Monday, June 29, 2009

ORPHANS

I really do not like the idea of even having to write a blog like this, but I feel called to do so. If you haven't heard, there is a movie by WarnerBrothers being released in July called ORPHANS. In brief, it is a horror film about a family who adopts an older girl from an orphanage, and there is something "wrong" with her that causes horrible things to happen to their family. I watched part of the trailer and had to shut it off because it was so disturbing. A line in the movie makes mention of how hard it must be to love a child that's not "your own." Anyone who has the slightest link to adoption knows that adopted children are "your own." Genetics do not make a family...love does. And the fact that a motion picture industry would portray orphans in this manner is heartwrenching, though not surprising. Motion picture industries are not largely known for their morality.
There is a website that is making an effort to counter the effects of this movie. The site allows people to post their adoption stories, shares facts about orphans and adoption, provides a petition to be sent to WB, and offers ways to help serve the orphans in our world (not just through adoption). The website is www.orphansdeservebetter.org.
Orphans in our world do deserve better. They have been individually created, as we all have, by our loving God, and He has commanded us to help them (that means it's not an option, in case you weren't clear on that). Check out the verse in James at the top of my blog page. I want to be able to stand in front of God on judgement day knowing that I did all I could with the resources I had to help these children. Believe me....if I had a money tree...I would have as many children as I could get through my front door!
Obviously, I'm urging you all to boycott this movie. But also, and more importantly, urging you to listen to your heart. Is there a way that you could help an orphan somewhere in the world? Maybe it's not through adoption, but through sponsorship, or through donations. Our economy may be bad and finances may not be as strong as they were, but the cry of the orphans is just as loud. And believe me...I've seen it with my own eyes. Our country may be struggling right now, but we have so many more provisions than most other countries. God has blessed us in this country...so what are you going to do with your blessings today?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

MY Sister

There has always been a very special bond between Laura and Charlie. From the time Charlie came home (about 16 months after Laura), he has had a very strong impact on her. Right away, he motivated Laura to move more, gave her an incentive to crawl further and someone at her level to watch, he has always had the knack of making her laugh, and has ALWAYS been protective and nuturing. It was amazing to see how a child so young could comprehend the special needs of another child.

I remember when he was only 16 months old and we were on vacation in Hawaii...I can picture him sitting by the ocean feeding his snack to her since she couldn't feed herself. And ALWAYS...if he was given a drink, he made sure Laura got a drink of her own. He is still that way today.

Just yesterday I was using a stern voice toward Laura to inform her that she is not allowed to throw her food onto the floor...not yelling...just a firm voice. Charlie scowled at me and said, "MY sister." Yep...that's my Charlie...feisty and soooo loveable!
A bite for you...
...and a bite for me.

A picnic at our library during their outside story time. Laura boycotted self-feeding, so Charlie willingly obliged.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Make-A-Wish, Laura

I was so excited when I went to the mailbox Saturday...an unexpected surprise was waiting for Laura. I saw the return address on the envelope...and it wasn't just a normal letter envelope...it was a bubble envelope...meaning there was probably something more than just a letter. So, ripping it open on my way up the driveway, I saw the card...Welcoming Laura to Make-A-Wish...a wish of her very own.
If you're not familiar with Make-A-Wish foundation, you can read more about them here. In a nutshell...they provide one wish per lifetime for children who face serious and/or terminal illnesses. That wish may be to travel somewhere...meet someone famous...have something special...or be someone or something for a day. Kids can just wish away...and to help Laura get started with ideas, Make-A-Wish sent a short DVD introducing the program and the possibilities. We watched it as soon as she was up from her naptime.

I sure wish Laura could tell us what she really would love. But we have some ideas that we know would make her very happy...

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Vacation Day

Jamie took a day off work, the weather was sunny and hot, so we headed an hour out of town for a fun day. We had a great day...a little shopping, lunch, rolling down hills (the boys only as we adults would be in body casts), icecream and lemonades!


"Little Bo Jacob" missing one more tooth!



We call this Laura's "snob" look...she's so funny!



I love this photo of Charlie...he looks so calm...wait...what's that twinkle I see in his eye? Oh, right...he was on his way to tackle his big brother.




Laura loves...I mean LOVES...water. I've never seen her so motivated than when there is water nearby and then she walks as fast as she can with a true look of determination to get there without stumbling. We saw several water fountains and streams today and she squirmed and squealed in her stroller until we took her out of it.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Bunnies and turtles

Here's a photo of Willow, our new female Jersey Wooly. She is the bigger of the two rabbits, a bit calmer and so soft and fluffy...I can feel a sneeze coming on now!


Our neighbor brought over a turtle today that was crawling up her driveway, probably headed for the creek behind our houses. We watched him for a while, and then he crawled into the weeds. A few hours later we saw him in the middle of our backyard. Apparently, he realized that during his escape, he had gone the wrong direction and headed away from the creek!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Happy 4th Gotcha Day, Laura!

June 14, 2005...the day we finally held our precious Laura for the first time in Nanchang, JiangXi, China. What a blessing she is to our family in ways we never could have imagined. God knows exactly what He's doing, and His plan far exceeds our comprehension. It is through God's grace alone that Laura was able to join our family the way she did...and we delight in that grace every day. Here's a glimpse down memory lane...


