Tuesday, July 28, 2009

It's Fair Time!

David has, since 8 years old, has shown cows at the Ulster County Fair. This will be his last year showing in the 4H show as he turns 18 in two weeks!! He spends the week at the fair with his Dad. sierra and I will go and watch him show on Thursday while I am there with 50 camp kids. This fair is the real old type county fair with lots of animals, farm demonstrations etc. It also has a fun midway and if you time things right you can watch Robinsons Racing Pigs! Really!!!
All my kids have shown cows and all still like hanging out at the fair!! It is also the favorite field trip for camp as the kids get to ride on as many rides as they wish!! It is usually very hot and humid but the kids love it anyway!!! I will post some fair pictures later on in the week.
Unfortunately David had some truck trouble going over the mountain back to the fair today. Let's hope it is his transmission line and not his transmission. He drives a 1990 something Ford Ranger that he bought himself before he turned 16.
Sierra is doing well and is loving swimming. She is already swimming underwater and is a real water rat!!! I love seeing her face all wet and sparkly!!!!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

A very special birthday!

6 months ago on January 23rd, 2009 a little girl woke up in a hotel far, far , away ..She had no idea what was in store for her on that day.. The first thing that was said to her was "Happy Birthday", The second thing said was " we are going home." Home to her for so long had been an orphanage in China. But she was not going back there. Now she had a new Mommy and a new Daddy and a new brother and they were taking her home. So they all boarded a plane, flew to Beijing and then got on another plane for a long. long, (did I say very long) flight. Shortly before they landed her Mommy told her all about her new house, her pet dog, her 3 brothers, cousins, aunts uncles, a grandpa and her very own room.. Then, as they were getting close to land, her Mommy, with tears in her eyes, pointed out a special statue sitting in a river. It was a statue of a woman, with a crown, who was holding a torch up in the air. Her Mommy told her that this statue meant that she was being welcomed to this country, the place that was to be her new home. The plane landed and they all got off. The little girl became ,at that moment, a citizen of her new country, the United States of America. Her Aunt and Uncle and, surprise, her new brother were there to greet her and take her to her new house. When she arrived at the house there was another brother, and a grandpa and cousins and friends all there to greet her and welcome her. They sang Happy Birthday and gave her presents. They put candles on a cake and let her blow them out. And the little girl smiled and played with the balloons. And soon it was time to go to bed. so the Mommy took the little girl upstairs and tucked her into her new crib, She told the little girl she loved her and would forever. The little girl soon fell asleep. The Mommy then went to her own room and cried and thanked God for the wonderful blessing that he had bestowed on them!

And now 6 months later the little girl, named Sierra, is happy and healthy and a treasure to all who meet her. And her Mommy still cries, tears of joy, and thanks God every day!!!

This was a picture we received shortly before we traveled........

6 short wonderful months later.......The pictures say it all!!!!!

Now I know my ABCs!!!!

I just had to share!!!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

A little journey!

I have mentioned before about the farm that I work at on the weekends. The owners have
a wonderful business that caters to families. They own a 100 acre farm that has many acres of a Upick fruit and vegetables. The people stop up at the barn, collect their buckets and bags and go down and pick what they want. When they are done they return to the farm and pay for what they picked. Much of it has to be weighed so they need to bring in what they have picked. Unfortunately my bosses have learned the hard way that the cars need to be checked as people have been caught lying about what they have picked. Now I am one of those people that naturally think that most people are good and honest and only a few are dishonest. And I guess for the most part that is true. But I was so disillusioned today when I hadn't even been there one hour and 2 different families were caught trying to steal. Yes, FAMILIES, with kids in the car!!! I was horrified. One women had a large women's purse full of potatoes!!!

By the end of my 6 hour shift we had caught 5 people trying to steal. Needless to say it left a very bad taste in my mouth. The guy that I work for is one of the most hard working decent business man you could find. He is a former dairy farmer who took what he loved, farming , and made a very successful business out of it. The farm has a petting zoo a picnic area, a farm market and a very unique mini golf course that features all edible plants and fruits. As he said if someone was going hungry and they came and talked to him, he would provide them with food. And believe me these people were not lacking money!

Anyway I came home and my sweet husband had dinner all ready for us. He also went and bought a bike for himself so we could go on a bike ride this evening. We live near a large reservoir which is a beautiful spot. It used to be open to traffic but since 9/11 no cars are allowed over the dam. But bikes are!! It is an absolutely gorgeous view of the Catskill Mountains and nature abounds.

So we pedaled along (Sierra is riding in her seat behind me) and the first thing we saw was a mom deer and her twin fawns. They get pretty used to people riding by so we were able to get some great shots

So we rode a little further and met some Canadian geese who live along the shore!

Now where we live Bald Eagles are not a common site. For the past few years there has been a pair nesting at the reservoir. Sometimes , if you are lucky you get to see them. One did fly by us but we weren't able to get a picture.. But on the ride back across one of the young Bald Eagles fly over us and landed in a dead tree. You'll have to take my word for it although they are still all brown at this age. You can tell its a large bird.

So as we pedaled along and we saw more and more of God's beautiful hand, I began to feel a little better. Yes there is evil in the world and yes there are people who make very poor decisions... But God has surrounded us with so much beauty and good!! Its right there in front of us always. It just takes a special husband who some how knew I needed to be taken on this little journey this evening and shown what I knew all along.

