Wednesday, July 29, 2009

I'm learning...

new things everyday. Here are a few:

** Amarin is a lefty. So much for him sharing golf clubs with Jacob.

** Amarin has really good fine motor skills. Yes, that's the teacher in me, but how cool for the "teacher" to know this for when we begin homeschool this fall.

** Amarin loves pizza! Awesome...my standby when I don't want to cook. See, it's not always popcorn, Aunt Julie!

** Amarin loves the water and the beach.

** Amarin has a great appetite (great for the grocery bill) and eats the food we give him.

** The word "nam" means water in Thai. So, words like Vietnam, tsunami...they make more sense.


A lizard friend we saw running around the park in Bangkok. We told our guide, and she laughed and told us that they have these things up to 2 meters long. I'd just die right there...

A beautiful sunrise off our balcony.

See the miniature temple? These are outside most buildings here whether it's a hotel, home, car repair place...whatever. People put food and flowers on these to appease their gods. Their hope is that the gods will live happily in these temples and not come into their establishment and cause trouble.



This is our morning alarm outside out hotel window. I'm firing him because he started at 5:30 this morning before the sun even rose!


This is where the workers are living right now that are building the new addition onto our hotel. We see this just to the right of our balcony. Kind of like squatters, I guess...

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Our Amarin

Well, I finally am able to blog. I've been going through withdrawl! We met Amarin for the first time yesterday. He is beautiful...his personality and his sweet face. He spoke very little yesterday, though the smile rarely left his face. He and Jacob played so well at the Babies Home. They went swinging, sliding and played with Star Wars action figures. All boys, no matter what their native language, know how to make the noises that go along with action figures! We were able to eat lunch with him, visit his nanny and sleeping house, see some younger children as the older ones were in school and just bond with nothing planned for us. We were also able to meet his house friends right when they returned from school... about 6 boys. Then we left to return to the hotel. Amarin stayed behind one more night with his friends.

This morning we returned for 2 hours to finish some paperwork, give gifts to the caregivers, director and the cook. We played a bit, Amarin ate lunch and then we left. The director really loved him and we could see that she was so sad to watch him leave. But she told us many times how happy she was that her oldest boy found a family.

Today we took Amarin swimming for the first time, to the beach across the street, and for a ride in a tuk-tuk. He has been so sweet, starting to speak more and laughing a lot, especially at Jacob and in the pool. We're so glad we brought Jacob. The boys are so sweet together...Amarin watches everything Jacob does, and Jacob tries to teach Amarin new things. He's also gotten after Amarin for being too rough in the pool...such a big brother! He watches how Jacob drinks with a straw, swims in the pool, digs in the sand, brushes his teeth, pulls the heads of the action figures...yep...my boys!

I can't say enough how much I have appreciated so many prayers for us. Our flights have been super (albight, long), we're healthy, Amarin was very well prepared, transition is going well, our luggage arrived perfectly, and we are just enjoying our time here. We sure do miss Laura and Charlie, but we know from talking to grandma and papa...all is very well there!

We can't post photos of Amarin, and besides, the internet speed here has been really slow and hasn't allowed many photos to be shared! Just know that we all are doing great and it's been fun...and interesting...to be back in Asia!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Christian One Liners

Not sure where these originated, but they're good!
Don't let your worries get the best of you; Remember, Moses started out as a basket case.
Some people are kind, polite, and sweet-spirited Until you try to sit in their pews.
Many folks want to serve God, But only as advisers.
It is easier to preach ten sermons Than it is to live one.
The good Lord didn't create anything without a purpose, But mosquitoes come close.
When you get to your wit's end, You'll find God lives there.
People are funny; they want the front of the bus, Middle of the road, And back of the church.
Opportunity may knock once, But temptation bangs on the front door forever.
Quit griping about your church; If it was perfect, you couldn't belong.
If a church wants a better pastor, It only needs to pray for the one it has.
We're called to be witnesses, not lawyers or Judges.
God Himself doesn't propose to judge a man until he is dead.. So why should you?
I don't know why some people change churches; What difference does it make which one you stay home from?
Be ye fishers of men. You catch 'em - He'll clean 'em.
Stop, Drop, and Roll won't work in Hell.
Forbidden fruits create many jams.
God doesn't call the qualified, He qualifies the called.
God promises a safe landing, not a calm passage.
He who angers you, controls you!
If God is your Co-pilot, swap seats!
Prayer: Don't give God instructions, just report for duty!
We don't change the message, The message changes us.
You can tell how big a person is By what it takes to discourage him.

