Monday, April 30, 2012

"Mother's Tea"

Friday was "Mother's Tea" time at Cherish's preschool. What a precious time!

The children had been working for quite a while on preparing a program, paintings, crafts, etc. for the mothers. The teachers worked so hard! One of Cherish's teachers even went to the store to prepare her special dairy-free food for the event! What caring teachers!

Here's Cherish during one of the songs in the program:
 The painting Cherish made of me:
 The flower hat and corsage Cherish made for me:

Also, each child "wrote" a poem for his/her mom. The teacher sat with each child and talked with him/her about his/her mom. The teacher began a sentence, and the child had to finish each sentence. Then, the teacher wrote down exactly what the child said.

Here's my poem from Cherish:

"My Mom"
By: Cherish

For fun, my mom likes to "play with me."
Her favorite thing to eat is "meat stuff."*
My mom's job is "to clean the house."
My mom looks pretty when "we go to parties."
Our favorite thing to do together is "to play games like Uno."
My mom has "necklaces."
The thing I like best about my mom is "that I get to play with her!"

How sweet is that! I told you our family spells love T-I-M-E. She's my sweetie!

Side notes:
*I asked Cherish what she meant by "meat stuff." She said, "You know, mom, you like to eat legs." It dawned on me. She and I love chicken legs! When our family goes to KFC, we order a bucket of dark meat--legs and thighs--because our family likes dark meat the best. And when I bake chicken or turkey, she and I each get a leg. So, she's right. My favorite "meat" to eat is chicken legs! (OK, now my mouth is watering....)

And, I will add: I love to eat other legs as children's pudgy little legs!!!!! J Yum, yum, yum, yum, yum! Oh, and I love the full belly laughter that accompanies the "eating" of those little legs!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Andrew is 2!

Andrew turned two on April 26th. I awoke that morning to dreaming of his sweet hugs. (They are amazing!) He loves to snuggle into the crook of my neck and hang on tightly. He lingers and puts all of himself into showing his love. He is SO affectionate! I will admit, even with his active chicken pox, I cannot resist his tender hugs and kisses. He greatly desires to show his affection, and I am his willing recipient. J

To show Andrew how much she loves him, Cherish made him cupcakes for his birthday. She had received a cupcake kit for her birthday, but since we left for China shortly after her birthday in December, she wanted to gift the cupcakes to Andrew. So, she went to work:

Thank you, Pappy and Nanny!

Due to his fever and the heat of the sun, we let Andrew out for just a short time to enjoy his day.

Here he is just thinkin':

Though I don't know what he was thinking, I can tell you what his mom and dad were thinking:
"We cannot believe we have received such an amazing gift!
What a sweet son we have been given!"

I continually marvel at how God has blessed us. Because of this, I often sing "You're Something Special" to Cherish and Andrew. (You can click on the title to hear the song.) Cherish now joins in and often sings at the top of her lungs. I pray one day Andrew will know that he was chosen, and he is loved and treasured beyond measure.

But, for now:
Happy 2nd Birthday, Sweet Boy!
Your family loves you so much!!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Meeting the newest little ones

Last Friday our family had a get-together at my mom's house, and it was the time for family members to meet the two new little boys in our family.

The first little one is Sebastian (Jen's son) with his Aunt Michele:
The second is our son Andrew with his Aunt Jen:
The two new cousins getting to know each other.
Here's Andrew feeding Sebastian:
Jen's other boys:
The genius Ryan
The gentle Brandon:
Cherish holding Sebastian for the first time:
The youngest ones with their Uncle Paul:
Cherish with Michele's sweet daughter, Carolyn:
Andrew with Michele's son, Austin:
Unfortunately, we had no idea Andrew was getting sick here. He ended up with a fever Friday evening and the chicken pox spots showed up on Saturday.

Sorry everyone for the germs!!!
We could not have known!!!

Monday, April 23, 2012

The seemingly simple things... life can bring such joy.
As can be seen in the little feverish boy's face above as he enjoys the rain.

This night, Andrew's fever spiked to 106° F, and for the next approximately 20 hours it wanted to remain in the 105°-106° F range. It. was. awful.

The doctor said he has chicken pox! He had them in Ch*na, but apparently he was less than 12 months old when he got them, so, he got them again.

Poor, precious little guy!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

What a dad!

It was last Saturday morning. Cherish had received a new tea set from her grandparents the day before, and she asked daddy to have a tea party with her (a common request). However, she requested they dress up this time. Derek went to his bedroom to get out of his pajamas and returned showered and in a suit and tie--dressed down to his shoes! They played together for about thirty minutes and then Andrew wanted to join in.

The thing is, this is not unusual for Derek. If you entered our house when daddy is home, you will often find him playing cars with Andrew, reading to Cherish, building blocks with Andrew, playing dolls with Cherish, etc. If Derek is home and not mowing the lawn or doing needed chores, you will most often find him playing with the kiddos--on their level.

He is an amazing dad!

Oh, and as I type this Derek is allowing Cherish to paint his toe nails. Why? Because he knows his daughter loves to spend time with him, and she wants to pamper him.

Daddy, with green and purple toes, in a pattern. It's sweet. But don't worry, they'll be back to normal in thirty minutes after she's in bed.

Did I mention?
What. a. dad!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Anniversary, Part II

Part II: Hiking the Great Smoky Mountains, city-slicker's style.

We saw a trail and pretended it was ours:
Rocks were on one side of our path
with a cliff on the other side:
My three loves:
Andrew in desperate need of a nap:
Our approximately 1.5 mile trek led to the top of the falls:
Andrew about out:
OK, so this how we did our approximately 3 mile hike. Even though the path was paved, it actually was a challenge. The trail climbed the side of the mountain--with cliffs most of the time on one side. Cherish was a nervous wreck much of the time. The above picture was taken at a safe point (obviously). Oh, and downhill is so much easier! J

We had fun celebrating 13 years of marriage and enjoying the family God has given us. If you can't tell, our family spells love "t-i-m-e".

Monday, April 16, 2012

Anniversary, Part I

This past week we celebrated 13 years of wedded bliss. So, to celebrate we took the family to Dollywood and then went hiking up the Great Smoky Mountains.

Part 1: Our family's enjoyment of Dollywood.

Cherish thought this horse was beautiful:
They each got in a race car with a parent and drove:
Cherish with dad:

Mom enjoying a ride with Cherish
(who was terrified from all the fast spinning):
Sibling love.
Notice, Andrew leans into Cherish--who
showers him with hugs at any and every opportunity:
Guess who didn't want to slide so she could
constantly catch her little brother?
Part II: Hiking, city-slicker's style.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Tennessee and sweetness

This past week we took a family trip to Tennessee to visit Derek's Great-Aunt and to celebrate our 13th anniversary. So, this first post will be pictures from the field behind Derek's Great-Aunt's house.

Discovering how fun flower-picking is:

Continually putting grass and flowers
in his pockets to take them home:

I love this picture:
"Good-bye orphanage memories!"


The tackle-to-kiss:

Sibling love:

Pure inner sweetness!

Derek and I are