Thursday, February 28, 2008




Since Anna is 4 now, I thought I would write a little about "who" she is and "what" she likes to do.

She loves anything fine motor, something also very different than the boys. They never liked to write or color and certainly not at 3 and 4. Anna can cut anything out almost perfectly and can write letters. She can spell and write her name, too and a bunch of words. It really suprised us one day last month when she was going around the house and could spell and write words like mom, dad, Logan, up, cup, in, out, etc. Most of the kindergarten type words...she can figure them out. She will probably be reading before her next birthday since she already knows so many words. Her preschool does not work on anything like this, so she must have just picked it up on her own. She came to me and wanted to be the teacher and I was suprised what she knew. Her favorite thing is making pictures and putting them into envelopes. Then she asks me to spell her friends names and she writes down the letters. She is always coming up with something crafty.

Anytime we hear water running in our house we start to wonder what Anna is getting into OR has gotten into. Tonight was one of those moments. Actually those moments are a daily occurence in our house at least 2-3 times a day. She loves water. She has also taken a liking to my scrapbook area. I FINALLY cleaned it up and it looks to neat and inviting to Anna. I have tons of stamps, stickers, papers, etc. She has even had enough room to do her puzzles. Anna is an amazing puzzle girl. She loves doing them and it is a rare time when she actually sits still long enough. She can do the 63 piece puzzles with no trouble and has moved onto the 100 piece puzzles. She can't start one and then leave. She gets almost obsessed about finishing it. The boys were never into puzzles, so this is new to me.

Anna also loves changing her clothes a million times a day. Most of the time she just wants to be half naked, but comes up with a TON of Pippi Longstocking combinations throughout the day. She kept wearing her swimsuits this week and today I told her it was just too cold to do that. So, she decided to just put her suit on over her clothes.

What can't Anna do? Well, she cannot sit still.....She really can't. If she is doing any of the above here at home, she can be independent forever. She will do anything here for the longest time. She has a terrible time paying attention adn sitting still at preschool. At gymnastics, she can't seem to go from station to station stay on task from one thing to another. Drives her gymnastics teacher crazy, I am sure, but he is very good and is really working on it with Anna. He doesn't want her to wear her glasses, so that could be a TINY bit of the problem.

Back to the water running.....Anna had gotten into the stamp pad and stamped her hand. The ink was everywhere, but her tiny handprint was ohhhhh sooo cute. She had also made the ladybug picture on her own. I thought that was a wonderful set of ladybug's since I can't draw anything! She just comes up with these things to do. I think I will have her draw some ladybugs for her room and frame them. That would be cute. So, it was hard to get mad at her when she was obviously creating a masterpiece. That is how she and Brandon are alike. They are both very crafty.

That is Anna in a nutshell. I am so blessed to have 3 wonderful kids. Yes, they drove me a little batty this week since they were sick, but they really are 3 great kids. They each have such wonderful and unique personalities.
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Logan has been sick all week with strep. He is feeling much better now, but man...he was sooo sick. Brandon was home sick, too. Anna was puny on Monday and off and on all week. It has been a long week.

Before Logan got sick, he went Rock Climbing with Scouts. He had a great time and earned a merit badge for the day. Barry went, too, and took some neat pictures. The first 3 pictures are NOT of Logan. Evidentally he made it about 15 feet before freaking out and if you ask Logan, he will say he didn't go into the silos because he didn't have time. I don't blame him. I would not go up that far either! The older boy scouts did go up that high, so maybe in a couple years Logan will,too. He has only gone Rock Climbing a couple of other times, but never at this place.
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Anna and Brandon fight A LOT these days. They can really push the limits with each other.It has been a long week of the 3 of them not feeling well and the boys before home from school, so let's just say that we have all had better moments. Anna and Brandon are together a lot these days. It seems like Logan is always off doing something for Scouts or something and Brandon and Anna are always here making forts, running around in swim suits or bugging each other. Today Anna found a pair of squeaky shoes...the LAST remaining Squeaky Shoes from China that fit. We didn't bring these home with us, but another mom did since Anna's had all (yes..all 2002 pairs!) grown too small. So, today she proudly rode her new 16 inch bike she got for her birthday and we could hear every squeak as she went around the house. Why is the bike in the house? Well, we have open spaces and she can't hurt anything.

