Monday, July 30, 2012

Day #2

Emily is doing great.  Well...maybe I should clarify that.  She has nasty, horrid diarhea.  The clothing situation would be dire if our guide hadn't taken some to the laundry for us.  She eats anything, drinks anything, sleeps solidly, LOVES being outside, is quiet and watchful.  Where Kaitlyn is our ask and deal with it girl, cry if necessary, Emily appears to be more still-waters-run-deep.  She was going to everyone this morning.  THEN...
We went to provincial affairs to sign our names and make promises regarding Emily's future and sign our names and make thumb prints, and sign our names and take pictures, and sign our names and talk to some people and ....yep, sign our names x 100.   If Alzheimers is in my future, thanks to China I bet I'll be able to sign my name right up to the end.  We met with the SWI staff this morning.  Everyone had a camera except the director and notary.  We took pictures with every conceivable combination of people.   My mom made the girls matching jumpers and they were a HUGE hit.  The staff took pictures and more pictures all while Kenton and I were signing our names over and over again.  ;) winking 
Emily's nanny was there.  At first she didn't want to take Emily.  I think she was afraid it would be too hard for them both.  Eventually she couldn't resist.  The parting was hard on all of us but I'm so glad that they both had one last opportunity.  Emily's cry is soft and heartbreaking.  Now if we're out of the hotel room she doesn't want anything to do with anyone but mom. 
As a family of seven gallivanting around China we are a spectacle.  It's a good thing God doesn't have us here permanently.  Every move the kids make is noticed by someone.  Today Kenton was leading the way with the boys.  Megan was behind him and I was trailing her by a bit.  A lady grabbed her and pulled her through an alley.  She just wanted to show Megan to her husband but it scared us both a bit.  She desperately wanted to hold Emily but Emily gave her hands a good shove and said, "BO!"  The lady laughed but took her out of my arms anyway.  Em wasn't having anything to do with her.  She reached for me, cried, and kicked.  Sometimes it's hard to know the correct response.  Most people are curious  Many are kind.  It's awkward being the center of attention. 
Yesterday while we were out walking a lady had a fire hose on the sidewalk.  Davis wanted to watch what she was doing so we all stopped.  The lady gestured to us to keep moving.  Turns out she was going to use that firehose to clean.  In the process she nailed the side of a public restroom.  All of a sudden, this man came scrambling out, head swinging both ways as he tried to figure out what had hit the side of his bathroom.  We are still chuckling about his face.  It was priceless.
The lovely lady at the business center just thoughtfully brought me a glass of steaming hot water.  It's lovely of her...but how does one swig down a glass of hot water?  According to our guide this is to cool the insides.  Not sure how that works.  :P tongue  
Our guide is efficient, fun, thoughtful, and her English is pretty good although she says, "My English is like my boyfriend, I love it but I can't control it."  Fortunately, Kenton and I seem to be tag teaming understanding her.  What one doesn't get the other usually does. 
I'm sure there's more that I could say but for now I'm out of words and time.
Thank you for praying.  We feel it and are blessed. 

Sunday, July 29, 2012

We Have Emily!

Getting here was nothing short of a pain in the butt.  Literally!  Our flight to Newark was canceled so we missed our connection to Beijing.  We sat in the airport from 6:35 a.m. until 7:30 p.m. for a flight to Los Angeles.  Arrived at the nightmare known as LAX and walked miles trying to find the right terminal for international flights.  Two big blessings: we got here safely and flew Air China instead of that bottom of the barrel company were originally flying with. 
Arrived in Beijing at 5:00 a.m., went to breakfast, and climbed the Great Wall.  Except for the whiny four-year-old, no problems.  Were dropped back off at the airport at 12:00...for a 6:05 flight.  A bit excessively early.  At that point everyone hit a wall.  The kids and Kenton went to sleep.   The sleep of the dead.  When it was finally time to check in (yeah, Beijing won't let you do it until two hours before your flight)  the kids could barely navigate.  Really, it was like herding cement cows.  It was a nightmare.  Through every checkpoint people kept asking why Davis was crying.  Come on!  One look at our sleep deprived, wrinkled clothes, bags-under-the-eyes appearance should have given it away.  Duh!   We finally arrived at our hotel at 9:30 p.m.  Math skills elude me...but it was a looooooong time to be without a bed. 
We get lots of attention everywhere we go.  Lots of smiles, lots of people counting heads (wait until tomorrow, people!  :P tongue), and a few countings heads and giving us a thumbs up.  Megan is a bit overwhelmed with all the attention.  A few people have violated our personal space but in a kind, encouraging way. 
We have Emily.  My goodness is she ever gorgeous.  (So sorry, I misplaced my computer/camera thingy!  Ugh!)  She came in soooo tired.  They kept trying to hand her off but she didn't want anything to do with me, naturally!  I really wanted to win her over but she was too tired so finally I wound up with a tired baby.  It was pitiful.  She had a soft little cry of protest that could break your heart.  It just about broke Jamison's.  He was just about in tears hearing her. 
After an interview (Missy and Heather, they loved your pictures!  Amy, our guide is working on translating your email for them.), we ditched our kids ALONE in a  hotel in a foreign country!  NOT doing that again!) and had Emily's passport pictures taken.  Emily fell asleep on the way back to the hotel, that alert, not relaxed, waiting for the next shoe to drop sleep.   After a bout of diarhea...everywhere...she cried that same pitiful cry.  I finally tried giving her some water in a bottle.  The SWI staff said she doesn't take one but she was thrilled to hang on to it. She was watchful.  Davis and Megan kept trying to interact with her.  It was when I offered her some food that things took a turn for the better.  I think she was hungry.  Like Kaitlyn, she LOVES cheerios! 
Davis got the first smile when he popped out from under the table at her.  A game of peek-a-boo and catch ensued.  She was all smiles and laughter.  Davis and Megan played and played with her, Kaitlyn took a nap, and Jamison popped in and out.  We've had a bit of a surprise.
Emily is not walking independently.  She is standing and walking only with support.  When she walks she wobbles side to side instead of heel-toe.   I'll admit I hit a bit of a panic button.  She can crawl but prefers to point and charm to get what she wants.  
Emily is darling.   We are already charmed by her. 
Please continue to keep us in your prayers. 


