Friday, December 29, 2006

Christmas Trip

We flew to Boise on Christmas day and divided our time between Burley and Salt Lake. I really should have taken more pictures! Maya met 17 of her cousins, grandmas, grandpas, and lots of aunts and uncles, and I hardly even pulled out the camera! I guess we were too busy having fun! Here is Abby with her cousin Jessica.

Maya and her cousin, Alexis.

Maya with Aunt Anne and my mom's cat.

With cousin Heather

After a nap with Grandpa Beck.

Temple Day

December 28, 2006 was such a special day for our family. Our sweet little China blessing, Maya Qiuju, was sealed to us in the Salt Lake Temple. Fourteen years ago, Lyle and I were married in the Salt Lake Temple, so we had quite a feeling of dejavu when we walked up to the desk in the lobby and they said, "Oh, you must be here for the Beck/Kelley sealing." It seemed like that had already taken place!

We took the kids to the "Youth Center" in the temple and then we went to get ready. The dejavu continued as I was taken to the Bride's Room and Lyle went with the grooms. Apparently there were 58 weddings taking place that day! I got lots of sweet smiles from the brides who I'm sure were probably thinking, "Oh, I'm so glad she finally found love at her age!" The workers at the temple were so sweet and excitedly showed me the beautiful white Asian temple dress that they were thrilled was my size. If I had 100 dresses to choose from, that's the exact one I would have picked.

Our temple sealer briefly talked to us and then he pointed down the hall to one of the sweetest sights I have ever seen--our three older kids all in white looking so beautiful (or handsome as the case may be!). We all went into the sealing room (#10) and saw our guests and listened to the sealer as he spoke to us about the sealing ordinance. I thought for sure that I'd hear Maya before I saw her. She doesn't always immediately warm-up to strangers. Much to my surprise, she was totally quiet and came in being pushed in a little white stroller. She smiled at everyone and came to sit with me and Lyle. She stayed relatively happy but was loudly expressing her curiousity during the sealing. Afterward, they put her back in the stroller to take her and her siblings back to the Youth Center. Now that she was with us, she did NOT want to leave us and go back in the stroller! I think most temple weddings don't have a screaming baby in the background, but the couples at the Salt Lake Temple that afternoon got quite an earfull!

We got our shoes on and went outside for a few pictures. It was COLD, so we didn't stay outside for long. One man poked his head outside of the temple door and yelled to Abby, "Love the white dress and red shoes!" We got lots of misty-eyed congratulations from total strangers both inside and outside the temple. After, we got changed and walked the few blocks over to the family dinner at the Olive Garden. Poor Abby, who'd complained of an upset tummy numerous times at the temple, convinced us of her suffering by throwing up all over our pile of coats on the floor of the restaurant. I'm thankful she didn't do it in the temple!

Despite Abby's sickness, it was a wonderful and memorable (I guess made even more memorable by Abby!) day. We feel so blessed to know that Maya is part of our family for all eternity.

With cousin Syd at the Gibson's house.

Maya was really quite fond of the Gibson's dog, Woody. I think Woody, though, was a tad frustrated at Maya's lack of fetching knowledge. She didn't throw the ball, she insisted on inserting the ball in Woody's mouth. Thankfully Woody was reasonably patient.

I was a little worried that Maya would get all dirty before we left, but she was having a blast playing with the dog and amazingly stayed totally clean!

Maya and her dad.

Adam, Madeline, Eileen, Maya, Lyle, and Abby before heading to the temple.

Little girl. Big temple.

The Beck kids

We love you little Maya Qiu Ju!

Monday, December 25, 2006

Christmas 2006

Being silly on Christmas Eve.

Beck kids before church on Christmas Eve.

Christmas Eve jammies.

The traditional pyramid. Four really isn't ideal. We may need to adopt again just to get 5--a better pyramid number!

Lyle just pointed out that we really need 6 for a truly great pyramid. Maybe we'll just invite neighbors!

Despite all my work to find an Asian baby doll (named Yang and SO cute!), Maya's favorite present was the ball from Adam. Maya's Aunt Bojana would be proud!

Thursday, December 21, 2006


I just had to post this picture of the Blake physique.

Maya trying on Sophie's hat.

