Sunday, March 27, 2011


My my how time gets away from me! I have not been anywhere near this blog for a LONG TIME. We have been doing well here, the kids are keeping me very busy. Riley is thirteen now, he is in 7th grade and on the go constantly! I don't know where he came from really... Rick and I are not the most social people. Rorey is 7 (for 2 more months) and he is doing great in 1st grade. He is starting soccer next week and has become quite a good stakeboarder! Ellie turned 7 recently, she is in Kindergarten this year and her teacher says she is a wonderful example to the other students in her class. She is really excited to move on to 1st grade next year.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Riley's newest love

Riley has found a new love. He has always been crazy for baseball, but this year he decided to join the track team. Being a sixth grader we weren't expecting too much this year. They don't really have a "sixth grade" team. The sixth graders have to compete with the 7th graders and really spend their first year just practicing and figuring out what events they like. Riley started in pole vailting and fell in LOVE WITH IT. He did really well and went to most of the meets with the 7th grade group. He broke the 6th grade meet record and can't wait until next year! Luckily for him Rochester is finishing a new indoor athletic building which has a pole vault area so he is hoping to get to practice this winter! In the meanwhile he is doing baseball this summer.

Rorey turns 7!

Rorey's birthday was May 19th! He turned 7 and had a great birthday! We had a family party and combined it with Mother's Day. He picked out a "SpongeBob" cake and got lots of cool presents! We had a wonderful family day and ate lots of cake!

Ellie is 6

Ellie turned 6 years old on March 26th!! I can't believe how fast she is growing up! We had a family birthday party and combined it with Easter. She was so much more comfortable this year with all of the attention focused on her. Last year was her first real birthday party, and she wasn't sure how she felt about it. THIS year, was a totally different party! SHE LOVED IT!!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

April 2010...REALLY?

WOW, right OK it's April 2010. So how bad of a blogger am I? Like the worst super bad blog lady ever! Rick had been out of state since April 09, but he is finally home!! YEAH!! So maybe I can try to get some blogging done again!! What hasn't happened since October, so I'll just try to keep going from here and throw in some pics from the last 6 months every once in a while.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Happy Gotcha day

WOW she is really enjoying that cupcake!

My three beautiful children

Ellie and Mom ~ year number one!!

Tuesday October 6th was Ellie's "Gotcha day." We had a little party for her and she got to use the "you are special "plate for her dinner. She also picked out a cute little Hello Kitty cake with cupcakes around it for dessert! She loved the attention but wasn't sure exactly why we where doing these things. She said to me at least four times....but Ma I still 5. I would repeat again that it wasn't her birthday it was her adoption day. The day we came to China and got her! I think next year she will understand everything much better!! Hopefully by then she will also be less upset by the idea of this whole adoption thing. She had it good in China, great foster parents and big sister, "school" all day at the orphanage with special friends, and all the sugary bubblegum she could chew!! (Which did eventually lead to very unpleasant dental visits here in the U.S. ~ but that is another whole post!) I like to think of my son Rorey, happy here with us and then some Chinese family shows up and takes him off to China to be their son. Really that is how it was for Ellie. She "knew" that they were not her forever family. But her heart didn't know!! From four months until 4.5 years she lived with them, then WE showed up and took here away from all of it!! So I try daily to remember how hard that would be for such a little girl. I know she is attaching to us, it's just a slow process. Three steps forward, two steps back!! Hey that still adds up to one step forward!!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Year one down, a lifetime to go!!

Tuesday was the one year anniversary of Ellie's adoption! I'm in awe that a whole year has actually passed! It seems like just a few months ago we stood in that dark government hallway anxiously and watched our four year old daughter walk into our lives. After nearly two years of deciding and planning and chasing paperwork there she was. Our lives will never be the same again, and neither will Ellie's. I'd like to tell you that this year has been wonderful, that Ellie fit right into our family, that it was easy. That would not be true. Adopting any child is a challenge, but an older child is a large adjustment. Was is worth it? Absolutely! Would we do it again? Definitely! We love her and she loves us, but Ellie is smart. She knows she lost her past to be here with us, and sometimes she is still upset about it. I encourage her to talk about China and her foster family as much as possible, but remind her that this is her "forever family." I tell her it is OK to cry because she misses them, but not OK to scream for them when she is in trouble for hitting her brother. We are teaching her that she is Chinese and that it's a good thing. I never want her to feel uncomfortable with who she is, or be ashamed that she was adopted into our family unlike her brothers. Life has changed forever here in our house. Not just for us and Ellie but also for our boys.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Grocery store outbursts and Ellieisms

