Thursday, March 13, 2014

Mother-Daughter Time

I try to be intentional about being a mommy, not just a homeschool teacher. A mommy, not just someone who cooks the meals, cleans the house, and does the laundry. A mommy.

So, Cherish and I have our special "girl" time together as often as we are able. Derek and I try to get the little ones to bed between 7:00 - 7:15 p.m., and then Cherish and I spend some time together. It looks a bit like this:

After lighting the candles, I turn out the lights in the kitchen, and we share tea and a snack together. We focus only on each other. We talk about anything and everything. We spend time laughing and chatting.

After our tea and snack, we snuggle together to read a chapter of our novel. We are reading through the Laura Ingalls Wilder novels, and we are on the seventh book. We both enjoy the books, and it gives us another common bond. It's fun to end the day with Cherish by snuggling with her. I know there are not many years left before she's on to other things. So, I am treasuring this time.

Cherish is a special sweetheart, and I want her to know it!

As a side note, here's a quote I came across a while back that has helped me see the importance of being intentional:
"Listen earnestly to anything your children want to tell you, no matter what. If you don't listen eagerly to the little stuff when they are little, they won't tell you the big stuff when they are big, because to them, all of it has always been big stuff." Catherine M. Wallace

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Chinese Concert

This past Thursday, we were blessed to have some family-time together. We had invited some friends to go with us to a Chinese concert, and they reciprocated by inviting us to join them for Chinese food at a new-to-us Chinese restaurant. So, we went and enjoyed the fellowship of like-minded friends.

During the meal, however, I had to perform the Heimlich on Hope. Thankfully, she pulled through her choking incident.

After dinner we went to hear the wonderful musicians from the Qingdao University Folk Orchestra--as this was their first time in the U.S. The performers were so much fun to watch and listen to, and it was exciting to hear and learn about some Chinese instruments.

After the performance, the audience was welcomed up on stage to see the instruments and to try them out.

Here are Cherish and Hope completely enthralled by what this lovely lady was saying:
Some SAH-WEET children:
Trying out the yangqin--hammer dulcimer:
Cherish really, really liked this instrument and wished she had lessons!

Then, Hope found the drums. Look at Andrew's face.
He's saying, "Are we allowed to play the drums?!!"
Cherish's loving expression of approval for her brother's playing:
Andrew had surprisingly great volume control on the drums!

This instrument, the pipa--pear shaped lute, was Cherish's favorite.
She didn't want to touch it, as there were no musicians near it.
So, she just admired it.

We had such a blast!

We also noticed that when the Chinese ladies or men talked with Hope, she refused to speak in Mandarin back to them. If she didn't know how to answer their questions in English, she simply wouldn't answer them. If she knew the English answer, she'd answer their Mandarin questions with an English answer. It was so obvious--not only to us but to the Chinese people--that she was trying to put Mandarin behind her.

(Even at home, she refuses to let us call her by her Chinese names. She is adamant that we only call her "Kope"--as she refers to herself.)

So the evening ended and we headed home.

At 2:45 a.m. I was awoken by a very loud cry for help. It was the beginning of the pains from food poisoning. First Derek, followed by Andrew. They shared a meal, and they both suffered miserably.

However, the fun we had at the concert with the wonderful musicians and the Proclaim! group out-shined the choking situation at the restaurant and the food poisoning that followed. But, I can pretty safely say: we'll be staying clear of that restaurant in the future. =)

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Cherish's Book

In January, while Cherish was watching PBS Kids, she saw an advertisement telling about a writers' contest that was underway. The contest winners would be rewarded by having their books published online.

Immediately, Cherish asked if she could enter the writing contest. She said, "I already know what I'm going to write about." She told me about the book she wanted to write and began working on it in her free time.

She wrote and drew. And rewrote and drew....

When she finished her book, she decided to have it typed instead of being hand-written. So, we entered her book onto a Word document. From there she picked the colors of the font for each page, etc. Then, she had to redraw all her pictures.

Talk about a lot of work with a lot of hours invested!

The amazing thing is: she never lost sight of her goal. She wanted to write this book (completely voluntarily), and though it consumed so many of her free hours, she had sticktoitiveness and finished the book.

Here's her book:

Cherish is a first grader. She came up with a goal to write a book, planned it out, and carried it through to completion. Her father and I are SO-O-O proud of her!!!!!

Whether PBS Kids chooses her as a winner or not, she will always be a winner to her father and me! Her book is so very precious to us--as it shows her sweet heart toward her sister and adoption.

God bless her!