I really need to get the video camera out more often. Maya has started to dance, and this girl has some moves! Mostly she just does deep knee bends, but here she's demonstrating a complex spin with a kick. Our favorite is when she'll just spontaneously burst into Riverdance mode with a brief, amazingly fast tap routine.

Maya feeding Blake.

It was pouring rain today, so we let the kids play at the mall. Maya had a great time running around. She was wearing her Chinese "squeaky shoes" which always get lots of attention and comments. Here, Adam was risking looking dorky escorting his squeaky sister through the mall.

Maya loved plastering her face against the shop windows. She was fascinated by this moving shelf.

I'm not sure if Maya knows there's candy in these machines, but she was sure interested in checking every single one of them out. Darn, no left-behind tidbits!

Blake found what he wanted--a Wiggles poster! While we were at the mall, Cari called Tony and found out their power had just come on. They left tonight with us hoping for another Duvall power outage in the future.

Maya's favorite thing was looking at the pretty decorations in the mall. She kept pointing to the ornaments and saying, "ball", although it comes out more like, "bao". She REALLY likes "baos" and likes to roll them back and forth, kick them, and carry them around the house. Adam thinks having a third sister might be o.k. after all.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Take a Seat!

Blake and Maya have both staked claim on the booster seat and for whatever reason, the bottom stair of the staircase. Here is the booster battle as it unfolded this evening....

Maya looks innocent. Blake looks suspicious.

Maya makes her move while Blake shakes his head in disbelief. "You're so not getting this seat!"

Maya says, "Gee, hope my foot isn't distracting you from your dinner or anything."

Blake chuckles at his dinner entertainment while Maya says, "Really, don't mind me at all."

Blake says, "O.K., you've had your fun. Now this is getting ridiculous."

"Hello, Mom! Are you SEEING THIS?"

Even easy-going guys have a breaking point. Blake snaps and hair-pulling ensues.

Maya's chance comes when Cari unstraps Blake. After a brief scuffle, Maya claims her throne.

Maya knows her queenship is tenuous (the red head has some feist to him) and contemplates the need for a strap.

Maya looks pretty smug. "Yep, this is where I belong. Grapes and a fan please."

Monday, December 18, 2006

December 18

Many of you may have heard about the terrible wind storm that came through the Northwest on Thursday. Well, we lost power for about 12 hours, but poor Cari and Tony are still without power 4 days later! Cari and the kids came yesterday afternoon so that they could thaw out, get some laundry done and eat something besides Mac N' Cheese. We've loved having them here. The kids enjoyed running in the front yard today despite the chilly temperature.

Maya was feeling pretty spunky and did the cutest run down the driveway to Dad. Olaf thinks the hugs for him.

Almost there!

Yeah, I made it! Olaf says where's my hug?

The Qiu Throw finish! Olaf's turn's next!

By the way, I should mention that we had our 6 month post placement social worker visit on Saturday and....drumroll...I think we get to keep her!

We went to Target today so that the kids could do some Christmas shopping. Abby and Sophie were so adorable. I heard someone comment on the "cute sisters". I can't believe how close they are in height! They're almost exactly 2 years apart.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Christmas is Coming!

Our December has been crazy! I looked at the calendar and really couldn't see a date when we'd be able to all go pick out a Christmas tree. So, this year, while Lyle was at a continuing education course in Seattle and Adam was working on homework, I went with the girls to our usual location--Jones Tree Farm.

As you can see, we still had a decent amount of snow on the ground. We love the hay rides behind the clydesdale horses and Christmas carols. The trees may be overpriced, but you can't beat the experience!

We spent forever trudging through the snow trying to find the perfect tree. We were finally successful, but then we had to cut the thing down. Easier said than done. A man took pity on us and helped us out.

After our arduous lumberjacking, we went to the barn for hot cocoa and cider. Madeline really wanted Maya to have her first swig of hot chocolate, but she wasn't interested.

So we thought maybe our tree would be a bit too short. Wrong. Lyle complained that he probably had to cut off $15.00 worth of tree.

Maya seemed pleased with her first Christmas tree, but she can't beat Abby's level of excitement. Abby is about to burst.

The next weekend while Lyle was at an activity with the big kids, I took Abby and Maya to the "Santa on Tour" show. Afterward, the kids got to go up on stage to get a candy cane and sit on Santa's lap. Abby is an old pro.

Maya is not!