Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Evie Joy's 2nd Birthday Celebrations!

our sweet tutor Shelly came to town to celebrate with us all day!

We sent to our favorite park- Ren min Gong yuan

LOVE riding rides with my daddy!!!

our friend John also met us at the park- a family friend and her little girl came to hang out and play with us!

this picture is purely to show mommy's muscles :) haha! they do look good in this picture :) daddy might not get many pictures of mommy's face, but he got her muscles :)

fun at the sandpit!

love her curls!

fun at the zoo!

pizza noodle bake for dinner! strawberry cupcakes and chocolate cake! and special dora napkins and plates form mimi and poppe!

all princessed up!

MiMi and Poppe got me a baby bag with baby doll diapers! I love it!

the first time the candles were lit, i couldn't blow them out so brother wnet ahead and did it for me! haha! but daddy relit them! i tried really hard! i think daddy ended up having to help me some!

this is my favorite!

then i was so sweet, i said "brother's turn!" so then we relit the candles again and brother blew them out, again! :)

a little dress up!
and peek a boo!

and noodles! i mean whose birthday isn't complete without going to the zoo, eating at McDonalds, watching potty power, having a reporter come over, having 2 kinds of cake, getting baby diapers and to top it off, having the noodle shop Ayi come to my house and make noodles for me!!!?!!!! I mean what a great day! :)

we are so blessed to get to spend such a special day with our dearest friends!


scissors, the letter H & a random evening at a park!

nothing too exciting- evie joy is enjoying learning how to use scissors :)

this is some of the interesting old school type playground/exercise equipment found all over our city...we went to a park one night and i thought i'd capture the kiddos on it so ya'll could see what it looks like

the love of writing the letter H- Josiah really enjoys writing H's - maybe because they are pretty simple but hey- it's a pretty good lookin H so we'll let him be proud

Evie Joy says "Brother can I erase?!" And then gets at it! She loves erasing! haha!

Monday, August 29, 2011

sweet ole- josiah!

just a random day at home playing :) thought he was pretty darn cute and sweet in these pics! he is 2 1/2 months from 4 years old- yikes!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Evie Joy at 2 years old!

check out her little painted toes :)

this is my baby, ahhh- she is 2 years old! Evie Joy! And oh how she is bursting with personality! She definitely is not into posing for pics like her brother- she is a beauty and has a naturally beautiful smile but Jo always was into the camera "cheese" smiles- she is not- she is different- she is a girl! She likes to change her clothes, shoes and hats many times a day- when her feelings are hurt the least bit she can scream for an hour- she loves babies and cooking- recently she is very into coloring- not really in the lines or even one picture at a time- she is all over the place and book but very intently :) - she loves outside- she likes to ride in the buggy and run errands, go for runs with mommy, bike rides with daddy, play at the playground, go swimming...anything and everything outside...josiah is much more of a home-body than she is- she will tell people boldly they can not rub her face, take her picture in chinese but in reality she doesn't really care. She loves milk...way too much! We have no idea how she looks like such a chunker when she barely eats- so it must be all the milk, really we try to limit her but sometimes we give in- She loves papaya- the other day she ate 2 of them! And dippy- she loves dippy. She might not eat all her meal but she will finish off all the dippy! She is very verbal- much more than her older brother. She can say almost as much as Josiah can in Chinese- we are quite impressed with her. If her temperament were only a bit more stable, we would have already enrolled her into Chinese Preschool- so we are planning to try again in October :) She is very sweet to say "Thank you" for everything- "Thank you Mommy for changing my diaper" "Thank you Mommy for taking me to the playground, for going swimming, etc..." Very very sweet! But very strong willed- she rips books, breaks toys, throws toys, hits computers...like her older brother never has...she has a bit of an "umph" in her personality where josiah has proven to be more gentle spirited. I "hear" i was quite a terror when it came to toddler fits also but of course i don't remember...she has just now began showing an interest in watching a 5 minute elmo podcast, for some reason she really likes the show potty power and sometimes a little tiger and poo and xi yang yang (chinese show about a sheep and wolf). she loves reading- she reads books for hours a day and she loves singing! She learns new verses and songs every week- it is so fun to see how smart she is and just soaks so much in. Recently she is really liking stories about Abraham and Elijiah- she also loves singing the songs "Inright, Outright, Upright, Downright happy all the time," "Jesus Loves Me" and "Jesus Loves the Little Children" in Chinese. She loves playdoh, painting, playing in sand, rice, water. She loves pretending she is a monkey :) She is becoming quite the dancer :) WE love how her little personality is coming out. LIke I said she can be very strong willed - like the other day she just went up and kicked 3 babies, but she also knows how to just make peoples day around here- she'll start talking to them in Chinese and they get so tickled and light up, it's really precious- she also loves hugs and kisses and to cuddle, which is a special gift since jo wasn't really into that. We are pretty sure somewhere under all her girlishness is a hidden genius :) She is definitely a girl and a second born when it comes to understanding, expressing herself and her ability to do many things. She really amazes us. We just pray to be able to tame the also hidden monster wanting to roar at us all :) She is very much a JOY!

