the year of the sheep

We wanted to celebrate Chinese New Year on Thursday – the official first day of the Lunar New Year.

Didn’t happen.

Then we hoped to celebrate on Saturday.



On Sunday Chris took the boys to church and I kept the girls home since we had three still recovering from fever/nausea/rash.

And we were finally able to get the party started.


The girls and I began by pulling down box after box of keepsakes gathered during eight trips to China. We looked through it all.

Pearls and jade bought for the girls.

Chopsticks and tobacco boxes purchased for the boys.

Gifts given from orphanage officials.

Silk fans. Wedding balls. Miniature emperor hats.

And teeny tiny socks, shoes and sweaters worn on the day we became a family.


It started as an effort to find some silks to wear on Chinese New Year.

And ended up being the most special part of the day.


Okay, the dressing up was fun. (And funny, too.)

And helping each of the girls pick a piece of jewelry from China to wear was so very sweet.


The dinner from the Red Pearl was delicious – the Sesame Chicken was even good enough to make the boys forget I didn’t have any silks their size.

And the very un-Chinese, but much-appreciated brownies and ice cream sundaes for dessert was met with big grins all around.


Together, it added up to a surprisingly special way to celebrate our children’s birth country and ring in the New Year.

Just a few days late.


Happy Year of the Sheep, my sweets.

I’m thinking it’s going to be a great year.


most days

Things are usually a little crazy around here.

Because, honestly, homeschooling seven kids is a pushing-this-mama-to-the-limit reality on most days.


And since Clementine came home, the crazy has just gotten stronger.

(In an adorable way, of course.)


It has limited our outings significantly.

And limited the time I have to spend one-on-one with my girls.


So they’ve just had to get creative and use what we have around here for entertainment.

Because when the weather is cold, the days can get long.


But they have been so full of grace. So resourceful. And so full of love for their tiny sister.

They have found ways to have fun at home, use their brains and God-given gifts, and entertain themselves right here under this roof.

With very little help from mama.


On this afternoon Poppy donned her tutu and “fixed” her hair like a princess. Then settled in to color a picture for her G.G. with a side of Froot Loops.

You know, a little sugar boosts creativity.


And as Poppy told me about the picture she had drawn and asked where she should write, “To G.G., Love, Poppy”, I was struck by her beauty, in her tutu. Eating her Froot Loops.

So a little photo-shoot happened.


Noah joined the party and was pretty pleased to get a few Froot Loops for his cooperation.

Totally spur of the moment. All I did was tuck the hair behind her ears.


Truly, the girl on the outside is as lovely as the girl on the inside.


Happy 11th.


Sophie Lu is 11. And, among many other things, she’s a girl who knows her mind. So when it came time to pick a menu and shop for party accessories, I just got out of the way. She chose a local burger joint with the best sweet potato fries, ever. Chocolate Trifle, covered with chocolate […]

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So Loved – in stock and some precious news


At the end of August, So Loved was relaunched to an amazing response. (Y’all are so crazy wonderful.) In just four months, over $2200 was raised, all from the sales of So Loved. My plan had always been to make the So Loved donation once a year – on July 31, Esther’s birthday. But then […]

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table for 14, please.


Thanks to the generosity (and bravery) of a friend, photographer and fellow adoptive mama, we now have a new family photo. And then some. Our first photos as a family of 14. 14, y’all. Did I mention how brave my photographer friend is? Because photographing 14 people, 8 of whom are 10 and under, is […]

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two months with Clementine


Two months ago we were in China. We had just arrived in Guangzhou with a wheezy, vomiting, rash-covered little girl. It’s so good to be in this side of those two months. Clementine started physical therapy this month and has just mastered pulling up to stand. On her own, y’all. We want her to learn […]

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2014 in review: 24 of my favorites


It’s become a bit of a thing around here, I suppose: going through my pictures at the end of the year and plucking out a few favorites. It’s laborious. It’s time consuming. But I love it because it’s a chance to look back at the year, as a mama, and see how my babies have […]

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letting go


My oldest child is 25. My youngest child is 1. And I am mama to 10 more that fall in between. My 1 year old cannot feed herself. Hold her cup. Walk from one end of the room to the other. I get to do all that for her. My 25 year old, on the […]

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the bath


Clementine likes a whole bunch of things. Rice. The dogs. Going outside. She loves a good number of things. Yogurt. Dancing to music. Piggyback rides by her big brother. But things she really loves? We’ve found just a few so far. And one of those is the bath. Solo or with her big sisters, with […]

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christmas 2014


It was noisy. It was chaotic. It was wonderful. And the best part? Having this little one home. Be still my heart. To have her here, with us this year, was the greatest gift we could have ever imagined. But the kids wanted toys, too For some crazy reason. Tallula got a Frozen snuggle-thing. Whose […]

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