Saturday, 20 April 2013


I love how a positive perspective on life's seeming annoyances can make such a big difference.  Take the weather for instance. I have seen seemingly endless posts about the snow, rain, cold or lack of spring's arrival on facebook lately.  It gives me pause as I realize that kids have this whole perspective in check much more often than their parents.  When the parents are complaining about the rain, the kids are asking to go out and play in the puddles with their rain boots.  Alternately, when the frustration mounts when the snow is still falling in mid April, the kiddies are enjoying yet another opportunity to play in the fresh powder.

I know, because I am speaking from experience.  Personal experience.  Last week we had snow fall for a day and Li Lin was so pumped for us to be able to go out and make castles in the snow with her shovel and pail.  At first I thought, snow in April?  But then I realized what a fantastic opportunity God was giving us to play in the white stuff.  We likely won't see any again 'til December.  What a gift.

The same thing happened towards the end of last week.  It was cool and raining.  While the adults were groaning, Li Lin was thrilled with the chance to put on her rainboots,  and her raincoat, and go jump in the puddles.  She loved it so much that she begged me for an umbrella!  Then she started asking me when the rain was going to come next.  She knows the rain is so fun!

It was a quiet but powerful rebuke to me.  We, as adults complain far too often.  In turn, we pass this on to our kids.  How many adults would have a more positive outlook on rain or snow, if their parents had chosen to see the fun that could be had in humid weather.  After all, who sends the weather?  What right do we have to complain about it?  I speak to myself first.

In the bigger picture, positive perspectives can make life's difficulties so much easier to bear.  (I am in no way suggesting life-altering tragic stuff  should be taken in a light-hearted way.  True grief is not only okay, it is healthy)  Here is an example of a good perspective I came across today:  this afternoon a friend of mine mentioned in passing that she had spent 24 days hospitalized within the past six months.  Wow.  But what was even more shocking was what she said next, "I am really thankful that I was laid up in this way because God knew I needed to slow down."

I was blown away at her "big picture perspective" on things.  Especially since she had picked up an unpleasant hospital acquired infection during one of her admissions.  I hang my head in shame.  I doubt I would have had that perspective had I walked in her shoes, or shall I say, lain on her hospital bed.

In closing, I leave with you a biblical verse that comes to mind when I think of perspectives.  It is not just a good thing to do, it is actually a command.    Phil 4:8 says: Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

I know someone who takes this verse as their life's motto, and I have to honestly say, that this person is probably the most contented person I know.  So, if you are feeling down by the endless winter, or some other little annoyance in your life, try a new perspective.  Or better yet, try thankfulness! 

Monday, 1 April 2013

Four legged friends at Li Lin's fourth birthday!

Last Saturday we celebrated our first birthday with Li Lin.  It was her fourth birthday!  We wanted to make it a memorable one, and I think we accomplished that goal thanks to "Creature Quest."

We opted to have a traveling animal show come to the house and "WOW" the kiddos.  Along with being a big surprise for both Li Lin and the other kids, it was also a big hit.  We were visited by a spotted salamander, a bearded lizard, a rabbit, a turtle, a monkey frog, a chinchilla, a hedgehog, a tarantula, a ball python, and a blue-tongued skink.  Other than the chinchilla, which was new to shows and could only be petted by the kids, all the other animals could be independently held by the children.  Li Lin was even given the 'honour' of feeding a meal worm to a the lizard.
 Gotta love group shots of little ones...I took several and this one was the best.. LOL!
Li Lin entering cloud nine... she held the calm rabbit on her lap unaided and just loved it!

 Arm hugs from a python... pretty cool birthday memory for a four year old!

Seeing the look of pure excitement and wonder on the faces of the children was priceless.  Li Lin was also quite excited by the Strawberry Shortcake cake and the balloons.
  Li Lin was entralled with the chinchilla...she told me recently that this was her favourite animal.

Hudson's face says it all...he thought all the animals were super cool!
 Logan loved the python!
Grandmaman gettting in on the candy sushi action as Rykauna is demonstating.

I would be remiss to mention the big help Rykauna and  Logan were in keeping the kids occupied while the animal presenter was setting up.   Or, at least the presenter should have been setting up.  She called to say she was running behind due to traffic.  Rykauna had found an idea for candy sushi on Pinterest so she taught the kids how to make them.  Next, Logan ran a little "stick the berry on the strawberry patch" game.  It is nice having older children that want to help out running games!:) 

We topped the party off with a child's 'gourmet' dinner of Kraft Dinner and chicken fingers.  I think it has been a couple of years since I made KD.  I was pleasantly surprised they have now added dried cauliflower to the cheese mix. LOL!

One of Li Lin's gifts this birthday was a "panda bear" hamster.  In a nod to her Chinese heritage, Rykauna thought we should get her this colour variation on the garden variety hamster.  So yes, we are very likely the only people in our neighbourhood with a hamster named, Beijng!  Unfortunately she is a jumpy little hamster that is very fearful of being handled.  Our children are wishing their, 'animal whisperer' cousin, Kearta, would come for a visit sooner than the summer.

I cannot end a blog post on Li Lin's first birthday with us without thinking a little about her birth parents.  As we enjoyed a lovely, fun, exciting party, I am quite sure that some woman halfway around the world was tossing and turning in bed thinking about the little daughter she delivered four years ago.  Wondering, as any mother would, where her little girl is and whether she is being shown the love she was unable to share with her.  My thoughts were also turning to her foster grandparents.  I am convinced they too loved her.  I am also quite sure they had a tough day/night on March 23 thinking about the little baby they fed with a syringe for many months and nursed back to health after two surgeries.  I owe a lot to these dear people.  So we pray for them all. Regularly.  And should we forget, Li Lin is quick to remind us.