Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Grandpa Kelley Visit

Grandpa Kelley came for a visit and met Qiu (and Abby!) for the first time. Maya didn't take too long to warm up to him and they had a great time. Abby told him, "At first I was nervous about meeting you, but now I love you." When Maya said "Grandpa" it came out kind of like "Dampa", but we know what she meant!

My dad bought the big kids remote-contolled helicopters, which they had a great time with. Here's Madeline proudly showing her helicopter right before take-off. I think the rest of the helicopter photos speak for themselves!

We spent a fun day at Fort Warden with my dad and the Haws family. Here are the Beck kids with 2/3 of the Haws kids.

Adam being a ham.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

August 14, 2007

Not much to report, we're just having a lazy summer with way too much time on our hands to style Maya's hair. Maya is talking up a storm and makes us laugh everyday. Some of her recent quotes: "A bug flew in my ear!", "I fall out of bed, get hurt!", and "got milk up my NOSE!" Obviously the world is a dangerous place for a 23-month-old!

She frequently puts words together now and instead of just saying, for example, "Abby?", she'll now say, "Where Abby go?" When she wants us to hold her she'll say, "Want to see you." She's also gotten very good at opposites and when she sees me with wet hair in the morning she's quick to point out that her hair is dry. Other favorites are: cold/hot, dirty/clean, and up/down.
Maya's current hands-down favorite book is the classic "Goodnight Moon", but she also really enjoys Mother Goose. She does get mad when I read her "Little Miss Muffet" though and corrects me that Miss Muffet is NOT eating curds and whey, she's eating ice cream! I've found it's pointless to argue with an almost 2 year-old, so...."Little Miss Muffet sat on a tuffet eating her... ice cream. Along came a spider...."

Our trumpet vine is doing spectacularly well and I think next year the vines will connect on the top. The star jasmine vines aren't really growing very well, but they smell fabulous, so we'll keep them.

More trumpet vine.

O.K., really this is the last one. I'd be embarrassed to admit how many plants have met their demise in the Beck yard, so when something works, well, it's worth a photo or two... or three!

The "wave" petunias really do live up to their hype! I can't believe how much these have spread.

It's nice to have a sweet brother to swing with you after you've woken up too early from a nap!
This week we've had some interesting news from China. A researcher and adoptive father to 3 girls from China is in the Guangxi province right now and he's been doing interviewing, video taping, and research in Maya's hometown of Guiping. He actually interviewed the Guiping police chief about the abandoned babies. We'll be hearing more soon.

We're enjoying our last few weeks of summer and the kids start back at school on September 5th. Maya will be SO LONELY!

Friday, August 10, 2007

Just Beet It

Lyle is very proud of his vegetable garden. And he should be. We've had a plentiful harvest and have all enjoyed the fruits of his labors. However, we differ in our opinion on beets. Why anyone would go through the time and effort to grow a beet is beyond me. And not only does Lyle grow them, he pickles them for long-lasting beety goodness. Sadly, until last night, no one shared his taste, so he was rather lonely in his beet consumption.

And then Maya showed her true colors (fuschia apparently) as a beet lover! Lyle is tickled pink (no pun intended) that there is someone who appreciates his beet efforts! Of course, as I've previously mentioned, Maya is the world's messiest eater, so the meal ended with stained plate, table, bib, and floor.

Not to mention one very stained toddler! (By the way, this is the new picture face. I call it the "I'll Show You Every Single One Of My Teeth" picture face.)

We all quickly vacated the premises to let Lyle clean up his beety friend. We were of the opinion that if you can't take the beet, get out of the kitchen, and that's exactly what we did.
Lyle stripped down Qiu and carried her at arm's length to the bathtub. (Notice once again, the new picture face. When I see this particular smile it makes me think of future ortho visits--she's a dedicated thumb-sucker!)

Lyle is just sure there are others out there who will read this post with watering mouths just dying for a nibble of those beets. So, if you happen to be that person, here's Lyle's recipe for pickled beets: (Actually it's Bea's recipe on Allrecipes.com--rated 4 1/2 stars of beet ecstacy):

2 1/2 cups canned beets
1/2 C apple cider vinegar
2 Tablespoons sugar
2 Whole Cloves
3 peppercorns
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 C beet juice (saved from steamed beets)
1 sliced onion
Heat all ingredients except beets to boiling. Pour over beets, chill, and enjoy!