Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Viva la Independencia!

We celebrated Christopher's first 4th of July as an American with our good friends this weekend.

As you can see, Christopher was not too happy about posing for pictures.

He is going through the stage of ultra-attachment to me -- this is a good thing -- but it makes it very difficult for me to get a good photo of the whole gang.

Good thing the other kids totally adore him.  He gets a lot of love.

Our very good friends brought over lots of yummy food and some fantastic fireworks, not to mention some much needed laughter and stress-reduction.

Its amazing how fast Christopher has become part of the family.  Adding another person changes the entire family dynamic, and sometimes that is really hard.

But, so far, things have only changed for the better.  He has brought out the best in his big sisters and brothers.  (And, I think our good friends seem to like him too!)

Christopher just goes with the flow.  He hung out with us outside as the fireworks were bring set up, and watched the kids play with their glow sticks

and bubbles.

Ellie, by the way, is doing especially well with this transition.  I did not expect this!  She was very comfortable in her role as the baby of the family, and does not like to share.  But, she is doing great.  She is really gentle with Christopher and doesn't seem jealous.  Incredible!

  And -- much to my surprise -- Christopher didn't even flinch when the fireworks went off.  Perhaps he has seen or heard them before since fireworks are used in many Chinese celebrations, too.

 I love this photo of him watching the first one.

 I am feeling really blessed right now.  Such good friends and family, and a house full to the brink of love and laughter.

And, yes, a lot of noise. 

I am reminded how glad I am that I am trying very hard (not always succeeding, but trying still) to remove the unimportant, the distractions, from my life -- the "treasures on earth," as the Bible calls them, and to replace them with what I feel is most important: family, friends, time together, spirituality, education, service.

 Even though it is hard, and at times overwhelming and exhausting (can you infer that Christopher is still not sleeping at night?),

it is so worth it.

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.  But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." - Matthew 6:19-21

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