Thursday, July 23, 2015

2006 matching is done

May 19th 2006 was our log in date for our girls. That date will always stay with me, each month and every year that passed we waited for the Chinese Government to get to our official date for our matching. We waited over 4 years to be matched.

It's official that by the end of the month they will have matched all families, that have a 2006 log in date, with children. Finally all those that sent their paperwork into China waiting to be matched with a non special needs child have been match thru 2006.

It has taken the Chinese Government almost 8 years to process 1 years worth (2006) of log in dates (LID). We were matched with our girls on November 2, 2010 and we met them Jan 2011. It has taken them 4years to get thru 7 months worth of waiting families. That means that if you were delayed in getting your paperwork to china for any reason by just a couple of months, it made your wait for matching with your child several YEARS longer.

Congratulations to all the families that have been matched with your sweet little babies from China!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

A great time at the Parks

We have a great time with our year long pass to the SW park. We went as often as we could and we took advantage of the year round celebrations and fun. The best time of year was Christmas time, they outdid themselves with decorations, show and activities. We went 3 times to try and take it all in. The kids love this park and when we are home with Milo and settled in we might just get another year long pass to go again.

Here are some pictures from SW and some others that were on my phone over the last month or so. The kids are getting so big and i can't get over how much they have changed. Nate is now 7 years old and the girls will have their birthday in March, they will be 5. The Lord has truly blessed us with some amazing children.

 Enjoy the photos.

Just after Christmas and got a few extra shots
A happy girl during some free time at SW
Goofing around with the selfie

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

We Are Adopting Again

We have some exciting news! We are adopting again! We have been hard at work all summer long working on our dossier; gathering documents and certifying and authenticating. Oh boy, do you remember all those key words we once learned when we first started our adoptions? We were an I-600 family the first time and now, this time, we are an I-800 family. The changes and extra work and extra time it takes to get through each step is awful. But we worked as quickly as possible to get through it all and we have an LID of Aug 11, 2014. We are going through the SN program and we hope to be matched in the next couple of months.

I hope you will take a look at our new blog we started. I have been keeping all the details along the way of our journey.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Autumn Moon Festival

Mid-Autumn Festival (中秋节, zhōngqiūjié) lands on the 15th day of the eighth lunar month, relatively near the autumnal equinox; in 2014, it falls on September 8. Also sometimes called Mooncake Festival, it is a public holiday in China and Taiwan on which families gather to give offerings to the full moon, float sky lanterns and eat mooncakes (月饼, yuèbing).
A culinary tradition with legendary roots, mooncakes are sold everywhere from grocery stores to five-star hotels and come with competing origin stories that relate how these sweets came to represent the holiday.

Mid-Autumn Festival was inspired by the mythical story of Chang’e, the “Lady of the Moon.” Once upon a time, the world had 10 suns, all of which lived in a mulberry bush together, and each day one sun would be drawn around the world in a carriage. But one day, all 10 suns took to the sky, and their heat destroyed the crops and set the earth on fire. To save the world, the archer Houyi shot nine of the suns down, and the emperor rewarded him with an immortality pill.

The legends differ on how Houyi’s wife, Chang’e, got the pill and consumed it, but one thing is certain: it made her fly. Houyi tried to chase her but was turned back by blustery winds. By then, Chang’e had landed on the moon, where she remains to this very day. By some trick of the gods, Houyi has found his own place in the sun, and each year on Mid-Autumn Festival, the husband and wife are reunited and the moon glows its brightest. Offerings to the moon and Chang’e are required that day, and over time the most popular contribution became the round mooncakes that reflect the beauty of the moon.

The Autumn Moon Festival: A little history
In China, the Mid-autumn festival is the second most important festival after the Spring Festival to Chinese people. Every year, when the festival comes people go home from every corner of the country and the world to meet their family and have dinner with them, admire the full moon and eat moon cakes.
Chinese people believe a full moon is a symbol of peace, prosperity, and family reunion. On Mid-Autumn Festival night the moon is supposed to be the brightest and fullest, which is why the festival is also known as the "Day of Reunion" and the "Moon Festival" .

