Monday, February 29, 2016

Chinese Dance

Ashton has been taking Chinese dance for over a year. A sweet girl, Miss E, decided to give back to the community and offered free Chinese dance classes. Ashton and Miss L signed up. And Miss E has been teaching them since December 2014.

Well, we were just told Saturday during her dance class that now Miss E is starting her competition season and starting her high school graduation ceremony prep. Therefore, she won't be able to continue her dance class. It's really a shame, I know the girls are going to miss her. But Miss E. is on to bigger and better things and we wish her all the best.

But Miss E. didn't want to leave our girls high and dry. She wanted to be sure both Miss L (who is 9 years old) and Ashton can continue to grow in the dance world and have opportunities to learn some Chinese heritage.

So she emailed the chairperson of Indianapolis Chinese Performing Arts, Inc. (ICPAI) a non-profit organization and introduced our girls to be welcomed into their fold. They have a program for 2-15 year olds called the Little Flower dance group. It's been around since 2006, and has about 30 active members. (A big jump from 2!) This group has been performing in various local cultural events.

Unfortunately, Miss L and Ashton won't be performing together anymore. Though the Little Flower dance group consists of 18 little performers, Miss L will be in Zhongban which is the older age group. Ashton will be in XiaoBan along with 5 other little girls.

So dance will be moved from Saturdays to Fridays.Yikes! As it will be right after Ashton's violin practice. Fridays will be long and busy. Also dance will no longer be 1 hour but 2 hours. And now practice is from 7:30-9:30 at night! Past Ashton's bedtime. Much to her joy! But fitting in dinner is going to be hard as we already miss work to get her to violin and she usually eats right after violin practice. We'll have to juggle to see how to work this one out.

However, we have some time because right now the Little Flowers are on winter break and the next class doesn't begin until May 6th.

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Thursday, February 25, 2016

Share

Today, I got an email from International China Concern (ICC) from my reply. It was from the the Founder & CEO's Assistant. She wrote that as David was busy this month, he had asked for her to reply on his behalf.

She continued on saying that he was "deeply touched and encouraged" by what I shared and wondered if I would be open to share my story with the ICC community. They liked someone like myself "who has walked the journey with us in such a personal way."

I talked to my husband about it and then went to Ashton. See, it's not my story to tell. It's hers and hers alone. Though she's too young to fully realize what it means to share or not, We though it should be her call.

I went to her and asked if it was okay to talk about her adoption, Walk the Wall, and China family (those she met in St. Louis) and shared it with others to get more people to help the children in China. And she said yes, no hesitation. Again, she's only 4 years old. No real concept. But it's different sharing it with family and friends or anonymously online. I don't know myself what "sharing" means and where it will go. However, it is her story and I wanted her to feel the ownership of that.

So I wrote back letting them know it isn't my story, but hers and she said we could share. Now we just wait to hear back and see what that all means. I only pray to God that he uses whatever experiences we can share to encourage others to donate to ICC, or even better sponsor a child, or maybe, just maybe open their heart to adopt.
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Tuesday, February 23, 2016

A Note of Thanks

I do my best to be polite, respectful, and thankful for what is around me. That means thank you cards, replying to letters, emails etc. Well, I was bad and just replied back today to an email sent to me back early November!

I remember coming home to an email in my inbox that I thought nothing much of, at first. It seemed I got a email from the Founder and CEO of ICC (International China Concern); it was David Gotts himself. I had assumed it was an open letter to all ICC affiliates. After opening, I found out to my surprise, that he had written a personal note to me!

I was amazed that he'd take his time to email me personally. This wasn't a mass email.

The subject read, "A note of thanks". And it really was a personalized email. I don't know if he does this for everyone, or why that particular day, he sought to email me. But he just wanted to say thank you for the Walk the Wall events I help organize and for adopting one of the ICC children.

I was moved and showed it to my husband right away. Of course, I meant to write back immediately. But I wanted to think what to say, not just write up something on a whim. Well, the holidays hit and I forgot.

Then today, I remembered, for some reason and was called to write him now. So I did. I thanked him for his letter and all the wonderful staff he had that helped shape Ashton's life. I also let him know that the reunion was a wonderful event and that we made friends for life from that event.

I can't recommend enough for you to check out ICC and either give or participate in some way. It's an amazing organization! I just hope that this year's Walk the Wall event is better than the one's in the past. I just want it to keep growing and building. I pray that God guides me to keep this going in the best way possible for his children.
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Saturday, February 20, 2016

Celebrating her Godfather's Birthday!

Ashton was very excited about today as she was going to an all adult birthday party. She would be the only child. And she got a special invite, because she was attending her Godfather's birthday party.


I put her in her pink camo that he got her for Christmas. And I wore ARMY green for the occasion myself. I tried to get Ashton in pigtails. Her hair kept falling out all night.


