Friday, July 22, 2016

Crater Lake

We hadn't been there in ten years.  So much has happened during that time. The last time we were at Crater Lake I couldn't have imagined we would lose a son the next year.  I also wouldn't have dreamed that we would gain three more beautiful souls--Vu, Lan Lan, and Mei Mei.  Life can hold the best, and the worst, all in the same decade--the heights of glory to the depths of despair.  Only the rhythm of the seasons remains steady.

It is a joyful thing to take children to see wonders of the world.  Lan Lan was especially mesmerized, and Hubby pulled over for her at almost every viewpoint.  The brilliant color of the water can't really be captured in photos--it is clear and innocent.  It is heavenly.  It is LOVE.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

The New Bike

When we were visiting our son and his family we wanted to buy something special for the new baby. We went to a large store to look at strollers.  So many choices!  Finally, we found one that will be great for the new baby and Sweetpea will also have a place to ride.

In the process of deciding, Sweetpea and I walked around the store and came upon the bikes.  Oh me, oh my!  Sweetpea has been wanting a new bike.  And it just so happens it is almost her birthday!  I think you know where this ended up, yes?  She LOVED this bike because it had a basket AND a place for her teddy to ride in the back PLUS handlebar ribbons.

She also convinced us that she needed a new Minnie Mouse helmet.  She would hardly take it off to pay and immediately had the packaging taken off once purchased.  It was a challenge getting out of the store because she wasn't at all convinced that her bike was really in that small box!

Bike construction began immediately upon returning home.  Lots of supervision by Sweetpea.  I think she was still a little worried about the outcome!

In the end she was a very, very happy little girl!  

Happy Birthday Sweetpea!  It's a joy being your grandparents and spoiling you!  We love you!

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Summer! And Large Family Travel--It Works For Us!

Oh my goodness!  I don't know where I got the idea that this summer would be full of relaxing and NOTHING else.  Ha!  I should know myself better!  But it's all been good.  Lots of family and friends.  It doesn't get better than that!

Lan Lan, Vu, Hubby, and I just returned from a trip to visit our son and his family.  This might seem strange, but one of our keys to raising a large family is taking one or two kids at a time on special trips--usually those that involve airline travel.  For us, it works.  I'm not sure why it works so well, because it would seem like there would be jealousy or sadness, but that's rare.  Somehow it just works.  Maybe because each child knows they will get their turn and we try to specialize the trip to something that particular child would really enjoy.

Traveling with just a couple kids makes travel affordable and it gives each child one-on-one time with mom and dad--and each other.  It was fun to see Lan Lan's and Vu's interactions become closer as the days went on--by the end of the trip they were playing wild midnight games of Uno together!

On this trip, we met up with Lan Lan's foster sister from China, and Vu's "baby" from Vietnam.  What a special reunion!  Too much to put into this post--more later.

We went to the Grand Ole Opry, which Vu especially loved!  Actually, the girls went to the giant mall across the street while we did the tour!  Afterwards, we hit downtown Nashville and Jack's BBQ--YUM!  And of course there was cookie baking and just hanging out, we went bowling and ate at yummy places like The Cracker Barrel.

Previously, over the 4th of July, we spent a few days at my parents' cabin.  Always lots of fishing and fun!  Lan Lan had a special friend come along and Mei Mei really connected with a cousin from the East Coast, plus we had a mini family reunion.

And today we had my niece here.  We really know how to show people a good time.  We took her shopping at the Salvation Army!  And then to the bird sanctuary.  Oh, and to Dairy Queen!

Love this time with family and friends!