Saturday, July 31, 2010

Our 28th Anniversary

It's hard to believe that 28 years ago this time, I was excitedly and anxiously awaiting our late evening marriage ceremony! It didn't begin until 8:00 p.m.!

July 31, 1982...


In some ways, it doesn't seem possible that it could be 28 years. Then again in another, it seems like we've always been together. Jason and I have been through many happy seasons, but we've also had our share of difficult seasons in our 28 years.

Then...


We've been blessed beyond measure. I know God gave us each other and I'm so glad we both listened to Him and trusted God on knowing He would send our future mate. Now 28 years later, here we are in a new season of our life which some might say should have been reserved for grandchildren (instead of a new 2 year old). :) But that's okay. The best part is....we're right where God wants us. And we wouldn't want it any other way! I remember praying when I became a Christian (at the age of 10), that I wanted God to plan my life. That still holds true today.

When I think about us, I think how I love the simple things. I love sitting on the back of a 4-wheeler with my arms around Jason just enjoying the ride down the gravel roads. I like taking country drives and just enjoying the scenery (and that's funny because our kids never "get" why we enjoy that...it's boring to them). I like the times we're in deep conversation and I like the times we can just ride in silence holding hands....and be comfortable with either. I love dreaming together....whether it's about our kids, our home improvement projects, our financial goals.....or just growing old together. I like remembering past times together and laughing about them. No, we don't have everything we've dreamed of or desire, but part of the fun is just dreaming it together and the journey getting there.

Now..


This evening, we're going out to dinner to Outback Steakhouse. It will be the first time "out on a date" (which I've missed) since we've been home from China.....and I'm looking forward to it very much!

So to my honey and best friend.....I love you....More! Happy 28th Anniversary, Jason!

~ Tammy ~

** NOTE ** If you would like to read previous anniversary posts and our love story, you can read more here, here, here, and here.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Mr. Personality

I hope you'll forgive me for flooding you with pictures of our newest family member. But...I just can't help myself! Luke is so entertaining!

The following pictures all took place within a span of less than five minutes....no kiddin'. He was thoroughly entertaining us at the supper table (thus the evidence left on his face). Actually, we basically finished eating and were just sitting there around the table....talking and planning on a 4-wheeler ride after supper. I think he knew he was putting on the charm and he's already learned that mama always has a camera in her hand, so he might as well embrace it! :)

So here goes....

(My very favorite)
















(My other favorite one)




Those eyes tell all........Mr. Personality! :)


********************************************************************

Just to let you know, I'll try not to make my blog all pictures of my family.....and will try to give you more variety! lol! It's just that these days, there has been very little decorating or home improvement projects going on....or homeschooling adventures yet either. However, we have some home improvement projects up our sleeves....a major one that will be long term. I'll try to share that soon.....because it will be interesting to see it unfold from beginning to end (for me too)!

Thanks so much for your interest in our not so exciting life and for stopping by my blog for a visit, and for the sweet comments received as well! I appreciate it all so much!

Blessings,
~ Tammy ~

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

I Can Do All Things...

Here's Mr. Luke practicing his memory verse, "I can do all things through Christ because he gives me strength." Phillipians 4:13.

It was lovingly taught to him by his jie jie, Joy.

video

Enjoy! :)

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Brothers...

You've seen many pictures of Luke and his beloved, jie jie, Joy. They're always together! Here's the pictures that don't come around quite as often. After all, Colt is 21 and....well....you know how often you get to see them then, right?











Colt has slowly won him over and they're growing closer all the time. And I have a feeling these two could (and probably will) create some mischief together. :)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Another Guitar Player in the House?

The other night before bed (thus the T-shirt and pull-up), we were upstairs. Joy was playing her guitar and singing, and Jason and I were exercising. Of course, Luke had to grab his guitar and serenade us too! I think we might possibly have another guitar player in the house! Here he's singing, "Mama, Baba, JieJie". Sometimes the song has ge ge in too. And notice his own unique style of holding and playing guitar....Enjoy the serenade! :)

video

Thank you so much for stopping by and for the comments I've received! Things are getting better all the time as far as us finding a new normal. Luke is doing better with his sleeping most days too! Have a great evening! :)

~ Tammy ~

Friday, July 16, 2010

What Happens When You Have an Eleven Year Old Big Sister.....

Joy and Luke disappeared upstairs for a bit and when they came down, Luke was sporting a new look, thanks to his 11 year old sister, complete with lip gloss, hairbow, bracelets and all. He even struck a pose.



* NOTE * A picture was snapped and then they were quickly told (by Dad) to get that stuff off of him! :)

But don't you think he makes a cute girl too? :)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

American Girl Draws Crowd!

While in China, we really had a great time in Hohhot (Inner Mongolia). The little park down the road across the street from our hotel (home away from home) became a familiar place to spend the late afternoons/evenings. We'll always have special memories from there. It was full of Chinese culture and we loved watching people and even enjoyed the people watching us! :) Yes, we got lots of stares, but the people were very very good to us. From a post in China, I told you about Joy dancing with the Chinese culture dancers in the park. Some days there were just a handful of dancers there, and at other times there were more. Joy watched them and I could see her wheels turning wanting to try it. Well...on the third night of watching them, she asked if she could ask to join them. Her dad was a little reluctant, but finally agreed. I think he wasn't sure how they would take to a foreigner joining them or if she knew the dances well enough to join in. They graciously invited her to join them. Each time they did a little different dance, so she really was winging it and just watching and learning as she went. As you can tell, she drew a crowd. I suppose they were all interested in this American girl dancing their dances! We were so proud of her and she was so glad she had the courage to go up and ask!
video

Here she is in a posed picture with them afterwards....

