Friday, February 29, 2008

Thursday, February 28, 2008

February Fun with Family and Friends

This week started with church services on Sunday. DD loves to go to her class, but Doodlebug is not thrilled about being separated from us. When we went back to pick her up after the service she came running to us laughing and jumping up and down as if she had just won a million dollars! It was soooo funny! I wish I had a video clip to share.

When the girls got home, they quickly changed into their play clothes and enjoyed playing outside.

Notice DD’s fashion. I don’t know what she did before Aunt Muh gave her the “dress-up” clothes. She wears this cheerleader dress over everything….including her pajamas!
Is she having fun or what!!!! (This reminds me of how she acts when we pick her up from the nursery at church.)
Even Brother Darling had a great time.
(He doesn’t know I posted this picture.)
DD and DB joined their friends at the park on Monday. The weather couldn’t have been better with temperatures in the mid-70’s! Snowbunny brought her dog, Ginger, and the girls had to have their picture made with her. We obviously have a group of dog lovers.
There was quite a change in the weather on Tuesday, so we decided to try out the new cupcake kit that our friends from Five Lindy Lane sent DD for her birthday. These friends were actually a part of our travel group when we went to China for DB. Since DD never meets a stranger, she wasted no time in inviting ML and DL to her b-day party 5 months prior to her birthday.

DD loved the baking part. I guess you can probably guess which part Doodlebug liked! Lol
Wednesday was also a beautiful day, but it wasn’t a day filled entirely with fun. Doodlebug had to visit the nurse for her final vaccinations. Notice her band-aids. Poor thing. To make things better, we tried a little retail therapy.
We stopped and bought bubbles on the way home. It worked like a charm!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Hooked on Phonics Celebration!

Maybe sleeping on all of those books has finally paid off (a previous post).
Last Saturday we celebrated Desheng Darling’s completion of the Kindergarten level Hooked on Phonics kit! She started the program awhile back and took about a 4-month break when Doodlebug joined our family, but last Friday she read the last (41st) book in the kindergarten series. She completed most of these books while she was only 4 yrs. old. I have been amazed at how well she has done. We celebrated by taking her to a small donut shop and letting her choose whatever she wanted. She chose a simple donut with pink frosting.
I managed to take these pictures just before DD’s last bite.
Doodlebug chose one with sprinkles and as usual,
she had her own way of doing things. Lol ! I wonder if they would just sell us the sprinkles next time.

Now on a serious note… DD will be old enough to start to school next fall. I am really struggling with what we should do. I spent almost 20 years in the public school system as a teacher and a principal. I really do not want to enroll DD in public school. I am considering home schooling her…although I realize that there may be diverse opinions regarding the benefits of home schooling. We have a local private Christian school in our area that I would love for her to attend, but the tuition is just beyond our budget right now. I realize that she needs social interaction, but I had rather that she get it in some way other than public school. If any of my blog readers participate in home school, I would love to hear what you have to say. Any suggestions on good curriculum from a Christian perspective?

We are so proud of Desheng Darling's accomplishments! I hope her love of reading will continue throughout her life. Hopefully, in the future, she’ll choose something with fewer calories as a reward! Lol

Friday, February 22, 2008

6 Months of Memories

Wednesday marked our 6 month anniversary with Doodlebug. Wow, 6 months already!!!!
On Aug. 20, 2007 we were taken to the Civil Affairs Office in DB’s province where we met her for the first time. We were the last family to enter the room and my eyes searched desperately to locate her.
She wasn’t quite as happy to see me as I was to see her!
She clung to her caretaker refusing to leave the only family that she had ever known. It was heartbreaking. I tried everything I knew to convince her to come to me, but nothing worked. When I finally “took” her she cried so loudly that DD could hardly stand it. Her painful crying went on for SEVERAL minutes. I felt so helpless…probably similar to how she felt. The other families were settling in quite nicely, but DB was determined to let us know that she didn’t like her new family and she wasn’t giving up easily.
After what seemed like forever, DB finally calmed down and began to withdraw into her little shell. She was unresponsive for several days. It was really sad.
I was honestly beginning to think that there might be something wrong with her.
I realize now that this was all a part of the grieving process…something that one has to actually see to understand.

