Sunday, September 30, 2012

yummy and a little not yummy

we were blessed to have been invited camping with our friends F and T. the campground was only about a ten minute drive away, which was great by me, as S and B have never been real camping. we have practiced in our backyard, but so far daddy hasn't had enough time off from work to go. we took both cars just in case anyone wanted to sleep in their own bed.

we headed up on Saturday morning. the site T chose was perfect. right by the water. a short walk to a portapotty. and mostly private.

view from our shore to the back of the hall

T had the place all set up with an outdoor kitchen in the screen house, living area around the campfire, and sleeping areas for tents. that's my kind of camping.

the foliage was in years

T and B being silly, their dog, nutmeg, is not impressed

F and T with the kids

we didn't plan it, but the camp owners were hosting a Polish Potluck with an authentic Polka band for entertainment. we brought a cabbage and sauerkraut crock pot dish. the spread was AMAZING. hot dogs, hamburgers, kielbasa, chicken, baked potatoes, corn on the cob, stuffed cabbage rolls, casseroles, salads, coleslaws, and a slew of other dishes. yummy!

after we ate, the kids played on the beach while the band pumped polka music through the recreation hall and throughout the "wilderness."

F and B hanging out by the fire

because we are in the mid-autumn festival of the Chinese lunar calendar, a special friend, the translator we re-met at the doctor's appointment and we met at the dragon boat races last year, gave us traditional mooncakes. they are a Chinese treat that you give to friends and loved ones during this festival time. we saved them for this weekend because it is S's birthday week...stay tuned...b-day pictures will be coming.

let me tell you something about mooncakes...i think you need to be Chinese to appreciate their flavor and texture. we appreciated the decorative work in the cakes, but the flavor was lost on us. not yummy. the texture was weird too. let's just say we wouldn't give them to our friends-we'd like to keep them as friends, but we love Annette for loving on us.

the big one had an egg yolk inside...ummm...ok...

daddy could not find an appreciation for these little "treasures"

ok, so the mooncakes were not a favorite...but s'mores were


daddy took the kids back up to the hall to do some dancing while the other adults chilled by the fire drinking hot spiced brandy cider...yummy.

dance that mooncake and s'mores sugar out of your bods before coming back to share a tent with me! 

the kids settled down by 10:30 and the big people sat by the fire laughing and enjoying the company. the next morning we got up and snacked on pop-tarts and mini donuts while F cooked up bacon, hashbrowns, and eggs in a giant iron kettle. yummy.

on the way home, i just had to stop at the top of our pond and take some pictures of my neighbors' trees.

eye candy...yummy

because daddy has to work open to close the next 6 days, we had a small birthday party for S, who turns 14 tomorrow!


S loves her new Yoshi Remote Control Kart.

then yet another God sighting...

rain had intermittently poured and misted on us all weekend. i was on the phone with my mother and she said she saw a rainbow, so when we heard thunder in our town, yet saw sunshine, B and i ran around like mad women trying to see a rainbow. we have chased rainbows all summer and have yet to see one.

so worth the wait! we had a quadruple rainbow happening. the big one was a rainbow spectrum in both directions- that was two. then there were two more less bright rainbows above the big one that came and went with how the clouds were breaking. we all ran down the street for a better look snapping pictures and exclaiming "wow" over and over again. not caring that we were getting soaked. E and A pounded on the neighbors' doors telling them to come see.

hard to see...but it is a quadruple rainbow

walking back home completely soaked and exhilarated, B said that was the first rainbow she has ever seen. another gift of first. Praise God. i took that as a opportunity to read the children the Bible story of Noah and God's Covenant with us and the reminder that rainbows are evidence of God's promise. i read it to B in english and S read it with E in chinese. it was a perfect 26 hours. so thankful, so peaceful, so blessed. so yummy.  

Thursday, September 13, 2012

chimes and timers

today was the day B got her new ears as we are calling it.

she chose light blue for the computer parts and purple, black, and white swirls for the ear pieces. when we got home, she found the fancy stickers in her "kit" to further decorate them and chose a zebra print pattern that goes on the blue piece. they are sure something else!

they are not amplifiers like i thought that hearing aids were, but instead they have tiny computers in the aids, which take the higher range sound waves and compresses them to a point her brain can recognize and process. now she will be able to hear ssss, shh, sch, zh, zz, th, and tz sounds. i can't wait to see how much more language she acquires now that she will be able to hear EVERYTHING. poor A won't be able to sneak up on B and scare her anymore(a favorite form of terrorizing siblings in our household). A is a bit disappointed. B is most likely relieved.

this is the machine that calibrates and programs the hearing aids to specifically combat her hearing loss. i took some great video of the process, but Blogger is having trouble uploading it. i'll try again another day to get it posted.

wincing...oh my...too loud.

i asked her on the way home if there was anyone she wanted to stop by and see to show off her new ears. she said, "yes, nix and gramma." so we stopped by gramma's house on the way home. while visiting on their front porch she smiled and pointed to the wind chimes hanging above the porch. i asked, "could you hear those before?" she replied, "a little." i think more than a little. the fact that she noticed them and pointed them out leads me to believe that this was a new experience.

later we stopped by to show nix. we also visited on her porch and when her oven timer went off, B snapped her head up and peered into the kitchen to see what was making that noise. hmmm, she can hear timers now too! how lovely to be present for her first sounds(well with me at least...maybe she heard them before the nerve damage...we'll never know).

i am amazed that God has seen fit to bless us with so many firsts. parents of young children often take these tiny treasures for granted. we haven't completely lost out on her life, those ten years before we came into the picture, we are just being given different experiences and firsts to celebrate with her. for as much loss adoption holds, there are equally as many gains.

after we got home she asked to take them off. she stated all afternoon that everything was too loud. the audiologist explained to us that it might take upwards of a week for her brain to learn to process all these new sounds. she suggested we give her small breaks in the afternoon for some stimulus reduction. i am good with that. because i know that these tiny things are making a difference. she is going to want to wear them.

one more thought. i wonder at how lucky we are to have access to modern medical intervention. she did not have access to full hearing for her entire life and most likely would never have if she had stayed in China. yes, she has the gift of family now, but she also has gifts we never imagined a child might need. i feel a stronger sense of gladness that God brought her here. it is a better life for her.

tonight while making dinner she said to me very softly, "mom, i love america."

yes, little one, and God loves you!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

six months already

in just 10 days we will be celebrating our six month Gotcha anniversary. wow. this time last year we were waiting for our LID. funny how time speeds by.

BaoQing referral picture

B six months home

XiYuan referral picture

S six months home 

oh how our girls have blossomed! i am so proud of them.


Saturday, September 1, 2012

eight eyes

S and A got new glasses today. A already wore glasses, but hers fell apart after two years. we never did have an accidentally broken pair. i am sure we will be back at the store getting new ones in the next three months. we have a "bull in a china shop" type of kid in the house now. i suspect she will sit or step on someone's glasses in no time.

i thought S would have a "moment" when the optician put the glasses on her for the first time. her prescription is pretty significant. i took out the video camera and was so excited to see her reaction...chirp, chirp went the cricket sound effect...
for a child who has never seen clearly, she sure was unimpressed. perhaps her brain doesn't recognize her vision correction after all these years. we'll see if over the next few days she figures out she can see. i remember when i needed glasses a few years ago, i marveled at clear vision. i kept taking the glasses off and putting them on, delighted by the difference. well, at least there wasn't a negative reaction.

 A in her new glasses.
 A and S glasses shopping.
S enjoying all the fuss over her new look.