Thursday, November 30, 2006

November...Gone, But Not Forgotten

"Time and experience have taught me a priceless lesson: Any child you take for your own becomes your own if you give of yourself to that child. I have borne two children and had seven others by adoption, and they are all my children, equally beloved and precious." Dale Evans-adoptive parent

November 2004

"To adopt a child is to take that child out of poverty and loneliness and introduce him or her to a world of love, hope and possibility. There is no greater achievement." Rudolph W. Giuliani

November 2005

Today marks the last day of National Adoption Month. The month of November was so designated to raise the awareness of the need for adoptive parents. Perhaps the other 11 months should receive national recognition for the blessings of adoptive children.

We have truly been blessed.

November 2006

Monday, November 27, 2006

For Those Who Can’t Celebrate

Christmas is a wonderful time, definitely my favorite time of the year! I love the decorations, the lights, the music, the traditional Christmas movies, the occasional snow, homemade cookies and candy, family gatherings, the smells of fresh Christmas trees and cinnamon candles, and the smiles on children’s faces as they open their gifts.
It’s hard to imagine that all people don’t enjoy this time. I’m not referring necessarily to those who choose to avoid Christmas, I’m referring to those who really can’t celebrate the true meaning of Christmas.
Adopting a little girl from China has changed my perspective on a lot of issues. One, in particular, is Christmas. Sure, she’ll receive a lot of material gifts that she wouldn’t have received in China, but more importantly, she will have the freedom to celebrate the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ.
We have a special little Christmas tree in our house decorated with items from China to help us remember to pray for all of the people there who can’t openly celebrate the true meaning of Christmas. It’s a shame that so many people may never receive the Christmas gift that God provided. We haven’t finished decorating it yet, but it has been a great topic of discussion for Desheng Darling.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Being Grateful Is A Great Place To Be!

Each year we travel a few hours to celebrate the Thanksgiving Holidays with our family. This year, Desheng Darling was old enough to help prepare some of the dishes. She loves to help me in the kitchen. I am hoping that she will LOVE to cook as she gets older, since no one else in our home (including me) cares anything about cooking! It’s probably a good thing we visit relatives for the turkey and dressing or we might be stuck with "stovetop stuffing" or the"order ahead of time Albertson’s Meal." That would really be sad....Yes, I am thankful for the good cooks in our family, and we have plenty of them. I think I must have received the recessive cuisine gene.

Watch out Rachael Ray!

’Lil Logan Darling joined our family this year for his first Thanksgiving meal. What a blessing this little nephew has been! You just can’t look into those eyes without thanking God for the miracle and innocence of children. They just seem to make you smile! We also celebrated PawPaw Darling’s 80th birthday on Friday. We had a great visit! I must also say that I can’t look into his eyes without being thankful for his wisdom, kindness and the leadership he has provided to his family. We love you PawPaw Darling! Hope you had a great birthday.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Sunday Blessings

Today has been a nice day. Desheng Darling posed for a picture before leaving for church. And if you are wondering... no, she didn’t wear the plastic yellow hat, although she really thought it looked nice.

She decided to stay in "big church" during the singing portion of the service today. She loves the music! It was so funny...We were singing a song with the lyrics something like: "Great in mercy; Great in power; Great in glory; King over all the earth." This was one of those times when people were really lifting their voices, so DD decided to join them, even raising her hands at times! The words she sang out loudly went something like, "Superhero, Superhero, He’s a superhero!" I don’t know if God has ever been called a Superhero, but in DD’s eyes, it was a great praise.

The weather was beautiful, so after lunch we went outside for a game of baseball/soccer/chase combination created by none other than Desheng Darling, herself. She loved the chase part of it best, as you can tell by the huge smile on her face. This is probably the reason that she grabs the ball and takes off running with it when she is supposed to be participating in a sharing game with her play group. Rules sometimes make life confusing for a 3 yr. old. I think Daddy Darling intentionally chased DD until she was totally exhausted. He timed it just right so that she would take a nap during the Cowboy Game—Great planning! We bought her a new "upscaled" princess sleeping bag to take to PawPaw Darling’s for Thanksgiving. It actually has an inflated mattress in it....pretty cool. Trying to sleep 3-in-a-double bed is the pits. No one actually gets any sleep, so I am hoping that this new "princess bed" will help her get her beauty sleep. Curious George seems to like it just fine.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Working Nine ’til Five

I got tickled this morning as I watched Desheng Darling set up an office in her room. She wanted it "just right"....somewhere to put her keyboard, somewhere to put her phone and somewhere to sit. Then, to top it all off, she had to have her reading glasses! I wonder who she's been watching? When do you think we should break the news to her that most parents of 3 yr. olds don’t actually need reading glasses?She set her office up around 9:00 this morning and worked a little overtime tonight before going to bed in her new pjs.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Over the River and Through the Woods

Two mornings per month our local library has "Story Time" for pre-school aged children. Today, Desheng Darling’s friend, Spicy Girl, went with us to the library. They were so cute together. They sang songs, and listened (sort of) to stories about Thanksgiving. (The attention span of a 3yr. old leaves a little to be desired.) One of the books they chose to read today was Over the River and Through the Woods. I remember singing this as a song in primary school. It still brings back great memories of family Thanksgiving dinners that I enjoyed as a
child. Next week we will be creating new Thanksgiving memories. I hope DD will grow up cherishing these memories with her forever family as much as I cherish mine.

We have so much to be thankful for!

