Saturday, December 10, 2016

The First Ten Days of Christmas

Miss Chapman wasted no time in decorating her Christmas cookie and making sure she ate every.last.bite of the icing.
 My dear friend, Sandi, and her family visited us!  We were so excited to spend time with their family!  Sandi is one of my favorite friends, the one who always pushed me to do well, and one that I will always look up to.  
 She and her husband, Greg, have two bio kiddos, Mason and Katie Beth, and then their sweet Guangdong, China girl who joined their family almost one year ago.  
 Maryn and Braelyn were instant friends! 
 Chapman has been in awe of Christmas and all of our decor.
 I was a bit worried that she was going to be so enthralled that maybe she would think it a good idea to undecorate the trees.  
 But, alas, she has been a dream!  She does like to carefully touch the ornaments within her reach but she hasn't totally tried to take them all off.  Phew.
 Sweet Maddox made her own pair of pipe cleaner glasses at church.  She asked for me to take a picture and I had to say YES!  It is seldom that one of the children asks for me to take a picture of them!
 Our annual Nutcracker tradition!  The girls' ballet school performs this show each year and it is fabulous!  
 The girls especially enjoy this show because their teachers are the dancers and they LOVE finding them in their different roles onstage.  
 Little Maryn went for the first time this year.  I was so hesitant to bring her thinking it would be too long for her to sit through.  To my surprise, she sat in awe of the entire show!  She found her teacher and was so excited to see her onstage, she danced along in her seat with the music, she was all smiles and I will never forget that special time with her!
We did our best to get a group photo of Sandi's children and mine was the end of our evening and the littles were just done and not having it!  After a gazillion attempts, we got one!  So thankful!
Sandi's sister-in-law and family live two miles from us.  They were able to join us for dinner too!  Such a fun night!
 This little one continues to show us her mover and shaker personality!  This week she proceeded to climb up and down the stairs, jump on her sister's bed, climb onto our living room ottoman and finally made her way into this little baby crib.  
 To think, we didn't even know she was waiting this time last year.....adopting again was so far off of our radar.....and here she is now, with us, wrapping us up in her love!  So thankful God chose us and we said YES!
 She prays.
When we first came home, she was so sad each night as we prayed before dinner.  I am sure she thought we were the meanest people ever as we placed her food right in front of her yet asked her to pray before eating.  Over time, she has grown and now we can ask her to fix her pretty hands, she prays and says, "Amen!"
 St. Nicklaus visited our kiddos!  We love this little tradition!  Shoes and simple and sweet!
 Matthew the Elf has returned....
this time with a girlfriend!
Maddox has had so much fun with Matthew....she first decided he needed some clothes so we purchased some for him stat, then she decided to ask him if he had a girlfriend - and he does, so then she asked if the girlfriend could visit - and she could, so then she asked if we could keep her - and the big man said YES!  She is one thrilled seven year old!  
Lyria (pronounced LIE-RA) has officially joined our family.....she and Matthew are not married as they are only 225 years old and they must be 400 to marry!  They are not gotten into too much trouble this season - thinking the girlfriend has slowed Matthew down a bit or helped him to make wise decisions.  Whatever the case, we are enjoying their company during this season!
 A Christmas Carol
8 years and counting
This show is amazing!  Chapman sat through the entire show without a peep!  
 Social II Christmas Formal
 These guys are so fun together!  Kaylee and Pryce have known each other since Kindergarten and they are the perfect friends that allow each other a sense of comfort and fun all in one!  
 Hayride through the Life of Christ
Hot chocolate, crafts, friends, and, the best part, a hayride that takes one through the life of Christ - it is a powerful!
 And this cute little panda love....our sweet Maryn.
As we journey through this season of Christmas, we are trying hard to remember the true reason for the season!  We are thankful for our family and friends and for the birth of Jesus Christ!

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Everything with Chapman has been a process.  She is precious in every aspect of the word and the more I get to know her, the more I fall in love.  Because I loved my time each evening with Maryn as she fell asleep on me during our first year home, I thought I would do the same thing with Chapman.  I looked forward to being able to hold her each night and have that moment of just me and her.  However, she let me know our first night in China that she would be going to bed alone and there was no need for her to be held.  She screamed, in fact, as I went to hold her in my arms before bed.  So, I stepped back and let her do things her way - she wanted to go to sleep on her on in her bed by herself.    Three months in, and this little girl LOVES to snuggle with mommy at night and just before her nap. She used to get so upset if I would sit down with her.  Now, she lays her head on my shoulder and we rock until she is either sound asleep or almost sound asleep.  And she will say, "Kiss" and "Hug" to be sure we do both before I put her in her bed.  Slowly, she is learning to be loved and to show love.  To think, we could have missed heart is so happy we didn't!