She was insistent on bringing Tauntaun with her. And while we were heading that way, she got her jam on.


Ashton did really well. She colored lots of original artwork for everyone. And she made sure she was a big help.



She helped rip open every envelope and gave Mr. J his card inside. She also opened all his gifts and showed him what he got. Very big responsibilities.


Shen they sang happy birthday and before cutting the cake Mr. J gave a short speech. He mentioned Ashton, how she was his fortune cookie because she gave him so much fortune and truly has changed his life. It was so sweet.


Mr. J even had a pinata. And he'd pull a string then another and wasn't getting to the candy. Ashton showed him how to get it done.


We were there from 6:30 to 10:30 and we saw Ashton getting tired laying down on the dog bed. Definitely time to go home. We all had a wonderful time and were very happy to attend and I know Ashton loved being a part of the grown-up party.


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Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Toothless the Jedi


My girl - loves foxes, loves dragons, loves Star Wars, loves to move.

My girl - doesn't really play with dolls, doesn't dress up/wear crowns, doesn't sit still.

She may not know her Disney Princesses that well. But she did just watch "Snow White" the first time recently. She still doesn't want to watch "Beauty and the Beast", "Little Mermaid", "Cinderella", "Brave", "Sleeping Beauty". She has seen "Big Hero 6", "Tangled", "Frozen", and "Dumbo". But her favorite Disney Princess is Princess Leia. I told her to pick a cartoon, and surprise, it's not Mulan, but Jasmine. She's seen Aladdin.

Now what she can tell you are all the Star Wars characters, animals, and spaceship names. She loves to be outside or play video games. She does watch Paw Patrol, UmiZoomi, WallyKazam, PJ Masks, and Scooby Doo. She will tell you where you put something down last week that you can't find this week. She will remember what you said to who about what, even if she doesn't understand. And she'll hold you to every little thing you say.


Therefore, it's perfectly normal to see her wear her Toothless Night Fury (dragon) mask and "fight" with her light saber. And I love it! She's amazing!


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Tuesday, February 16, 2016

For Sale

Oh, my goodness. It breaks my heart. But it makes no sense to keep. We are selling my daughter's crib/toddler bed and bedding. So far I've just listed in on Facebook. Not on Craigslist... yet. I'm hoping it will find a loving home.

I searched long and hard for a crib to go with her room. We had the furniture but not the crib. I didn't know if I could find one that would match her beautiful furniture so well. And the furniture had a matching XL twin, no crib. So it was a hunt to find. But we found it in the nick of time. Just a month before we were matched. It's called a Munrie Savannah Lifetime crib - as it turned into a great toddler bed. I loved putting her nursery together. And we finished her bedroom weeks before the match. It came together beautifully. We had NO IDEA, that she was around the corner. It was a miracle of a day, and I thank God for throwing her into my lap.

And I loved her gold decor! So delicate, and made me think of the China flag with the gold and red. It was called Babi Italia, called Luna. Wow, the memories. I carefully planned and searched for it all. I wanted the perfect nursery for my little girl. And planning and putting it together eased some of the wait.



But now it sits disassembled in the guest room, doing no good.

Is it wrong that I don't want it to go to just anyone? That I want it to go to one that will cherish its beauty as much as I did? If she could have stayed in that crib forever... But she has an excellent bed. She is a big girl and will be our only child, so there is no purpose for this amazing piece of furniture.

I pray it finds a wonderful home filled with love as it started out.




Wish I had more photos and video of Ashton using her crib and toddler bed. Funny the things you don't think about. But I won't forget and it served her well.

Funny the things that you tie to memories that you have no need for, but still aches to let them go. I'm sure it will take forever to sell, so I will get over the nostalgia before it goes.

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Sunday, February 14, 2016

Foxy Valentine

This weekend was rough for my husband and me. Ashton was a terror every night. Screaming and not sleeping and not napping during the day either. We can't even give her quiet time in her room, because she freaks out about being alone. We must be with her constantly. We were falling asleep taking cat naps we didn't plan because we were dragging.

Regardless of the hard nights, I guess those are preferred over the rash breakout she had been getting. She hasn't had a breakout for some time. Which is good news. But hate still not knowing.

Late last night after Ashton's bath, she found a new friend on her bed waiting for her. This fox she named Rosco, after the therapy dog that comes to church.



I had Ashton asleep in her bed by 9pm. But by 11pm she was screaming and freaking out. So I let her sleep in our room. She curled up with her Tauntaun and went happily to sleep. You'd think it'd be easy for me to after being so tired, but I'm so off schedule, and wake up so often...

I just pray it'll get easier.
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Friday, February 12, 2016

PJs and Valentines

Today Ashton took her valentine's to class. She picked out the classic Star Wars cards with tattoos. I was surprised she didn't pick the new cast. But she seemed pretty happy.




