Deuteronomy 4:35

You have been shown these things that you might know the Lord is God besides him there is no other.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Celebrating the Mid Autumn Moon Festival

As Anna Mei and I were preparing to celebrate the Mid Autumn Moon Festival this year, she asked why I loved China so much, why we celebrated its holidays, and why I cared because I am not Chinese.  It was such a beautiful time for me to tell her that  a part of me is Chinese, though not through blood, because she is Chinese.  I was able to tell her that who she is and where she came from matters very much to me because she is my daughter.  
These days are some of the most precious of my life as I am homeschooling her.  I will forever cherish them.  The memories we are making, and the bond that we are growing, is priceless. 

Sunday, September 25, 2016

My Budding Artist

 Last weekend, while Daddy took afternoon nap duty, I slipped away to a free art festival with my little creative spirit.  Having one on one time with my girls really fills my heart.  She loved the first station which was this squirt gun painting canvas.  She used red and white in her squirter to create pink.  She is a pink kind of girl.
 This girl of mine eats up our time together too, and this was the perfect way to spend a few hours just with her.  She used "loose" art parts of many kinds to create a mask masterpiece.
 They had a chalk drawing station where they learned about different techniques to use chalk in art.
 This was probably her favorite station as she loves mixing paint to create new colors right now. She loves experimenting with shading, and depth.
 She painted on glass, and then transferred her painting to paper by using a roller to press it on.  It was called monoprint design.
 There were instruments to explore and play.
 As you can see, this few hours made my babe very happy.
I know these moments are fleeting, and I am working to hold on to as many as I possibly can.  Five is just so precious, and watching her grow into the woman she is becoming never grows old.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Fizzy Science

 We added a twist to a simple baking soda and vinegar reaction this week when we used glue to create apple forms, covered them with baking soda, and then used eye droppers to drop colored vinegar on top.
 We used red, green, and yellow vinegar because those are the colors of apples of course.
 As you can tell, this activity was a huge hit.  There was color mixing, fizzing, and so much fun.
It was just a bit messy, but was mostly contained to the trays.   
What is life without a little mess anyway?
Have I mentioned how much fun these beauties are to have with me all day?

Oh that five and three could just last forever...

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Jillian Visits the Eye Doctor

Our Jillian..she is such a miraculous, incredible little being.  Yesterday, we headed to the eye doctor.  Because medical stuff has been so hard for her, we hadn't ever tried to take her for an exam before.  We just couldn't bring ourselves to put her through the stress that it would cause her when we didn't see any concerns, but as she gets more and more comfortable we are constantly seeking new ways to help her.  We haven't necessarily had any concerns about her eye sight, but she has been doing so well at conquering life that when we began to see a wonderful eye doctor for our Anna Mei we asked her about bringing in our special treasure.  As usual, this girl of ours absolutely rocked her appointment, and brought this momma to tears.  She signed, and signed, and signed some more.  I am overcome with so much emotion that she is able to share so much with me.  There were so many months in the beginning of her life that, because of neglect, she was happier to be soothing herself, silently suffering alone that I feared many, many days that she would never get here.  She LOVES watching cataract surgery on youtube so she asked if she had a cataract and would have surgery asleep which made me chuckle.  She asked a million times about seeing the microscope.  She talked about the drops in her eye to open it.  (She didn't like the drops, but recovered so quickly.)  She told me that the light bulb scared her.  She said so much with her signs, and I listened to every single one soaking in the miracle that has occurred in the heart of our girl as God has restored her.  She spent so much time not mattering, spending each day hopelessly alone, and cast off.  While it seemed like some days we would never be on this side of her, being here is just so good.  As always, she was a show stopper.  Many, many mommas watch her, ask me about her, and tell me what a beautiful thing she is.  This baby of mine shines in the most perfect, and beautiful way.  She radiates a worth, a hope, and a soul that is hard to ignore.  That God would allow me the privilege to be her momma is so far out of my grasp that my only response can be gratitude.  I am so grateful that God brought us this beautiful, amazing little girl.  I am so thankful that He allowed her to open our eyes, and our hearts to the orphan because these last five years with her have been full of miraculous because she has been in it.  After her drops, she lay in my arms with her head perfectly peaceful and still against my arm.  I rocked her in the waiting room wiping tears, and singing "How Great Is Our God" because indeed He has shown himself so great through this babe of mine.  I can't wait to get home just one more!

By the way, she has a wee bit of nearsightedness showing up, but it may be years before she needs a prescription.  That is a relief because it would take a miracle of the Lord to keep glasses on this girl.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Eats For Ellie Grace

Y'all, we had our first fundraiser for our adoption of Ellie Grace last night.  It was incredible!  We sponsored the tailgate at our christian school's first Friday Night Lights program.  We sold over 100 walking tacos.  We had a huge part of our village show up.  They bought tacos, made tacos, served, took money, washed our crock pot, and encouraged the socks off me.  We got to share our prayer requests for Ellie with so many, and share our adoption story with some new friends too.  Every time I do this, I don't take for granted the Lord's miraculous provision, and truly that is what every single dollar is to us.  We don't have the money laying around to bring home our newest treasure, but so, so many share so much so that we can get her home.  I stand in awe of the many that God is already gathering to provide for our Ellie's needs over the coming months.  That God would bless us so abundantly is far more than anything my mind could every fathom.  We made enough last night to pay for our homestudy update which happens to be due in two days.  God's timing is perfect, and He is beyond good.  I know He's got this..every single detail.  I wait in anticipation as His perfect plan unfolds before me.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Just Drilling