What a difference 6 months has made!!!!! If you’ve read my blog over the past 6 months you already have an idea of DB’s life with our family. Words can’t express the love we have for this precious child. Her smile just melts my heart. The eyes that were once filled with a void are now filled with sparkles of joy and laughter. The loneliness that we once so much a part of her demeanor is gone. She loves to interact with us and has developed quite an imagination and sense of humor of her own.
Her speech is developing well, for a child who has only been exposed to English for 6 months. She has accepted us as her “forever family” and actually tells us that she loves us every day. She has such a sweet spirit. There’s nothing quite like her hugs; they are soooo emotional…so real. She clings to me now just like she did to her previous caretaker. During the short time we’ve had her DB has formed many new relationships with family and friends.
She’s given up her bottle; moved from the sippy cup to a straw; moved from a crib to a big bed; become practically diaper-free; developed an understanding of numbers and can identify most of the letters in the alphabet. Although her speech is limited, she has no trouble communicating. As a matter of fact, she is quite the "Drama Queen.” She’s so much fun!!! She’s not exactly what DD was expecting, but they’ve grown very close as sisters. God has been so good to us. I could go on forever, but if you’re a parent you already know the joy I’m trying to explain. If you love kids, you already know the happiness they provide. No further explanation is needed.

Oh what a difference 6 months can make.

Thank you, God, for this blessing!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

A Good Book…Cause or Cure for Insomnia

I know people who can stay up all night reading a good book. Others fall asleep before they get to the second page. At our house books come in handy at all hours. Our sleep patterns have definitely changed since returning home with Doodlebug 6 months ago. I have yet to sleep an entire night without at least one child needing my attention. DD, who previously slept well, is now waking up every night crying. Although she doesn’t seem to be entirely awake, I still have to comfort her in some way to get her back to sleep. Doodlebug’s actions are very similar. Although they appear to be having night terrors, they are really not severe…just bad enough for Mommy to have to comfort them. Too make it easier for all of us to sleep, I pushed their two beds together and pushed them close to a wall. I was secretly hoping that they would comfort each other and I wouldn’t have to play musical beds all night.
Since Daddy Darling has to get up everyday and go to work, I usually try to go to their beds rather than allowing both girls to pile into ours. They wiggle and squirm way too much for anyone to get a good night’s rest!This is what their beds look like: (just an ordinary extra-wide bed…plenty of room for all 3 of us.)

When it’s unmade it looks like this: (pretty comfy except for the huge crevice where the mattresses fit together, but I can even handle this if they will just sleep. )

Here’s what I can’t handle: Just lift the pillows and you will see that both girls keep an ample supply of books stashed under their pillows! There could easily be as many as 20 books at one time. Can you believe it?

They read them at night before falling asleep and in the morning when they wake up early. This is no problem. It’s all of the hours in between when I am trying to sleep on them that causes the problem. LOL Oh what I would give for a good night’s rest!
Even when DD manages to make it into our bed, she brings a stack of about 10 books with her. No kidding! Don’t get me wrong. I’m thrilled that they love books, but isn’t this a bit overboard? Oh well, I guess it could be worse…

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


Soon after beginning this blog, Blogger updated its templates in order to make posting easier. Since I had already customized my blog in a very limited way, I chose to just keep the "classic" blog. This meant that I had to use html codes to edit or add items, but I kind of enjoyed trying to figure out the programming.
For some reason I got the bright idea to change to the newer option last night. Big mistake! I lost practically everything I had in my sidebar, so I am slowly reconstructing it. I did however, design a new header!! I will continue to post. Just don't be too critical about the appearance.
WHAT WAS I THINKING??? Sometimes things are better just left alone.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Favorite Photo Friday

Just couldn't resist! (DB washing her hands at PawPaw's)

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Sister Darling's Valentine Surprise

I received a text message from Sister Darling late this afternoon. It simply said: Check your email. So I did. SURPRISE was the subject of her email and attached was this picture of her beautiful engagement ring. (What would we do without technology?) Unfortunately, this was the only picture she sent. It’s not very clear…but we ALL know how beautiful a diamond is! Right? I’ve never seen one I didn’t like. Have you? I didn’t think so.
I can’t say that we were totally surprised by this announcement, but we are all very happy for her! We think she has made a wonderful choice and we are looking forward to seeing what the future holds for these two wonderful people. Man, I thought I had accomplished something when I put together a “Princess Presto” birthday party for a 5 yr old. Something tells me that planning a wedding is going to be a lot tougher!!!!! All prayers and donations are greatly appreciated. LoL

