Look who is completely mobile on her little legs! For the past couple of weeks, Nora has been gaining her momentum on her feet. She is now fully and primarily walking. When she does crawl she is super quick and loud, when she walks she is light on her feet and quiet. There have been many times where I have turned around and been startled to see Little Miss just standing there with her little grin (and yes, her tongue hanging out - her tongue now always seems to be out!).
Since Nora's surgery at the beginning of the year we have spent a lot of time at home, really only going out as a family to church. While we have had commitments, we have found ourselves splitting up to go to basketball games, etc. We all had been going a little stir crazy so when we got an invite to go spend part of the weekend in northern Wisconsin with sweet friends, I would be exaggerating if I didn't say that we were all a little giddy!
My sweet friend had a "significant" birthday this weekend (Girl, you handled the weekend and being the center of attention with such grace!) so her husband coordinated getting a few families together at a hotel. It was definitely a little winter retreat for us and our first getaway as family of 6! So fun! Lots of pool time for the kids and lots of reminiscing and laughs for all of us! So thankful for these friendships and how God so purposefully brought our families together. Who knew years ago how many commonalities we would all have? It was just such a treat to be away and just "be" with our sweet friends (they now live about 6 hours away so we only hang out a few times a year ... despite the distance as soon as we are together it feels like we haven't been apart).
Happy Birthday, Sweet Friend! Thank you for the privilege of being able to celebrate with you! Love you guys!
And, because I cannot post without photos ... wish I would have gotten more pictures, but here are just a few of pool time. Apparently I was too busy chatting, indulging, disciplining, chasing, laughing, etc. to get more photos. A sign of a wonderful weekend!
Nice smile, Lydia!
And, back to the silly faces!
Thanks for standing still long enough for me to get a photo, Boys!
Awe, aren't you so sweet in your swim suit! First time ever!
Lydia, do you never tire of jumping into Daddy's arms?
(Warning, this post is full of lots of photos of two sweet little girls ...) It has been fun to watch the relationship between these two little girls change over the past three plus months.
There are definitely good days, days where Lydia adores her little sister.
And, there are challenging days, days where Lydia tests her little sister (and us!). I suspect (and pray) that this is pretty typical for two little girls who are precisely 18 months and 20 days apart in age (and likely pretty typical of many sibling relationships).
We have never had two children this close in age so there are some dynamics of this relationship which are new for us (it is definitely worth noting here that Lydia and Owen would have been 18 months and 18 days apart ... coincidence? Nah, just a God-thing and a reminder of His sweet love for us).
Nora is truly intrigued by her big sister and watches her so intently.
Often, Lydia will refer to Nora as "Sister" rather than by name. Warms my heart! S
So thankful for the bond that is growing between these two.
Often when I ask to take their photo together Lydia will embrace Nora or hold her hand. Pure sweetness.
So fun to look back at these last few months and think about how these sisters will continue to grow up together. Every day I pray that they have a special bond and friendship that strengthens daily.
It is important to us that to we preserve Nora's culture as we raise her here as a Chinese-American. One of the most festive and rich cultural holidays is the Chinese (or Lunar) New Year, a fifteen day celebration in China. Today begins the year of the snake so this weekend we tried to do a few things to celebrate the holiday. As Nora gets older, we will try to incorporate more tradition into this holiday.
2013 - Year of the Snake
Jack is a Snake!!!
The children all wore red today for "good luck".
We gave chocolate coins to friends and family in red envelopes. It is traditional for parents and grandparents to give children money in red envelopes on the eve of the New Year. The boys will also be taking candy filled "firecrackers" to their friends at school tomorrow.
Okay, I had really good intentions of putting together a traditional Chinese meal, but that didn't happen. What did happen was dipping fortune cookies (totally American culture and not traditional Chinese) in sparkly red sprinkles (added a little orange extract as there is a small orange-type citrus fruit tree that is very customary decoration during the New Year).
We made Chinese lanterns (and will try to actually release a lantern sometime this week or next weekend).
We have been reading some fun books about the New Year.
And, the reason we celebrate - our little Chinese firecracker!
Longing to serve with joy and desiring to lead, with my amazing husband, our precious children to have hearts that beat for our Lord. Rejoicing in the love and grace of our Father and the endless blessings He has given us.