Sunday, December 31, 2006

An Unexpected Pleasure

There is a saying in our area that goes like this: “If you don’t like the weather, just wait 15 minutes and it will change.” The weather is definitely unpredictable. Last Friday, there was actually a tornado spotted at the airport. A tornado in Dec??
Many flights were delayed and several were cancelled including the flight that was scheduled to take Desheng Darling’s cousins back to Arizona. They couldn’t get another flight out until Sunday night so they spent the weekend with us. It truly was an “unexpected pleasure” as Auntie Inez would say. We really enjoyed their visit.

On Saturday, the kids had a great time ice skating at the mall. It was DD's first time on skates so the girls helped her a lot. When they got tired of skating, we did a little shopping and enjoyed pizza for dinner.

Get ready....

Get set...


DD talked the kids into helping her bake cookies in her new EZ Bake oven for dessert. There’s just something about cooking with a light bulb that leaves a little to be desired…but the cookies were eaten regardless.

Our Christmas visits are usually rushed with little time to spend with the Desert Rats, so we are thankful for the silver lining behind the storm clouds of Friday night.

We Love You, Desert Rats!

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Now That’s a Merry Christmas!

Once again, we enjoyed a wonderful Christmas. We spent Christmas Eve at Nanny Darling’s house (aka the Home of the World's Best Homemade Candy.) We exchanged gifts, visited with relatives, ate good food and enjoyed being together. Desheng Darling gets a lot of attention from both sides of our family and loves every minute of it. She received several gifts, including many things to go with her new Dora Kitchen. She was thrilled. This is a picture of DD helping Nanny Darling open her presents.
DD is the youngest grandchild on Daddy Darling’s side of the family. There are several teenage (or almost teenage) grandchildren, as well as grandchildren in their early twenties. DD is never in need of anything. They play with her and allow her to participate in their activities. This is a picture of some of the grandkids. I wish I had one of all of them, but it is hard to get them all in one place at the same time! These are great kids who love each other very much.

Although Christmas was really great, and it really was, …there was someone missing this year. An empty chair at meal time, an unheard voice during the Cowboy game, and one less “Christmas Eve gift” greeting ( a family tradition) were all reminders of how much we miss MeeMee Darling. The only gift that she ever asked of her family was that they spend quality time together. That pleased her more than anything else. As you can tell by the smiles on the grandchildren’s faces, she wouldn’t have been disappointed.
Although the tears are flowing as I write this I know she was not sad this year. She was celebrating with the Guest of Honor at the best birthday party ever. Now that’s a Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 23, 2006

How ’Bout Them Cowboys?

Earlier this week we met with DeSheng Darling’s aunt, uncle and cousins for lunch at Enchilada’s. We don’t see them very often, so when they come relatively close, we try to meet them for lunch or something. DD loves to see them! They treat her like royalty. If she even acts like she needs something, "the boys” (as we call them) jump to it. They take such good care of her.

On this day, we ate in the enclosed patio section of the restaurant. It was rather noisy, so I didn’t really worry about DD being a little loud. I was surprised, however, when I heard her express loudly, “I just have one question……..How ‘bout them Cowboys?”

It was too funny! Of course, everyone in our section enjoyed the entertainment and DD enjoyed the attention. Something tells me we are going to regret all of this someday. But for the time being, we’ll just enjoy the humor, and there's always a lot of humor when the boys are around. We love you guys!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Special Delivery!

Desheng Darling must have been especially good this year, because Santa came to our house EARLY!! Ok, ok…. it had nothing to do with her behavior, and everything to do with her sister’s work schedule and the fact that we will be out-of-town for Christmas! Santa has always come to our house early to allow us to travel “home for Christmas” and thankfully this year was no exception.

Since we were visiting with friends in the family room (where the fireplace is), Santa had to leave DD’s gift at the front door. There were too many people, and he just couldn’t risk being seen, especially since he wasn’t following his designated flight plan.

DD was thrilled with her gift….a Talking Dora Kitchen! It’s a shame Santa didn’t have time to put it together before leaving the North Pole, but I guess that’s what happens with rush orders!

After receiving Santa’s gift, DD opened her other presents. She was thrilled with her guitar from Brother and Sister Darling and her camera from Mommy and Daddy Darling.

She also received some very nice gifts from our close friends. We all had a wonderful time, received some very special gifts and enjoyed being together. I love Christmas with my family!

Monday, December 18, 2006

Everybody Loves a Brown-Eyed Girl!

I know we all do! The play group met today at Pandagirl’s house. What fun! They all wore their matching shirts and enjoyed making Christmas cookies! Thanks Pandamom.
We had a great time !

Friday, December 15, 2006

The Third Time’s a Charm!