And why the picture of Anna's hand? Who knows....I have pictures of all the kids hands..and if you click on it, it is a pretty cool picture. Someday those hands won't be so small, so why not capture the moment?!?
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Brandon's Zest for life





Brandon is such an interesting young guy. He can have such a zest for life. He can also think that I am the worst mother in the world in less than 2 seconds after thinking I am the best, but I am sure many kids are like that. He is so spunky and we always feared he would be a handful at school (like LJ has been at, but he is the perfect little angel of a student at school. This week I took a few pictures that sum up Brandon. He is my mail boy when Anna allows him to be one. He loves to get the mail after school and it was snowy on this day, so he loved being outside in it. He had to give a speech in first person on Ronald Reagan. He took in a jar of jelly bellies and did a great job. He even wore a tie. I pulled the shirt and tie out of Logan's closet that was too small for him and Brandon MUST be growing up because he didn't even pitch a fit about having to wear such a nice shirt. In Brandon's world, shirts with buttons can never be worn to school...or collars! Actually, he is much better now, but in 2nd grade this was definately the norm for him. Brandon and Anna ran around this week in their swimsuits in preparation for our trip to Gulf Shores, so they asked me to take a picture.
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Saturday, February 23, 2008


There have been a few discussions about dating in our house. Logan will be 12 soon and we really don't have THAT many years before he is driving OR dating. Oh my.....Logan is already talking about the age difference between he and Anna and that he doesn't want to soooo old when she starts dating. In other words, he wants to be RIGHT here questioning every little teenager that knocks on our door and wants to date his sister. Logan will be 24 when Anna is 16. Oh my....I gave birth to Logan when I was 24! That really puts it all in perspective. Brandon will be 21 and will hopefully have graduated from College and have a job by then.

Anyway...this was on another adoptive mom's blog. I think that Barry and Logan will present something like this to any of the boys that will be knocking on Anna's door. Just browse is long. Some of it is quite funny.

OK everyone with a daughter, print this off APPLICATION FOR PERMISSION TO DATE MY DAUGHTER

NOTE: This application will be incomplete and rejected unless accompanied by a complete financial statement, job history, lineage, and current medical report from your doctor.

NAME_____________________________________ DATE OF BIRTH_____________

HEIGHT___________ WEIGHT____________ IQ__________ GPA_____________

SOCIAL SECURITY #_________________ DRIVERS LICENSE #________________

BOY SCOUT RANK AND BADGES__________________________________________

HOME ADDRESS_______________________ CITY/STATE___________ ZIP______

Do you have parents? ___Yes ___No
Is one male and the other female? ___Yes ___No
If No, explain: _____________________________________________________________


A. Do you own or have access to a van? __Yes __No

B. A truck with oversized tires? __Yes __No

C. A waterbed? __Yes __No

D. A pickup with a mattress in the back? __Yes __No

E. A tattoo? __Yes __No

F. Do you have an earring, nose ring, pierced __Yes __No
tongue, pierced cheek or a belly button ring?



In 50 words or less, what does 'LATE' mean to you?



In 50 words or less, what does 'DON'T TOUCH MY DAUGHTER' mean to you?



In 50 words or less, what does 'ABSTINENCE' mean to you?




Church you attend ___________________________________________________

How often you attend ________________________________________________

When would be the best time to interview your:

father? _____________

mother? _____________

pastor? _____________


Answer by filling in the blank. Please answer freely, all answers are confidential.

A: If I were shot, the last place I would want to be shot would be:


B: If I were beaten, the last bone I would want broken is my:


C: A woman's place is in the:


D: The one thing I hope this application does not ask me about is:


E. What do you want to do IF you grow up? ___________________________



F. When I meet a girl, the thing I always notice about her first is:


F. What is the current going rate of a hotel room? __________________


Applicant's Signature (that means sign your name, moron!)

_______________________________ ________________________________
Mother's Signature Father's Signature

_______________________________ ________________________________
Pastor/Priest/Rabbi State


Thank you for your interest, and it had better be genuine and non-sexual.
Please allow four to six years for processing.

You will be contacted in writing if you are approved. Please do not try to call or
write (since you probably can't, and it would cause you injury). If your application is
rejected, you will be notified by two gentleman wearing white ties carrying violin cases. (you might watch your back)

To prepare yourself, start studying Daddy's Rules for Dating.

Daddy's Rules for Dating
Your dad's rules for your boyfriend (or for you if you're a guy) :

Rule One:
If you pull into my driveway and honk you'd better be delivering a package, because you're sure not picking anything up.

Rule Two:
You do not touch my daughter in front of me. You may glance at her, so long as you do not peer at anything below her neck. If you cannot keep your eyes or hands off of my daughter's body, I will remove them.

