Lucky 7

Do you remember being 7 years old? Good times, right? I turned 7 in January of 1991. I had a New Kids On The Block backpack, some sweet MC Hammer-esque pants, and I could do a math “speed drill” faster than anyone in my class! I lived with my parents and (then) two younger sisters. We took family walks to the park down the street, ate donuts every Sunday morning before church, and watched Rescue 911 every Tuesday. Life was good.

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That’s little 7 year old me! That was my class photo at my small private, Christian school with good ole Mrs. Davis. I spent loads of time outside, just being a kid with my little sisters. I did the regular all-American things little girls do like piano lessons and Girl Scouts (with Troop 3326 and our fun troop leader, Mrs. French). And, like every kid, I spent times in and out of school with my friends; that’s me and Michelle, fun fact… she’s adopting from China right now too!!!

These are the kind of memories that every 7 year old deserves to have, but unfortunately, that is not the case. My own sweet waiting son, Lok, turns 7 years old this week. He will not share the same type of fun memories that I have as a 7 year old. Right now he knows that a family in America is working hard to make their way to him, but he’s anxious and rightly so. He’s about to encounter an entirely new and different world… and get one crazy mom! It may be scary for him right now but, I know that ages 8+ will be full of fun, family, and love for Lok. While Lok is now loved and spoken for, that is not the case for many, many other sweet 7 year olds.

I’d like to introduce you to seven of those sweet 7 year olds who are currently waiting for families to step forward and bring them home! Meet Creed, Henry, Olin, Tucker, Wade, Brooks, and Colt! These are all sweet boys that have been designated to Lifeline Children’s Services to be advocated for for the next couple of months. Lifeline is the agency we have used/are using to bring our boys home. They are amazing and I’m beyond grateful for them.

Now, before you continue reading this post, I need you to do something for me! Stop, close your eyes your eyes for a second and remember that these kids are nothing more than 7 year old boys who have never known the love of a forever family. Do some of them have medical special needs that you might not be familiar with? Yes, but you can educate yourself on those needs and connect with other families who live with them. Do some of them have special needs that may scare you? Yes, but our God is bigger than scary. Do they come with “baggage” from 7 years of being institutionalized? Yes, but every single person on this planet has baggage. Are they to blame for any of this? No! Do they still deserve the love of a family and the happy memories that every 7 year old should be entitled to? YES! Don’t write these boys off simply because they are older and have special needs. They are made in the image and likeness of our Creator, just the same as you and me!

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Meet Creedan adorable little one who has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy (CP). But CP does not define him! Check out this article which gives some insight into Creed’s daily life: http://chinaspecialtreasures.blogspot.com/search/label/Zeb. There are also videos of Creed (showing his mobility!) available for viewing here.  This little guy does not let anything stop him!

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Henry!!! Henry is described as a lovable and helpful little boy. He is very active and loves to play with balls, go outside, and run. Henry also gets along with other children and tends to do little things for the smaller children he lives with. He is diagnosed with Trisomy 21 Syndrome, which might explain his cuteness a little better. Doesn’t he look like he’d be the best cuddler?!

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Next up is little Olin. Unlike most orphans in China, Olin, was not placed into care until he was 3 years old. His special need is congenital deafness, which as many experienced families would tell you, is hardly a special need at all. What this boy needs most is a family to step forward and say: MINE!

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You don’t truly know what cuteness is if you’ve never laid eyes on Tucker! Be still my heart, this kid is so precious! I guarantee that you can’t wait this video and not tear up. This sweet boy is diagnosed with CHD, Megacolon, and Anal Atresia; click on each to learn more about Tucker’s particular (manageable!) special needs. We know that he is definitely not lacking in the cuteness department!

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Say hello to Wade! Aside from the special need of a family, this boy’s only diagnosable need is a repaired cleft lip and palate. Cleft lip and palate is a very common special need and there are many, many support groups for families with this need. Wade is described as a little boy who likes to teach other children the things that he is learning in school and frequently chats with his caregivers.

