Thursday, December 22, 2011

Merry Christmas

We have been enjoying this Christmas season to the fullest. We have been baking cookies, watching our favourite Christmas movies, and the girls made some Christmas cards for their friends. Once again I did not get Christmas cards apologies. Last Sunday all three girls were in the Sunday School play as angels.

I think we all feel like this Christmas is extra special having Anna with us. For the past three years we have looked forward to having a new little one in our family and this year she is finally here. Anna has brought so much joy to our home and God has taught us many things through the experience of adoption.
I am so thankful that He chose to show us who He is through Jesus.
Merry Christmas from the Leemings!

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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Anna's Dedication

We actually had Anna dedicated late in September but I wanted to put this picture up.  It was a great day with friends and family.  It is wonderful to know that we are not raising our children on our own, but we have a great God who helps us each step of the way.  I could not do it on my own.
 When the boys were young I remember asking my cousin, who was raising five children, for some parenting advice.  She thought for a moment and then said, "Just love them".  I knew that was great advice because in truly loving our children there is so much involved.  It means taking the time to enjoy them and affirm them. It means taking the time to correct and discipline them when they need it, which is often.  It means taking the time to sit and talk to them, to get to know them individually.  It is laughing with them, sometimes crying with them and sometimes asking them to forgive us when we need to.  Loving them means so many things that I am still learning about after 15 years of parenting.     
I often pray for each of our children and the longer I parent the more I realize that praying for them is such an important part of my loving them and being their mother.   I will sometimes dedicate them back to God again in my heart, realizing they are His kids and I have been given the wonderful priviledge of loving and raising them for Him.      
Psalm 127 says that children are a reward.  I feel so richly blessed.                                                                                        

Monday, November 14, 2011

John Bentley of Harmony House

When we went to China we had never heard of Harmony Outreach. After we received Anna our guide worked hard for us to find the orphanage where Anna had been living. We were amazed to find out that she had been loved and cared for by Christians for the past year and a half. This was something I had prayed for.
This past weekend we had the privilege of meeting John Bentley, the founder of Harmony House.

We were so blessed to spend time with John and hear him speak several times. He is a man with a great love for people in developing countries. He shared a message about truly dying to self and losing our lives to find the abundant life that Jesus talked about.
My own personal life and our family life is more abundant than ever since adopting our sweet Anna. God's love for us, His children, truly amazes me.

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Thursday, November 3, 2011

Carving Pumpkins and Dressing Up

We all enjoyed some Halloween fun this year.


Mark and I enjoyed seeing them go from house to house. Still puts a smile on our faces.

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Monday, October 10, 2011

Apple Picking

We had a fun time with the girls going to Campbell's Orchard and picking apples.

Of course we came home and made apple pie.

Had such a great time with our lovely girls!

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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Sisters and Friends

Lydia was a bit unsure of things when we first came home from China but she has done well. She has taken on the role of big sister and really enjoys playing with Anna and helping with her. They have become great friends .

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Thursday, September 8, 2011

I Love My Job

We enjoyed the Shannonville World's Fair in August. The kids entered some crafts and baking and won some prize money. I have to boast just a little about Esther's pencil drawing entry. She entered it in the youth category and won first prize.

At first she wasn't sure but by the third time around she was laughing and waving at us.

Anna is saying many English words now which probably only we would understand for now. She loves all the kids but right now she seems quite taken with Jacob or "Jada" as she calls him. And he is quite happy about this. The kids all think she is the cutest child ever.

I love being Mom to this awesome bunch. This is my career. I also love going to church together as a family. They actually are happy about going to church, but not so happy about getting a picture taken.


We started homeschooling again this week and things have gone well so far. A bit of phonics, a bit of multiplication review, some exponential notation, and some Algebra review. I am going to be a pretty smart lady one day.

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Thursday, August 25, 2011

Our wonderful Anna!

Yes, it has been too long since we have posted an update. We have mentioned it many times but each day gets filled with weeding, grass cutting, keeping the girls busy, driving Jacob to work or get togethers with friends and of course, changing diapers. The past two weeks I have been busy planning the school year ahead of us.
We have been enjoying our wonderful little Anna so much. We are amazed at how well she has made the transition into our home and family. Josiah says he can't imagine life without her now and that is how we all feel. She is such a delight. She enjoys food very much. When she wants to eat she comes into the kitchen pointing her finger into her mouth. We are using a bit of sign language with her but she came up with that on her own.

Anna was in heaven in the raspberry patch!

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Monday, July 11, 2011

A Strange Thing Happened...

A strange thing happened today when looking for a splash pool at various department stores. I had to look high and low for an employee to help me. It is in sharp contrast to the past couple of weeks we spent in China. When you go into a store in China there is literally one or more employees for every isle! Very strange. I don't know how the stores make any money with so many employees. And they often just stand there doing nothing. At my work when there is nothing to do you at least try to look like you are doing something! :)

Anna has adapted unbelievably well with our family. The other kids love her.

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Saturday, July 9, 2011


Finally home. Anna seems to have adapted well. The two boys have even commented about it. I suppose with 4 other kids it feels like her orphanage back in China! May try to take her to church tomorrow.

