Christmas Eve morning we found Miaya lining up Mommy's computer bag, a box of diapers, and Daddy's lunch box.
After some final adjustments, she declared with an air of satisfaction, "Choo Choo Train!"
And, took her seat to start her journey of the imaginatiuon.
Wow, does this girl love trains or what! That's a pretty good bit of creativity and imagination. And, there was NO coaching from the sidelines. In fact she built her train twice, and the second time we saw her starting construction and grabbed the camera.
It's Toby, Kim's niece's cat who will be staying with us for a while as her new apartment building does not allow pets. So, we will have a guest till she finishes school, and/or finds a place that allows pets. Nike is not too happy about the situation as he as been an "only"cat since we lost Diva shortly after returning from China a year and a half ago.
Toby is settling in pretty well, behaving well, and gets along wonderful with Miaya. They seem to chase each other around the house, and Miaya will lay on the floor and pet him. It looks like they are on the way to becoming good friends Sunday night Miaya was quite upset that Toby was heading down the basement steps, I think she thought Toby was supposed to stay with her. Of course it was bedtime for Miaya, so that probably made a difference too.
The protests from Nike are getting less, so far it's only been yelling at Toby, nothing physical, and probably in a few more days Nike will get used to the idea.
Well, I hate to think if it as luck, but a few days ago, we received an update from Great Wall China Adoptions, that they had received a batch of referrals from the CCAA. The cutoff date for this group of referrals was March 31, 2006. Our login date was January 12, 2006, and we received our referral on May 2, 2008. About 10 weeks have been crossed off the referral calendar in the 19 months since then. A pace that seems even more glacial than when we were waiting. This has no affect on us as we are out of that game, but we still feel for those holding their breath and hoping things will go faster.
Supposedly things should go faster after May 1, 2006 is crossed off, as the qualification rules changed then, and fewer families were eligible to apply to adopt from China. But the month of April '06 could be a long one to get through as so many people were hurrying to get dossiers in before the rules change took effect.
We waited nearly 2 1/2 years to get our referral, and to think that some people who were logged in a few weeks behind us have waited nearly FOUR years sure gives us reason to feel lucky, and blessed that we stood in line where we did. And to look at Miaya everyday gives us reason to feel doubly blessed to have been entrusted with such a wonderful little girl who brings light and joy to us as we watch her grow and learn.
Alright, it's a pretty young century, but still it's been many years since Iowa has had such a widespread storm. The whole state was involved and the statewide average was around 10 inches. Locally we had 14 to 16 inches. Four foot drifts were not uncommon in the area, as the winds on Wednesday blew 30 mph plus, with gusts near 50 mph.
We had a little outside time on Tuesday as the snowfall was beginning.
Heading down the hill to the mailbox.
Measuring the snow late Tuesday afternoon.
Yep, EIGHT inches so far! And, it's still got a long time to go.
Sort of looks like the Karst stone formations in Guangxi Province. Well, a little anyway.
In September,we went to a Simpson College football game in Indianola, Iowa to see Kim's nephew Alex play. Miaya wore her Jr. cheerleader outfit and had a great time cheering. It was a great afternoon, mild temperatures, and best of all, Simpson pulled out a narrow victory after a big early lead.
Miaya with cousins Ciara and Alex after the game.
After the game, it was on to West Des Moines for the Chinese Association's Mid Autumn Festival.
Where Miaya painted a lantern for the festival.
Then enjoyed some tasty chinese food.
And finished our time there watching the hot air balloons prepare for tethered rides, and a night glow.
We met a couple other China families and had a nice time.