Rule Three:
I am aware that it is considered fashionable for boys of your age to wear their trousers so loosely that they appear to be falling off their hips. Please don't take this as an insult, but you and all of your friends are complete idiots. Still, I want to be fair and open minded about this issue, so I propose this compromise: You may come to the door with your underwear showing and your pants ten sizes too big, and I will not object. However, in order to ensure that your clothes do not, in fact come off during the course of your date with my daughter, I will take my electric nail gun and fasten your trousers securely in place to your waist.

Rule Four:
I'm sure you've been told that in today's world, sex without utilizing a 'Barrier method' of some kind can kill you. Let me elaborate, when it comes to sex, I am the barrier, and I will kill you.

Rule Five:
It is usually understood that in order for us to get to know each other, we should talk about sports, politics, and other issues of the day. Please do not do this. The only information I require from you is an indication of when you expect to have my daughter safely back at my house, and the only word I need from you on this subject is: 'early.'

Rule Six:
I have no doubt you are a popular fellow, with many opportunities to date other girls. This is fine with me as long as it is okay with my daughter. Otherwise, once you have gone out with my little girl, you will continue to date no one but her until she is finished with you. If you make her cry, I will make you cry.

Rule Seven:
As you stand in my front hallway, waiting for my daughter to appear, and more than an hour goes by, do not sigh and fidget. If you want to be on time for the movie, you should not be dating. My daughter is putting on her makeup, a process than can take longer than painting the Golden Gate Bridge . Instead of just standing there, why don't you do something useful, like changing the oil in my car?

Rule Eight:
The following places are not appropriate for a date with my daughter: Places where there are beds, sofas, or anything softer than a wooden stool. Places where there is darkness. Places where there is dancing, holding hands, or happiness. Places where the ambient temperature is warm enough to induce my daughter to wear shorts, tank tops, midriff T-shirts, or anything other than overalls, a sweater, and a goose down parka - zipped up to her throat. Movies with a strong romantic or sexual themes are to be avoided; movies which feature chain saws are okay. Hockey games are okay. Old folks homes are better.

Rule Nine:
Do not lie to me. I may appear to be a potbellied, balding, middle-aged, dimwitted has-been. But on issues relating to my daughter, I am the all-knowing, merciless god of your universe. If I ask you where you are going and with whom, you have one chance to tell me the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. I have a shotgun, a shovel, and five acres behind the house. Do not trifle with me.

Rule Ten:
Be afraid. Be very afraid. It takes very little for me to mistake the sound of your car in the driveway for a chopper coming in over a rice paddy near Hanoi . When my Agent Orange starts acting up, the voices in my head frequently tell me to clean the guns as I wait for you to bring my daughter home. As soon as you pull into the driveway you should exit the car with both hands in plain sight. Speak the perimeter password, announce in a clear voice that you have brought my daughter home safely and early, then return to your car - there is no need for you to come inside. The camouflaged face at the window is mine.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Anna's Birthday!

This post can go under....ANNA'S ANTICS!

The day started out with church. Anna joined the choir recently. It is really for kids 5 years old to 6th grade, but the gals doing it wanted Anna to give it a try. I kept saying that she wasn't ready and cannot sit still. Our choir isn't just the get up and sing little bitty songs. It is more like a show choir with lots of choreography and sign language. Really nothing that she can handle at this point AT ALL. She went for 2 weeks and the choir sang on Sunday. On the way to church she says...I'm a little bit nervous. I might forget the words.

We say...No are only 4 and are there to do your best and look cute, etc.

Well, OMG!!!!!!!!!! I told her to do a great job by standing still, blah, blah, blah.... First she puts the finger in the left nostril. Barry and I wanted to die. Then the right nostril! Then the mouth! And all at the same time while squirming up there like a flea in a skillet. I was in tears laughing at this point....and so were many others in the congregation. I am sure that most of you that read this post that have little ones from China can attest to the fact that these kids get a lot of attention anyway. It just happens. They really don't get left alone in public places like other kids. They attract attention in our communities because of their cuteness, because they don't resemble us....whatever the case. The people at church adore Anna and have followed our journey with her from the beginning. So, they all thought is was cute that she has grown enough to be in choir. Where did the last 3 years go?!?

