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Welcome to my family blog. I have been married to Mike for over half of my life. I love my Savior, Jesus. I am a stay-at-home, homeschooling mom to six terrific, interesting children. My 3 oldest were born to me in my younger years, while my 3 youngest were given to me by God in my older years. I am very blessed. ~Cheri


Translation, Please?

Language has not really been a great barrier in our adoption of Ivy. Initially there were picture cards to use, then hand gestures followed by broken English. Even though Ivy can say English words, they are with a very thick accent with incorrect pronouns or order. I love hearing her speak. Sometimes I can understand her, and other times it takes me a few tries to figure out what she is saying. I know with time, Ivy's English will improve. Some of her delays could also be contributed to her cleft. She cannot make the "Z" sound.

Ivy showing me her seashells.

So, the other day, she asked me this question:
"Jordan, Good Morning, take a shower?"
Translation: "Did Jordan take a shower this morning?"

Oh, I love this child!

 Ivy having her first conversation with Rebecca from Zhongshan adopted in September.  Yes, there was a language barrier, but soon, she'll be talking as well as Rebecca.

Ivy developed a rash after we returned home from the beach.  It is only where I put sunblock on her.  So, it is either from too much sun or sunblock.  Any guesses?  Her face was swollen and hot, and the rash was itchy, bumpy and downright miserable.  She's on the mend today.

8 kind words:


Sydney has VERY sensitive skin especially when dealing with the sun and sun products...her face is the worst.
The dermatologist told us to use Neutrogena pure & free baby sunblock lotion. It is 60spf and the active ingredients are: Titanium Dioxide and Zinc.

So far this sunblock has not caused further irritation and I apply frequently. Sydney gets really dark in the summer but her face gets irritated and looks similar to Ivy's.

I also give her a little Benadryl if it gets really bad just in case she is having an allergic reaction. But so far this sunscreen has helped.

Sensitive skin has been an ongoing issue and now she can only use special prodcuts on her skin daily.

Ivy looks beautiful and so happy!!


I really enjoy the Ivy updates! Harper is picking up a little English too, but I think I am the only one that understands her. :) Yesterday I asked her where her sister was, and clear as mud she said, "I don't know". I was a proud mama!

Anyway, about the sunscreen - Briley had the same thing as an infant. We also had to use zinc products. I purchased sunscreen from Skinceuticals for her from a dermatologist. It was expensive, but luckily I only had to use it on her face (the only place she would break out in rash). A little goes a long way too.

Looks like you guys had a relaxing and fun vacation!!!

Learning Together at Home

Looks like lots of fun was had at the beach. We have switched over to sunblock with Titanium Dioxide and Zinc too. 3 out of 4 of our kids have had the same reaction to regular sunblock. It's more costly, but it seems to stretch farther. Hope that's all it is!


Thanks everyone for the good suggestions about sunblocks. My other children never had issues, so this is all new to me. She's looking much better today. No benedryl so far!

Love for Lilly Yin

She is precious! Lilly has some speech problems too, some from the cleft, some from language, some from bad habits where she compensated for having her palate repaired late...but are they not the cutest little girls!

Lilly has sensitive skin too...I bet it is the sunblock. Anything with a fragrance is rough on her.


Thank you for calling us this week! We love talking on the phone to your family. Rebecca realized, after the fact, that she thought that she was talking to someone else in the beginning of the conversation. We had a big laugh about it. "You mean Ivy is Ma Xue?" Uh, yes, who did you think you were talking to? So funny. Usually she is correcting ME!


My daughter Tammy who is in her mid thirties went on vacation and she needed medical attention because she got the rash, itchy, bumpy skin. The doctors said she had sun poisioning. She has been in the sun her whole life and never had any trouble until last year. Now she just have to be careful not to be in the sun for to long at one time.

Vickie Leiser


Ivy looks so pretty in seashell pic - her hair has really grown! My daughter (Piper) comes up with some great sentences. My favorite was the time during swim class when she wouldn't wear her goggles but would then scream "I don wan wa wa eye" if water got in her eyes.

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