Sunday, February 1, 2009

Day 32, 02/01/2009, Xiao Min, No Training Wheels!

Today, Xiao Min rode her bike without training wheels! It was so exciting. the day before we took the pedals off of her sister's old bike. Then she practiced scooting around practicing her balance. She caught on quickly and when she got her bike (minus training wheels), she just took off. She did it!

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Day 31, 01/31/2009 Birthday celebration

February 1st is Meng Jiao's birthday. This year we celebrated on January 31st so that her aunt and uncle could join the celebration. She turns 8 tomorrow. You may notice her hair amongst the candles. Yes, we had a scare and her hair was singed. Luckily it wasn't a worse situation. Hard to believe our Meng Jiao is 8! She got a new bicycle for her birthday had a blast with it.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Day 28, 01/10/2009, Mario Kart!

Today I found Mario Kart for the Wii!!! I have been looking for this since November and just stumbled upon it at Target. This is the cutest game. The girls love this game and had a blast playing. It is a game that they can play together and it fits their skill level.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Day 27, 01/27/2009, Visit with Oral Surgeon

Today Xiao Min had her first appointment with the oral surgeon that will close the alveolar cleft (split in her gum-line) in her mouth. The surgeon is the head of a the department at a large university based medical facility, so I have great comfort that the best surgeon will be doing the surgery. I was afraid that we had messed up in the timing of getting hooked up with this surgeon, but it turned out it is fine. We will return in June to be evaluated then. They need to time the surgery after her front baby teeth come out. We are hoping the surgery can be done this summer while she is out of school. They will take a piece of bone from her hip and graft it into the split. She will spend a night in the hospital and be out of school two weeks. It will be the most painful surgery she will have.
In the picture she is showing off the goodies they gave her (see the ring and the glasses). Kids are suckers for this stuff.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Day 26, 1/26/2009, Meng Jiao at 100 Years Old

Today was the 100th day of school and Meng Jiao's class was asked to dress what they thought they might look like at age 100. The famous white wig came in handy. She wasn't thrilled about this activity as she thought no one else would do it, but they did. She said she didn't think the white hair looked right with her tan skin. I told her Chinese people get gray hair too. I guess she had never noticed that.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Day 25, 01/25/2009, Chinese New Year

Today, we participated in a FCC Chinese New Year celebration. I love the girls in the silks. We had a good time until they did the firecrackers. The adult that was in charge of this part, decided to light them about a foot from Xiao Min. He gave no warning. She tried to get away, and stepped over the fireworks as the first ones started to fire. I was so upset at the lack of safety. She was hysterical and I think will never forget this. This person was an idiot.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Day 24, 01/24/2009, DS Concentration

Both girls now have a DS game and it is great for trips in the car. This is Xiao Min playing with hers while we drove to a nearby town for a trip to Costco and a movie (Mall Cop).

Friday, January 23, 2009

Day 23, 01/23/009, Creativity at a Sleep Over

Tonight Meng Jiao and Xiao Min spent the night with an Aunt and Uncle. Meng Jiao is very creative and came up with this as an activity tonight. Earlier they had watched the movie Castaway with Tom Hanks. His character has a volleyball that becomes his surrogate friend. Meng Jiao wanted to recreate the idea, but used a roll of toilet paper instead of a volleyball. Her mind amazes me with stuff like this.
With the kids away for a rare night out together, Bobby and I went out for dinner and a movie. It was strange to have the kids away.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Day 22, 1/22/2009, Time for me...Curves!

For many years I have failed to take time to excercise and to take care of my body. After the last adoption, I have gained a lot of weight and struggled to make time for taking care of me. In the fall, I changed jobs and no longer have two hours of commuting to work everyday. With the extra time, I decided to start working out. Because I haven't done anything in so long, I decided to go with the Curves program. So far, I really like it. It is conveniently located to where we live. I am proud to have the opportunity to gain strength and work on getting healthier.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Day 21, 10/21/2009 Girl Scout Cookies

It time to sell some Girl Scout cookies! Today, Meng Jiao sold (with my help), 72 boxes of cookies. We sold the bulk of them at church tonight. It is a long way from the 200 boxes they want her to sell. Do you want to buy some :) ?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Day 20, 01/20/2009, Yes I Can!

