Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Sunday Lunch With Grandad

Last Sunday, we went to see Grandad and have lunch. Grandad will soon be 93 years old, and is still in remarkably good health.

Clare and Grandad.

Clare took this picture of mommy and daddy with Grandad.

Jim, Grandad, and Clare.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Big Truck Tacos!

We have been hearing about a new eating establishment in OKC - Big Truck Tacos. The restaurant (located at 530 N.W. 23rd) is open from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. then the Truck ventures out in the evenings to serve tacos at different events/venues around town. We tried "CJ's Verde Pork" taco, "Crispy'cado" taco (FRIED avocado), "Chicken Al Carbon" taco and "Beef Al Carbon" taco. The food was yummy - and a bit pricey. But we'll go again for a little treat.

The "thumbs up" from Clare.

We ate that whole bottle of salsa . . . then some!!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Clare Begins First Grade At Villa Teresa Catholic School

On Monday, August 17, 2009, our sweet daughter began first grade at Villa Teresa Catholic School. She spent most of April and part of May attending Villa Teresa, and went through their summer program, but her formal education began last Monday. Isn't she just precious in her little Catholic school plaid jumper.

Here we go!!

Posing with dad.

Posing with mom.

Sister Veronica -- school principal at Villa Teresa. What a lovely lady.

Clare's classroom and her teacher, Sister Loan Nguyen.

Here she goes out onto the playground. She is now officially a school girl.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Clare Takes On The Adults in Yahtzee . . . Successfully!

Last evening Sandra and Daniela came over for dinner and then a game of Yahtzee. Clare kicked everybody. Actually, it wasn't even close. Jim was dead last as usual. Poor daddy!

Here is one of Clare's Yahtzees.

Clare is an excited winner.

Daniela helped Clare keep score and decide what to do.

Jim is checking to make sure Clare is adding up her score correctly. It didn't take long to add up Jim's score. You could do it with one hand with fingers left over.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Midwest Catholic Family Conference in Wichita

Jim, Brycie, Marina and Clare attended the Midwest Catholic Family Conference in Wichita, Kansas, August 7-9. What a tremendous blessing! We were accompanied by our dear friends, and Clare's Godparents, Kent and Paige Keithly and their children, Joe, Alice, Mary and Harris, from Enid. We heard a fabulous group of speakers. The primary reason we went was to see and hear Immaculee Ilibagiza. She is a survivor of the Rwandan genocide of 1994, where a million Tutsi people were slaughtered by Hutu tribesmen. She and seven other women hid for 91 days in a cramped bathroom of a local pastor's home. With the exception of one brother, who was studying out of the country at the time of the genocide, her entire family was savagely murdered. When most would have sought revenge, Immaculee turned to prayer, praying the Rosary her father had given her. As a result of her constant prayer she was able to forgive those who murdered her family. She is the author of three books. The first, Left to Tell, is her story of her experience. The second, Led By Faith, continues her story of prayer and forgiveness. Her third book, Our Lady of Kibeho, is the story of the appearances of Mother Mary to three school girls in a small Rwandan town. We have read her books and were so anxious to hear her and see her. What a remarkable woman!

We also had the privilege of seeing and hearing Tim Staples, a former Southern Baptist who attended Jimmy Swaggart Bible College. A Catholic friend he met in the Marines challenged Tim to study Catholicism. In an effort prove Catholicism wrong he spent the next six years discovering that they were right. He is a brilliant apologist and we were fortunate to hear him.

Johnnette Benkovic was also a guest speaker. She is known internationally for her Catholic evangelization, and has a weekly television program on EWTN (Eternal Word Television Network). She is an incredibly dynamic speaker.

Tony Melendez was the featured musician. He was a thalidomide baby born without arms. He plays his guitar with his feet. An amazing musician; an amazing study in perseverance. In 1987 he was asked to play for Pope John Paul II in Los Angeles.

Please enjoy our photos of our weekend in Wichita.

Immaculee Ilibagiza, Featured Guest Speaker

Immaculee -- what an inspiration!!

Immaculee -- autographing our copy of her book, Our Lady Of Kibeho.

Tim Staples -- gifted apologist.

Tim Staples -- his gestures are still a bit "Pentecostal."

Johnnette Benkovic -- author and television personality.

Johnnette -- telling her story.

Tony Melendez -- artisan and musician.

Brycie, Marina, Kent and Paige Keithly, visiting between speakers.

Clare and Mary. Two Chinese beauties.

Mama wears Clare's cap.

Alice, Joe, and Clare. Joe was being too cool.

Clare in the midst of the kiddos.

Blessed Mother Teresa has it right.

Guest speaker, Sister Terese Auer, O.P.

Sunday Mass. We love the incense.

Monday, August 17, 2009

End-of-Summer Visit to Texas

August 3-6 Brycie took Marina, Drake, Drew & Clare to Georgetown, Texas, to visit Meme.

On Tuesday, one of Clare's best friends from China, Sarah Chang, came up from Houston with her mom and two sisters and met us at the Main Event for bowling and pizza. Clare and Sarah hugged each other and smiled but didn't interact too much. Who knows what's going on in those little minds of theirs?!?! We will keep them connected, and hopefully they will choose to be lifelong friends. Our wonderful adoption agency, Great Wall China Adoption, is located in Austin, so we went with Sarah's family to visit the fabulous staff who helped us adopt our girls.

On Wednesday, we went to visit Meme's boyfriend Gary who lives on the shores of Lake Travis.

We had a great time!!

Allison, Quinn, Sarah, & Clare

Sarah & Clare

Beautiful Sarah!

Big Brother Drew helping Clare bowl

Sarah & Clare
Sarah, Clare & Marina
"The Moms" - Brycie & Joy
Quinn, Meme & Allison

Sisterly Love!

Brycie, Clare, Steph & LeighAnne

Sarah, Steph, LeighAnne, Allison & Quinn
Steph & Brycie
Drake & Drew chillin' at Gary's

Gary - what a great host!!

Gary & Meme

The kids walking to the lake (which normally comes up much closer to Gary's house!)


Clare Isabella JiaQi