Christmas long ago

Do you ever think about those Christmas' you had in your youth?

Jane and I were talking about this a few weeks ago. We were discussing that we couldn't remember what we had gotten as kids for Christmas. I know I was never disappointed. I remember going through the JC Penny Christmas catalog and marking toys and other things I always hoped Santa would bring me. I was always a little nervous going to bed Christmas Eve. I wanted to stay up long enough to see Santa, but never could stay up long enough. That guy came to our house very late ! We both remember the time we opened our presents and then had to pretend to be surprised. I think that is why to this day I never ever want to know what is in a gift. Another time we found Christmas presents in a suitcase in the downstairs closet. We didn't tell Mom or Dad about that until we were older, didn't want to ruin our chances of getting Christmas presents in future Christmas'. Mom and Dad laugh about the time they were wrapping gifts on Christmas eve and our Dad (being the funny man he can be at times) said to Mom as he was looking towards the kitchen door "What are you doing up"? Mother just about passed out. She had not been feeling well and then to have Dad play a trick on her. The most memorable Christmas present that I remember was the record player. Mom bought us one record to play on it. The Chipmunk song. I know she was sick to death of listening to it. Hey Mom....you should have bought another! Roller skates was another favorite gift. We loved to roller skate at the Honeywell Center on Saturdays. After gift opening on Christmas morning we always went to Grandma Wagoner's for Christmas dinner. We got to see our cousins and a visit from Santa on a few occasions. It was fun being a kid and growing up. We had a very carefree life. I never worried about anything. We just played as kids and had a good time doing it. There were no gifts like kids get today. We created a lot of the stuff we played with. That was the fun part of it. Today the real meaning of Christmas is always in my heart. Many years ago a little child was born in a manger. Born to carry the sins of mankind, and open a way for all of us to enter into the Kingdom of Heaven. Christ is the center of all that Christmas stands for. He gave us the greatest gift of all... He died for our sins, so each of us that belong to Him will have Eternal life. Take time this Christmas season to reflect on your youth and family. Remember to always keep Christ first and foremost in your celebrations this season.

Its Turkey Time

It is time for that turkey, dressing and the cranberry sauce !

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving get together. Lots of great food, plenty of laughing and most of all family to spend time with. This was Malia's first Thanksgiving with all of us. She did quite well. The little ones are so much fun to watch. Matthew is growing. He has grown a lot of hair. It was fun to watch him turn over. Eli was too funny running around, inside and out. We all have so much to be thankful for.

Matthew is growing !

Great Grandma Wagoner with Malia

Great Grandpa Wagoner with Malia


One Week

we only have a week to go until the big day............turkey day that is. lots of good food, family and fun. thankful thursdays have been missing for a while. lets see.......what am i thankful for? well........there is the fact i am at home in america today. home from the trip with rick, jennifer, spencer and peggy to china to add an adorable little girl to our family. thankful that mother found out what was wrong with her so she can get to feeling better, thankful i have such a good husband.
if i would take time to look at what matters the most in my life, my list always starts with family. be thankful for the difficult times in life, during those times we grow, daily chores because they add a familiarity to make my life easier, the snow that came today-i love the changing of the seasons, friendships-they are truly very precious to me, the laughter of a child, a content mind, a grateful heart, a quest for knowledge, my strengths and weaknesses.

take time to enjoy the small things. blow bubbles, walk the dog, lay on a blanket in the park and watch the sky, watch a funny movie. life's treasures are the small pleasures; give thanks for each small gift you receive.

Psalms 95:2 " Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving"

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone !


Scarlet to White. . . .

I woke up this morning to a covering of snow on the ground. It covered the bushes and what is left of the autumn leaves and flowers. On our way home from China, I sat next to a young lady who, along with her entire family, was moving to Chicago. I couldnt help but think about her when I saw the snow. She had never seen snow before. I dont know if it snowed in Chicago or not, but if it did, then this young lady for the first time in her life witnessed the beauty of white glistening snow.

Snow reminds me of a verse in Isaiah. "Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be white as snow" It is reassuring to know that Jesus is always with us. Though we may be far away from Him, He will draw us near. In this verse the word scarlet is the color of blood. The ultimate sacrifice......Jesus Blood.... for the salvation of us all. White.......the color of purity. Jesus can and will change you if you allow Him into your heart.


