Thursday, December 30, 2010

Article 5!!

Don't ask me what Article 5 actually is. Because I don't know.

I do know, it is the LAST piece of paper that needs to be processed by the US government.

I do know, it the last piece of paper the Chinese government needs before they issue travel authorization.

I do know that means we have...




then... Travel Authorization.

We should have our TA in our hands in 2-4 weeks. Which means we are on schedule to travel right after Chinese New Year. Even if we get the TA in 2 weeks (or less), for various reasons, we will have to wait until after Chinese New Year to travel.

So, we expect that we will travel mid-February. Hopefully we don't have any bumps in the road between now and then.

Almost there!

Four fast years

Hard to believe that our little D (and I do mean little) turned 4 yesterday.


He's might be small in size. But, he's got a huge heart and even bigger smile.

He makes us laugh every day. Many, many times a day. He is such a funny little guy with a great sense of humor.

This year, I'll admit... he has tested our patience. And our parenting skills. As sweet as he is... when he is hungry or tired, he loses himself completely. This boy has thrown more temper tantrums that the other two combined multiplied by 3. There were days in his early threes, that he would throw himself on the floor screaming MULTIPLE times a day. I'm thankful that it seems we have survived this stage.

He's growing up. And he is so darn sweet.

Balloons greeted him when he woke up. Balloons on his bedroom floor, balloons decorating his bedroom door and even a balloon on a box of Fruit Loops for breakfast. Yes, Fruit Loops. It was his birthday and all.

In our house, when it's your birthday you get to choose your favorite meal for dinner. So, for dinner...

Chicken nuggets, french fries, milk and ketchup. :)

I know you all wish you came to our house for dinner last night!

We were all hoping he would ask for the homemade chocolate cake for dessert.

No such luck. He wanted funfetti white cake from the box, with chocolate frosting from the can. With some sprinkles. And his name written on the cake.

So, that's what we had.

A sleeping bag. An etch-a-stetch. And some bath crayons = Happy 4 year old.

Grandma and Grandpa came for the party. They added a boat for the bathtub he has been asking for.

and a TRAMPOLINE! Just the thing to expend a little four year old energy.

Happy Four D!

We love you!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

What's wrong with these pictures?

Oh my. So cute.

I love this little guy.

More on his BIG DAY later.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Mom is so cool

Update on sledding: The untold story.

The kids weren't satisfied with the little hill in our backyard. They begged to be taken to the "BIG HILL" down the street.

So, the three kids and I, looking a bit like Michelin men, packed up our sleds and drove to the "BIG HILL".

As anyone who has ever gone sledding knows, the worst part of sledding... Not the bitter cold. The howling wind. The snow in the mittens. And face.

The worst part of sledding... is the walk back up the hill. Over and over again.

My little D can't do it alone, he needs a hand to hold so he doesn't fall face first in the snow 8 million times. So, each time D went down the hill, I had to go too.

One time, K and D went together on the double sled. I took the tube and headed down behind them. Cause, you know, D can't climb back up the hill alone.

Tubes don't steer very well. As all (let's say 110 for fun)... As all 110 lbs of me came barreling down the hill, I realized I was about to take out both of my younger children waiting for me at the bottom. Because Mom's would do anything to save their children from a snow tube disaster and probable death, I stuck my arm/hand in the snow in an attempt to stop me and the tube from crashing into my two littles waiting at the bottom.

I jammed my arm/hand into the ground, made a fantastic 360 degree flip in the air and landed, with much grace, on my backside.

I am sure Shaun White would have been impressed.


B's reaction...

"Mom that was SO COOL!!!! You totally WIPED OUT and FLIPPED OVER!"

Yeah. I did. I'm cool like that.

Now, can I have some ice for my swollen wrist... and perhaps some tylenol too?

Monday, December 27, 2010

Almost a White Christmas

Nothing like getting snowed in the day after Christmas!

With the wind still howling this morning and about 8 inches of fresh powder blanketing our yard... we bundled up and headed outside for some sledding!

Triple decker sandwich...

Daddy's turn for ride up the hill...

or not...

Happy kids. Happy parents.

Well, for the most part... Maybe it's time to go inside.

Christmas Joy!

Merry Christmas! Hope you all had a magical and joyous Christmas!

Nothing more joyful that celebrating Christmas with an 8 year old, a 6 year old and 3 year old. Well, I guess it could have been a little more joyful if there was a certain 1 year old with us but there is no use dwelling on that.

Here we are Christmas Eve, all dressed up and headed to our church's Christmas Eve children's service where K was part of a choir of children that sang Silent Night in Spanish. :) Then off to my cousin's house to celebrate with my extended family.

Late night and up then up EARLY Christmas morning. B was the first to sneak into the living room at 6:30.

Few M & M's for breakfast?

Hmmm.... what's this???

Whatever it is, B looks pretty excited...

Yes, we have made it into the 21st century with our family's first game system... and one of our kids is just a little bit happy.

