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Family

Family
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

1.31.2011

She's Come A Long Way

One year ago, I met Ma Xue. She has come a long way from this, the day I met her and she refused to leave the Civil Affairs office with me:



She was not very happy, would only steal a glance here and there at me, refused to say a word. I won't mention the fact that she bolted for the door of the hotel room once the orphanage worker left, screaming, pacing back and forth, trying to escape, never able to reach the lock at the top of the door (thank goodness for those out-of-reach locks).

Now, she loves me, trusts me, and is happy to go everywhere I ask her to go. I am glad her fear only lasted a day.

1.28.2011

Twelve Months Ago

Remember when a year felt like an eternity? Well, it sure doesn't anymore. I am not exaggerating when I say that it is so hard to believe that exactly a year ago I was zipping around to the other side of the world, alone, to meet our daughter, Ivy. I remember so clearly leaving the house that dark, cold, January morning as Jordan drove me to the airport at 4:45 am. I had traveled to China three times before, but always with my husband, who did everything. You really learn to pay attention to details when you are all by yourself. I never imagined I could take care of the money exchange, make purchases in yuan in a blink of an eye, take a walk off the island in Guangzhou without a guide, hail a taxi in a city with millions of people, or communicate so effectively with a 7 year old Chinese daughter just by motions and smiles. It was such a wonderful experience, and I wish I could do it all over again. But, I am sure Mike would not want me to leave for another 2 weeks.



So, this is it. Our last post placement report with pictures to send to China. It is sort of sad to be putting it all behind. After all, we started the whole adoption journey back in 2005 before Eva was even born. Here we are 6 years later, 3 more children later. Our house and hearts are full. I never would have imagined that we would parent 6 children. I never would have imagined that there would be a day when I knew that our family was complete. But, that day has come.



Now, it does not mean that my heart is closed to adoption. Actually, my heart is very open to it. I just know that we are at a place of fullness. If God has other plans for us, I know that we would go where He leads. He may have to hit us upside the head a few times to get our attention, but I would follow. But, if that doesn't happen, I will enjoy following along on other blogs to see the beautiful journey of adoption take place, just as many of you have followed along on all 3 of our journeys.

1.26.2011

Poor Eva

Eva has been home with us for over 4 years. She has been so amazing. Eva has never been very sick. Yes, she has had a cold here and there, and even a tummy bug once. Trust me when I say this girl's immune system is top notch! I have never given her medicine of any kind since the day I met her. She has never even ran a fever, and she has a gut of steel. That is until today.



She woke up complaining of a sore throat. By mid-morning she was on the sofa, falling asleep with a 103 fever. After some meds, she perked up to her usual self, but the fever returned right before bedtime. Now, she's snoozing at the foot of our bed for the night, the usual treatment for the sick children. This is a first for Eva.

1.24.2011

Embarrassing Things

We've all done ridiculously weird things. Some we share, others we are too embarrassed to share. Every time I think of a few of these things, I can't help but giggle. Here is an example of some of our "embarrassing things":

*Back when I was a teenager living at home, we always kept Seabreeze on the sink. Remember that? The refreshing green face cleanser? Well, my dad thought it was mouthwash and gargled (briefly) with it.

*When Jack was being potty-trained, I kept a container of flushable baby wipes in the bathroom. One day, they were gone, so Seth went looking under the sink for more. Instead of baby wipes, he found Clorox wipes. Ummm, yep, he used them on his bottom when he was about 7 years old.

*A friend of ours (I won't post his name??) grabbed the Desitin to brush his teeth with instead of the toothpaste. Yuck!

*One of my sons came out of the bathroom twirling an applicator around his finger that he found in the hall bathroom trash. Care to guess what kind of applicator? I cringed because I knew it was not mine!

