Friday, December 23, 2011

Nothing prepares you for parenthood

We are having a wonderful holiday season, but Dec. 23 we had to pause for a lip revision surgery and some rhinoplasty of Jake's nose.
Honestly this had been planned for months, but I think we were in denial it truly would happen, but it did, and Jake is working like a trooper to get better.
You can prepare for weeks, or years, knowing this is something he eventually will need to get better and have a brighter, healthier future. You can read all you can about what is best. You can seek second opinions and know you are doing what you have to do.
But when that little boy is sick and in pain and the alarms go off in the middle of the night on his monitors, it's one of the hardest things to go through in your life.
All you can do is your best and leave the rest up to the Father, who does see it all and know what is best for real.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

"The Dark Lord of the Sith never had to put away his underwear!"

Jake dressed up in his Halloween costume this morning. He was Darth Vader from helmet to gloves to shoes, running around the house, causing terror in the hearts of the household. lol
One of the goals he made for karate class was to help out with household chores, so I gave him some of his clothes to put away upstairs — underwear in the top drawer, socks in the same and pajamas in your pajama drawer.
He quickly exclaimed that he couldn't do it with his gloves and helmet on, took them off and proceeded to accept his skivvies.
At which point Daddy loudly exclaims, "Hello, the Dark Lord of the Sith never had to put away his underwear!"
The really funny part is Jake looked at me with hesitation in his eyes like I was going to buy that one. I laughed and he headed upstairs!
It's these little things that I love about my life with my men!


The photo is him on Halloween.
I still have to get some of his birthday party up, which was Oct. 30.
A fun time was had by all!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The little stuff you forget

The link above is to our blog post the day we pulled Jake into our arms.
I had not revisited that in a while, and it is amazing how you never forget the important stuff, but there was a lot about that day I had not remembered. I am so glad we blogged, and I wish we would do it more now. Darn Facebook! lol Makes me wonder about the little stuff we are living now we will forget tomorrow. :(


3 years already?

It was 3 years ago today that Jake was carried into our hotel room in Xi'an, Shaanxi Province, China, and into our lives.

It's hard to believe it's been 3 years. Sometimes it seems like it was yesterday, but most of the time it's hard to remember what life was like without him. He wasn't quite 2 years old then, now he's coming up on his 5th birthday. He's blossomed so much, especially in the last few months. We have been so blessed.

Monday, September 12, 2011

He can do it!

Jake's been working on this for a while, and suddenly he can do it!

Here's one a little longer:

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Out with the old and in with the new

I absolutely loved the header I created for blog to the point where I resisted changing it for nearly three years.
But with the advent of Jake entering "Big Boy School" and the fact he's almost 5 years old, I figured the photo on the header of the not-quite-2-year-old reaching out to his new Mom or Dad in China needed to be updated.
All good things must come to an end, but I decided to post the header here so it could live on in his blog. The beauty of closing one door is finding the wonderful things in store behind the next.
Can't wait to explore them with my ever-growing, ever-learning and ever-wonderful son and husband.
Our family.

Old header – Jake a few weeks shy of 2 years old:

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

First day of school

Today was Jake's first day of "Big Boy School." He's been going to school at daycare for a couple of years, but this is the big jump into our local 4-year-old program.
It was a big day with speech session, school, karate, and he handled it all like a trooper and was excited. He said he likes his teacher and his new school.
Here are some photos from Day 1:

Jake posing by his new school sign. Don't worry, the bird is potty-trained (nice positioning Mommy!):

Daddy and the Little Man on their way:

One of Jake's task every day is to hang up his backpack under his name all by himself:

Because he was quiet and criss-cross he was one of two selected to participate in the Pirate station, the popular place to be:

He was a little shell-shocked just because of the newness. Teacher told him to sit on the rug, and when he did he sat on the "J." Violet asked if did that on purpose, and he looked at her like, Wha??!!:

Waiting for the bus!:

Jake got on the bus with Mommy for his first ride and proclaimed, "This is the best bus ride ever, Mommy," just before he smiled this heart-stealer!:

