Sunday, September 26, 2010

Sunday Snapshot - My Dad

Well, it will be a year ago Tuesday since my Dad's death. 


It has been tough without him.  In all honesty though, it was harder to watch him, consumed with Alzheimers and totally blind, wither away bit by bit the 3 months before he was finally able to be at peace and knowing my Dad, I really don't think there was ever a time in his life that he was truly "at peace,"  even as a child.


My Dad and I are a lot alike.  Things weigh heavy on our hearts and we love intensely, to the point that it sometimes hurts. 


He worried a lot.  He worried a lot about us and I have tried very hard to break that cycle of fearfulness.  I have learned that worry is a sin!  Did you know that?  I have a lot of forgiveness to ask for in that regard!!  Giving my fear and worries to God has been very freeing and I have felt Him lift that burden from my shoulders.  It began to happen a few months ago, right around the time, one year ago, that I was watching, helplessly as my Dad slipped away from us and I wish he could have known that feeling of freedom in his lif

He was such a kind, caring and compassionate man who helped many people during his life, many of whom we did not know about until after he was gone. 


He loved my mother with such passion and wanted to take of her forever.  Gradually, she had to become his caretaker and I know how hard that must have been for him and her!


He wasn't perfect but my brother and I always knew how much we were loved and how safe we were with him.


His grandchildren meant everything to him and oh how I wish he had been able to know Emmeline and Lizzie better!  He would have gotten such a kick out of them!    His back was always an obstacle and he wasn't able to do the things with the boys that he would have loved to do but how he loved it when those grandsons of his were around!  You could just see his face physically soften whenever one of the grand kids called for their Gada!!  It touched my heart!


I will never forget the last day that I spent with him.  He kept asking to go home.  Mom and I could not understand which home he was thinking of.  We tried to reassure him that he was home, but it was not the home he wanted.  We asked him if it was one of his childhood homes and again, they were not the home he sought.  Finally, I asked him if it was the first home we lived in as a family?  The home that they brought myself and my brother home to.  The home that we became a family in. 


He became very excited and said that yes, this was the home he wanted to go back to.  So, we loaded him up in the car and drove him "home."  I will never forget what he said to me when I told him that we were there, in front of the home he had been longing for.  He said, "I knew it would be bright here."  He was totally blind and yet, this home so full of wonderful memories for him, lit up his dark world.  It was very hard to physically get him in the car and take him there but I will be forever grateful that we did.

It has been a year and life has gone on, but we still think about him all the time and the kids love to remember him. 

One day recently during school, Em and I were talking about God and how we can reflect His love onto others.  She stopped, looked at me and said, "Mom, do you know how I know that God is always in your heart?" 

Me, "No Em, how do you know that God is always in your heart?"

Em, "You said that Gada is now watching over us and that he is in our hearts, so I know that Heaven is in our hearts!"

Me, speechless!

One morning last week, I went in the girls' room to wake Lizzie up for school and discovered Taz (our resident nanny dog), standing guard.  He was actually lying down and asleep but he was ready for trouble, really!  Hehe!

I told Lizzie that Tazzie had slept with them last night and was watching over them, to which Lizzie replied, "So Taz is watching over us just like Gada."

That is the kind of impact that my father made on the people that he met and the people that he loved and we miss him terribly. 

I know that he is up there just smiling down on us and keeping a watchful eye on his dearly loved family.

We miss you Dad and take comfort knowing that finally, you are at peace.

To join in on Stefanie's Sunday Snapshot, go here:

Ni Hao Y'all

Ahhhhh...

What a beautiful way to spend a Saturday afternoon!







Say it with me, Ahhhhhhhh!!!!!  Better?  Yeah, me too!!!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Ok, need help here

I don't know if you all have read the comment from "Von" under This Week's Waiting Kids post, but if you haven't, go take a quick look.  I have struggled with this comment and have thought about deleting it and actually went to her blog which was all about the angry adult adoptee and I thought about leaving her a "nice" little comment.  However, I have done neither.  I did send her a very respectful email/reply to her comment and it went something like this:

With all due respect, how do you think they will feel if they grow up without a family to love them?  I never post the Chinese names or exact dob or provinces of these precious children and I always have permission to post their pics, and I would love to think that they will one day all find forever families.  I also support organizations to help families in China, as I understand the great need to keep families together.  However, these children (on my blog) do NOT have families and you cannot tell me that they are better off in an orphanage than in a loving family.  I am NOT marketing them, only trying to help give them what every child deserves, a family.  I have never, ever stated that they would be grateful for being adopted.  I am well aware of the loss they have suffered, but that does not mean that I can turn my back on them without trying to find them a chance.  I have been there and seen their faces and lived with the effect of what just 2 years in an orphanage can do and I am forever grateful that my daughter is now, my daughter.  I will not apologize for helping another child or for adopting my child.  There are so many more who will never be adopted and my heart breaks for them.  Thank you.

