Outside my window: It's dark, but we did have sunshine and warmer weather today. Makes me realize spring is right around the corner. We're so ready for some milder weather!
I Am Thinking: About my sweet mother-in-law who is in the final stage of her fight with alzheimers. Sweet, sweet daughter of the King who has been incredibly kind and loving to me. We received a call the middle of last week that they think the end is near. Hospice is with her 24 hours a day now and one of the nurses I talked to the other day told me about being in the room and praying over Mary Anne. What a blessing for her to be in such a wonderful facility that is taking care of her, keeping her comfortable and knowing there are members of the staff praying for her. Mary Anne was a prayer warrior like none I've ever met before and praise was continually coming from her heart and spoken from her lips.
I Am Thankful For: To have known Mary Anne, and even more thankful that she was the first family member on either side of our families who completely supported our decision to adopt. She never questioned it, never asked me what in the world was I thinking - she simply asked what she could do to help. I can say with true conviction that without her we most likely would not have our precious daughters.
From The Kitchen: Brian made some yummy chicken noodle soup today. Not sure who loves it the most, me or the kiddos!
I Am Wearing: black sweats, gray t-shirt. Uber boring, that's me.
On the 'Go Organize' Front: The warmer weather today gave me hope that we'll be back to working on the house soon.
I Am Going: To bed soon, back to work first thing tomorrow.
I Am Reading: Have really just been catching up on magazines this week: Southern Living (the new issue has a recipe from the Charleston area for pickled shrimp - can't wait to try that!). Bon Appetite and a few others. I do have some books to pick up at the library and also want to find the book "Raising Self Reliant Children in a Self Indulgent World". Hopefully the library will have that one too.
I Am Hoping: It warms up soon! PLEASE!
I Am Praying For: Mary Anne and wishing we could be there in her final days but it's just not possible with starting my new job and having two kiddos in school. Knowing she has many wonderful friends spending her last days with her does help though.
I Am Hearing: Some goofy movie on TV. Sigh. The girls are already snug and nestled in their beds. Ryan is aggravating me for the computer. He's a facebooker now.
Around The House: Taxes almost done, still waiting on one stray div statement. For some reason I have this vision of a Newman type snickering over that not being delivered. I just love watching Seinfeld re-runs.
One Of My Favorite Things: Early morning snuggls with the kiddos. Nothing quite like those warm little hugs to get your morning going.
A Few Plans For The Rest of The Week: A busy week ahead. Ryan is getting braces tomorrow, still need to take him in for an x-ray, baseball signups and a meeting for an overnight field trip. Field trip for Rebecca and then gymnastics for both the girls. All the while knowing the phone is going to ring at any minute and we'll be heading to North Carolina.
Have a great week everyone!
Oh, I ran across this shot of Emma while I was searching for old Chinese New Year pictures. This was taken in 2006, a little over a year after having her home. I sort of lost myself in looking at her baby pictures yesterday - she's grown so much!
Karen! Email your address to me when you get a chance and I'll get the jacket shipped off to you!
Thanks everyone for sharing your favorite verses, I enjoyed reading them and even more so the opportunity to learn more about you. I had some entries emailed in too and I enjoyed reading each and every one.
Okay, because I am terribly sentimental and I can't bring myself to take this to Goodwill ... I'm having a little give-a-way today. This was one of the last items I purchased in China for little Emma. The night before we left we headed out to spend the remaining RMB we had. We had gone in a store had I hadn't shopped in the whole two weeks we were there because they were a little more expensive than the other shops. I had picked out several things and was getting ready to pay when I spotted this jacket and thought it was adorable. I didn't have enough for what I had already decided on as well as the jacket, so I was trying to figure out what to put back. Oh, I need to add ... bargaining is not my cup-o-tea.. The attempts I had made at bargaining were terrible. Anyway, the sweet little clerk just waved her hand at me in a no-no way, put the jacket on top and told me I could just have it! Two weeks of not being able to negotiate then my one time at not even trying, she negotiated for me. Go figure.
Anyway, it needs a new home because it was too small for Rebecca.