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Okay, it’s bad to have favorites, but I have to admit that little Brooks is my personal favorite among these seven. Just look at that face! Those eyes, those lips, good Lord! Brooks is diagnosed with CHD and a right hernia. A quick video of him can be seen here. Please consider him, I don’t want those little lips going any longer without a mama to kiss them!

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And last, but not least, we have Colt! This dimpled cutie is a gorgeous boy who lives in a wonderful foster home (just like my Lok!). He special needs list may seem long, but this child is thriving. His medical file reads “vision correction; heart murmurs needing check, suggest UCG test; postoperative congenital imperforate anus; advise to strengthen the HBV vaccine” but, as with all of these boys, his greatest need is for a forever family! Doesn’t he look like so much fun?!

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The little 7 year old me wanted to be a missionary and in a way, that’s exactly what the 31 year old me has become through adoption. From the moment Lok entered my life, I have prayed for him daily. Once Lok comes home, we’ll begin praying with him, we’ll read the Scriptures with him every night before bedtime, we’ll sit with him in the pews hearing the gospel preached together as a family every Sunday. If this is not missionary work, then I don’t know what is. My 7 year old self envisioned being a missionary, living in a hut somewhere in Africa, but the 31 year old me knows that my mission field is actually serving my family; being the best wife I can be to my husband, raising our boys in the faith, and advocating as hard as I can for those precious littles who still wait for their families. Now imagine what could become of these little 7 year olds if they were just given the love of a forever family.

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Boomerang

I suppose it’s not much of a secret, but it’s official as of today. China adoption #2 is officially in progress. We are on the hunt for our Lok!

We don’t know who exactly Lok is yet or where in China he is, but we do know that we already love him and can’t wait for him to come home! We aren’t starting this adoption off with as much of a savings as we did with Kai’s adoption. In fact, we probably only have enough to cover our home study, BUT we are firm believers that God will provide whatever resources we need to bring Lok home. We’ve seen it happen time and time again. This adoption means truly trusting in Him to supply our needs.

So, if you’re sitting on an income tax refund larger than you know what to do with, I have an idea! Click here and go for it. https://www.youcaring.com/lovinglok What could you possibly buy that’s better than building a family?! 😉

So if you were thrown off by the title of this post, let me explain. A boomerang family is what the adoption community refers to as that special kind of crazy family who completes back-to-back adoptions using the same (albeit updated) dossier (adoption paperwork dissertation). I have seen many boomerangers go before us and I hope that we proudly carry the torch while we journey to Lok.

Let’s go back to China!

SDICM Vendor: Lefty Lex Creations

Yup, I am now going to highlight myself! Those of you who are regulars to the blog already know about me, but those of you who are are new-comers around here are not yet so familiar. So allow me to introduce myself.20130618-063352.jpg

Who I am and why I do! I’m Alexcis and I’m the owner of Lefty Lex Creations. I became interested in handmade items about five years ago and began putting my 8th grade Home Ec sewing skills to use making baby quilts for friends. I loved the creative process and being able to give something that I had personally made, not store-bought, but had to put that creativity on hold for a few years while I completed grad school. Once graduation was over my poor brain was dying for a creative release and I became consumed with sewing, knitting, and (most recently and fervently) hand embroidery! Since then I have not been seen without some form of craft in my hand. I stitch whenever and wherever I possibly can; I’m obsessed!

What lovelies do I make? While I do occasionally sew and knit still, embroidery is my primary art form and embroidered hoop art is what I enjoy creating the most. Embroidered hoop art is an embroidered design, on a piece of fabric, that is affixed to a wooden embroidery hoop. Was that technical enough for you? Hoop art is basically decor; it can be wall decor or it can be placed in a plate holder to fancy up a shelf, desk, table, etc. I also like using the teeny tiny 3″ hoops as added flair when gift-wrapping presents!

