Monday, October 26, 2009

We carved pumpkins!!!

Yesterday we decided to get our pumpkins carved. The kids all did a great job and did most of the carving themselves. Don't they look GREAT!? They are all looking forward to Halloween and Trick or Treating.

Lilyan's carving kit was one she picked out during our visit to the pumpkin patch. You carve out the inside like regular and then you poke these plastic pegs in, to make a design. The pegs are like giant Light Brite pegs. She made a kitty design:-) It also came with a battery operated light for the inside that changes colors. It looks REALLY cool in the dark!

Enjoy your week everyone and HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Fall Break 2009...Anna Maria Island, Florida!

We just returned from Fall Break in Florida. We rented a house on Anna Maria Island for a week. We were in walking distance from the beach and the house had a pool. The weather was very nice. I think the first couple days were a little chilly in the high 60's and low 70's but it was in the 80's by the end of the week. The kids had a blast playing on the beach, building sand castles and jumping in the ocean waves. They also flew kites, searched for shells, buried each other and the older boys attempted to use these scurf board things but they were pretty difficult to use.

Lance and I just enjoyed hanging out with the kids, relaxing, walks on the beach and the gorgeous sunsets each evening. We also enjoyed all the local seafood and cozy beach grills. We ate most of our meals in at the house but one meal a day for either lunch or dinner we would go out. I was hooked on the grouper and Lance on the tuna. We ate too much, as we do most vacations, and unfortunately I gained back the five pounds I had lost before vacation. Oh well..I can loose it again and it was worth it:-)

We also did a couple outings with the gang. We went to the Moto Marine Aquarium where the kids got to see the worlds largest squid, pet sting rays, and hunt for shark teeth. We also took the kids to the Sarasota Jungle Gardens. The highlights of this adventure was getting to hold parrots, a baby alligator and Lorelle even held a Madagascar Hissing Cockroach. You the ones from Fear Factor! They were huge! She screamed when it started crawling in her hand and she dropped it. She is braver than me...uh NO THANK YOU! The kids really enjoyed our day at the Jungle Garden and they got see some cool animals/birds.

The highlights of the trip for me were watching the dolphins during my morning walks, having my coffee with Lance out on the deck each morning (and wine in the evenings:-), my extra time to read the bible and most of all the AMAZING sunsets. God is never far from my mind most days but it is hard to look out over the beautiful ocean during a sunset and NOT be overwhelmed by HIS beautiful creation. I feel so blessed!

I LOVE this picture of Liam standing on a bucket during the sunset with the birds flying overhead. Fly my little bird! God has big plans for him...I just know it!

PS...Happy Birthday Granny!!! I hope your day was WONDERFUL! We love you!!!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Our Journey to Levi!

Here is the website to follow. We are still paperchasing and enjoying the ride! We did learn that Levi DID receive the package we sent and he is excited to have a family coming. Keep us and Levi in your prayers. God Bless!

Our visit to the Fashion Farm!

Last Sunday, October 4th...I took the kiddos to Ligonier to visit the Fashion Farm. Each year they create a Pumpkin Fantasyland there. Here is a little background info taken from their website:

Fantasyland started in 1972 when Charlie Pumpkin put two butternut
squash together and created Snoopy. Using pumpkins, gourds, and
squash, Charlie’s imagination and inspiration was the beginning of 37
years of Fantasyland Creations. Some of the most popular displays are:
Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs, Bugs Bunny, Dolly Parton, Cat in the
Hat, Cinderella, Flintstones, Mother Pigs and Babies, and of course, the
ever popular Presidents.

They also have a couple straw mazes, a corn maze, a hay ride, a blown up pumpkin filled with balloons, for the kids to play inside and lots of goodies to eat. We had hot cider, pumpkin donuts, candied almonds and ice cream. The kids each picked out a pumpkin that we will carve for Halloween and also little ones to paint. They had a GREAT time!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Happy Mid-Autumn Moon Festival!!!

Every year, on the 15th day of the 8th month of the lunar calendar, when the moon is at its brightest for the year, the Chinese celebrate zhong qiu jie – the Mooncake Festival.

A typical mooncake is round and contains a thick pastry including the yolk of salted egg to symbolize the moon. It is coated with a relatively thin crust. Chinese families traditionally gather outside their homes to admire the moon while partaking of mooncakes. The Chinese delicacy is rich, heavy, and dense, compared to most Western cakes and pastries.

There are various accounts as to the origin of the festival. One story told to children is about a moon fairy who lived in a crystal palace, who came out to dance on the moon’s shadowed surface. Or the story of a beautiful goddess Chang O, who lives in a palace in the moon and sends down her blessings.

Today to celebrate, our family made Chinese lanterns, moon cakes and also moon viewers. We are hoping to do some moon gazing this evening but the weather is not looking very promising. I also have a moon festival book to read to the kids before bed. They have enjoyed the activities today and are thrilled to have this special Chinese holiday to celebrate their birth country.

Tonight as a look up at the moon... I will thank God for giving me my precious Chinese children. I will also pray for their birth parents. They have given me such amazing gifts. May God be with with them and all of you reading. Love you all!

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