Sunday, March 30, 2008


Isn't this proof? They didn't get it from me...but thank goodness they are more fun than I am!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Carrie's Talent

Carrie has a real talent at beaded jewelry. If anyone likes anything let me know...I'm sure she'd make you some for real cheap!


Wednesday, March 19, 2008

First Time Doing Easter Eggs

Tonight we did the annual Easter Egg dying. Last year, I think I got too busy and we didn't end up doing it, so even Christy didn't get to do it. So, both of the girls got to do it tonight for the first time and enjoyed the fun. It must be fun until you are 14 because Carrie and Mark did it also! Gracie knew something was going on with the flyer for the Primary Easter Egg hunt. I went to the Internet and put in "Easter Egg Hunt Pictures" and got pictures to show her so she knew what to expect. We bought the plastic eggs and the girls helped fill them and they went to the hunt last Saturday.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Interior Decorating

The other day I gave Christy and Gracie some construction paper. They proceded to make paper chains with the help of scissors and tape. It kept them busy for a while, too. The finished product added to our interior decoration. I wouldn't recommend this for 4 year olds, but 9 and 10 year olds can have a fun time!

Later when we took pictures of their handiwork. Mark was not a participant of the project, but he did have a funny face in the picture!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

You Are Not as Lucky as I Am, I Have a 17-Year Old

The other day, my son Luke, got a message from the Foreign Exchange Representative that we met a couple weeks ago when we drove to Spokane for his Semi-Finalist interview for a Congress-Bundestag Scholarship. This scholarship is given to over 200 students in the US each year for the purpose of being a Foreign Exchange student in Germany for the following school year. He tried to call the rep back, but couldn't get through. So, today, I asked him if he had called the rep back. Luke said he needed to do that.

This evening the rep called and Luke is at work. He was telling me about something Luke needed to do for his application. I asked when they would be making the decision. Turns out Luke actually already HAD talked to him and he was chosen to receive one of the scholarships. I guess I'm the last to find out! Carrie and Darrell already knew.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

"CUTE?" Older Children

Older children aren't as "cute" as little children. They don't do as many "cute" things. In fact, though it is really bad to admit, you don't take as many pictures of them as you do of your "cute" little kids. Then there is the problem of when you WANT to take a picture and you actually have the camera, they often don't WANT you to take them. For example, the other day, Carrie was working on one of her projects for young women, sanding a piece of wood for a shelf. I wanted to take a picture. She didn't want me to. She said she'd go get dressed (she was in PJ pants) if I wanted to take one. I didn't want one when she got all dressed. So, I didn't get one.

Today I am posting 2 pictures of my older children. One is of my two oldest "VERY CUTE" daughters, together at Christmastime. The other is DJ on Christmas with our bird, Spidey. Spidey is very pretty, but loud and likes to bite. Spidey does really like DJ a lot. This bird loves to be out of the cage and following you around.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Our Other Chinese "Daughters"

Just before we went to China, Carrie, Christy, Mark and I drove down to Provo and saw our last year's Foreign Exchange Student, Li Jia Lin (Mary). She was with us for half of the school year last year. She had been in another family for the first half of the year, and then she came to our family. When she came back in the fall, I drove her down to BYU and helped her get moved in to Helaman Halls. She has had a great time and a lot of support there. It was really great to see her. We are currently in the process of getting another foreign exchange student from China for the next school year.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Our Sledding Day

When you adopt a new child, one thing that is different from when you have a newborn is that you can almost immediately take the child to do fun new things. A few weeks ago, we decided to take a day trip to go sledding. We had received saucers and toboggans for Christmas. We found a spot where the kids could go down a hill. Carrie had a great time. She loves to do "fun" stuff like this. (She is getting so grown-up. I took her to the doctor the other day and she is 5'6" and the doctor thinks she will still grow another inch or 2. She certainly got this from the Damstedt side of the family. She also has her grandma Damstedt's big feet.) Actually, Gracie didn't do much sledding. Not sure if it was too scary or what....we don't speak the same language (we are getting there). We brought our stove and cooked Cup'o'noodles and hot chocolate.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Friends Forever

One thing I am REALLY glad about is that Christy and Gracie are such good friends. Can you imagine how life would be around here if they didn't like each other or couldn't get along. I think it has been so good for Christy to have this Chinese sister, so she is not the only one. It has also been so fun for her to have someone here to play with. They share a room and like to do things together. This is such a blessing. What makes it even better is that not only are they friends, but they are SISTERS, too!

Saturday, March 8, 2008

My Great Wall of China

Now that I am officially a blogger, like my sister Lisa, I can also have that I.B.V. that she recently talked about on HER blog..."inner blog voice" talking to you when you vacuum so you can figure out what to say when you sit down to write.

When we did our re-model on our house 4 years ago, I was left with a stair area with big walls and no ideas of something to hang there. But, an idea came to me sometime between deciding to adopt 2 daughters from China and coming home from China the first time....what about a China theme?

On my first trip I brought home a large fan, that had to be carried on every time we changed planes...but it's pretty cool. This past trip to China, I added to my Great Wall of China. In fact, I have too much to put there and have to put some of it in another room. I love being able to see things like fans, maps of China and other cool Chinese stuff when I go up and down the basement stairs.

Of course, the greatest Treasures I brought home from China can't be hung on the wall, though I' m sure there will be times when I'll want to....

Friday, March 7, 2008

The Love of His Life

Fortunately, I looked better when I was 19 when he first saw me, and when I was 20 when he first took me on a date, and when I was 21 and we got married. I even looked better after having 6 kids I think! But he still loves me! We will celebrate our 24th wedding anniversary in a little over a month.

He has been such a good husband and has been such an influence for good in my life. I love him, too.

Why Didn't I Take Anti-Depressants Sooner...and other life altering questions....

This is the age old some of you may have asked yourselves in the past (or may need to in the future.) I, for one, am thankful for them! How else would I have done the following:

1. Remained the mother of 6 biological many of us would have really survived?

2. Somehow talked my husband into buying me 61 handbells that reside upstairs and bring many ding-a-lings like myself happiness every week?

3. Had the courage to suggest adopting 2 Chinese daughters, let alone do it?

4. Found many interests in my life, ranging from genealogy, and playing the cello to volunteering in an awesome charity (Love Without Boundaries) that helps orphan children in China?

5. Felt I have a productive, fulfilling life?

I have had two periods of time where I kept a blog. I enjoy reading other people's blogs. So, I have decided to start my own blog, hoping this will also serve as a journal and a scrapbook, thereby saving myself from 3 separate jobs!

I have kept many records during my life...starting with a 5 year diary began when I was 10 or 11 years old. When that was full, I filled volumes of journals, both in hardback journals and in spiral notebooks. In the past several..OK...many years, I have not kept very detailed records of my life. I figure at this point, it is better than nothing! Sure it is more public, too, but life is for sharing, right?

I kept a blog on my two adoption trips to China, one in 2006 and one about a month or so ago, in 2008. As I begin this Blog, I am 45 years old, married with 6 biological children ages 11-23 and 2 adopted Chinese daughters ages 9 and 10.

Yes, life truly throws many interesting questions at us. It is our job to answer these questions. Maybe I will just do that here, in some small measure.