Saturday, February 26, 2011

slumber parties

slumber parties are great, or are they?

i am so happy that madelyn is feeling more comfortable with sleeping away at someone else's house, or am i?

okay, enough with the annoying questions. madelyn is wrecked after her sleepover. she is my little introverted girl so she definitely needs her downtime, away from people, whether it's after school or after a long week. sleepovers however don't allow for any downtime for approximately 19 hours, and this is after a long week of school. that is too long for my little dumpling.

add onto that the fact that she gets zero sleep. she is wrecked. so, now she is quietly playing barbies in her room so she can regroup, recharge, whatever you want to call it.

i knew we didn't have plans for today so it was okay for her to sleepover. we do have plans for tomorrow though that involves ten kids being here. that should be interesting.

as far as me liking sleepovers, i'm still on the fence. i am glad madelyn is feeling more comfortable being at someone's house, but i don't like it for one. i miss her. our house seems off when one is missing. two, i just don't like it. i miss her. oh, did i mention that already?

okay, seriously, if i don't know the family well or have any reservations the sleepover just won't happen. i almost told her she couldn't sleepover last night because she is getting over strep, but i didn't. they had a lot of fun so it was all good. the problem is she won't nap. i told her she is going to have to lie down for a while, but i doubt she will fall asleep. she just doesn't do naps.

i do though. i actually just did :) ahhhhh, glorious naps. i'm not sure why madelyn is so down on them. i actually napped in her bed and it is still comfortable. so, i think she's missing out by not napping.

that won't keep me from trying to get her to from time to time.

UPDATE : To my shock and disbelief Madelyn did indeed fall asleep. She looked so snuggly and cute too under her little Hello Kitty blanket that Dan gave her when he went to Africa. It says I Love You on it. She still went to sleep at a decent time too. I was shocked, but so glad she did. We have a fun day planned today with friends from college.

Friday, February 25, 2011

elijah's belly

i had to take madelyn to the doc the other day. she tested positive for strep. while we were there elijah started complaining about his stomach hurting. he was lying on the floor saying it was burning. i think he was just hungry. i told him to stand up and when he did he whispered, " i think i might be having a baby." um, no elijah. you are not having a baby. you just never know what is going to come out of his mouth.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

so spoiled

i don't know that i can ever host another international student after having cindy. dan and i both said tonight that this was a really rare situation. she so perfectly fit in with our family and we all miss her terribly.

cindy set the bar really high and has probably ruined any chance for another student to come live with us.

well, unless that student doesn't mind us calling her cindy and doing all the silly things cindy would do.

yeah, that probably won't happen huh?

well, then back to what i was saying then ...

another reason is i don't think i can become so attached to another child who is going to then leave us and go half way across the world! it's a terrible feeling :(

what it comes down to is cindy is one special little girl as far as we are concerned and we will cherish the memories we have from these last two weeks. we will also hope that she will come back to visit us again soon.

and did i mention we miss her? :'(

a couple cute elijahisms

today elijah came downstairs to the living room where i was sitting. he didn't know i was here so it was cute to watch him work his way down holding and facing the railing with two hands, imagining some super hero scenario i'm sure. he gets to the bottom of the stairs i said hello to him. he comes over to snuggle, but has a straight face on the whole time. i said, "wow. such a straight face you have. no smiles or anything." he said, "oh. let me try that again." he goes ALL the way back upstairs, comes down to see me with the biggest grin, says hello and runs over to me all happy and smiley. he is my sunshine kid. very rarely does he stay in a sour mood. it was so cute!

tonight after we read together we were just snuggling on the couch. i said, "i am so glad you are a snuggly boy. some kids don't want to snuggle with their moms very much, but you do and i am glad." he said, "mommy, are you being serious?" he could not understand why some kids would not want to snuggle.

lately i have had a lot of moments where both kids have come to sit with me on our big green chair in the living room. i don't ever want to get up when i have the two of them all snuggled up with me. i was thinking tonight as dan carried them both at the same time up to bed for stories and praying how sad it will be when they are too big to be carried at all.

so, i will enjoy these moments and snuggles as long as i can. i am very blessed.

Friday, February 18, 2011

goodbyes stink

so, we said good-bye to our sweet little friend tonight, but not before hanging out with her mom, daniel and his mom. daniel is another chinese student who came and spent time in 3rd grade too. we spent the afternoon and evening with them. just enough time to completely fall in love with them too.

seriously. i felt like i was hanging out with a couple girlfriends and all of our kids. whatever language barrier that was there was remedied by cindy and daniel who could translate nicely for us. such a fun afternoon.

leaving the school was tough. some tears, etc. we came back to our house to change clothes because the kids had pajama day at school and i couldn't take them to lunch in their pjs. cindy was so happy to show her mom our animals that she fell in love with. she calls our cats "cat pajamas." i'm not sure how that all started, but it completely stuck, and made us laugh every time. the moms were so sweet and had so much fun looking at all of our family pictures we have out, etc.

i am telling you, i seriously felt like we were just hanging out with new friends. i love meeting new people and getting to know them. i got to see some of their pics of their husbands and places they visited while they were here. cindy looks just like her dad. he is super tall like dan. it was fun to see their resemblance.

