Tuesday, October 28, 2008

One Year Ago Today...

We met our beautiful and spicy Jiangxi girl for the very first time! She has grown so much in the year that she has been with us and is so much a part of our family that it is hard to remember a time when she was not here and yet I can vividly remember the timid little girl that waddled through that hotel door with such a brave little face. She sighed so deeply with resignation and accepted without tears that this was her fate. She studied us so intently for the next few days and spoke very little. I was certain though a few times that she was telling us off but our guide said , "Oh no she has very good manners, very polite girl!" As the days passed I suspected even more that she was not the timid little girl that she was acting like. By the time we got to Guangzhou, she was opening up more and more. Within five minutes of meeting our guide there, she told us "Oh my, do you ever have a bossy one!" I KNEW IT and she has been trying her best to boss us ever since!

This is the first photo we ever saw of her and she looks so serious and somber. I wondered the first time I looked into these eyes, why someone had not just scooped her up! I stared into those eyes knowing and wondering at the same time if this was finally our daughter! I stared at her wispering "Is it you?"

The day finally came when we met for the first time! She was so resigned, so scared and stunningly beautiful! We thought that she handled everything so well, but knowing her now we know how truly scared she really was. But she made up her mind that she would make the best of things and she has blossomed ever since!

Today she is a happy, affectionate, loving - but still bossy girl that LOVES life. She does everything with 100% conviction. She is always described to us as having such a commanding personality. Someone that demands and attracts attention when she walks into a room. She loves people, animals, gymnastics and horseback riding. She adores her sister, her puppies and her Mama! We just simply adore her!

Rylee has taught us so much about love, life, family and parenting. She has challenged us in so many ways and yet, she fits in to our family so perfectly! We are amazed everyday at this miracle that is our daughter and grateful beyond words for the trust we have been given to call her our own.

Happy Family Day Rylee - We love you so much!!!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Pumpkins and a hurting Daddy!

As much as we love the south and the perfect fall weather, we do miss the apple orchard/pumpkin patch tradition we had up north. There is no fresh cider and donuts when we go to the pumpkin patch - however, you can pick cotton and stuff it in your pockets to give to your Mama later as a sweet and special gift!

The girls have been wanting to decorate pumpkins, so we did that today. Here are our results:

Poor Daddy has a muscle spasm in his back and has been hobbling around pretty good today. He told us that it felt like a knife was in his back. Rylee looked at him very serious for a minute and then lifted his shirt to study his back. Finally she announced "Daddy there is no knife in there - you is fine Daddy! Now come on get up, you is fine!!!"

Friday, October 10, 2008

When is it too much homework?

Rylee was working at the table and Hanna was working on the computer, both doing their homework. I left Rylee at the table writing letters and went to help Hanna, right around the corner in the other room. I was gone about five minutes before heading back to see if Rylee needed help. It was strangely quiet as I rounded the corner and there I found her sound asleep! So sound asleep that she didn't even wake up when I picked her up from the chair and laid her on the couch. These kindergarten days sure can be exhausting!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

What the letter "Nn" looks like

We are working hard on learning letters and their sounds here. Rylee wants to know why Mama laughs every time we get to the letter "N". She has to read the letter, and then make the sound. This is what "Nn" looks like - EVERY TIME!