Tet Trung Thu, as it is known in Vietnam, is a wonderful ancient festival that revolves around children. In a Vietnamese folklore, parents work so hard to prepare for the harvest, where they left their children play by themselves. To make up for the lost time, parents use the Mid-Autumn Festival as an opportunity to show their love and appreciation for their children. Children sing, dance and carry colorful lanterns on the street. A special lantern is designed to spin when a candle is inserted into it, symbolizing the earth circling the sun.

This weekend to celebrate we went to a Chinese restaurant with some other families and had so much fun doing crafts, eating dinner and at the end we launched our own family lantern. The kids had so much fun, they got dressed in their Chinese dresses and jacket and their favorite part was the lantern. We wrote our family wish on the lantern before sending it up.
The moon will be it's fullest and brightest on Sept 9 this year. It's the last of the super moons for 2014, we plan on sitting outside and watching the moon and eating our moon cakes.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Busy Weekend

it's the last weekend before the kids all go to school, and we had a busy Saturday planned. We went to the local fire department, they had an open house where the kids could see all the trucks and get inside and check them out. A bounce house and free hats, pencils and coloring books. After all the fun we had a free lunch cooked by the firemen. It was a lot of fun!
Then we went to our neighborhood picnic, the kids got to play games and have second lunch. P and I got to talk with neighbors and meet some new people. We didn't last too long at this though, it was a really hot day and the kids were getting so hot running around, so we left for out last event.

At our festival this weekend, all the children made dumplings. It's something we have been participating in for a couple of years now and this year the kids really loved doing it. They each take a little dough and roll it out, then we put a little of the meat and veggie mix in the middle and carefully roll them up, that's the key, folding them so the dough is completely closed and the meat doesn't boil out. We put them into a net to keep them all together and they are cooked in large pots. This year the kids loved eating them and they actually came out really yummy!

Each child was able to enter in the a contest for the best dumpling. Nate and Paige entered their best and then all the kids were told the story of how the dumpling came to be.

According to one version, the dumpling was invented by Zhang Zhongjing, a well-known herbal medical doctor of the Eastern Han Dynasty.
His medicinal was called quhuan jiao’er tang (herbal soup to dispel the cold and protect the ears). It consisted of mutton, red spicy peppers, and other necessary medicinal herbs. Zhang soaked them completely in water and heated them in the cauldron over a fire until the water boiled. Zhang then took all the things out of the cauldron, mincing them into stuffing. His assistants rolled out dough into each small pancake. They put the stuffing in the center of the pancakes and wrapped them in the shape of a ear. These tiny things were named jiao’er or “the ear protection”, and were then all dropped into the herb soup to cook. Zhang offered each patient a bowl of the soup and two jiao’er dumplings. The patients drank the soup and ate the dumplings and soon their whole body got so warm, including their ears.
For the following days, they continued eating dumpling and drinking soup, and their ear chilblains (swollen or frost bitten ears) gradually disappeared.

This Saturday, the dumplings in this contest were judged for looking the most like an ear, not on taste. Nathaniel won the contest this year and he was so excited, his dumpling looked the most like an ear (see below)!

We had a great day and are now getting ready to start school on Monday.

dad got into making a dumpling too

Nate made the best dumpling!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Meeting Ms Rosa

This weekend we were able to meet Ms Rosa, she is a character on PBS that does some "commercials" between shows. She usually takes kids to different places to learn about the grocery store, strawberry farm or the post office and does a little tour of each. She teaches them Spanish words and talks about characters on their favorite shows.

The kids were very excited about getting to see her, and have really looked forward to it all week long. They even got to wear their nice school clothes and shoes so they would look really wonderful. Ms Rosa read a few stories and did an activity then she did a meet and greet. The girls were very excited to meet her, Nate... not so much. After meeting her we walked to the park and had a picnic lunch and did a little walking around, we saw two beautiful swans in the lake, the kids thought that was such fun.

Here are a few pictures of our day:

free fans for the kids to keep cool and Ms Rosa to sign afterwards


our picnic in the park

swan building a nest on the waters edge

Saturday, August 16, 2014

July holiday

Right before I got sick we went on a small vacation close to home. We got a hotel near one of the parks and stayed over the long holiday weekend. We had a lot of fun, the kids just love to go to hotels, and really loved this one. It had a great pool area and we spent a lot of time there in the evenings cooling off from being at the park all day. Here are a few pictures from our trip.