I have been meaning to write this post for months, tell you all the cute little things that Ellie says...well actually hillarious things that she says. I have waited too long, becuase I have forgotten many of her little "Ellieisms" but here is a list ...the ones I can remember.
1 Ma, I can't like that.
which means she doesn't like something.
2. Ma, I China.
she says she is Chinese
3. Ma, that risey
thats crazy
4. Ma, I so scary
I'm scared. but I agree with the scary sometimes!LOL
5. I want Wardy hair.
she wants a buzz cut like Rorey...NOT going to happen.
6. yes a,
still with the yes a
7. UUMM...taste good.
which can mean tastes good, smells good or I like it, or I'm hungry.
8. I no know
I don't know
9. Calls herself : Ellie Clark
which is Rorey's middle name, she acts like she has never heard her middle name which is her Chinese name....Sha Mei. I ask...don't you remember the first 4 years of your life???
10.We are called Ma, Ba, Ge, and Ge.
I don't know if they use these terms in China? But normally its Mama, Baba, Gege
11. Calls her teacher by her last name only: example: bye Renshaw.
no Mrs or Ms etc. I asked if she was former military.
12.Wingo you tweet?
Ringo you want a treat? (our dog)

Her latest outburst happened Monday while she and I were at the grocery store. I picked her up from school at 12:15 and we headed out. She was sitting in the cart like everything was fine, asking for potato chips and sorting all of our food into piles when out of the blue she says: " I China at my house. At lou Baba house. You come, we (makes the action of flying) fegee(airplane) YOUR house.
then she sat there with a disjusted look on her face and stared at me. I just looked at her with my eyes big and smiled at the 2 ladies who turned around to see who was yelling. I finally said ...yep!
She always catches me off gaurd with this stuff!! She only talks about it when it is just the two of us, and around here that doesn't happen very often. So I was speechless which also doesn't happen very often. I wonder what will happen next Monday afternoon????

Saturday, August 29, 2009

First Day of School

Waiting on the bus

Two cool for school
Happy ...thank goodness
Miss sassy

School started last week, and although I was so excited to get ALL THREE KIDS in school it still made me a little sad when that bus drove away. Riley is in 6th grade this year, and it's his last year in middle school. Next year he will be moving to the junior high!! I can't believe it!! My baby is 11 years old...... it's amazing how fast time goes by. Rorey turned six in May, and he started Kindergarten this year. He still wasn't really sure that school was for him. He cried at the meet the teacher night, and wouldn't sit and listen to the teacher read a story. Luckily the first day of school was better, and he got on the bus with out tears. We never planned to send Ellie to Kindergarten this year, but since the school denied her any services until she was "enrolled" in school we really didn't have any choice. Ellie is going to half day Kindergarten this year so she can attend "English as a second language" and get caught up on her social skills. I am considering this year her "pre-K" year since she was not able to be in Pre K last year. Next year Ellie will start Kindergarten over again..... full day. Hopefully by then she will be nearly caught up with the kids starting Kindergarten. She is LOVING school. Loves to be around the other kids, color, and play outside on the playground. Things are going really well so far. BUT check back in a few weeks!!!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The "Chinese"

Well this one is pretty obvious.....Ellie is the Chinese one in the house. Challenge and Charmer have done very well adapting to a new little sister, considering how much she is like them!!! I can't believe we could go half way around the world to adopt a child and find one as similar to us as she is!!! Everything about her (except her looks of course) fits right in with our family. She is bossy like Riley, she is whinny like Rorey, she needs glasses with the same issue as Rick, she hates vegetables like Rorey and has the weirdest shaped toenails....just like both boys!!!!!! She is tough and independent and was made for us!!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Charmer Extraordinaire

