Monday, August 27, 2012

Love Bucket...

So when our oldest (who turns 21 tomorrow) was a toddler, his strong point was definitely not communication (who am I kidding, it's still not)!  We contributed many a tantrum to him not being able to express himself. One Sunday our pastor used the term "filling my love bucket" when referring to needing attention. That resonated with us, so we began asking Kellen if he needed his "love bucket filled" when he was very upset but could not tell us why, to which we would give him a big hug if he replied "yes."

Flash forward 10+ years, and we find ourselves using that term frequently with Kaia. Sometimes she will get on a naughty roll and be very emotional. When I finally realize what is happening, I remember to ask her if she needs her "love bucket filled," and she usually replies "yes." I'm telling you, the power of a hug when we most need it is amazing! It can turn her mood around like nothing else. Usually I could kick myself for not resorting to it sooner before I got all frustrated.

Last night Kaia was moping around the house after she accidentally made the puppy yelp when playing with her. She got mad at Cocoa, blaming her for the incident. I reminded Kaia of a similar situation earlier in the day, when I caused her to cry when I bumped her with the seat in the car. Even though it was an accident, I asked for forgiveness and showed compassion for her, something she was not willing to do for the puppy. Instead, her tears were because she was embarrassed and she showed no empathy towards Cocoa.  About 1/2 an hour later, she handed me an envelope with this letter inside....
I loved that she wanted to communicate her needs! In words and pictures it reads, "I want someone to fill my love bucket. I want to be this (smiley face) not this (frowny face). Please!"  Isn't that just the sweetest thing ever? Of course, Mike and I filled her love bucket until it was overflowing, and her mood completely turned around.  It made us feel so good that she recognized the situation and could problem solve for herself. We then went on and helped her remedy the situation with the puppy.

Now I'm thinking we could teach this term to heads of state around the world, and we would have world peace! Just imagine the head of Iraq telling the President of the United States that he needed his love bucket filled. I have warm fuzzies now just picturing their embrace!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

What the World Needs Now...

Those of you under 40 have no idea what I'm referencing, but the rest of you are singing along with me right now...."is love, sweet love..."

Was happy to see this article today, especially since learning this morning of a former student's suicide earlier this week. He was not even in high school yet.  Breaks. my. heart. Reading the article certainly helped return the smile back to my face, as I feel that the journalist captured our hearts, and got most everything correct:)  Hoping that it brings more attention to the needs of orphans around the world, but this week's events reminded me of the many needs with kids here too.  As I am gearing up for this school year, I remember moments of overwhelming helplessness last year. God give me strength to love on each child who crosses my path. Going to need an extra dose of strength, but it is worth it. Remember to go out of your way and love on some kids this week.  Make it your prayer and I guarantee you will have opportunities come your way!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Josh n' Mom Summer...

The summer seemed to begin and end with Josh and me activities.  From my perspective that has been a good thing but you might have to ask him his opinion, especially since he is going into his senior year, so this may be one of the last summers he's around.

No, it wasn't anything big like China this time, but today Josh and I spent the day experiencing an Intro Rock Climbing Class together. I originally bought the class back in March through Groupon, for Mike, Josh and I, but it was cancelled last week, which in the big picture was good, so that I had another week to rest my ankle. However, since Mike and the girls are in Oregon, Josh and I were on our own (Mike will take the class next week when he gets back, but Josh couldn't do it then).

I thoroughly enjoyed our bonding time, although I have found my boy is a man of few words these days. Less talk, more getting down to business. Wonder where he gets that from??? After a super hot week around here, it was nice to have cooler temps to climb in. I would say it was perfect climbing weather. We hiked up until we reached Sunset Rock on Mt. Erie, which is where we spent our afternoon.
Look how fresh we look on the way up:)
 The first thing we learned and practiced was how to repel.  Some in the group were afraid of heights, but both Josh and I took to this part quickly. Our second practice we did side by side and someone snapped our photo from below (sorry some of the photos are dark, but my cell phone has no zoom or flash). If you know the Crebbin family you know we can make a competition out of anything. And just so you know, I beat Josh to the bottom, but he says he had further to go to the ground. Excuses!
After everyone made a couple trips down, we put on the climbing shoes and went at it. In the beginning there were ropes in three spots to climb, each with a slightly different degree of difficulty. I did the first two without much problem, but wasn't so sure as I watched some people struggle through the third. However, not being one to back down from a challenge, I went for it and had success.
Josh made it look easy, but trust me, it wasn't.
Normally I don't post so many butt shots, but I had no other way to prove I did it.

After everyone got more practice in, two more ropes and climbs were added, with yet higher degree of difficulty. Again, I wasn't sure I could make this one, but once again I surprised myself. I didn't climb quite as quickly as Spidey Josh, but I did it nonetheless.  After four climbs I was pooped, and hearing my muscles talk me out of another trip up,  I forewent the last one and instead, left it for the teens and twenty-somethings in our class.
On his way up.

