We're ready for baseball!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Patrick took some video yesterday (with his iphone) of Caleb during his t-ball practice. We are so proud of him for getting out there and doing his best. His first game is one week away! I took some photos too. But I still have to upload them. Anyway, enjoy!

Getting back into the swing of things

Friday, September 24, 2010

Well, we have spent the last week and a half under the weather....that is, Caleb and me. Thankfully, Madeline avoided getting sick at all. Patrick got a little sick. But we're all doing fine now....finally. Poor Caleb had to miss out on a lot of therapy and baseball. So he's itching to get back on the baseball field. I'm also so thankful that we homeschool because I can't imagine having to catch up on a week's worth of school. I used to avoid missing school at all costs when I was little because I hated the idea of having double the amount of work to do. So homeschooling rocks when kiddos get sick, in my humble opinion.

Speaking of homeschooling, Caleb continues to thrive. His reading has improved so much. I never expected him to make this much progress since our school year started because reading has never come easy for him. And as for math, we are wrapping up first grade and will be starting second grade next week! Singapore focuses heavily upon mental math calculations. And Caleb handles it like a champ. It's hard to believe he's doing the kind of math that 7-8 year olds do...and he's only 5 1/2!

Madeline continues to do well. She's a great sleeper and eater. She's quite a ham, like Caleb. But unlike Caleb, she is quite mischievous. She's managed to get into my make up bag, climb up to her brother's sink using his step stool (because we move hers away when not in use) and fill her toy tea pots with water....and proceed to spill it all over the table/floor in our school room. Yeah, lovely. She's unbelievable. She makes the funniest faces. She's so dramatic. And she still babbles in Ch*inese. Her latest English words are "No way!" No surprise, she gets this from Caleb because that's his response when answering his "silly questions" from his Explode The Code phonics program. It's downright hilarious to hear her say it in her accent. I'll have to get it on video.

Update on my sister's dear friend who was diagnosed with breast cancer. She went for her first round of chemo last week. She also found out she'll deliver her son Preston at 34 weeks. And he's doing great in utero right now. She's ready to fight. And she's got a huge team helping her. It's awesome to see.

Well, here are some photos from Miss Madeline's play time in the front yard. Enjoy!

Ms. Chatterbox

Taking a picture of mommy with my iphone...and falling...oops

Cute as a button

Listening to the plane flying overhead

Little Miss

Friday, September 17, 2010

So here are a few photos from our playtime in the front yard last week, while Patrick and Caleb were at the grocery store. At first Madeline Bei took to her dolly. And then she decided she was thirsty and wanted to drink water from a bottle. This was an absolute nightmare in Chin@ because she had no idea how to drink from one, and the water just ran down the front of her every time. I am happy to report she can now drink from a water bottle, just like ge ge. Unfortunately (?) this water bottle ended up in about every shot I took. Oh well. At least she enjoyed drinking from it.

Love her lips in this shot

Pausing for just a moment.....

.....in between gulps

Precious girl

Are you ever prepared?

Thursday, September 16, 2010

....to help your sister grieve the news of a dear friend's cancer diagnosis?

My sister Deb has a dear friend from work. They've been working together on and off for the last 9 years. Her friend is more than just a co-worker. They are truly friends, brought together by their jobs. Her friend is 31 years old, has a 4.5 year son, an almost 2 year old daughter and a precious baby boy in utero at 28 weeks gestation. And this week she's been given the diagnosis of breast cancer. It's really the unthinkable. Did I really hear her right when she told me over the phone through sobs so loud I barely made out "cancer" in her words?

The good news in all this is that apparently there are some chemotherapy drugs that are safe for women in their second and third trimesters. Praise God! So she will begin with chemo to reduce the size of the mass and then have surgery to remove it. She will have a c-section to deliver her precious boy at either 30 or 34 weeks. Her co-workers have rallied around her like nobody's business.

But still....the colds/fevers/chills that left me and Caleb feeling like we've been run over by trucks these last few days pale in comparison to what lays ahead for my sister's dear friend. Would walking out to the mailbox seem so unsurmountable for me if my future didn't look so bright? Heck no. I would live every day to the fullest.

I have to keep asking myself if this is really happening. Then I resign myself to the fact that it is and begin praying so hard for everybody in her family. Every day in our lives is a gift from God, precious and to be treasured. We all should be living each day as if it were our last. We are never guaranteed tomorrow. Anyway, would you please join me in praying for this family as they nagivate their new normal? Thanks so much. Still stunned..........

Birthday and baseball fun

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

This past weekend, we had the chance to visit my sister, Deb, brother-in-law Andy, and niece, Leah. Saturday was Andy's birthday. So we all got together for some grilling and Gator football viewing. I'm happy to say that the Gators finally decided to show up this season, starting in the second half. So Andy had something to celebrate, unlike last week's abysmal victory over Miami of Ohio.

Anyway, Andy's parents, Phil and Marsha, were also there. It was great to see them. Madeline Bei really took to Marsha. So she had her hands full with two little girls wanting to play while the rest of us watched football. Oh don't get me wrong, she would've loved to watch the game too. She was just gracious enough to play with the kidlets and watch the game later on DVR. Caleb, Madeline and Leah all had such a great time playing together. It warms my heart to no end to see them all playing together and having fun.

On Sunday, Patrick and Caleb went to Mandarin class while I hung out with Madeline Bei. And since I had to meet my sister half way between our houses to get my cell phone (it was a fun little visit at McD's), Madeline Bei had already taken her nap. So while the boys were away, we really got to have some good quality time together- just the girlies. I try to show affection to Caleb and Madeline equally, but it's hard. So I had the chance to love on her without Caleb feeling left out. We truly had a great time together. I just love my little girl so much. She is such a ham, just like Caleb.

