Saturday, July 31, 2010

"Mommy, that girl's from China"

I had a very interesting insight with Abbey the other day. While checking out at the grocery store, Abbey pointed to the girl that was ringing up our groceries, and said, "She's Chinese." I said, "I don't know, you can ask her." So Abbey did and the girl said that she wasn't Chinese, but actually was Vietnamese. I told her that Abbey and Elijah were from China, and she said, "Well, we're all  Asian!"

We have often wondered if Abbey "caught" the fact that she and Elijah look a little different from the rest of us. In China, we looked for some indication that she noticed that people looked like her, and different from us. But, we never saw or heard any indication. So, it's very interesting that she now notices an Asian face and automatically thinks they are Chinese.

Today we were playing on the bed after nap and for no obvious reason, Abbey states, "I'm American and Chinese!" I'm sure she is mostly parroting what she hears us say, but nevertheless, I'm glad that she is proud to be a Chinese American.

Friday, July 30, 2010

It begins...

Yep, that's gonna be me. It's really quite hard to believe. My firstborn is getting married. It really is going to happen. These thoughts were a few that were going through my mind as Beth and I were going to check out a reception venue and church for her wedding.

All went well and we now have a church and a place for the reception.

It's quite surreal. But I can tell you one thing....

This Mother of the Bride will NOT be wearing one of those frumpy, old looking, mother of the bride dresses!!

I'll let you in on a little secret..You see, I'm really too young to have a daughter old enough to get married.


Monday, July 26, 2010

Sisters- A "Want To" Kind of Love

I've talked a lot lately about Elijah and Abbey's love for each other. It has taken time to develop, but Abbey's love for her sisters and their reciprocation has been there from the time they laid eyes on each other.

The first time Anna held Abbey

 Abbey many times tells me, "You aren't a sister, you're just a Mommy." Obviously, she realizes that sisterhood has a very special bond.

From the beginning,  Abbey has always tried to copy her sisters

She looks up to her sisters

and loves them both intensely

and they love her just as intensely

That love was evident yesterday.

Daniel has been in the middle of swimming at State Championships, which means that we, (me, John, Abbey and Elijah) are at the pool a lot. Our neighborhood swim team had its swim team fun night scheduled for last night. I asked Anna if she would take Abbey to fun night while we went to finals. She joyfully agreed, (ie, I didn't have to beg) and said she would take Abbey shopping before and they would have a "sister" night.

About a hour after I left, my phone rang. A friend of Anna's had offered her 2 free tickets to see the band, "Paramor", which was a much coveted ticket. I told her she could bring Abbey to me or take her to a friend's to play, if the mom agreed. The mom did agree (thanks Kristi). Also, swim team fun night was canceled because of thunder.

When I got home from the meet, there sat Anna and Abbey at the kitchen table putting a puzzle together. When Anna told Abbey she was going to play at the friends' house, she cried and said, "but we are supposed to have a sister night!" Anna couldn't let her down. She turned down the tickets and stayed with her little sister. What love!!

It's times like this that I'm so grateful that God brought Abbey and Elijah into our family. These former little orphans now have many family members that love them sacrificially. I'm also very proud of the love that my older children bestow on their little siblings.  A love that isn't there because of "have to", but because of "want to".


Friday, July 23, 2010

July 15th, 10 months since Elijah's "Gotcha"

Thursday, July 15 marked 10 months since Elijah became our son. During this month, I think I've seen him grow a little bit. He has gotten taller, but not much fatter. He has gotten much more agile. I have seen an increase in his spoken vocabulary, but I'm afraid that most of the time someone else wouldn't understand his speech. This does sometimes cause frustration on his part. He still is incredibly loving, wanting to be held a lot of the time. He sleeps wonderfully (when Abbey doesn't wake him). Eating-wise he has gotten less picky, although he still is a slow eater. As I stated in previous posts, he absolutely adores his big sister, and copies everything that she does. Elijah enjoys the pool and doesn't mind us putting his head under. Everyone who meets Elijah says two things:  how beautiful he is and how sweet he is. We wholeheartedly agree!!

"Smiling for the camera"


Monday, July 19, 2010

Out of Abbey's mouth

A three year old's reaction to their world is fascinating, to put it mildly. It never ceases to amaze me when I hear the things they come out with. Sometimes our three year old comes out with something, and we wonder, "Where in the world did she get that from?"

We had a couple of those moments on our trip to NY.

During nap time one day, John was lying down with Abbey and I was with Elijah, trying to get them to sleep. Abbey had wound the blanket around her legs, mermaid-like. She looked up at John and said through gritted teeth, "Mermaids. Don't. Sleep!"  Even though he was dying with laughter on the outside, he kept his cool, and much to her chagrin, our little mermaid did sleep that day!

During our travels, she and I were going to the potty. As I stood there helping her to "go", she suddenly said, "Did you know you can use Clorox regular bleach?" Then she continued, "I tell my Moms, be picky when choosing baby formula." Then and there, I knew, as I had suspected, that this girl watches waay too much tv!

As we were traveling home, John said something she evidently agreed with and we saw this face:

as she loudly exclaimed, "Yeahhhh"

Then there are those times when she could be a recording of something that has come out of my mouth:
When Elijah was in the car and fussing, she said, "Elijah, I'm not in the mood of it!" 

Or another time, she looked at John and said, "He's (Elijah) just whiny butt today... I shouldn't have said that, but I did!"

We have to go to Cary to take and pick up Daniel from swimming 4 days a week. Often it means I have to wake her and Elijah up and put them in the car.  One day she exclaimed from the back of the car, "I'm so sick of going to Cary!" My sentiments exactly!

