Saturday, June 30, 2012

It's Emma!!!

Who needs toys?!  Just give 'em a box and they're happy, right Emma?!!

Emma loves spending some time outdoors and scooting around on her riding toy.

She also loves doing bubbles.  Not sure why the face though.  Perhaps we are blowing with dad :)

I LOVE this picture!!  Such a little sweety!

Emma surprised us one day when she picked up the Chinese hacky and began to kick it around.  Hey, she was actually pretty good at it too! Way to go Emma!!

I think that purse might be a bit big for you Emma?! What do you all think?!'s fun to pretend :)

Friday, June 29, 2012

Exams and Therapy

Here Elly is doing her daily physical therapy with Zoe.  She doesn't seem to mind doing therapy. That's good cause I think she'll be doing lots of therapy for some time, right Elly?!

Mollie and Emma goes in for a physical with one of our visiting doctors from the US.  Next thing we know, Mollie is turning it all around and being the one giving the physical instead of receiving one!!  Knowing just what to do too!

Our Little Helpers

Most of you know, just like a regular family, all our girls have chores to do.  We always make them age appropriate so everyone feels like they are contributing something worthwhile to the family and teaches them responsibility too.  The older girls help with the dishes after the evening meal.  The 3 older girls, Shawna, Elise, and Elizabeth, take turns rotating nights doing the washing while Holly, Hannah, and Elly take turns rotating drying the dishes (each only 2 nights a week then.) This particular evening Mollie grabbed a drying towel and decided she was helping too!

Being a bit short, she also went and got her little chair to help her reach the cabinet.  She's a smart little cookie, that girl!

Just look how happy that made her!  She's such a big girl that she can help with the dishes!  

Thursday, June 28, 2012


Emma came home from preschool today and began doing summersaults in the floor.  We were very surprised as we'd never seen her do this before.  I'm guessing that perhaps they learned that at preschool? It was simply adorable and we couldn't resist taking a video.  As you can see, Mollie didn't quite get the concept of it, which is quite unusual for her. She is usually the more advanced one and can usually do things easier and quicker than Emma.  However, it is obvious that in this one thing, Emma is the first to master this task (ok, maybe not master) :)  Way to go Emma!!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Preparing and Packing

If you haven't yet heard, Hannah is soon to leave us.  She will leave on Sunday evening for her adoption.  As always, it is such a bittersweet time for us.  We will be missing this wonderful girl who's made a home with us for the past 2 1/2 years.  I'm often asked, "How do you prepare your heart for that?!"  Well, we do our best.  It is never easy, but it always helps to know they are going into a loving, caring forever family.  We are sooo happy--this is what we've hoped for her (and all our girls) for sooo long!  Though we've given her all we can, we know she deserves more than we can give her as foster parents.  It's now time for her forever family to take over and we couldn't be more happy for her!  Though we'll miss her dearly, we have no doubt she'll do well in her new family.  I"m sure they'll be as much of a blessing to her as she will be to them!  What a wonderful, sweet, gentle girl they are getting!!  She's been very special to us and now she will be even more special to her forever family.  Having been in this same position as her new parents several times ourselves, we know exactly how they are feeling.  So many family and friends are anxiously awaiting her arrival and now they don't have much longer to wait :)  

Hannah is packing her suitcase.  Some of you may wonder why she's packing soo soon since she isn't leaving until Sunday, but we do have a purpose.  You see, these older children find leaving a bit harder than the younger ones.  They are quite aware of the many changes facing them and often have concerns about those very different changes.  So one day we go buy the suitcase, which also helps prepare them little by little,  and perhaps another day we'll buy some toiletries and such for their trip, then another day we pack some clothes, yet another day we pack some of our favorite toys, and/or special things sent to us via care packages by special people etc, etc.  Each act, although be it small, helps prepare them a little more every day for their big travel day. All this, not to mention the fact that we also talk about their family and America multiple times a day as well :)

We do our best to reassure our girls as each one takes their turn facing their concerns about leaving.  Being Americans ourselves, we are readily able to tell them what America is like.  Eating some Western food in our home a few times a week has helped them learn to like and adjust to the very different food they'll soon be eating full time.  And learning some English before they leave will be invaluable to them and their new families. Though they may not be fluent, knowing some basic English is surely quite helpful for everyone.

We're surely going to miss that sweet smile of yours Hannah! What a beautiful girl you are, both inside and out!!! You may be out of our home, but NEVER out of our hearts!!  We look forward to hopefully seeing you grow into a beautiful young lady over the years.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Such Beauties!

Hannah is such a beautiful girl--both inside and out!

Elly loves the outdoors.

Such a beautiful laugh!

Looks like Mollie is taking a break--while also making sure to reserve her car for later use :)

Holly is growing into such a beautiful young lady.  Her hair is growing longer each day and she longs for the day when she'll be able to put it up into pony tails!  Just a little while longer Holly!

Mollie and Emma take a break from playing.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Sweetness Through and Through!

Emma just radiates sweetness!  She has a mild, gentle personality and she is just a little sweety!  We enjoy her so much!