Meng Jiao is a fabulous student in the second grade and here she is doing some math homework. Also, today Meng Jiao came home from school wearing the "hat" you see on her in is this picture. It reads "Yes I can do my best in soccer". I think her teacher was trying to tie into the inauguration today of Barack Obama. I was proud that our girls were able to see part of the news coverage at school today. This is a huge event in our lives.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Day 19, 01/19/2009, Our Lego Gal

Last summer, our oldest daughter Meng Jiao, started playing with her old Legos. Since then we have seen an amazing variety of structures she has created. Santa brought her some new smaller legos to play with. This is one of her smaller creations that she created today. It is a small two room house, with a gate at the bottom of the stairs to the front door. The room on the right has a small table and the room on the left has a bed. She usually creates very elaborate buildings or businesses, more elaborate than this. I can easily see her becoming an architect.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Day 18, 01/18/2009, Skating Party

The girls liked the bottom picture, but I liked the top today we have two pictures!
This afternoon, Xiao Min (top picture right) and Meng Jiao (top picture left), went to a friend's birthday party at the local skating rink. As always, they had fun and their skating gets better every time they skate. The birthday girl is a friend who is adopted from Guatemala. Our girls had a blast!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Day 17, 01/17/2009, Dumplings 101

This afternoon a FCC group that we are members of had a gathering of older girls adopted from China. One of our members grew up in Taiwan and helps to provide learning experiences for our girls (she too has adopted daughters from China). This afternoon was a lesson on how to make fresh dumplings. This is Meng Jiao's first dumpling. It was lots of fun. The dumplings were fabulous! YUMMM!!!!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Day 16, 01/16/2009 Baby it's Cold!!!

It is so cold that sitting by our fire is a good place to be. I love a fireplace. The lowest temperature today was 9 degrees and the highest was only 23 degrees. The average is a low of 29 degrees and a high of 49 degrees. Oh man, it is cold!!!!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Day 15, 01/15/2009, A Fabulous Duo

Today Xiao Min had an appointment with her plastic surgeon, Dr. John Grant. Xiao Min was born with a cleft lip and gumline. Dr. Grant closed her lip when she was 2 years old and he did a fabulouse job. Periodically we check in with him to see if anything needs to be done. At this point, Dr. Grant recomended that before we do anything else, we need to met with the oral surgeon that will close the split in her gumline. We have an appointment in a couple of weeks with that doctor. They will do a bone graft to close the split. That will be the hardest surgery she will endure. I am hoping we can do that surgery during the summer, but we will see.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Day 14, 01/14/2009, Early Morning at the Carnegie

Today my Rotary Club had our weekly meeting at the Carnegie Visual Arts Center to plan a fund raiser for our city's youth symphony that will be held here. This is a picture of the Center. It is a fabulous center that displays art and teaches art. I love when buildings are recycled and put to new uses. When I was a child, this was our local library and later my grandmother lived right behind this building.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Day 13, 01/13/2009 Hershey the beloved dog

Hershey is our beloved dog. We adopted him in August of 2008 from a Humane Society. He looks more like a lab, but is mixed with something. He adores us and we adore him. He loves to be loved on and has been a great pet for our family.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Day 12, 01/12/2009 Homework Time

Xiao Min is focused on completing her homework. She is writing each of her spelling words five times. She is not a fan of homework.

Week 1, Layout

Left side
Rigt side

These are my first layouts for Week 1. I am rusty at putting together layouts, but I'll get back into the groove. It has been fun.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Day 11, 01/11/2009, Tradition...the 3rd Pew on the Left

Our family has many traditions, but more that take place on Sunday than any other day of the week. We attend church on Sunday mornings, then we eat lunch together with my sister and her family. I have attended the same church all of my 52 years. I lived away for 11 years while I attended college, law school and worked, but my membership stayed here at First Church as it is referred to and I continued to attend when I came home to visit. In 1985, I returned to our town to live.

I was baptized here and I grew up here. This picture is of the amazing stained glass window that is next to the church pew that my family has sat on all of my life, or as long as I remember. It is the third pew on the left side as you face the pulpit. Of course, there are times that someone else will sit there and that is always just fine with us.

