Monday, March 2, 2015

Year of the Sheep!

Every Chinese New Year, we gather with other local families who have adopted kids from China and have a little Chinese New Year party.  I think it's a great opportunity for the kids to be around other kids who share similar histories.  This year, Taylor babysat Elli at home so we could enjoy the festivities a little bit more (in the past, one of us has pretty much had to be in the hallway with her the entire time-- she doesn't do well with large crowds.)  Parker had a basketball game and Jesi stayed home-- so we just ended up with six kids.  I had forgotten how easy just having six kids can be!  We had a great night eating yummy Chinese food, visiting, crafting, and doing the annual "Dragon Parade."  Happy Chinese New Year!

 Graci always hides when there's a camera around...

 ...but we were able to catch a little glimpse!

Of Boys and Baking

How did our 6'3", basketball star, top of his class, teddy bear of a son add to his "he's-pretty-much-the-perfect-future-husband-for-your-daughter" resume?  He took up baking!  Like, he bakes.  Really.  Our fifteen-year-old son bakes a batch of whole wheat bread and a batch of white rolls every single Sunday.

A few months ago, his young mens group at church was working on a cooking project.  He was assigned to bake bread.  With Christi's help, Taylor did a great job, but he felt like he had wimped out just a little by getting so much assistance from mom.  So the next week, he decided to prove to himself he could bake on his own.  He made a batch of white bread which turned out fantastic.  As we were all ooh-ing and aah-ing at his delectable creation, a plan began to percolate in his mind.  "Hey Mom and Dad.  Do you think if I bake bread on Sundays, I wouldn't have to help clean up after dinner?"  Of course Christi and I pounced on this opportunity immediately.  A tradition was born!

For a couple of months, he baked three large loaves of white bread each week.  This was fantastic.  Then Christi started us on our "Fit in 6" program and she and I could no longer eat white bread.  I asked if he could make whole wheat bread instead.  He was willing to, but was such a fan of the white bread that he decided to make two batches.  So he made wheat bread and a batch of white rolls.  (Both recipes are from Grandma Rose--thanks Mom!)  Since then, he comes home from church and immediately starts on his baking.  Once in awhile he uses some of the white dough to make cinnamon rolls.  We are spoiled!

Last week Christi gave me an expansive shopping list.  (I told her I was going to Walmart and asked if she needed anything.  Maybe not such a wise question?!?)  Some of the items on the list were baking necessities for Taylor.  As I picked up a jar of yeast, the strangest thing happened.  I was suddenly overwhelmed with the short amount of time that many of our kids will still be living under our roof.  I was hit with the realization that in just over three years, our amazing Taylor will graduate high school, and life will never be the same.  Our chipper, ever-smiling, wonderful son will no longer come home from Church on Sundays and bake bread.  Tears sprang to my eyes right there in Walmart.  How will we possibly adjust as our children move out and go on to bigger and better things?

I guess all we can do is enjoy them as much as possible right now.  I sure do love them.  Thanks to all of our children for filling our lives with such priceless experiences every day!



Sophi eating anything is just about the cutest picture ever!  This is cinnamon roll frosting:)

Sophi, with a bit of a 'batting-her-eyelashes' type of feel:  "Can't I take a picture with my big brother?"  Of course you can, Soph!