Days of first

Jake took a big step in his life today, as he entered "Big Boy School," and I'm not sure how I have felt about my Little Man growing up this summer right before my eyes.
I remember the day it happened, on a Saturday, right after one of Jake's friends had a birthday party and Jake decided he wanted his hair buzzed off like his friend. Oh, it wasn't the hair cut, but the way my suave, debonair guy acted afterward.
I have the pictures to prove it: That morning he's grinning like an little imp at the camera during the party and then after his haircut he's all sultry and acting about three times his age.
And that was not all. Suddenly he was half-a-head taller and talking better and coming up with more mature thoughts and plans.
And, now, he is going to school. Yes, he has gone to "school" at daycare, and this is only a half-day 4-year-old program, but it is the beginning of an education that will lead him to great things.
It is the beginning.
No more picking up to take off whenever we feel like it. Now there is school to consider. Bedtimes are earlier and homework will come. There will be questions I don't remember the answers to and angst about various and sundry things that come with childhood.
But we will face them together, as we overcame the first day.
Another day of firsts.
You know, like many children born, Jake came into our lives sort of kicking and screaming, not knowing who we were or really how he came to be in our arms.
Those days are long ago and far away.
We spend so many years planning for our child, even before our adults lives, that it is strange to hold on to them and see the years go by and milestones grow even as his measurements increase on the growth chart.
I always will remember this day, Jake's first day of school, and I look with sadness and anticipation for the rest of our lives.
violet (aka Mommy)

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Beach Blast

We spent last week at the beach, well, as close as we are going to get for awhile. LOL
Beach Blast vacation Bible school ended Friday with a final program and a hot dog supper.
The kids were a blast to work with, and Jake had a lot of fun, especially since his friend Marossie attended, too.
Jake's favorite lesson was learning about Jesus dying on the cross. We talked about why he did it, which was to save all of us so we can all get together in heaven!
Of course, his favorite thing was playing with friends.
Here he is in the final program singing a little Beach Blast!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Artist at work

Jake must have been inspired Wednesday because he turned out 5 major pieces of art.

The first two are pencil drawings he did at pre-school, the other three after school and karate using different mediums.

This is Daddy going into outer space. He's heading to the moon and planets, although he better watch out. The round object to the left of the top of his spaceship is Darth Vader's spaceship.

That's Peter Rabbit on the right side of the paper going out of his house and about ready to go through the gate to Mr. Macgregor's garden. He better be careful he doesn't get caught. Jake was sneaky in this work. In the lower left you can see he wrote his name backwards. Very clever.

This is Cinderella's castle.

This one is an ocean scene. From left at the bottom are an eel, a sting ray and a leatherback sea turtle. The sting ray turned the water orange for some reason. We think he learned about leatherback sea turtles from watching "Diego." At the top is someone's beach house.

Finally, we have a self-portrait simply titled "Jake Throwing Up." He was going to stay overnight at Grandpa and Grandma's house a couple of months ago, but for some reason he got sick to his tummy and threw up. This is his rendition of that night. Personally, it's our favorite of the works he did Wednesday.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Chopsticks and water pistols

Last week's China heritage camp inspired us to trying cooking more Asian foods, so we started this week with some recipes shared by our cooking instructor during the camp's adult workshops.
We made fried rice, sweet and sour pork and egg-drop soup.

While ours was not as delicious as what we tasted last week, we were happy to say it was pretty good and well-received, and we had a lot of fun making Chinese dishes for Jake. And we even tried our hand at eating with chopsticks, which Jake loved!

Afterward we reconnoitered in the backyard for a long-overdue water gun fight, a welcome blast on a hot day!

We finished off our heritage evening with a trip to Meadowlake Park in hopes the train was running. Well, the heat got the train, so we settled for sno cones, which was a great runner-up treat.

Monday, July 11, 2011

China Heritage Camp

We just spent the past few days in Tulsa at Dillon International's China Heritage Camp.
It was a blast. There were some 260 children from China at the camp. It was our first year to go, but some of the kids have been going for 10 years. They divide the kids up according to ages, and they had classes in arts and crafts, dance, language, cooking and kung fu.

