Sunday Snapshot: A little shaking and a little Shakespeare

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Two weeks ago, Madeline began her dance class at a local studio. 
 She does a little ballet and then a little tap.

She get's very excited the morning of her class and can't wait until the afternoon rolls around.

(I know this focus is soft; I just couldn't resist her giddiness.)

By her appearance when class is over, it seems she's thoroughly enjoying herself.  Seeing how she loved playing with her skirt when I took these photos, I now know why it's completely backwards by the end of class. 

School has been going really well with Caleb.  A few weeks ago, I mentioned that we would be starting Shakespeare.  We are using Beautiful Stories from Shakespeare by Edith Nesbit, which is a retelling of his plays in prose.  We are also using these fun finger puppets from Masterpuppet Theater to act out the scenes after he narrates.  A few weeks ago, we started our first play A Midsummer Night's Dream.  Oh, how did he LOVE it.  He particularly got a kick out of Puck.  I mean, who wouldn't?  We would read and narrate just a little bit of the play each day, but every morning was the same.  "When are we going to do Shakespeare?  I just love it!"

Well, I couldn't talk about homeschooling without including a photo of my precious boy.  I took these with my iPhone, so you'll have to pardon the poor quality.  I'm kicking myself that I didn't take any photos of him acting out the play with our finger puppets, but since we're going to start The Tempest this week, I'll have a chance to make up for that loss.   I'm actually acting it out with him, so it's great family fun.  Madeline even got in on the action one time. 

(He's actually working on math in these shots, but I promise to get some fingerpuppet shots next time.  I'll have to put my fingerpuppets down and pick up the camera.)

For more Sunday Snapshots, check out Stefanie's blog.

Sunday Snapshot

Favorite Photo Friday: Celebrating Caleb

Friday, January 20, 2012

I'm not gonna lie. These last two weeks have been rough. I've had zero desire to sit and blog. My heart has been in a constant state of pain. While we've had some wonderful times as a family these last two weeks, they have been clouded by sadness that just won't go away. I realize that sadness and pain is not what people want to read about. I'm just being honest here. My heart has been weighted down....terribly. But I'm gonna try to do my best to share some fun. Here goes. 

Doesn't everybody have one of these in their town? Yep. I think it's a given that most skating rinks are called Galaxy. At least that's been my experience. Anyway, we headed there two weeks ago this Saturday for some good ole fashion fun. The cousins were the first to get out there on the floor.


Little Joshua had to lay low this time around, but he handled it well.


Some of the party goers got out there for some Hokey Pokey fun.


Caleb had such a fun time. He was super speedy that even Mommy and Uncle Andy had a hard time keeping up with him. It was so precious.


The kids stopped a bit for some pizza, chips, and soda. Not quite what we typically serve at Caleb's birthday parties, but we had no choice. And it was an easy one.


The kids also had a chance to play in the fun zone when their little feet couldn't skate another step.


On Caleb's actual birthday, the 12th, we ventured over to the Magic Kingdom, as is the tradition. It was the warmest birthday on record visiting the Big Mouse, and we were not the only ones who thought it a great idea to do so. We did have some company that was clearly welcomed, though the longer than usual lines not so much. Our dear friends from our home town happened to be vacationing at Disney World all week. And as scheduling would have it, they happened to spend part of their Thursday (yes, last Thursday) with us! Caleb has always enjoyed his birthday at the Magic Kingdom. But I have to tell ya that spending your birthday at the Magic Kingdom with your friends just.can'!


When not skipping around with his friends and riding on the rides in Tomorrow Land, Caleb did a lot of this.  

He loved locating things on his Disney map. It was so stinkin' precious. Before heading over to Epcot to eat, Daddy snapped a photo of Mommy with the birthday boy.


And then my dear friend snapped a photo (insert gasp) of the four of us!


Yes, I realize I'm blinking in the shot, but I just had to share it. 

 Anyway, as we waited to take the monorail over to Epcot for dinner, Caleb was very curious about the number of people celebrating their birthdays either the day before or the same as his. Here he is trying to count them all. 

We had a delicious dinner at the Nine Dragons Restaurant in China...naturally. Then afterwards, we watched the 360 movie. I can't ever watch it without crying. Oh, how it makes me want to go back. We also picked up a little gift for both Caleb and Madeline at a gift shop. The funny thing about the end of the night is that, while riding the monorail to Epcot, we met a lovely family visiting from Ohio (who also happened to be celebrating a birthday). Then as we were taking the monorail back to the Magic Kingdom parking lot, we ran into the very same family! It was like all our jaws dropped in unison. How funny! 

