Monday, January 31, 2011

Year of the Rabbit

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2011 is the year of the Rabbit. A placid year, very much welcomed and needed after the ferocious year of the Tiger. We should go off to some quiet spot to lick our wounds and get some rest after all the battles of the previous year.

Good taste and refinement will shine on everything and people will acknowledge that persuasion is better than force. A congenial time in which diplomacy, international relations and politics will be given a front seat again. We will act with discretion and make reasonable concessions without too much difficulty.

A time to watch out that we do not become too indulgent. The influence of the Rabbit tends to spoil those who like too much comfort and thus impair their effectiveness and sense of duty.

Law and order will be lax; rules and regulations will not be rigidly enforced. No one seems very inclined to bother with these unpleasant realities. They are busy enjoying themselves, entertaining others or simply taking it easy. The scene is quiet and calm, even deteriorating to the point of somnolence. We will all have a tendency to put off disagreeable tasks as long as possible

Money can be made without too much labor. Our life style will be languid and leisurely as we allow ourselves the luxuries we have always craved for. A temperate year with unhurried pace. For once, it may seem possible for us to be carefree and happy without too many annoyances.

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I saw the Lindt gold rabbit at an asian market and thought it was very clever of them to use them for this purpose.

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I bought a box of the mini rabbits at Costco and they are looking forward to having one on Thursday - and throughout our New Year celebrations - as a treat.

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It is funny, how after three years of celebrating Chinese New Year, it really feels like it is already a very traditional holiday for our family and we all look forward to celebrating it! If only I could truly get into the spirit and clean my house...

Friday, January 28, 2011

Pucker Up!

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After a Chinese New Year photo shoot this week, I gave the girls these suckers as a treat.

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The photo shoot was a bit of a gong show, Zoe did not want to cooperate at all, but I did get some decent shots.

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I know people use many things as a little home studio, but for my girls, I used an old roller blind. It is white on one side and beige on the other side. I tacked it up in my kitchen, where I have some great natural light and it worked really well.

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Also, so many people I know have been given referrals in the past couples of weeks, it warms my heart!

None of these families have had an easy journey, it has been a rollercoaster ride for all of them, and for some of them it still is... but God has placed these beautiful children in their lives and soon they will be home.

A couple that was in our original LID group for Lilah, has received a referral for a 3 year old boy from the China Waiting Child program, and he is gorgeous.

A couple that we have journeyed with on both of our adoptions is committed to adopting a precious one year old girl, from Haiti, and are in the process of fighting hard to bring her home.

Another couple has received a referral for siblings from Ethiopia, a boy and a girl, and they too are beautiful and should be home in the fall.

This journey is an amazing one, it brings people together in an amazing way and forms relationships with people far and near. It opens our eyes to something that few people ever get to see, something you cannot turn away from and wouldn't want to.

In you the orphan finds mercy. -- Hosea 14:3

Monday, January 24, 2011

It is all about the BLING

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Zoe loves pretty things. The minute she wakes up in the morning, she puts on necklaces, rings, watches, bracelets and clips in her hair.

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We have noticed that Zoe often walks around and will motion like she is flipping her very long hair back over her shoulders. In her mind she must have long and beautiful hair!

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I often find her in her closet searching for the pinkest and fluffiest clothing she can find, which usually means she tries to put on Lilah's princess pyjamas. When I put on my make up, Zoe must have some eyeshadow too.

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Lilah loves pretty things too, just not quite as much as Zoe does. She does it more because Zoe is doing it. Lilah prefers to have her fingernails painted by Abby, in as many colors possible.

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These are the things I missed about little girls.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Ice on Whyte

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This year, Ice on Whyte 2011 has a Chinese theme. Nine ice and snow carvers came all the way from Harbin, China to work along side with Canadian ice and snow carvers. Together they created a Giant Ice Dragon Slide, Ice Pagodas, a Great Wall, a fantastic Children's Play area and much more.

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There was an ice maze.

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There were ice slides for the children.

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Zoe loved it. Lilah... not so much.

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The detail of the carvings were amazing.

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I discovered that ice is not easy to photograph! Especially with crowds of people in the way.

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Thursday, January 20, 2011

Ten

Of all the animals, the boy is the most unmanageable. ~Plato



Eli was the cutest baby... a head full of dark hair and very very chubby.



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Eli had to light his own candles...

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All he wanted for his birthday was an electric guitar.

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Even through the drama that this boy can cause in our house, he is so loved and we find him absolutely fascinating!

Boys are beyond the range of anyone's sure understanding, at least when they are between the ages of 18 months and 90 years.
~James Thurber~

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Last Train Home - Official U.S. trailer

I haven't seen this film yet, but my mom went to see it last night and said it was amazing. It has won many awards.

It follows a family from Sichuan (where Zoe is from) as the parents leave their two young children with their grandparents to go work very long days sewing in a factory in Gaungzhou (where Lilah is from). They can only go home once a year on Chinese New Year, if they can even get a ticket on the train to see their children. It shows the pressure they put on their children as they try to make a better life for them and want to see them succeed because of it... do they? You will have to watch to find out.



I am not sure when this will be out on dvd, or when you will be able to watch it online. I am keeping my eyes open. Right now it is showing in the theaters that show foreign films.

Guang'an Social Welfare Institute



These are the only photos I have of the SWI that Zoe lived in. Bianca, from the Netherlands, adopted Zoe's best friend, one month before we adopted Zoe. She was given these photos. I often show Zoe Bianca's blog and she gets very excited to see Xiao Mei!



The SWI was built in 2009, up on a hill where the people who lived there, would be safer. We were told when we went that there was no way we would be allowed to visit on our adoption trip, but if we ever come back, we can apply one month before for permission to tour the facility. Someday we will do this. I believe it will tell us a lot about her first 3 1/2 years of life.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Seven

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Seven years ago today, I woke up in the morning and told Tim that I would be having the baby that day and that if I called him at work, he needed to answer.

He told me I couldn't have the baby that day, as his day was very full.

A couple hours later, I drove my kids to a babysitter and then drove myself to the hospital.

Tim did come and was there the whole time.

One year later, we celebrated Micah's first birthday. He wasn't feeling good that day...

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This year I combined Micah and Eli's birthday parties because they both wanted to do the same thing. Go to West Edmonton Mall to Galaxyland, my most favorite place in the world (NOT). We then went to The Old Spaghetti Factory for supper and then home for cake and presents.

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The boys friends all stayed for night and we had waffles and Eli's birthday cake in the morning. It was a great way to do the parties and get it all done in one shot... and there wasn't even any complaining about having to share the spotlight.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Volleyball Banquet

A daughter is a beautiful reflection of God's grace.-- Lynn A. Pena

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Tonight, Abby had her volleyball banquet. The girls all decided they were going formal and had spent time together at the mall trying on dresses.

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Abby loves to dress up pretty, even though she is usually found in jeans and a t-shirt!

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On a side note... I went to her basketball game last night - running late - and when I got there I noticed she was sitting on the sidelines with ice on her mouth. She had just been shoulder checked in the face a minute earlier. They called me down and pulled her from the game. She chipped about a quarter of her bottom tooth off and had numerous smaller chips out of her top teeth. Luckily, Wednesday's are the one night our dentist is open late and she was willing to get her in immediately to fix it. (The nerves were exposed). She may not have looked quite so pretty tonight otherwise!

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A daughter is a miracle that never ceases to be miraculous...full of beauty and forever beautiful...loving and caring and truly amazing.-- Deanna Beisser

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