Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Turkey Day

Who knew watching your dad clean a turkey could be this much fun?





Happy Thanksgiving and we hope your turkey can fly, too!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Book Character Day 2011

At the girls’ school every October, they have Book Character Day.  All the kids and staff come dressed as a character from a book.  This year Madison went dressed at Crystal, the Snow Fairy.  Check our how perfect her costume looked compared to Crystal’s.  We had her costume made and were both very pleased with how it turned out. 


Hailey went dressed as Jessie from Toy Trouble. And she looked precious too!  Hailey actually won the prize for best Lower School girl costume.

Sydney’s class all dressed like one particular book. She went to school dressed as a superhero but then changed into her blue horse costume for the book Brown Bear, Brown Bear, what do you see?  Her class introduced their characters in Chinese, so Sydney proudly said that she was a “Lanse de ma"!”  That continues to be her favorite Chinese phrase and she runs around saying “I am a blue horse!  I am a blue horse!”  She gets some very confused looks. 


Thursday, November 17, 2011

Gotcha Day with some dear friends




As you probably know, living and raising a family in a country other than your home country is very different.  One thing that is extremely different is that you often don’t have your family around on some important milestone or holidays.  So what happens is that your friends really step up and are your extended family.  The neighborhood kids really treat each other more like cousins than just friends….and our kids think of the neighborhood adults more like aunts and uncles. 

During the process of adopting Lily and our first year with her home, we had a lot of dear friends who were really “all in” the process with us. They prayed with us, encouraged us, laughed with us, cried with us, often asked how it was going and helped us a ton during these past 2 years.





These are some of the same people who we worship with in our homes on Sundays.  So, we thought it very fitting to celebrate with them Lily’s 1st year at home.  A celebration of Lily but also a way to thank them for being the Body of Christ to us and for loving Lily and our family well. 



You may wonder where Lily is during this celebration.  Well, she feel asleep in Travis’ lap during the sermon and spent the entire celebration asleep on the floor.   


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

1 year ago…




So much has happened in our family in the past one year.  It has surely been a time of great joy and excitement but also a time of lots of adjustment.  One year ago Lily joined our family.  We went to Guangzhou and adopted her and brought her home to our crazy loud house full of sisters. 


She has changed so much in one year.  We picked her up with a short little boy haircut that was barely a centimeter long.  Now she has thick wavy fly-away hair. 


She went from having no sibling and a room full of “friends” to having 3 big sisters, a mom and a dad, 11 first cousins, a gargar, a gran and pop, 8 amazing aunts and uncles, tons of other relatives, and more friends than you could ever imagine.



Lily has also learned a whole new language in a year while still keeping a good bit of her Chinese! It is pretty impressive. I wish I had her language skills. There was a period of time when she was first learning English that she ran around saying, “NO!” to everything…and this momma didn’t enjoy that stage very much. It was pretty annoying to only hear “NO!” come out of your daughter's mouth. Thankfully we are past that and now she often says, “Momma, I love you!”


Her whole demeanor has changed in a year.  She was very shy at times in the beginning and then the next minute she was going crazy running around all over.  Now she has mellowed out a ton but is a very outgoing, smiley, little girl who usually greets our houseguest with a “Hey y’all!” 


Lily is our super precious little girl and we are so thankful for her!  She has brought so much joy and laughter to our home.  We have enjoyed watching her grow into the little girl that she is and really look forward to seeing her become the girl that God made her to be.  We love you, Lily Grace Xiuli!  Happy 1st Gotcha Day!  We look forward to so many more!