Sunday, May 31, 2015

Sunday Snapshot

I took Joseph to the store to buy a helmet.  His head was too big for the toddler size.  But he got Spiderman and loved it so much, he put it on in the store and wouldn't take it off for checkout; the lady had to scan it on his head.

Of course he fell asleep in it on the 10 minute car ride home.  He sweat buckets in it, but when I tried to take it off, he woke up briefly and said "no no no no" and I snapped it back on and he fell back asleep.  

After nap, I took him for his first ride on Abigail's free-loader bike attachment to my bike.
He loved it.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Memorial Weekend at the Farm

70 degree days, electric blue skies, and grandparents.
What more can make a weekend better?

My beautiful kids posing inside a tractor wheel

Carefree afternoon

Riding a 30 year old Big Wheel down the hill

Farm Kid, if only a few weekends per year
alternate caption:  did you find a tick yet?

The picture of retirement

She was a very patient fisherman

Getting driving lessons from Yinski.
You can't tell from the picture,
but that lawnmower is moving.

On a bench in the woods with the grandparents

Helping with the campfire

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Junior Thespian

During Mother's Day weekend, Abigail was an actress in our high school's production of The Wizard of Oz.  She played a munchkin and also a flying monkey.  She was a cute munchkin, but she was worth the price of admission (or worth the 10 hour round trip drive, according to my mom) as a flying monkey.

The first night that she was a flying monkey was opening night (as she was too exhausted and scared during the dress rehearsal to stay that late and put on the monkey costume).  While on stage, she missed her cue to stop stabbing the Tin Man and as a result, the Cowardly Lion carried her off stage and improvised a line about using up all of his courage to get rid of that monkey.  It was a hit and although Larry, who played in the pit and served as orchestral director, asked her to do that for all of the shows, Abigail is a rule-follower and hit her cues for the other shows.  

I didn't think I would be all caught up in the "stage momma" kind of thing, and I wasn't much, but wow, did I love hanging with Abbers backstage, sneaking into the house when she was onstage, and then meeting her backstage to help her with her costume change and direct her to makeup.  At first she was so timid and needed me there, but by the 4th show, she was managing it all on her own.  I was SO proud of her; it was a lot of personal growth for my introverted daughter to get to that point in just a few days.  

After her first performance, she was on a huge actor's high and stayed there until she came crashing down after the last performance when she lamented that she was sad because "I'll never get to be a munchkin or flying monkey again."  In the days following the show, she was on what was dubbed "Wizdrawl" walking around the house singing the songs and wishing that she was back onstage!  

Lar and I looked into summer camps at a local theatre where they are producing Annie this summer with children, but they require the kids to be 3rd grade and up.  So in a few years we will see if she is still bit by the acting bug!

Abigail and one of her 2 best friends back stage on opening night.
Joseph was unsure about the situation.
He became much less sure about it once he saw the Wicked Witch!

Abigail and one of her 2 best friends at intermission on Saturday as they
prepare for their performance as flying monkeys.

Our distracted munchkin down center in green top and orange skirt.
One totally adorable thing that Abigail did with her friend is that the 2 of them held
hands through the whole 15 minute munchkin scene.  Many people noticed that.  At least one
asked if they were sisters!  The munchkin children even had a part where they left that stage
walked around and back down the aisles and onto the stage again and these two
cuties held hands the whole time!
Abigail entering from the left of the photo as a flying monkey.
Abigail heading toward the Tin Man to stab him.
Abigail, scaring the living daylights out of the Tin Man

Monday, May 4, 2015

One Year As A Whole Family (or, One Year Without Sleep!)

In anticipation of the one year anniversary of adopting our sweet kiddos, our 9-family, super awesome, and virtually close travel group has been posting lots of pictures, and saying "last year at this time we were on the Great Wall" and "last year at this time we were gathering in the lobby of the hotel to go meet our kids."  We were on an incredible journey together and care about each others' kids and families. Personally, I can't believe it has been a whole year since I was in China- I loved being in China.

Now, we are settled into the rhythms of a family of four.  Sometimes (like this week when Larry is in the middle of 2 performance schedules and Abigail is in her first musical and is also preparing for a new belt test) the beat to the rhythm seems awfully fast.  But usually it is comfortable and wonderful. 

Joseph is a sweet, loving, funny, determined, silly and devilishly handsome little boy.  He has shown empathy, demonstrated amazing problem solving skills, and is a trickster.  Joseph loves being read to, loves cuddling, loves being outside, enjoys helping Mama and Baba, and fiercely loves his JieJie.  We love him to pieces and can't imagine our family without him.
Holding a pic from a year ago

Jos with the flowers he picked for
Bring Your Teacher A Flower Day
at daycare today

Enjoying some ice cream after school!