Wednesday, March 11, 2009

How My Kids See Me

Copy this note, ask your kid the questions and write them down exactly how they respond. Tag me back - I'd love to hear the answers.
(Man, I learned a lot LOL)

1. What is something mom always says to you?
Caleb: You may play on the computer.
Gabe: You love me.
Lily: I love you.
Seth: God makes us be happy.

2. What makes mom happy?
Caleb: This (then he gives me a kiss and hug.) Yep. He was right.
Gabe: When I give you a hug.
Lily: Kiss!
Seth: Reading me a book.

3. What makes mom sad?
Caleb: When Lily lies to you.
Gabe: When I disobey you.
Lily: I know. Jingle Bells, Monkey smells. (They were forbidden from singing this song...over and over and over.
Seth: Doing wrong things.

4. How does your mom make you laugh?
Caleb: I don't remember. (Gee, thanks. Pause for a moment while I hold my son down and tickle him.)
Gabe: When you told me that joke. It was funny. The one that goes, "Why did the hamburger chase the cheese? Because it wanted to 'ketchup.'"
Lily: Funny jokes.
Seth: Tickle me.

5. What was your mom like as a child?
Caleb: How am I supposed to know? I'm not a time traveler.
Gabe: Uh, maybe, beautiful and pretty. (Awwwwww. Wait, I need to kiss him.)
Lily: You had two dollies that you gave me.
Seth: Dollies, I think.

6. How old is your mom?
Caleb: 32 (He's only off by a year...I'm not telling which direction.)
Gabe: 34 (Oh. He's off by a year too. The wrong direction.)
Lily: 33 (She got it right!)
Seth: 33 (He overheard Lily.)

7. How tall is your mom?
Caleb: About a head bigger than me.
Gabe: That's a hard one. I don't know. Three feet?
Lily: Big! (Thanks, sister.)
Seth: This tall (measuring with wide arms.)

8. What is her favorite thing to do?
Caleb: Spend time with the family (That's definitely on the list.)
Gabe: Be with her family.
Lily: Make everything and give us our drinks.
Seth: Read me a book, maybe.

9. What does your mom do when you're not around?
Caleb: Clean, do computer, work, or watch TV
Gabe: Be with Seth and Lily.
Lily: Exercise! (Sure, that's it.)
Seth: Find me. (This is so, so true.)

10. If your mom becomes famous, what will it be for?
Caleb: Cooking and Singing
Gabe: Loving God.
Lily: Love.
Seth: Famous cause she's so pretty. Right, mom?

11. What is your mom really good at?
Caleb: Cooking
Gabe: Being a good mom and cooking.
Lily: Helping me make snowflakes and snowman. And the computer.
Seth: Running. (Obviously, I spend a good portion of my day chasing him.)

12. What is your mom not very good at?
Caleb: Video games (Tru dat.)
Gabe: Taking care of all four kids at the same time when we all ask for something. That makes you frustrated.
Lily: You can't do something while your sick. And you can't give me a sling backpack. But you can give me a hug and brush my hair.
Seth: Jumping. But I am very good at jumping.

13. What does your mom do for her job?
Caleb: Take care of her family
Gabe: Take care of us
Lily: Taking care of us.
Seth: Going to Sunday School at church.

14. What is your mom's favorite food?
Caleb: Chinese (Oh, yeah.)
Gabe: Spaghetti
Lily: avocados (Smart, observant girl!)
Seth: Candy, I think.

15. What makes you proud of your mom?
Caleb: Just one? Because there's a lot of things I can choose. (You bet he's getting brownie points for that one.) That she's the best mom in the world. (And for that he gets actual brownies.)
Gabe: For being my mom.
Lily: Happy!
Seth: Being a good listener.

16. If your mom were a character from a book, who would she be?
Caleb: the author (I like this kid!)
Gabe: Red Riding Hood (I do like to bring food to people...)
Lily: Mom. (Who else could I be?)
Seth: Mom! (Obviously can't see me as anything other than mom. That's okay!)

17. What do you and your mom do together?
Caleb: Sometimes shopping, which I do not like at all, or go to a friend's house.
Gabe: Sometimes play outside doing sports.
Lily: Cook. We are good cookers, don't you think?
Seth: Run together, I think. (Again, me...chasing...him. LOL.)

18. How are you and your mom the same?
Caleb: We've got the same brown hair.
Gabe: We both have the same parts of the body. I don't remember which ones. (LOL!!!)
Lily: We are two girls.
Seth: Freckles on us.

