Saturday, January 31, 2009

It's Not All About Jia!

Our beautiful Anna Banana

Anna was team captain for this week's game

Anna in Action

More game shots

An intense shot!

The above pictures are of our amazing daughter Anna. Soccer is a huge part of Anna's life. She plays for school, she helps to coach Jia's team, and then she plays rec league. All of this while maintaining a 4.3 grade average in Honors Classes and working very hard on her school yearbook. Anna is my Mama's girl, she will shop till she drops, loves to stay up very late and even though she is getting older will hang out with me all the time.

I am going to try to do a post about my beautiful first daughter, Katie, however when it comes to photos she is very elusive. Wish me luck!

A Game: Pick the Canadian

Choice A: Looks very happy in the cold.

Choice B: Jia's Assistant Soccer Coach

Choice C: hmmmmm..this oneis kind of pale

Choice D: An Asian Flair...

Choice E: Couldn't possibly be (notice the really cool pink kitty cat blanket, stolen from a small child)

Above you will see several pictures of our family. Please look closely and choose which person grew up in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. The temperature here in SOUTH FLORIDA was around 45 degrees.

Jia at Dragon Gate (short)

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


My Beautiful Chinese girls 8-)

Jia is very proud of her beautiful outfit

Jia and Mom with a lucky red envelope

Jia's Chinese New Year School Outfit

The red envelopes that Jia handed out to her class

Dragon Gate

Jia and Parker

This is my student Sarah who was also adopted from China. She brought Jia a gift.

Jia's panda bear and red envelope from Sarah xoxo

Parker, Jia and Cody


I want everyone to know that I am an Ox and this is MY year so I expect big things!

We have had a two day extravaganza to celebrate the Chinese New Year. Monday was the official new year and Jia's brand new teacher really went above and beyond. Jia wore her aqua traditional Chinese suit to school and brought everyone in her class fortune cookies and red envelopes with chocolate coins. Red envelopes with money in them are traditionally give to children in China to celebrate the holiday. Jia's new teacher, Ms. Emeler read Jia's book "my First Chinese New Year" had the class make paper lanterns and then they all tried to eat rice with chopsticks. Needless to say Jia was very happy and proud when she got home.

Tonight was our annual Chinese New Year at Dragon Gate Restaurant. They have a big traditional show there every year and we have taken Jia there every year since she has been home with us. This year we were joined by our friends Diane and Mark--Parker's parents, which means Jia had a date. Parker's big brother Cody had fun with us too!

I am posting pictures of the last two days and when Anna finishes her homework (probably tomorrow) she will post some videos of the show.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Baby, it's cold down here!

Okay, everyone in the northern climes can have a good laugh at our expense, but let me tell you the blood thins out when most days are 90 degrees and the same humidity!

The temperature in South Florida dipped into the 30's last night (an extreme rarity) and it was in the low 40's when it was time for school this morning. (the schools issued a severe weather report and "robo called" all the homes of each child to tell them how to dress)

Parnham family attire:

Jia: 2 shirts,1 jacket hood up of course, sweatpants, socks and sneakers
Katie: one long sleeve shirt, one short sleeve shirt, a sweater and a jacket
Anna: three shirts and one sweat jacket, and 2 pair of socks
Lesa: one shirt, one sweatshirt, leggings, jeans big jacket 2 pair of socks
Drew: (who believe it or not minds the cold more than any of us) shirt, sweatshirt, jacket and his quote "my hands were froze"

An interesting aside, people in South Florida look like vagrants or victims of some unfortunate clothing accident when it is cold, none of us have much winter clothing, and what we do have we bought 10 years ago and have worn on the 1-2 cold days ever since...the only person I saw looking good today was my friend Diane and she is from Alaska!

I only have one picture today. Jia's new school had a teddy bear sleepover tonight. Each child had to bring their favorite bear to school this morning accompanied with bear pj's a blanket, a suitcase, toothpaste and toothbrush (thank goodness for build-a-bear). They put the bears to sleep when they leave, tomorrow morning they will find their bears all over the room and a big bear mess! (God bless those Kindergarten teachers) Jia was thrilled and she is so happy at school, it is too soon to say, but I think her move was a good one. Teddy Bear sleep overs were a little more what I think Kindergarten should be about!

Before I close I would just like to say that I am filled with humility and gratefulness for all of you that follow our blog. I started this as a way to keep in touch with far-flung relatives, I never imagined I would get so many readers from so many places. I have heard from places as far away as the Australian Outback to people that I don't personally know right here in Pembroke Pines. Thanks for the kind words about our life and our children and please keep reading! I appreciate all of my new friends in the blogger world.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009



The Obama Girls!

Little Obama girl on her way to her new school!

You know I am an awesome shopper when I can find a Chinese Obama shirt!

My Lunch Buddies minutes before we jumped up and screamed

My students who brought me to tears

Whew, don't look at that chin. Trivia fact: Obama and I are the exact same age....Can you imagine ME as president? What a scary, scary thought.

"The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit; to choose our better history; to carry forward that precious gift, that noble idea, passed on from generation to generation: the God-given promise that all are equal, all are free, and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness,"

There is great happiness all the way around in the Parnham house tonight. Here is an overview:

Katie: Loves her new teachers, thinks her favorite will be Art, (their assignment today was to sketch a portrait of Barack Obama and the teacher said Katie's was very good).

Anna: Teachers were great, thinks her favorite will be Honors English. Really happy that there is beef stew in the crockpot.