Oh yes...son number two. Rorey started out as even more of a challenge than Riley. He was a terrible baby, cried for 2 months and night!! Rick started wearing earplugs to bed once he had to go back to work. Rorey even frazzled my mother, who would occasionally come at night so I could get a few hours of rest. As he grew I realized that even though I didn't think it was statistically or genetically possible....he was even MORE stubborn than Riley. He only slept on his terms, he only ate on his terms, he only talked on his terms... (which didn't happen until he was 3) We won't even get into the potty training issues we had with him, because that is another whole post!! You may be wondering how I survived this, which I wonder myself when I look back on it. The answer is also the reason why Rorey is aptly named "the charmer." It's because he IS a charmer. Even though he is extremely opinionated, obstinate, contrary, willful, independent, & unyielding, he is sneaky!! He has figured out how to deliver his ideas to people and manipulate them while still being congenial , amusing, considerate, and sympathetic. He loves to hold the door open for me (and all his girl friends) and always says "lady's first." He loves to hold hands and escorts his little friends by the small of the back into preschool class. He has made wedding plans with at least 3 girls from pre-school, and a few older girls that do not return his love!! He tells me he is never moving out of my house and will be my buddy for ever. He tells me I am the "best cooker ever" ... even when all I made was Easy Mac. He can be soooo sweet, but there is virtually nothing I can do to change his mind when it is made up. So where does this leave me?? What is going to happen to this kid??? Will he be a politician? Maybe a con-man?? He says he is going to be a chef, but I don't think that is where his talents lie. So I'm in the same boat... same problem new kid, I have to mold him and make the best of his gifts. Channel them in a positive direction. God made my kids with difficult personalities for a reason ...he has big plans for them. I don't know what they are but luckily God does!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Challenge....OH MY!!

God has a sense of humor doesn't he?? Riley has been the "challenge" of my life since he was born. Why you may wonder>> Well I guess that starts with me. I'm shy, Riley is extremely outgoing. I'm introverted, Riley is NOT. I like to be quiet and relax, he can't sit still for more than 3 minutes. I don't go outside much, Riley wants to be out every second available. I'm reserved around strangers, Riley would talk to ANYONE, ANYWHERE at ANYTIME! He doesn't care what other people think, he dresses like he's living on the streets and still has the girls and teachers at school twisted around his finger. He is a leader at school, so many kids wanting to be his friend. Which makes me nervous that he will get them in trouble. Riley is too smart for his own good, I have always had to make complete explanations for EVERYTHING, He won't take BECAUSE for an answer. He started doing multiplication in the back seat of the car on the way to pre-school. He was upset when I told him " yes that is times ... multiplication" He thought he had invented something new. He had the vocabulary of an eighty year old man at the age of 3. He is a whiz with anything electronic. He acts hyper but can turn it off instantly ...... if it's in his best interests! He is mean to the little kids at home. He can't keep from hitting them in the head when they walk by. BUT he is super wonderful at the sitter and so helpful, she says he is a great big brother.
I guess he just saves all the bad stuff and crazy behaviour for me. (well most of it) So the challenge is to mold him, to try not to break his spirit but still keep his feet on the ground. To make sure he never turns from his faith. To make sure he never forgets that GOD is in control, no matter how smart Riley thinks he is. He has wonderful traits........very challenging traits to channel , but his future is full of endless possibilities!

Second verse same as the first!

As some of you might have noticed I decided to change the name of our blog. Since the "slow Chinese boat " did finally arrive in China and bring us back to the US with our new addition I thought it was high time to dock the boat. I really didn't want to start a totally new blog, so a name change was in order. If you know my family personally I'm sure this name will make perfect sense, if not keep will!!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

One tooth two teeth...tooth fairy let's go!!


Rorey has been holding on to his front teeth for way tooo long!! His left tooth has been loose for....hum maybe 2 months or more!! The right was a little bit loose until it came in contact with a fast moving soccer ball. As you can see in the top picture, it actually came out first...thanks to Riley and his good kicking abilities!! But the pitiful left front tooth was just hanging there (and I mean hanging...) Today just happened to be the day for pictures and last night I broke the news that the tooth HAD TO GO! So after 10 minutes of craziness and Rorey hyperventilating before I could even get a hold on the tooth, I told him we would tie dental floss on it and pull it out. He agreed, let me tie the floss on, and didn't even know what had happened when it flew out of his mouth and onto the coffee table!!
Now we can stop singing...."Does your tooth hang low , Does it wobble to and fro, Can you tie it a knot? Can you tie it a bow? Does your tooth hang low??
I told him last week that his tooth was making him look like a hillbilly...because it was hanging really low on one side and moving around. He looked at me and said "who is hill billy??" I love this kid.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Lions and Tigers and Bears...OH MY

We love penguins

Sea Lion show was great!!