Nate just loves Dolphins and I got this picture of this Dolphin looking at Nate. It looks like he is smiling at us as he swam by.

Nate being silly.

At the hotel swimming pool.

Waiting for a water show to start, give us your silly face please.

Each morning they take the flamingos for a walk through the park, we got pretty close up.

Monday, August 11, 2014


Hello, and I am back. Sorry to be gone for so long but I had a pretty bad viral infection and was in the hospital for almost 4 days. They are not sure how I contracted it, but it was probably from one of the kids and my body, with a few opportune moments, spun it into something bigger that it should have.

They believe that because I was sick and throwing up, it may have enflamed the spinal cord. The next day I started with a fever and bad headache by late afternoon. We went to the mini ER and due to my symptoms they sent me straight to the Hospital. That was a long wait, trying to find an immediate baby sitter for the kids in the evening, getting to the hospital as quick as we could and then actually sitting and waiting in the ER waiting room for about 2 hours, all that time not knowing if it was bacterial or viral meningitis. One obviously worse than the other, it was torture- the possibility of death for those few hours was overwhelming for us both.

After finally getting to see a doctor in the ER, they too believed it was meningitis but wanted to do a lumbar puncture to get fluid to see if it was bacterial or viral. I refused, I just couldn't let them do that to my back, and if it was negative they would still have proceeded and treated me with the same meds. They did a blood draw, a brain CT scan and an Xray of my lungs to make sure I didn't aspirate vomit the night before that was causing infection and fever. So with an IV finally in, because I was so dehydrated they couldn't find a vein, they gave me morphine, antibiotics, anti nausea and a few other things and started working on getting me to a room.

They put me in a room and it was well after midnight. My fever was still high, I had terrible chills and my eyes were so sensitive that I wore sunglasses in the dark. I didn't leave my room for 3 days, only getting up to use the bathroom. Finally on the 3rd day, I was able to regulate my body temperature and Tylenol was keeping away the fever and aches. One of the meds they gave me must have been very strong because it was burning my arm as it went into my IV, but I don't think the nurses knew that was the cause so they took out the IV. I had to have a pic line put in, take a look on Google at what that entails!

The infectious disease doctor was ready to send me home by the 4th day. He was going to treat me as if it was bacterial and give me very strong meds. They were going to keep me on the antiviral IV medication (3 times a day) and IV antibiotic (2 times a day) and very, very strong antibiotic pill (2 times a day) for 10 days while at home. We had to administer IV meds 5 times a day for 10 days. And for nearly 10 days at home I was in bed. On the way home from leaving the hospital we had to stop at a special clinic to learn how to administer the IV drugs into my pic line OURSELVES. That was overwhelming and terrifying. My husband and I are both freakishly terrified of needles and blood, I am sure we were quite a sight for the nurse trying to show us how to do it all. But we managed, trying to forget those wires were connected into my arm, and by the 10th day we were actually pretty good and doing it all.

Having my pic line removed wasn't too back, having all the tape removed was more painful and aggravating than the split second deep breath removal of the line. I was left with a lovely blood clotted hole in my arm and a huge bruise around it. Going to the doctors to have it removed was actually one of the first days out of the house for me.

It's been a little over three weeks since all this started and I am still recovering. I am getting my strength back each day and able to do more. It's been a slow process, but I am blessed to finally start feeling better.

This is the IV med we took home to administer by ourselves. The outside material of the ball is very tight and once it is turned on and the IV is started it tightens and pushes the meds out until it is gone. Thankfully, not monitors, or IV machines to take home.


Saturday, June 21, 2014

Schools out

School has been out for almost two weeks and we have been having fun. Last week Nate went to a lego camp and had a great time. This week the kids are at summer camp for a few hours and learning about space. Yes, I have nearly each week filled with something for the kids to do, especially Nate. Their last day of school was on a Thursday and by Friday morning at 8:35am they were telling me they were bored.

We have gone to the library, lunch out, home depot's weekend craft, the playground several times, two birthday parties, ice cream store and had a picnic all in about one week. Believe it or not, they are asking me when they get to go to school, they really don't understand the concept of summer vacation yet. It will be here before they know it.

We have lots of plans for the summer. Keeping busy is on the list, so is having fun and enjoying our family time together.

Have a great summer!