Just Happy Kids ~ by me


Signs, Signs, Everywhere There's Signs

I was going through pictures hoping to find something for our Christmas cards and came across pictures that  I had forgotten about. The signs in China are too funny when they have the translation under them.  This one was at a beautiful park in Guangzhou. 

Evidently, grass has feelings too!

And this one: 

Just had to take a picture with Jake next to it. After all, I'm sure they made the sign just in case Jake came for a visit!

Really low if the kids hit their heads! Notice Ally's scratch marks on her neck? No, it wasn't a vampire. Just the "old" Jake! We all took a bit of abuse except for Eric!


Shoes shoes shoes

I found this post in my drafts from several weeks ago. I somehow missed posting it:

I took Allyson shopping for shoes as she didn't want to wear her school shoes to church, and yet I didn't want her to wear black sneekers or fuzzy boots. We shopped. We argued. We were frustrated with each other; we spent four hours on shoe shopping. I hate shoe shopping. Really hate it. I thought Ally was just being stubborn. Her feet are very narrow, so every pair of shoes I pulled out looked like they were to big.  She kept saying they were too small!

We left that day at the mall with no shoes.
A few days later with all boys in tow we headed back. I had the dept store salesperson measure her foot.

I found that problems lie in the fact that I was shoving a size 4 1/2 on her when she actually fit into a size 6 1/2. Yup. We purchased a pair of black flats. Her problem is that if the length is fine, the width all over is too big. We found a pair with the elastic back for the heel and they work well.  Can't believe we can share shoes. Somehow, I don't think I will look as cute in those black sneaks with neo laces as she does!


Thanksgiving Traditions (Picture Heavy)

First of all, Jake enjoyed Thanksgiving. After all, anything that involves food is great for him! He asked for seconds on the "dead bird". Actually, he asked to eat the "dead bird" several times yesterday. At Grant's School Thanksgiving dinner, he kept asking for dead pig.  He makes Thanksgiving sound so appetizing doesn't he?

We have a Thanksgiving tradition that mom  has done since I was a kid. We make butter. Impressive, huh? Picture me standing over a butter churn working hard w/ my apron on. NOT! It's very easy and with enough "movers and shakers", it doesn't take all that long. Besides, homemade butter is soooooo yummy!

Just start with heavy whipping cream and about a tsp. of salt. Mom's butter-making mason jar went MIA so we had to improvise. Mom just may kill me for showing the Glad ware with pink duct tape on it!

Then you shake what your momma gave you!



Shake the butter until it separates and leaves skim milk and butter. Be careful that it is actually butter and skim milk and not whip cream!
Be sure to take a picture with Grammy to remember the memory.

Then knead the butter in some ice water, but don't over knead it.

You end up with butter that you can form into molds or just put into little circular butter dishes like my mom does. She's fancy like that. Just look at her table. Pretty, huh?

So what are your Thanksgiving traditions?
(Deana, thanks for your encouraging comment. I always love hearing from you!)


Testing the Limits

Jake has been difficult lately. Having a kid this active is new to me and I often fail at having something for him to do at all times. If he is not busy with an activity that I have given him to do, he is cutting the tassels off of my table runner I bought in China, tattooing himself, "cleaning" the bathroom with wet toilet paper, playing in the sink, pulling out every action figure, hot wheels car, lego, dinosaur, book......., putting on aftershave and cologne, going through Allyson's room to find treasure, and on and on.  Today I had to spackle the play room wall.  I honestly don't know how one small spitfire can cause so much destruction in such a short amount of time. 

  And he's bossy. VERY bossy.  I hear "Stop-a-it GAAAARANT!" a lot, along with "NOOOOOOO-AAAAHHHH!".   His hands have to be busy with an approved activity while I try to prevent his escape from it. Jake enjoys sitting on the counter watching me cook and he likes talking my ear off too. He will also spend a crazy amount of time in the garage cleaning his battery powered truck with a rag. He is such a guy and loves to even have clean tires. Maybe we just need to have an old clunker in the yard and give him a power tool. That will probably work!  He doesn't really entertain himself unless it involves some sort of destruction. Oh my, maybe THAT'S why I'm so tired.

