Saturday, October 31, 2009

Halloween 2009

Sam wanted to be a ballplayer for Halloween.  Actually, he is Albert Pujols.  That boy loves his baseball!!Jacob had wanted to be something from Bakugan, but when we got to the store, there were no costumes in his size.  He was very disappointed and had to settle for whatever was in his size-which wasn't much.  However, once we got home and he tried on this Star Wars costume, he began to really like it.  And I think it looks great on him!!!!  Hannah was a princess, mostly because we had gotten it in Disney World this year and since we had already spent the money on it, why get something else?  Plus, she loves the princesses.  We had to stick a sweat shirt and jeans on underneath, so she would stay warm.  The weather was perfect!!  The kids didn't have to wear coats.  Alan took them out and Hannah walked most of the way.  Sam was very good about helping her at each house.  Jacob got what he wanted this year and went around with our next door neighbors.  It was so good of Laurie to take him and he had a blast!!!  We had a lot of kids this year-probably because of the weather.  I had 5 1/2 bags of candy(the other 1/2 bag had been eaten before today), then I handed out Hannah's and Sam's candy, then I began searching through the pantry for anything in a single serving. This included fruit snacks, small bags of pretzels, and yogurt covered pretzels.  Alan took Sam out again and he got some more, so he wasn't left with nothing.  And Jacob had a bunch, so we can share.  Everyone had a great time!!
This is Hannah's owie from today.  She was chasing Sam around the house, tripped and fell into the corner of the sofa.  She had a gaping hole in her forehead, so once we got it to stop bleeding, I headed for the Urgent Care.  Our Childrens Urgent Care moved, so I went to the UNMC urgent care and I was nervous. At Children's, they take care of kids.  I knew them and knew how they did things. However, this place was great.  We walked right in, had someone come right to us to get a numbing agent on her head, then they took us back, wrapped her up and stitched her up.  She screamed the whole time and it was very stressful for me. but the doctor and nurse handled it perfectly.  She only needed one stitch-which shocked me and we were back home within about 45 minutes.  Amazing.  She took her nap laying on my chest, and then was right back to running around and chasing the boys.  I just knew we were going to be back there before the day was done.  So in spite of the rocky time, we had a fabulous Halloween.  Everyone had a blast and now we are all headed for bed.  Trick or treat.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Books

We are a book loving family.  Here is Jacob reading "The Big Book of Boy Stuff".  Jacob is much like me in his approach to books.  We both have stacks of books everywhere.  I think that probably drives Alan crazy, but I can't help it.  I try to help it.  I will get them all put away, or taken back to the library, and then before I know it, there is another stack.  I love to read.  Mostly fiction, mainly murder mysteries dealing with serial killers, FBI profilers, or lady detectives.  Last year in Jacob's 2nd grade class, his teacher allowed him to make his little nest of books.  He loves to read so much that there are times he needs to be reminded to put his books down and do the rest of his work.  He has tried the Harry Potter books, but they are just a bit too scary.  Maybe in a few years.  His favorite books are dinosaur books, Captain Underpants,  Calvin and Hobbes, and Magic Treehouse.

Hannah also has a bit of her mama and brother in her.  Notice the nest of books around her.  She isn't content to just sit and look at one, she needs them all around her.  Her favorite books are Elmo, and The Very Hungry Caterpillar. 



 And then here is my Sam.  He is so much like his father.  He takes a book off the shelf, looks at it, and then puts it back.  He loves to read books about the Presidents, history, baseball, and right now he is reading Junie B. Jones. He amazes me with how much he knows about the Presidents.   I am proud of my guys.  It would be easy to just to read fiction-there is alot of good books out there, and then some not so great books, but both of my boys love to learn.  They have always looked and read books about trains and dinosaurs and cars.  And they have both taken their knowledge and impressed their teachers with it.  
I come from a long line of readers(okay, I really don't know how long the line-but everyone in my Rowell family is a reader). It is such a wonderful gift to pass down to my children and to see that blossom.  Some of my most favorite memories are reading with my family.  Okay, some of the memories are pretty recent.  It seems as if the Harry Potter books come out when I am in Texas, so my sisters, my mom, my niece and my nephew(along with myself), race to get to the books and then we race through the book.  We are pretty quick readers, so we would generally be done about the same time(mom and my sisters and I) and then we couldn't wait to talk about it.  Another of our favorite authors is Janet Evanovich.   Usually there is one copy and we can't wait to have it read.  She is laugh out loud funny, usually, so we all get a kick out of her.
Why this post?  I loved these pictures.  I loved to walk in and see Hannah surrounded by her books.  I love to see Jacob learning "boy stuff".  I love to see Sam absorbing information about the presidents.  I love that this is something that we can share together.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Happy Birthday Hannah


Today Hannah is 3.  This is the second birthday that we have shared and next year when we celebrate her birthday, she will have spent more time with us than she did in the orphanage.  And that will be a wonderful celebration.

First I would like to recognize the people in her orphanage.  It wasn't an ideal situation, but it was better than so many.  She was loved, taken care of.  She laughed there, she was fed a nutrional formula and fresh fruit,and she grew.  She didn't have everything she has now, but for the first 22 months of her life, she had people who cared for her.  The head of the orphanage really cared for the kids-so much so that after we came home, he adopted one of the children that his group cared for.  I couldn't ask for more.

As we have thought about celebrating Hannah's birthday, I can't help but think of her birth mother.  What is she thinking?  Is she wondering how Hannah is?  Does she wonder where she is?  Has she found a way to know that Hannah has her own parents and brothers who love her?  Does she miss her?  She carried her for 9 months and she gave her life.  She left her in a place where she would be found and taken care of.  I don't know why she did this and I don't know what she was thinking.  I do know that I am grateful that she chose life for Hannah.  She could have had an abortion, or she could have abandoned her where she would never be found, but she didn't.  She chose life.

Hannah is 3 and all that encompasses.  Every day her personality comes out a little more.  She loves to get on Jacob's shoulders and have him carry her around.  She likes to sit by Sam and watch TV.  She loves to play football and chase in the backyard with her daddy and brothers.  She is really good at riding her tricycle.  And she loves to play with her babies, wrapping them in blankets and rocking them in her rocking chair.  Her favorite tv character is Elmo, but she also loves the princesses.  I look forward to the day when she will sit with me and watch the princess movies.  The boys never wanted to. :)

I look back over this year and I see how much she has grown and changed.  Gone is the toddler and in her place is this little girl who really enjoys life.  She loves to laugh and to sing.  She races to the door to say hello to her daddy.  She cuddles with mommy.  Her favorite book is The Very Hungry Caterpillar, and I must read it every night.  She loves to eat and will eat just about anything.  She has started preschool and is doing wonderfully.  She walks right in, sits down with a puzzle, and sends me on my way.  She is secure in knowing that I will come back and get her.  We are attached.  We are family.

She is mine, but she is not all mine.  I share her with a birth mother who loved her enough to give her life, whatever her circumstances were.  I share her with a group of people who cared for her until we were ready to be together.  And I share her with my family and friends, who have accepted her as if she were born to me and loved her, and made her a part of our family.

Today she is 3.  She has been with us for 14 months-and yet it feels as if she has always been here-that she has always been mine.  I thank God for my baby today.  And I thank Him for taking care of her when she was in China.  I thank Him that He loved her before she was in her mothers womb and that He had plans for her.  And I thank Him because those plans included us.  But mostly I thank Him for her-my Hannah-my Qu Lexuan, my little princess and I pray that we can show her how much God loves her.