day 214 - happy birthday morgan

Today our sweet niece, Morgan, turns 10. In addition to being our niece, Morgan is our goddaughter. She is a beautiful, smart, kind, and considerate girl. She is a great older sister to Jackie and Seth, and does her best to keep them straight. She and Jackie are so cute with our girls, and they all love to spend time together when our family gets together, which is often. We are so thankful for Morgan and she is a blessing in our lives. Happy Birthday Morganito Burrito....we can't believe you are 10! And we love you very much!


day 212 - zookeepers

LilyKate and Eleanor love stuffed animals. They probably play with them more than anything else, making up games and keeping each other occupied for hours. Today they came up with the most elaborate game yet...Zoo. They had all the chairs downstairs standing in for cages, and the animals were grouped together by species. They asked me to help them make a sign. Eleanor wrote the words - with my help on spelling - and LilyKate drew the pictures - here it is:

It says: Zoo Closed....All Animals Are Sick

Lions and Tigers and Dogs?

One of our little Zookeepers

Close-up of sign showing sad, sick dog

Lion by LilyKate

Lone Quarantined Panda

Even the Mermaids were sick

Don't know what happened to the Barbies, but this doesn't look good

Sequestered Tigers
The zoo was spread out over all the downstairs and the game went on for at least an hour. The zookeepers tended to the sick and explored possible reasons for the outbreak. They finally came up with a cause....it was the monsters (not shown). The monsters contaminated the entire zoo with their sickness. They set about treating all the animals and eventually, the zoo was deemed ready to re-open.

Oh, and in case you are wondering, as much as we loved their creativity, we did insist they clean up after themselves...that was quite an undertaking too. Love my imaginative girls!


day 211 - mermaids

Today was hot and humid - a typical summer day in the South - even though we attempted the park early this morning, it was just too hot. Even my hot-blooded, little Jiangxi girls couldn't take it. So after a quick trip to TCBY, we came home to just chill out. LilyKate asked if she could put her swimsuit on, and I suggested that we fill Mommy's big bath tub so they could play in the tub for awhile. They were positively giddy at the idea and ran off to change.

A few weeks ago, the girls got some little mermaids in a birthday party gift bag (thank you Andrea and Emma Lael!) that they have been playing with in the tub. Well, on a recent trip to the dollar store, we found some more, and the girls were so excited to have some friends for their mermaids. Armed with buckets, shells and a few other props supplied by Mommy, they happily played mermaids for at least an hour....oh glorious hour of sweet, contented play, which gave me time to not only clean their rooms, but the whole upstairs. Uninterrupted. In peace. Without requests for snacks, or me refereeing disagreements. In other words...BLISS. Here is the proof:

That was possibly the best investment of a dollar I have ever made, and one of the best ideas this Mommy has had in awhile. We will definitely be doing this again!


day 209 - annual checkup

The girls had their annual checkup today and they were less than thrilled by the idea of a) visiting the Dr. and b) getting a shot. We were a little behind on our immunizations and even though turning 5 usually means a needle-free visit, for us it wasn't.

Here is Eleanor after getting her finger pricked and waiting for the Dr. to come in:

Eleanor cried a little when they took her blood, was a trooper when it came to the vaccination...just a little whimper and she was fine. LilyKate was not happy, from the finger prick at the start, to the needle at the end, she was crying on and off and asking for Mommy. My mom went with me and we split the girls up, but in the end, I was with each of them for their shots, as LK was pretty much inconsolable, poor baby...hence, no photos of her were taken.

They were fine a few minutes after, once they were out of those exam rooms and were handed a yummy Popsicle to ease the sting of it all. You can see from the photo, that she still wasn't thrilled with the whole ordeal, but the promise of a special treat perked her spirits right back up, and she was her cheerful, sweet self in no time.

They had a great checkup though, and are on track with everything. They are in the 50th percentile for height and weight, so as the Ped said, "perfect". I am grateful everyday for two beautiful, smart, healthy children and will never take it for granted...thank you God! And thank you for no more shots until 2018!


day 208 - families needed

I am happy to say that I am volunteering my time and talents for an adoption agency, advocating for some of their precious orphans. To help get the word out, I have started a new blog to get their information out to prospective families.

The blog is called Fearfully and Wonderfully Made and I would really appreciate if you would share the site with your friends and family who might be considering adoption, or to just leave a comment of support and encouragement.

These are kids that are on a small list, shared among a limited group of agencies, in an effort to find them homes quickly. Their names and files will be put on the larger shared list if matches are not made within a few weeks. This gives us a chance to get the word out, post their pictures and see if we can find the perfect match for these special kids.

