Cole, Alex, & Anna Grace

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Celebrating Autumn Moon Festival

We spent a part of our weekend celebrating the Autumn Moon Festival, which is one of the major Chinese holidays. It is Chinese custom to spend evenings looking at the full moon and enjoy time with family. They also eat moon cakes and other circular foods. We can't provide Anna Grace with the kind of Chinese culture that she would have living in China, but we are doing what we can to learn more about Chinese holidays and celebrations.

We started the weekend with a new picture book about a family celebrating the Moon Festival. Because we like to eat appetizer dinners while we watch football as a family, we made a special appetizer dinner Saturday night with "moon shaped" foods. It seemed really involved to make moon cakes, so we settled for a Southern tradition- moon pies! Anna Grace and I also made sugar cookies with white icing to look like full moons and decorated them with star shaped sprinkles. We brought our special supper down to the basement to eat while we watched the game.

Today we went to an event hosted by the Asian Mentoring Program at the local university. Most of the little girls dressed in traditional Chinese clothing and the students put on little skits and musical performances for the children. They also had games, face painting, and traditional Chinese snacks. They even had real moon cakes and not my version of moon pies! Anna Grace had a great time playing with some of the other adopted Asian kids from our area. She finally got to meet Janie, a little girl who lives very close to us, and Anna Grace seemed to connect with her right away. She kept sharing her babydoll with Janie and gave her lots of hugs. They were so cute together. I hope we can get Anna Grace and Janie together for a play date soon. We also think we may have connected with a mentor for Anna Grace. We really don't want her to forget all of her Chinese language, and we want her to have people around her that look similar to her.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Making Progress

Anna Grace has been enjoying gymnastics class on Monday nights. This week, as I was getting her dressed in her little pink leotard, I asked her if she wanted to go to gymnastics. She said, "Yeah!! I go tada!!"

She has been getting better at the balance beam and bars and loves doing somersaults. The end of the class has a playtime and little songs that she enjoys. She loves joining in on the movements to the songs and interacting with the other kids.

Anna Grace's physical therapist is so pleased with her progress that we do not need to go to therapy any more. She is still behind in her development, but she is catching up very quickly. Her therapist said that if we continue with the gymnastics and all of the activities at home she should have no problems catching up.

Anna Grace makes me laugh every day. Last night, as I was getting her pajamas on after her bath, I was trying to show her that the dog has a tail (she knows over 20 body parts so far). She twisted her body around to try and look behind her and grabbed her bottom and said, "Where's my tail?" I almost fell over laughing.

Even with all of the progress that she is making, I feel like we take 2 steps forward and 1 step back. We went to the eye doctor last week and found out that she has two different vision problems. She is near-sighted, and the doctor thinks she will probably continue to become more and more near-sighted as she grows. Anna Grace is also having problems with her eye alignment. The doctor asked us to come back in December so we can see if she is getting better, but we may end up having to do vision therapy.

Even with all of the little struggles that Anna Grace has faced since she has joined our family, we feel so blessed that she is healthy and happy.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Lovin the new dress

I waited so long to be able to dress up a little girl. While we were waiting for Anna Grace I dreamed of the day when I could buy adorable dresses. I wanted to be able to buy pillow case dresses and hair bows. My mom and I had a blast shopping yesterday at a festival and bought some really cute dresses for fall. I am hoping to get my sewing machine fixed so that I can learn to make some more cute clothes for Anna Grace. I don't think these dresses would be that hard to make, and it would certainly be better on the budget!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


We spent the Labor Day weekend camping in the North Carolina mountains and visiting family. My grandmother has been very sick lately and has just been released from the hospital, so we made a trip to visit her and spend some time with just the 5 of us camping. We had a difficult time making last minute campground reservations since it was a holiday weekend, but Mike finally found a campground that had a vacancy. But, when we arrived late Friday evening, we decided that it was not the campground for us. We pulled up to trucks that had been sitting so long they had flat tires and piles of garbage on the camp sites. Our camp site was right next to the dumpster, which had a very foul smell coming from it. It was then that we realized that the car was almost out of gas, we were in the middle of no where, Mike's internet access on his phone was not working, and it was getting darker by the minute. We had a camper, 3 kids, and a dog to find a place to stay for the night. Thank goodness that my cell phone worked long enough for me to call Mike's dad who started searching the internet for somewhere for us to stay. We found a gas station and Mike's dad started making phone calls to make us another reservation. We did not realize that not only was it a holiday weekend, but it was the biggest weekend of the year- the Apple Festival. We finally got settled into a new campground at 10:30 Friday night.

It was a very small campground with not much for the kids to do, but it was safe and clean. Our plans of letting the kids play in a creek and hike in the woods changed to plans of visiting the Apple Festival and hanging out at the camper. We also enjoyed visiting my grandmother, aunt, and cousins on Sunday, and we saw some really beautiful scenery as we were driving through the mountains. And, of course, we bought some apples!!

Several weekends ago we went to Mike's uncle's surprise 60th birthday party. We had a great time introducing Anna Grace to some of her family members and celebrating with Uncle Jerry.

Last Sunday I went into Anna Grace's room to put away some laundry while she was sleeping and found that she had fallen asleep with Cole's flash cards. Apparently she was working on her division facts as she was drifting off to sleep. I knew she was smart!!