Getting ready to repel down.
Tomorrow is my first day back to volleyball, and I'm afraid I am going to have some sore legs and arms.  Maybe I will have more pity on the volleyball players this week, as they are always complaining about being sore the first few days. But then again, maybe I won't! Mike and the girls come home Tuesday, and then he takes the class next Saturday, and then we are all planning to take the Level II course in September, if we can find a time when we can do it all together.  I'm hoping he has some good photos on the camera so that I can post about their trip to Sun River.

Thanks for a memorable summer Josh. I love you!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Double Bluff, Where Have You Been?

I can't believe we have lived here 20 years now, yet this was our first visit to Double Bluff Beach! You see, the beaches on our island are very rocky, except this one sandy gem we spent the afternoon at today. Temperatures soared well over 80° here, a novelty for us. This was by far the most time we have ever spent in the ocean waters, and no one complained of being cold. The kids even spent time digging in the sand without hitting boulders, and Cocoa actually dog paddled in the water.  The proof is in the pictures...

She was completely covered with sand, except for the eyeballs!

I also realized I forgot to post photos from our community Pig Roast on Sunday. There was free food, live music, and kids activities. The whole family was there and it reinforced what a great community we live in!
Kaia climbing the wall (she's the one in the middle)

My two little pigs + one not so little!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Rock Climbing Tease...

I was hoping to have some impressive rock climbing action photos to post from yesterday, but alas, I have none.  It wasn't the ankle that held me back from participating though. In fact, once last week's MRI showed no break, and the doctor told me I could not hurt it anymore than it was, I was ready to start getting up and around. So I decided not to cancel the climbing class I purchased last March for Josh, Mike and I.  I would at least do what I could.

However, when we showed up for the class, no one else was around! So frustrating, as we had coaxed Kellen and his girlfriend to show up early so we could make the 1/2 hr. drive to class. Turns out they forgot to email us to tell us the class was cancelled, so as a consolation, they have offered us the Level II class for free. So I guess it will work out for the better, plus I get another week to let my still sore and swollen ankle rest.  The downside is that since Josh's football begins tomorrow, and volleyball next Monday, there is really no time left where we can all do it together. So Josh and I will take the class this Sunday while Mike and the girls are in Sun River with his mom, and Mike will take the class alone the following weekend. Hopefully we can all do the Level II class together. If all goes well I should have some photos to post next weekend.

For now, here are some photos from Cocoa's first trip to the beach. With the way she loves to get into our pond, I thought she would dive right into the water. However, she was afraid of the waves, but trying to eat all the seaweed on the beach. Next time one of us needs to be prepared to take her further out in the water, and I'm sure there will be no turning back.

Saturday, August 4, 2012


This post is devoted to finding families for some children that are dear to my heart. Please feel free to share this with anyone who may be interested, as the sooner these kids have forever families, the better.

The first child is sweet Isaac. We first met him back in 2010, where I fell in love with his big beautiful eyes. Here he was then (yes, that's HIM in pink!)...
and here he is now, two years later, cute as ever...
He is such a sweet and easy going boy, and would be a wonderful addition to any family. His special need is listed as severe hypospadia.  His file is listed with the Great Wall China Adoption agency if you are interested. They list him as "Toby."

Great Wall also has the files for our Luke, but I am happy to say that his file is  listed as "pending" as a family is currently waiting for approval to proceed with his adoption.

At least two other Chaoyang children are also currently available for adoption. I think they are both on the special focus adoption list, so any agency should have access to them. They are both currently in foster care under the guidance of LIGHT. I am able to inquire of them and get updates, so if anyone is interested, please contact me.

Like Isaac above, we first met QianHong in 2010. She is now four years old, and has been in foster care since shortly after we met her. According to the physical therapist who works with her, QianHong has learned to walk despite the very tight Achilles tendon/heelcords, and has full/normal use of her hands and arms, despite the bowing of the radius in both forearms. She is a fantastic girl, such a friendly personality, and very sensitive, shows emotions readily and is quite resilient.

2012 and still has her beautiful smile...

Min Bo is now 10 years old, almost 11, and in foster care, but we first met him back in 2007. I posted about him back in July. He has been with the same family for over two years now, but is waiting for his forever family. MinBo has mild cerebral palsy, but is very social and interactive and loves to sing, loves music and loves having the Book read to him.  If you are interested, inquiries can be made through LIGHT, so please let me know if you are interested.
I had another child in foster care that I was going to be advocating for, but I have just learned that a family has just received PA for him, so I will post more about that wonderful news when I can. I had inquired more of him so that I could advocate for him here, so had tears in my eyes when I read he is one step closer to his family!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Olympic's Inspiration...

So as I mentioned in my last post, we have been watching a lot of Olympics around our house. Two weeks ago Kaia tried out for and made the Competitive Tumbling Team for Leaps & Bounds Dance and Tumbling. So we have been watching Team USA at the Olympics very closely, and Kaia is quite inspired. She has been doing plenty of practice in the front yard and on the trampoline. She is the youngest on her team, and in just her second practice she learned to do a back handspring. I didn't know why she called me in at the end of practice, but good thing I grabbed my phone, because I captured this proud moment of hers. Her coach told me that they were even better earlier in the practice, as Kaia was tired out by the time she showed me.