Monday, July 12, 2010

We're Here....at Home!

I know all my friends and family that have followed our trip to China have probably been wondering about us. We're here at home and so glad to be! When we entered the US at Detroit, Michigan and the immigration guy said welcome home, boy was that music to our ears! We arrived home late Saturday afternoon and were met at the airport by Colt & Amber, Mama and Daddy, Richie, Missy, Kemper and Laci.

Grabbing jie jie's head and planting a kiss on her...


Helping jie jie blow up the raft....


We've been dealing with alot of things since we've been home....and alot of change. As a matter of fact, I'm doing this post right now with a certain jabbering and wiggly two year old little boy in my lap, munching on goldfish crackers with "ma". (Edited - just now finishing this post several days later while little Mr. is napping). Ma is what Luke calls me half the time since he has heard Joy calling me "mom". He has to know where I am at all times. However, he is letting Jason do alot more with him now. He is slowly coming around with Colt, my dad (Pop), and my mom (Grandmama).

First time he let Pop hold him....


Mr. Attitude...I'm sure he was getting ready to come out with something ornery...like "boo yah".


One of the biggest issues we've been dealing with is being so tired and the jet lag. The time difference has been hard as far as adjusting goes. I'm a woman that needs her sleep and haven't been getting much lately. I think jet lag hit Joy and me the hardest. We've been waking up alot during the night and I think Luke has been confused as well. He won't stay in his bed in his room all night. He's having some issues at night that I believe is his way of grieving....the time he wakes up and remembers. He's been in the bed with us. I'm not sure if this is a permanent thing or temporary, but I do know he was used to sleeping with his foster parents. (Edited - as I'm finishing this post, he's napping and cried for a shorter period of time...only 15 minutes). :)

Happy in the pool...


At Incredible Pizza at the virtual ride, "Jett Pack"....


In addition to this, Jason has been sick with whatever I had in China, and Luke still has some of his cold as well. We're trying to clear up the multiple insect bites that Joy received in China. We have no idea what they were but they have looked pretty nasty and some look like they were trying to get infected. They liked her best and she has quite a few and is very allergic. And she's having some stomach problems as well. We had to go to the Dr. for all of this. On top of that, we've also been dealing with a flea problem since we came home. Our cat never goes outside but somehow has got fleas and thus created a problem for us in the house. We tried taking care of it ourselves, but ended up having to call out a pest control and had to take the cat to the vet to have her treated. (Edited - the flea problem is much better....thank the Lord)!

Sun-kissed cheeks after swimming...


Guitar Hero....


SO....I guess you could say this past week hasn't really been all that pleasant. It's been a kind of tough week. Thankfully, Jason was off last week or I don't think I could have handled everything. My motto and thought getting me through all this is that "this too shall pass". I just hope its all very soon.

He loves being in the water...


All smiles with his jie jie....


Luke is a very loving little guy....full of kisses for all of us. He's still not secure enough to let me out of his sight for long though. Considering since we've had him for just a little over 2 weeks and he's been on 3 airplanes, a train, several bus and van rides and 3 different hotels and then home, I'm sure he's still not sure what's permanent and what's not. We've had a few problems with pinching and hitting, but that has gotten a little better too, He is very smart and is catching on to things so quickly that it amazes me. He has learned quite a few English words and he almost never forgets to say "thank you" when someone gives him something. And he says it in such a way that he's overwhelmed that you gave it to him...like with the emphasis on the thank. When we sit down to eat, he immediately bows his head and puts his hands together waiting for us to pray. He'll repeat the prayer after us if we ask him to. I think he thinks he should pray everytime we give him a different type of food and he's not satisfied until everyone has their head bowed and is praying. He does it so cute clasping his hands together so matter of factly and saying, "pray". He'll repeat just about any word we ask him to say. Let's see...he says oh yeah baby, no way dude, bye bye, I love you, baba-da-man, cat, please, shoe. ..probably not your normal first English words, but when you have 21 and 11 year old siblings, they kind of take advantage of this and are enjoying it very much! For a complete list, see Joy's blog! lol! :) His understanding of English is way beyond his ability to remember how to say the words. I've had him helping us do things around here and telling him what things are called as we do it. He's catching on amazingly quickly. He took me by surprise the other day when I asked him if he wanted the rest of his noddles....he shook his head no and said, "thow-em-way". That's throw them away. I had him helping me and was having him throw things away. We can really tell the foster family spent alot of time with him. But the flip side of them spending so much time with him....he's pretty demanding. We've kidded around and called him Little Emperor! :) Oh and he really is completely potty trained, even at night. That's been really nice.

Super Hero....


He's enjoying the pool and is pretty much fearless when it comes to the water. He puts his face in the water and will let Joy jump in the water with him and he goes under. He has been floating on his own in the water.

Taking it easy....


Our trip to China was wonderful and the people there were so good to us, but there is really no place like home and we're so glad to be back in the USA and settling in here at home and trying to find our new normal. Today has been much better. Hopefully, we're starting to find some kind of new routine that will work for us.

No fear....


Thanks for following our journey in China and thanks especially for the prayers and for continuing to keep us in your prayers! (The pictures throughout this post have been taken since we've been here at home). I'll try to get some videos for you soon!

Thanks for stopping by! :)

Blessings,
~ Tammy ~