Well, the dress starts to go up. She will wear pants next time...if there IS a next time. Then she touches the girl next to her. That girl didn't exactly like that. Then she puts her hand over the girl's mouth on the other side who is 3.5 years old. THEN....she starts to REALLY sing. And by REALLY I mean in the most NOT SO GREAT LOUD VOICE! She got louder and louder. And then louder and louder. What do you do? Do you applaud her by just getting up there or do you go grab her at this point?Logan and Brandon could not see her do the nose picking and the other, but they could certainly hear her at this point and giggled. They said they got THE LOOK from the director and stopped. It was a hoot. I knew she wasn't ready for this choir,but the gal really wanted her to do it. We got stopped a lot after church. Our church is televised and THANK GOODNESS it wasn't at this service. When she sang at the second service, she lifted her dress and got loud, but nothing major. The people at that service really don't know her very well anyway. Well, maybe we will just do the Wednesday night stuff and not the Sunday singing thing, huh?

What a day!

Her party was at 6 with the Grandparents and Aunt and Uncle. We went out for supper at our favorite Chinese Restaurant and brought Justin back for the party. They had a lot of fun.
Click to play Anna is 4!
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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day and More pics

I asked Jenny to do some Valentine pictures to send to all of her Guiping friends. They turned out great! Happy Valentine's Day!

Anna 4 year old pics

My friend Jenny took some great pictures, once again of Anna. You can see her site at and I HIGHLY recommend her. Besides us being great friends and she used to live near me, she is an awesome and very reasonable photographer. We had a date planned for her to take Brandon's pictures and also Kari, Kailee, Anna and Carly's pictures a few weeks ago, but Jenny's daughter got sick. I can't wait for her to take all three of my kids together!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Lovely Week here

For the record...I am never sick and never go to doctors!

It all started a week ago. We were getting TONS of rain here and Barry was in the crawl space. I was saying goodbye on my way to a preschool meeting and I CRACKED my head bigtime. It was so loud. Left no bump and I was on my way. Well, since then I have had an annoying headache that won't stop or quit. Since I was going into the hospital for an endoscopy today, I had a CT scan yesterday. No concussion and they think that the headache might be a small migraine that isn't going full blown. It is just annoying.

Today was the endoscopy. A couple of weeks ago I had a barium swallow test. It revealed that I had a hiatal hernia and a Schatzki ring. Ok...whatever that means. Food was getting stuck for about 18 months, at times. Mostly things like bread and meat. Now we no why. That ring thing had caused a narrowing of the esophagus and was causing the problem. So, things went well today and a balloon thing was inserted to dialate the area and lessen the choking.

And that is our medical lesson for the day. Barry has been off today and very helpful around here. I was unable to drive or use a stove (that is what they said). Funny. Trust me, there is no way I would have driven today!

Now...on to the rest of the week and Valentine's Day and Anna's birthday is Sunday! We do a big treasure hunt for Valentine's day and the boys are already excited about that!

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Gung Hay Fat Choy!!!!!!!!





Happy Chinese New Year! Busy day here as I prepare to go to Brandon's school to teach CNY to 50 3rd graders. I will do an educational lesson on CNY and then we will do crafts. Our friends at the local Chinese Restaurant are cooking up Sweet and Sour Chicken for a small feast after craft time. Should be a fun day. Brandon is excited when I come to his class to teach.

Just realized that Anna's glasses weren't on in these pictures. I am so used to her wearing them and she is hardly without them. She must have taken them off to put on her CNY outfit!
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Tuesday, February 05, 2008

More weekend pics!


More pictures from the weekend. Not sure why Picasa cuts off heads in a collage like that!The girls had a lot of fun visiting and playing, decorating cookies and just hanging out!
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Fun day with friends





We were supposed to go to Jenny's for pictures, but her daughter got sick. Michelle made an appt for pictures elsewhere and it was a fun day. These were all the gals I went to Marco with and our 4 girls. Carly, Kailee and Anna are from the same orphanage and in our travel group. Kailee turned 4 last month and Carly and Anna turn 4 very soon. Karli is from a town close to Michelle's and she will be 4 in April. She was adopted with our same agency a few months after the other girls. The girls all played well together and had a blast and the mommies had fun visiting. We miss Marco Island with all of this icky weather lately!
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Friday, February 01, 2008

Snow Day

NO school today! SOOOOO much snow here last night! Tons. The kids had fun making chocolate chip cookies with me early in the morning and then we went out to play. We had a few extra kids around here much of the day, too. Anna had fun eating a real "SNOW" cone and enjoyed putting chocolate chips in it. The boys chose root beer for theirs. This was all before 8:30 am! They all got up and around very early. ;)