 Anyway, we truly had a wonderful week celebrating Caleb's birthday. And the thing that was so terribly precious was that Madeline wished Caleb a Happy Birthday a gazillion times. She would just randomly wish him a happy birthday throughout the day, in the sweetest little voice. Oh it was precious. 

 For more Favorite Photo Friday fun, check out Lisa's blog.

  the long road


Saturday, January 14, 2012

This just plain stinks. I had hoped to share some happy moments this past week, in addition to celebrating Caleb's 7th birthday. However, I would be neglectful if I didn't share some heartbreaking news first. If you suspected that I might be referring to my sister's dear friend, Gina {insert lump in my throat}, you would be right. The news isn't good. Unfortunately, that has all too often been the case. Her latest PET scan has shown progression with her disease....this, after just celebrating her 33rd birthday with her family. It has spread to her bones and progressed in her lungs and lymph nodes. 
I'm just sick. 
 Sick of crying for her. 
 Sick of this valley. 
 Sick of wrapping my brain around the plans laid out for her, 
for her husband, for her children. 

 Yes, I know the Lord works all things for good. I know this well. Still, the sadness and pain fills my heart right now. Anyway, the plan is to seek out a clinical trial. In the meantime, Gina and her family would love for you to storm the gates of Heaven on her behalf. The Lord is still in the business of miracles. Let the Lord hear your heart's cry. He longs for us to call upon Him.

Keep on fighting, Gina! We love you, girl!!!

Happy 7th Birthday, Caleb!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Can you be seven years old already?  It seems like yesterday you were knee high to a grasshopper, toddling about.  You have grown into such an amazing boy, so caring and so smart....and the list goes on and on.  We love taking you to Disney World on your birthday.  What a fun day we're going to have!  We may even run into some friends, if we can swing it.

We love you, big boy!

Happy 7th Birthday, Feng Feng!!!!  

Favorite Photo Friday: Our little dancer

Friday, January 6, 2012

Earlier this week, I got a phone call from a local dance studio where I had placed Madeline on a waiting list for their 3yo creative movement class. They wanted to let me know that they had room in the class for her if we were interested. You bet! It had been two months since I placed her name on the waiting list. So I had given up any notion she would be dancing at all this spring. Needless to say, Madeline is tickled pink!


And because she is, I am too!

the long road

Baby, it's cold outside!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012 we had our chilliest day this season. While marking the chilliest day hasn't been hard to do (it's been so stinkin' warm), it was downright cold for us Floridians. It was in the 40s! And it just so happened that Caleb was supposed to participate in a winter break kickball game. 

 So we bundled up. 
 And headed out. Down the street.

Thankfully, we had hot cocoa to drink. Madeline stayed nice and toasty under all her layers. But she was anxious to drink her cocoa, which was still way too hot.

The kids played kickball for a good 3 hours. Yes, you read that right. While a handful of kids stopped after the first game, there were a few kiddos who kept right on playing...straight through lunch. Caleb had a blast. And this mama got to catch up with a bunch of other mommies. Not only that, Patrick had the day off (the week, in fact). So it was a fun family affair. 

 We can't wait until Saturday. Boy, are we glad we're having Caleb's party indoors this year!

Ringing in the New Year

Monday, January 2, 2012

Happy New Year everyone!

Our New Year's celebration was very low key. We thought we would begin a New Year's Eve tradition by soaking in the hot tub as a family. Between our kids and the kids next door, our backyards were quite loud. Then we toasted the New Year around 9:00pm. Here's a little video of the kids celebrating. (I apologize in advance for the low lighting and digital noise.)

Madeline thoroughly enjoyed her sparkling juice, and her brothers, and the rest of the bottle. She was a hoot!

After returning from church on New Year's Day, I thought I would snap a few photos of the kidlets. In some of the photos, they are sporting their party beads from the night before.

Caleb got in a few shots with the round ball. He is absolutely loving his new basketball hoop.

Madeline had fun writing her name with the sidewalk chalk.

The biggest hit of the afternoon was the remote control monster truck that Caleb got from his Bammy for Christmas.

Both kids had a lot of fun playing with it.

These two kidlets really love each other.

Though sometimes, they just aren't in the mood for any of mom's photo sessions.

We can't wait to see how much these precious dumplings grow in 2012, physically, emotionally, socially, academically, and most importantly, spiritually.

Hello, 2012!
Ready or not, here we come!

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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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