A Red Thread to China

"An invisible red thread connects those who are destined to meet, regardless of time, place or circumstance. The thread may stretch or tangle, but never break" _ _ Ancient Chinese Belief

We have our Little China Doll home. "Malia Jo Lu Mahan arrived safely on US soil in Fort Wayne on Saturday November 15th. It was a long journey of patience and perserverance for Rick and Jennifer. The wait and the struggle were all worth it. Malia is a beautiful, energetic, wiggly and much loved little girl. She is developing a personality, bonding well with her parents, and by the looks of things, she is gaining weight. She is 11 months old, soon to celebrate her first birthday with all the fanfare we can muster.

Our journey to the land of 'Malia' began in Nanchang, China. Rick, Jennifer and Spencer were handed a bundle of pure love. She was loved before she ever became into being. God has Blessed her family with such love and devotion for her. Here we see her becoming part of the Mahan Clan on "Gottcha Day". She is a princess. She is a child of The King of Kings.

Their adventure, being a family, will continue for many years to come. She started life in another land

. . . . and will resume again in a land of opportunity.

Malia's first steps on American soil......

Thank you Lord for the protection you provided us as we traveled the many miles to add this precious child of Yours to our family. We give You all the Glory and Praise.


Pearl River Cruise

Malia with statue representing chinese women over the years.
She is the new generation !
This evening we were treated to a 'Grand Finale' of our trip from the guides. We had the pleasure of going on a dinner cruise. I have been on them before, but I must say, this one was by far the best one yet. You can not imagine how beautiful the city is on the Pearl River in Guangzhou. It is breath taking. They do not spare any expense making sure that the rivers edge is as beautiful as it can possibly be. The weather was breathtakingly mild and so pleasurable. I actually found myself not caring if I was able to eat from the buffet or not. I was just wanting to soak up as much of the atmosphere as I could possibly do.
Rick, Jennifer, Malia, Spencer and Elsie our guide.
The 'Dynamic Dou' proving they were innocent . Elsie whom we have grown to love and Spencer D. I was thrilled to get this shot.
Malia's first boat ride
Earlier in the day we had a lot of free time. We grabbed a taxi and headed over to Shaiman Island. It is very quaint and picturesque. We ate lunch at a place called.....drum roll..... Lucy's ! We were able to get American (sorta) food there. We treated ourselves to hamburgers and french fries. They didnt taste quite like ours, but it was close enough. Malia got to eat some french fries for the first time. We met a chinese girl that had on an Indiana Hoosiers t-shirt on. Way too funny being that we were on the other side of the world. I had to take her picture for Tom's sake. She was very pleasant and especially friendly, as they all are. We were able to get a glimpse of the White Swan Hotel. This is normally where they put adoptive parents, but they were booked up and we ended up in the China Hotel. We are actually glad, since it gives us ample opportunity to experience more of the Chinese culture. Our taxi ride back to the hotel was just too funny. If you have 3 vehicles headed for 2 lanes, the first one there gets the spot. Eeeeek! When we turned into our hotel parking lot, Spencer and Peggy ended up over in my lap. We were all laughing our selves silly. The cab driver probably wondered what we found so funny. So much to tell!

Shaiman Island.
Lucy's Bar and Grill

The chinese people love Americans. They stop and smile at Malia knowing she is going to America

Malia's first french fries The White Swan Hotel

Hand carved !


There are bugs in China ? ? ? ? ?

We had a fantastic day yesterday. Yummy breakfast,
lovely museum, and a dinner to remember.

Our hotel is beautiful. It has all the comforts of home. The one thing I appreciate the most is air conditioning. We didn't have any in Nanchang. Ugh..... Cindy without air conditioning. But I survived. Peggy and I brainstormed and came up with a solution just like McGiver!

Below are some photos of the hotel.

Our elevator

Where we ate breakfast Peggy and I loved the blue bowls in this bathroom. The Guangzhou subway system. Notice how clean it is.

Our Subway tokens
Peggy, Spencer and me at the Sun Yet Sun Museum
Darling little girls performing inside the Museum Beauty outside the museum. There is a meaning for everything in China. Yellow is the color worn by the Emperor. If you were caught wearing yellow you would be executed. Blue stands for the sky or heaven. The colors that the people were allowed to wear were red, green and white. Of course they are not so strict today. There is beauty as well as poverty every where you look. Spencer and his optical illusion.

Grammy with Malia.

Ok...this is for Amanda. She does not like Chinese food. This is to show her there is extra protein and a little surprise in every dish.We have been blessed with our addition to our family. She is adjusting nicely and becoming more comfortable around us as each day passes. She is so adorable.

God has answered many prayers. We thank you Almighty God for the blessings you have given us.

May God enrich your life as He has ours.

Many blessings to all.