Thursday, December 10, 2015

Three Weeks Home and One Month Together!

Yesterday marked 3 weeks home from China and one month from the day we met the girls for the first time in Nanning.  Time sure flies!   We have seen more growth this week.
We took a picture of the girls at church last Sunday- they were both wearing dresses my aunt had bought for me when I was a little girl. :)  
Macie wouldn't crack a smile no matter what we tried to do!

Macie is actually really enjoying the bath now.  I've even seen her float around in there like a fish/mermaid, like her other two sisters do.   That's HUGE!   I've come to realize that there may be more than one reason we are seeing so much seriousness from Macie.  Of course the changes have been huge and this may be a part of how she grieves, but I think there is more.  I started thinking about when we'd see her come out of her shell and see that silly side when we were in China and it was almost always when we were out and about on an adventure.   For more than one reason (bonding, weather, etc) we haven't been out and about and adventuring a whole lot.  It's been good for us to stay in our little cozy house together as much as possible- kind of a theme of what's to come for the next 3-4 months of winter, but I think it's part of why we are seeing this serious side and not the fun-loving side to Macie's personality.  She gets pretty excited when we get her coat to go drop off or pick up kids or go to church.  I think our girl likes to be out and about and go on adventures. I really don't think she did that much in her foster family.   And Macie's signing is amazing.  She is SO eager to learn, bringing her photo album or a book she's pulled off one of our many books shelves over to us.  She's watching her hands as she signs and is really meticulous.  We are still working on matching what sign goes to what object, but that will come.  The fact that she is wanting to learn, copying, and remembering signs we have taught her is awesome!   We also started working on potty training a little bit the past couple days.  We've had some accidents, but she's doing pretty good overall. I think she'll be able to be trained pretty quickly and I think her pre-school teacher will be happy to have one child in the class come in already potty-trained. :)
She's got Rick's glasses on. Our little serious smarty with her laptop and backpack. ;) 
I am curious if she is going to end up in glasses or needing an eye surgery.  We definitely know that her eye issue is what is affecting her delay in gross motor skills and her balance, causing her to fall down easily and run into things constantly.  We are anxious to find out on the 18th what it is and what we need to do about it.

Checking out what they got in their stocking for St. Nick's, a tradition passed on from Rick's side of the family.

These girls' favorite snacks seem to be cuties/Halos and Goldfish crackers. :)

Maeleigh (by the sounds like MAY-LEE....we've heard a lot of interesting pronunciations the past week or so, so I figured I'd get that out there) is continuing to do very well adjusting.  The hardest part is getting her and Rowan to get along.  One minute they are laughing and loving on each other and the next they are in a battle.  And they sure are a lot a like- we are seeing a lot of monkey see, monkey do here in this house! ;)

Caught her!  She likes to turn her face when I try to take her picture! :)

Now Rowan is doing it too.

See!!!  Monkey see...monkey do!

I forgot to mention in my last update that we really appreciated your prayers last week for the girls' first doctor and dentist appointments.  The doctor appointments went way better than I expected. Both girls did great there (no shots might have helped).  The next day we visited the dentist and I was prepared for worst case scenario in how they'd do and in the report we might get.   Maeleigh went first and I was surprised that she actually screamed and was a bit terrified for a good part of the cleaning.  She had some orange stuff on her teeth that I had not noticed before. It was hard to get off, but the hygienist did get most of it off.  She had no cavities...yay!   Then it was Macie's turn. I thought she'd have a very hard time and she surprised me.  She did great for the most part- only got a little scared once.  They hygienist got most of the black/brown spots off her teeth---they look so clean and nice now.  And get this...she had NO cavities! I was completely blown away and shocked.  They said that sometimes that stuff actually protects the teeth in a weird way and that it can come from eating soft foods and not a lot of hard foods like we might here.  I cannot tell you how awesome it was to hear that both girls had no cavities at this time.  SUCH a surprise and a relief!  Thank you to all who prayed...we felt it!

We haven't had as much going on this week, but we are very busy preparing for Christmas and a crazy week of birthdays.  Lena and Jayce have birthdays this weekend and then mine is next week. I'm glad I'm the last one because I tend to get the leftovers of one or both of the cakes combined. ;)  

Happy one month girls!!  You are so loved!!

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Two Weeks Home!

Well time is certainly not slowing down!  Another week has gone by and it may have been busier than our first week home.  This time of year is full of events and activities, but full of memories being made with it's extra special this year.

These two have a love hate relationship.  They can really get at each other, but other times are loving on each other-like during this bath. :)

Proof that she does sometimes look happy and that she is now enjoying baths!  Progress! :)

We finally got to having that cake we were supposed to have on Thanksgiving.  Yeah it was three days later and it may have had a lot of chunks of frosting missing from it. ;)  It was the birthday boy who was sneaking the frosting during those three days. ;)

We had a lot of school events this week.   Thursday night was the 1st-4th grade holiday concerts.  We had four boys in the 1st/2nd grade show- pieces from the Nutcracker.   They did such a great job!
Reid is in the dead center in the above picture- he was a toy soldier.

