Wednesday, July 29, 2009

We have chicks!

The boys have been begging for chickens and my sister's roommate's sister (got that!  LOL) has ducks, chickens, and goats.  She offered us a couple.  The boys each got a cochin bantam/Japanese bantam mix (one hen and one rooster).  I'm not sure what the girls' is...

Shaoey loves on her chick and has been carrying it around nonstop!   Jacob even came to me this morning telling me that Shaoey was in her room reading to her chick.  How sweet!

The person who gave us the chicks also gave us a dozen eggs to try.  They are tiny!  We boiled them for breakfast.  They definitely had more of a flavor to them than the store bought ones.  

I called another dear friend who's children raised quail.  They had an old rabbit hutch style cage that they're letting us use.   It is in need of some fixin' up, but that's part of the fun.  The boys spent all morning taking off the old chicken wire and scrubbing it down with steel wool.  What an amazing difference (you can see the difference on the door--the top and right have been cleaned--much better!).  Troy's going to pick up some new hinges and chicken wire to finish fixing it up.  The chicks should be in their new home by the weekend!

We also had some visitors this morning.  The boys wanted to "take them out," but Shaoey wouldn't hear of it!  

Monday, July 27, 2009

Then and now... 3 years later

On July 25, 2006, we saw the face of our sweet Xi Duo for the first time.  We had been logged in for a couple months and in June we had made the decision to switch to the Waiting Child program.  I remember our agency posting that they had received unexpected referrals.  Their post said that there were only 4 referrals and 100 families on the list and to not be surprised if you didn't get a call.  I remember standing in the kitchen visiting with my Aunt Rose when the phone rang.  I saw AWAA come up on caller ID and just thought there was a question about our special needs application.  Never in my WILDEST dreams did I think that would be THE day!  Allison asked how I was doing and we made a bit of small talk and then she popped the question--they had the file of a little girl andthey wanted to know if we were interested in seeing it...HER.  I was laughing and crying and beside myself with joy!  When I got off the phone with Allison  (saying yes we wanted to see her file!), I called Troy.  I was crying to the point that he thought something was wrong or someone had died!  
I was finally able to get it out that we had a daughter!!! 

 I emailed the file to his office manager's email and we both opened it.  

This is what we saw....

Our beautiful baby girl!  We just knew that she was ours.  
These pictures were taken in April of 2006, just 2 weeks after her lip repair  surgery.  
She was now just 2 weeks shy of her first birthday...

After what seemed like years, but was really 4 months, we held our girl for the first time.
Our first family of 5 photo!

And NOW--
Our beautiful,




and silly~
Princess Shaoey!

We cannot imagine our life without her.  She has brought so much love, laughter, and joy into our lives.  She truly is our Xiduo~much happiness.  We praise God for bringing her into our lives and knowing what we need even when we don't know it ourselves.

Our "surprise referral girls"... Lucy, Shaoey, and AnnaClaire (the 4th one was a little boy who was adopted a few months after our girls)

If you're interested in finding out more about our journey of a lifetime to Shaoey, check out our adoption blog

Friday, July 24, 2009

Catching up on our summer

Where has the summer gone?  I am behind on posting pictures from our trip as I sort of deleted my operating system on my new Mac...  :-(  I have to go back and download pics again!  But I have uploaded pictures of what we've been doing since we got home.  We are back at "school," it's TOO hot to do much of anything else.  If we're going to be inside, we may as well make the most of our time!  

The Princess all dressed go grocery shopping?

I spent quite a bit of time cleaning out our homeschool shelves. 

Since we started back to school, we have started doing more nature study and nature walks.  Connor chose to draw an oak leaf he found and Jacob and I decided to photograph items of interest to us.  We saw some orange flowers up the tree and since we've been studying insects (and have studied hummingbirds in the past), we were able to discuss the shape of the flowers and what type of creatures might like them!  I love when it all flows together.   We also photographed some vine growing on our back pine tree to study later.

We went to BLR for a weekend.  Our sunroom is almost finished out there.  It should be done by Tuesday of this coming week!  We're not doing the bathroom yet, we just want to be able to move furniture into the room and use it.  We still sit out there sometimes, but not as comfortable on outside chairs.  Here the girls are pretending to have babies in their tummies!  Too cute!  Shaoey loves to talk about her birthmom.  Gives me goosebumps to think my grandbabies will be Chinese!  To think of how we've changed the look of our family tree is amazing to me!

How often do you catch a picture of brothers NOT fighting, wrestling, or otherwise hurting themselves or someone else?  I had to capture this one on camera!
Sweet Shuangshuang...she loves to pretend she's a ballerina and it just tickles my heart every time.  She is so adorable!
Ben and Me
(or should I say Jacob and Me?)
Shaoey, Shuangshuang, and LingLing (Shaoey's gerbil)
What a ham!
I have been in a season of seeking God's will for our stuff.  I know, I should always be in that season!  I truly feel like He's working in a big way in our lives.  I don't know what that will look like, but I know that stuff is not making me feel good.  It is draining and creates stress.  I never thought I'd say this, but I envy people who live in a smaller home with less stuff.  I know that's probably hard to understand, but all I can say is that God has really been pruning my heart and my stuff.  DH was down and out with a horrible virus this past weekend and I went to town on our house!  I went through the pantry, the spices, the utility room cabinets, my closet, the bathroom name it.  I was on a tear!  Here is just part of what I gave to Good*will, it doesn't include the stuff that wasn't even good enough for that.
Everything on the counter came out of that open cabinet over the girls!  I have NO idea how it all fit!  We couldn't find anything and I was constantly buying more because I couldn't find what I already had.  Anyone else have that problem?  And how many containers of salt does one family really need? And we really don't even use it!  We managed to pare it down nicely, combined bottles, got rid of out of date spices, and then organized it according to use.  Whew!
Miscellaneous pictures of my sweet children  being sweet and silly!

And of course all this work and play makes for some very tired little girls!  SS actually covered herself up on the utility room floor and took a nap.  God knew I needed our fourth to be a napper.  She is all GO until she drops and we all breathe a sigh of relieve and reprieve!

I hope to get back into the swing of it and start posting more often.  I still need to go back and do our NJ reunion and our Cincinnati trip!