How many of your kids have chores around the house? I'm sure most do. We are no different here at the Forever Home. Chores are a good way to begin teaching kids about responsibility. Not only that, it helps them feel a part of the family--doing their part to help contribute to the whole family. It's a good feeling and one that we help instill in all our girls.
Trust me, many times it's easier and faster to just do it yourself! However, this isn't teaching them anything or helping prepare them for their future. Though we want them to be kids, there must be a balance there, we also want them to learn to be responsible--a very valuable asset in their lives! Therefore, we have age appropriate chores for each member of the family.
Some of the younger girls say "Oh, it's MY turn, yeah!!" Remember those days when you felt so big that you could finally start helping doing some of the more "fun" chores like dishes?! Well that's where Elly, Holly and Hannah are these days. Doing dishes is something we just recently began as a chore for the girls, but not all meals, only a few. Not that we don't have plenty around here!
Then there's the older girls who say more like "Ugh, it's my turn again?!" Unfortunately, it doesn't take very long to get to this point, does it?! The newness soon wears off and then it's just a chore!
This is the Forever Home's family pet. Tiny is a good dog, but has decided this week when two new girls came at once, that we must be being invaded! I wish I could have captured a picture of him when dad returned home. Dad was out doing the daily shopping for food when the new little ones arrived. When he returned home, Tiny ran out the door to tell him that he was sooo glad he was home cause we were being invaded--two new kids showed up while he was gone!!
It just goes to show you that what I said before about everyone--not just the one arriving-- in the house having to make adjustments when a new child arrives is soo true--even for our pets!!
Tiny spent most of the first day hiding out here. However, it didn't take long and he was back in with the rest of us. The biggest change for him? Sharing dads lap with yet two more little ones!
When Hannah and Holly heard that 2 new little girls were coming, they were more than happy to accommodate by changing beds. Hannah had previously slept on one of the bottom bunks, but--being big now--has moved to one of the top bunks.
Though Holly already slept on the top bunk, she--being our biggest Forever Home girl now that Serena is gone--graduated to the bigger bunk bed. Both girls were excited and happy about their new beds! Thanks girls!
Now, can you see?! Elise has foam blocks for feet!
I sometimes never know what weird pictures I might find on my camera when I go to download them to my computer! Today.....found these pictures of fingernail paintings. Actually these look pretty cool, don't you think?
A bit unusual and I doubt I'd wear something like that, but cool nonetheless.
We found this cool cotton candy maker in the storage room at New Day one day when we were looking for a booster seat. I asked if it worked and the answer was kinda ify, but we decided to give it a try when they offered. Our girls LOVE cotton candy and have often wished they had one of these so we could make it at home. Though I knew they had such things in America, I was very surprised to find one here. Who knows? It might have been donated by someone in the states?! Anyway, we were glad to give it a try.
Though dad was the first to give it a go making sure it worked properly, Shawna got right in on the fun. Being an older girl sometimes has it's advantages!
All the girls are very excited about the prospect of getting cotton candy home made!
They all anxiously await their turns to receive their long awaited sweet treats!!
What's for breakfast? I hear this most every morning when the girls come into the kitchen after dressing. Lo and behold, this morning I said we were having Green Eggs and Ham!! What?!! I repeat it as they can't believe what I'm saying :0 I think they still don't believe me and I'm just pulling their leg! Not that we ever do that sort of thing around here, ha!
Elly looks at me and asks "What is it?!" I tell her it's just what I said "Green Eggs and Ham!" She laughs and I think still doesn't believe me :)
Hannah is just a ham and wanted her picture taken with her weird breakfast!
Here's one of our favorite books "Green Eggs and Ham." Though our eggs and ham didn't quite look the same as theirs, it was still green eggs and pork--gotta use what we have here you know! We try to keep things interesting around here and sometimes mom and dad (mostly mom) are known to pull weird things like this on the kiddos.
What weird things have you pulled on your kids? Perhaps we can get some good ideas :) The ideas normally just come to us randomly and we use them when we think of them, but don't really seek them out.
For those of you who visit New Day's blog, this is a repeat--sorry. BUT for others who I know don't, I wanted to be sure and share this with you. I also want to apologize for the fewer blogs of late, but we are busy, busy, busy here :) Preparing for two new girls next week. We'll post their pictures soon after they arrive!
When Elly first came to us two months ago with a deformed leg and a prior surgery, she could get around pretty easily with her walker. After an assessment by our physical therapy team, they discovered that her legs were still pretty weak. It is believed that, with much exercise and strengthening of those leg muscles, she could walk!! Imagine how exciting that would be to a child who has never walked! We've seen her tears when she was unable to run and play like our other older girls. Things like this breaks our hearts as I'm sure you can imagine.