Sometimes, she gives us a glimpse of her own insecurities. Today in the grocery store, Abbey took Elijah's face between her two hands and said, "I'll never let anyone take you away. I promise." I have no idea what precipitated this remark. But, it was a very poignant moment.

We praise God for this little wonder!


Thursday, July 15, 2010

John's band

Last week we had the privilege to see John, Jr and his band, The Black Mambas, play here in Raleigh. They have quite a following in Wilmington. Before he left for the summer, they were playing and having big crowds come to see them. John and I had wanted to see them before now, but it wasn't ever convenient to go to Wilmington.

The crowd was light at the Berkley Cafe, but we just appreciated that fact that we could get a good seat. (I appreciated the fact that I had a few hours out with my hubby!)

The band played all original music. John, Jr didn't think they did very well, but since we didn't know the songs, it sounded fine to us. We saw a lot of talent in all of the members.

Here's my older drummer boy

The guitarist is John's housemate and the bassist is his brother

We enjoyed watching John and his band. You can hear their music on the sidebar link to their myspace.

All of our children have a great love of music. It's great to see them stretching their wings and showing their talents!


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Do you know my brother, Elijah?

The other day Abbey was talking to Beth on the phone and she said, "Do you know my brother Elijah?" As John told me about this, it warmed my heart. She really does love him now as a brother, and he reciprocates that love.

At first, Abbey just sort of ignored Elijah. She really didn't acknowledge that he existed. If I would allude to him, she would make a statement like,"Let's leave him in China." or "You're just my Mommy." Now she will say, "You are my Mommy and Elijah's Mommy." To which I reply with, "Yes, and I'm Beth's, John's, Anna's and Daniel's Mommy"

But, I've seen them grow as siblings. It is an amazing thing to see God knit people together that don't share any of the same genetic material!

Elijah and Abbey look for each other and out for each other. At the bank the other day, Abbey got a lollipop. Immediately she asked the teller, "Could I have one for my brother, Elijah?" (And she actually did give it to him).

He copies her every move.
If she tumbles...

He tumbles...

If she rocks....

Then he rocks.

They have actually started to play together

I'm pretty laid back about the questions strangers will ask, but there is one that really does bother me...

"Are they real siblings??"

My usual reply is, "They are now!"

And they truly are!!!


Saturday, July 10, 2010

Swimmer of the Week


Our summer league/neighborhood swim team coaches choose a girl and boy in each practice group to be swimmer of the week. Last week in the 6 and under group, Lottie was chosen. They give these nifty backpacks, but Abbey wasn't jealous about Lottie getting  the backpack, she was upset because she didn't have any of the candy they had put inside. I figured she would never get chosen, because John is the head coach and he wouldn't want anyone to claim nepotism. 

Abbey and Coach Aimee
But, coach Aimee is in charge of the 6 and under group and she felt that Abbey definitely deserved the recognition. She talked about how every time Abbey is swimming in the water, she has a huge ear to ear grin on her face. Yippee for Coach Aimee.

Once Abbey had a backpack, she sure did treasure it. She kept it on most of the day after she got it. Of course, she also enjoyed the candy!


Friday, July 9, 2010

The Real 4th of July

Because it fell on a Sunday, our celebration of the 4th was a little different this year. It started out with us going to church. Then following our usual Sunday routine ( nap for me and the kids, basketball at pool for John). Anna had to work until 8, so we wanted to wait until she got off before going to the fireworks. She wanted to be a part of Elijah's first fourth fireworks.

We always have ice cream sundies and this year was no different.

Some of us ate a colossal amount of ice cream

Some just enjoyed the whip cream.
(Which was administered by an older whip cream addict)

I'll take mine with a spoon, if you don't mind

After everyone had their fill and Anna came home, we set off to the fairgrounds. Because we were later than usual, we had a dickens of a time finding a parking place. We settled on one that ended up being really nice.  We had never been there before. 

So, Anna was apart of Elijah's first fireworks

Even Abbey will stand still to watch fireworks

The whole gang (minus me... someone has to take the pictures)
Jamie, Anna, Abbey, Daniel, John, Jr, Elijah, and John

Because of our new parking situation, we got home very quickly.  Our fourth weekend was full of lots of family time, junk food, games and just plain old enjoying each other. That's why it is one of my favorite holidays!


Thursday, July 8, 2010

July 4th...on the 3rd

 The shirt says it all!!!

This year July 4th fell on a Sunday, so our pool decided to celebrate on the 3rd. We love the celebrations that the pool has and our family traditions for this holiday. We added to the holiday this year by celebrating it twice. Anna and John had to work on the 3rd,  and Daniel was with a friend who is moving to Arizona, so we celebrated with them on the actual 4th.

The morning started out with Elijah and Abbey going to the "penny carnival" at our swim club-

The concentration of the artist
The Ladies' Man does his thing

Getting her nails painted

Playing tic-tac-toe toss

Getting some help from Daddy
The stork pose for croquet

Battle, and newly home from Ethiopia, Corrie

Elijah likes Corrie's glasses(even upside down)

That evening we joined some friends at a nearby town's celebration. After listening to the symphony, we watched fireworks. The younger kids had a blast running around with other kids, playing football and admiring their glowing necklaces

Abbey loved making Corrie smile

Elijah flying

A little wary of the fireworks at first
We didn't know how Elijah would react, but he didn't show any fear at all

In fact, they both enjoyed them

On the way home, we just had to stop at Krispy Kreme for some doughnuts. A special treat for a special night!

Next... the second 4th celebration.