*When Jack was about 3 years old, we were out shopping for a sewing machine. He kept telling me he had to go to the bathroom. So, the kind owner showed us the way to an extremely small bathroom (barely big enough to turn around in). Being the good mama, I had Jack stand on my shoes to give him a lift so he could make it in the potty. Well, he did not have to do THAT kind of potty. His backside opened up and covered my shoes and filled his pants. I spent the next 30 minutes cleaning this woman's bathroom, my shoes, Jack's pants. (I have numerous similar stories, but one odorous story is enough for the day. It seems like I am a magnet for my children's bathroom woes.)


Back in the days of Embarrassing Things.

I'd love to hear some of your strange mishaps!

1.21.2011

What's In A Name?

When we first got our puppy, Moxie, we named her Pele. You know..Pele, the famous soccer player. The first day, I had a hard time calling her that. Pele is a guy and our puppy was a girl. So, I googled good names for chocolate labs. I wanted something clever. Her mother's name was Godiva...a perfect name for a chocolate lab, right? I thought about naming her Java, Hershey, Mocha, and some other brown names, but nothing seemed to fit. So, I then googled dark brown things and came up with "Moxie". The definition is "a dark brown carbonated beverage created in 1884". And many of you know Moxie also means "The ability to face difficulty with spirit and courage." I thought it was the perfect name. The difficult part came next; convincing the boys (huge soccer fans) to change her name from Pele to Moxie.
When I told them about the soft drink, they both quickly agreed.



We found a Moxie drink at the local market. It tasted quite good!


Eva and Ivy being goofy with Moxie.

1.19.2011

Joyful Noise

I heard the raspy voice almost a year ago. Every now and then in the days after meeting our daughter, Ivy would speak in Chinese. As the days passed, she spoke more and more. I would put in her Chinese children songs for her to listen to. I loved to hear her voice. Fast forward 11 1/2 months. Ivy talks freely, sings freely. She loves to sing songs. I hear her in the shower. She tries singing to the music she plays on the piano. She cannot carry a tune. I'm not exaggerating a bit. She is all over the place. She would make a choir director cringe.



Tonight, she was singing in this echo microphone, trying to teach Eva a new song. Eva would pay no attention to Ivy's lessons. Finally, Ivy gave up and moved on to something new. Of course, I would never tell Ivy she cannot sing. As much as she hurts my ears, I love to hear her sing praises to her Savior.

1.17.2011

She Is Reading!

In September, I tried starting school with Eva. She had just turned 5 years old. She knew all of her sounds, but just could not get the order right. M-A-P would be sounded out as pat. She would take the last letter, put it first with the right vowel, but completely added her own last sound. She did this repeatedly, frustrating herself and me. I just did not know what to do about it. I had never dealt with that with my other children. So, I just decided to wait, and try it again in another month. The next month was the same way. After that, I tried what a friend had suggested. I left off the 3rd letter, and we just focused on the sounding of the first consonant plus the short vowel. Over and over we did this. My dry erase board stayed covered with sounds. After just a few days, Eva was getting it. After she had it completely down, I added the 3rd consonant. Success! She was so excited!



Now, Eva sits around reading the K5 readers that Seth learned to read with. It is so cute to hear her sounding out her words. She feels so grown up...especially since Ivy is loving to read also.



I am so glad that Ivy and Eva love to read. Jordan and Seth were such big readers when they were younger. Jordan never got into a moving vehicle without a book. Seth would read the same books over and over. Jack, on the other hand, does not share this same love of reading. Any suggestions on how to change that? Jack has no problems reading, but he struggles with comprehension. Maybe that hinders the desire to read.

1.16.2011

Another Employee In The House

Sixteen and a half years ago, I held my sweet newborn son, rubbed, counted his toes, and said he was never leaving my side, going to school, or getting a job. Well, I was only successful in one of those. Today Seth found out, after much persistence, that he got a job. I'm extremely happy and proud of him. As usual, I can't help but ask, "Where have the years gone?"


I look like a kid. And to think...I thought I knew it all back then. I sure had a lot to learn. Still do.


My handsome, 16 year old, Seth

1.15.2011

What Do They All Have In Common?

