Sunday, December 27, 2009

2009 year-end quotations

Well, since I drastically under-ordered our Christmas cards (math is obviously not my strong suit), I thought I'd share part of our letter online! Each year, we write down funny things the kids say, and it's the only part of our Christmas letter anyone ever talks about. :o) So, in place of a real, mailed card, here are a few photos and our year in quotations.

Anya Rashi:
(at the library, seeing a girl dressed in a princess outfit) LOVE that!

(I promise, I tried not to pass along my phobia) I see clowns . . . I scared.

(about a girl with extremely long hair) That girl got BIG hair.

My eye have a sore spot. Can you take out my eye and fix it?

The moon is out in the daytime! Hey Moon, I'm not sleeping anymore!

I love my really pretty Daddy.

God is in my heart? God in mine tummy too?

I'm Super French Fry!

Mama, mine baby sister can hear me in India? HEY, BABY SISTER? YOU COMING?

(after Aaron & Nathan told her to "blow kisses for the camera") No way! People need kisses, not cameras!

(after being told that he'd need to sit still in a nice restaurant)
Just so you know, that's going to be really hard for me. I have loads of energy. I'm like a suitcase packed with live things!

(after the boys prayed for our pet parakeet to get well) Once again, God's work is done, right on schedule!

I'm doing something embarrassing right now. I have a ball of rope in my underwear.

Roll me up in my blanket like a tuxedo -- I mean a burrito!

(playing with Nathan) Okay, the first chicken is named Kyle, the second chicken is named Barry, and the third one is named Roadkill.

Best conversation of the year:
Nathan: Anya Rashi, do you want any hugs and kisses?
Anya Rashi: I want ham.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

She's three!

Anya Rashi is now a three-year-old! Here are a few things we want to remember about you at this stage:

You weigh 30 1/2 pounds and are 38 1/2 inches tall. You wear size threes and fours, and your shoes are size 7 1/2 and 8. You are in the 90th percentile for height, and the 50th for weight -- which explains why we have trouble finding pants that will stay up!

The night our family celebrated with birthday cupcakes and your present (a box of new dress-up clothes), you started sleeping in your toddler bed. You are doing very well in it! There will be more birthday party fun with grandmas and grandpas after Christmas.

You love painting, playing in the snow, PlayDoh, cooking and baking with me, and pretending to be a baby bug, baby giraffe, baby dog, baby bear . . . etc. And Daddy and I must be the corresponding Mama bug, Daddy giraffe, etc. You also have a vast array of "boy" skills, thanks to your older brothers, including some awesome light saber moves.

Nearly every day for the past three weeks, you have grabbed paper and a pen or markers to write a letter to your baby sister.

You speak in long sentences, and have a lot to say! Much of it is crystal clear, and for some things, you've chosen to hold onto your first baby pronunciation. This seems to have sentimental value for you, since you only do this for words like "grandma" (dabya), "Nathan" (th or dll), and "princess" (peena -- that has led to some embarrassing moments in public places!). The other charming speech thing that is very unique is that you say many "f" sounds like "s" -- so "flip flops" becomes "sip sops," etc. I could try to correct it, but I'm enjoying the cuteness too much!

When we come to an automatic door, you are convinced that your magic arm moves are what make it whisk open for us. :o)

Yesterday you told me that you wished I could go back in my mommy's tummy so I could be a baby -- so you could hold me and take care of me. That's about the sweetest thing I've ever heard!

This special day makes us think about two people on the other side of the world. We often wish there were some way to let your birthparents know that you're well and happy, and that we are forever grateful to them. Until we have that opportunity, we will continue to pray for their circumstances and those times when they miss you and wonder how you are.
Happy birthday to our favorite three-year-old in the whole world.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Two years ago . . .

Two years ago today, Peter, my sister Alicia and I met Anya Rashi for the first time! It was 70 degrees in Kolkata, which felt balmy to these Wisconsin natives, who had left below-zero temps to fly off to India. On that day, we showered, made a few nervous phone calls to the baby home, and prepared gifts for the Ayahs. Then we piled into the car with our driver Nayeem and drove off to a changed life.

My most powerful memories of our visit to the baby home are that the ayahs cared very much about the children (especially one very young woman who teared up watching us hold the baby she had cared for over the past 12 months). I was afraid I wouldn't be able to pick out our daughter's face among the other babies . . . but there she was, and I knew her instantly.

Anya Rashi was not entirely happy to meet us, however! I knelt down beside the crib she stood in, and talked softly to her so she could see that we were safe people. Peter and I took turns holding her, and the ayahs gave her a bottle to soothe her. Then, we tearfully thanked the staff who watched over her. I had purposely learned how to say "thank you" in Bengali, but my wits left me, and I completely forgot in the emotion of the moment.

Then we packed ourselves back into the car, and she fell asleep on my chest. What a lovely feeling that was. It's hard to believe that tentative little baby is the noisy, joyful, busy little almost-three year old wandering through my kitchen right now. Happy two years together, Anya Rashi!

Friday, December 4, 2009

The best Christmas gifts

If you remember way back when, I posted that a script I wrote would be produced this Christmas. Well, faster than I can believe it, the show dates have crept up on me. I saw it last night with some friends and family, and was totally astonished. I will see it again on Sunday with the boys, and with my 90-year-old neighbor Ann. (She's been my date for the past 6 years, since Peter is the director and has to be there early.)

I wrote most of the script two years ago while we were waiting for Anya Rashi. I had a four-month window after Nathan started kindergarten, and before we traveled to India -- that's when I wrote the bulk of it. Then, this fall, three experienced writers helped me polish it up into the final draft.

I was really nervous watching the show during the first act -- my hands were like ice, and I was experiencing what can only be called flop sweat. :o) It was really fun to hear how the actors chose to say lines, see how it was staged, and see how the music and lighting made the script three dimensional. We have some very talented singers and actors at our church, and it was very humbling to see how much they've invested.

The other surprise was seeing how the audience reacted. It was really thrilling to hear them laugh, or catch the Biblical references in our modern retelling of the first Christmas. And it was so touching to hear people sniffling when the two main characters are changed because of the poor, pregnant, unmarried couple, and when the Christ child (a real baby of someone in the cast!) and his mother emerge from a homeless person's shack (our modern version of the manger).

The very best thing, though, is knowing that this show is having a spiritual impact. After the show, people are invited to begin a relationship with Christ if that's something they've never done before. That is the entire reason our church does a Christmas musical, and it's the thing that makes me happiest about having this script performed. One of my uncles was at the show last night, and said that he wanted to know Christ as his savior. His decision, and that of others who attended, is the best gift I will receive this year.

Since I don't have photos of the show, I thought I'd post our Christmas card photo -- my other favorite gifts, along with Peter!