Wednesday, January 25, 2012

sweet spots

 We had our first snow this winter.  So sweet to gaze on it together.

Vivi was so enthralled with the winter white, even the cold railings didn't deter her...
and yep, she's wearing her big bro's hand-me-downs... gladly (for the sake of the fleece!)

 The snow made turned our back patio into a perfect place for broom ball 

And we enjoyed a way-later-than normal bedtime with the kids... sitting in their window box together, watching the fireworks for Chinese New Year.  This was constant right outside our windows- front and back- till way past midnight and it won't end for two more weeks!

And of course there's more...  but we're hoping on a train tomorrow to visit dear friends who live in The City of Pandas.  Much to do...  hopefully I can post more photos of the new year and a fun excursion we took as well as some views of our ride and visit west.

Love to you dear friends!  

Sunday, January 22, 2012

O Church Arise

O Church Arise
by Keith Getty & Stuart Townend
O Church Arise and put your armour on
Hear the call of Christ our Captain
For now the weak can say that they are strong
In the strength that God has given
With shield of faith and belt of truth
We’ll stand against the devil’s lies
An army bold whose battle-cry is Love
Reaching out to those in darkness
Our call to war to love the captive soul
But to rage against the captor
And with the sword that makes the wounded whole
We will fight with faith and valour
When faced with trials on every side
We know the outcome is secure
And Christ will have the prize for which He died
An inheritance of nations
Come see the cross where love and mercy meet
As the Son of God is stricken
Then see His foes lie crushed beneath His feet
For the Conqueror has risen
And as the stone is rolled away
And Christ emerges from the grave
This victory march continues till the day
Every eye and heart shall see Him
So Spirit come put strength in every stride
Give grace for every hurdle
That we may run with faith to win the prize
Of a servant good and faithful
As saints of old still line the way
Retelling triumphs of His grace
We hear their calls and hunger for the day
When with Christ we stand in glory
Copyright © 2005 Thankyou Music

Oh that this would be the tune of my heart as we finish this cold winter.... 
From the Getty's site, you can watch a video/ hear the tune if you're interested.  

Friday, January 13, 2012

How's the Climb-It?

JT, you sweet son, fun brother, you are endlessly loved and enjoyed,...

The norm at the K house is that every time Daddy declares "lego time" to lay on the guest mattress and build legos (usually with Isaiah), John declares "climb-it" time... to climb all over daddy.  For some reasons John loves to repeat himself (sometimes for 10 minutes straight if he finds a line that he loves).  When he's climbing on Daddy, "Climb-It" is his mantra.... He's becoming quite a skillful climber... and Matt is amazing at building with the big guy while maintaining his mountain stance for the little guy.  This is John's latest toe-hold. 

The last day of prizes for Marian as she leaned to sleep with no Sleep Toy was a surprise for each one of our big kids.  They each got their own colored flashlight.    And in other word-change news....
Flashlight is now a verb (in our house at least).  

As in, "Let's go flashlight guys!"

Which means....  
"let's go fill this dark, still home with screams and laughter and flashes of wild light!"

(And I'm sure you don't need me to tell you ... they do it very well.)

this week

(Beware... this is a long one!)

This week started off with a text message about one of Marian's dear classmate friends (her fellow angel in the pic back a few posts)... it would be her last day at preschool ever, play date at noon pickup.  
Most the foreign kiddos our kids' preschool.  This is the noon pick-up crowd :).
We didn't know what was happening but soon learned that the Mama was just diagnosed with breast cancer.  She told me how very much the Lord had provided for them....  "it just so happened" that they were scheduled to be at a conference in Hong Kong immediately after she found the lump and they had help to arrange lots of medical appointments while they were there.  6 days after they arrived back here, their whole home was packed up and all their good-byes said.  A big blow through the heart just to hear the news and especially, for our little girl grieving her friend moving away.  She's determined that our family needs to visit them soon... in England.  It's a good life lesson, another opportunity to wrestle with the fallenness of our world, exercise our weak faith and strengthen our weak knees as we commit to praying for this family through this journey...   

Another precious friend of mine was recently diagnosed with breast cancer and I feel like my own faith has been strengthened, invigorated, as I've read her posts of learning to trust in the Lord through this.  She recently shared an awesome hymn- lyrics well worth proclaiming to myself again and again.   Thank you, friend.  I love you dear Cari! the Good-Bye dinner.  Here's the big sis we'll miss.  

Nearing 10 months now... Vivi Hope is pulling herself up to stand alongside furniture, covering way too much ground crawling like a speedster, and beginning to wave Bye Bye.  And is it possible she's trying to say "Hi"?  
Oh this precious beautiful girl....
such an incredible delight she is!

Oh, hello Sasafrass.  
I guess even the K Family Journal needs a fashion post maybe? 
At least I know this girl will be our fashion model and advisor if ever there is one.  
The braids are her new favorite do and a scarf is her latest must-have.  
Thank You for this sweet coat dear JJK!  
We LOVE you Marian Lynn!

And this big guy....  I'm so grateful for him.  I enjoy him so much.  I'm so proud of how he's growing to read and help and play and rollerblade...  And I love that even though he asks for a cuddle on his bed at bedtime maybe only once for every 4 dozen times it's begged for on the bunk below him, every time I ask him if I can cuddle him, he lights up with a smile and makes room for me to lay beside him for a minute.... and often I get to hear a story from him when I do.  I love this fantastic boy!