Couldn't resist taking a picture of this early this morning.

I missed this little girl so much!!!

The effects of jet lag!

She was awake when I started to change her diaper but sound asleep before I finished!

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Friday, July 8, 2011


Landed back in Canada tonight. Canada, we love you! We had a great time in China, a trip of a lifetime, but it sure is fantastic to be back. Currently we are at some friends house in Uxbridge for the night.
It's been great to actually view our blog as we couldn't in China because of government restrictions. Its also been good to read people's comments for the first time. Hope you didn't think we were being stuck up by not responding.
Very tired as I was unable to sleep on the plane so I've been up for about 30 hrs. Anna of course did sleep on the plane so she's wired and ready to go! This is daytime for her!
Will write more tomorrow.

Just missing our eldest who is working on his Grandfathers farm.

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Anna's Orphanage

Yesterday we went to Anna's orphanage and it was one of the best things we've done. Got lots of photos and video in which we will be able to show Anna when she is older.
The orphanage is American run and is dedicated to orphans on the lowest rung of the ladder - those with special needs. The good news is that the vast majority get adopted!

The Chinese nannies who raised Anna for a year and half were overjoyed to see her again.

Esther standing beside Anna's former crib.

Esther was moved by the whole experience. She's here with a boy with a cleft lip.

Few things are more depressing then leaving an orphanage with only one child. But it was still a good day and we're glad we went. We are so thankful for this little girl!

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Thursday, July 7, 2011

Going Home!!!!!!!

Yesterday we went to Anna's orphanage and it was a great experience. Last night and this morning I tried to upload photo's to this blog but failed. I'll do it when we get back to Canada. Speaking of Canada we are getting on a plane in eight hours and heading for home! It has been a great experience here but we are dying to get home and see our other kids. We miss them so much!!!!!
Thanks to all who have been following this blog but please don't stop as I'll be doing regular updates for a while. Special thanks to the Vanberkels, Batelaans, Powlings and Vicki's father who have been taking care of our other kids while we've been gone! And oh yes, Dan who has been house sitting for us.



Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Fractured Arm!

After talking with an Australian couple here at the hotel who happen to both be doctors Vicki took Esther to a clinic. Xray's were taken and yes, she fractured her arm the other night.

I think when we get back home we will need to buy Anna a soother? What a little character. My other kids back home are going to love her.

Tomorrow we're going to visit the orphanage that Anna was at before we got her. Previously we were told she was raised by a foster family in Urumqi but........
Actually, we were given their website a few hours ago so check it out. You can even see Anna in one of the pictures. Her name at the orphanage was Wanda.

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Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Grateful for the blessings

Mark has done most of the posts so I will take a turn now.
For the first week we were here I couldn't believe we were really in China. I have enjoyed our time here very much. Being in a different culture and meeting people from not only China but Iran, Australia, Holland and Germany has been wonderful. I am so used to being stuck in Melrose.
Of course, best of all is getting to know Anna. She is very smart and funny. Also full of energy. A precious little girl. My time here has been very emotional, at times stressful and I am missing our other 3 kids so much. I can't wait to see them and introduce them to Anna. It will be wonderful to have our family all together. I am very thankful for our kids, each one is such a blessing. I could not feel richer if I was handed a million dollars.
I am so very blessed!

P. S This is Mark. I agree with Vicki. I'm missing our other kids although a million dollars would be nice. :)

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Great Wall!

A life long dream of mine has been fulfilled! The Great Wall of China!

We went to a section that wasn't very "touristy" which was great. No crowds and few people trying to sell you junk.

Esther was a celebrity once again today!

Finished the day off at the local Starbucks which has now reopened! A great day!

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Monday, July 4, 2011

Anna's Birthday

Forgive me if this is a repeat. The Internet connection is bad and I don't know if last nights post went through. Celebrated Anna's second birthday yesterday.

This kid loves to eat!

Went for a walk downtown last night and it was 34 degrees Celsius! Stopped at McDonalds and got some ice cream.

We are heading to the Great Wall in a few hours. Esther fell pretty hard last night on her arm and cried and screamed for the longest time but is just sore today. Gave both Vicki and I quite fright.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Forbidden City

Today we went to the famous Forbidden City. Very hot and the crowds were unbelievable! Speaking of famous we know what a celebrity feels like. People stopped us and wanted their picture taken with us! Esther with her long blonde hair is the main reason. Today wasn't the first time either and once you let one person everyone else wants a photo! A very strange experience! Esther is asking to have her hair cut short and dyed.

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Okay, not the best picture but the best I could do with her beside me. Vicki and Esther went swimming and I took Anna for a latta at McDonalds. The local Starbucks is closed for renovations!!!! Arggg!
 So happy we have this little girl and with Christ's help we'll raise her and give her all that we can.

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Saturday, July 2, 2011

Flight From Beijing to Urumqi

Had a window seat to Urumqi. Urumqi is an "oasis" in a vast desert. I've never seen a desert before so it was pretty cool to look out the plane window and see sand dunes. (I did fly over the Sahara 20 years ago but it was at night!)

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