slide show

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Full circle

They used to send me photos and I'd anxiously await them and cry as I saw them.  
Now I send them the photos.

Anyone remember this picture?
Look who just got it half way across the world?
If you haven't been reading long and don't know how this wonderful woman fits into our crazy family life,
you can read about our meeting with her here.  
Someone I "met" via internet was traveling back to China and visited the The Shangrao Children's Welfare Center last Friday, back when I was still recovering from my turkey coma.  She delivered this photo to Mimi's foster mother.  That adoption community is so amazing!  She said there were tears in her eyes when she gave it to her.  What an amazing wonderful blessed and rare gift!  To be able to exchange the photo with her and know our daughter is now missed!

I want to do right by this woman who loved on our daughter before we could.  This wonderful woman who woke with her in the middle of the night and cleaned up after her and watch her first teeth come in.  Who was there to hear her first words and catch her as she tried to take her first steps.  I want to be a better mother and treasure my daughter even more because of her.  Smother Mimi with more kisses, squeeze her a bit more often, and train her up to be a strong and proud American Chinese woman.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Just curious...

...would there be any interest out there for a beginner's Lightroom class?  Folks keep suggesting it, and I'm just thinking out loud at this point.  I'm thinking about putting something together for the late winter/early spring if there's enough interest.  You would not have to have any experience with editing or have purchased Lightroom.  You can download LR for a free 30-day trial.  Then after the class you can decide if it's worth the purchase price. This would be a class for beginners.

I'm thinking we could go over

---uploading and organizing with Lightroom
---how to do a quick "clean edit" of photographs
---how to upload, create and use presets
---black & white conversions
---spot removal
---sharpening and reducing grain
---exporting to your computer, Flickr, and Facebook
---easily moving back and forth between Photoshop and Lightroom
In short, we'd be going over the things that I do to my own photographs that help this busy mama edit her photographs with very limited time.  

If you think this is something you'd be interested in, would you let me know?  I'm just trying to see if there's enough interest to put something together.  

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Good clean fun

One of the totally frivolous and unnecessary things I love about my  home is the "bubbler" in the bathtub.  It's the only bathtub in the house so very often there are kiddos in there.  Sadly, the bubbler was mysteriously broken, as often happen with a house with 7 kiddos.  Then a couple days ago, as suddenly as it broke a couple years ago, it started working again.  (Don't you just love it when that happens!) The bubbler makes the most amazing bubbles.  For the most amazing bubble bath.  Left on long enough the bubbles will pile up higher than the tub itself and run on the floor, not that that has happened or anything.  Sensory sensitive Jude is still afraid of bubbles, so bubble baths were a rare sight.  

These two sisters, who have been quite inseparable these days, got to enjoy Mimi's first bubble bath.  And it was a spectacle of fun and joy!  Tess taught Mimi all about making bubble hats.  And how to wash the baby.   And Mimi soaked it all up until their fingers and toes were prunes.  
The girls requested another bubble bath this evening.  I see many many many bubble baths in their future!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Banana man

Frozen grapes and frozen banana slices are some of the kiddo's favorite snacks.  Recently, I've put Jude in charge of ensuring that our frozen banana slices are kept in stock.  He eats most of them, so it's only fair.
And when one is 5 years old, one LOVES to have a job that involves a knife.  Such responsibility!  Never you mind that it's only a butter knife.  A knife that couldn't cut anything other than say... a... banana.  A knife is a humongous responsibility when one is only 5.  And a boy.  And I love that he can do the whole job with very very little help from yours truly.

He gets 2 bananas, a butter knife, a cutting board, and a large Ziploc bag.
He peels that bananas and removes the belly button,
and slices the bananas,
and licks his fingers... a lot.
But like I said, he's the one that eats the majority of them anyway.  Guess I'll be working on hygiene next.
Then he puts the slices in the bag,
and of course he lets his little sister help.
That's where I come in to do the heavy work.  Lastly he brings the bag to me.  I have to "zip" the bag closed.  It's an advanced maneuver.

Then he puts the bag in the freezer.  Which ultimately results in a blob of frozen-together banana slices.  Which isn't that big a deal when you beat the  frozen-blob bag on the counter a couple times.  The banana blob breaks up easily enough to get a serving out.
Good golly cleaning fairy please come wipe down my appliances!  And the floors while you're at it.  
Did I mention he cleans up after himself, throwing away the peels and putting the knife and cutting board in the sink?  You are very welcome Jude's someday wife.  Is it crazy I think about that already?
Oh yea!  He's a catch!
You know I'm all about easy peasy.  And not only is this easy, but it gives Jude a job that he likes doing, reinforces training, and makes a healthy snack to boot!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Thanksgiving in captions

Cut bougainvilleas for our center piece
Rolls rising... possible our favorite part of the meal.
Her first Thanksgiving ever.  And I'm so thankful she's here!
Livy mashing the pototoes... yum... potatoes!
A little wine.
Oh sweet Boo.  How do I love thee?
Starting Christmas early.  This stuff is pure evil!
Supper on the patio.  I think she likes it!
Where's mine?  Oh please... where's mine?
Liv as beautiful as ever!
2 pies for 9 people.  That's 1/4th of a pie per person.  Hmmmmmm.
Chocolate peanut butter pie.  Oh my.  Oh my my my.  Do not try this one I tell you.  Do NOT try it!
This little one went pants-less and insisted on wearing her brother's Elmo underwear.   It's not a battle I'm willing to fight, so I let her.   
Because this is way more important than any underwear she's wearing.  
We are having success on day 4 of potty training her at the crazy house!  
In a turkey coma, they watch a movie on papa and mama's bed.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Smack dab in the middle

This young lady takes my breath away.
It has been 4 1/2  months since her surgery.  She was totally in the thick of painkillers here, but now the swelling is almost totally gone.  She eats pizza now. And steak.  And bagels.  And her teeth actually chew stuff.  It's the little things in life.  We hope the TMJ will be getting better soon, or at least not worse.
So I wanted to take her out for her own photo shoot so she could see how for she has come in those 4 months.
And she still looks just like her.  
Then the sun started to set on the desert, and we had more fun making silhouettes.
 And God painted His magic all around.
And again I am reminded that I'm smack dab in the middle of another ordinary miracle.

Happy Thanksgiving to you all.  Savor every moment big and small.

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