Eloise’s 3rd Birthday

Eloise had a great birthday! It started on Friday when JK and I brought in cupcakes to share with her class. 

She had fun handing them out to her classmates. 

A couple days later on her actual birthday she got to go to a water park. And then that night she had some friends over. 

It’s hard to believe our little girl is 3!

Anna’s Birthday

Anna has really jumped in to life here in China. Although she misses her friends in the States dearly, she has very quickly connected with some girls here. When she said she wanted to have a birthday party at an ice-skating rink, we were a bit worried that she wouldn’t have any friends join in. But we were wrong!



We are very proud of Anna. She’s studious, creative and very caring of her siblings. She’s been through a difficult time moving overseas, but has really done well adjusting to it all. We love you, Anna!

Anna Reading “The Daddy Book” Then & Now

My Favorite book of Anna’s is, without a doubt, The Daddy Book, by Todd Park. I’ve been reading this book since Anna was a just a little girl. She still likes to read it from time to time and it thrills my heart when she chooses it. I decided to take a video that I had made previously and add a current reading of the book.

Anna sure has grown up. She’ll be turning 6 in just a couple of days! Alot has changed from the first movie. She’s got a couple of brothers now, she’s in the US, and she’s going to school.

Happy Birthday, A-Mae

Anna Mae is now 4 years old! What an exciting time in all of our lives. Anna is so full of life and happiness. She’s also developing in her memory and emotions. The other day she saved a cookie from school for mommy to eat (a feat in itself to get it home in one piece). Mommy didn’t immediately eat the cookie, and the next day Anna reminded mommy of it by asking, “Did you eat the cookie yet?” When mommy said no, Anna said as she visibly became emotional about it, “But I saved it for you!”

Anna got to have 3 birthday parties!

Her Chinese school threw her a birthday party.

She celebrated alone with mom and dad.

And then we threw her a party with her friends at the house.

Oh, and Jacquelyn made a cake that was simply out of control!

Some Observations about the Party Scene

For JK’s birthday I thought I’d take her out on the town. There was a band in town called Immaculate Machine. (I forgot the name, though, and kept telling people we were going to see the Immaculate Conception.) The band was from Canada. What they were doing in China, I have no idea. Their music was quite good. I always wonder what motivation rock bands have to go out on tour. This band didn’t seem to be in it for the party scene, or money, or hookin’ up. They seemed genuinely interested in the music…which is nice. Overall it was a good night. We had a fun time together.

While talking together, we made the following observations:
-Neither one of us have really experienced the party scene before
-Neither one of us particularly like it
-Both of us think it is quite smoky
-We both enjoyed the music
-We’re usually in bed by the time the headline band hits the stage
-I think we’ll do it again, sometime

Immaculate Machine’s website:

3 years have past

My baby is no longer a baby. A day does not go by with one of us saying “You’re/I’m not a baby any more, you’re/I’m a big girl!” She has changed a lot these past 3 years.

Here are some things she has accomplished since turning 3:

  • Potty Trained (yeah! no more diapers!!)
  • English language: she is able to express herself using words but still struggles with distinguishing when to use his/hers & when speaking about time she always uses yesterday
  • Can be polite when she wants to be: “Excuse me mommy” my favorite is when she spontaneously at the table says “Thank you mommy for making dinner, thanks daddy for making the bread”
  • Can sit through a whole movie (as long as it interests her
  • Writes both a capital and lower case “A”
  • Draws a face
  • Colors in the lines (most of the time)
  • Loves to dance
  • I think she is a little lonely, she gets upset when I’m not in the mood to talk back to her. She looks at me as says “Mommy, talk! Use words.”
  • She is very excited about mommy having a baby – she talks about it everyday, for awhile there I think she really thought she was pregnant to

It has been a great adventure raising a 3 year old, many tears, laughs, exiting times & dull times. I am so thankful for all those times. I look forward to many more years!! I love you Anna May, Happy Birthday!!

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On Having a Terrible Two

I can’t believe that two years ago right now I was having our little girl. It feels like yesterday and yet it feels so long ago. I’m remembering the car ride with our boss GV trying to distract me from the pain by telling stories (but really all he was accomplishing was distracting Jeremy from helping me breath through the contractions). Looking back I laugh realizing how close we were to having Anna right there in the van – boy am I thankful that didn’t happen.

Now we have a beautiful 2 year old daughter who has brought us so much joy and laughter. She is such a delight. But I can really tell that she is two now. It kinda feels like it happened over night but we really do have a 2 year old.

There are many things about a 2 year old that can give me a headache . . . like the tantrums, wanting to do everything by herself, the tantrums, getting into everything, the tantrums, learning how to stall going to bed and trying to get her own way (I think that is another way of saying . . . tantrums).

But there are many good things about having a 2 year old . . . she can tell me stories, she responds when talked to, her attention span has increased so we can do things for a longer period of time, her smiles, her laughs (oh they just melt my heart), being silly, make up talk and songs (I could listen to her for hours) and oh so many more things. She is really more of her own person now than ever before.

Now that she interacts with me more it makes our days a lot more interesting.
Yes having a two year old can be a headache but it is soo worth every pain I have felt just to see that beautiful smile!

~Happy Birthday Anna Mae~

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Jeremy B-day ’07

Annual Birthday-Bowling-Bash!!!

Not only did I (Jeremy) lose to everyone (except the 10 year-old girl), but I had the single worst night in my extensive once-a-year bowling career.

Question: Why do I choose to bowl on my birthday? I suck at it.

Answer: There’s nothing better than lowering my self-esteem as I gain 1 more number to my age, and, yet again, lose the battle with the receding hairline.

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*Note the tall guy mercifully covering my score.

Anna Mae’s 1st Birthday!

March 5, 2007 ~ Anna Mae Delores turned 1!

We celebrated with pumpkin spice cake and a few presents.
Since we did not practice Mom had to help blow out the candle.
Anna’s favorite part of the cake was squeezing it through her fingers.

Anna was entertained with opening her presents.
She got a wooden truck that shapes go into, a instrument puzzle,
shoes (which she had to hold while opening the presents),
and a few other fun toys.
She would really like to thank Grandma & Grandpa Carman & Smith
for sending her presents through the mail.

“Thank You!”

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