A morning of hot chocolate, cinnamon rolls, presents and fun and then we went to S's Mom's house for dinner.

What a wonderful joyous day celebrating the birth of our Savior!

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 20, 2010


Happy Birthday to our sweet six year old. She is a beauty this one... inside and out.

We love you K!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Pictures of chubby sweetness

We received an early Christmas present.... New pictures!

Don't you just want to plant some kisses on those cheeks?!

Look at her crawl...

and her little grin!

Her chubby cheeks give this away... but according to the new measurements we received she seems to growing really well.

Because S and I like to torture ourselves, this Christmas season we've been listening to this song a lot. It expresses how we feel...


"It's Christmas time again but you're not home. Your family is here and yet you're somewhere else alone. And so tonight I pray that God will come and hold you in his arms and tell you from my heart I wish you Merry Christmas"

8 weeks until travel?! Maybe?! Hopefully!

Monday, December 13, 2010

One Chinese Princess... with blond hair

My brother and sister-in-law were here this weekend for Christmas (a little early). My sister-in-law has a knack for buying the best gifts.

Look what one little princess got for Christmas.


And... there is a matching dress and shoes for a littler princess.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

We learning English too

Yesterday, S read my blog post about the puzzle pieces and gently told me I had added wrong. I wrote that 610 puzzle pieces were sponsored and there were 490 still left. OOPS... I meant 390. 390+610=1000. Right? I edited the post so it's correct now.

Then a little while later one of my good friends, who happens to be an English teacher, sent me an email that had me laughing at myself all morning. Check out the "Learn Chinese" thing over on the right side of the blog. Notice anything funny?

"Learn Chinese - WE trying"

Apparently, We trying to learn English too.

I think I'm going to leave that one for a while.... because it just makes me laugh. And I think it's good for you to laugh at yourself every once in a while.

Please forgive my typos, grammatical errors and silly mistakes on this blog. I am, admittedly, the WORST proof-reader ever.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Puzzle Fundraiser - Update

It's been a while since I posted about our puzzle fundraiser.

So, as an update and a reminder...

We are up to 610 puzzle pieces sponsored. YAHOO!!!!

Thank you to every single person that has generously sponsored 2, 10, 20, 50 or more puzzle pieces. WOW! We are so very, very grateful!

If you haven't sponsored a piece of the puzzle or you don't have any idea what I am talking about... go read this post for more information. We've got 390 puzzle pieces left to be sponsored. I'm hoping that by the time we receive our Travel Authorization we will make our goal.

Thank you everyone so much for your support!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Ah... traditions!

In order to blog about our annual Christmas tree shopping experience, I had to do a little trip down memory lane. I forgot my camera this year so in order to add a little life to this post, I had to go looking for pictures from our experiences in years past. That got me thinking...

Do you ever have traditions that are theoretically super fun... and, well, they don't always turn out the way you'd hoped?

That's our annual Christmas tree pilgrimage.

We get our tree at a beautiful Christmas tree farm out a bit in the country from our house. It's worth the drive.

We chat with the owner/farmer.

We pick out our perfect Christmas tree and my own Paul Bunyan gets down in the snow (or cold ground) and cuts down the tree.


(2007 - "Um, yeah... can you stop taking pictures and help me here?")

(2007 - K "helping" S)

We drag it back to the big barn (and fall in the snow 20 a couple times) where Christmas cookies and hot apple cider are served.

(2005 - missing from photo: crying, sick, miserable one year old that is on my hip while I took this picture)


(2009 - D missing from 2009 photos because he was miserable and refusing to have pictures taken being shy)

We visit the sheep.

All this while the farmer’s wife makes beautiful fresh wreaths in the barn.


There are always nice trees, and cookies and hot apple cider. But sometimes there is a little extra drama.


When B was two, he wet his pants while searching for the best tree. It was freezing out and we had to drag him back to the car to change his wet clothes in the back of the hatchback.

And usually, freezing cold kids keep falling onto the freezing cold, often snow covered, ground… then I have to help S drag the tree back the barn while carrying a 20 lb’er on my hip… all while he/she cries, because he/she is cold

… and they have snow in their mittens.

(2007 - I know he is smiling here... but I promise you, 10 seconds after this picture was taken he was crying)

OR… someone has a fever and they really shouldn’t be going on it the cold. They have runny noses that drip everywhere and I can’t find a tissue to wipe their nose. They cry because they are cold and their nose is running

and they have snow in their mittens...

(2005 - "Seriously Mom, I'm sick, and it's cold... can we go home?")

OK. So this year's Christmas tree shopping actually WAS fun! YAY!!!!

No one fell (well I think D did a couple times but I just kept walking), no one cried, there wasn't snow on the ground, so no snow in the mittens.

And the tree didn’t fall off the mini-van roof on the way home.


AND… we even got the tree up in the tree stand without filing for divorce.