Thursday, July 30, 2009

Luci's Tol Celebration

This past weekend we had a big celebration for Luci's first birthday. In the Korean culture, this birthday is called a tol and it is a BIG deal. The tradition started before there was easy access to good medical care. If a Korean child made it to their first birthday, there was a good chance they would survive so the family threw a big party. We wanted to incorporate some of these traditions into Luci's party so we had a Korean/American birthday celebration.

The party began with Luci dressed in the beautiful hanbok that Mrs. Kim (her foster mother) had purchased for her. Jason brought her in and she chose items that represented her destiny. I had laid out a knife representing a good cook, a pen and book (successful scholar), money (wealth), spool of thread (long life), jujubes (couldn't find any so we used cherries for many descendants), and a ruler and scissors (good with her hands). I had our guests vote on which they thought she would pick as they arrived. Everyone cheered her on as she surveyed her choices. She went straight for the pen and book and then moved to the money. Based on her choices, she will grow up to be a wealthy and successful scholar.

Here's a little secret for my blog readers: I cheated! Yes, I set my baby and her destiny up! Luci's favorite color is blue and she loves the book Little Cloud by Eric Carle. So, I chose a pen with a blue cap and put Little Cloud underneath. I knew that would be the first thing that caught her eye. I also cheated with the money. The 1000 bill in Korean won is blue, so I put it on top with the nice, shiny coins laid right on it. I know my daughter and she did well! So we will see if mommy chose the correct destiny for her daughter!

Following the tol ceremony, Luci opened all her presents. She loves her toys and she got so many good new ones! Thank you everyone!

As the kids played with all the new loot, we cooked dinner. We wanted an American take on Korean food so we made Bulgogi burgers topped with onions and red lettuce with a side of sweet potato chips. Dessert was very American...cake and ice cream! She dove right in and made a big mess! Luci never disappoints!

The party was so much fun and we were blessed with wonderful family to celebrate this joyous occasion among. Enjoy the pics!

Birthday balloons marking the party location

Luci's grand entrance in her beautiful hanbok

My wealthy and successful scholar (so I cheated a little)

She sure loves her blue pen!

Opening her presents with cousins Dylan and Allie looking on.

Tol/Birthday cake

Make a wish!

Loving the icing!

Her face just keeps getting sweeter, even without the icing.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Happy Birthday to my Loves (plural)!

Today is a very special day in the Kindall household...two out of three members have a birthday! Yes, Jason and Luci share this day as their introduction into the world!

First...Happy Birthday, Jason! This birthday marks a milestone; we have been together for half our lives! This doesn't seem possible. Are we really getting that old?! We have been through so much together and I can't think of anyone that I would rather have those ups and downs with than you. And this past year...WOW...what an emotional journey as we prepared to become first time parents; we waited to find out which child God had chosen for us, we met our daughter in pictures and text, we waited again, and then we traveled half way around the world to bring her home! I have so enjoyed watching you become Luci's daddy! You have completely fallen in love with another girl and I'm not even jealous! (For those blog readers out there who haven't read Jason's first words as a daddy, check out the first Luci post..."A Baby Girl") precious baby girl is ONE! Happy first birthday, sweet Luci! You have truly lived up to the meaning of your are most definitely a "light" in our lives! I can't imagine going one day without seeing your smile, hearing your laughter, and giving you kisses! God answered all my prayers when He sent you to become a part of our family. I am so thankful for my sweet daughter and I can't wait to see what you will become as you grow older. I can only imagine...scientist, teacher, author, gymnast, singer, demolition master (all I can say is you would just have to see our house)...

So, what are we doing to celebrate this momentous day in the Kindall household? Not much today! We are having a relaxing day, just the three of us. We had lunch at Hugo's (one of our favorite local eateries) and then took a drive to Missouri to pick up our ten chickens (can't wait to have our own eggs each morning). Tonight we celebrated with a nice dinner at home and an ice cream birthday cake! I am taking Jason out on Saturday for a birthday date and Luci's big Tol party is next Saturday, the 25th. I will be sure to post more pictures after the big event. I have been planning for weeks so hopefully everything turns out ok!

I do have one request for all our blog readers...even if you don't normally post comments, please consider posting today. I would love for Luci to look back on this entry and read all the comments from those out there who have followed our journey and prayed for her arrival and adjustment! I am so thankful for you all! I know that we have had this wonderful experience because of your thoughts and prayers. Please wish Jason and Luci a very special birthday!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Luci Goes to Wisconsin

For the 4th of July weekend, we took a trip to visit my family in Wisconsin. Luci is the first great-grandchild on my mother's side and the 8th great-grandchild on my father's side. We were anxious for them all to meet her.

As we expected, she was fabulous! We began our trip with a flight to Milwaukee Thursday afternoon and then a 2 hour drive to the little town of Highland, Wisconsin. My uncle from Atlanta also made the trip to meet his first great niece. Luci won their hearts! She is an amazing little traveler and adapts well to new situations as long as both her Daddy and I are there.

She met my 2 younger cousins and immediately fell in love with 9 year old Kaitlyn and her beautiful red hair. They were inseparable for the visit and Luci would break into smiles and giggles every time she saw Kaitlyn. She also slept marvelously after a 2 hour chase session with Kaitlyn. I threatened to pack her in our suitcase and bring her back to Arkansas!

Monday morning we left to head back to Milwaukee and fly home. Luci sure is going to miss all the attention. Daddy headed back to work today so it is just Luci and Mommy at home...very quiet compared to the last 4 days. I bet Grandma, Grandpa, and all the rest of the family are missing Luci too! She has a way of capturing the hearts of those she meets!

Luci being such a good girl on the flight to Milwaukee!

Playing Jack-in-the box with Grandma and Great-Grandma

She loved to ride around in Grandpa's wheelchair. Uncle Clarence loved to push and make her laugh!

Luci with her new buddy, Kaitlyn!

4 Generations in the Fellows family

4 Generations in the Davis family

Our flight home was delayed so Grandpa and Grandma helped keep Luci occupied as we waited for the plane. Lots of walking...