Laura's blog

Check out Laura's blog...there's a new fundraising opportunity on there!! http://www.4paws4lauralingyi.blogspot.com/
Thanks, Aunt Shelly!

God's Word

I received my daily update via email from a Christian adoption agency today...not one we're using...but I keep in contact with a few of them. Anyway, this was the Bible verse they shared today. Could the timing of this be any better?

"Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you." Gen. 28:15

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Leavin' on a jet plane

Actually, I don't know what kind of plane we'll be on because that's Jamie's department. I just know it has two really big wings, and hopefully a bit of leg room. Twenty-two hours travel time is a long time to be contorted like a pretzel. We have been spoiled with air travel. When we lived in Germany, we flew between continents on the corporate plane....LOTS of space. I remember traveling coach afterward and Jacob asking where the personal TV was. Welcome to the real world, honey. Then when we traveled to Taiwan to bring Charlie home, we had enough miles to upgrade to business class. This time...cattle class. I can hear the mooing now...

The two little ones are off on vacation with my parents, my brother and sister-in-law and their two teens. Laura and Charlie will have a blast and come home totally spoiled! Should be fun "detoxing" them after 2.5 weeks being gone. Honestly, though, I'm not concerned about them one bit...they're in great hands. As I left them, they both were waving and smiling. They know how good they're gonna have it!
Jamie, Jacob and I fly out on Friday, and will meet our new little boy on Monday. I have butterflies...no, bats...in my tummy. I'm nervous and excited, wondering how he will react to us, how we'll communicate, and of course, hopeful that all of our paperwork will be complete and without delay.
I know I have a great group praying for us while we're gone. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I feel great comfort in knowing that prayers are going out for us all. Check back for updates!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Good Buddies

Isn't this the cutest photo? Great Uncle Jim and Charlie are good buddies. Can't you just see mischief in both their eyes? And what's one of the best things about the older generations of relatives? They let our kids get away with things we parents NEVER would (and they think it's very funny!). :) Great Uncle Jim lets Charlie play with his cell phone, and he always requests that Charlie order a pizza for him without anchovies. So far, no pizzas have arrived.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Happy Birthday, Princess!

Our little princess turned five years old today. She is such a blessing to our family, and as our pastor said this morning, the word blessing means to be happy. Laura makes us very happy and brings joy and laughter to our family every day.

Today we celebrated with about 50 family and friends. We feel so fortunate to have aunts, uncles, great aunts, great uncles, grandparents, cousins, 2nd cousins, and friends to celebrate with us! The rain held off most of the afternoon so we could be outside and we enjoyed a yummy BBQ! Since Laura is 5 today, I'll share 5 things that make her extra special:
1. God made her exactly perfect...just the way He intended her to be!
2. She has THE biggest smile you have ever seen!
3. Laura started walking this year, on March 12 to be exact...right on Aunt Julie's birthday!

4. This little one will never outgrow cuddles...she loves to be held, carried, hugged...anything for a cuddle!
5. She has the cutest little temper. She gets a little determined look on her face and either slaps the table (if she's sitting by one) or her leg to get her point across. Sometimes she even lets out a little squeal if she's really determined!
There's so much more that makes our princess special...but for this year, I'll leave it at 5! We love you, Yi Yi!

Friday, July 17, 2009

I found my thrill...

on blueberry hill.

Ah, Michigan blueberries are ripe and ready for pickin' and eatin'. We just bought this year, though. With birthday parties this weekend, preparing for Thailand...well, taking the time to pick with the three little ones just isn't happening. But they taste just as sweet. I bought 10 pounds to eat, and to freeze for winter. Honestly, I could sit down and eat 10 pounds in no time. I always like to gross out Jacob by reminding him that if he eats too many, his poop will turn green. "Ah, mom, that's gross!" Yeah, like you've never said anything gross!! Laura helped me eat, I mean clean, the berries today.





Oh, yeah...while I was preoccupied with the blueberries, I also found Charlie trying to climb into the dryer again. At least he wore his helmet this time!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Mocha

Today was Laura's second session of therapeutic horseback riding. The first session I didn't get photos because my camera card was blocked...whatever that means. Jamie fixed it and I'm back in business.

Anyway, Laura rides Mocha. It's the smallest horse they have, and she looks so sweet on his back...all 25 pounds of that sweet girl! Today there were only two horses in the arena, so Laura got lots of attention. The most they ever have is four at one time. One instructor moves among the horses, one person leads the horse, and one or two people walk beside Laura to be sure she doesn't fall.

