The Messina Family

The Messina Family
Barcelona 2010

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Dr. Lily

Joe-Joe had just bumped his knee...Dr. Lily to the rescue to diagnose the problem!

We may need to amputate....I can't find his heartbeat anywhere!

Listening to big brother's heart...

She can say stethoscope but would rather call it "her doctor"....she comes tearing down the hallway demanding, "Where's my doctor????"

I used to wear this stethoscope just like this to work everyday....

Yesterday Lily was telling me that she was being a "doctor" and taking care of Kona. Okay, first off...because of the wacky Norwegian health care system, she hasn't seen a doctor in over 18 months. She doesn't remember ever being to see a doctor.
I was cleaning out my nightstand drawers today and she saw my stethoscopes from when I was on active duty Air Force and worked as a nurse. I had a neonatal stethoscope and an adult one. She liked the little one because "it was just her size." She hasn't put it down yet. She's pretty cute.
Another cute little Lilyism....we got a newsletter from our parish (in Norwegian) so we pretty much just look at the pictures and try and figure out what's going on... and there was a picture of Pope Benedict XIV in there. That picture caught her eye and she asked me who that was. I told her. She tried to copy what I was saying (and all I said was Pope Benedict...I left off the number) and she came up with Pope Nickanick. :o)

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Two Wonderful Years Later....

She was born around January 4th, 2005, near Shangrao and was lovingly given up two weeks later. She was given the name Ling Guang Su by the orphanage. We were matched with her on December 17th, 2005, and she was placed in our arms August 30th, 2006. She was officially our daughter the next day. Lily is now a bubbly 3 ½ year old. She enjoys traveling and has been to 12 different countries. Her favorite color is pink and she likes to collect rocks, sticks, and shells. She feels the best M&M’s are the blue ones and she has fun trying to feed her puppy, Kona, with her plastic tea set. Lily chatters all the time and enjoys spending time with her big brothers, Joe and Tim. She enjoys reading a good book and snuggling on the laps of her parents. On this day, we remember her Chinese parents for their sacrifice and we thank you for your support on the journey to get her. Our family is now complete!
It is so hard to believe that it has been two years since we met this little miracle girl. She was so tiny and hungry and scared. Now she is strong and daring. It seems like she has been with us forever. We had a little party today to celebrate her "Gotcha Day" in China two years ago. Rich asked her if she knew why we were having a cake for her. She said no. He told her it was because she was so special. Her smile just lit up the room as she breathed..."I am so special!" Yes, she sure is!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

1st ISS Viking Fotball match of the season

Monday, August 25th, was the first ISS Viking JV fotball game of the season. The weather....although very hard to tell in these pictures because they had lights on the field, was very windy and rainy. Very rainy. We were all soaked within 10 minutes. Lily, who could care less about soccer, played in the mud puddles stirring "mud soup" with a little stick "just her size". The team played very well considering they have had two practices this year. The opposition was the best in the league so we were thrilled that the score was only 10 - 0. We actually walked away feeling that they had done pretty good for themselves. Norwegian teams start playing together in diapers, practically, and grow up playing with each other, playing all year 'round. I found it fun to listen to the parents on the ISS side shouting out to their kids. We had English (American, British & Scottish), Spanish, Norwegian, German and Nigerian being spoken. Pretty cool. Out on the field they are simply the boys representing the International School of Stavanger...not any one country.

Reflecting on the last few weeks....

Here are a couple of pictures of Lily riding with Joe on the riding lawn mower that belongs to our neighbor, Tørres Joa. Lily thought this was great fun. Joe mows our lawn with this mower because it is sooo much faster than a push mower. Our push mower somehow died during the move..we haven't been able to get it to work yet.
I have been playing catch-up with this blog site over the last 24 hours because I have been busy these past few weeks. The boys both started school (7th and 8th grades) on August 11th, and Joe has a significant increase in homework this year. He had two papers and a project due the second week of school. Also, JV fotball got underway (soccer to my American friends)and that brings on practices and games straight off the bat. I have volunteered to be the religious education coordinator at our parish and that is also getting started too. Add then, the OLYMPICS.....ah...I have so enjoyed watching as much as I can over the last few weeks. Michael There are just no words. Not only have I enjoyed watching the comraderie of the athletes, but also the special stories on individual athletes, countries or special stories about China. It has been a wonderful time watching all the events. Now that I am caught up, I am hoping to stay that way. (to all of you now laughing hysterically....we'll see!) :o)

Monday, August 25, 2008

Curly Neal is in the house!

Okay, if you are 35 and may have memories of the Harlem Globetrotters...the classic team from the '70's...Goose Tatum, Wilt Chamberlain, Meadowlark Lemon and the head ball handler and token bald guy, Fred "Curly" Neal. Curly Neal played on the Harlem Globetrotters from 1964 to 1985, playing in over 6,000 games and visiting over 97 countries. He was a lead in the cartoon series and had a notable presence on the Scooby Doo cartoon series. (Remember that? I had forgotten!) His #22 jersey was retired this year and he was inducted into the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame.
He came to Europe on a USO tour. Luckily they didn't forget us up here in Norway. We are such a small community that it is hard to get people to come here. However, when someone does come, EVERYONE turns out. Curly also went to the boys' school, the International School of Stavanger to meet the kids there. He taught Tim's PE class that afternoon! He is 67 now and a very nice person to talk to. He really enjoyed talking with Lily. He was amazed at how tall Joe was...he said he'll probably be at least 6 ft 2 inches! (that's Curly's guess, anyhow) Good, that means he only has about 3-4 inches to go!
Can I just tell you that I was whistling the Harlem Globetrotter's theme music for about three days!
An off topic comment...for those of you military folks out there, this was in our AAFES retail store (our Class 6, commissary and BX rolled into one). With the larger pictures, you are seeing half of the store. I said it was small!

17 years on the 17th of August

Rich and I had our 17th wedding anniversary on the 17th of August. The boys were madly doing homework (it was a Sunday) so Rich, Lily and I went for a walk in Kleppe, near our house. Lily took the picture of the two of us. We celebrated by going out to eat at a Greek restaurant in Stavanger Sentrum that was really, really yummy.
I have to say that I would have never imagined 17 years ago that I would have two sons that are taller than me (and with red hair no less!) and a Chinese daughter. I would have never guessed that I would have been fortunate enough to live in Japan and Norway and visit countless other countries. I have been so lucky to be able to stay home with our children while they were not yet old enough for school. What can I say, I live a charmed and blessed life!

Kona and Lily

The boys went back to school on August Lily has had plenty of one-on-one time with Kona. Her favorite thing seems to be feeding her. As soon as her food is in her dish, Lily goes and puts it in her "little kitchen" dishes and insists on feeding Kona via her plastic spoons. Kona is incredibly understanding about this. She is patient...I don't know about understanding. It entertains each of them for almost an hour every time I feed her!

I think she may be growing....

Taken June 2007

Taken August 2008
Here is a before and after shot of Lily downtown in Stavanger. I think she may be growing!

The QE2 leaves Stavanger for the last time...

On August 9th, the Queen Elizabeth II left the port of Stavanger for the last time. It will be retired after this cruise and become a floating hotel. There was a lot of other old steam-powered water vessels. It was pretty neat. A lot of Stavangerites (totally make that term up but it sounds right) were on hand to wave off the ship as it was escorted out of the port with several ships by its side.
There was also a fire truck parade and some old cars on display.