Thursday, March 20, 2008

Feng Shui

Poor Ellie....she's a little OCD! She hates it if someone switches from sitting on a chair to the couch. The other kids will usually humor her and move back to where they were originally sitting (before getting a drink or going the bathroom and coming back to a different spot.) Don't even think about putting your hair back in a pony tail, or taking out your contacts and wearing glasses. It sends her into a tizzy! "No hair up! No gasses (glasses)!" The kids have started saying we're throwing off her feng shui whenever she gets peeved at something we've done. (Think Emporer's New Groove, "You threw off my groove!"

We can usually talk her into things being okay if someone sits somewhere else, or if somebody wants their hair up instead of down, but there is one thing that renders her completely bonkers....Bo putting his arm around me, especially in the car! Oh, my word! It sends her over the edge! This last time he put his arm up, Ellie kept saying, "NO! No arm up!!!" Bo, of course, thought it was funny, so he kept his arm there. Ellie quieted down for just a moment, and then piped from the backseat, "Hands UP!" (This is something this kids will all do when we go up a hill, such as they are here in Florida, or when we ride rides at Disney, and she must have figured it was a great solution for getting Bo's arm off me!)

Thursday, March 13, 2008

These are the days....

Oh my! These are the days that I'm reminded of just how blessed we are to live in sunny, beautiful Florida! Today was sky, the occasional high-up cirrus cloud that didn't block the sun at all, and a nice breeze blowing so you didn't get too hot. Clay had an orthodontist appointment, and we had to pick something up out by the beach, and I just couldn't resist...

We picked up Subway, and had an impromptu picnic on the beach. (I had a sheet to lay out, and we made a quick stop in Walmart for some buckets and shovels.) After eating, the girls played with their new toys, while the big kids buried feet and built castles (of a sort). I laid out and thanked God for His goodness, while the kids laughed and played in the background. In the midst of our fun, Bo called....from Canada. He was standing next to piles of snow that were 8 feet tall!

We've decided that every other week or so, the kids will double up on their schoolwork, or do extra the night before so we can take regular trips to the beach before it starts to fill up with vacationers. I know how great it felt when I was a kid up north to have a snow day. I'm sure it's awesome for them to take a day off to have a BEACH day! (Pictures coming soon!)

Sunday, March 9, 2008

A Big Step for Ellie

Guess what my Ellie did today? She pet a cat!!!!!

In China, we learned that Ellie was deathly afraid of cats. She would claw her way up as high as possible on me, and scream, and her entire body would tremble. I thought she might not do that once we got home, but she would do the same thing if she saw a cat or a dog. Forget the petting zoo at Animal Kingdom. That was NOT her idea of fun!

On two different occasions, I tried to "help" her pet a cat a while back, and held her hand while touching (ever so slightly) a cat, and it did NOT go over well. From then on, I didn't push it. I figured she'd eventually get past whatever made her fear them so much. (I wonder if stray cats would enter the courtyard/playground at the swi and if maybe the nannies would yell at them and shoo them away or if maybe a cat had even clawed at her and hurt her...she does have a slight scratch-like scar on her cheek.)

Well, lately she's been getting braver and braver, and walking right up to our neighbor's cats (a lot of people let their cats run around outside here, so there are always cats roaming around) but she still would not reach out and touch one. Well, today, the neighbor girl gathered her cat in her arms and Ellie walked right up and petted her!!!! I was so excited for her! It seems like such a small thing, but it FEELS like such a big thing to me. She even rubbed the cat's ears, and said, "Ears!"

Yea, Ellie!

Monday, March 3, 2008


We're all in awe today that Ellie Tian has been a member of our family for six months. In some regards, it seems like we just went to China, but mostly, it's as if she's always been here and always been with us. I will never forget the labor pains of waiting for her, of traveling and seeing her for the first time as we walked into the Civil Affairs office. I will always remember how she strained against me, fighting against her birth into our family. And yet gently, quietly, she became a part of us all. A daughter, a sister. Each of our children is so special and unique, and each story is worth sharing and remembering, but today, we rejoice that Ellie is with us now and forever. I am blessed beyond measure.