Last year was a little traumatic in terms of getting a picture with Santa. Emma didn't want to do it and I convinced myself she would be fine as long as she was promised some chocolate. The proverbial egg was on my face though because she did in fact see Santa, just lots of tears during the process. She walked off sobbing asking for her chocolate! Silly me, I had promised the chocolate on the condition she take a picture with Santa, I just didn't qualify it with "no tears".
This year I decided to forego the mall experience (and long line) and just take them out to the local animal/farm supply place instead. We had no more walked in when Emma spotted Santa and declared in a rather loud voice "I don't want him to touch me!" - did I mention she said this loudly and repeated it several times! We all assured her she could sit across from him and would not have to be touched. She marched right up, stuck out her little hand, shook hands with Santa and said "how ya' doin'?" ... it was really cute and funny. She ended up talking to him quite a while and he was very patient and kind!
After finally getting over the fear of Santa she then wanted to talk to every Santa we saw during the shopping season!
There are 5 mascots with each one representing a color from the 5 olympic rings. The Chinese have historically used signs and symbols to spread good wishes. Nini is one of the mascots in particular that is meaningful to me because there is a tie in to part of Emma's Chinese name, Yan. Here's an excerpt from the article linked above regarding Nini:
"Every spring and summer, the children of Beijing have flown beautiful kites on the currents of wind that blow through the capital. Among the kite designs, the golden-winged swallow is traditionally one of the most popular. Nini's figure is drawn from this grand tradition of flying designs. Her golden wings symbolize the infinite sky and spread good-luck as a blessing wherever she flies. Swallow is also pronounced "yan" in Chinese, and Yanjing is what Beijing was called as an ancient capital city. Among Fuwa, Nini is as innocent and joyful as a swallow. She is strong in gymnastics and represents the green Olympic ring."
A fellow adoptive parent & friend of mine was in China recently to adopt her daughter and she brought back the Nini doll for Emma. The package arrived yesterday & Emma is beyond thrilled about her new friend "Nini"! Thank you Amy!!! You made Emma's day! She slept with Nini last night and carried her into our room this a.m. when she woke up and also brought her to daycare.
The CCAA (Chinese Center for Adoption Affairs) has updated their website to reflect that they are through reviewing dossiers logged in through October 31st, 2006. The sad thing is though, that referrals are almost a year behind that. The last batch of referrals only covered through 12/14/05. There are days where I think it's going to be years before we get our next child :-( In my head I know that God's timing is perfect, but my heart sees and feels a family that so much wants another child. Emma continues to ask about her sister but at this rate she will be in kindergarten or older before little sis joins our family.
I'll preface this with, we really did put up the tree earlier than today!
What a fun night we had putting up the tree. I'll have to admit that I get most of my enjoyment getting the ornaments out and discussing the what, when & where we obtained them, who bought us which on and also discussing the which year was which on the ones we've bought for the kids. When you consider Ryan is almost 10, you can understand why he has several more than Emma does and each time he would make some reference to one being his - she would stick her hand in the box and come out with one saying it was hers! Again this year there were several that she broke, not trying to, she was just so excited about the ornaments that she just handled them a little rougher than she should.
I'm just a tad behind on blogging about the happenings of our happy little Hunter clan!
We visited the Missouri State Capitol on our way home from Thanksgiving in Oklahoma and even though we were worn out from being gone a week, we still enjoyed the tour and spending some time in the Missouri Museum as well. A few things stood out in particular about this visit. Inside the rotunda, the inscriptions were inspiring with one reading "The earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof" and another one "Lord God of Hosts be with us yet - lest we forget". There were also some really neat artwork, I think he called it 3 perspective (I may have that term wrong), but basically the painting would seemingly change as you walked past it. The bridge in one appeared to be going one direction but as you passed by it looked like it was curving back and heading another direction.
7 down - 43 left to go. Ryan may have to finish this goal as an adult!
While we were in Oklahoma, we let the kiddos go ahead and open their presents that they exchange with their cousins, (my sisters children). It was so fun watching them together. Ryan & Chance are only 6 months apart in age and they had great fun playing together. Cortney was really excited about getting to play with Emma but I think there was a little bit of the green-eyed monster thing going on. She was great w/ Emma at first but quickly cooled after my sister spent some time playing with Emma. One evening at dinner, she didn't even want Emma to sit next to her!
The highlight for Emma was a short little shopping trip that Charlotte, Emma and I tookd with my mom. Emma spotted a light purple western styled belt that had sparkly things on it and she was HOOKED! Charlotte bought it for her and Emma has been wearing it a lot - even if it doesn't match what she has on! It's been a while since I've been in a western store type atmosphere and didn't realize the cowboy world has added some "bling"! Emma LOVES sparkly so it fit her personality to a T!