Monday, November 13, 2006

Girls' Day Out

Today was Desheng Darling’s "Girls’ Day Out." She met her play group at Panda Girl’s house and enjoyed the day at a playground nearby. On the way to the playground we walked through a beautiful area set aside as a prayer garden for members of the local church. I tried to get a good picture of the girls looking over the little waterfall, but it is almost impossible to get all of them to pose at the same time...sorry PG.

The girls had a good time at the playground. It’s interesting to watch their different personalities interact. There’s never a dull moment, and every week is different. I can just see these girls growing to love each other more and more. I hope and pray that they will stay friends for a long, long time.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

A Grand Visit!

(I had several pictures to post on this blog entry, but I just couldn't get them to frustrating!)

DD has had a very good week. Her PawPaw Darling came to visit us for several days. This was a very special trip for all of us, because it is the first time PP Darling has come to visit since MeeMee Darling went to live with Jesus.

Since PPD came alone, he had to provide twice as much love and attention, but I think he received twice as much love in return. MM Darling would have been so proud of him! He colored pictures of Elmo, watched hours of children’s television shows, read numerous books about numbers, letters, big bad wolves and cute little characters, and did his share of rubbing DD’s back and engaging in tickling sessions that she absolutely loved. Not to mention supplying DD with enough chocolate to keep her in an eternal hyper mode, using some excuse about the health benefits of dark chocolate.

PawPaw Darling even chose to ride in the back seat of the car enduring miles and miles of preschool chatter and humor. He didn’t even gag when DD got car sick and upchucked in Daddy Darling’s new car. That’s saying a lot for PPD! (We won’t discuss Daddy Darling’s response...just kidding. )

One thing that really touched my heart was when PP Darling sat down at the table and began to clip coupons from a newspaper that he had brought with him. He meticulously looked at each one to determine if it was something that Sister Darling might want or need. Then, he placed them all in an envelope to give to Sister D. Evidently, this is something MM Darling did for the college grandkids and he has continued to do it. I’ll bet she’s smiling from above. Of course, DD had to help...another fun activity provided by PPD!

When you really stop and think about it... Grandparents are just that– GRAND! DD is so fortunate. She has been blessed with wonderful grandparents who love her beyond words. I think the sparkle in her eyes expresses how she feels about them! They can come visit anytime!

Friday, November 10, 2006

Computer Malfunction

And we thought it was bad when Janet Jackson had a wardrobe malfunction...This is killing me! Just when I get hooked on blogging my computer has a meltdown. It has crashed more times than I care to discuss in the past few days. I am planning to take it for repairs tonight. Sure hope I can get it fixed in a hurry. I am having withdrawal symptoms!!!!!

Monday, November 06, 2006

Books Aren’t Just for Reading Anymore

One thing that I’ve always been thankful for is that our children love books. Sister Darling and Brother Darling love to read, and they have spent hours curled up with a good book. As a matter of fact, BD is at the book store right now.
Daddy Darling reads constantly. Desheng Darling also loves books! She’s just a little more creative with them!
When Daddy D isn’t around to goof off with, she loves to pretend read. She has some books memorized so it actually sounds like she’s reading.
Some of my favorite times are when she climbs up in my lap and snuggles up for me to read her a good book. Sometimes I wish she would stay little forever…..or maybe not .... She's so goofy!

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Daddy Darling's New Toy

There’s never really a good time to buy a new car, but today we had to bite the bullet and just do it. We were thankful that Daddy Darling’s car actually made it to the dealership to be traded in. I think Daddy D is pleased with his new black VW Jetta GLI. It’s a pretty car that’s never been wrecked, has electric windows that actually work, has a transmission that knows when to change gears, and a radiator that doesn’t overheat. In addition, the brakes actually work and the rear end doesn’t sound like it’s going to fall out from under the car every time it hits a bump. I do kind of miss that familiar groaning sound that we so frequently heard every time that the steering wheel was turned, but I am sure I will get over it. Yes, I think it was time to buy a new car. (Sure going to miss paying $60.00 to fill up the tank though.)
Although Desheng Darling requested an orange car, she seems to be pleased with our choice.

Friday, November 03, 2006

A Special Uncle

Today, Desheng Darling called and sang “Happy Birthday” to a very special uncle. From the moment they met, he has always had a special place in her heart. I think she’s pretty special to him, too.

She doesn’t get to see him as often as she would like, but when they visit, they make the most of it. He eats endless pretend pizzas, pushes her in the swing when no one else will, carries her on his shoulders all the way down to the pond to skip rocks, makes really big bubbles with a special bubble wand he bought for her, and provides her with an infinite supply of M&M’s and toys. He even made a special trailer for her to ride in behind his lawn mower, and he never says no when she asks him to take her for a ride. She loves him very much. Hope you had a great birthday Uncle Al!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Return of the Princess

Fall Festival at our church allowed the “princessy side” of our Desheng Darling to return. With her royal scepter, high heels, pretty dress and crown she enjoyed playing the games and getting the candy.

I am always amazed at how many wonderful people volunteer each year to make this event happen for our kids, sharing God’s love through their hours of service. Can you believe that the sweet lady in this picture working with our 3 yr. old DD was one of the first people to visit our home and invite us back to this church approximately 17 yrs. ago???? At that time, she was our 3yr. old son’s Sunday School teacher. It may be harder to believe that we actually had a 3 year old son (and a 5 year old daughter) 17 years ago, but we did. How time flies when you’re having fun!

Royalty or not….this princess would never pass up the chance to dig for plastic dinosaurs in a sandbox. What’s a little dirt on your royal princess dress, anyway???