Thursday, February 18, 2010


Precious moments seem to come and go through the course of every ordinary day. How often it is easier for me to focus on my worries or frustrations rather than treasuring these moments for what they are: gifts from God.

As I type Moriah is snuggled on my lap...still her favorite place to nap. Someday, she'll be too big to snuggle here. So I will treasure this today. The lunch dishes still sit. The laundry isn't done. The school books are still all over the table. But I want to treasure this moment.

Another moment to treasure (or at least to laugh about) happened yesterday when we were in the car. Caleb has a Beetles song on his i-pod. So he asked me, "when were the Beetles popular?" I answered that they were popular about the time that I was born, or maybe a little before. "Really?" he said, "I didn't think they were that maybe they were popular about the time you and Dad met." It's funny to hear their perspective of time.

One more moment that I am holding in my heart today: Last night Josiah was reading Moriah a book about Chinese New Year. The words were a little hard for him, but he was really trying to read it with expression. It was cute and she was loving every minute of it. Both of my boys need a real reason to read. I love that Josiah is starting to see that it is fun to read and not just a school assignment.

Yesterday a woman at Moriah's physical therapy asked about our family. She said, "Those three all look like they go together, that one looks a little different, and none of them look like you!" Kimberly thought it was a little offensive, but I knew she didn't mean to be rude. And I felt happy to explain that "those three" don't look like me, even though they're biologically mine, because of their handsome half-Chinese father, and that "this one" is mine by adoption. I am so blessed by all of them.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Birthdays and Other Daily Blessings

Kimberly's slumber party friends with the ugly
cake that I made. It tasted good...but it sure
looked terrible.

Moriah is Picasso in the making! She stuck
with this project for close to an hour.

Happy Third Birthday, Moriah!!

It has been such a long time since I have made time to post some pictures. We are all still alive...and thriving at that. December flew by in a blur. January is gone, too. On to February!!

Some recent highlights: we celebrated Moriah's Birthday on February 2nd. It was fun because she was so excited about everything this year. She had been talking about her Birthday for days. "Mei Mei presents?" "Mei Mei Balloons?" She loved being the center of attention. We made a simple flower cake and hung balloons. My parents came over to share the evening with us. The only bad part of the day was that Josiah was sick with a bad cold. He lay wrapped in a blanket on the couch through the whole evening. You know he is sick when he doesn't even want cake and ice cream! Due to his sickness, Andy's parents opted to celebrate with Moriah another day. We have decided to get a boquet of flowers each year to honor Moriah's birth parents and all of those who cared for her before she was ours. She doesn't really understand it now, but we hope someday that it will be meaningful to her.

Way back in December, we took a quick trip with Moriah to Shriner's hospital in Salt Lake City, Utah. We wanted to get another opinion about her spine. The doctor we saw is world renowned for spine care for kids. He was kind, humble and gracious. He felt that we should stick with the surgeon in Denver and confirmed that it is ok to wait awhile for surgery if we keep careful track of her spine with frequent x-rays. After traveling in snow going to Salt Lake and coming home, the idea of staying in Denver for her care was quite appealing. We felt very good about our trip and the confirmation that it gave us. So, last week we returned to the surgeon in Denver for x-rays. It was good to talk with him again. He was glad that we went to Salt Lake and talked with us some more about the various specialists who have looked at Moriah's case and all of their opinions. The good news from the x-rays was that her spine is mostly unchanged since October. We are hopeful that it will continue to progress slowly (or not at all!) and that we can continue to postpone surgery. The physical therapists has been working so hard with her. She is using muscles in her back that have really improved her appearance and flexibility. Another area of growth this time was that she was absolutely silly while they were trying to take the x-rays. In the past, she has been very flat-faced and distant. It made it easy to take pictures, but showed me that she was anxious and uncomfortable. This time, she kept giggling and wiggling. The x-rays were more challenging, but it illustrates how much more comfortable she is becoming in all kinds of different situations. So we will press on with therapy and x-rays every 3-4 months for now.

Kimberly celebrated her twelfth birthday on December 28th. This year she decided to have a New Year's Eve slumber party to celebrate. We got lots of poppers and confetti and sparkling cider which the girls enjoyed at midnight. We had fun snack-type foods and the girl's did a craft and watched a movie. They all had a great time...though cleaning up the confetti from the yard the next morning wasn't so fun! Kimberly is blessed with really nice friends from church. They are always a delight to have around.

We are pressing on with school for the older kids. This is a hard time of year to stay motivated. We have been at it for a long time, but we still have a long way to go! The boys and I are enjoying our study of botany this year, but talking about flowers and trees sure makes me eager for spring! We have decided that Kimberly's current method of school (on-line school) is not the best fit for her. We are looking into other options for her for next year. She longs for more direct instruction from expert teachers and more time with peers. Currently, she is on the waiting list for a classical charter school.

The boys have become lego experts. They used to need Andy to help them with complicated creations...but not any more! They have recently built about 17 sets of legos between the two of them. (All of them gifts for Christmas). The challenge now is how to store these large creations without letting them get broken. We have a medieval village, a large crane, several star wars ships, a plane, a fire truck, a semi truck with a race car...perhaps we have some future engineers on our hands.

Even the monotony of the routine is a blessing when I remember that God is sovereign over all of our days. The discipline of staying positive and focused in the ordinary is a process of Spiritual growth for all of us. It's not that life is dull around here...four kids make that impossible! We are always laughing (or crying) about something! We are thankful for the good gifts the Lord gives us each day.