Favorite tools of the trade? This is the thing that I love most about embroidery… the materials are so basic! My favorite embroidery supplies are small wooden hoops (never mind that plastic nonsense!), DMC embroidery floss, and quality solid, colored fabric. I have been drawn to muslin and lace lately but I typically love all the bright colors found in Robert Kauffman’s Quilter’s Tweed line. Love them!

What inspires me to create? Creating is first and foremost, an artistic release for me. There is nothing like picking up a needle and floss after being glued to a computer screen for 8 hours in the office! But my primary reason for selling my creations is to raise funds for my adoption! My husband and I are in the embarking upon an international adoption and it is going to cost around $32,000 to bring our little one home from China. So, I suppose, my true inspiration is create is parenthood; we are very anxious to become parents!

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1.) Talking heads: I adore these colorful silhouettes and have probably made many more than I will ever need (or sell)! I love their simplicity yet their boldness. 2.) Art Deco Randomness: I love the colors and whimsy of this piece. I just let the needle move where it wanted to and this was the final product! 3.) Bride & Groom hoops: I made my first set of these hoops for my brother and sister-in-law’s wedding but have sold quite a few pairs since then. They are fun little props to use at a bridal shower or on the big day itself. 4.) Happy Thoughts in Ombre: I used fly stitches and monochromatic color palettes to create lovely ombre effects in every color of the rainbow. If you’re looking for a certain color, it’ll be with me at the fair! 5.) Embroidered Lace Necklaces: I inherited yardage of vintage lace with stains throughout so the only logical solution was to cut it up into pieces and use them as necklaces! The designs are very simple but make a big impact.

And that’s me in a nutshell, folks! Feel free to follow me on social media at:

Blog: https://leftylex.com/
Vine: Lefty Lex
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LeftyLexCreations
Twitter: https://twitter.com/LeftyLexTweets
Instagram: @leftylex

You can also find my products on Etsy by clicking here:http://www.etsy.com/shop/LeftyLexCreations! And don’t forget to visit me this weekend at the San Diego Indie Craft Market. Just 5 short days! For more info click here: https://www.facebook.com/events/366212010146804/?fref=ts. I look forward to seeing you around!

Weekend Wrap-Up: Mother’s Day Edition

I’m not gonna lie, I do not feel like blogging today. That being said, blog I must so here we go! Nothing out of the ordinary happened on Saturday. All the usual tasks: teaching my aerobics class, shopping, cleaning house. Nothing fancy.

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For Mother’s Day my siblings and I decided to have a little family picnic at Balboa Park. Sisters Dee and Jeri were MIA for the day’s events, but Sisters Sam and Andi, Vince, Husband, Daddy Lex, Puppy Bosco, and yours truly were in attendance to celebrate Momma Lex. And. It. Was. Hot! Thank God, we were able to find some solace under a lovely tree while eating, but the heat was brutal in sunny San Diego this weekend! After chowing down, we spent about two hours walking around the park. 

Post lunch we hit the International Cottages. If you’ve never been to Balboa Park, the International Cottages are exactly that: international cottages. They are little houses that represent various countries from all corners of the globe. I was holding the puppy at this particular time of the day, so I didn’t tour each house, but I did venture into the following: Spain, France, England, Puerto Rico, USA (which was ridiculously lame), Iran, Ukraine, and (my favorite) China!

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China was especially awesome because there was a young girl inside who would write your name in Chinese characters for you. I briefly explained to her our plan to adopt a daughter (I tried to sneak that in without Husband rolling his eyes because he still wants to adopt a son) from China and that we want to name her Jia which means health and beauty. She was so genuinely happy to hear of our plan and quickly began writing but told me that she would translate Jia to mean “elegant” and “lucky”. Fabulous!

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This is now one of my most treasured pieces of paper. I highly doubt that she will know how much I am going to study this. I absolutely love it! And best of all, she was left-handed too!