A few weeks ago Matt noticed that our bathroom sink was really wobbly.  The whole sink was only held up by 4 screws in the wall (nothing for it to stand on)... so we wedged a stool in there for the night and planned to take care of it in the morning.  But before any work got done on it and before I thought through what was happening... Isaiah yanked and pulled on that stool.... and the sink came down on his head, sent him flying to the back wall, and broke mama's heart along with leaving quite a little mark on the his forehead.  

We didn't expect our landlord to care at all... we fully expected to have to buy a few more wooden stools to screw in to the bottom of both bathroom sinks as support.  

But lo and behold, our landlord was shockingly generous!  She bought two brand-new nice sinks!  It's silly how we'd walk by the bathroom the first few days and just admire...  do a double take.  Is that Our New Sink!?  Such a cruise-ship feel!  (I imagine.)  It's silly I know... but still... What a blessing!  

The new sink even came with a built-in washing board for us to wash our clothes by hand.  

And our Christmas tree has been down for over a week now but still...  just wanted to post one pic of our tree from outside.  For what I could see, there were only 2 Christmas trees up in our complex (of approximately 4,000 neighbors.)   We've thought several times about how we miss the show of Christmas lights all around but it's also true that we are so glad to have our little lights 
shine in a dark place...

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Disturb Us, Lord

I've posted this before, but today I need it before my own eyes and heart and so I'll share it here again too.

Disturb us, Lord, when
We are too pleased with ourselves,
When our dreams have come true
Because we dreamed too little,
When we arrived safely
Because we sailed too close to the shore.

Disturb us, Lord, when
with the abundance of things we possess
We have lost our thirst
For the waters of life;
Having fallen in love with life,
We have ceased to dream of eternity
And in our efforts to build a new earth,
We have allowed our vision
Of the new Heaven to dim.

Disturb us, Lord, to dare more boldly,
To venture on wilder seas
Where storms will show Your mastery;
Where losing sight of land,
We shall find the stars.

We ask you to push back
The horizons of our hopes;
And to push back the future
In strength, courage, hope, and love.

This we ask in the name of our Captain,
Who is Jesus Christ.

by Sir Francis Drake, late 1500s

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Wolf Teeth... and how they inspire

Last Friday night we thought we'd start talking with Marian more seriously about how she needs to stop sucking on her "sleep toy" to sleep.  I thought it would be something like taking her off drugs....  when she used it (ie- every time she closed her eyes for sleep) her eyes would roll back in her head and she'd drift off to sleep easily.   If it was "spicy" (read stinky) she would wait up for however long it took me to get her a new, clean one.  We even went through a time where this addiction included sleep toy needing to be pre-wet for her (the ears and hands that she sucked on needed to be dipped in drinking water.)  Oh how many days of my life have I spent on her sleep toy addiction?

We knew she needed to kick the habit before her big teeth came in and it wasn't looking like she was progressing towards that on her own.  We needed to help her and really wanted to make it a positive experience so we started stalking up on prizes..... and I thought I'd just prime the pump a little to show her some pictures I found online of what happens to your teeth when you suck on encourage her that it would be worth it to slowly move away from this bad habit.

I googled "ugly thumb sucking teeth" and this one picture was the most ghastly. (From the link, scroll down a bit.  I first posted the pic, but man, it's just too awful to put here!)  I cuddled her while we looked at several picutres and I shared with her that although we love her sleep toy, if she sucks on it too much, her teeth will probably look more and more like this....  And of course, she didn't like that news one bit.

That night she didn't touch her sleep toy.  She woke up finding it near her feet on her bed.  It was dry and she was beaming (she wanted that prize).   And she's only sucked on it for a few minutes since then, begging for a clean one as soon as she remembers that she doesn't want to suck on it any more, and then she keeps the clean one dry all night.  What a girl.

It's shocking to me that this wasn't a physical addiction at all.  Once she chose to be done.... no problem.   I really thought her sleep was somehow physically dependent on sucking this toy.  But what a grace to be wrong!  She's done great!!!

Good bye to being used like this, Sleep Toy, old pal.
But we're glad you can stick around as a cuddle toy now.
(Spring 2010)
The best part for her was the ribbon gift....  I found a gymnastics ribbon for her to dance with that she absolutely adores.  We stayed up late watching you tube clips of Anna Bessanova and May was sky high with starry eyes and twinkle toes... (I woke up the next morning to her standing on the couch performing for the boys who were sitting on the floor, wrapped up together in a blanket and totally enthralled with this ribbon beauty...)  We're so glad to get to mark this big step with such joy for her.  It has been a hard step for her (especially at nap times when she's had a few times crying that she doesn't want to go to sleep even when she's clearly wasted tired) but she's done it and we are so glad, so proud!  

It's been a bit of an adjustment for all of us because, just like I expected, she didn't sleep at all in the afternoon several days this week (not all bad:  longer afternoon, more reading lessons, much quicker bedtime).  It also means we have a resident dental advisor now.  She checked her own teeth in the mirror noticed a space between her teeth.... we're keeping our eyes on it.  And she warned her brother at the table, "if you suck on that (he slipped a toy in his mouth for a second) you're going to have wolf teeth. " 

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

not right...

The K Family Journal is transitioning to what will, in the end, hopefully be a nice new template design.  But in the meanwhile, there have been photos in the header (the template default) that I despise.  Deepest regret if anyone else checked this site at that wrong time.    Oh to erase those images from the world and certainly from our blog!

I'm trusting that this transition will be done soon?  May it be!  Thanks for your patience with me as I wait (eagerly!!) too....

Thanks friends....