What kind of look is that Emma? One of "Don't take my picture right now?!" Such a serious look for you Emma!

Doesn't the sweetness of this girl just make you want to reach out and kiss those precious cheeks?!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Gone Visitin'

Recently, New Day had a visiting English teacher, Catherine.  The girls all had a great time with her for the month that she was here.  Catherine has visited New Day multiple times so they know her well and she them.  One Saturday night before she left, she blessed us with some "couple time" while she took the girls to visit at her apartment.  I'm not sure who was more blessed, us or them!  They loved getting to go to someone's house to visit--something they rarely get to do.  We also has 4 glorious hours of uninterrupted dinner and a movie time!  The girls had so much fun that the next week, they automatically assumed (or was hoping to convince her) that they were again going to her house :)  That week in school, they kept telling her they were coming over on Saturday :0  Sorry to disappoint girls, but she had other plans her next to last day before leaving China :(  We will certainly miss her, as we always do, but greatly look forward to her return!

It's too funny, but all week we had told them (and Catherine as well) that they were going to visit her house on Saturday.  While they were very excited, they seemed to have trouble believing that mom and dad weren't going along.  It wasn't until we didn't get our shoes on and leave with them before it became reality to some of them--they just couldn't believe we weren't going too.  Can you just see the excitement on their faces as they say goodbye to mom and dad as they leave?!

She even fed them! Then bathed them at the end of the night before bringing them home!  What a blessing!

Is that school work you're doing there Hannah?!  Na, she just loves to write other people's names.  She can actually spell about everyone's name in our family.

Emma always loves to do a little writing scribbling too!

Mollie loves coloring and scribbling every chance she gets--even on the walls or any other object if a writing utensil is anywhere within her grasp!!

Having fun Elly?!  Do you all have any doubts?!

They got to do many things while there--apparently doing some beads was one of them.  That too is great for eye-hand coordination.  You can tell Catherine has had a lot of experience with kids.  Keep them busy with an activity--that keeps them out of mischief, right Catherine?!

Are you sharing Emma? What a good girl you are!

Hannah looks like she had no trouble making herself right at home, huh?!  Now this is the life she says, laying on the couch eating chips and just relaxing!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Ice Skating

When the Forever Home girls go on a field trip each month, we try to take our girls to do something special too.  This time they decided they wanted to go roller skating, but no place could be found so they settled for a round of ice skating instead.

Elise is gearing up--ready for their long awaited chance to go ice skating :)

Shawna was also pretty excited at the opportunity to get some ice time!

Elizabeth is all ready to try her hand at ice skating. This is her very first time to try it.

It was a pretty nice skate rink in one of the malls here--not something you'd expect in a shopping mall, huh?!

Elise is quite good at roller skating/blading so ice skating wasn't too difficult for her.

Though Elizabeth was pretty scared in the beginning, towards the end of the session, she got brave enough to  get out on the ice (rather than cling to the railing) with some help from big sister, Elise.

They look like they're having fun, don't they?!

Shawna, also a good skater, had little trouble taking to the ice.

Hair Do's

When doing Emma and Mollie's hair with multiple ponytails, Holly then decided she wanted hers that way.  Then Elly too, and of course Hannah couldn't be left out so they all insisted their hair be done the same way! With the heat here lately, it is much cooler though :)

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Just Hangin' Out

This is the kind of thing our older daughters do in their spare time.  Shawna's pretty good at cartwheels.

Elise is too.  Back when we lived in America still and they were young, they took gymnastics.

Looks like, somewhere along the way, Elise lost her legs!  Nah, she's just bein' goofy again!  How does she do that?!  Oh to be young and agile again!

Elise, Shawna, and Elizabeth enjoy some time together outside.

Doing cartwheels isn't really Elizabeth's thing.  No thanks she says when they ask her to try it.

But bubbles surely is!

This is Shawna and Elise's new friend who just moved here from the states.  They are glad to have her here. They do many things together.  Here they are posing for a picture together just before they go into the dentist's office to get braces together.  Shawna didn't get her's on that day, but she got 2 teeth pulled in preparation of getting her braces on.  Then the next week she got 2 more pulled--so glad she's done with that now!  Next they had to get their muscles cut between their two front teeth--that was just this last Sunday.  Next Sunday, Shawna goes back to finally get her braces on--which will be on for the next year or two they tell us.

Chinese hacky is always fun with your friends too.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Hilarious Hannah!

Can't you just tell from this picture what a happy child Hannah is?!  She's always laughing and smiling. She's also quite the jokester and is often being silly. Hannah is soon to leave us and our house just won't be the same without her!!  We will miss her soooo much!  We couldn't be happier though that she has found a forever family of her very own.  They can give her so much more than we, a foster family, can give.  She will make them a wonderful daughter and we know she'll be blessed with her new parents and siblings. I'm so glad she'll have siblings as Hannah is quite social and loves spending time with other children.

This picture, for example, she insisted we take.  My what big feet you have Hannah!

Hannah always loves having her picture taken.  She's such an affection girl and really LOVES her hugs!

2 1/2 years Hannah has lived with our family.  She will be sooo missed!