When I was growing up, our family always sat together during the church service. We were never permitted to sit with friends as my parents looked at this time as family time. So having a designated pew to meet at before the church service started was helpful. Now, my mother has passed away and my dad lives in another town, but my older sister and I continue the tradition of sitting on the same pew. It gives me great comfort. I remember sitting with my parents on this pew as I grew up and gazing at this beautiful stained glass window. There are three of these magnificant windows in our church. I still gaze at this window and now have my husband and two adorable children sitting with me.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Day 10, 01/10/2009 Rain Rain Go Away

It is raining again today. This is the view from our back porch and in case you can't tell, it is pouring down rain. We have had so much rain in December and January. Way above normal. In December, we had 11.9 inches of rain and the average is 5.53 inches. Not counting today, we have had 3.49 inches so far in January. I want some sunshine!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Day 9, 01/09/2009 A New Guitar Hero

Today we bought the Wii Game Guitar Hero. This is Meng Jiao trying to learn how to play the guitar. It isn't easy as her hands are so small. I wish they made a smaller version of the guitar for kids. I love her delicate fingers.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Day 8, 01/08/2009 Brownie Troop 127

Our oldest daughter, Meng Jiao (formerly referred to as AMA), is in Brownie Girl Scout Troop 127. They met today to go over the details of cookie selling and to learn about measuring. They measured each other's height, etc. Meng Jiao broke down in tears when she realized that she was the shortest member of the troop. I was there with other mom's getting the details of the cookie sale and I tried to help her realize that being short wasn't so bad. She doesn't like standing out as being different. There are only a handful of Asians in our town, so she stands out a lot. I hate to see her be sad about things she cannot change. I think she is beautiful just the way she is.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Day 7, 01/07/2009 My Sweet Xiao Min

Our girls are big card writers. They will write cards for many reasons, and I always am thrilled to get a home made card from my girls. Today, when I picked up the girls at the afterschool program they go to, my youngest, Xiao Min (note: I will use her Chinese name to protect her American identity, formerly referred to as LMA).
She is in 1st grade and working on her writing. She was creative and made an "A" on the left side for my initial. Oh my sweet Xiao Min. I just love her so.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Day 6, 01/06/09 I Love a Sense of Humor

Yes, this is my husband who can have a fabulous sense of humor. I love his humor and ability to enjoy a good laugh. Our youngest daughter, LMA, wanted Santa to bring her a Mrs. Claus costume. Well, of course, Santa obliged her wish with part of the costume. She received a glorious white wig (with bun on the back) and play reading glasses. She loves the glasses, but doesn't care too much for the wig. So, of course, we have resorted to using the wig to gain a few chuckles from the girls. We want them to think that we are not stuffy old folks, but fun parents and to learn that sometimes it is ok to laugh at yourself. Tonight, my husband took the lead and wore the wig. Then AMA wanted me to take a picture and make it the picture of the day. Well, I couldn't say no...could I?

Monday, January 5, 2009

Day 5, 01/05/09, Change is Good

Today we rearranged the furniture in our den. After living with everything squared up in our den for years, today we decided to make a change by putting the sofa on an angle and moving our piano to a different wall. I'm not sure it works, but sometimes it is good to change things up every once in a while. This is a picture from the upstairs landing showing the "new" room. Change can be good...

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Day 4, 01/04/29, Star Polishers

During the Advent season at our church, adults will be paired with a child to be their secret Star Polisher. The child is considered the star and during Advent, the Star Polisher prays for the child everyday and weekly sends the child a card. Today, our girls (LMA on the left and AMA on the right) found out who their Star Polishers were. It is always a thrill to find out who their Star Polishers are. This is a picture of the girls with their Star Polishers.

Day 3, 01/03/2009 Ice Sculpture Show

On Saturday, we took a road trip (yes in the new car) to Nashville to see a fabulous Ice Sculpture Show with the theme of "How the Grinch Stole Christmas". A group from Harbin, China come every year to create a show. It was amazing. This is our younger daughter on the left (LMA) and our oldest daughter (AMA) on the right sitting on an ice scuplture of the Grinch.

Day 2, 01/02/2009 Learning to Juggle

This is our oldest daughter "AMA" learning to juggle. We spent the evening at my Dad and stepmother's place, along with my sister and her family. AMA's cousin's husband (got that?) can juggle and spent a great deal of time teaching the girls the basics of juggling. They loved it.

Day 1, 01/01/2009 New Car

This is our new car that we bought on New Year's Eve. We got a great deal that was going away on January 1.

On January 1st, we enjoyed riding in it. We came up with lots of reasons (excuses) to drive it!


Along with many of my friends, I have decided to try to post a picture a day to this blog to document the activities of our family. Once a week, I will compile the pictures into a digital scrapbook with the hope that by the end of 2009, I will have 52 pages of a photo journal of our year.

Who knows if I will be successful, but I look forward to the challenge.