March 31, 2009

Ever have one of those days...

It was one of those days. Our cars were broke into last night in our driveway, I had too many commitments at work which had me running from one campus to the next, I wiped out in a computer lab during one of my faculty trainings (I didn't rip the knee of my right pant leg, but my knee and my pride is killing me), Chris had to work late with parent-teacher conferences (which meant an extra long day of driving across town to pick up children from from two different daycare centers), dinner wasn't served until after 7pm and it wasn't much of a dinner.

I'm beat and Tuesday just needs to end.

On the other hand, I need to put life into perspective.

My family is healthy.

For the most part, my family is happy.

I have a good job (which I normally like).

I have good friends that I can complain to and I really should stop complaining because it could be much worse.

Here's to a good rest of the week.

March 29, 2009

Ballet & Bunnies...

My mother made these tulle ballet skirts for the girls quite a while ago and Josie decided today that it was finally ok to wear her skirt as long as big sister Emma joined her dancing. Thanks, Mom!!

My friend Shanna gave me a wonderful idea for today's craft project and she doesn't even know it. You need to go check out her Saturday blog entry to appreciate this craft.

Target is selling fuzzy bunny ears in their dollar bins. Don't you just love Target's dollar bins!!

By hot gluing a few silk flowers, a pink fuzzy chick and a ribbon on the bunny ears, look how cute they turned out!!

Big Sister Bunny

Little Sister Bunny

Happy Crafting!!

March 27, 2009

a poem, a potty and a craft

My Sister Josie as cute as a bunny funny as a monkey happy as Spongebob.

My sister Josie as awesome as a 50foot waterslide sweet as a melon wild as a hyena.

( written by big sister Emma)

Potty News

Josie has been doing extremely well with potty training. Woo hoo! It helps that her daycare has been encouraging her transition to the big girl potty. Hopefully by the summer, Chris and I can finally stop purchasing diapers!! I'm guessing we aren't the only family with treats in the bathroom for successful potty attempts (hee hee).

I promised another craft project using recycled artwork. Here it is:

Almost every day, Josie brings home lovely new fingerpaint artwork from her daycare. Instead of throwing them in the recycling bin, I decided to turn them into an Easter mural.

Supplies needed:

Your child's artwork - it can be fingerpaints, scribbles, colored drawings...anything!!

Easter shaped cookie cutters
Pencil (for tracing)
Construction paper
Easter grass

Step 1. Trace your Easter cookie cutter shapes onto your child's artwork with a pencil.

Step 2. Cut out your cookie cutter tracings.

Step 3. Cut out an Easter basket with construction paper or from one of your child's drawings. Josie had a great print made with circle shapes that we used for our basket.

Step 4. Place your Easter basket on the construction paper and arrange your Easter tracings in the basket. Glue the basket and the Easter tracings on the paper. You can even embellish your basket with Easter grass to add an extra dimension.

Happy Crafting!! Aunt Shelly (this special artwork is coming your way).

Have a great weekend, everyone. We're going to finish sorting items in our storage rooms in our basement for our upcoming garage sale. We've got half a garage full of toys and girls clothes. Chris has graciously offered to host the sale during his spring break from school next Friday.

March 25, 2009

1 year ago...

On March 26, 2008, we stepped off the plane at the Grand Rapids, MI airport and were finally HOME! It had been a wicked 28 hours of travel. Josie had screamed and cried during most of our very long painful flight. In her rages, she would grab her face and scratch herself. Right before we boarded our final plane she scratched herself so bad, it looked like she had kitty whiskers on her cheeks. We are convinced that her unrepaired heart condition and the pressure of the plane made her uncomfortable and very miserable. She had been a beast on all our other short plane travels while we were in China. I had always assumed we'd have the fairytale return home like the other adoptive families I had followed. Nope. Josie had other ideas.

In Beijing we had upgraded our flight to business class and little did those businessmen know what they were in for. By the time we got off the plane in Chicago to go through Immigration, we are convinced they were cursing at us in Chinese.

At that point in our journey, Josie would not let Chris hold or comfort her and I was exhausted. She maybe slept a total of one hour the entire time we were on the plane and only in short bursts before she'd wake up screaming. I had Josie strapped to me most of those 28 hours (including potty breaks in the plane and various airport terminals). I'll never forget Emma asking me in Chicago (as we were waiting in the Immigration line) if I had any makeup in my purse because I looked awful. I honestly felt as awful as I looked. It was a good thing we had discouraged friends and our Detroit family members from meeting us at the GR airport because it was not a pleasant homecoming.