The third time’s a charm. Practice makes perfect. If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. These are all sayings that could possibly describe our recent attempts to communicate with dear old Santa Claus. Finally today, Desheng Darling sat on Santa’s lap and told him what she wanted for Christmas. Understand, this was our third attempt to visit with Santa. As stated in earlier blog posts, the other two attempts were dismal failures due to bad breath and errors on Santa’s part to maintain proper noise control.
On the other hand, "The squeaky wheel gets the grease" and "Speak now or forever hold your peace" might be more applicable. For in reality, I think DD may be convinced that if she doesn’t actually TELL Santa, she may not get what she wants for Christmas. I mean, after all, how is he to know?
Oh well, for whatever reason, she sat on his lap for the picture. We in return, purchased the photo for a totally unreasonable price.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

"Shaken' in my Pants!"

Twice each month the fire dept. and library make a joint effort to provide Story Hour for the children in the community. Today, the fire dept. brought Clifford–The Big Red Dog to the library! The kids loved it. Desheng Darling was excited about seeing him, but she kept her first.
She just kept staring at him and he kept waving to her, so she was obviously paying very little attention to the fireman who was reading a Clifford book to the rest of the children. About half-way through the reading of the first book, just out of the blue, DD yelled, "Hey Clifford, can you do this?" She began to dance, moving her hips from side to side and said, "I’m just shaken' in my pants!" Whew! Where did that come from??? Of course, everyone laughed and Clifford copied her dance moves, but r-e-a-l-l-y! I began looking for this child’s mother, then I realized, "I am her mother!" What am I going to do?
They finished the book, sang a song and began the second Clifford book. DD listened intently and then proceeded to tell the man that he had a skipped a page, a problem that she readily fixed for him.
The third Clifford book had a part about writing a song for Clifford to make him feel better. At this time (in the middle of the story), she announced to the whole group that she had written a song, herself (to make Mommy feel better). It went like this: she sang loudly, "Family, Family, fam, fam, fam, fam, Family!" It was really sweet, and everyone clapped. It’s a good thing she’s cute, or we might have gotten kicked out of the place.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Big Wheel Birthday

Last Sunday, we invited Sister Darling over to celebrate her 23rd birthday. It wasn’t her actual birth date, but it was the first day since her b-day that our schedules didn't conflict. DD absolutely loves her big sister and can’t wait for her to come visit. Sister D is fantastic with Desheng Darling! They play and play, then play some more. What more could a little girl want?
She adores Sister Darling and SD loves her!

Well, on this day SD wasn’t really in a playful mood. Unfortunately, she had some car trouble on the way to our house. She called us from the side of the road and told us that something seemed to be "hanging off" of her car. Odd... but possible for SD. For anyone who knows our daughter, it shouldn’t be a surprise to learn that she has Roadside Assistance on the speed dial of her cell phone. Not really, but S Darling is the queen of flat tires. Seems like I even remember a time when Roadside Assistance had to assist her right in the middle of a drive-through car wash. Oh well, that’s another story.
After waiting almost 2 hours, the wrecker service (Big Wheel Wrecker Service) showed up. We are so thankful that the wrecker attendant was able to fix the problem and did not have to tow her car to the shop. Better yet, we made it home in time to watch the Cowboy game..ugh. S Darling had dinner with us and enjoyed the rest of the evening.

Monday, December 11, 2006

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas!

Today was the day of the annual CCCC (Chopstick Chics’ Christmas Celebration!) It was a morning filled with fun, laughter and good food. Squeals and giggles could be heard for miles, well almost. The girls exchanged $1 gifts and were thrilled with their goodies.
Of course, what they enjoyed the most was getting out of their fancy dresses, putting on their play clothes and running throughout the house.
As usual, the moms enjoyed the party too. We have been meeting weekly for almost two years and we still look forward to getting together each time. It’s a great group of ladies, and I am so thankful to have found these friends. (Thanks for making this picture TM's mom.)

Sunday, December 10, 2006

What was Santa Thinking?

I will be one of the first to admit that Santa is a pretty remarkable fellow. I mean, Donald Trump has nothing on this guy! Old SC runs a pretty tight ship. He has a great relationship with his employees (elves) resulting in a 0% turnover rate. His time management skills are unsurpassed.. Around the world in less than 24 hrs? Whew! That’s fast. And just think about his fiscal management. Not once, have I ever heard of possible layoffs, the need to raise prices, or stock market problems with North Pole Industries. He’s even doing his part to protect against global warming (something near and dear to his heart) by using reindeer instead of burning fossil fuels for transportation. (Al Gore loves Santa.) To top it all off, he has managed to remain the CEO of his company for hundreds of years with no known scandals. Like I said, a pretty
remarkable guy; however, he really blew it at our Christmas parade. Let me tell you why.