It' a size 4.
To enter ... tell me your favorite bible verse and why. Does it sustain you in times of trial? Does it make your heart smile every time you read it? Is it what you hold on to when there's nothing else left to hang on to?
I'll start with mine, it's out of Samuel "For this child I prayed, and the LORD has granted me my petition that I made to him.". It's my favorite because each of my beautiful children are direct answers to prayers. Each one was prayed for, each one now here with us. God is Good!
The winner will be chosen Sunday night by Miss Emma herself.
I'm a few days late on this but I suppose better late than never.
Outside my window: It's cold and dark, snow - snow and more snow. School has been out for two days already this week and I've already received a text that it's closed tomorrow too. Looks like we'll be going to school in July still. Just kidding, but it sure seems like we're headed in that direction!
I Am Thinking: About my walk with Christ and how it's not quite where it used to be and trying to figure out what I need to do to get it back where it needs to be.
I Am Thankful For: My new job. Now that I've been there almost two months though, does that still mean it's new?
From The Kitchen: Not much. Thankfully I have a sweet husband who takes care of that.
I Am Wearing: black sweats, gray t-shirt. Uber boring, that's me.
On the 'Go Organize' Front: Sigh. Nothing. Nada. Ryan and the girls are still bunking in one room. It's a mess.
I Am Going: To bed soon, my new job is kicking my beeee-hind. But in the best possible way, I really do like it there.
I Am Reading: Reader's Digest. Aren't I just a barrel of fun?
I Am Hoping: It warms up soon! PLEASE!
I Am Praying For: Ryan still, we haven't had time to take him in for the test his doctor is asking for. The snow has messed with my schedule just a tad but hopefully I can get him in next week. Brian is going to be seeing an ENT soon for his reoccuring sinus infections. What's going on around here w/ my guys?!
I Am Hearing: Something is on TV but not quite sure what it is. Really do not think Brian is even paying attention to it. Other than that it's fairly quiet, the girls are bathed and Ryan is showering now.
Around The House: Taxes to finish up, just waiting on one more thing to come in the mail.
One Of My Favorite Things: Reading to the girls. Brian & Ryan went 'to town' tonight for haircuts and the girls and I read for over an hour. The dynamics are just so different when the girls and I are here alone.
A Few Plans For The Rest of The Week: This is a relatively quiet week for us since we're past basketball but baseball hasn't started. Gymnastics for the girls on Thursday. Brian has a deacon retreat thing going on this weekend but other than that, not much on the calendar. So NOT like us.
From the Emma files: Brian & I were talking about a tutor for Rebecca and Emma asks "what's a tutor? Someone who toots?". She cracks me up!
From the Rebecca files: Brian has been trying to teach her knock knock jokes, she has the cutest little laugh ever. So he does the one: (Brian) Knock Knock (Bex) Who's There (Brian) Boo (Bex) Boo Who? (Brian) Sorry I made you cry
And little Bex says "that's okay papa"!
From the Ryan files: He's 12. Need I say more? Will I survive it is the question. I used to get so aggravated with my stepsons for some of the things they would do, or more importantly - not do, and always thought it was because their early life was different than how I would raise a child. Or that I wasn't their mother. I had a whole list of reasons why I thought they did the things they did. Now I realize it had nothing to do with all that and everything to do with being a boy, and a pre-teen, teen. Surely it'll be different when the girls hit this age, right?
We've reached the point where now Emma has her own ideas about her wardrobe. She was not one bit happy with what I had laid out for her to wear on Sunday. Not that you could tell it from her expression.
Rebecca trying to coax a smile out of Emma. It wasn't working.
Ah, come on Emma ... just a little smile for your mama.
We have a fun little tradition in our house where we place the valentines for the kiddos at their seats at the breakfast table so they can see them when the first come downstairs. This year was the same, and this time I had an extra special little gift for the girls to go with their chocolate. I haven't taken a picture of them yet, but I had adorable little silver charm necklaces made for them! They both are always admiring mine so I got them their own. They were both so happy and wore them proudly to church. Grandma sent them all $2 bills along with some other spending money too.
