Thursday, August 28, 2008

Happy Birthday Darling!

Our sweetheart is one year old already! We just finished a really fun celebration of her first year, here in the courtyard of our apartment complex with local and foreign friends. It was a super special time- lots of fun with a good game Matt arranged and some yummy cake (honestly, might have been my first ever not-from-a-mix cake and gratefully, it turned out pretty well!) I need to learn to get more pictures though... I think I had 4 times as many shots of Isaiah's first party just because my hands were more free then!

This little girl is sure winning our hearts more and more every day. She loves to shoot kisses (no hands, just the sound from her lips), to get our attention by putting her face right in front of ours to point out what she wants, to ask for more food by opening her mouth as wide as it possibly could be, and she plays pretty fiesty with her brother too! She is all joy and delight for us!

I so look forward to celebrating this day with Marian (and with Isaiah) when we can discuss together their Grandma Lynn and her legacy for them. My mom would have loved sharing her birthday with her darling granddaughter. I really missed having her here with us to celebrate Marian, and I really miss being with my mom to celebrate her.

The relay water game that Matt led for all our little friends was a big hit!
And after the party, we got comfy and relaxed with a few good friends who joined us for dinner at our place. What a great day!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

our gold medal opportunity

Most of the city is hanging on these games in one way or another and game tickets are cheap so it seems the best thing to do is to join in with the festivities! We've been able to see several games- handball (turns out to be a decent sport), tennis (we saw American J. Blake beat Federer), and volleyball- and we have a day of track and field in the Birds Nest still ahead (this Friday- Matt will be there with some guys... its too long a day for me!). To wrap things up, we will get to watch the Gold Medal Baseball game and cheer for Ryan Hall in the marathon as he runs just a block away from our apartment.

Here's a few summer pictures for you-

first crush

Isaiah's teachers at school told me that he made a little classmate cry. I was immediately very concerned and then a little bit stumped as both of his sweet teachers started giggling while they told me "We think he likes Guo Guo. He likes hugging her and holding her hand, and sometimes he pushes her. You should ask him if he likes her." Like her or not, our sweet big boy needs to learn how to handle his affection and emotions in such a way that his little friends aren't scared off by him! Still, since we were at preschool (a Mandarin language environment for him), I asked him in Mandarin "ni xihuan Guo Guo ma?" He answered me straight away, in English, "I like Guo Guo. I like to give her hugs."

Looks like we will be working on gentleness for a while.

Pictures forthcoming.... I didn't have my camera on me as the story broke.

Thank you, Lord, for Someone

(I wrote this a few days ago.)
The Olympic Games begin this evening in our city, and for us, a far better, bigger thing begins this morning- right now- in our home. Yesterday a good guy passed a word onto my husband that was spoken to a dear friend of ours, E. “Someone told him, pray for an hour a day and your life will be changed.” We had talked about a plan like this for our days recently- getting up early-real early, but we’ve been horribly sick the first few days of these intentions.... Lord, meet with us now! For far too long we’ve rushed through our “devos” as if we really only have such a slim amount of time to ever spend on the Lord. Forgive us, God. How sad... withholding from ourselves the pleasure of meeting with God and dwelling with him, lingering with him for enough time to make it matter. Meet with us now, Lord, in your mercy. Change us Lord, for your great glory, for our great good.
I can already see that soon this little-more-than-an-hour is going to feel way too short. Come Lord Jesus!

And now today.... I will add:
This is a good, sweet plan for us. Hard, but good... excellent and needful. Some mornings are harder than others to just GET UP, but always this is the most worthwhile time. It has been an enormous blessing for me to have a head start on the day before our kids are up. Having a solid chunk of time instead of a rushed panicky time for devotions, instead of racing to squeeze in a "quiet time" before our early birds start chirping, my heart can start the day with so much more peace than I ever have otherwise. And isn't that who he is for us anyway? "These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world." (John 16:33)

Monday, August 4, 2008

fish face and a few new tricks

Marian mastered "fish face" and launched out for her first solo steps last week. We still haven't gotten any good shots of her solo gigs but here's one of her walking with her papa. Isaiah also did great a few days ago, playing for the first time in months on the scooter that we got him for his birthday. He took off like a little pro.