Friday, February 28, 2014

Avery Update

Hi!  I don't know about you, but I am so glad it is Friday.  Frank has been gone all week.  He is in Utah working and skiing.  I am looking forward to not having to get up at 6:20 a.m. though it won't be a completely carefree Saturday morning as Winston has a soccer game at  9 a.m. and Harris is attending a youth conference for the young adults for our church all weekend.  Today is his 15th  Birthday!  I can't believe I am a mother of a 15 year old.  He is on the verge of shaving and driving and before I know it he will be graduating and leaving for collage, and on the other spectrum I am a mother to two year olds.  They are like having a tornado going through the house each day, but I wouldn't change a minute of that day. Avery now has been with our family for almost two months.  She is really becoming more comfortable with her environment and is not as easily scared at new things as she was in the beginning. She loves to give kisses, but she hasn't completely let herself go in allowing herself to be loved.  She has a hard time with cuddling. It is so hard watching her when she needs comfort, but won't allow me to comfort her.  Each days it is getting better though.  She has learned how to go up and down the stairs now and like most babies she wants to crawl on the kitchen table.  She had her first well check a couple weeks ago and will follow up in the next few weeks with a series of shots every couple of weeks until she is all caught up.  She didn't have all  her shots in China.  The pediatrician is pretty sure she isn't the age that they say she is as she does not have her two year old molars and not only is she really developmentally behind which is expected of orphanage children, but her everything about her says she is probably more between 18-20  months.  I know you are asking how is that possible if they said she was a certain age and we think they may have change her documents for one reason or another.  She weighed in at 27 pounds, but now I can't remember her height.  I guess that comes with the territory of being a mother to 5 children.  Anyway, she will have her first visit with an opthamologist next week to see what he recommends in regards to her cross eyes, and we are waiting for the state to contact us in regards to have her evaluated for speech therapy and physical therapy.  Well, I better go.  I am off to buy cupcakes for Harris birthday.  We plan to celebrate his birthday in a few weeks when the weather is warmer.  He wants to go paintball shooting with his friends.  It is just too cold right now! Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Corner View "Experiment"

Ever since I can remember, I have loved Photography.  I would sit forever as a child and look over our family albums.  As I grew older, I always had a camera in hand at family activities and events even to the dismay of some of my relatives who didn't want their pictures taken.  I like the fact that you capture a moment in time and that a photograph can tell a story.  This past weekend, I had the opportunity to take a photographery workshop with Savvy Studios.  The guest speaker was one of my favorite fellow bloggers, photographer, and also a China Mom Lisa Fury.  The class gave me the opportunity to experiment with my camera and to learn new things.  Last fall I took a class on how to use Lightroom and now I am merging the two skills.  These are just a sample of some of the photos I took over the course of the weekend.  The last couple was my favorite.  They are so in love! The little girls were darling too!  If you have time, take a minute and go back a post and see some of the other photos I took this week.

Corner View is a weekly appointment shared by people around the globe, an appointment started in the spring of 2009 by Jane in Spain and currently hosted by Francesca over at Fuori Borgo. We welcome you to join us; next week's theme is "slow."

Monday, February 24, 2014

Sharp Shooting with Savvy Photographer

This weekend I had the opportunity to attend a Savvy Photographer Workshop here in Atlanta.  I was even more thrilled when I learned that one of my favorite Photographers, fellow blogger, and China Moms Lisa Fury was going to be the guest speaker.  It was so much fun!  We began the workshop on Friday by having dinner.  It was so much fun getting to meet all the other woman and getting to know them.  Then on Saturday we spent the first half of the day talking about what makes a great photograph and how to turn our passion into a business if that was something we desired to do.  The second part of the day was spent shooting in various locations using different models.  I was so tired by the end of the day and I learned so much!  The on the last day we learned about editing the photos. I was a little lost on this part since I don't really use Photoshop that much.  I am a Lightroom kind of gal, but Photoshop just gives you so many more options in terms of textures, layer, actions, and it allows you do clone out part of a photograph you don't like such as a stray hair that may be running down a face or fill in an area of a photograph with something else when you don't like a section of the photograph.  Here are just a few of the photographs I took at this workshop. Thanks Lisa and Marsha for helping me learn how to take beautiful photos!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Snow, Skiing, and Friends

Snow, skiing, and friends make for a perfect recipe for a day of fun,  Harris with his seminary class skiing on Monday to North Carolina.  He has so much fun!

What is seminary?  Seminary is a church program that teaches the scriptures to the youth of our church each morning before school.  Yep, you heard right!  Each day he is at the church building at 6:50 to study the scriptures.  While he isn't the easiest to get up!  He always gets up and go!  So grateful for this program!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

bygones "Corner View"

Wow!  This weeks Corner View was a hard one!  Bygones meaning something from the past!  Do you remember when rainbow shoe laces were all the rage or when fruit pizza was served at just about every party? Tonight we are having my husbands academic adviser and his wife from Germany and I could write about that because my husbands adviser is from the past, but then I thought I would share this song with you! It was my favorite as a child.  Not really sure why, but even today it still brings a smile on my face.  I hope it brings just a tiny smile to your face.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Seven "Sunday Snapshot"

Happy 7th Birthday Roman!
Roman celebrated his birthday with his best friends 
and after eating cake and pizza we went to see the Lego movie.
Everyone had an great time!