God doesn't make mistakes, and all these kids can thrive with the right love, care and attention.

Thank you for taking the time to visit the blog and for your support and encouragement.


day 207 - little stinker

Oh my, how I love this picture of Eleanor, snapped on my camera phone today. She is all this and more....mischievous, sweet, loving, hilarious, stubborn, adorable...such a funny little girl. She brings joy to our lives in ways I could never stop counting. We prayed for one and were blessed with two, and the blessings unfold with each day that passes. Our sweet E, Ellie, L-E-NOR...our baby girl. We love you to the moon and back...to China and back...to infinity and beyond!


day 206 - chess anyone?

I know I posted about Jonathan teaching the girls to play chess, but watching them together is the sweetest thing and I can't resist the urge to post another pic of them playing together. They ask to play every day now, although truthfully, sometimes they play "school" with the pieces, but heck, that's more than I even do when it comes to chess!


day 205 - scooter girls

Happy Scooter Girl
Notice how they use opposite legs

The girls got some awesome scooters for their birthday, and today was actually the first day we got to take them outside. Our driveway is kinda steep, and our street a little busy, plus it seems like every time we plan to take them out, it rains or the heat makes it no fun to be outside. So, with cooler temps today, we headed over to Grandma and Grandpa's to take them out, since they live on a cul-de-sac that is pretty flat, and quiet. The girls LOVED it.

LilyKate has been whizzing around the house since they got them, and was so excited to get out on the road and ride. Eleanor, as is her nature, was a little more tentative, but still loved being on the street and riding up and down to her heart's content.They had a great time.

LilyKate is a pro

Here they come!


day 204 - your move

Jonathan has been teaching the girls to play chess. I am not sure how much they really understand yet, but they do know that the object of the game is to guard your king. He plays with them and helps them decide the best moves to make.

When he's not around, they play together and tell each other what to do. They don't ask Mommy, because she's no help, having never mastered the game herself. Maybe they can teach me one day!


day 203 - leaving the nest

Today, our three little baby birds left the nest for good. We could tell they were getting close, and almost missed seeing them before they were gone. The daddy bird was nudging them, trying to get them out of the nest.

We watched for awhile and no progress was happening, so we walked away for just a few minutes, and when we returned, they birds were gone! Oh no! We were so sad that we missed it, but then we looked out and spotted the bird family in a tree close to the house. The parents were flying/chasing the babies from tree to tree, and the babies were doing it...they were flying! We were so excited.

One of the babies in a nearby tree
Another fledgling right after it left the nest

We will miss watching them every day and hope we get some more visitors soon!


day 202 - who they are

Silly LK
Laughing Ellie

Snuggling sisters
Sweet Eleanor

Beautiful LilyKate


day 201 - fledglings

We have another nest of fledglings in the corner of our front porch. This time, there are three little finches, and they are getting so big - they will surely be leaving the nest soon. I don't even know how three birds can fit in this nest, but at night, they snuggle down tight and you can barely see their heads peeking out at the top. The girls and I love to watch them, and we usually check as we come downstairs first thing, and then anytime we pass by the from door. Sometimes we are lucky and see the mama or daddy bird feeding them, which usually sends me running for my camera. I have to take the pics through the window, so as not to scare them. Sometimes the nearest thing is my camera phone, so the quality is not great. Can't wait to see what happens when they are ready to fly!


day 200 - starbucks with mommy

My girls love when we make a stop in Starbucks. They always ask for a Milk Chocolate-Covered Graham. Mommy usually has a skinny latte, but whatever we have, we love hanging out together! I am treasuring these little moments, since they will be starting Kindergarten in just a few weeks, and our daytime outings will be limited to weekends and holidays. Love my girls!


day 199 - they light up my life

My girls looked so pretty on the way out to church today, I just had to snap some pics. I picked a bad spot for lighting, but they even look adorable in poor lighting! Oh, how I love these two sweeties!



Sister friends


day 198 - vbs day 2

We are having a great weekend at Rocky Point Lighthouse VBS. The music is awesome, the games fun, and the kids are all so excited about all they are hearing and seeing. This weekend program is perfect for our small church!

Eleanor working on her lighthouse

Our sweet niece Isabelle
Cousin Matt getting into the music
Eleanor, hamming it up, sitting with cousin Morgan

Johnny and Shelby during the "Lightman" Skit
Some of our crew leaders and wonderful elementary kids