Riding the train more time!
Don't these kids know I HATE snakes!!
We went to the St. Louis zoo a couple of weeks was during the really HOT , Africa hot, heat advisory weather!!! We knew it was going to be bad so we were prepared with lots of water bottles and snacks, light clothes and the foreknowledge that we would be completely drenched with sweat!! Which we were!! But all in all we had a lot of fun and the kids did pretty well considering. Ellie was excited to see EVERY animal there was and Rorey was really pumped up over the stingrays that you could touch. We bought some kind of pass so we could see everything and ride the train as many times as we wanted to, which was great and kept the kids happy. I think we all enjoyed the sea lion show very much, and we even got a little sprinkling while there. After like 6 hours we packed up and headed back to our hotel for some swimming, even me!! I usually don't swim, but after a day like that it was wonderful!!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Spring/Summer update

Gosh where do I begin?? I have been ignoring this blog for soooo long that I forget what has happened since I last posted!! Several people have "cyber yelled" at me for neglecting my blogging responsibilities, so I'm going to try and make a regular post at least once a week. HAHA!

Let's see, since Easter, hum......Rorey turned 6 in May, Rick was home for a week and we went to the current river in June, We celebrated 4th of July with my parents (Ellie loved it), I spent 186 dollars on school supplies last week--What a shocker going from one kid to three in school!!

Other than that we are just going along as usual. Ellie is really good with English now, she is as "spicy" as ever.. worse actually! Riley has grown up and wants to pick out ALL his clothes. I can't pick anything out for him anymore. (even if it is something he would pick out stinks if I pick it out) Rorey is still as sweet as ever, and he is really excited to start school. My Dad had open heart surgery, did great and is back to babysitting three days a week for the kids.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Easter Fun

Here is a look at the beautiful Easter eggs that we colored this year. On Easter morning we got up early and headed to church at 8 o'clock! It was a wonderful service with great music and a good message. Once we returned home Nana Sandy and Papa Jim were here to visit the kids and watch the Easter fun. The kids all searched for their Easter baskets...including Ellie....even though she had NO idea what we were doing!! LOL My parents also brought baskets so Nana hid them outside for the kids to find. Did I mention that we had the Severns over for Easter dinner? Oh yeah...I cooked.....the whole deal. Ham, cheesy hashbrowns, fried apples, cinnamon coffee cake. My mother-in-law brought layer salad, my sister-in-law brought deviled eggs. etc.
Everything actually turned out really well and we had a great meal. We also had an egg hunt after lunch...Ellie had a blast. Another holiday first for the books!!

Ellie turns FIVE!!

Happy birthday to Ellie!
The princess bike

Ellie turned 5 years old on March 26th! Well at least that is her "official" birthday!! Only God and her birth mother know the exact day, so we will just have to go with it. We had a "Dora" birthday party on the 28th ...the following Saturday. Although Ellie was really excited about the party and the presents, she got very embarrassed when all the attention turned to her and we sang "Happy Birthday." She loved to open all the gifts, and she even remembered to say thank you several times! BUT the highlight was the gift from both sets of grandparents..a new princess bike!!! She also got great Dora dolls, a wonderful doll house, more doll stuff, a movie or two, what else? I can't keep track people!! So am I crazy? We now have two 5 year olds in the house! It can be a little crazy around here sometimes...especially when Riley also kicks in his two cents worth!! WOW madhouse!!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Wow I'm behind!!

Hey everybody...sorry I'm so bad at keeping up with this blog! I have to admit that I've been lurking on facebook WAY to much! I have to set some new guidlines for these time sucking computer past times!!

Since I last blogged ...Ellie has turned five (which means we now have 2 five year olds!!), we reached the six month mark of Ellie's adoption, and we had a great Easter. This weekend we are having a "mini reunion" of China families here in town. It started as a "Urumqi" group....but has grown to include others. Ellie has not seen three of the children since they were adopted in April and August of 08. I can't wait to see how she will react to being with them again. Meah is 8 now, Drew is 5, and Tonito is 4. There will be other kids there also..... from other areas of China. So stay tuned.....I promise I'm going to get caught up on all of our latest adventures!!!