Friday, October 26, 2012

Nana's B-Day~love a fair!

My Mom has always made it not a secret that she loves to go the the fair. She hasn't been in years. This year, I decided to treat her and my Dad to a day at the fair for a birthday present.

The birthday girl ready to see the fair.

The weather was gorgeous, the crowds light. It was a perfect day. We got to see lots of exhibits, animals and entertainment.

Mom enjoyed the square dancers and cloggers show

With Hubba Bubba , after his show.

Of course there were lots of rides to enjoy...

They wouldn't let him go by himself.
Grandaddy is giving instruction on how to drive that monster truck.

She even did a flip!
Neither of the kids had any fear of the rides. In fact, a recurring problem was Elijah couldn't ride half of what he wanted because of his height. Even brochures wouldn't have helped(~inside family joke).

It really was a wonderful day. We all had a great time and most importantly, my Mom enjoyed her special day, doing something she doesn't get to do very often!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Butterfly Girl

A couple of Sundays ago, John suggested that we take the kids to the new State Museum of Natural Sciences. After church, we went downtown and set off to explore the museum. There was quite a lot to see. The museum has added lots of neat hands-on things for kids to see and do.

Outside the museum

The highlight happened in the butterfly habitat room~

Abbey attracted a beautiful butterfly

That's the stillest I think I've ever seen Abbey be and not be asleep. Eventually the butterfly began to become entwined in her hair and on of the guides had to get it out. Abbey was so excited about her close encounter with a butterfly!

We also saw some other neat stuff.

While I loved the museum and the wonderful family time we had there, as did the kids, I think our highlight was the delicious treat we had afterwards!

Can't go anywhere near here without stopping!

As I said we had some great family time and maybe we all learned a little something in the process and that makes for a great day!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Checkin' in on my "D-boy"

Daniel swam in his first collegiate meet last month against Tennessee. Being that TN is a nationally ranked swim team, UNCW came no where near winning the meet. Tennessee sought a meet against "W", mainly because of that large body of water that rests very near the campus of UNCW!

John had to work, so my Mom and Dad agreed to accompany me to the meet. My very good friend, Kristi, offered to take my kids for the afternoon. So we trekked to Wilmington.

I was so excited to see my boy again!

You could tell that he was loving it down on the pool deck! He loves swimming in college and loves the college life. He's doing really well in both academics and athletics.

UNCW, as evidenced by the banners pictured below, has enjoyed great success in its conference.

11 years worth of conference championship banners

Daniel is hoping to be apart of another Championship team this year!

He swam really well and secured a spot on the travel team. He's gained 10 pounds since he has been at college. 

definitely gotten bigger

After the meet, we went out to eat and caught up on what's been going on in his life. All too soon, we had to say our goodbyes!  It was wonderful to see Daniel doing something he loves and has been dreaming of for many years!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Abbey's Turn

Two weeks ago it was Abbey's turn to accompany John to a UNC game. They went to see the Heels play Idaho.

She had heard great things about football outings from Elijah, who, by the way, cried when they left, because he wanted to go! So, she was so excited. She woke up extremely early, ready to go!

The weather didn't cooperate very well. It poured rain all day long. John was amazed at how well Abbey did. She made it all the way to the last 11 minutes and then asked if they could go home. John said she loved playing in the puddles and walking in the rain.

So despite the soggy surroundings, Abbey had a wonderful time cheering for the Heels and spending one on one time with her Daddy!

As I said in my post about Elijah going to the game, we unashamedly indoctrinate our little ones to be Tarheels. When we were visiting my parent's church a few weeks ago, during the children's sermon the pastor talked about cheering for teams. Someone mentioned NC State Wolfpack. Even though he didn't know the pastor, or anyone of the kids except for Abbey, Elijah loudly blurted out, "We don't pull for NC State!"  Sooo, I guess we can check that one off of our list. He's successfully indoctrinated!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

In three years....

This frightened, withdrawn little one

Has turned into this amazing little boy

getting his "grove" on

On Sept. 15, three years ago, in a very loud room in Guangzhou, China, we met our 6th child, and 3rd son, Elijah! He was quite scared but didn't cry a single tear.

 Before the day was over he was smiling at us. 

And boy, what a sweet smile it was!

Three short years later, we went to share frozen yogurt and celebrate Elijah's third "Gotcha Day"!

He was so excited, telling everyone he met, "Today's my gotcha day!"

Although still very small in stature, Elijah has a great big heart. He loves to pray and is often one to remind us to pray for the people when we see an accident. 

He started out having some issues with speech, but now...that boy certainly loves to talk! As evidenced by one of our recent conversations:

Elijah: "I don't want to die."
Me: (Not really sure where he was going with this thought)"Well, I don't want you to die right now either. I'd be so, so, sad! Daddy and I are going to do everything we can to keep you safe"
Elijah: "Yup, 'cuz I couldn't talk if I was dead.."
Nope, I don't think that was anywhere near what I thought he was thinking!

He dearly loves his siblings, all of them. He told me a few days after Daniel went to college, "When I grow up, I'm going to be Daniel." 
He and Abbey are inseparable. They play so well together. She usually tells him what to do, and he does it! Sometimes, though, he tries to buck the system. Yesterday, I heard him tell Abbey, "No Abbey! I don't like your attitude!" He does have a ferocious temper, but rarely looses it. Usually it's when he's really tired.

The one constant from the time we met him has been his love of cars. He has always been mesmerized by cars. It's a daily occurrence to hear Elijah say from the back seat of our car, "Look at that cool car!", or "I love that mini-cooper convertible!" The boy knows and loves his cars!

It's such a joy to be on this journey to watch my precious little boy as he grows in wisdom, stature (a little bit), and in favor with God and man.

One of my favorite shirts.
Elijah Grayson JianYi D***, you certainly are a classic and I'm so blessed to be your Mommy!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Welcoming Ernie and Gil

Our newest pets...

Abbey and Gil

Elijah and Ernie
Elijah was working so hard on that smile, he almost tossed Ernie onto the floor!

Ernie and Gil are both beta fish. I gave in to Abbey and Elijah's pleas because they are about the easiest pets we could get. Welcome to our family Ernie and Gil!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Abbey's 6th birthday party~Sept. 8

After months of discussions regarding her choice of birthday party theme, Abbey finally landed on a Backyardigans Party. The Backyaridgans are the obsession of late. So we planned everything around those five cute little creatures.

We invited 16 kids and all but two were able to come. The weather cooperated and we were able to have most of the party outside.

We painted with Backyardigan shaped sponges.

My ever shy husband, (not!), oversaw the bean bag toss. Each child got a Backyardigan bean bag.

Lily C. with her Uniqua bean bag
In addition to a dance contest, we played pin the glasses on Uniqua. We had a pinata that refused to break.

I was worried it would break too early. I reinforced it too much and the Dads had to help it open.

The candy frenzy

The cupcakes I made had Backyardigans rings on them.

Then presents...

Nana and Grandaddy held down the fort inside.

Abbey so enjoyed having her friends over to her house.

With good friend-Lily B.

The best part for me was having my little girl come to me when it was over, throwing her arms around my neck and thanking me for giving her such a wonderful party!