Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Skools In

Delivering supplies to school on Sunday.

I’ve collapsed in my chair. Eli and I are enjoying the silence that falls over the house after six year old chatter is quiet for the evening.  Since school started, we have bedtime routines back in place. Sidney is bouncing off the walls about being back while Eli continues to mutter, in defiance, saying something about the end of his freedom.  I have to admit I wasn’t really ready for having to be on a schedule again. I work from our house, so our summer was very relaxed. Mom up at the crack of dawn for a few hours of uninterrupted work, breakfast, short play, tutoring for reading in the morning, then lunch, and off to the public pool. Despite their age difference it’s something, a six and twelve year old enjoy equally. 

Who's to stop a queen from blowing bubbles outside? 
And if you’re picturing us driving up to a beautiful pool let me interrupt that thought. We live in Iowa. It’s the same pool I traveled to on swim team when I was a kid. I’m 39, (and hanging on tight until next month). The last time I was on swimteam I was 12.  It’s old, but we don’t care. It’s fun and is one environment that doesn't allow the kids to be parked inside the air conditioning in a sendetary zombie like state. It wares them down. Of course, there were always those moments when we saw an interesting patron, and Eli turned to me and quietly said, “It’s called public for a reason Mom.” 

So in between all of this, on July 13th, we celebrated five years home  with Tom’s parents by lazing around outside on a nice Sunday afternoon. The girl rolling around outside on Grandpa’s shop stool was barely recognizable in comparison to the person in front of me in Changsha. The isolation and neglect of the world  has been replaced by  spunk and a child who loves life. I have tried writing this post a million times mulling over that day and always come back to the theme of never forgetting what goes on even though it's not in our backyard. Our society lacks awareness, and if I could change anything it would be this. 

Tomorrow is coming sooner than I think. I promise to be a better blogger in the future, and especially for my most willing reader - my mother. 

Tuesday, August 12, 2014


Please note two things, the fact that Eli was sent immediately to wash his feet an that I purchased a pair of size 12 shoes for him this week. Then note the queen in her fiefdom. 
I have a post ready I swear!!! I am the worst blogger ever. Work is making it challenging to post, so for now I am going to throw in a photo of my school supply shopper. Sidney was overjoyed that I let her come along and actually get the items out of the bins. I’m telling you it doesn’t take much to make a kid happy! So continue watching for me in blips and blurps and I promise to be back on more often! I have a longer post I’m working on about our five year anniversary of our forever family day. Stay tuned!!!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

My Little Fire Cracker

My husband was grumbling as we went out the door to church this morning that we were running late. Much to his chagrin I couldn't find the right shoes. As quickly pulled into our parking spot Sidney said, "We can be late, because I'm fabulous." Real self-esteem issues. To think there was a time before we went to China that I was worried if she had no self-esteem her anomolies would make her a target for teasing. I'm so grateful I have such a bold girl. Now if we can channel she will run a Fortune 500 company. 

Getting ready for the 4th of July parade when I noticed she was clad with her own fashion statement.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Sunshine Day

Sidney asked me to share her picture.  After spending an hour in the basement yesterday for weather this was a cheerful reminder today is another day to be thankful for my house, our good health, and the few limbs down in our yard.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Cousins on a summer day....

It's so special that Sidney has a cousin from China. 10 year old AnDee has a spunky spirit that reminds me of an older Sidney. My heart was full after I heard that the oldest in the swing Ashtyn asked immediately when she showed up when Aunt Cara was coming.  Meanwhile, her sister Adysyn is hard to miss modeling a different piece of everyones jewlery at the cookout.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Pool Rats

One sunburn later, and we have returned from the public pool. I'm the mom lathering with SPF 70, , so as horrified to see Eli's skin. Meanwhile Sidney is prancing around with darker skin than yesterday despite slathering her in the same lotion. Asian skin is a magnet for the sun, but I take care of her skin the same way. I always think about our visit to China when I think of skin and the cultures belief that fair skin is somehow superior. If you're dark it's mean you were somehow inferior having worked in the field. I can't stand this kind of stigma. Totall bologna. 

Friday, June 27, 2014

Toothpaste and Line Test

Eli did an awesome job paddle boarding. 

A week ago Thursday...I am hunkered down in a cabin in northern Wisconsin, enjoying our third visit to this particular location. We get no cell reception! Apart from the many bugbites, it was great. Eli is always loaded with random information and informed me that tooth paste will help itching bites. In despiration, I tried it. It dried it out and gave much needed relief.  

Our first day it northern Wisconsin was cold!

Eli loved all the paddle boarding and kayaking. Had it not been for the life jacket I would not have allowed him to go out into the lake. There's no room for error in water. I'm a decent swimmer, so I am encouraging him this summer to work on real swimming and treading water. He had a negative situation with a life guard at the local pool once, and though he won't admit it, he's afraid. 
My poor baby had a mosquito bite on her eye in this picture, and on the same night her mother was also attacked in the same place!

Sidney was really into fishing this year. She told us the first day she wanted to catch a large mouth bass. Something about seeing them on Wild Kr*tz. 20 minutes later she caught one on her D*ra pole which looked like it was ready to snap like kindling.  
Open our eyes Tom!

Tom caught a similar fish. 
It was by Sidney's feet in the boat. I was bracing myself for her reaction. Instead she calmly observed while picking up a basket which was over half her height,"It sure is floppy." She loves the show Wild Kr*tz, so she was excited to see one in person.