Can we pause for a moment to adore the cuteness of Husband? This is his cheesy smile and it is my favorite! Sister Sam got in on the action too. I think that even Bosco was trying his hand at Husband’s smile as well.

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We purposely stumbled upon a flower show. Momma Lex is a giant gardener, so we figured that she would quite enjoy the work of fellow gardeners. Aren’t these amazing? I want to stitch them all!

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Overall, I think that mom enjoyed her special day. And she deserves it. I know that even at the even though I am all grown and married, I can still count on my mom to be there whenever I need her. Love you, Mom… even though we all know that Bosco is your favorite child!

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RWL: China

Ni Hao everyone! International adoption still extremely heavy on the brain over here, so I thought that we should have a Chinese themed Rainbow Wish List this week.. geared towards designing a Chinese inspired nursery. Hmm…

Chinese Zodiac Year of the Dragon Kids and Baby Wall Art Poster Print Hell Money Chinese Print Origami Lantern Chinese Nursery Rhyme Little White Rabbit, 8 X 10, Yellow  Handmade traditional Chinese baby slippers/Green Personalized Birth Year Baby Block-2012 Year of the Dragon Baby or Lap Quilt in 'Good Fortune' fabrics Asian themed prints in fans, bamboo, dragonfly, floral in bright purple teal orange green blueBeijing Skyline Art - China City Skyline Series Poster - Choose Your Color - Beijing China 

Red: Year of the Dragon print; I can’t decide whether I like this particular print or frame more. Either way, it’s a super cute print commemorating 2012 as year of the dragon. It’s simple, playful, and perfectly suited for a Asian-inspired nusery.

Orange: This is an amazing origami (Japanese, I know) lantern made of Chinese Hell Money. It’s amazing! I like that the color is energetic but not overpowering and the texture adds tons of spunk (and spike!). And best of all, it is actually a light! Simply fabulous.

Yellow: First off, I loved every single print from this artist’s shop. That being said, I chose this particular print because I love that particular shade of yellow! Come on, you know that I’m a yellow kind of girl. The Chinese characters beneath the bunny images are actually the poem of the Little White Rabbit. I’d never heard of this particular poem, but if you check out her Etsy shop (by clicking on the photo), you’ll be able to read it.

Green: Are these not the cutest little shoes? I’ve made several pairs of baby booties in my day so I can appreciate the pain that the designer underwent to make this lovely little pair. The embellishments on the sides are really what kill me! That is a lot of tiny beads to have sewn on those tiny shoes. Patience!

Blue: And we’re back to Year of the Dragon… block edition this time. This has to be one of those toys that gets put on the dresser and not in the toy box; the details are design are just too cute to ruin with slobber! I love the pastels used and the almost vintage look of the block. I was born in the year of the rat, so I highly doubt that my own block would look quite as cute.

Indigo: Yes, I know that I’m fudging a bit on this week’s indigo… again. But it is rather a tough color to find in its purest shade. That being said, I am diggin’ this Asian themed print quilt  and our imaginary nursery was going to be quite a chilly place if we didn’t add a blanket or some sort to the RWL. Over the past 5 years I’ve made more baby quilts than I can remember and the simple patchwork of this quilt is very reminiscent of many of them.

Violet: I absolutely adore the design of these city skyline prints! I may be biased as I do have 4 (yes, 4) of these prints in my own home. After taking a couple of trips to Europe, I wanted a visual, daily reminder of all the fun that Husband and I had at each city and then I stumbled upon Bird Ave (www.birdave.com) and subsequently purchased city prints for: Roma, Madrid, Barcelona, and Lisboa (Lisbon). Now I was a bit confused when I found this Beijing print on Etsy because it is most definitely the same designer as my prints are, but the seller is different and Bird Ave no longer sells on Etsy, they only do direct orders through their website. Hmm, very interesting….

And there we have it folk, the initial makings of a cozy little Chinese-inspired nursery! You like?

