Friday, July 29, 2011

You just never know...

What's going through their minds!

Abbey loves to draw and color. She has just recently started writing words. She will ask me to spell a word and she will write it. She has a notebook that she doodles in quite a bit.

The other day she asked me how to write, "God".  After spelling it out, I asked to look at her pictures.
This is what I saw.

I asked her to explain and she told me that her drawing was God watching over Abbey  and the second one was God watching over Elijah.

Pretty cool, isn't it?


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Our resident "Chip Maggot"

That's our Elijah Grayson JianYi!

Such a cutie-patootie!

No matter where we go, Elijah draws females to him like a light draws a moth. He looks at them, does his little wave and says,"Hey", and kaboom! The pretty young girl is chatting with Elijah. John and I just watch and think, "There he goes again.." The other day John, Sr. told him, "You are just a chick magnet, aren't you?" He grinned through the thumb that resides semi-permanently in his mouth, and while shaking his head up and down said, "I chip maggot!" After picking ourselves off the floor from laughing, we said, "Elijah, what are you?"  To which he replies, "I chip maggot!"

We go to our pool and he has a harem of young beauties that follow him around!

The little fellow has also become quite a comedian. He loves to make funny faces and make us laugh.

Notice the car in his hand. He loves cars just about as much as he loves females. Our little auto expert will constantly pick out a car on the road and say, "I like that car." He even takes a car to bed with him at night. He will lie in the floor and play with his cars, lining them up just so. He really has an eye for detail. Of course, even cars can be subject to his explosive temper. If one of his cars doesn't line up just the right way, an irate Elijah has been known to scream and throw the offending car across the room. Cars aren't the only things that fascinate him, he's enthralled with anything that has a motor. He loves to see motorcycles and even handicap scooters. When we were eating at a hotel recently, a gentleman rode up in his scooter. During our whole breakfast, we heard "Look at that car. I like that car. I want that car." So, his taste in cars is, well, let's just say varied.

His speech has come leaps and bounds. There are still some times when I can't understand him, but overall he does well. The other day during a tantrum, I put him in the bathroom. I told him,  "Tell me when you're done and you can come out." He screamed, "I done!" I said, "Tell me you're done nicely." To which he quickly replied, "I done nicely!" With that new found articulation comes new found ways of expressing his pleasure, with "I uv you!", as well as displeasure. For example, today he said to Daniel,  "Daniel, weeve me awone, I just 'bout had it!"

Ahh, Mr. Elijah you are one of the reasons my life is so blessedly full!

And you will have to look long and hard to find a "chip" that loves you more than this one does!!!


Saturday, July 23, 2011

Summer League Swim Meet

Abbey, John and Daniel
Our 2011 Amberjacks (our swim team's name)
Tuesday nights you can find our family at a summer league swim meet somewhere in our city. This has been part of our summer tradition for the past 19 years.  We've watched all of our children from the time they were little 6 and unders, who would start heading down the pool doing backstroke, get turned around and head back to the blocks, (this actually happened to Anna), to the time when they were basking in applause as they swam their last meet. Of course, that is only the older three, we still have 3 more to go!

This year is no different. We love our neighborhood pool, and enjoy watching the kids swim. John is the head coach. Daniel and Abbey are both on the team.

With Aimee, the assistant coach

Giving his pre-meet pep talk

At all of our home meets, the kids march in...

they all gather around the diving boards...

and cheer. Then Daniel gets up on the board...

and does...
 a painful belly flop!

 And the kids go crazy!

 During the meets,

Abbey plays with friends,
until it's time to swim.

No more belly flops for Daniel...

Waiting to swim

And Elijah??

Just look for the pretty young girl and there he will be!

Nana and Grandaddy always try to come to at least one meet.

I love summer league swimming, good thing, too, because by the time Elijah gets to his final meet, we will have had kids on the swim team for 32 years! Amazing, isn't it??


Monday, July 18, 2011

The Fouth of July---on the third.

The Fourth of July is always an important holiday for our family. Our neighborhood pool has games for young and old along with a cookout. We actually celebrated the fourth twice this year.

Dressed in red, white and blue and ready to go!

On July 3rd, a nearby town has a big celebration. We joined our friends, Battle, Shannon and their two girls, and Jason, Amy and their daughter, Olivia.

Jessie, from Toy Story, showed up.

This is what Elijah thought about Jessie.

It wasn't really Jessie that freaked him out, it was the blue faced genie,(from Aladin), that he was wary of.

All the kids in our group

Our family, minus our big four

The band, Liquid Pleasure played and then the NC symphony played.

Abbey danced...

and danced!

We had lots of time to just sit and relax and enjoy each other and our friends.

Then, of course, it was time for the highlight of the night-- the fireworks!

On the fourth, we started celebrating with a Kiddie Carnival of games at our pool. The highlight for Abbey was the slip and slide. For Elijah, the highlight was all the pretty pre-teen girl helpers, who were more than happy to carry him around to all the games.

For the pool games, Daniel tied in the belly-flop contest and John, Sr. won the 3 point shooting contest. Abbey and Elijah got even more candy during the "candy toss in the pool" game.

A major accomplishment was that Elijah let me let him go and he "swam" ie. kicked between me and John. He's been very reluctant for me to let him go in the water. He will put his head under, but wants me to hold him at all cost.  This was a great breakthrough for him!

Happy Fourth of July!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

The Bulls Baseball Game

Having lived 20 minutes from a minor league baseball team for the past twenty-some years, it is somewhat unusual to never have been to a game. But, being that baseball isn't anywhere near my favorite sport, I'd never been to a game.

A couple of weeks before the wedding, our life insurance company sponsored a night at the Bulls stadium. They provided free food and tickets to the baseball game. John and I thought it would be a good family outing. But it turns out that there was way too much fun to be had, which, to me, would have been wasted if I'd watched the baseball game.

The main thing I had to do was to keep up with these two:

One of the few moments they were still

He came for the free food.
They also liked the food.

Not quite sure what he's thinking?

I also had to keep up with the fashion and get my face painted.

It was about a million degrees outside that night. It wasn't long before my paint colors began to all run together.

But my little girl didn't care, she was so excited that I had my face painted like hers.
Elijah's "practiced" smile

The extreme heat  didn't bother the kids at all. Pretty soon, John and I figured we'd had about all the "fun" that we could stand. We headed home.

And, about the baseball game... , I think I can still say I've never seen one of their games.

But, everyone had a great time!


Monday, July 11, 2011


I love airports, especially our local airport. I see them as delivery rooms. You know the feeling that you get when you go by the nursery at the hospital? I get that feeling too, but I also get it whenever I go to the airport.

I've had the pleasure, along with John, to visit the delivery room for two families this month.

The first family brought home two treasures from Ethiopia. Their journey to bring their kids home was full of roadblocks. I, along with our entire small group have prayed so fervently for these little ones to come home. When I saw this family coming down the airport hallway,

I just couldn't stop the tears from welling in my eyes. Their Mommy and Daddy had prayed and worked so hard to get them home.

These wonderful babies are certainly worth all the work!

A couple of weeks later we went back to the airport to greet this new family of 6,

They already had 3 children from China. We got to watch as God placed another precious little one on their heart.

 I marvel at the children that have joined their forever families. The reams of paperwork, the financial sacrifices, the jet lag, the prayers, and the sheer torment of waiting, remind me of the relentless way that God pursues me and you. He will work and work until he has us safe in His family. What a beautiful picture of our God's love for us is painted by adoption!

I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.
John 14:1