Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Memorial Day at the Beach!

Hi! We spent 3 beautiful days in Bethany Beach with some friends. It's always a whirl-wind tour when we go...usually we hit the bay (to look for horseshoe crabs...only dead ones this year), go eat crabs (a long, messy process), go the beach (play and roll in sand for hours and hours), ride the jet skis (the kids LOVE it), and relax. Our kids had a lot of fun playing with their friends for the weekend and we had fun hanging with our friends. FYI...Denise is scrabble champ...she used all her tiles up on the very first turn of the game! However, Lisa pulled ahead at the end, with a little help from Denise's husband (he actually made the word "sequin"...how hard is that in Scrabble?), but then said if someone had an "E and D" they could make "sequined." I did, and got 54 points to pull ahead of Denise (sorry!).
We also celebrated Pete's birthday there! He did his favorite things...beach and crabs (lots and lots and lots of crabs)! He said it was his most memorable bday in a while!

Amelia was also in heaven because her good friend was also at their beach house for the weekend, so the girls had 2 sleepovers!! Do our kids even have any idea how good they have it?

Until the next post...

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

China's Earthquake

Several people have asked me where Xie Feng's orphanage is in relation to the earthquake. It is quite far (about 1000 miles). I have heard there was no damage there. I've posted a map of China, with an arrow near the earthquake and one for the orphanage, just to give perspective. While we are thankful he is safe, lots of prayers are needed for all the victims of the quake.
If you are interested, here is a link to the city (Quanzhou in Fujian Province) where Xie Feng lives http://www.travelchinaguide.com/cityguides/fujian/quanzhou/. I know the city is known for their tea and puppets. It is right on the coast and looks quite beautiful. Typically, families meet their children in the capital of the province, Fuzhou. We are going to request a visit to the orphanage (they aren't always granted), but we would love to see exactly where he is from and where he spent the first 2 years of his life. We know a family who is going in June to bring home a 12 year old girl from the same orphanage. Her daughter and our son know each other (we even have a picture of the two of them together)! We are requesting permission from the orphanage to allow the family to take some pictures of Xie Feng. I would love to see another picture of him!!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Field Trip to Pamplin Civil War Park

On Tuesday, I accompanied Clara on her last elementary school field trip! Pete usually goes on the "long" field trips, but he was out of town. We left school at 7:15 a.m. and returned at 5:30 p.m.! It was about 2 1/2 hours each way, but at least we got to ride on charter buses. Anyway, Clara really wanted me to go and I figured it would be my last opportunity to attend a field trip with her! Wow, does time fly. I remember her starting kindergarten and now she is off to middle school! Anyway, the park was just beautiful. We went to Pamplin Civil War Park in Petersburg, VA. We saw a plantation house, a log cabin where slaves lived, the battlefields, the "earthworks" (miles of mounds of dirt/grass that the south used for defense), the kids got to practice battle advances, and finally, we toured a very impressive museum. It's amazing to think that all around where we live there were these civil war battles. We sometimes forget that we are completely surrounded by all this history.

Monday, May 5, 2008

$311.00 in Donations!

Amelia's 7th birthday party was a huge success in two ways. First, I said I would post how much Amelia collected in donations from her birthday party (see our first post) and I am so happy and humbled to say her friend's donated a total of $311.00! I am so thankful to each and every one of our friend's that donated! Can you imagine how much that is worth in China and to the little one's at Xie Feng's orphanage?? THANK YOU!! And, I am SO PROUD of Amelia for giving up presents in order to help others...I can't tell you how much that warms my heart!

Secondly, the kids had a blast! First, we determined what Chinese zodiac sign each girl was, then played "Pass the Panda" to Chinese Folk Song music, then played a "Cottonball Chopstick" race, put together a Chinese charm bracelet, then played Dragon tag and Chinese jumprope outside. It was perfect 75 degree weather and the girl's all seemed to have fun! Here are a few pictures from the party.

Cute goodie bags for the girls. In addition, each of the girls received a small silk purse and key chain that Pete brought back from his last trip to China.

Here are the girls from the party! Aren't they all so cute!

Amelia and her good friend!

Saturday, May 3, 2008

My First Post...Amelia's Birthday!

Ok, it has taken me over a month from setting up this blog to actually posting! Not a good sign for things to come! I thought I'd set this up so that our family and friends could follow some of our daily lives a little easier...however, I realize that I need to post for that to happen! I will try to be better.

Amelia turned 7 on May 1st! We had a little family celebration at home (isn't she so cute!) and will have her birthday party tomorrow. She is quite an amazing and funny little girl. Here are two examples:
The first is her "funny" (aka "quirky") side: we usually let the kids pick their favorite restaurant to go to on their actual birthday. When I asked Amelia where she wanted to go, she hemmed and hawed...and finally decided she wanted to stay home for dinner and have an artichoke!! Yes, Amelia loves (I mean loves) artichokes. Much to Clara's dismay we stayed home and had (at Amelia's request), artichokes, spaghetti, salad and garlic bread...Clara tried her hardest to convince her to go to Clara's favorite restaurants, but Amelia wouldn't budge (go Amelia!) We had a nice dinner and then she opened her family presents. Here she is eating her artichoke (with CJ)...
The second is a story about her "amazing" side: her birthday party is tomorrow (14 little girls are coming). She decided (with no input from me) to have a Chinese themed party, in honor of her brother-to-be! She and Clara thought up a bunch of fun games (like pass the panda, dragon tag, and cotton ball chopsticks). But, the most amazing part is that she decided instead of birthday gifts for herself, she would ask for donations which she wants to send to her new brother's orphanage in China! We are really so proud of her for doing that! Isn't that amazing! I will post a few pictures of her birthday party tomorrow and let you know how much she collected in donations!
Well, that's it for my first post...I feel like I've accomplished something and hope you enjoy checking in every now and then to see what we're up to!