Tuesday, May 27, 2008

One way to help

If you have been following coverage of the earthquake in central China, you have seen the devastation of thousands of families, communities, and institutions.

Lillian spent much of the first two years of her life in the Changzhou City Children's Welfare Institute in Jiangsu Province. While she was there, the Half the Sky Foundation sponsored a foster grandmother to come in and spend one-on-one time with her. The individual attention helped her development, and it also provided us with the treasure of a 49-page memory book of her early years. We will always be grateful.

While Lillian's CWI was not among those close to the epicenter, there are literally hundreds of other schools and orphanages that were damaged or destroyed. Sadly, there are also thousands of orphaned and displaced children who lost family members in the quake. The Half the Sky Foundation has established a Children's Earthquake Fund to provide emergency and long-term relief to children in Sichuan affected by the quake. Please consider giving if you are so led.

A Fine and Fancy Ramble to the Zoo

We made our first trip as a family to the Kansas City Zoo on Memorial Day weekend. We were there just 2 hours, which was not really long enough. We will plan a return trip this summer, so we can visit the animals we missed.

Lillian was very interested in all the animals. We had a sea lion right in front of us for much of the sea lion show. She liked to say "Cheetah!" while watching three fellow 2 1/2 year olds (cheetah sisters) eat raw meat. We got even closer to the gorilla pictured in the photo a bit further down the path, but the photo didn't turn out as well as the one here.

We also saw and were interested in the tigers, a leopard, orangutans, a variety of monkeys and birds, warthogs, red pandas, river otters, deer, llamas, alpacas, and of course, elephants, among others. We didn't go through the Australia area of the Zoo, and we only had time for about 1/3 of the African exhibits, so we missed the kangaroos, lions, chimps, hippos, giraffes, and rhinos. Next time!

Monday, May 12, 2008

The Great Outdoors

Lillian enjoys playing outside just about as much as anything. Her preferred way of playing outside at home is to lug some toys or a ball out the front door, around the picket fence, and back to the concrete slab/half basketball court behind the house.

This particular toy is a stuffed-animal bowling set, which is among her favorites.

These photos are from a couple weeks ago. This weekend, most of our time was spent house-hunting. We have an offer on our home, and have made an offer on one in Shawnee. Our goal is to get in a little closer to our work, so that Lillian is not in the car as long on the four days a week Mommy and Daddy are both at work. Plus, she'll be closer to cousins, aunts and uncles.