The Valentine thing started when I was little, every year our dad would buy a nice big box of chocolates for mom and then buy little boxes for us girls. I have such fond memories of that I think mainly because he just wasn't a shopper but yet it was the one time of year he would. It seems like it took several years of being married before Brian realized that I had much warm and fuzzier feelings over a little box of chocolate than I did a big bouquet of flowers.
Our friend Angie and her sweet daughter Jennifer "borrowed" the girls one day close to Christmas and spent the day making cookies with them. This was a huge answer to prayer for me since our daycare closed for several days around the holiday & I had just started a brand new job and couldn't take off. The girls had the time of their life and were covered from head to toe in flour and sugar. Having friends such as as these is such a blessing, especially since we live so far from family. I had to smile tonight looking through these pictures because they had us out to their house for dinner the weekend we came home with Emma and Emma ate enough of their garden fresh green beans to choke a horse. She still prefers Brent's green beans to anyone elses. A massive ice storm hit within a few days of us arriving home with Rebecca so we ended up staying with them when our power went out. Rebecca was instantly smitten with Angie and that hasn't waned a bit in the last year. She loves her Angie!
Our modified 'red sofa' photo op! I need to go dig out their original red sofa picture from 2005!
We celebrated Chinese New Year a little differently this year. Typically we attend an event that is put on by our local FCC (Families with Children from China) group but this year we were looking for something a little different and we ended up going to Lexington to an event that was held at the Lexington Opera House. This one was hosted/presented by the Kentucky Chinese American Association and had singing, dancing and even one number that was a combination of Bluegrass singing along with a Chinese instrument. Weird you might say, but VERY enjoyable! It was fun too in that the audience was mostly Chinese people instead of being mainly caucasian parents with children from China.
Earlier in the day a family from our first travel group hosted a pre-party for the girls in their hotel room and so we had an opportunity to visit and let the girls play. They had so much fun playing together and enjoying all the crafts, games and snacks that had been so well organized for them. It was just a great weekend all in all!
We hadn't originally planned on spending the night but we woke up Saturday to some yucky weather and the forecast for that night sounded like the roads could be a mess so we decided to spend the night ... which the kiddos just loved. Any night out is considered a vacation to Emma! Which meant on Sunday we got to sleep in, well - as much as 3 kids will let you sleep in. One of the traditions of Chinese New Year is to buy new clothes so before we headed home we went and bought some spring/summer things for the kiddos. Not that we did it for CNY, but that was a good enough excuse for me. Really I'm just ready for summer to be here and it made me smile to buy some cute little sundresses and some even cuter swimsuits. Not that either child needs yet another swimsuit - but I love buying them for the girls because they look so stinkin' cute in them! And of course if you wait until summer to buy a swimsuit you're basically outta' luck!
Something is going to have to change in my life for me to get back to blogging. It's been another busy/crazy week around the ol' Hunter household .
Outside my window: It's cold and dark, predicted to have more snow in the 'Ville tonight. Still have a little left over from Saturday.
I Am Thinking: About what our children are going to be like when they are grown. The bible tells us to raise them in the way they should go and they will not depart from it. But I can't help but worry/wonder ... are we raising them in the way they should go? Will we continue doing what we need to do? Get better at it? Just something to ponder. I know I do not pray with them as much as I should but I do read bible stories to them. More importantly though, do I set a good example in being a Godly mother? Here is where I think I fail/fall the hardest because I know my expectations can be high at times as can my stress level and I know that I'm not nearly as patient with them as I should be. Most certainly something I need to work on.
I Am Thankful For: Friendships near and far.
From The Kitchen: Not much. Hopefully I'll have time to try something new/fun this week.
I Am Wearing: black sweats, gray sweatshirt. Work attire hits the laundry basket about 2.3 seconds after I walk through the door in the evenings.