Last week we met one of her "walkers." His name is Ed. To be polite, we normally put the prefix "Mr." in front of a man's name. But I just can't bring myself to call him Mr. Ed...not around horses, anyway.

Riding horses can be very soothing to the rider, works their muscles in yet another way and is just fun. The kids may come in not feeling very happy, but put them on a horse, and they are totally different!
Laura strongly dislikes hats.
Walking down to meet Mocha and Mr. Ed.
Still not happy about the hat...but I'll try to enjoy myself. Mr. Ed is so sweet
with Laura. He smiles at her the whole time.
Riding around the arena on Mocha.
Walking outside on this totally beautiful summer day!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Thailand, Take 3

How many takes before we get to Thailand? Hopefully, only 3! As of this moment, our paperwork is complete, the flights are booked, and hotel rooms are reserved. Suitcases need to be unpacked (yes, they've been sitting in our diningroom for 2 months) and repacked, checklists have to be rechecked and then, once I'm on the plane, I think I may take some sleepy medicine and vegitate for 22 hours. I guess I should wake up long enough to change planes in Japan...

Back in May, I posted prayer requests. These have not changed, minus the dates. Thank you for keeping us all in your prayers. We are so excited to FINALLY meet Amarin. He looks so quiet and shy in the photos (so NOT like the boys in our family). I just can't wait to see how this all transpires. Each "Gotcha Day" is so unique!
We will be posting updates on our blog from Thailand barring any firewalls. Unfortunately, we can't post photos until our court date 6 months after we return...that's the rule! So, you'll just have to trust me as how adorable he really is!!!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Surgery, finally

After postponing her surgery twice (because we thought we'd be in Thailand), Laura finally had it done today. It was a pretty simple laser procedure to clear the lenses that were inserted into her eyes last year due to cataracts. The right one was the cloudiest, and hopefully it will remain clear or the dr. will have to do another operation inside the eye...not just laser like this time. Laura did NOT want to wake after surgery. She stayed snuggled with me for quite awhile in the recovery room. I forgot my camera...she looked so cute in her bright yellow hospital jammies. She's still a bit groggy...that's OK...we'll just snuggle some more!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

S'mores and more

Here's what we've been up to the past few days....


Laura was fitted for a helmet. She starts therapeutic horseback riding next week.


S'mores are sticky!

Laura must like graham crackers. She held it herself to eat it!


Roasted to perfection.


How do ya get this fire going, anyway?



Faces of America
(We're missing one, but he will be home soon)



Small Town U.S.A.

An old mill museum...


A traditional church (also where Jacob takes piano lessons)...


Tractors as far as we could see...


Have you ever seen a parade that wraps back around? We got to see it twice!


Jamie and Laura got soaked by the fire trucks and squirt guns that passed by...

Charlie hid behind Jacob so he didn't get wet...

Friday, July 3, 2009

Laura's Blog

Laura has her own blog now, and for a very special reason! Check it out at http://www.4paws4lauralingyi.blogspot.com/.


Frolicking fawns

The kids and I were getting ready for dinner yesterday, when all of a sudden I saw something zoom through our backyard. Jacob caught it on video. The mama deer was standing behind the play structure watching her twins. I'm thinking the fawns were boys because not too much later, mine were doing the same thing back there, and I usually stand back, too, watching in awe at the amount of energy that boys possess!

video

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Be The Match

A few weeks ago, there was a drive here in our town for a little kindergarten girl who was diagnosed with leukemia. A much needed bone marrow match just couldn't be found for her, so a drive was held to give out kits to try and find a match. I was going to go, but I forgot...shame on me.
Now, in the past, I've thought about registering with The National Marrow Donor Program, but then I get busy doing other things and I don't do it. Well, today I did it. My kit came in the mail, I swabbed the inside of my cheeks four times, and wondered, frankly, how on earth they can match bone marrow through cheek swab samples. Sometimes technology is a wonderful thing!
How long did I procrastinate registering, when maybe there was someone out there I could be helping? And how much easier can it be to register, and possibly save someone's life? Have you registered? If not, why not? It's painless, and this simple procedure can't even compare to what it may do for someone else.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Amarin's coming home!

FINALLY! We received notice that our paperwork is complete in Thailand, and we now have official approval to travel to bring Amarin home. At this point, we only know that our board date is August 5th, and we will meet Amarin for the first time about one week ahead of that. We'll keep ya'll updated as plans are put in place, and specific prayer requests can be given. Happy day, happy day...