19. How are you and your mom different?
Caleb: She's a girl and I'm a boy.
Gabe: I'm a boy and your a girl.
Lily: That's cuz you don't have any clothes on. (Ahem. Correction: I'm still in jammies and she is dressed.)
Seth: We don't look exactly the same. (But we're pretty darn close.)

20. How do you know your mom loves you?
Caleb: Because of her actions, for cooking for us every day and night.
Gabe: Because I'm your son.
Lily: You read me a book.
Seth: Read me a book. (Okay, this is definitely the way to his heart.)

21. Where is your mom's favorite place to go?
Caleb: Our house.
Gabe: Church.
Lily: Chinese restaurant.
Seth: McDonald's.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Still Gotcha, Lily

I know this post is long overdue, but here it is. Just a little blush at being late.

February is a big month for us around here. Nah, it has nothing to do with Valentine's Day, but everything to do with love.

On February 13, we celebrated Lily's adoption three years ago. Three years! That means that we first saw her picture and fell in love with a chubby toddler across the world nearly four years ago! That was such a defining time of our lives. We still talk about it and relive the experience in our hearts and share excitedly with others about this miracle of adoption, the miracle that is Lily.

You can read about her adoption here. But that's only the travel journal, and it doesn't fully chronicle the journey our hearts took, are still taking.

No one who meets Lily leaves untouched. She is a remarkable child with a strong yet gentle heart; fiercely independent, yet trusting; longs to be nurtured, yet quick to nurture those around her. I love this child with my whole heart.

We celebrated Lily's adoption with a trip to a Chinese restaurant, new to us. Bamboo Gardens. Very yummy, but much to the kids' dismay, not a buffet. "I like it when I can pick out my own food," Gabe sighed. But the food was superb. Rob and I may have to go back sans children.

Then we presented Lily with some gifts we had picked out for her. A new silk dress and hair tie purchased three years ago in China. (I only have one left! We'll just have to go back and get some more for subsequent Gotcha Days!) A pearl bracelet with real freshwater pearls from China. A renewed promise to love and cherish this child was gifted to us forever and ever.

My prayer for our sweet daughter:

Lord, thank-you for bringing Lily to our family. Only you could graft her into our family so beautifully, the same way that you graft us, your adopted children, into your family. If I love her this much, I can only imagine how much you love me. Wow. Please keep her safe. Protect her heart from disappointment, doubt and despair. Remove from her heart any loneliness or empty longing. May she always feel the love of her family and extended family. And I pray that she will especially feel the sweet embrace of your love for her. I pray that she will grow up knowing and trusting Jesus and that she will find him to be wholly satisfying. Use her life Lord and reveal to her your purpose for her life. And, Father, please be very near to the millions of children around the world who do not know the love of a family. Dear God, make yourself known them as their Father, and raise up people who will seek them out and bring them into loving homes. In precious name of Jesus, Amen.

Happy Gotcha Day, Baby.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

All About Gabriel


I can barely believe it.

Where did those years fly off to? When we brought him home from the hospital, a week after his precarious birth--you can read about it here--he changed the dynamics of our entire family. Caleb became a brother. We became parents of multiple children. Going from one child--who is the center of both parents' attention and devotion--to two children was a big leap, one that was as miraculous as it was difficult. We wouldn't go back for anything in the world!

Quick Gabe trivia: We didn't have a name picked out for him until he was several hours old. He was this close to being named Carter Robert, but he just didn't look like a Carter.

Today we celebrate Gabe and thank God for his precious life.

We've always lived just far enough away from family that it had been difficult to have family parties every year for everybody's birthdays. So even though we sure missed all the aunts and uncles and cousins and grandparents, we had a fun time with a few close friends. God has been SO GOOD to provide good friends for our children and friends for Rob and me as well.

Gabe has the most sensitive, precious heart. But he is also all boy. He wrote a joke today, and I'll risk posterity by sharing it with you here:

"Where does an action figure go potty? Give up? A Toy-let."

The funniest part of the joke: he was inspired while taking too long in the bathroom, avoiding his math. Some of the greatest epiphanies in our family have come while spending time on the throne. That's what happens when you live with a houseful of boys.

When he shared it with Caleb, he told him, "Usually Mom just pretends to laugh at my jokes, but this one really made her laugh." That made me chuckle at his perception and start honesty, but I also felt bad. I vowed internally to really laugh at more of his jokes.

Anyway here are some birthday party pics:

*By the way, the big skid marks on Gabe's head--he ran full speed down the sidewalk and tripped. Poor kid!