Jia: Loves her new teacher and her new school. She gets to sit at a table with another little Asian girl. The teacher is not the one we asked for, but Jia seemed very happy and said that "this school is better". She got to be picked up from school by her sisters and walked home! And to make it even better she has soccer practice tonight.

Drew: ditto on the beef stew.

Lesa: All my girls are happy, and can you tell I might be a little pleased that Barack Obama is the president of the United States?


"I stand here knowing that my story is part of the larger American story, that I owe a debt to all of those who came before me, and that, in no other country on earth, is my story even possible."
-President Barack Obama

I am sitting in a classroom of 28 students--African American, Caucasian, Hispanic, Asian. Christian, Jewish and yes ,even a Muslim girl. I am proud beyond words to see them sitting rapt watching the President of the United States-Barack Obama, and spontaneously clapping, and then standing up for the National Anthem without being asked. These are seventh graders, hard to impress, way too cool, and sometimes very self-centered and they were moved.

I'll be back later with news of Jia's first day of school and Anna and Katies first day in new classes.

God Bless President Obama!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Happy Martin Luther King Day!

"I just want to do God's will. And he's allowed me to go to the mountain. And I've looked over, and I've seen the promised land! I may not get there with you, but I want you to know tonight that we as a people will get to the promised land." Martin Luther King, Jr.

I am beyond excited!!! One more day!!! And how very appropriate that the inauguration of Barack Obama is the day after Dr. Martin Luther King's birthday! Our country has a long way to go but I believe this is a huge step towards Dr King's Dream!

Back to school tomorrow. If you know me, you know I love quotes, and I'm going to use them in my lesson tomorrow. What a very teachable moment!

I am going to put two quotes on the board. One from Dr. King and the other from Obama. Here they are:

We must accept finite disappointment, but we must never lose infinite hope.
-Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

We welcomed immigrants to our shores, we opened railroads to the west, we landed a man on the moon, and we heard King's call to let justice roll down like water, and righteousness like a mighty stream."
-President-Elect Barack Obama

My students need to realize the incredible importance of tomorrow. Through these two quotes they will write down their thoughts and feelings, and tell me how one quote builds on another.

God Bless America!

Videos Up and Running!

Jia Speaks!

Jia's First Game!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Jia's First Soccer Game

I love this picture, look at the complete joy on Jia's face!

Jia is in position and ready to roll.

In this picture the ref just called Jia's name and she is raising her hand.

Coach Drew trying to explain the game of soccer in 30 seconds. Jia is number 5.

Hold on to your seats! I have "still" pics of Jia's first soccer game and then Anna and I are going to try to upload some video. Since I got the new camera we have been having difficulty. By the way, Jia is #5 in the pictures.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Oh My Goodness, I have TWINS!

Okay, this is so weird. My beautiful older daughters violently resist dressing in anything remotely similar. If they accidentally get dressed in even the same colors, one of them changes. That is why I almost fainted in the dressing room at Macys when the two of them decided to buy the exact same dress for a wedding they were attending. These pics are the end product, my gorgeous twins on the way to the wedding!

Friday, January 16, 2009

So much to blog little time!

Jia's Kindness Award

Jia actually directed the next couple of pictures, we have come a long way!

My Asian Princess

Jia and Mom

Okay, due to circumstances beyond my control I am about to become a blogging machine! So if you like to follow our journey through life, keep on scrolling....

It's Friday, here is the plan: We withdrew Jia from Lakeside Elementary and enrolled her in Silver Palms Elementary (the school that Katie and Anna went to which is right behind our house) Why? a multitude of reasons but the bottom line was Jia was not getting her needs met. Some of my pictures are of Jia holding up an award that she got before she left Lakeside. Broward County does something called "Kids of Character" and there are different character traits highlighted each month. Jia won the award this month for "Kindness."

Also tonight is little Jia's first soccer game, so eventually there will be pictures of that (although it is kind of rainy.

Katie and Anna are off to one of their friends Mothers wedding (did you get that? ) I have some beautiful pictures of them on the way out the door. Amazingly, when we went dress shopping they decided to buy the same one and dress as twins. Teenagers! I have been with them in one way or another for 23 years and I swear I can't figure them out.

Anyway, I am going to post some pictures now, and then more later on when Anna comes home to help me out with the camera and the computer...

Back on my Soapbox....

I know you'll understand that because of the upcoming Inauguration I have to jump back up on my soapbox for a while...

I am very, very proud to be a United States citizen. However, for the last 8 years under the regime of George W. Bush our country has taken a beating on so many different levels...our economy is in a shambles, what was done (or rather not done) in the magical city of New Orleans was a crime, other countries around the world no longer respect the United States AND we are fighting a meaningless and WRONG war. Everyday brave young Americans are being killed senselessly. What if one of these fine young men or women were your child? My heart aches for each and every one of those parents and I cry for the lost potential of those who so bravely gave their lives....

God Bless America!

January 20, 2009:
It's a beautiful day

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Soccer, soccer, soccer...

A rare moment-an actual picture of Lesa & Drew

Jia LOVES her own room and so does Bennyfoo

Anna's last high school game of the year

Jia insisted on wearing her soccer uniform to Anna's game

A picture of me that I don't absolutely hate

The girls at the game

Some of Anna's teammates

Just some random pictures, most of them are from Anna's last Flanagan soccer game. Now she will be playing for West Pines Optimist. Soccer never ends around here. It's a beautiful Sunday and I am procrastinating because I have at least a trillion papers to grade.