On the 'Go Organize' Front: This has been put somewhat on hold for now. Poor Ryan is still sharing a room with his sisters. My intent when I cleaned out the girls room was to have it all painted and done within a few days but unfortunately the weather has been too cold to open up the house and Brian doesn't want to restain the trim until he can do so. Somehow I missed that little piece of the puzzle when I jumped in with full gusto to get everything out of their room. Thankfully he hasn't complained but I know he's ready to be back to having his own room. Come on spring, I need ya'.
I Am Going: To bed soon, still a little tired from our busy weekend.
I Am Reading: Catching up on magazines again, I always save them while I'm in the middle of a book. I also need to see if the library has another book I want to read and if so run by and pick it up.
I Am Hoping: It warms up soon!
I Am Praying For: Ryan and Brian. Those two have had some weird health things going on that I haven't mentioned anything about. As far as Ryan, I guess I have just had my head stuck in the sand a little about it. But there was something that his pediatrician was concerned about during his last checkup and I need to take him in for some additional tests - which I haven't done yet. I used to get so frusrated with my mom and Brian both for being the types that just ignore things ... and then here I go doing it. I really need to get off my hind end on this and get it done. All that to say, I'm praying that there isn't anything there. I'll share more on this later. And then Brian, he really hasn't been well since before Thanksgiving. He's been on several antibiotics and one that was supposed to be very strong. When I got home tonight I could tell he wasn't feeling well but he's just not one to complain. After dinner he took Ryan in for an allergy shot then went to the grocery store. By the time he got home he really wasn't looking well ... his neck is swollen and very stiff and he says it's hurting like it's never hurt before. So, off to minor emergency for him while I'm home worrying about him. Prayers for both my boys health would be truly appreciated.
I Am Hearing: Nothing. Nada. It's completely quiet right now, other than my typing of course. Tucked the girls into bed early since they didn't get as much sleep over the weekend as they really need. Even Ryan is already showered and in bed. It's not often that it's so quiet around here.
Around The House: Rebecca's valentines finished up & ready to go to preschool. Emma's were done yesterday. Laundry finished and put away. Dishes done. Books laid out to read tomorrow night to the girls.
One Of My Favorite Things: Weekends away with the family. I'll write more about it later but we attended a Chinese New Year event in Lexington this past weekend. We were planning on just going over in the afternoon, seeing some friends and then going to the event and coming home. But the weather was a little iffy on Saturday so we decided to spend the night and sleep late on Sunday morning. The girls were so tickled to stay in a hotel! And Emma was so tickled to see some of her buddies from our travel group ... she spent the first year of her life with these little girls and it just tickles me to no end when they get to spend time together. Any overnight stay is a "vacation" to Emma and she LOVES vacations. Nothing better than seeing your babies all excited!
A Few Plans For The Rest of The Week: Basketball season has ended for Ryan, so we're going to have a few practice free weeks up until baseball starts. Church/choir for Brian & Ryan on Wednesday. This is usually a girl night for me and the girls where we get lots of reading in. Gymanstics for the dumplings on Thursday. Friday night school dance for Ryan - his first! Youth group trip to go skiing/tubing/snowboarding for Ryan on Saturday. Re-reading this ... you can tell who has all the fun in our house!
From the Emma files: Brian calls her his little peanut and she loves that pet name. While talking about Chinese New Year over the weekend we brought up that this year is the year of the Tiger and mentioned that Ryan is a tiger. Emma asked "when is the year of the peanut?"!!!! How funny is that! The year of the peanut. I think after thousands of years (or however long the Chinese zodiac has been around) that it's time for an addition to the tradition. Yes, there needs to a "Year of the Peanut".
One of Brian's favorite things to make is Chili and I would have to say he most certainly has a knack for it, although his is a little 'hot' for most people. A few weeks ago Ryan told me that he wanted to make some chili for our church get together/chili cookoff tonight. He found a recipe he wanted to try and then made a test batch ... pretty good stuff for a first time cook. He made another batch Friday night and he's ready for the football/chili cook off fun to begin! Good luck tonight little guy!
I'd make some too but I really do not want to show you two up. haha.
Let's see, get him cooking at 12 and teach him to do laundry and maybe he'll be a good catch for a young lady one of these days!