Landyn was a mouse (far right above).  He looked so cute in his mouse hat and he got to walk the flowers over to the most wonderful music teacher at the end- so precious.
Jonah (blue sweater; green hat) was a Chinese dancer.  
We got a kick out of the fact that he chose this role and Reid, our Chinese child, did not.

Elijah was also a toy soldier.

Next, it was time for the 3rd/4th grade concert.  Between shows we did homework since there wasn't really time before/after.  Evan was our only kiddo in this show. He was so excited- he spotted us right away.  It is amazing how kids can change. He was the kid in 4K and Kindergarten who pretty much just stood there because he was so shy and quiet.  In this concert, Jingle Bell Jukebox, he was so into it, so animated, and singing and dancing his heart out. 
We all loved it, including Macie and Maeleigh! ;)

Today we took the girls to their first Christmas parade with my mom and her wonderful neighbors.

Rowan with one the neighbor kids.

We tried to take a group picture, but someone wasn't looking or was doing something silly every single time...I think this is our new normal! ;)

They are definitely loved by these siblings of theirs!

This girl- she is still being quite serious most of the time, but she is amazing us too.  She is SO interested in sign language and learning a language.  She brings her family photo album we sent her over to us all the time, wanting to know the signs for each person.  She has been practicing colors and her ABC's too.  She's having trouble remembering which sign goes with which word, but she certainly is remembering all the signs we're working on and is interested and that is HUGE.  We are so proud of her and so excited to watch her grow!

Maeleigh and nana. :)

Rowan and daddy.

The kids are always excited to see Mr. and Mrs. Claus at the end of the parade!

After the parade, we headed to my mom's for a bit to play on the trampoline and hang out.

The girls LOVED it!

Rowan was so ready for a nap. Maeleigh's trying to console him. :)

Here it is...the moment we live for..that smile! :)  It's worth the wait!

After that, we headed home to finish putting the lights on our tree and to put the ornaments on too.

I couldn't believe how fast it was going- many hands make light work.  Then I realized we had another container of ornaments. ;)   

Probably way too many ornaments for our small tree, but we found a spot for almost all of them.

We hope to get some pictures of all the kids by the tree tomorrow, but Jonah snuck in one. :)

Relaxing after all the work was done!

Another great week!!

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Our First Week Home Together!

It's hard to believe we've been home together as a family of twelve for just over a week now.  A lot has happened in one week though too.  Last Sunday, we took the girls to church for the first time. They did a great job sitting with us through the service and were lovingly welcomed by their new church family.  We got to give our friends, the Curry's, a big hug goodbye.  Tonight while we sleep, they will meet their 10 year old daughter, Gwen, in China!
We've seen a whole lot of serious from this girl this week, but definitely some moments of opening up and that happy/silly personality showing again too- we live for those moments.

This bed is just too much fun- like a fort!

Ha- noticed the button was un-done after I took this picture.  She is very independent, but needs a little help with this part. :)

Monday was Rowan's 2nd Birthday!   He was a bit in awe by all the attention, but quickly learned how to sing the Happy Birthday song!

On Tuesday morning, we headed to Jayce's school while Rick was with Reid at Children's Hospital for transfusion day.   Jayce's pre-school class sang us a few Thanksgiving songs.  The turkey hats are a tradition. ;)

The girls and Rowan loved playing at the pre-school and did a good job watching the songs too!

Coloring- that didn't last long!  These three have pretty short attention spans and prefer to color on anything but the coloring books. ;)

Wednesday night we had our first movie night!  The girls loved it!  
Thank you,Vivayic for the popcorn!  It was a hit!

Maeleigh and Macie's First Thanksgiving!

 It's not the first one for these two, but they sure were excited for it!

The girls dressed for Thanksgiving, but the rest of us had our Badger/Packer gear on.

Fun times getting to know our cousins.

Games- this one got a lot of laughs!

Since Rowan didn't have a party, we had a couple extra celebrations for him with family.   

She really wanted to make sure she was going to get a piece of that cookie!

After time at the Henningfeld's we headed to my mom and step-dad's for our 2nd Thanksgiving.  Macie enjoyed watching some football with dad. 
The food at both houses was excellent and we were stuffed!


I got a kick out of her cup- my mom wrote Maeleigh and then 'He Lin' since she is responding to both names right now. :)

Too cute in their new cow pj's!

We had a cake for nana and grandpa's house too, but we ran out of time and room in our stomachs!  We're saving it for this weekend. ;)   Rowan had room to scrape off some frosting though. I caught him in the act and he was singing Happy Birthday to himself too. ;)

Fun times had by all- a very success Thanksgiving!  We were for sure counting our many blessings and are ever so thankful for all that God has given us!

Thursday night was a bit too late of a night for us, as we watched the game before heading home.  The outcome was a big disappointing ending to our Thanksgiving, but such is life.  
We'll get over it in time. ;)

Friday we just laid low and took Rowan to the doctor for his well-child appointment.  Last night, good friends invited us over for dinner and we all had a great time!  So thankful for good friends who are brave enough to have all of us over- the kids did great and Rick and I had some fun adult conversation and game time too..we haven't done something like that in quite some time.