So Ana is finally to that age where she's started really speaking. Today we had french toast. She said,"I don't want any fish toast." So, we spent five minutes trying to explain the word french toast--no go. It's still fish toast to her (maybe it's because she has a love affair with fish balls?)
The other day we got her ready to go out for a walk. I selected a pair of shoes, she put them next to her dress, and said, "Mom, (not mommy) is it a match?" Matt just about died laughing. I have a 27 month fashionista--probably shouldn't have played all those matching games!
1. We found bean bag filling for about the same price as in the States--can cross that off my list. 2. A Wendy's opened in Singapore--frosty here I come!! 3. I found Christmas fabric at 75% off (I've never seen anything at 75% off--a big sale here is 20%!). So Ana gets to have a Christmas skirt! 4. We have a restful Christmas planned! 5. SKYPE! Ana can see and talk to all the relatives!
We've been mixing up different cookie doughs (and freezing them). Ana is now an expert "creamer". She can mix the butter and sugar really well! In these pictures though she's kneading the pizza dough. Keeps her busy for a good 10 minutes!!
She's also into "building". With so many construction sites--you see builders wherever you go here. So she likes to build "tall ones" like she sees on the way to school.
I've finished the chef's hat and apron--will post some pictures soon!
We had a nice relaxing weekend with a lot of good Chinese food. I'm stocking up now that I know I'm coming to the States! Not much authentic Chinese food there!
The advent calendar has been really great. She loves choosing a nativity figurine out of the pockets each day (later on I have put in some small toys). It gives me another chance to talk about the Christmas story!
I've been experimenting with a lot of bows, flowers, etc. for Ana's hair bows!
This is a felt tree that she can decorate--so she's not tempted to touch the real trees. But it can also be used for directional words: "Put the white ball under the star... etc."
Another fun activity we've been playing with A LOT is a memory game. I collected the lids from our lime juice, stuck stickers on the inside, flipped them over, and played. It was quick, but she sometimes plays it 5 or 6 times in a row. You can always add more pairs or change out the stickers!
Ana goes around and tells people that I made everything (not true), but I have been making her some things with which to wear and play :) One of my Christmas gifts to her will be a chef's hat and matching apron. I've got it cut out, but just need to get my sewing machine back out! She loves to "pretend." On the train last night she was typing us up tickets. I told her to type me up a ticket to America. Then I said she better make one for her. She very clearly replied, "I don't want to fly. I want to stay here and ride the train!"
So, Ana asked to play her violin yesterday. It's really still to big, but we didn't have anything else we needed to do--So I got it out and tuned it up. She "played" for a half an hour. At first it was like nails on a chalkboard, but she did get better!! Doesn't she look old in these pictures??
Our caseworker informed us this morning that BOTH mothers did show up for the court date. God answered your prayers!! They are now checking whether or not they have to come again for the next court date. Thank you for praying. This is really encouraging to us! It means there is a possibility we could pass on this next try!
All together now!! Ana was terrified at first--I think she was mainly worried about the water dumping on her.
Here's the water park. There are all different types of things to do. Water is constantly dropping from buckets that have filled up. There are large water guns that can be turned, sprinklers, slides, tunnels, and more!
There is a warning bell before it dumps--it really is a lot of water!! Every time Ana heard it she would back away!
The Wongs invited us to the zoo. They have a family pass and Ana and I got in for free! We also got to ride the train back which saved a lot of walking. Ana and Joshua had a lot of fun swimming. The water area is pretty close to perfect and we had lovely weather. Next time I just need to bring my own suit so that I can go down the slides.
On Wednesday we had a great time walking up and down Orchard looking at the lights! We first went into the Ion and ate. I had Beef Noodles which were sooooo good. Usually the beef is..well terrible...here, but this was pretty close to perfection! After it got pretty dark we went outside. The purple tree was amazing because you could go inside. Ana (and many other children) were wowed by it! Orchard was very nicely decorated this year! Although Ana was more interested in people than the lights--it was a lot of fun for us.
On Thursday we went over to the director's house for a lovely Thanksgiving dinner. We had all the fixins' (even pumpkin pie) and had a great time of fellowship. Ana also got to go swimming in a perfect kid's pool AND feed the fish with leftover rolls!
On Friday I put up the great majority of my decorations. It was nice to have Matt there to watch Ana. Now I just need to get my advent calendar finished!!
After our bad news this morning, I decided to do something fun! Ana and I started decorating her room. We put up the tree and added all the trimmings. It's a little bottom heavy as she can only reach as high as her stool allows. She was an INTENSE decorator!! It was fun to watch her put the ornaments on and decide to change where they were--she's picky too! We did have a mishap while I was cooking dinner. She decided to move some more ornaments and the tree fell over. She was scared to death--punishment enough. She hasn't gone near it since then! It's also helped her stay in bed. I just tell her I'll switch it off if she gets out--hasn't moved yet!
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. I Thess. 5:16-18 We appreciate your prayers on our behalf! We didn't pass court (again)! This time the Ministry of Women's Affairs was having meetings and didn't send the required letters. Therefore, over 30 families from various agencies didn't pass and were rescheduled for Dec. 22. We are thankful that the boys appear to be doing well and are well cared for in the home. We're thankful that we will be quite busy in the coming month--which will help us not to dwell on the situation. And as always we praise God for knowing and doing what is BEST for us!