Desheng Darling was so excited about going to the local Christmas parade, as you can tell by this picture of her jumping up and down waiting for the parade to start.

Of course, watching the parade entries and picking up the candy that was being thrown was fun, but what she really wanted to see was Santa Claus. Her eyes lit up when she saw him riding on the back of the local fire engine. But this is where the happy story ends. Right as the fire engine got even with DD, they blew the Klaxon air horn....wouldn’t you know it? Her hands went over her ears and she began to cry! It was just too loud. Santa blew it in more ways than one. I must ask, "What was Santa thinking????"

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Happy Birthday Auntie Anne!

Auntie Anne Darling is one of the many wonderful aunts that our children are blessed with. We love and appreciate her a lot. Because DD was almost two when she came home from China, we have no idea what her life was like for the first 21 months. We had questions about developmental issues, etc. Because of Auntie Anne Darling’s profession and experience working with special needs children, she has been very helpful with our little Desheng Darling. She has offered great advice to improve DD’s fine/gross motor skills and has eased my mind about other issues like stuttering, tip-toeing, and sensory integration issues. Auntie Anne never misses an opportunity to come visit DD even if she has to drive way out of her way to do so. And besides, she gives great hugs!
We love you!
Hope you had a great birthday!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Super Hero to the Rescue!

This has become one of Desheng Darling’s favorite lines; however, the only Super Heroes that she watches are the "Wonder Pets". Maybe that’s where she gets it. She is always talking about how she is going to save someone. I guess that’s good. Anyway, that’s what I thought of when I saw this picture. I took it this afternoon as she was helping me unload the car after our Christmas shopping trip. She made a special effort to show me her muscles. I was very thankful for her help, but it makes me cringe just a little to think that I might have spent so much money that one would have to have big muscles to unload it. Sure hope the charges on my credit card aren’t that big. (ha!)

We really enjoyed the day, but I quickly realized that it was almost impossible to buy anything for DD without her knowing it. Christmas shopping with her the past two years has been relatively easy, but no more. She has wised-up to this gift-giving thing. I managed to divert her attention a few times and hide things in the buggy. Then, at the checkout counter, I got her interested in something else, frantically rushed the checker and demanded double bags. It worked, but it looks like I am going to have to make a solo trip to finish up my shopping. After all, there’s only so much that you can hide in a buggy.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Best Kept Secret!

They really DO love each other! There are times, however, that I wonder...but now that he’s been caught by the camera , he can’t deny it. It’s been really interesting watching the relationship develop between DD and Brother Darling. It has definitely been a two-way street. After being the "baby of the family" for 18 yrs, it was a little difficult for him to relinquish the position. Sometimes, he still tries to reclaim it. On the other hand being 17 years younger qualifies Desheng Darling for the reign, and she knows it! She’s not planning to give up the "title" unless she absolutely has to.
Yesterday, she just couldn’t get close enough to him. She was like his shadow...not sure that's a good idea. I wonder if she could talk him into getting a haircut....hmmm. It might be worth a try. Although they still get on each other’s nerves from time to time, they spend more time now devising plans to get on mine. What fun!
We've come a long way since March 2005.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Ho! Ho! NO!!!

Today was the day that we had set aside for the famous visit to Santa Claus. The plans were to
get to the mall early (9:30) so that we didn’t have to wait in a long line. Desheng Darling and I arrived about 9:15. For once, I was on time. Santa was scheduled to arrive at 10:00...good planning so far....DD really enjoyed the Santa visit last year, so I wasn’t really concerned about her being afraid.. After all, she’s a year older now, more mature, better adjusted..blah, blah, blah.

However, when it was her turn to sit on Santa’s lap, she refused to go. She allowed all the other girls to go ahead of her. When I asked her why she wouldn’t sit in his lap, she told me that she was afraid that he might "smell". She has a real issue with bad breath! So this year, Santa will receive a few breath mints along with his cookies and milk! Hopefully, that will solve the problem! Maybe we will have better luck next year.
We managed to get a picture of her with the group, but I guess we will just have to email Santa with our Christmas list this year!

Friday, December 01, 2006

Woo Hoo!

I have been having so much fun with this blogger stuff...maybe too much fun. The house is a mess, and DD is asking "Who is going to play with me? Do I have to play all by myself? That's no fun." Yes, I feel guilty, ...but did you notice that I figured out how to change the colors on my template...not just the post? Woo Hoo! Who would have thought that changing a few numbers in the script would change that awful purple to yellow? Seems to go a little better with the red which, by the way, is also new! I was able to add some additional text in the sidebar along with my own................line. Pretty cool! In addition, I visited another blog and followed the link to the Daily Bible Verse and added it. What fun!

It's time to blogstop, get some sleep and get prepared to play with Desheng Darling in the morning...poor thing.