He has also really been testing limits. Lying is an issue. He will blame whatever he did on Grant or Ally. He'll say, "I think maybe -insert name- did it".   After he is disciplined, he'll tell you "I think maybe I gonna cry like a baby" as if to threaten us with his unhappiness. True, I HATE seeing him cry. He is even more pathetic than Grant when he cries because he curls up and hides to cry silently with huge crocodile tears.  Just as in China, he does not want us to see him cry.  He'll finish me off with "Chinese mommy not do that to me" or "not be mean to me".  But, discipline although difficult,  is necessary.  Eric and I have both been stricter with obedience lately meaning you answer and follow instruction the first time we say it and lying is never acceptable.  Jake requires a lot of reassurance though and time spent hugging after he has been disciplined.  I'm hoping that maybe somehow he will begin to understand permanency as we follow through and he realizes he is not going anywhere no matter how naughty he is, and  I'm hoping this testing phase ends really quickly!


Where Have I Been?

I know, I know, I haven't been blogging for several days. What can I say, I needed a mini break that was busy enough.  Grant had his Thanksgiving dinner at his school. Allyson had her last bit of soccer this past weekend and Omi (Eric's mom)  came for a visit. Thankfully, Omi cleaned up the house for me which makes for an easier week. 

Frankly, I'm pooped. Well, you know what I mean. I'm tired; generally really tired. I'm physically tired and having a lot of fatigue (one of the many benefits of RA and meds combined) and also tired of cleaning up the same exact things in the house several times a day. It gets down to my last nerve! Doesn't that ever get to you all? 

Good thing I don't have to cook Thanksgiving dinner or we would just be ordering Thai and calling it a day! Thankfully, mom is making dinner which is always especially yummy! I love her pumpkin soup. 

We have a new blogger in the family. Allyson decided she wanted one so we sat down together and got her set up. I'm wondering how long her interest will hold. Depending how it works out, it will be a good creative writing project for her and maybe a place to put all those stories that she writes. Her blog is : Ally's Awesome Life  I was a little leery at first as she doesn't have a FB acct and is limited on her internet use for safety reasons. But we will certainly give it a try.  I put comment moderation on so I see everything that is posted to her blog before it's published and she isn't allowed to publish without me checking the content. Let's just say, she is sick of me reviewing the internet safety rules!

Jake had his Thanksgiving feast at his school today. The children made the soup and the pumpkin pie for us, and, yes, I ate it. Jake had three bowls of soup and two pieces of pumpkin pie. That kid can eat! Evidently, he's not big on singing in front of crowds however:

He looks overjoyed to be in the program, doesn't he?

He's happiest when he's with this guy!

My three musketeers.  I told Ally she could wear jeans with a nice top. She wore a t-shirt, black sneaks with neon laces, and an old sweatshirt. At least she got the jeans part right.

This guy: Smart, Funny, Crazy dancer, Good looking, Everyone's friend, and he learned how to scrub my difficult pans last night. Yup! I can hear the ladies calling now!



Conversations with Jake

Jake asked why daddy goes to work. I explained that daddy gets money when he goes to work so he can buy cars, the house, food, clothes, and toys. Now understand that Jake has been telling everyone that Daddy is buying him a big "fong o jia" (excavator) for Christmas!! So after dinner, Jake asked Eric if he could go to work with him so he could get some money too. He has a list of things he is planning to buy! Smart kid!

Me: "What is Christmas, Jake?"
Jake:  "I'm going to go talk to daddy about that."
(In short, Eric explains that Christmas is when we celebrate when Jesus came as a baby and we celebrate by giving each other gifts. )

Jake: "Mom, Christmas is about baby ironman. It is a box and you can put ironman in the box and close it!"   Hmmmmm...... I wonder what he wants for Christmas!