This is something that I have definitely struggled with and would love to get your feelings.  I get her point and I get the whole angry adoptee thing.  I would be angry too, if I had been adopted by terrible parents but bio kids are born to terrible parents all the time!  Sigh! 

I wholeheartedly agree that the best case scenario is for good families (and I don't mean rich families) to stay together, but what about those kids who are very real and are very much without a family?  Are they better off in an orphanage in their birth country within their culture or are they better off within the arms of a loving family outside of their birth country and culture?  I know what I think. 

TM over at Our Little Tongginator has a wonderful Sunday Linkage and this week, she linked to a really great post entitled, I Will not Apologize for Adopting, about this very subject.  Go check it out.

So, please, let me know what you think.  I know that posting all this personal info about these kids is a double edged sword, but it breaks my heart every time I think about these kids who wait and who may never know the love of a family.  All the kids I advocate for are either SN's little ones or are older kids who are in danger of aging out - to a life of what???  

I do have VERY mixed emotions about posting this info, but how can I turn my back on these kids?  I never, ever want to do anything to hurt any one of these beautiful kids.

So, I am asking your opinions - honest opinions.  If you think that these advocacy posts are a bad thing, let me know, just please realize that I have only the best of intentions!!!

Thank you!!!

Moon Festival

Just a quick post tonight as I am tired and once again, up WWAAYY too late! 

I decided this year to try my hand at making moon cakes for the Autumn Moon Festival.  As I began to read different recipes, I realized that traditional moon cakes are made with a dollop of red bean paste!

All righty then!

We used grape jelly!!!  Hehe!


I wasn't going to make these cakes from (scratch no less), only to have NO ONE eat them, so grape jelly it was!

The girls were very excited and couldn't wait to help. 



The boys, well let's just say, they asked to be called when I needed help taste testing them!  Heh!

All in all, we had a blast!  We made the dough...


had fun rolling it into little balls...


and topping them off with our not so traditional but oh so yummy jelly!!!




We brushed 'em with an egg wash and popped 'em in the oven!


They turned out pretty good, if I do say so myself...







and I even got a half up thumb from my sensory eater!!  Whoo Hoo!


Happy Autumn Moon Festival!!

Monday, September 20, 2010

This is what it looks like...


Pinata envy, that is...


and apparently it is contagious!


Is it the candy...


or the fact that you get to hit something really hard with a baseball bat - and - smash - it????

Yep, it is still warm enough to swim around here and yep there was a birthday party going on and nope, they didn't get invited to smash the pinata!!!  They put on their best puppy dog faces but there was no joy in mudville, so to speak!!  Hehe!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Sunday Snapshot - the Great Mousey Hunt

For those of you who have been reading my blog for a while might remember this Sunday Snapshot

It is all about Lizzie's little pink Mousey, her beloved friend, her comfort, her lovey, her first connection to the love of a family and how that connection was one day lost.  With that post, I began the great Mousey Hunt and was overwhelmed by the response I got and the amazing amount of you who searched and searched for Lizzie's Mousey.  I received helpful sites to check.  I received pictures of similar Mouseys that were found through your own Internet searches.  I know how crazy life can get and how hard it is to just keep up with emails and blogs and schedules and, and, and!  I was deeply touched by the outpouring of help and ideas and even an offer to make another Mousey for my sweet girl!  Really, ya'll are too much!!  Thank you!

Well, I have to tell you that through one of the sites that one of my readers sent me, here, a wonderful site to find all lost loveys, I found THIS...


MOUSEY!!!!!!!!!  Oh Mousey!!!!  How your little Lizzie has missed you and now we have an hour to wait!!!!  An hour to know if you will once again be in Lizzie's arms.  This is a listing on Ebay and we have one hour to go!!!  There are already 7 bids but watch out cause there is a Momma bear ready to pounce at the very last second!!!!!  Say a little prayer that Mousey will return and check back!  I will update after I win or (sniff sniff) loose!!!!

Edited to add - Heartbroken again.  Sigh.  Out bid at the last second.  I have contacted the seller and asked that she contact the buyer.  Can it mean as much to them?  I am hoping not.

To join in on Stefanie's wonderful Sunday Snapshots go here,


Ni Hao Y'all

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Goalie Girl!

Ok, so it has been almost a week since I have posted about soccer! 

So....

Just a little video and  a lot of Mommie bragging!  Heh!

One of many goals (sorry for the quality - hate my camera - I've mentioned that, right?)

video

and the high five to Coach Daddy

video

I honestly don't know how many "goalies" she scored but it was a lot.  Lizzie just seems to have a natural feel for the game and NO FEAR! 