We think Jake had a good time. He tells us he did, but he also says his favorite part was swimming in the hotel pool. Oh well, what do you expect from a 4 1/2 year old? One of the best parts for us was that the kids were the majority for a change. It was the non-Chinese kids who were the exception rather than the rule.

They also had classes for parents, including language and cooking, and they had one about heritage trips. It was fun for us adults, too.

It was a three-day event, so they weren't able to get really in depth on things, but it still was a great experience we would definitely encourage those interested to look into.

The group that did the lion dance at the opening ceremony was really good.

Jake's in the tie-dyed shirt, looking at the lion.

After, he posed with the lion.

Playing around during dance class.

I just had to add one more photo. This is one of Jake's group singing ... OK, Jake didn't sing, but he did the sign language ... "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" in his native language. I actually cried. I didn't realize how moving his performing to Chinese would be and how special China would become to me. I hope it is as special to him some day. violet

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Jake's learning new skills

We enrolled Jake in a Soo Bahk Do Moo Duk Kwan martial arts class. He's been to 3 classes so far and seems to be enjoying it.
Last week, just happened to be their shim sa (testing) and Jake knew enough to get an orange stripe on his belt.

He also broke a plastic board with his foot. It is a board that breaks if you kick it right, and they can put it back together for the next kid, but Jake did kick it right and broke it. It took him a couple of tries, and when he broke it he seemed surprised but then he smiled big.

Here he is showing off his new stripe.

And here he is recreating his powerful kick.

Look out Chuck Norris!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

3 years ago ... it all changed

Three years ago today (April 17) our world changed.

We were in JCPenney buying some last-minute things for our trip to Chicago for the East Meets West conference when my cell phone rang. It was Great Wall, and they had a "kiddo" whose file they wanted us to take a look at. Since we were in town, we hurried over to work and checked the e-mail.

This was one of the first photos we saw.

From that moment on, we knew we had found our son. Who couldn't fall in love with that face? Luckily for us one of the guest speakers at the conference was an international adoption doctor who had adopted 4 girls from China. He reviewed our file and we decided to go for it.

Three years later life is definitely good.

Sunday, March 27, 2011


We were there Saturday night, for the monster trucks. We figured Jake would get a kick out of it, since he has taken more of a liking lately to his extensive collection of toy cars and trucks.

He did enjoy it, although a couple of times he said he was "tired of watching this" and could we do something else. But, we stuck it out and he ended up having a good time. His favorite thing was when "the cars went upside down."

Here we are in line. We had to stand in line for a little while in the cold.

Here's Jake with his ear plugs in (it was really loud) standing in front of the monster trucks.

Another pose with the trucks in the background.

Jake watching the show.

Waving his flag for the winner.

What goes up, must come down ... upside down that is.

Bigfoot standing on end.

Jake doing a silly pose in front of Bigfoot after the show.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Another CNY celebration, and a great time was had by all

We had a great time at the CNY party put on by Central Oklahoma FCC. Thank you so much gang for the good time. It was at a Chinese buffet in Edmond and we were celebrating the Lunar New Year (a little late) and welcoming the year of the rabbit. There were crafts, good food, friends, a chance to meet new people and the lion (or was it the dragon?) dance.

Jake's favorite: Egg-drop soup

Making crafts. Jake is getting good at coloring, although he did run out of patience today and go crazy with the crayon at the end.

Here is what Jake and Marossie made. Scary!

They also made a lantern for the lantern festival, celebrated shortly after the new year.

Was it a dragon dance or a lion? We're going with lion since the teeth seem more blunt. LOL Jake didn't want to participate in the dance at first, but Daddy shoved him in and it was all fun from there.

Who's that lion?

It's Jake! He pretty much stole the show.

Mommy, Jake, Daddy in our traditional self-portrait

Jake with his friends Marossie and Mary playing in the water fountain.

Later we had some fun outside at our "Little House" as Jake calls it.

How handsome is he?

There are thousands of geese that have taken up residence in the field across the road. When they take off it sounds like thunder or a truck rumbling by on the dirt road.

There still is some snow left.

Showing off his form. Pretty good.