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

One Last Catch Up

Before we go to China I'd like to catch up on recent doings. 

The TriState Relief Sale was last weekend.  I've worked with the Market Place and Food but my favorite is the Quilts.  This Shadow Applique was charming.  Somebody spent oodles of time on it.

I'm not wild about the tails but I loved the old fabrics on this Rooster quilt.


Megan's really into purple so she loved this purple star quilt.

I think the colors are a bit outdated on this one.

This quilt is beautifully done.  Unfortunately I had these four obnoxious children following me everywhere that kept trying to be in the picture.  Thus it's a bit blurry.  Look at all those sharp points!  My favorite overall.

Cherry Glade did this comforter.  I loved the blue blending.  

Not wild about the colors but interesting.

Davis got stung twice by a wasp.  Can you tell where?

His ear was HUGE.  

Kenton is probably the only one who will be glad for that long flight from Newark to Beijing.  Tonight he fell asleep at the computer.  They finished second crop out at Dean's.  They rented a wrapper but the bales were too big so they had to take it back and borrow a different wrapper.  You can imagine the happiness that accompanied that discovery.  

Milk Dud Report: Milking (I think) 126.  That means that some stalls are getting switched twice each milking.  We've had tons of heifer calves lately.  That means Brent will have lots of babies to feed.  Brent's double wide is scheduled to arrive next week (?), the parlor is close to finished, and the timing could have been better.  Lots of extra work for Carl, Brent, and Domingo.  I'm sorry (Lo siento), and thank you (Muchos Gracias!)!

The kids have been great!  Helpful, appreciative, well-behaved (well, except for when Megan clunked her brother for what he thought was a game and she didn't and when Davis and Megan tried to beat down the bathroom door with their brother inside and...well, they're not perfect! :-P ) and every prayer tonight revolved around going to China and most especially Emily, that God will continue to prepare her heart for a new home.

We'd be grateful for your prayers.  There are still some details to be worked out.  With all the kids I'm more concerned about health this time around.  Most of all that God will comfort Emily and give us wisdom and willingness to do whatever Emily needs to make this transition from the life she's always known to the completely unfamiliar.

That's all, folks.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Trying with Pictures

Trying to Remember

It's been a long time since I tried to email a post to blogger.  

Friday, July 20, 2012

Leaving on a Jet Plane

We know when we'll be back again.  :D    As of yesterday we know that we are leaving on July 27.  We're flying back from Hong Kong on August 10th.

Davis came to me yesterday morning.  He snuggled in and very seriously remarked that he knew I was going to want the house to be clean when we came back from China.  He knew (Wrong!) that I wouldn't want them to get out any toys to play with between now and when we leave so that this would be more likely to happen.

I was surprised by his thoughtfulness and mentally patting myself on the back for helping raise such a perceptive young man when he added, "So we should probably just play computer games until we leave so things stay clean."  

What a shyster!

Milk Dud Report:  Doing the last pour of concrete for the parlor as I write.  Second crop of hay to be finished before we leave.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Consulate Appointment

Okay, here's a confession...I badgered my husband.  Really, I tried NOT to do it.  BUT in the famous words of my paternal parent, "I already asked forgiveness.  Don't bring it up again!"

The question was leave July 28 or so


Leave August 18 after third crop (of hay) and giving him a bit of time to finish the parlor, get it up and running, and then ditch it all to wander around in China with five kids and a crazy woman.  

Now there are a bunch of variables that play in here but when it came right down to it I just didn't think I could stand to wait A MONTH to get Emily.  I've wanted her home since February or so which means I've been waiting for almost SIX MONTHS!    

Frankly, I'm certain that those God wants to learn patience are very high on the list of those He chooses to become adoptive parents.   

Anyway, my brilliant and unknowingly devious husband questioned whether going so soon was going to stress me out.  Victory with a twist!

I won but any stress in timing is solely my responsibility...until we arrive with four extra sets of eyes, ears, noses, etc who are whining and complaining en mass because their dad insisted this would be a good idea.  