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The Best $1 I've Ever Owed

This is a picture of a quilt I won today…yes won! Amazingly, I didn’t even buy a raffle ticket! Many of the women at my mother’s church meet each week to quilt. This is a great time of fellowship for them, and they have done some amazing work. This particular quilt is the handiwork of at least two of my aunts, my mother, and several of their friends.
Well, I got a call from my Aunt Muh (DD’s name for her) notifying me that my name had been drawn in the raffle for this beautiful quilt. I didn’t even know that my mother had purchased a ticket in my name. Aren’t mothers great??? Thanks, Mom. I love you. I’ll pay you back the $1 when I come to pick up the quilt. LOL

Isn’t it funny how the theme of Chinese New Year celebration (this week) is all about good luck? I don’t even believe in luck, but today was definitely My Lucky Day!

Monday, February 11, 2008


These sweeties met at SpicyGirl’s house for our annual Valentine’s Day party! What fun! I don’t think our little girls ever get tired of seeing each other. I know DD and DB look forward to our play time each week.

SG's Little Pet Shop toys were a big hit, as was her craft table and outdoor playground! Like all girls, our little sweethearts always look forward to the valentines and chocolate goodies. Yum...Yum!

Saturday, February 09, 2008

More Chinese New Year

DD and DB had a wonderful time this afternoon at the Crow Museum which features a great collection of Asian Art. There was a special exhibit today in honor of CNY.
As a part of CNY, a Lai-See envelope is normally given by grown-ups in China to the visiting children. These envelopes contain money. DD got the opportunity to make her own red envelope at one of the craft tables. DB just observed. (She had just awakened from a nap on Daddy D’s shoulder.) Many of the children put money in the red envelopes and fed them to the lions during the lion dance.
While waiting for the martial arts demonstrations and lion/dragon dances, DD made a new friend…(Imagine that!) This sweet little girl was also adopted from China. She and DD had a lot of fun as they waited.

Here, the girls are looking through the ends of a Chinese lantern. A photographer from the Dallas Morning News took several pictures of them as they played. I don’t know if any of the shots will be in the paper, but he really thought that they were cute. (Smart guy!)

It’s a shame that this is not a video clip…When the drums and cymbals began to play, DD just couldn’t help herself…the hips began to sway and she didn’t miss a beat! The girl’s got rhythm!!
DD was lucky enough to get a spot right next to the performers and about 2 feet out of my reach ! (How convenient! lol) She had a hard time keeping her hands off of the lion costumes, and she asked one of the performers next to her at least 100 questions! LOL She absolutely loved the drums, lions, and dragon. When she grows up, her goal is to carry the ball that the dragon is chasing in the dance ...just one of her many high aspirations in life!

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Adios Dora...Ni hao Kai-Lan

Desheng Darling and Doodlebug were thrilled to watch the premier of Ni hao Kai-Lan today. They have been waiting several months for this new show featuring a 5 year old Chinese girl named Kai-lan and her friends: Rintoo (tiger), Tolee (koala), Hoho (monkey), Lulu (pink rhino) and Yeye ( grandfather).
The little girl who does the voice of Kai-lan is a 10 yr old adoptee from China. You can read more about her here
The layout of the show is very similar to Dora the Explorer, but instead of stressing the Spanish language and culture, the emphasis is on Mandarin and many aspects of Chinese culture. Other goals of the show are to teach manners and the importance of family respect…sounds good to me!

These are pictures of the girls doing the dragon dance with Kai-Lan.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008


Cheerleader, Snowbunny, Desheng Darling, SpicyGirl, Our New Friend, Doodlebug
Chinese New Year is a very important holiday in China. You can read a brief description of how the Chinese celebrate here:
We obviously don’t follow all of the traditions, but we try to make it a special day for our children. Tonight we celebrated CNY by meeting with our friends at a local Chinese restaurant. The girls looked beautiful in their traditional Chinese attire. We all had a wonderful time. The girls, however, may have enjoyed themselves a little too much. Don’t let those angelic smiles fool you...They were quite active tonight! I was just glad that there were only a few people in the restaurant. Where’s a good indoor playground when you need one? LOL. (We missed you, PandaGirl.)