Introducing Ling Guang Yi...handed to me by the orphanage director. I'll never forget waiting in the room with the other families, knowing our daughters were just down the hall...or hearing our guide announce "Ling Guang Yi"...or seeing her round the corner of the room...or the feeling of reaching out for her and holding her for the first time...she was so tiny and so quiet.

Getting a good look at my baby girl...


A thrilled and very doting big brother...and he still is to this day.

Our first family photo...

Oh, this photo is forever in my mind. I wish I knew what was going on in Laura's mind...she looks so scared on our bus ride back to the hotel.

Her first bottle with mommy...

First tickles from daddy...


and her first big smile later that night...

She still has the biggest smile, loves daddy's tickles, mommy's cuddles and her brothers' doting on her. What a princess!

2 New Residents

Our family has grown...by two Jersey Woolys! These beautiful bunnies needed a new home and the kids were wanting some furry companions. They were 4-H show rabbits, have the most beautiful fur and are pretty calm. Jacob's rabbit is the female and he renamed her Willow. Charlie and Laura's rabbit is the male and was renamed Cedar. They have been told that under no circumstance are these bunnies to be out of their cages simultaneously!


Jacob & Cedar

We were given a large hutch that hadn't been used in a while and needed some TLC. We ripped off some of the wood, added new wood, changed some screening, reshingled the roof, painted it and added new locks...all within 2 days! We had fun working on the hutch, learned some new skills, and a valuable lesson (in my opinion) that not everything we get has to be brand-spankin' new. A little elbow grease and hard work can be very rewarding.

Removing rotted wood...
Attaching the new back wall...

Learning how to shingle...

All painted and ready to go!

Our Music Man

Jacob's piano recital was last night. He has played for three years now, and we're so proud of his efforts to do his best. He was very relaxed last night, had his music memorized, and played beautifully. When he was done, he stood up, smiled at us and leaped off the platform...oh, brother...so much for using the stairs! Then we, including both sets of grandparents (I just realized we never got photos with them!) went out for icecream.
Jacob's teacher, Miss Becky

Our Princess...isn't she just the cutest thing?

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Lots of wildlife

Success! We kept the baby bird safe and fed all night. Luckily, per our internet research, baby birds only eat from sun up to sun down...not during the night. Jacob asked me to wake him at 5AM to check on the bird. He decided that it was still to dark and there were no birds chirping yet outside, so we'd try again at 6AM. By then it was light, birds were chirping and our little guy was hungry. We fed him a few morsels of crushed rabbit pellets with water, and put him back out under the nest. Right away the mama started chirping and the baby answered back. From the house, we watched her feed him several times.

Then, Jacob spotted (pun intended) the fawn that we hadn't seen for over a week. Between the baby robin, the spotted fawn, and watching our friend feed baby mice to their "yard pet" garter snakes (gross...I did NOT watch!), these have been great homeschool science lessons that I did not have to prepare! Woohoo!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Bird drama, cont...

Well, we decided that since the mommy couldn't heft her little one back into the nest (there are two other babies, and we think they booted this one for more leg room), he should spend the night safely in our home. The boys dug up some worms (sorry, dad, for digging in the area where you're trying to grow grass seed) and the bird is eating them well, every 1/2 hour or so. Jacob asked me to set my alarm clock for 5AM so he can feed the bird one more time and let him back outside. We just couldn't rest easily tonight knowing the little guy might be something's midnight snack!

B52 "Robin-bombers"

What happens when we mess with nature? Usually end up humbled.
Jacob and I found a baby robin that had fallen out of its nest. It had some feathers, but still downy and not able to fly. Three adult robins were flying around with their tail-feathers in a knot because we were too close. I got the brilliant idea of saving this poor creature by putting him back in his nest. So, I donned my gloves, picked him up, and boy did he start to squawk. Well, that made me an instant target, so I quickly put him back down, and decided to sit and watch what would happen from safely inside the garage with Jacob.
Well, the little stinker decided to hop toward us. The mama robin was able to get a couple morsels of bug into him, and then I decided to try my hero act one more time. Jacob gave me my bike helmet for protection, he put his on, too, and stood guard with a broom in case of attack (I'm so glad our home is surrounded by trees so our neighbors can't watch our weird antics).
This time...success! I quickly picked him up, got him into the nest before he started calling for backup, and left feeling pretty good...until I saw Jacob standing there shaking his head. I looked back...that little guy jumped right out of his nest again. So, he's sitting on the stones under close surveillance...

If I didn't know better, I'd think this little punk was snubbing me!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Brothers

These two have so much fun together...even a snack break is better when they share it! I'm so thankful that they love spending time together, and really miss one another when they aren't. Last week, Jacob spent one night at Grandma's and on the way to pick him up Charlie said, "I miss my Jacob. I need my Jacob home." They usually greet one another with a big hug, and then move straight to wrestling...boys!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Hunters and Singers

Jacob and Charlie got new toy guns and they have playing army, and "shooting" the wildlife in our yard. Jacob even "patrolled" Grandma's yard one day...to the amusement of her neighbors.


Here's a new twist to "singing in the shower."