This girl continues to amaze us with all that she is able to do.  
Her hands may not be typical, but they certainly are extraordinary!
There isn't a thing that this precious babe can't do.
If you are considering adopting a sweet one with a limb difference, do it!
This peanut has taught us so much about embracing who you are, and working to be all you can!
I can't imagine this little house without her in it.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Growing Crystals

After our cave visit, we did a super easy science experiment.
 It couldn't be any easier to engage this kid.
Just look at her goofiness.
 She poured, explored, and mixed long after the experiment steps were executed!
 I am so thankful I picked up this little science kit at a thrift store this summer.
 It isn't exactly necessary, but she is darling using it.
 These crystals were super easy to grow!
You can find the directions here.

Our Field Trip to a Cave

Our area has a fantastic Home School Association!  Basically, it is a district for homeschoolers that offers services galore!  There are about ten or so field trips a month, and we took advantage of one the second week of our school.  We went to Crystal Lake Cave which is very near to us. 

 Anna Mei was a real cave explorer.  She is so very eager to learn!
 We spent lots of time looking at the elements of the cave.
It was very wet and chilly down there,
 but exploring was so much fun.
 Molly was a bit afraid and very timid for most of the tour.
The last hall she decided to get down on her own leading the way for her big sister.
They both fell asleep on the way home, and took a nice long nap after walking the mile in the cave.  I can't wait to go on more field trips with these curious little learners.  It was a wonderful day.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

First Days of School

I have four babes all in different schools this year.  That means four different events calendars to coordinate, four drop offs each day, and lots of excitement!
 Em is a senior this year at our Christian School.
She is heading into senior year with a #1 class ranking.
She is even taking an accounting class as an independent credit because she thinks she might like to do that when she "grows up".  College is just around the corner.  My OH My!
 Jilly Billy is in second grade this year.
She has a staff of people who are so dedicated to her at her amazing public school.
She has come so far as they give her exactly what she needs.
She even has an interpreter this year as sign language is her preferred mode of communication.   
She can hear everything we say, but talking just isn't happening for her.  
I am so grateful that she can communicate through sign and with her NOVA though.  
We are especially blessed by all our local school district has done to make sure that she reaches her full potential.
 Miss Molly Kate is in the 3 year old preschool program at the local school district too.  
She attends a building about 20 minutes from Jillian which makes drop off a mad dash.  
They are super with her.  
This week during her assessment she showed them that she knows so much. 
 Her articulation is coming so slowly, but her receptive language, and vocabulary (when you can understand what she is saying) are catching up. 
 I can't wait to see how she grows this year!
My dear Anna Mei is homeschooling for her kindergarten year, 
and I couldn't be more thrilled to have the chance to be her teacher.  
To say that the past week of teaching her has been a JOY is an understatement.  
We are only a week in though, but so far so great!  
She is reading her first little book, and is eager to learn!

Stay should be an exciting year!

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Some Exciting News

There is another sweet little one coming to our house!


She will be two years old soon. 
She is waiting in a Ch*nese Orphanage.
Her name will be Ellie Grace.
We just got preapproval today!
We couldn't be more thrilled!

My Creative Loves

 Oh, these babes give me so much JOY!  Every day is a new adventure.  I love, love fostering their creativity, and we are blessed to have so many resources to do so.  The other day, Molly drug out these magnetic bingo chips to experiment with, and it wasn't long before Anna Mei created a fish on the floor.:)
Molly left her mark too..

 I always leave watercolors on the easel shelf in the corner of our kitchen.  Molly put on her school backpack and went to work the other day creating a master piece.
 Anna Mei wants to leave her mark on everything!  She is really into customizing all of her toys with paint in the craft room.
She hardly leaves that creative space these days, and I love when she emerges with paint on her nose.  My, she looks so grown up here. :)


 Just over a month ago, we celebrated our biggest girl's birthday!  I can't believe that she is almost grown, and ready to leave our nest.
 She has been an absolute joy to raise, and celebrating her on this day with a chocolate peanut butter pie was a delight.
Gone are the theme parties, little friends, and decorations as she is way too grown up for that, but this almost adult child of mine is growing into a pretty cool woman that I am happy to call my daughter.  She has been so patient with me as I made many, many mistakes testing out my parenting on her.  By God's grace, she has turned out okay.  I can't wait to watch where this life takes her.

A Moment Over Tea

As is ceremonial at our home, Anna Mei organizes our play.  She is definitely the leader of the pack, like it or not, and all seem to follow her lead around here.  She did set up a delightful tea party for Molly and I the other day.  It was splendid to take a few minutes to play with the littlest of my girls as they are growing too fast.  It was absolutely hysterical though when Molly Kate started hamming up at the table.  Anna very sweetly poured her pretend tea, and Molly took a sip only to spat it out as if it tasted awful.  This sweet little three year old has such a sense of humor.  We were rolling on the floor as it was so funny!