I can't do a lot to help out at church with an active Analia and another one coming--so I make name tags. Not too exciting, but I think they turned out really cute. I also added glitter to the clouds before laminating them!
We were happy to get two new pictures of China. Behailu happened to be sleeping when this couple came to pick up their child. You only visit the home once--so there are no second chances! I find it really ironic that his name is China, but take a look at that shirt!!
In other news, our case worker said that the Ethiopian case worker said everything is arranged for the mothers to arrive in Addis on Sunday to be ready for the court hearing on Monday. Please keep praying that God enables this to be our FINAL hearing!
One of the reasons Ana willingly goes to school (besides lots of food, hugs, and high schoolers that play with her) is the playground. She loves swinging, sliding, and going up and down the stairs. I love it because she gets all that energy out! It's the rainy season now--so it usually pours in the afternoons. I do my best to get her out there before her nap. As we enter the Thanksgiving holiday, one of the things I'm most thankful for is the nice playgrounds here.
We celebrated our 10th anniversary on Wednesday by going out to the Marriott. We always get a lovely dinner there as a Christmas gift (from one of the high school parents.) We had planned on taking a trip, but with the adoption plans up in the air we decided to stay home :)
It's been a great 10 years--really it's been FAST! Matt's a great man-hard working, generous, and super with Ana. Here's to the next ten!
Matt brought home a gift for Ana yesterday. It was from one of the parents at school. (I had taught her daughter in kindergarten and now she's in 8th grade!) The princess costume is gorgeous with a lot of detailed work in it. As soon as Ana saw it in the morning she wanted to put it on. And of course, mom was snapping away. Even though she didn't sit still too long and her headgear was too big, I still got a couple of cute ones! Enjoy grandparents and aunts!!
Sorry for not doing better about blogging--there's just so much to be done!! Here's my most recent creation. It's made from a man's dress shirt. I made up the pattern myself using a dress Matt had bought in China. It was sooo much easier than many of the tutorials I've tried that I'm thinking of making another one with my own tutorial!
Since I have a lot of felt I made this cute little turkey today. I just let Ana put the feathers behind him today, but it would be a great activity for patterning, counting, placement words, etc. She loved it and played with it for quite a while!
On Friday night I went with Puah Meng to the symphony. There was a young violinist from the UK and a couple of other pieces. Michael picks up these free tickets from the classical music station all the time! Before going we had Thai Green Curry. Boy was it hot--I've eaten this many times before, but this one wins hands down for heat! On Saturday I went to a big garage sale. It wasn't as good as last year's, but I found a couple of books and VCDs. I was hoping for some more gently used shoes, but didn't have any luck! Matt, meanwhile, took Ana to the championship basketball games for two of our teams. I met up with them later, watched the tail end of the games, and headed to Subway for lunch. The rest of the afternoon was spent on Matt's masters class and me trying to entertain Ana! On Sunday we went to church--can I just say I am so looking forward to church in the States where I can drop Ana off!!!!--and then had lunch at a hawker. We had Mee Pork--noodles with pork :) Michael had to line up for a long time, but no worries! We had steamed dumplings in the meantime. We went back to the Wong's to let Ana swim and then had a very nice Cantonese dinner--sweet and sour pork, greens, tofu, and fish with rice. We also got mango pudding for dessert! What a nice relaxing weekend with so little cooking! Gotta love it!
Our seniors have been selling lots of "spirit" items including these small pom poms. Our office manager lets Ana have the run of her area while I'm filing or doing other misc. tasks. She discovered her pom poms and went crazy. If she does grow up and decide to cheer (don't worry Aunt Kim, most of our schools are too small to have cheerleaders!) she'd be a wild one!
PS I made the skirt! The man's shirt was in the give away pile at school!
Today was the shower for China and Behailu. Matt's secretary, Cindy worked really hard to make it cute. It's hard to do here--there aren't party stores. You have to use a lot of imagination! She did! She used a wagon theme and made a wagon cake as well as as a small wagon to collect cards. She used cute clothes hangers to hang the balloons and lined the table with ducks! There were some great veggies and sandwiches along with some yummy cake and cheesecake. I had a great time catching up with people I don't usually see. As you can see all the little duckies went home very happy.
We're so thankful for our Christian family. You've been so supportive. We couldn't make it without you!
We have been told that if the mothers do not show up at the next court hearing that they can get a letter from the province where the boys came from clearing them for adoption. My question is how long will that take??? Keep praying that the director finds the mothers soon and that they're willing to travel to AddisAbaba.
Now, I've been meaning to do some thorough cleaning in the kitchen for a while--and today I got my chance. I have a trusty old pressure cooker that was my grandma's. I've used it many, many times as refried beans are $5.00 a can here. It's been a great asset--I'm so thankful for it! But today, while cooking a pot of black beans, everything changed. The pressure valve became clogged with a bean skin and the safety valve blew. It was sooooo loud and there was so much pressure it blew the shelf off above it (along with all the spices). All the dishes and wash had to be rewashed. We had to pull out the oven and scrub the floors and the walls. A little overwhelmed I called Matt and he came home around noon and helped wash dishes and watch Ana. 4 hours later I have a VERY clean kitchen and an aching body! Ana just keeps saying "What happened? and so sorry!" Me too!