However, being equipped with the knowledge of what our physical therapy team told us, we ALL have a hope and dream to see this come to pass in her life!! So when they asked us to help by doing some extra therapy at home, we gladly said yes, we'll do it :) I have to tell you that Elly is sooo motivated by the hope that she can walk--she wants to exercise!!
Monday through Friday she attends physical therapy sessions at New Day. In the evenings, she also does strengthening exercises at home. That is on top of the extra walking she does. We also started her using the stairs. When she first began two months ago, she could only go up one flight by holding to the railing--but it was a flight of stairs on her own!! Gradually, we added in one more step at a time. Now she can do two flights.
Shortly after beginning her physical therapy sessions, she started trying to stand on her own without the aid of her walker or anything else. In the beginning it was one or two short seconds. She'd say "Look,I can stand!" She'd try often and over time, she has been able to stand for longer periods of time. Now she is able to stand for about 5 seconds and balance herself.
She's even beginning to take some "first steps!" We couldn't be happier or more proud of her accomplishments! We intend to do our very best to see this girl's dream (and ours for her!) of walking come true!
Elly's new walker has arrived and she couldn't have been more excited to get it! She's been practicing with one like it (borrowed from another child) during her physical therapy sessions at New Day. This way, she already knew how to use it when it arrived. This one helps her stand more upright and is much better for her posture. We are very excited about it and it is working well. Thanks so much for donating it to her!
Though we hope she doesn't need it a terribly long time, it is wonderful for now!! It can then be passed on to another child if she decides to up and walk soon--though I think that will take awhile before she has the strength to completely do without it. We can hope though!
Guess what the Forever Home girls did during their Chinese New Year holiday?!!
That's right, it's a dragon cake!! A friend who lives here at New Day sent a link to a picture of one that she'd found on the internet while we were still in the states last fall. We thought it an awesome idea and decided to make it while on holiday this week. Only we decided to do a down scaled version--due to our limited resources here--than the original picture, which was 4 bunt cakes. We only made two but had a blast with it! Thanks so much Ruth for the idea!!
Shawna and Elise helped put the icing on the dragon.
Now his spiny thingy with some candied orange slices.
Can't leave out the licking the icing bowl part, right girls?!!
Now time for the younger girls to put on the "scales." Though we couldn't get all the supplies necessary like in the picture, we had to improvise a bit.
We ended up using hard candies, since that is what is available here, instead of m and m's. Though you can buy them here, they are only in individual size packages and would have cost a small fortune to do the entire cake since they are supposed to be completely covering the cake like scales.
That's right, we had a spotted dragon instead! It's all fun anyway! Lucky for us it just so happens to be the year of the dragon! We had little difficulty finding our head, tail and legs for our dragon!!
And here's the end result :)) We thought he turned out pretty neat! What do you think?!
Course, with limited resources, we couldn't find any poster board or foam board, or any such thing to put him on--didn't have cardboard big enough either. Elise and Shawna had been out looking in the village and was unable to come up with such. About that time, I walked into our home office and saw the perfect thing to put our dragon cake on :0 So I then asked Randy to take off one of the cabinette doors of a storage cabinet. It was the perfect size! Problem solved :))
We are the Rippee family! We manage and are house parents in a home for older orphaned girls in China. It's called the Forever Home, and it is a project of New Day Foster Home. Like all foreign workers at NDFH, we receive no salary for our work, so if you would like to support our family's living expenses, please click the button below to donate through PayPal. Donations are tax-deductible. To learn more about the Forever Home and ways you can directly support this work, please visit New Day Foster Home's website.
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Elise was adopted at the age of 3 years old as a special needs child by Randy and Rita Rippee, managers and house parents of this Forever Home. Elise is home- schooled and really loves music, cooking, arts and crafts, and enjoys being the big, older sister to the Forever Home girls.
Shawna was adopted at the age of 1 year old as a special needs child by Randy and Rita Rippee, managers and house parents of this Forever Home. Shawna is home-schooled and is good at piano, arts and crafts, and thoroughly enjoys playing with the Forever Home girls.
Elizabeth was adopted at the age of 10 years old as a special needs child by Randy and Rita Rippee, managers and house parents of this Forever Home. Elizabeth is home-schooled and loves the outdoors, computers, bike riding, and crafts.
THE FOREVER HOME GIRLS
Click on the pictures below to find out more about our Forever Home girls.
We provide this information to give our sponsors and supporters a general idea of the challenges our children face. For prospective adoptive parents, the information on the blog is not intended to be a substitute for a complete and up-to-date referral packet from your adoption agency. Please keep in mind that in our blog posts, we always try to focus on a child's strengths, accomplishments and positive developments, not in an attempt to gloss-over their often serious medical conditions, but in an effort to share a glimpse of their precious personalities.