Thursday, July 16, 2009


2 weekends ago, Scott, Sierra and I went to the farm I work at to pick blueberries. I had to work that Sunday but we went an hour early so we can pick. It was a beautiful 70 degrees and sunny . My kind of summer day! As I have said before the scenery around this farm is breathtaking. It is located in a valley between 2 mountain ranges so wherever you look you see mountains... and open fields. The blueberries are high bush so you don't have to bend down to pick them. Sierra did awesome. She almost picked a whole pint just herself. She took some of Daddy's to top hers off. We have made a blueberry crisp and blueberry pancakes so far. We will go soon and pick some more to freeze. Blueberries are VERY good for you..... very high in antioxidants!!! I am so lucky to have these opportunities with Sierra. These are the things that will become traditions and lifelong memories. I can't wait until the corn is ready.. and then pumpkins!! They also have UPick fresh flowers and I so love fresh flowers in my house!!!!!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Summer is under way!!

Summer is well under way!!! We had a great 4th of July!! Everything has such a different meaning to us now. When you have been to a country where there is no freedom you think of things very differently. I loved seeing Sierra in her red, white and blue, I love USA tshirt on that day. Here are some pics.

She liked the fireworkd but did not love the noise. She took turns sitting on each of our laps but always with her hands over her ears. Doesn't Daddy look cute with his glow necklace on?My friend Teresa took theis picture of SIerra eating her first corn on the cob. Corn is grown locally and we love it!!!
Today marks the 6 month mark of us meeting Sierra. On January 12th we met her for the first time. I can't believe how the time has flown. I can't believe she is the same solemn little girl we met that day. I can't believe how much our lives have changed and our hearts have grown. Not only for this child but for all orphans. This experience has changed how I think about everything. I want to help more orphans in more ways. I'd love to go back to China and give another child the opportunities that Sierra now has open to her. I don't know if that is possible but we have not completely shut the door on that idea. At the very least I think I would like to spend some time in China helping in a small way. Who knows what will happen but this precious girl has changed me in many ways!!!
Back in 2007 on Mother's Day, shortly after we submitted our paperwork to China, Scott gave me some Asian lilies. Every year I watched them bloom and thought of the little girl who some day would be added to our family.

Finally this year I was able to take a picture with our own Special Asian flower!!!!
Scott was taking some black and white photos and I especially liked this one!!!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

A visit with Aunt Beth!!

My sister lives in Maryland. She moved back there from Oregon last year.Although Maryland is much closer than Oregon,,she had not seen Sierra since February. The week we before we went on vacation she had to travel to Connecticut for business. We wound up meeting her about an hour from here at a diner for a quick visit. David was able to go with me and Sierra. I love seeing my sister and we had a great visit. Sierra looks at pictures and talks with her on the phone so she knew who she was. I hope we get to see her again soon!!!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

We've been home for 5 days now and I still feel so relaxed and renewed by our vacation.. Yesterday I started the summer camp program that I run in the summer. I've been doing it over 20 years and I love it. Its held at our town park and I have 53 kids ages 6-11. The best part is Sierra gets to come too. I am also watching 4 other kids at my house after camp. So this is a busy time for me!!
I had some very powerful moments during our camping trip. We did so much that I knew Sierra had never done before. At one moment I started to cry. She was playing in the lake and just laughing and laughing. I cried because I knew that only 6 short months ago she spent most of her time, during the day, in one room. And then I cried harder because I knew that there were still kids sitting in that room. Its heartbreaking to think that so many children are still waiting for their forever families. I know in our case we would go back in a heart beat and adopt again. That is, if we win the lottery or find a buried treasure somewhere. I don't know what the future holds but listening to the sound of Sierras laughter that day was a moment I won't soon forget and a feeling I never want to forget!!!.
Here are some more trip pics!

Friday, July 3, 2009

A Great Time Was Had By All!!!!

Vacations are the best!!! What a great time to regroup and just spend hours and hours together!!! This was Sierra's first camping trip and she was a trooper. Now , we camp with a travel trailer so when it rains, we still have lots of room!!! Most of the time , even when it rains though, we are outside. Just the way I like it. We were right on the lake and Sierra was very good about minding her boundaries. Of course she was never out of our sights!!! She learned how to cast a fishing pole, swam in a pool and a lake for the first time, went kayaking with me, roasted marshmallows, made S'mores, had her picture taken with Frankenstein, touched her first fish, sat by the campfire and had many more adventures! Here's a few pictures!!

And yes it did rain almost every day but only a short shower!

Playing in the lake
Frankenstein in Lake George. She wanted her picture taken with him. Now all 3 of my boys were petrified of him when they were little!!!

Having fun in the pool!
David caught a record(for him) 32 fish. He was thrilled and Sierra had to touch every one!!!!
Her famous, " I can do it" And she did!!!

My new favorite picture of Sierra and Daddy!!!!
This picture is priceless. I love pictures of them from the back. It really shows the difference in their sizes but also shows the sweetness David has in his heart for Sierra. Look how she is holding on to his hand!!! We were so happy that he was able to join us on this trip!!!!!