On Monday, Caleb had T-ball practice. Last week, he joined several of the other boys who decided to just watch during the first practice. But this week, he joined in on the fun! And you should've seen the smile all over his face. It was electric! He could see just how proud we were of him out there. And that did it. He said he had fun and couldn't wait til next practice.

Since we pitch to him a rubber ball and tennis ball, we thought we should actually get him a tee to practice hitting off of. No surprise there, he makes great contact. But now he's practicing shifting his weight to get more power when he swings. I can't wait to see how next practice goes.

Homeschooling is going very well. This week in math, we are working on number concept from 40-100. Then next week, we're supposed to start adding with carrying and subtracting with borrowing........except, he can already do it! I gave him some problems, and he got them all right! You should've seen his face light up. Naturally I'm still reviewing the material with him. But he already gets it. That's how great Singapore Math is with teaching concepts. We're almost finished up with 1st grade math and will start 2nd grade math next month. I'm floored to say the least. Caleb is such a little smartie pants. No way was I doing the math that he's doing at 5.5 years. Caleb continues to learn new cursive letters for handwriting and does very well. And his reading is also getting better each day. This week we introduced compound words, and he handled them like a champ. I am just so proud of my boy.

Sorry I don't have any photos to post. But I'll get some up soon. Promise.

Some of my loves

Monday, September 6, 2010

It should come to you as no surprise what some of the loves in my life are. Naturally, God takes the cake. But second to Him is the love I have for my husband. Thirdly, I love my kids like crazycakes. But after all the precious peeps in my life, I have a great love for photography and sewing. Chalk it up to my childhood, where most precious memories captured on film also included my mom's fingers and missed our heads or feet. Also getting something new didn't mean a pricetag was included. I LOVED to shop at Kmart because it meant something truly brand new and not just new to me.

Today......well, I now have the privledge of sewing new clothes for me and my daughter. And that means so much more than buying it new in the store. I feel a great sense of pride and accomplishment. My gramma was alive to see some of the things I made for myself, and the joy on her face made my heart swell.

Today's memories are also captured quite differently. When we traveled to Ch*in@ to bring Caleb home, Patrick bought me a digital SLR. (Do I have a great hubby or what?!) I wanted to capture not just childhood memories for my children. I wanted to capture beautiful images of these memories, not just snapshots of them. Photography has become a hobby that I really enjoy. And it's something I can "do" with my kids. While I don't sew for Caleb but do for Madeline Bei, photography is something we can all "do" together because we're just having fun and capturing the moment.

So this post is dedicated to three of those loves: my kids, sewing and photography. Well, it's mostly my kids and photography...but you can see one of the cute tops I made Madeline (and a beautiful hair bow made by my friend, Lisa!) Anyway, enjoy this photo-heavy post!

Simply stunning....and looking at my camera, for a change

Picking beach sunflowers in the front yard

Getting ready to play catch with Caleb

Will I ever get her to look in my direction???? LOL

So while having some fun in the yard, "playing" catch and all, I asked Caleb if he could give his sister a kiss. With my camera in continuous mode, I was able to capture this really sweet exchange between the munchkins.
Moving in

The finish

All about Caleb

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Here are some videos of Caleb for your viewing pleasure. The first one is a short story titled, "Why I love my Daddy." (I took this with my iphone, so I apologize in advance for my finger in the top left corner. Ugh.)

Here is another video featuring Caleb that was taken at my cousin's wedding back in May. I was really hoping to fix the orientation of the video. But alas, I haven't been able to. Regardless though, I just HAD to share what a great dancer Caleb is. We all had so much fun at the wedding. And Caleb certainly wore his dancing shoes.

On Friday, we all attended a birthday celebration of a friend's 3 year old daughter. It was our first big "social" here in town. Madeline Bei did great with the big crowd of people. She is definitely less anxious than Caleb was when we brought him home almost 3 years ago. Anyway, my friend Adrienne does face painting. So naturally she set up her stuff for her daughter's birthday party. Well, Caleb decided he wanted to get his face painted and chose Spiderman. This is the first time he's had his face painted, and he did great! AND he just looked so darn precious! And so grown up!!!! Patrick took these with his iphone.

Leah's birthday party

Friday, September 3, 2010

Well, I don't want to fall too far behind in my blogging. So here are some photos from Leah's 3rd birthday, which was, eeeek....two weeks ago. Shame on me, bad blogger. We really had a great time, seeing family and having them meet Madeline Bei for the first time. Caleb and Leah get along so well. It's always great to get them together. We are so excited to have finally added another cousin to the bunch, especially since Leah and Madeline Bei are only 6 months apart in age.

What I didn't share last time about the party was how much effort my sweet sister put in to it. She made ALL the decorations, table runner, party favors, thank you cards. She is so talented. And the love she has for her daughter really shows. Anyway, here are some photos. Happy 3rd birthday, Leah Rose!

The birthday girl

My sister, Deb, made this beautiful birthday banner! Patrick told her she's hired for Caleb's next birthday!

What would a birthday party be without your friends helping you open all your presents?

Delicious cake courtesy of Publix

Leah and friends eagerly waiting to light the birthday cake and blow out the candles. Leah told her mommy, "My cake needs fire." LOL.

Cousins and best friends

No your eyes aren't deceiving you. After some guests left the party, the kids starting riding the tricycles through the house. Madeline Bei got in on the trike action too.

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About This Blog

This blog is the place where shared our lives while waiting to bring our daughters Madeline and Havi home from China. (Our son Caleb was already home before this blog began.) It is now the place where we continue to share our life experiences, both big and little, as we try to glorify God and raise our 3 dumplings from China.

Feel free to join us as we journey through life, while I try to capture our days...

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