She had cupcakes for breakfast and lunch I heard! And she got lots of valentines from her friends.


When we got home I went through each valentine with her and who it was from, but she didn't care. All she wanted was the candy. Regardless where the focus was, it seemed that the day was a big hit.
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Sunday, February 7, 2016

Super Bowl Half Time Show

Today we planned on going to another Chinese New Year celebration, but Ashton didn't sleep last night, and we were all so tired, when we got home from church we all crashed together. It was a stay in and sleep kind of day.

We hated missing the festivities, dinner and show. Especially, since her dance teacher was in it. But having a relaxing day, doing nothing, is what we needed.

And the other thing, is during church, Ashton broke out. My husband ran and got her benadryl to help her out. And it went away, but she was very fussy during church, no wonder! So with that as our morning, and no sleep, coming home and just snuggling was great.

We did take time to make out red envelopes with coins for her classmates for Chinese New Year tomorrow. She was very excited to do that. but also confused it a bit with Valentines Day thinking they're both on the same day.

But then there was the Super Bowl. And being from Indianapolis, we're Peyton Manning fans. So we were pro Broncos. We watched together, Ashton kept busy and would ask questions on and off about the game, but for the most part was pretty good trying to watch.

Then the half time show came on. And Ashton loves Coldplay. And she danced during the whole show.



She loved it. We were rather entertained. During parts of it, Khaleesi wanted to join in and the two chased each other. They're so cute together!

I wish I joined in, but I was so comfy and loved being snuggled up on the couch, and loved just watching her "dance". She and I dance together often. We'll play a song or two and just dance together. Usually, I'm holding her up and dancing with her in my arms. It's very tiring, but she loves it. She loves it when I dip her or spin her in circles. But this time it was just her. Love that she loves music and loves to move!
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Saturday, February 6, 2016

Saturday was Jammed Packed

The Children's Museum was celebrating Chinese New Year. So we took off early to get there for any opening ceremonies. And having no neck problems today, I was in high gear to star the day and celebrate.


We were a little disappointed as there was no dancing dragon or show activities until 1:30 PM. And we had movie plans at 12:40 PM. So we decided to just enjoy the museum instead.

So we went up to her favorite, the carousel.


Patience is not her virtue. She's always literally, climbing the walls. And I call her name and she replies, "Patience, I know." And five seconds later jumping about and trying to climb over again.



We noticed the museum opened a new section called Princesses & Pirates. So we decided to check it out.




Steering the ship wasn't all that exciting.


But finding treasure sure was! The little maze was fun, but it was really loud and busy, so Ashton ran through most of it. Missed lots of great photo ops. Maybe next time.

We then found a station where Ashton could cut red envelops. She loved cutting. She couldn't cut well, and made a big mess. But she had fun. Then they gave her a pre-made envelope and paper coins to put in. She was disappointed they didn't give her the scissors.

Then there was a shadow puppet station where you could make a monkey. I remember her making a horse a couple of years ago. I don't remember her making a goat last year. But this year she had lots of fun coloring her monkey. She colored it all by herself, no prompting. And I think she did a great job!






Of course she had to go down the chocolate slide. She hated the waiting, and wanted me to hold her most of the wait. Whoa, at 30 lbs, she's getting harder and harder to hold! Glad she's growing, but remember how easy she was to hold even a year ago.



Ashton was hungry, so we decided to head out. We'd miss all the Chinese celebration, the whole reason we came, but Ashton was really stoked to see her first movie at the movie theater.



Here's a sneak peak of what movie we were going to see together.



She kept running ahead and turning around to make sure we were following. She was a girl on a mission.


We were worried she wouldn't be able to sit still. 2 hours and 15 minutes for a toddler to sit through a movie (not cartoon) was a lot to ask. But we decided to take the risk. She sat in my lap, then her Daddy's lap, but stayed pretty still. She asked a lot of questions, and closed her eyes on the scary parts, but did very well.


Here is a photo of her during the credits, except you can't see the credits. Yes, she brought Luke, her Tauntaun with her.

I asked her what her favorite part of the movie was, expecting to here Rey, or BB8 or some cute scene. She said, "Princess Leia". I was taken aback. Really? Even though she had no fight scenes, or anything, that was her favorite part, seeing Leia.

She crashed on the way home. We then had to get ready to go to the community theater to see what the next season vote was for the shows. My play I wanted to direct didn't make the cut. But I had a 50/50 chance in the end. I almost made it. I miss the theater, and since having Ashton I haven't really gotten to get back into it. Oh, well. 

Everyone was happy to see Ashton and she had fun playing at the theater with the other girls. She had a busy day! I'm just glad we were able to get it all in, even if we missed the dragon dance.

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