While getting out of the tub and getting ready for bed, Jake said: "Mom, you like me be here?"

You have no idea, Jake!


Jake likes to have his hair spiked. It's a big deal. A really, really big deal! It always cracks me up to hear him say, "Don't TOUCH! You will mess my hair down!"


Jake: "Why I  four and I get a Daddy?"
I'm not sure if I've blogged this before, but Jake has said this several times in different ways. He is certain in his mind that he got a Daddy because he turned four. Now, I know Eric is the favorite, but it does sting a bit that he doesn't ever mention me! HA! Seriously, though, he remembers his birthday cake (his first one) for his fourth birthday while in China. I guess he associates that with getting a new family. He also told the lady in the orthodontist office that he is Chinese and that when he turns five he will see his Chinese mommy again.  Wish I had a camera for the woman's facial expression!  I've explained how we are a forever family to him in different ways. He just has no concept of permanency at all.  I am sure he'll get it......eventually.


Jake decided to "repair" his Buzz Lightyear doll that talks and "shoots" lasers. He thought it may need some of the batteries that he -I mean "we"- purchased the other day. Evidently he is VERY good with a screwdriver because he took it all apart and Buzz is now in three pieces and a blue wire is hanging out! Told you he was good with a screwdriver! Anyway, when I asked him about this little issue, he tried to pin it all on me and said, "I try fix him, but I can't because you won't let me use the monkey glue!".
He was referring to the "Gorilla Glue" brand! Oh my, I think he will be a mechanic, but we better get him some good training!


Black and White Wednesday


Through a Child's Eyes

 I loved watching Jake being mesmerized by everything. Makes you wonder what he is thinking.


It's all about Buzz

Jake really enjoyed meeting Buzz Lightyear and asked him if he could shoot his lasers. Of course, Buzz said yes.

We met the stars of the show a couple of times.

Jake was intrigued with this soldier as you can see from the pained expression on his face.

Buzz and Jake had quite a conversation. Jake did all the talking! And yes, just as I was taking the picture he yelled, "To infinity and beyond!"

We basically stopped for every Buzz we saw. It is all about Buzz! So different from when we took Allyson at 4 yrs old and she wore her Cinderella costume all day and then ate with the princesses in the castle. Nope, the only princessess we saw were in the parade and Jake was blowing them kisses. Grant was merely amusing me when he got in a couple of character pictures. They grow up fast, don't they?



 Yep! We're back from that magical place. Weather was perfect, not too hot or cold! 

I know, nothing "Disneyesque" about this picture, but I just liked it. This kid is sooo difficult to get a good shot of and I think he's looking mighty handsome here!

We brought parents with us who enjoyed watching the kids have a great time. They went on just about everything too! 

Disney was decorated for Christmas and was really beautiful! The castle is stunning when the lights come on!

Yup, wild child is such a goof ball!

Buzz post to come because, after all, it is all about BUZZ!


Where they belong

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos



Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos



Having fun in Disney but having trouble uploading photos to blogger. Jake has asked Buzz if he can press his buttons and shoot his lazer and has given his stickers away to the characters. he is loving it and is quite the thrill seeker raising his hands up on the roller coasters! grant has reached the point where the fast rides are more fun than seeing the characters....sniff,sniff! For Allyson, it is ALL about the thrill rides! Can't wait to post pictures! Oh, we saw Pooh Bear today and Jake thought his name was Pooh Pooh. Guess he was wondering why we would name a cute bear after "la shoog na"!


Orphan Sunday

In honor of Orphan Sunday:

Defend the cause of the fatherless.... Isaiah 1:17 

John 14:18
I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you

James 1:27
Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.

Ephesians 1:5
He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will.

Deuteronomy 10:18
He executes justice for the orphan and the widow, and shows His love 

And whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me.
--- Matthew 18:5

There are 143 million orphans worldwide.

I am abundantly blessed because of adoption.
If you've missed Jake's Adoption Story, click HERE


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