What do you think all these creatures have in common? Think really hard about all the possibilities.









Yes, they are all adorable. I love the cute wildlife around our house. But, their common bond? They've all been killed by my son, Seth, at some point behind the wheel of either his truck or the lawn mower. None of them were intentional. He felt terrible when he did his first road-kill. I cannot even bring up the lawn mower incident. He does not want to talk about it. Then, when he hit the deer, he hated driving by it on the side of the road, which is only about a mile from our house. I am just thankful Seth was not hurt.

One thing he has not hit was this one creature:



This was taken yesterday in our front yard. It was strange seeing one in daylight. We had to hurry and bring Moxie in the house before she saw it. I don't even want to imagine what would have happened.

1.13.2011

Cook, School, Clean, Repeat

Do you ever feel like you are on automatic? I feel my days are done subconsciously, like a robot carrying about the normal routines of the day. I am sure staying indoors most of the time during this cold weather plays a large part in these feelings.

So, today it is this...



...and this. Do you see the dust accumulation on my furniture? That is because I have not dusted since the last week of last year.



I believe the children are even getting a little stir-crazy. The temperatures are a bit cold for our area. Jack goes out with Eva and Ivy, but Joy stays inside. I know that if Joy went outside, she would end up getting mad because she was too cold and could not do anything about it. It has happened before. I know the routine.

So, for Joy, I put together a little of this...



...to make this.



It made for hours of fun, even with Jack and Jordan.



Maybe, just maybe, I will get in the shower before 6:00 pm today. I think I need a different plan, though. I need to get organized. Now, I sound like my mother when I say, "not enough hours in the day."

1.08.2011

Movin' On

Jordan will be 21 years old this spring (yikes!). She started working when she was 14 years old and started taking classes at the local community college when she was 15 years old (You'd think she would have her Masters by now?). She's worked at a grocery store, a pharmacy, the mall, and a restaurant. After a few different course changes, Jordan will finish her Associates this spring. And after a few different job leads here and there, she found out yesterday that she got the job that she had been pursing since before Christmas! Even though it is a part-time, entry-level position at a law firm, it is a step in the right direction for her. Now it is time to strap on the boots and enter the hard-working world.

1.02.2011

Happy New Year!

I've no profound words of wisdom, no resolutions for this year.  But, Happy New Year to all my friends and family who read my blog.  We did nothing exciting.  Staying up until midnight is usually the norm for the older ones in this family.  I'm not sure if I lasted or not.  We did head out early and took the children bowling.  It was a first for the younger 3.  Seth was feeling a bit yucky, so he did not participate although he graced us with his presence. 


Jack looked like a natural out there.  He had not been bowling in 1/2 a decade, but he had so much fun!


Ivy enjoyed it, although she lost control of the ball and manged to toss it in the opposite direction of the lanes.  She just was not strong enough.


Joy and Eva were just too cute out there.  Joy's enthusiasm was quite contagious, and Eva had fun walking around and looking at things like gumball machines.  


Don't you just love pictures of our backsides?  All I have to say about my performance....You know you are out of shape when you are sore after bowling 3 games using a 9 pound ball.  


Oh, here is one picture of Eva when she managed to sit down long enough.  Afterward, we headed to Chick-fil-A where Joy ate her usual dinner of waffle fries and lemonade.  I let the nutrition slide on certain outings.

1.01.2011

Bumps

I had Eva sitting on the bathroom sink area fixing her hair.  She was just at chest level.  She points to my chest and says, "What are those?". 

I looked down at my chest and replied, "Those are fuzzies from the sweater.". 

She looks up at me with those big brown eyes, smiling.  "No, those bumps." 

Ahh.  "Well, Eva, those bumps are breasts.  You have them, too.  They just aren't very big yet.  If you have a baby one day, they will fill up with milk so you can nurse your baby."

Eva looked confused.  "Do they have lids?  They have to have lids."

I picked her up, put her down, "Go play."


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