Sunday, July 28, 2013

Today we took a walk in the woods.....

It's so rare that nobody is working or has an activity that we decided to take advantage of an unusually chilly July morning and go for a hike close to home. Don't they look enthused?

Let's just say this wasn't top on Eli's plans for a Saturday morning, especially since it was followed by a trip to the farmers market. Since it's too cold to swim, we have had to get rid of the energy somehow. The rest of Saturday was spent relaxing at home and having a barbeque with friends and lots of time playing outside in the fresh mosquito free air! 

 Sidney insisted on taking her juice and a snack in this on the hike. She wouldn't get out of the car without it. More on this later. If you haven't read a post recently on No Hand But Our Own about eating, do so. Minus hording, it describes Sidney completely. 

This isn't the best shot, but it perfectly describes the time Eli and Tom spend together. Eli always has something interesting or funny to share. I was talking to another mom the other day. I totally understood when she said every stage her kids go through is her favorite. 

Not the most flattering, but if you consider I hadn't gone to the pool to do my laps yet, meaning I hadn't had a shower in this photo (is that too much info?), it's not so bad!

Friday, July 26, 2013

We walked out of our church one night after VBS to find a double rainbow. Look below...
It’s such bliss to sit down with my blog (I can’t believe it myself) and update. I don’t think I’ve landed in any one place for the last two weeks. VBS, VBS, and more VBS was the theme of the last two weeks. If I wasn’t calling, I was emailing, or delegating work. I directed again this year, and it’s the first time I took it on while working. It was an adventure to say the least, and I today I found my house! Did I mention while all this was going on, Tom was on call for work? It’s a little blessing we have in our family life (I say this with all the sarcasm I can muster) once every four weeks.

It was an awesome week.  I wish I could show you pictures, but I can’t with all the kids. Instead I’ll show you a few of the decorations and crafts we completed. Thank you Pint*rest! In the midst of all of this we were not getting home in a timely fashion which lead to late nights and late bedtimes which culminated in a cranky five year old.

Eli was a total champ the entire week. If there was anything I asked, he helped immediately. Of course the incentives of marbles always help. The kids earn them and sometimes lose them for misbehavior over the summer. Let’s say he raked them in this week! He cut, he watched, he ran, and it was fun to commiserate over the long week with him. Eli has developed the most fantastic sense of humor, and I have loved being around him this summer (at least most of the time) for that reason.
All our stories were taken from the book of Acts. Just wanted to explain why all our letters are made from maps. 
Sidney was along for sensory confusion.  A loud room of 30 children on one evening and craziness proved too overwhelming for her at certain points. I knew one night when I ran upstairs to get a couple of pictures, and she can running, it was too much. She clung to me actually wrapping herself around my leg. Once I took her downstairs and she had some chocolate milk, she was ready to join her friends. I remembered I used to tell her when we were at family gatherings, and she was feeling like it was too much to sit in moms lap for a little time away. I think she remembered this was an escape. It’s awesome some of the same old tricks still work for her.

It's time to call it a night.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Summertime Ramblings

I love this time of the year where my kids aren’t overly involved or committed and not stressed out by anything other than being reprimanded for fighting. Our biggest stress is if the swimsuits and towels have dried for the next day. I’ll admit I’m sort of clinging to these last few days before Sidney starts kindergarten. It happened too fast. Despite my selfishness, I know school will be a good change in her schedule. She thrives in consistency and schedule where Eli thrives without being rushed. Polar opposites. 

 Most summers I use daycare, however this year we decided not to take her anywhere, knowing she gets lots of social interaction with all the activities that take place over summer. We knew this would be a stretch for her as her normal is still being in a room of kids. She’s visibly more relaxed. Being alone is a time of floundering and orneriness. I can’t say that’s entirely true this summer. Again with the swimming. It’s good for her in every way. I’ve talked many times about her sensory issues on our blog. There’s something about the sensation of the water that calms her and most of all wears her out!

In the midst of kids being home and juggling work, I am directing Bible school again this year. Somewhere in between we’ve had a ton of fun with our friends in the  last few weeks. Let’s just say mom took herself outside of her normal level of comfort and allowed herself to be driven through the woods on a ranger bouncing around. Eli was totally enthralled with the experience. Notice the photo below of him. I watched it happening. I’ve never been a mom that’s afraid of a little dirt, so I cracked up watching him smile ear to ear as he was being splattered.
Tomorrow is four years since we  boarded the plane for Changsha and took an elevator ride that would change our lives forever. I am so blessed to be Sidney's mom. My mind often wanders to God's ability to bring a parent and child together that are separated by time and space and forever change their lives through the willingness to love and trust one another. If you think of Sidney's brothers and sisters that didn't have their forever family day, please say a prayer for them today that if anything their lives could be bearable today and they are protected. My heart will be forever broken for the orphan. But I tell myself if my heart isn't broken, I don't remember this goes on. That's not acceptable. So today say a prayer for the kids left behind.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Cousins on Summer Days

A few minutes to catch up on the blog! 25 people will descend on our house on the 4th. It’s the “Impromptu BBQ” we have every year. There’s even a sign that’s passed from family to family. This year we’re carrying the torch. Why not add a party to work and VBS? This is actually fun. We have a huge backyard, so we were nominated to carry on the tradition the next couple of years.

 This week is a week of gatherings. We had our family Christmas on Saturday, so there is plenty of cuteness in this week’s photos. It was great for Sidney and Eli to run around with their cousins on Saturday and Sunday. After a series of episodes which took place at the public pool the last couple of days, it was welcome relief. I guess it’s a surprise when we run into people that are strangers and don’t know our story in an exposed place like the pool. This is the first time we’ve run into a blatent lack of kindness on the part of another child. I’ll admit, it broke my heart to see her reaction. She didn’t want to go in the same area as the girls in the shallow end of the pool. Who could blame her? Brats.
I sneaked around the corner to get this. I want to know what the cousins were talking about so contentedly? 
Aside from this small confrontation, we have been spending many blissful afternoons in the sun. Perhaps too much blissful time. Eli, Tom, and I are somehat jealous of Sidney’s beautiful bronzed skin. I think any mom of an Asian child knows it doesn’t matter how much sunscreen you slather on. I can put 50 on her before we leave, and she still has tan lines when we get home.  Getting to my point, Eli and I spent about half an hour too long in the sun. I felt terrible, but in my defense, I had an uncooperative 11 year old in the pool with his friends.
Our niece AnDee was the inspiration for choosing China for adoption. She loves spending time with Sidney. So much so that she was willing to ride a big wheel down the driveway. 
Okay off to clean something else before Thursday. Thankfully everything’s outside, but I guess I have to let them in to use the restroom.
Enough of this family bonding already.