Praise GOD that's all a distant memory. Josie can still be a strong-willed child, but she's NOW HEALTHY, well adjusted and for the most part, very very happy. I'm so glad all her invasive medical procedures are behind us now.

I'll always look fondly at our time in China and I can't wait to take Josie back someday. What an amazing year we've had together.

I still can't believe Josie has been on U.S. soil for a year now. Welcome home, Josie Kenward. Welcome home...

March 24, 2009

Butterflies Are Blooming!!

Tuesday night Frederik Meijer Gardens is open late. We quickly ate dinner and met my sister and her family to enjoy the tropical butterfly exhibit.

Although we don't have snow on the ground, it's not quite spring temperatures outside and getting inside the conservatory feels like an amazing escape far away from Michigan.

The butterfly exhibit has more than 40 different species from the Far East, Africa and Central America. Very cool.

Throughout the tropical conservatory, butterflies can be found drinking nectar from the flowering plants and feeding stations.

It was such a joy watching the kids try to spot butterflies hiding among the plants.

I'm so glad we were able to sneak away on a school night to the exhibit. There were very few folks and it felt like we had the exhibit all to ourselves.

Thanks for meeting up with us Aunt Michelle, Uncle Pat,Carson & Liam. It was so much fun.

PS. I've got a HUGE stack of fingerpainting projects from Josie's daycare that I've been accumulating. I'm going to turn them into an Easter mural later this week. Hang onto your child's artwork. I've got another easy craft coming soon.

March 22, 2009

Weekend Highlights

Emma's lipsync Friday night was a HUGE success. It was a fairly long show (2.5 hours). Emma's act wasn't until the 2nd half and near the end of the venue. Miss Josie was extremely BUSY throughout the evening. It was a full contact sport keeping her contained (kinda reminds me of our church services...whew). Thank goodness it was loud and her behavior was muffled with the clapping, loud music and singing. Chris bought the girls roses for their performance.

Emma, you are one brave girl for getting on stage each year. We're so proud of you!!

On Saturday, I celebrated Kimberely's adoption shower. Thank you for hosting such a lovely shower, Kelly.

I've hinted that I've been working on some special home made gifts. Her little girl is waiting for her in Beijing. I put together items that we had collected while we were in Beijing into a shadowbox.

I also made party favors for all the guests. I've been enjoying decorating paper cups with crepe paper and filled each one with a fortune cookie, Hersey's chocolate kisses and a hand-painted Chinese girl.

I used wooden beads to make the Chinese little girls. I just love painting their sweet faces.

I also gave Kimberley an Asian doll and my mother helped me paint a doll bed and sew linens.

Every little girl needs a doll and doll bed. Josie got the same doll for Christmas from FAO and it goes everywhere with us.

Congratulations, Kimberely. I can't wait to follow your journey to China.

While I was at Kimberely's shower, Chris got the spring FEVER bug and organized several closets in our house. Our kitchen cupboards, bathroom cupboards and the front closet look amazing. He's now on a mission to clear out basement and I think I see a garage sale in our near future. I don't know many husbands who would spend their Saturday afternoon cleaning while the NCAA tournament is in full swing. You're the best, sweetie.

This picture was taken this morning before church. I got out a couple of Easter rabbits and Josie was absolutely intrigued with them. What a silly little girl.

Have a wonderful week, everyone.

March 19, 2009

Pride & Joy

For the last three years, Emma has performed at her school's annual lip sync show. After weeks of rehearsals, the girls are finally ready. Tonight was dress rehearsal.

They looked fabulous on the High School Auditorium stage.

Super job, Emma. You're going to be awesome Friday night!! We're so proud.

We had spring briefly on Monday. With the weather finally being decent enough to be outside, Chris put together Josie's car. Can you just feel her joy?

The temps have dipped back into the 40s. But I'm hoping for a return of 60s and 70s. Come on SPRING!!

Have a joyful weekend, everyone. On Saturday, I'm attending a shower for a dear friend who is adopting from China. I can't wait to show you the special gifts and shower favors that I made. Pictures to come later this weekend.