Ni Hao Yall

Friday, February 14, 2014

7 years

7 years ago, God gave me the most beautiful baby! Though his heart was broken God made him perfect. Through him we know God is a God of miracles and through him all things are possible. We never take one day for granted for we know that life is precious! We are so grateful we did not heed the words of the specialist, but choose life. Roman you are amazing and we are so blessed to have you in our lives. In honor of your upcoming birthday on Sunday, I thought I would post this video we made of you so long ago. You Gotta believe! I am so thankful to the doctor who believed that something could be done for these children tho suffer from heart disease and went against the thought of the time which was the heart should not be touched. Thank you for your dedication and willingness to put your medical carear and reputation on the line. Thank you Alfred Blalock!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The Never Ending Winter "Corner View Slow"

Once again, Winter has surprised us with more snow.  On Monday when reports came that we were going to receive more snow we really couldn't believe it because it is so abnormal for our region.  In the 11 years we have lived here we have never had a winter like this, and usually by this time of year the sun is shining and spring is just around the corner.  We took the report serious though and headed to the store to make sure we would have enough food for the next couple of days.  The shelves were almost empty.  No bread, the milk was almost gone, and even salad and bananas were all gone. Thankfully, I had a friend who was at another market and she was able to pick up the missing items from my list.  School was canceled and is canceled for today as they say more snow and freezing temperatures are on their way causing the streets to turn to sheets of ice. This had definitely slowed us down as Roman's school play has been canceled.  After school activities have been canceled which leaves me torn as 5 children home all day is a lot of work.  My hats off to those mommies who homeschool all day.  I know I couldn't do it!  We wouldn't eat and wouldn't have any clean clothes.  Thankfully, my mother and father-in-law are still here and have been a big help.  My mother-in-law cooked up the best feast today of Roladen, mash potatoes,carrots, Rotkohl, Guerken Salat, and strawberry cake for dessert.  

Monday, February 10, 2014

Winter Saturdays

This is how I spend my Saturdays of late!
Harris plays basketball for our church league.
Go Harris!
Couldn't think of a better way to spend 
a Saturday than watching my son have fun.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Triple A

On Friday, we had the opportunity to attend an academic award ceremony
honoring the children whose academic performance was 3.5  and above.
Way to go Winston!

On another note this post marks my 1,000 post!
I didn't realize I had so much to say.
Thank you to all who visit my blog 
and for all those who take the time to leave a comment.
I consider you among my friends.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

One Month "Corner View -Vision"

Tomorrow will mark the one month date that this beautiful little girl was placed in our arms, it seems like yesterday, but at the same time I can hardly remember life without her.  She is a vision.  Her name in Chinese means Beautiful View and I agree with that! She is a gift from God and I am so grateful that I get to be apart of her life.  One month ago, we left our hotel room at 9:30 a.m. all nervous with butterflies in our stomach like it was Christmas morning and at the same time scared that she might not like us or have a very difficult time adjusting to her new life outside the orphanage.  We boarded a transporter van with 4 other families and their extended relatives and headed over to the civil affairs office. The building was concrete and large.  The sky was grey and cold.  We entered the building to the side all wondering if our children were there and not really sure how it was going to work in terms of getting our children.  Abby was there and we all cried for Stephanie as she was handed her daughter.  The camera's began snapping then we gave them their space.  Rita our guide took documents from us that were needed to be given to the officials.  Their were other families from other agencies of which some I knew of through Facebook.  I introduced myself to one mother and made small talk with Erin and Stacy as we waited for our children to arrive. The room was freezing and uncomfortable.  The couple of sofas in the room were covered with others bags, and  I really wanted to take off my coat, but as I said it was too cold.  Then I heard  Frank's voice saying, "Avery is here!  She is here."  How did she get into the room without me seeing her come in?  I raced over to his side and before me stood this beautiful little girl all bundled up and scared to death.  She was with two people from her orphanage. The smiling man pushed her towards my arms.  She screamed.  She was terrified.  I tried to calm her down, but she was arching her back.  I then placed her into Frank's arms and within minutes she calmed down.  Still scared, but she wasn't crying.  To be honest the rest of the  morning is kind of a blur.  I know we signed some documents and  we cried tears of joy as other families were united with their children.  Photos were taken for official documents and a ton of photos were taken in general for families scrapbooks.  Eventually, it was time to leave, and she was ours!

A month later and she smiles constantly.  Eats just about everything you put in front of her!  She loves me and will cling tightly to me around strangers.  She says about 12 American words and has forgotten all her Chinese which wasn't very much much.  She loves to be ticked by her papa and will stick up for herself when her sister Addy isn't being fair.  She is such a fast learner!  We call her the copycat because she is always mimicking those around her such as last night she was mimicking her brother Roman who was making armpit farts.  Classic!  It was too funny to watch.  She loves music!  Anytime music comes on her body begins to sway from side to side.  We love her so much!  We look forward to watching her bloom.   

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Bug House Champion

Roman participate in Chess Club
after school this fall.
He was the first grade Bug House champion.
He is taking a break this spring!
He is missed his mom too much and wanted to come home after school.

Monday, February 3, 2014

The Year of the Horse "Sunday Snapshot"

Chinese New Year began on Friday and it is the year of the horse. When I was in China I bought some super cute decorations at Walmart and bought the girls some dresses.  Over the weekend, I made long life noodles, dumplings, and crab stuffed won tons.  I loved the won tons, but they weren't a big hit with the children.  On Saturday, we drove to Chamblee to attend the new year celebrations over at the Chinese Cultural Center.  It was so crowded and kind of hard to see the dances, but Winston was able to squeeze in and get a few pictures.  We enjoyed seeing our friends there Amanda, Patrick, and Morgan.
                                                      Happy Chinese New Year!
Ni Hao Yall