Thursday, September 29, 2011

Look what she can do all by herself!

Notice the concentration



Monday, September 26, 2011

Now that was a new one.

Regarding kids and their thoughts, there isn't much I haven't seen or heard. But a little while ago, Abbey came up with a new one:

While having our good night ritual one night, she said, "Mom what's heaven?" Now, I've taught kids in church for many years and have seen many accept Christ, so I have several pat answers to that one. I give her one of my standards. She then says, "I believe in Jesus. So, if I went and played in the road and got hit by a car, I'd die and go to heaven?" Cautiously, I replied, "Yes." Then she floored me and said, "Well, I want to do that!"

Mmmm, wait a minute, not the response I anticipated! Having to think quick on my feet, I then explained that God has a plan for her life, and no one should end an earthly life, but God. I also shared that she should keep herself safe so that she can do all that God has planned for her.  I explained to her how heartbroken we would be without her, to which she replied, "Why?  You'd know I was in heaven?"  Very true, indeed, I acknowledged. But, I told her how much we would miss her. Whew! Finally she accepted that and we went on with our nightly prayers and singing.

I mulled over our conversation for quite some time. Then I remember the verse:

Matthew 18:3~
"And he said: "I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven."

I'm not sure if I told her the correct things or not. What she said was admirable in some respects, but no parent can allow their child to do something that would hurt themselves, can they?  I do believe that God does desire us to believe and want heaven.  At times I get so caught up in the trappings of this world, I have a hard time wanting to leave it. I need to remember that being present with the Lord is more wonderful than anything here on this world. It seems that Abbey has already figured that out!


Sunday, September 25, 2011

A Party Despite the Weather

When asked what Abbey wanted to do for her 5th birthday party, she said she wanted to have a Fairy Party at the park in our neighborhood. I was thrilled! That meant that I could plan just a few things and let the playground do its thing for entertainment. We invited 13 friends and were ready to party hardy at the park. The preceding week it became apparent that the weather on the day we chose was going to be more like December weather than September. Not only cold, but rainy. We discussed our options, and decided to move it indoors at our house. Not the ideal venue, but Abbey had had enough waiting and just wanted to have her party. She didn't care where.

We had several crafty activities planned:

Fairy wing decorating...

Caleb, one of the three boys in attendance,  must be a builder fairy.
 Trying out those decorated wings...

Some of the lovely fairies...

We played a couple of games: "hide and seek" and "barnyard guess"

Of course we had some good junk food...

Abbey  blowing out her candles
Several kids "wore" their cake...

Daniel M.
We had a couple of more crafts to make....

Of course, presents to open and give thanks for....

She particularly loved the present Nana and Grandaddy gave her.

And last but not least...

Sydney was the lucky string puller

A Pull the String Pinata!

All in all I think things went pretty well. We had 11 kids in the house for over 2 hours, nothing was broken(in people or objects) and there were no tears or arguments. In my book that's enough to label the party a success!


Friday, September 23, 2011

Looney Bonding

My husband, being the good Daddy that he is, has passed on several traits and traditions to our kids which I recognize as wonderful. But, there is one that most of my kids share to which I just can't seem to recognize the appeal---watching Looney Tunes.

I'm just not a cartoon kind of gal. I've never really appreciated the fact that the Road Runner gets away every time. I feel sorry for the Coyote, poor sap. I'd want to catch that doggone bird too, with that incessant "Meep, meep!" Maybe I'd mix up a batch of "Acme Dynamite" for myself and try to blow that running feathered nuisance to "smitherinies"!   I do think Porky Pig is cute, but Bugs, well, Bugs is sometimes just plain 'ole mean. Suffice it to say I didn't spend my Saturday mornings growing up watching cartoons. But, John on the other hand, loves the old cartoons. He's made sure that all of our kids have been exposed to a little bit of his childhood culture.

There are a couple of things that I can appreciate about this "Loonacy", though. The shows are always clean and they only last thirty minutes. The main thing that I've grown to like is the bonding factor between my bigs and littles.

It definitely does my heart good to see those two sitting together sharing a laugh!

So I guess I'm a little bit of a Looney Tunes fan myself! Just don't tell anyone, ok?


Sunday, September 18, 2011

Five Years Old

She asked for a strawberry with vanilla icing cake.
On Sept. 6th, my precious Abbey turned 5 years old. We celebrated a couple of weeks later with a party, which I'll write about in my next couple of posts. Today I want to celebrate the perky one that we know as Abbey.

She has made the last four years ones filled with joy and excitement. We never know what she will say or do next. This gal of ours loves, loves, loves to make us laugh.

"You've got it dude!"

She has quite a tool box of facial expressions and will use them as often as it gets a laugh.

"Just gotta love me!"

Smart as a whip, she can recite and write all of her letters and knows their sounds. She's able to read three letter short vowel words. She can count to 100 by ones and tens. (we're working on 2's and 5's). Several times I've watched her recite an entire book for her friends as she "reads" to them.

Abbey loves dress up and imaginative play. She adores anything to do with princesses and fairies.