We have a consulate appointment August 8!

Departure on or around July 28!  

Much prayer would be appreciated.    

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Black and White Show

The black and white show was tonight.  We spent awhile yesterday and today washing and clipping cows.  I got to wash manure beads out of some tails.  It's about as much fun as it sounds.


I had to talk the kids into coming home with me this afternoon for awhile.  They were having lots of fun playing cops and robbers in the sheep barn, complete with actual "jail cells".

Of course, once home they had to be persuaded to go back.  

It took about ten minutes for all those white show pants to show dirt.  

Okay, sorry, remember this is our family blog.

Jamison and Davis took 1st and 2nd place for showmanship for their age group.  Megan did a super job but her calf started giving her some trouble part of the way through.  It was a big calf for a 9-year-old.

Jamison was junior champion in the youth division with his heifer Crystal.

Kaitlyn accompanied her dad when he got a first in his calf class.

The kids won a first for Best Three Females (calf class)

Megan got a (junior) first with her heifer Cookie in her class.
Davis got a first (junior?) with one of his dad's calves in that class.
Alena and Gregory were good sports.

Kenton had fun watching the kids.  I could see him beaming and knew that this was one of his dreams come true.  






We have travel approval.  Now we need to work on a date.  

Monday, July 16, 2012

Swallow Falls

We have cousins visiting us from Indiana this week.  As you can see they've had quite an impact on our kids. 

After washing cows for the show tomorrow, we went to Swallow Falls. 

Better swinging from the trees than climbing the walls.

They were all actually far more impressed with climbing anything than the beautiful falls.  Keeping track of six, I mean, beautiful children was quite a challenge.  

It's been fun to watch them have fun together. 

Gregory was having fun with a tiny little toad he found.  The toad, for some reason, was not all that enthralled with the special habitat Gregory made for him.

We were so fortunate that our superstrong children were able to pry these rocks apart...

and push these trees over

participate in a little group shotput

and blow this tree over.  Amazing!  

Look, Mamma and Papa, your kiddos are thriving.

 After all that walking it was time to get wet. 

I really should have taken more pictures here because I haven't seen so many smiles in awhile but I was trying to keep Kaitlyn from going too deep, admire the leaps and bounds Davis has taken in swimming ability, and count heads constantly to make sure no one had problems I wasn't aware of.  They swam out to those rocks and slid down like a bunch of seals.  Numerous toe stubbings occurred, bandaids were needed, but fun was had by all.  

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Article 5

We are one step away from travel!

Our Article 5 is supposed to be picked up TODAY!  That means we are just waiting on TRAVEL APPROVAL!  We may actually survive this process after all.  : D    TA is currently taking about 16 days.  So, barring the unforeseen, August will be our month.  

It's That Time of Year

when farm kids practice leading their animals.

Dad thought they'd enjoy an alfalfa treat.

Some moments were more cooperative than others.

It was hot out there in the sun.  Some were smarter than others.

Is it possible to lead cows without something getting loose?

Time for a little cool off...

before they went back to the barn.

Does it look like fun?

Monday, July 2, 2012


 We've been without power since Friday night.  Not fun!  BUT we are SO BLESSED for two reasons: 1) we have a generator (it helps pump water to those thirsty cows) and 2) the main farm did not lose power which would make Kenton's life totally miserable.  Things are already a bit crabby around here.

The parlor is moving along.  Recently they put in three big water tanks.  We need lots of storage since all the cows are thirsty after being milked, the parlor will need to be washed down at the same time, and the pipeline will also be washed.

It looks like we're opening our personal mausoleum or something.

Everything was a little tight.  Kenton had water lines and electric lines and a milk tank to plan around.

Nothing like the novelty of something new-even if it's just tank deliveries.

This tank is for wastewater after the parlor washdown.

We interrupt this regular broadcast to bring you playdough fun.  Kaitlyn:  I can't put the playdough away.  Teddy isn't finished playing with it.

Behave kids or we'll put you down the big hole:  Don't you wonder WHAT she did?

Getting a drink.  It's hot around here.

Kenton wants LOTS of pictures of where everything is located around here.  He knows that someday he'll be in a quandary trying to figure out where he ran all those extra lines.

Lovely, eh?  I'm not sure how this will help, but he's confidant it's just what he needs.

The kids down the big holes.  They helped paint the inside of the tanks.  It gives me claustrophobia just thinking about it.

"I've had enough, mom!"

We also had a birthday around here.  It was a typical "Life on the Farm" day.  The kid got presents at breakfast, Dad was pouring concrete during dinner, Dad was finishing concrete over supper, Dad rushed in to take kids to the Bible school program( He WANTED to!), Mom stayed home for a break, Storm knocked out electric, and so we all had chocolate birthday cake for breakfast.  One day late.


He looks pretty grumpy about the whole thing, eh?

Jamison has been begging for a cordless drill since last fall.  Do you think he sleeps with it?

It came in pretty handy in the parlor later.

Parlor steps

Return lanes

Holding area and crowd gate

What the kids do while mom is painting.

So, that's catch up for now.  Next time, I hope that I can do this without the hum of a generator in the background.