Friday, August 26, 2011

sin and evidences of grace

So I'm not usually up for writing a ton on here- a few stories, milestones, events...but lately i've noticed something about my children lately- SIN! yup, not something surprising or new for those of you who have children of your own- but i've noticed it a lot and how sneaky and cute it can be, deceiving, even look pretty, sound sweet but truly it is ugly and horrifying how much we actually sin...i'm sure i didn't need to have kids to realize this, but it is something that just seems to be a several-times-a-day kind of discussion with me and my kids these days...i don't really enjoy it because i mean i'd rather feel good about them being cute and sweet and innocent but there is nothing good about believing a lie- and the reality is as my husband explained to me- not that they are learning to sin- but what is already in their hearts is becoming so evident in the way they live. So, i find myself yet again praying and asking for God's perspective to be faithful to my kids in pointing out their sin, teaching them about the holiness of God, that He detests sin and their only hope is in the redemptive love of Christ. Some people seem to think that is way too deep for my precious little faces, but that is their reality- they have no other hope- Christ is their only hope and i have a lifetime of teaching them that. The other difficult thing about teaching them about sin is seeing my own sin more clearly and how it is rebellion against my Great Savior, that it saddens Him so each time I choose to not heed His voice, when I choose to throw a fit about how I don't' want to do something He's called me to, when i choose to handle a situation with a complaining heart rather than a thankful heart, when i grumble about how hard the glorious life is He has called me to, when i don't' appreciate that He loves me, adores me, wants to challenge, prune me, make me more like Him- I'd rather trade all that in for a momentary satisfaction that i took control of whatever situation. I'd rather respond to life, to people however I feel and then seek God about it and even maybe, like my kids say "oh I'm sorry"...I don't feel like I'm the greatest example of a sinless person to my children. And maybe that is part of God's point- I am a perfect example of a person desperate for His redemption every moment of every day! I am the perfect candidate for showing them how much we all need Him!

so then i found myself contemplating how sinful my kids are, which they are...
and God surprises me with a few unexpected blessings from my kids-
We are on the elevator and Evie Joy says Mommy, Pray for this Auntie- The lady asks what Evie Joy said and I explain...we go home and pray for her. Josiah sees some cross bookmarks in our home and asks if we can give her one...grace- in the midst of their sin, God is still speaking! I love this! I love that He is not silent and He doesn't just leave us in our sin! Then we go out to play another day and Josiah says "Mommy this is my friend. We need to pray for her, she is wearing a false god!" Then another day he says "Is Daddy telling that man about God?" Antoher time, Evie Joy then out of know where says "Ganxie Shangdi" which means "Thank God" in Chinese - we were like thank you Evie Joy for such a great reminder! I love that they are learning more than how to sin :) I praise God for His grace on sinners and that He can speak to children about deep spiritual things because for in fact we are all called to become like children to even draw close to Him.

So now I'm going to stop writing :) but continue praying Where Sin Abounds, May Grace Abound More!

our half day vacation spot

so it's been 100 degrees here for over 2 weeks straight with no rain and well it's been really hot...so we found this actually somewhat remote spot in our city- it is at the fancy International Hotel in town-we went to the last 2 saturdays to swim. it is a little pricey for us- like 20 bucks american - around here that is pretty way over the top expensive - other swim places cost around 2-4 US dollars- but if we actually traveled somewhere and paid for travel and lodging it'd be way more, so we figure this is ok to spend 2x during the summer days of over 100 degrees :) anyways, there are only about 5 other people in the entire pool when we go and it is actually pretty clean...it was the most relaxed day(s) we experienced in the past year- very delightful & refreshing!