She loves Rapunzel. The other day, Caleb, one of her friends, was over to play. She basically acted out the whole "Tangled" movie, playing Rapunzel. When they were through, she told him, "Now, lets do it again, but I'll be Flynn(the boy) and you be Rapunzel!"

Quite creative, she spends hours coloring and building with blocks.

Her airplane that was going to China

Chalk drawing by Abbey. The pink is an hourglass, she is standing beside it and a rainbow is overhead.

For her birthday dinner, Abbey chose to go to MacDonalds, for one of her two favorite foods~ a cheeseburger (the other favorite is Mac and Cheese)

Daniel and Daddy enjoy MacDonalds, too!

All's not always rosy in Abbey's life though, she has some real issues with being left alone, especially at night. Therefore, she doesn't sleep very well. We've had some really deep conversations about many things ranging from death to sin. (In a few days, I'll be relating one such conversation).  She isn't all fluff, Abbey has some really deep thoughts, questions and insecurities.These all just go into the wonderful little girl that she is. We will work through any issues with God's help, and she will be stronger because of it.

Our lives certainly were enriched beyond measure the day we met this little one in Chongqing, China. Life would never be the same again, and boy are we thankful for that!

Miss Abbey, you are one loved little girl!!!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

A "Tens" and "Ones" birthday for John, Jr.

Once someone in our family gets past twenty, I no longer place that many candles on the cake. I then start to place them in "tens" and "ones". John, Jr. had a birthday Aug. 7th. His cake had 2 tens and 4 ones!

The cake may look a little strange, and it was. At our house, each person gets to pick the kind of birthday cake they want. John wanted plain yellow cake on one half and chocolate frosting on the other half.

They birthday participants

Everyone but Beth was able to be here for John's celebration. He was living with us for the summer while working for our swim club. It was great having him here and getting to see him every day. He actually had to work on his birthday, so we scheduled his dinner around his work schedule.

We are proud of John, since graduating from college, he has held down a job he despised. When the offer came to manage the swim club, he took offer. He's been mulling over his career path for the past few months. He's decided to go back to school to become a nurse. I think he would make a great nurse! He's always had such a tender heart. In our family, he is the peacemaker. John and I are thankful to have had the opportunity to have him home one more summer.

Before John left to go back to Wilmington, he arranged for Daniel to watch the kids, and he took me and John out for coffee. (Wow, he really is growing up!)  We had such a nice time talking to him, and he told us how much he appreciated us allowing him to live with us for the summer. It was definitely our pleasure!

Happy, happy birthday, John! We love you!


Thursday, September 8, 2011

Three cousins and a funeral

My Dad's sister, Aunt Betsy, has always been very special to me. I have wonderful memories of spending time with her, playing games and laughing a lot. She moved to Mississippi many years ago, but we still keep in touch, and see each other for special occasions. When she called and said that she would not be able to come to Beth's wedding because of my uncle's health issues, I knew that it must be serious, and I was correct.  My Uncle Earl was diagnosed with cancer. He lost his battle with cancer on August 30th. Since he and my aunt are both from North Carolina, they had decided they would  be buried in Henderson, NC. Out of this sad time came a neat reunion.

When we received Abbey's referral, my cousin, Walt,(Aunt Betsy's and Uncle Earl's son) called me and asked about Chinese adoption. He and his wife, Joey, were interested in possibly adopting.  Fast forward about a year; they brought home their son, Noah, from Guangdong, China. We've wanted to get our kids together for some time, but the distance is a formidable deterrent.

Finally, after a few years, Noah, Abbey and Elijah got to meet cousins that they had only heard about.
To say they hit it off, would be an understatement. They loved each other. They adored each other, in fact, it was hard to believe that they hadn't been friends forever.

Noah and Elijah
Abbey with Noah
The three cousins
So, this somber occasion was punctuated with the squeals and yells of glee-filled little ones. I'm not sure, but I'd be willing to bet there hasn't been many rousing games of "duck, duck, goose" in this funeral home previously.

I happened to look at the casket containing Uncle Earl's body just in time to see a little sandaled foot scoot behind the curtain covering the bottom. I rushed over and pulled a frustrated Abbey away from the casket. I had visions in my head of her knocking the casket over and my Uncle spilling out! She explained that she and Noah were playing "Hide and Seek" and was livid that I had spoiled her great hiding place! Then off she ran...

Aunt Betsy nabbed two wild ones!
The next day, before the burial, we all went out to eat at Cracker Barrel. It was also time for me to catch up with my cousins.

Cousin Ann with Anna
Cousin Walt surveys the crew
My Dad, Mom, brother Tom, Jr, John, Jr and Jamie rock off all the food they had eaten.
More laughter at Cracker Barrel
Noah and Abbey were like two peas in a pod. They both love to laugh and be laughed at, are fast as lightning, very agile, extremely bright, and as rambunctious as they can be! Elijah fit in perfectly as the straight man to either one of the two "wild things". The hour plus drive home was punctuated with many comments and references to Noah. They had a blast!

All too soon, it was time to say goodbye. Abbey and Elijah were not happy to see their new found buddy leave. I must admit I started scheming about ways to get Noah and his family to move to NC.

The reason we gathered certainly wasn't a happy situation, but the meeting of these three little ones surely did put a smile on many a person's face!!