She is my little mighty mouse and so much fun to watch!  Even though her cleats are too big and stuffed with toilet paper to make them fit and her soccer jersey looks more like a soccer dress and her soccer socks look more like hip boots, she really LOVES it! 

So what do ya think?  Next World Cup?  She has 4 years, right???  Hehe!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Looking for Love in all the Wrong Places!

Ya know, most people who walk into my house would never guess that we have 5 kids, 3 dogs and one crazy cat.  I mean you know except for the screaming herd of buffalo kids and dogs (the cat doesn't care) that stampede the front door every time the doorbell rings! 

Except for that part, you really couldn't come into my house and tell that there were that many dirty, shedding, toy flinging, sofa staining, crumb dropping, mud tromping creatures living here!  

Why, you ask???

Well, with a little help from,


and

It has nothing to do with my,


little touch of OCD!  Naw, nothing to do with that at all!

So anyway, imagine my surprise when I was actually not cleaning the bathroom but rather putting some extra toilet paper rolls on the shelf behind our potty (how long does it take after the kids are grown to stop referring to the toilet as a potty???) when I noticed something, something I had not noticed before and I was deeply touched and somewhat disturbed all at the same time!


Yes, my lovin' hubby left me a love note in the dust on the shelf behind our potty


and while I was very moved by this display of his never ending devotion, I must admit to being just a bit disturbed by the amount of dust that had accumulated on that shelf and thinking about what he must have been doing when he noticed the dust and felt so moved as to write me a little luuuve note!  Hehe!

Thanks honey!  I think!!!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Sunday Snapshot - Soccer

Well, it is soccer season again and our Saturdays from now until sometime in November (usually right around the time Flag Football starts - heh) will be filled with soccer balls, soccer jerseys, sweaty soccer socks, smelly soccer shin gaurds, lunch out of coolers and frozen pizza for supper and best of all, whiney little sisters who are so tired of being dragged all over creation to watch their brothers play - and I wouldn't have it any other way! 


Well, maybe excpet the whiney little sisters part!


The morning started at 9:00, with my 7 year old and his buddies playing competitively for the first time in a U9 league! 


They did really well but this is the first time they have played actual positions with an actual goalie and a really BIG field and  they lost but only by one goal!  These guys have been playing together since they were 4 years old and they really have fun out on that field - and off! 

Next up were the big bad girls at 10:00!!!


Can I tell you how cute they are in their lavendar jersey's? 


They are SO stinkin' cute, don't ya think???


They get to play with 2 of their friends and...




they get a really sweet assistant coach and....



they get a really cute head Coach named, Daddy!!  I am still amazed and in awe of my wonderful hubby as I watch him work magic with these little ones.  He heads up the entire "Little Kickers" league and he has found his calling, that is certain!




Ah!  Does life get any better???

Next in line at 10:30 was our 10 year old and his buddies who are playing U12! 


Yikes, those were some big dudes out there, but they managed to tie them and Charlie was team Captain!!!  Charlie also gets to play with many of his closest friends (he has a lot of those!) and while he complains a lot about practice, you can just see how much he enjoys the game!  His coach has labeled him the "work horse" of the team and he is so much fun to watch!

At 1:30, our 12 year old and his championship team played in their first ever U (gulp) 14 league!!!  Really???  Oh my, where has the time gone and when did 13 year olds get so blasted BIG! 


I am serious!  Some of the players from the other team looked as if they could have driven themselves to the game!  Christian is now their 1st string goalie and while our team lost 3 - 1, I had more than one parent tell me that if Christian hadn't been in the goal, it would have been more like 15 - 1!  He had some amazing saves and seems to just command that goal. 

There field is professional sized and they were all panting and exhausted at the end of it.  Coach even asked Charlie to play - in - a - U - 14 - league!  Now don't get me wrong, I LOVE it when my boys play together but coach put my little 10 year old in the midst of these wheatie eating, mammoth like 13 year olds - but he did good and held his own against these soccer giants!  Hehe!


The last game of the day was my Caleb (again)!  Remember how he is 7 years old and all??  Well for some reason Coach Hubby decides that it would be good experience for Caleb and his friends to also play in a U10 league!  Huh?  He - is - 7!!! 


Maybe Coach Daddy figured that he is already playing up an age bracket, why not make it 2!!!  UGH!  Well, they got clobbered but I guess it is all in the name of "good experience!"  Can't wait to see this team in a year!  Watch out!

Growing up in a small southern town, many, many, ahem, many years ago, we didn't even know soccer exisited and now I am Momma to 5 little soccer players and I am loving it!  Watching my kids play and spending the day cheering them on and sometimes cheering them up has been wonderful.

So fair warning to my regular readers, the blog might get higjacked by loads of soccer pics for a while, but what could be cuter than this...


To join in on Stefanie's Sunday Snapshot go here,



Ni Hao Y'all