months.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

March SNOW!

It wasn't as much as predicted, but it was pretty. We had only a 1/2" on our deck and a heavy dusting on the ground. We were planning to go to our FCC Easter egg party & hunt today, but it was postponed until next week due to the weather. (Before anyone makes fun of us Southerners for that, our snows are usually mixed in with sleet and freezing rain, so roads can be very hazardous. We hardly ever have just powder!)

Here are the kids out this morning playing in the snow. The snow was pretty much melted by 11:00 am. Then, poor Rebecca came down with a nasty stomach virus. She has been vomiting and is so nauseated. (So, really, the postponement of the Easter egg hunt was a blessing!) Hope nobody else gets it!!

A mini version of Frosty

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Healing heart

Bed rest

See my IV?

Waiting to go home

Praise God! Rebecca's heart procedure was a success! She did great, and is as active as ever. We went into the hospital around 6:30 am on Monday, and she didn't have the procedure until around 11:00 am. The whole thing took about 3 hours, and then Billy and I were able to go and be with her in recovery. She was not happy when she woke up--not happy about the IV or about her pressure dressing at all. We tried to entertain her and cheer her up, but she was just mad. This continued after we got back to her room until finally around 5:00 she got something to eat (and that was us sharing our dinner with her. The cafeteria was really slow getting her some food!) She was a completely different child after that! This girl loves to eat, and nobody had let her eat all day! I guess I would be mad too!
She had to lie flat for 6 hours after the procedure. She did pretty well with that. The bedpan was not fun, especially after the full can of Sprite she chugged down reached her bladder. She was so happy to get up out of bed after the required bedrest, she thought she would be going home then. I was trying to get her to change into a nightgown that I brought her from home, but she wanted her clothes!
She slept very well and would go right back to sleep after the nurses woke her up for vitals, etc. The doctor came in around 8:30 am and did her echocardiogram. Everything looked great, so we were clear to head home!
There was one thing that the cardiologist told us about her heart that I just found amazing. He said that the flow across her atrial septal defect was more than her cardiac output. So, her little heart was having to work very hard. (With every beat of her heart, there was more blood going backward than going forward.) It's astonishing that kids with these defects don't have any symptoms!
Thank you all for your prayers and support! We could not be more relieved that this is over! Rebecca will only be limited in very physical activity (athletic-type activities) for one month. She will take a baby aspirin for 6 months, and take antibiotics before dental procedures for one year. That is it (except for a few follow-up doctor's appointments)!

Saturday, March 1, 2008

To Rebecca

On Monday, it will be 6 months since I first saw you walk through that door in the Civil Affairs Office in Guangzhou, China. I will never forget that look on your face. I didn't know that look then, but I do now. You didn't seem frightened or anxious to me then, but knowing you now as your mother, I know you were definitely scared and hesitant. You were and are so very brave and I am so proud of you. You called us "Mama" and "Baba" right away and never looked back. You are an amazing little girl! I love you so much!
On Monday, we will take you to have your little heart repaired, 6 months to the day from when you literally walked into our lives. Doctors will repair that little physical hole in your heart, while these last 6 months, God has been molding and shaping your spiritual heart to walk with Him. It makes me smile every time you see a heart shape, you say, "Heart, heart, give my heart to Jesus." It also makes my own heart swell when I hear you sing "Jesus Loves Me." I pray daily that God will give me the strength and wisdom to bring all four of my children up to love their God with all of their hearts!
I don't know all the reasons why you came to be our daughter, but I am so grateful that God placed you in our arms. I feel very blessed to be your mother. I will always be here for you, whenever you need me.

I love you,