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!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Home Sweet Home!

It is Saturday at noon. Charlie is down for a nap, Amelia is at a playdate, Clara is at soccer and CJ is at a boy scout event. Grandma and Grandpa left today (we'll miss them). We can't thank them enough for watching the kids while we were gone. We are so blessed to have such supportive family (both sides) and so happy they played a role in bringing Charlie home. Life is getting back to normal! Except for the fact that Lisa wakes up at 2 am every night and can not get back to sleep...Pete and Charlie are slowly making the adjustment...what's up with me??

Charlie's reaction to home was more than we hoped for! He walked in on Wed night, laughing, giggling, and very playful (I guess he would be after a 13 hour flight...ugh!). He even sat down and took off his shoes (which he would never do for the 10 days we had him in China! What a joy to see him interacting with his siblings! Clara (our oldest) has really taken on the motherly role, CJ loves teaching him about trains and football, and Amelia likes him, but sort of wishes things were how they used to's hard to give up the baby position of the family. Charlie seems to really take to Clara and feel more threatened by Amelia. I think that's probably how it was in the orphanage. The older kids helped take care of him and the younger ones took his toys away! We are slowly teaching him how life is in the Schmidt house.
And, did I say he was 2? And, what comes best with 2-year olds, but 2-year old tantrums??? Boy, can he throw a fit when he doesn't get his way. I'm not sure he ever got told "no" at the orphanage...he will slowly learn here though. What doesn't he like? Our very large, but very lovable dog, Doodle. He is very scared of her and whimpers and whines when she is in the house. All I know is he better get used to her. She's big, but she's sweet!
Finally, he is learning how to kiss...he doesn't seem to have the hug and kiss skills down. Grandma Judy practiced with him and guess what? He gave Amelia kisses this morning! How sweet!

We were greeted by all our wonderful friends and their kids when we got home. It was so sweet to see how much the neighborhood kids wanted to meet him. Charlie seems to enjoy the attention and even learned how to throw a football with a couple of CJ's friends!
It's sooooo good to be home! all my blogger junkies...sorry to make you go cold turkey the last few days! Needless to say, we've been a bit busy!