Saturday, October 22, 2016

why so few pictures?

Why am I not taking pictures these days?  Ack!  I just got out of the habit and need to pick up my phone and take a few more throughout the day.  

One perk of young kitchen help ... they just improve with age :)  I'm now on a solid upward swing and the future trajectory looks promising!  ha!  

Luke loves washing veggies.  Mostly he loves playing in the water, but veggie washing is as good an excuse as any.  Enter sweet potatoes as the evening's victim.

His sense of satisfaction at a job well done is my favorite part.  He loves to get those potatoes clean, and then when one of the sisters asked at dinner, "Can we eat the skins?" he all but jumped out of his seat to reassure her that they were clean!  I served these with homemade fried chicken nuggets.  yum.

Thursday morning Lydia and I went to visit a friend and her newborn twin girls. Oh so tiny, and oh so precious.  And OH SO LOVED!

And we spent Friday evening at the international school's Fall Festival.  Bouncy houses and prizes and cotton candy and ..... whew!  I was glad to get home and turn them over to Matt for bedtime while I ran out to buy some picnic supplies for our Saturday at the elementary soccer tournament.  thankfully, the needed fruits and nuts and raisins were all available at our complex gate - can't beat that for convenience.

I'll have to gather up some friend's pictures from the tournament and get them posted.  And this Monday we start week #11 of our school year and the leaves are gone from my favorite fall tree and today in the car we even talked briefly about getting out some Christmas tunes.  whoa!

Saturday, October 15, 2016

the game

First time I've ever been in this big stadium downtown.  The crowd was electric!  They were fired up about soccer.  (This at the beginning of the game - those sections all filled up and in ours there were people standing at the top of every aisle!)

A few of our homeschool soccer team friends..

Precious child of mine.  Who describes his own ethnicity as "English".  It's complicated, buddy.

walking back to the car.  waving our China flag :)

house FULL

I love a house full.  I just really do.  And this week was one where the Lord filled our home again and again.  

Last weekend we had a friend (who is in the midst of a hard season) spend the night.  

Then I saw a lot of our neighbor boys (and they spent one night too) while their Mom and Dad went to go bring home their newly adopted sister!  

Thank goodness Matt was able to help out Wednesday morning - that's 8 kiddos in the circle to pray at the start of a busy day! 

Although I have an extroverted kiddo or two (Julianna, Luke)... I also have a few who tend to be a bit more like their mama (while I do love a full house it's being alone that gives me energy).   I love this picture that Luke took of John Paul hiding behind a big Lego book.  Quiet in the chaos, my friends.

Friday I watched another set of treasured little people and then today (Saturday) was just a great day! We started with homeschool soccer practice, then back to our house for pancakes with friends, then off to a professional soccer game (this first time I've ever even heard of something like this in our city!) and then to another friend's house to see an old friend who now lives in America.

Whew.  I'll use tomorrow to rest up :)

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Friday lunch

Let's say you just lost your first tooth.  And it was the highlight of your week.  And then you found out your buddy Layla lost her first tooth too! Good times!

Luke's the star student.  And he drew a picture of our family.

Luke is the little guy, bottom left.  Isn't that awesome?  Also I haven't asked him why he drew two houses but I'm pretty sure I know the answer - this little guy has done the globally-mobile life long enough to know that two houses is standard issue :)  We've been back in country almost two months and he still prays and thanks God that we "live in China now and came back to our old house".  Oh buddy, me too!

Saturday, October 1, 2016

little boy afternoons

After the big kids head to school the little guys and I head straight to the couch - it's book reading time!  Except on the days when I am super sleepy and can't keep my eyes open, we usually read for almost an hour.  It's one of my favorite times of day.  

And then John Paul practices his reading.  He's on the 4.5 minutes a day plan.  But I'll take 4.5 minutes :)  He is so squirmy, wiggly, squiggly, upside down jiggly.  He reads with his feet behind him, and his feet above him and his feet kicking my feet.  He will sit still - he loves to cut and glue and tape and create and Lego and whatnot, but something about words on a page makes the boy wiggle.  Somehow, he's making remarkable progress regardless of the squirms - ha!  And while I sometimes wish I was in full body armor, I'm learning to learn alongside him and in his way.  

Besides the wiggle-master, we have another reason to keep our reading lessons under 5 minutes - Mr. Luke, who knows that snack comes right after JP finishes, and he's in a hurry to get things underway.  

And then, we play.  Sometimes outside, sometimes inside.  Often the little guys enter their own play world and I tune them out :)  but on Thursday Luke and I had some unfinished parking lot building to attend to, and things got complicated.  In my free time I counted matchbox cars and the total is somewhere near "this should be plenty for our family" :)  

And then we each had a turn taking a picture of our creation.  

Blurry pictures by Thing One and Thing Two - whom we've recently nick-named Fili and Kili after the youngest dwarves in The Hobbit.

Grateful to spend these hours with these boys.   Even when they want to read the same books over and over.  Even when the wiggles drive me crazy.  Even when I think I'll never be able to buy enough bananas to provide three days in a row worth of snacks :)


a lost tooth

Just when I thought he couldn't get any cuter... John Paul lost his first tooth!  

He's been eagerly waiting for this moment for months and months.  All summer he would wiggle teeth and announce "I think one is loose".  But then this moment came and wow - he was excited!  and he lost it at school!  Ahhh! I missed the big moment ;)

He came bouncing out of school so excited and asking me to "guess what he had in his backpack".  And then I saw his grin - and I knew my answer to his "guess" question!

We now have four children in the tooth-loosing process :)  It's a lot of teeth!  ha!

His "new" smile still catches me by surprise and has me smitten!  He's such an incredible kid.  (and with the beginning of the tooth-loosing process I know he is one big step closer to his next surgery - ugh!  Sometime in the next one to three years is my best guess.  I need to get some X-rays done and send them to the crania-facial team and we'll see where to go from there....)

And to finish up the first loose tooth day we went on an after-dinner bike ride with the boys.  (The girls were at a classmates birthday party.)  The sun is setting earlier and earlier, and it won't be long before we are eating dinner in the dark with no hope of a bike ride.

After a ride it's always a good idea to stop for a Popsicle.  Good thing we can buy them at the convenience store by our gate, huh?  It's a pretty scene at night and the city sparkle never seems to grow dim.

once again (a week's worth of photos)

Apparently I only blog on the weekends now.  This is not my favorite arrangement, but I'll take what I can get :)

Last weekend (now 8 days ago) Matt competed in an adventure triathlon.  Kayak, mountain bike, trail run.  He did really really well.  Especially considering he didn't even know about the triathlon until a week before!

He even made a newscast about the tri - we didn't see it, but one of the local guys he met there sent us a clip.

It's nice to be married to a foreigner.  More opportunities for fame :)

And he met some truly famous people, like this Olympic kayaker.

Proud of Matt and so thankful for opportunities like this - very life-giving for him!

The boys both thought he won the triathlon when he brought home this gold medal.  Too much Olympic watching :)

Sunday, September 25, 2016

favorite 4 year old

My favorite 4 year old, on a Sunday afternoon.

This was one of the more restful moments of the weekend, it was a super full one - with lots of fun, but I also like weekends of a more laid back variety.

Matt competed in an adventure triathlon - kayak, mountain bike, trail run.   I'll get some photos and post them this week, I hope.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Who's the boss?

This is the boys absolute favorite game ever!  All Matt has to say is "Did you forget who's the boss?" and the boys jump into action.  Luke's whole body shakes with excitement, John Paul runs frantically to and fro, and Isaac starts pushing the furniture back to create the largest possible competition area.

And in the end, Matt always wins.

He's the boss.