Friday, September 30, 2011

Ballet Classes

Cherish is taking ballet lessons...and she learns behind closed doors. No mommas. No cameras. No fun...for this momma.

Then, the studio installed a camera in the room and connected it to a TV where the mommas sit. This momma is now very happy. =)

Here's what I get to see now:


Thank you, Pappy and Nanny, for the gift of ballet lessons!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Cherish's Prayer

“Thank You, God, that a family is a family, and that a family is always a family. Thank You that Andrew is in our family and that Hope is in our family, too….”

Cherish prays this constantly.
At meals.
In the car.
At bedtime.

Without sight.

Monday, September 26, 2011

"Spirit of America"

This weekend the U.S. Army came to perform for our city as a tribute to 9/11. If there is a patriotic program going on...chances are...I'm there!
Well, my family too:
The old:
Combined with the new:
A night with my Sweeties:
Loved it!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Free Time

The blessing of being able to say “no” to many “good” things is making sure you have time for the “great” things. Um, like...
Tea party time:

Thursday mornings. No scheduled activities. Ahh. Time for us to sleep in--which is greatly needed after our very busy Wednesdays.
Snuggle time.
Reading time.
Tea party time.
Cooking time. Cherish cooked scrambled eggs for the first time this morning.
Time with my Sweetie.
I am truly blessed!

"Department of Homeland Security"

Such beautiful word! Let's read them again: Department of Homeland Security. Ahhhh. That's the return label on the letter we received in today's mail.

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) office has corrected their error regarding my fingerprinting and have approved us to adopt Andrew Zan-Cheng Bollinger. Thank You, LORD!

From here, our adoption agency submits our I-800 form ("Petition to Classify Convention Adoptee as an Immediate Relative") to the Texas Lockbox facility of the USCIS.

THE LOCKBOX. How long will it take?

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Heating Pad to the Rescue

This has been Cherish's routine for the last five nights--since her doctor suggested it. When the medicine isn't working to curb her abdominal pain, we add a heating pad to her tummy (or back which seems to help as well).

Even yesterday before swim class, Cherish ended up having Pepto-Bismol and Tylenol (per her G.I. doctor). After her class, we stopped by the grocery store on the way home, and she hurt so badly she hunched over near the entryway of the store. I lifted her into the cart to ride in the basket through the store.

As soon as we got home, Cherish was on the floor doubled over. She asked for more medicine and the heating pad. She got both. It took about an hour until she was up walking around, chatting with us.

The relief comes, but it doesn't last too long. About 4 hours later at bedtime, she was asking for more medicine and the heating pad again. It. is. SO. sad!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Zoo Day

What a blessed day of getting out of the 90 degree temperatures! I actually felt a chill in the air this morning, and we agreed this was the perfect day to head to the zoo. A day to wear a sweater instead of sweating buckets of sweat glistening in the heat. It was wonderful!

O.K. so forget the sweater thing.
This child stays warm--especially when running around.
So, mom wore the sweater most of the day. It was great!
 Entering the tree house:
 Such a fun daddy!
 Because someone loves pandas:
 Daddy wanted to prove I was at the zoo today:
 Learning the rope ladder:
Concrete slide:
 Just because he's good-looking:
Another "just because":
 You know it's time to go home when your daughter looks at animals like this:

 And just one for playing with a filter on my camera:
Good night.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Telling a Story

Hercules (the photographer I told you about) told me to take pictures to tell a story. I started taking pictures while he was talking with me, and thought I had captured nothing. My daughter wasn't doing anything "amazing" or "special".

However, before deleting the pictures, I noticed something. Can you visibly see her pain rising?

At the beginning of her 30-minute swim class:
 Smile gone, but she just looks like she's concentrating:
 The hunched-over, leg-crossed, tongue-sticking-out look should have given me a clue:
 Not doing well!
I ran to her to see if her pain was rising. Yep. She was in severe pain. However, she didn't want to stay out of the water. (She's such a trooper!) Back in, and...
 Notice her face:
Horrible pain. Poor girl.
(She went to the doctor the next day.
We are working to keep her pain level from spiking...)

So, all that to tell you, your camera can tell a story even though you don't see it initially.

Check out some of Hercules' work: "day-at-the-beach". You'll be amazed at what he can do with an iphone. Seriously.

I'm working on photography. Too bad Cherish's ballet lessons are behind closed doors--no parents allowed. =( That would be a great place to try out what I've learned so far. Oh, well....


Monday, September 12, 2011

Autumn Moon Festival

We are members of our city's chapter of Families with Children from China (FCC). This past Saturday at the beach, we celebrated the Chinese holiday: Autumn Moon Festival. There was a good turn-out of about 80-100 people. We ate our picnic dinners and enjoyed games, crafts, castle building, and just silly fun.
Playing with friends:
Having a blast!
Water balloon toss:
Making Chinese lanterns while chatting with friends:
Loving the water:
Playing tug-of-war with the dads (who were on the other side):
Eating Italian ice as the moon was rising:
See the moon?
Beautiful autumn moon:
We had a wonderful time and greatly appreciate the precious people who make up our FCC group!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Second Box to Andrew

Andrew will be getting another box soon. Yay!

This picture was taken after the washing and sanitizing and before the packing. Oh, so little fits into a shoebox. (But, I'd rather follow our agency's instructions and have it fly through customs!)

Soft, cozy outfit, socks, camera, stacking blocks,
rubber ducky, snuggly Tigger,
several pictures colored by Cherish,
 and a picture of Andrew.
(Since I can't write in Chinese, I wanted to ensure the package goes to the correct child. I thought the picture might help.)

Thanks, Cheryle, for the box it will all be traveling in. =)

Friday, September 9, 2011

Playtime at the Park

Last night the evening was cool, so right after dinner we headed out to the park near our house. I grabbed my camera on the way out the door....
Such a good and kind daddy!
Racing daddy to the frisbee. The look of pure determination:
Happy eyes:
I love the live oaks around here!
Daddy helping--obviously:
She had tried something new by herself,
and was quite pleased at her accomplishment:
What a beautiful park!