then daniels mom, lily, offered to make dumplings. i had no idea what she meant, but i wasn't going to turn down authentic chinese food. we made a quick run to the market and they set to work. holy moly. so yummy!! they made the dough for the dumplings, minced up shrimp, pork, green onions, some seasonings, and mashed it all together. they showed us how they make the dumplings and we all helped stuff them.

julie came over with her girls and helena, her chinese student. the kids played like crazy. my upstairs and downstairs are a complete wreck i'm sure. i'm almost afraid to look. then helena's mom came over too.

i can't explain the joy in our house from tonight. hearing all the chinese talk, english talk, giggles, noise, etc. and knowing how much fun everyone was having was such an awesome experience. everyone just mixed so well. the moms were so happy to be involved with all of the children. elijah was his usual self and had ecko (sp? that's cindy's mom's american name) and lily thought he was hilarious.

oh, also, when we were at the store looking for flour for the dumplings they called a friend in the states who also spoke english to have her tell me what kind of flour i should buy. so funny!

sigh ... i am exhausted, but these last two weeks were such a great experience. of course, cindy just blended so well with our family that i don't know that we can host any other student. she has set the bar way too high.

we sure do love that crazy girl. we called the 3 kids crazy 1, 2, and 3.

did i mention the whoopie cushion? we went to the works last night which is one of those places you can play games and earn tix. each kid got two things. madelyn got a whoopie cushion and a ring she gave to me. cindy got a rainbow slinky and a ring she gave to her mom. elijah got a set of fake rotten teeth and an eye ball thing that you turn inside out and it pops up. on the way home he said his fake teeth was the most special thing he EVER got. oh my.

meanwhile, the whoopie cushion had us cracking up the whole way home. i forgot how funny they could be. the kids cracking up at it alone is enough to make you laugh, especially since this was their first experience with one. it was just so funny.

of course they wanted to take it into school today. they didn't play with it at all until the end of the day. madelyn blew it up for emma to sit on. well, emma sat a bit too hard and the thing popped. oops.

and that was that. whoopie cushion fun is over.

and so is our time with cindy.

after all our fun this evening and after much munching on dumplings we had to say good-bye.

can i just say how horrible it is to say good-bye to one sweet girl with tears streaming down her face then turn around and see another sweet little girl with tears streaming down her face? ugh. 3 hugs later they walked out the door. then we all stood in our dark driveway waving good-bye and yelling good-bye as they drove away.


cindy's mom was so sweet though saying they would come visit again and that we were always welcome in beijing. she had also mentioned earlier in the day that she knew how much cindy loved us and had fun at our house. i told her the feelings were mutual. she also picked up on how much alike cindy and madelyn are during our afternoon together. they really are which is why cindy just fit right in with us.

alas, all good things must come to an end, as sad as it might be. i will say though i never thought i would have a desire to visit china, but i do now. i would love to see where cindy lives and we have quite a few connections there now with all the international students that have come to tka. one day we'll get there.

now please excuse me while i cry myself to sleep ...

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Been a While ...

Wow. How sad that my last post left things on such a sad note. There are updates to Rachel's situation. Sweet little Ryan was diagnosed with Pitt-Hopkins Syndrome. It is very rare and little is known about it. But, already Ryan is showing signs of advancement. Recently, he crawled across the room. That was exciting news. They do have a long road ahead of them, but they are relying on their Lord and they have lots of support. Continued prayers are much appreciated.

My, much has been going on since I last posted. One thing is that we have all fallen completely in love with a little girl named Cindy from China. Although, she isn't that little. She's quite tall actually. She is 9, but towers over Madelyn. She is a real cutie pie though and super goofy so she fits right in with us. She is shy, but once she warmed up we realized what a goof she is. Right now Dan is reading Voyage of the Dawn Treader to them, but has had many interruptions due to two little nutty girls. Funny stuff.

I knew Cindy was fitting in when we got in the car on Valentine's Day and said, "Raise your hand if you are excited about today!" Our kids feel as though they have a new sister, but sadly we have to say good-bye in a couple days. We are all dreading it, even Cindy. It's terrible.

In other news, my Bible Study finally finished Esther. We have had to postpone our study sooooo many times in the last few months it's been ridiculous. Esther is not a long book. The study included other books as well, but for some reason Esther took us a while to get through. We are moving on to a different study now. But, what a book Esther is, such a great example of God's sovereignty and justice playing out. Amazing!

Dan has been sooooo super busy in the last couple weeks. There is a lot going on at the school with trying to find property or new buildings for the school. And, he is helping with a voucher initiative for the state of PA. He spent the day in Harrisburg working on that.

We have had lots and lots of snow days. Now we don't have off for President's Day, but those snow days sure were fun :)

Other than these things we have gotten together with friends, good times, and have kept busy with other things. Mostly we have been wrapped up with spending time with our chinese girl. Her english is amazing. We really have been spoiled. It's hard to imagine having such a good experience with any other student. I am hoping she might come back next year, or the year after that.

OH, our other big news is Madelyn got glasses. She is so cute in them. The only problem is I didn't think to get the glare resistant lenses so when I take her picture the flash puts a glare on her lenses. Mine are the same way. I didn't even think about it when I ordered them. I got prescription sunglasses too. So excited. I just need it to be spring now so I can get more use out of them. Come on Spring!! You are welcome here anytime :)