Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Charlie's New Friend!

Just take a look at these two pictures. One is from 2 months ago halfway across the world in Quanzhou City, Fujian Province, China. The other is from today 9 miles from our house! This is Charlie and his new friend. We were so lucky to be able to meet Nathan in China. Charlie and Nathan are not from the same orphanage, but from the same city. When we visited Charlie's orphanage, the director of Nathan's orphanage was kind enough to bring him to Charlie's orphanage for a visit so we could meet him. Nathan's mom and I have become friends and found out we live 9 miles from each other. Nathan's mom is a wonderful woman and Nathan is her 6th adopted child. I am blessed to have met her, her family, and Nathan. What a small, small world!

Amelia in a Play!

We thought Amelia would be perfect for acting classes. Well, turns out she is quite shy in front of other people (she is a total drama queen at home)! Here is a link to a little play she was in for a little acting class. The play is "Ferdinand the Bull" and she plays one of the bulls! Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

He Just Belongs Here

Way back when we had Clara, and she was born with a cleft lip and palate, Pete's grandpa wrote us a letter and said that God only gives you what you can handle...I have always thought of that in difficult times. Not that we are having a really difficult time, but we are all still adjusting to having a 4th child in the house. Most of the time Charlie is sweet, funny, loving, silly, etc...but, he certainly is challenging at times. He can have terribly loud, kicking, screaming temper tantrums over seemingly minor things (like telling him to stop picking his nose) and they can last 30 minutes! It's difficult, but I keep telling myself there is probably more to it than whatever set him off (like some memory of his orphanage, ayi's etc). He now calls me "mama" about 95% of the time (instead of ayi)...the other 5% of the time is "ayi-mama". I think that's definite progress. Here is a picture of CJ and Charlie being silly and one of sweet Amelia! Charlie definitely fits in here and belongs with us...God knew the perfect child for our family.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Halloween Fun!

Who is that??

Oh, it's Charlie!!
And, Amelia!!

Charlie as Yoda!!

Our Family on Halloween!

Ewww...gross pumpkin guts!

Wow, our house was bustling with activity Thursday and Friday! Thursday we painted and carved pumpkins. At first Charlie was not at all liking touching the inside of a know how neat he is! He'd reach in and say "EWWWWW" and "UKKKKKY!" After a while, I think he thought it felt kind of fun! Pete carved the coolest said "The Schmidt 6" and CJ made a barfing pumpkin, Clara painted a cute dracula pumpkin and Amelia made one with a silly smile. It was fun.

On Halloween, our family went in all different directions. Clara went with her friends and a couple dads...she was dressed in her PJ's. CJ went with his friends and Pete. He was Angus Young (from ACDC). Amelia was a cowgirl riding a horse and Charlie was Yoda! I took Charlie and Amelia and went around with some friends. Charlie got a kick out of holding out a bucket and getting something in it every time! He pushed his way to the front of our group and said "twick tweet" and "tank ew" every time. It was precious! Then he totally konked out! He was exhausted. Grandma and Grandpa were still here and they really enjoyed seeing how excited the kids were these last couple days!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Videos of Charlie...bath time and drawing

Amelia and Charlie giggled so hard in the bath tub!

Charlie writing...

Charlie talking (sort of!)

Sunday, October 26, 2008

CJ's Birthday Party

We had CJ's birthday party at our local gym. The kids got to climb the rock wall, play games on the moon bounce, and play gym games...for 3 hours! They had a blast. They were hot, sweaty, and tired when they left! All the kids were great on the rock wall. I'm not sure I could have made it to the top! Amelia really wanted to climb and loved going up a little way and then bouncing down to the ground. I just can't believe CJ is 10...that amazes me. He's turned into quite a great guy. Today at our church family group, his teacher asked his class why they obey their parents (they were discussing the commandments)...she came up to me and said that the other kids said things related to getting punished by their parents if they didn't listen, consequences, etc. She told me CJ said "because I love my parents." That deserves a great big "awwwwwww!!!" (We'll have to remind him that next time he tells us "we're the meanest parents ever!")

Fun With Family!

Grandma and Grandpa Matras

Grandma and Grandpa Matras came to visit. Charlie has really taken to them (and vice versa)! Charlie is such a crack-up and is always making us laugh. He's really adjusting well to our crazy life here. He wants to be in on all the action. Here's a few more pictures of him and the kids and Grandma and Grandpa.

Monday, October 13, 2008

3 Weeks Ago Today...

I can't believe that our little Charlie came into our lives 3 weeks ago today! What a difference in his personality then and now. Then, it took everything to get him to, he laughs at everything! Then, he took my hand with, he gives me hugs and kisses! Then, he knew nothing more than a small, he experiences new sensations daily! He is such a blessing to our family. He has brought so much laughter and joy to all of us. This isn't to say it has all been easy. We still struggle with temper tantrums for no apparent reason. He often cries himself to sleep and wakes moaning and tossing and turning. We wish we knew why, but we can only help him through it. He has taught us all patience and sensitivity. He taught us that things don't have to be exactly how we expect them and we don't need to control's a look at what Charlie has experienced over the last 10 days he's been home!

Isn't he too cute!! (The hat is actually from the Fujian Province Adoption Director)

A family day at the local corn maze/pumpkin patch

These squash aren't that comfortable to sit on!
American Gothic...aka Charlie and Clara!

Bumpy slide!

Meeting a new cousin (ok, a second cousin of Pete's)

Charlie, Macey and Alicia

Amelia and Charlie have a sleep-over!

He's not crying because we put him on the bike, he's crying because he didn't want to stop being pushed around!

He's starting to like our local tot lot!

He even likes Doodle now! (Although his favorite sentence is "no no no Doodle!")

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Video of Charlie's First Evening Home

This was at about 9 pm on October 1st. Just look at the excitement in this boy...we'd been home about 20 minutes! He went crazy...ok, he was cooped up on a plane for 13 hours prior to this, but he sure didn't act like he didn't know our home! I just wanted to share because it was such a precious homecoming!

CJ Turns 10 (and Charlie's First Dairy Queen)!

Wow, after a whirlwind trip to China we come home to CJ's birthday! Even though we are exhausted, we wanted it to be special for him. We are postponing his party for a few weeks, but we did celebrate at home. First, with Grandma and Grandpa Schmidt before they left and then with our family last night. We took him to Dairy Queen and let him pick whatever he wanted...he picked the huge Earthquake Sundae! Charlie got to experience his first Dairy Queen and, while he liked his vanilla ice cream, he liked Clara's Chocolate Covered Cherry Blizzard better! We then came home and opened family presents. It was a fun night for all!