Weekend Wrap Up 3/21-3/24

Wedding recap! I’m going to include Thursday and Friday in this week’s weekend because I took those days off so it felt like the weekend to me. Although, neither of these two days were anything close to being leisurely!

Thursday: Rehearsal time! After deciding on wearing my adorable red Hello Betty Bow (which can be purchased here: http://www.etsy.com/shop/hellobettybow, yes I am plugging this shop hard!) Husband and I headed downtown, to Hotel Solamar, for some wedding practice. The hotel was lovely and the view from the rooftop deck, where the wedding took place, was phenomenal It was merely a few blocks from Petco Park (our baseball stadium) which seemed only appropriate as the groom (my brother-in-law) played baseball and is a giant fan.

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20130325-054951.jpg That’s Micah, Husband’s littlest cousin. He made the cutest “ring bearer” I call him this only loosely because he was actually a sign carrier as he did not truly bear any rings. Micah was only 8 months old when Husband and I were married and every time I see him I am always amazed at how much he has grown! Due to the giant age gap between him and the other cousins, he’s really more like a nephew than a cousin and I have adored him since the day he was born.

The rehearsal went off without any visible snags and we headed over to the rehearsal dinner before calling it a night. Once home, I attempted some stitching before falling asleep on the couch.

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I woke up bright and early the next morning but the day quickly became caught in a whirlwind. I finished the Bride and Groom hoops, went for a run, dropped Husband off with the rest of the groomsmen (they had a fun bowling trip planned to release pre-wedding jitters), had my hair done, had my make-up done, came back home to get dressed and quickly booked it to the hotel to precisely meet my 4PM arrival deadline.

Now, I truly could kick myself because I did not charge my camera the night before! Subsequently, I had no camera to take with me to the wedding! Luckily (I suppose) I always carry my iPad with me, so I was able to snap a few shots, but the lighting in the reception area was very dim, making it very difficult to get good shots without my Nikon. The wedding was divine; full of loads of yellow and grey and fun personalized touches.

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Most importantly of all, however, we gained a new sister-in-law and my bro-in-law became a very happy man!

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Saturday morning began with teaching my aerobics class very quickly followed by a post-wedding family brunch at Bub’s.

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We ate, chatted, and said our goodbyes to all of the friends and family who were flying back to their respective States later that day. But we figured that since we had already paid $10 for parking, we might as well get our money’s worth. So we began strolling the streets downtown. Husband was in need of new Pumas, so it appeared that some shopping was in order too.

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We ventured to World Market where Husband fell in love with this couch and I found my much desired Hawaiian salt! More on this later on in the week, but let me tell you that I am salivating just thinking about what this salt will be used for!

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We continued galavanting downtown and stumbled upon the San Diego Chinese Historical Museum. We thought we’d give it a visit and just so happened to arrive at the exact same time that they were opening a new exhibit. It was a little more than we had originally bargained for because before we knew it, we were ushered into an hour long presentation on Medical Missions in China from 1927-1949. It was interesting, but not what we were expecting. Post presentation we were allowed to wander freely among the exhibits. Some of of the items that the (two part) museum holds are truly amazing.

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Sunday was, as usual, fabulously lazy. It was of course Palm Sunday; so a small stitch was in order. And after church and a much needed trip to Target, we spent the remainder of the day unwinding from the wedding ongoings. Our unwinding included some iPad reading (I finished a book called Honor Thy Daughters, which I recommend), eating a yummy dinner, and watching Mulan.

It’s the 15th anniversary of Mulan’s release so Disney let it out of the vault. Of course, my primary interest was to see if Lea Salonga’s lovely face and voice would appear in any of the behind the scenes footage. Lea appeared and she did not disappoint! If you’re new to my blog, then you don’t know about my crazy girl crush/theatrical obsession with Lea Salonga; but a browse through other posts will quickly enlighten you!

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That’s it fine folks! I hope your weekend was just as enjoyable (and even more restful!). Onto another week!