Category Archives: Jamin

First Day of School


And, we’re back!  I have determined it is much easier to blog about children you don’t have yet but desire terribly, than it is to blog about the ones you have and must clothe and feed daily 🙂  That being said, I’m overjoyed to be on the “busy doing” end of the spectrum where time and energy to blog are diminished, but the laughs and messes and kisses virtually wipe out all memory of the “busy waiting” phase.

Anyway, Glory had her first day of school!  But this statement requires explanation.  In December Saige started talking to Miss Betsy, our developmental therapist, a skill she had been hiding from Betsy for months.  This led to Saige being dismissed from First Steps developmental therapy.  Shortly thereafter, she met all the goals set for her by Miss Kendra, the physical therapist, which meant she was done with PT as well!  Betsy and Kendra continued to come provide therapy for Glory up until the week before her birthday, February 24, at which point Glory aged out of First Step services.

In order to receive speech and physical therapy, Glory now attends the school system’s developmental preschool which by God’s grace is housed at the elementary school that Emet attends.  She is enrolled in the afternoon class, which is from 11:40am to 2:30pm Monday through Thursday.  Jamin has been attending Little Seeds Preschool, which is not far away, but begins at 11:45am and ends at 2:15pm, MWF.  So, we made the difficult decision to move him to Parkside as well for the remainder of Pre-K.  This means that on M-Th, Parkside has 3 Magnuson kids, and I only have 1!  It is so weird.

Both Jamin and Glory started at their new school last Monday, on Glory’s 3rd birthday.  Glory loves going to school, and is wasted by the time I get her home.  She tries telling me a little about it, but it is difficult to understand when I don’t have much context to go on.  Jamin seems to like his new class alright.  He misses his friends at Little Seeds, and sent them a letter last week.  He isn’t talking about any friends in particular, but he loved the dental unit they did last week and came home with some cute crafts.

For me, this new system is working out well.  Saige gets to talk to me all she wants and more 😛  She wants to know when she gets to go to school, but is content to do the grocery shopping alone with Mommy.  Hopefully we’ll get used to these changes soon and incorporate some play dates into our schedule!


Jamin’s days out


While Emet was laid up back at the hotel, Jamin went to the Provincial Museum with Daddy and Glory on Wednesday, and to the Zoo and a garden/park on Thursday with Mommy and Glory.

On both of these outings, Jesse and I had some pretty interesting opportunites to discuss Buddhism with Jamin. God even used Jesse’s conversation with him to open doors to speak about Jesus to our guide as well as some other visitors at the museum. Maybe one of these days I’ll get Jesse to post about it 🙂 Anyway, there is something about speaking truth to my child that pierces my own heart. After months of passing little altars in restaurants and simply admiring the architecture of various Chinese temples, explaining to Jamin why people were bowing down, how they were blind to the Truth, it was like receiving a little shake, reminding me of the bondage in which so many Chinese people remain. Pray for my daughters’ people. Pray that they would be freed, given sight, and called into faith by the grace of Christ Jesus, and pray that our brothers and sisters here would be strengthened for the work of evangelism.

Birthday boy


Monday was Jamin’s 4th birthday… it doesn’t seem possible.  Over the weekend when I asked him what he would like to do for his birthday he said, “I want to get Emet Spiderman shoes like mine for his birthday.”  When I reminded him that Emet’s birthday was a long way away, and that it was his birthday, he said, “I have friends at church who want Spiderman shoes like mine.  I want to get some for them.”  Since Spiderman shoes here are in short supply (although I saw quite a few Popeye shoes in the store the other day), I suggested that he take a little gift to school with him on Monday for his classmates and teachers.  He chose some little buckets of clay for his classmates, and some little cups with flower seeds for his teachers.

While the boys were at school, I made the birthday cake.  I brought a mix from the States, and read up on how to bake a cake in the microwave, as I have no oven.  The only microwavable dishes I have that could possibly serve the purpose were coffee mugs, so I planned to just have 4 small cakes in mugs and call it good.  My first attempt went quite badly, so I had to reduce the power on the microwave, shorten the cook time, and cut back on how much batter I put in.  The second attempt was better, although batter still overflowed and made the outside of the mug a mess.  I decided that the important thing was to HAVE cake, and not worry about what it looked like, so I spent the whole morning microwaving mugs of cake, dumping them out onto the lid of an overturned bowl I planned to use as a cover.  And since there’s no way of really icing a pile of cylindrical cakes, I melted the icing and poured it on, then topped it off with M&Ms.  It wasn’t very pretty, but it was tasty 🙂

After school and nap time, I asked Jamin if he was having a nice birthday.  He said, “No!  Because I don’t have a birthday hat on!”  So, we busted out the pipe cleaners that Jesse’s parents sent, and made some birthday hats for the boys.  Then Jamin used the remaining pipe cleaners to ‘decorate’ for his party (which was just the 4 of us).  He stuffed pipe cleaners between the couch cushions, the doors of the book case, and the drawers of the entertainment center.  He also made some pictures which he taped to the wall.

We tried to eat at the local American food place, which is excellent, but forgot it was closed on Mondays, so we hit Pizza Hut instead.  Pizza Hut here is interesting- chandeliers, fancy lighting, and strange appetizers, like escargot, make it quite distinct from the average State-side Pizza Hut.  After dinner, we went home for cake and presents 🙂

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Each birthday, one of the highlights for the boys is Grandma Nellie and Aunt Pat’s birthday card: it usually makes music. 

We are so blessed and thankful to be Jamin’s parents.  He is so smart, and has a great sense of humor.  He is creative and artistic, loves reading and singing.  We pray that he continues to grow in selflessness, as it is going to be hard on him to have two little sisters needing Mom and Dad’s attention, too.  But more than that, we pray that our little son will become a son of God, acknowledging his sin, repenting, and accepting God’s grace through faith.


Jamin sings


Personally, I am plenty entertained just looking out the car window as we drive around in Wuhan.  Jamin, however, likes to add to this enjoyment by singing about whatever enters his sweet head!  I decided to try to video him when I heard him singing about hiccuping, but I missed that phase of the song, and he moved on.  This video is still worth viewing- perhaps twice!  Once to hear Jamin’s song, and a second time to take in all that is going on outside the window on the street.  When you hear our driver laugh, try to make out the crazy guy bear-crawling head first down a steep ramp under the bridge.  Also keep an eye out for the many and beautiful umbrellas providing shade on this sunny morning.

One sweet backpack


Weeks and weeks ago, I bought Jamin a backpack out of the clearance aisle at Walmart.  It said it was from “How to Train Your Dragon,” and it had a little design on it that was similar to stuff in the movie.  But I liked it because of its size and color.

I moved it with us, and we hadn’t used it, but when I was packing it up for church I discovered there was something inside.  Wings.  This little backpack has wings and a hood that attach to it, so it becomes a little dragon costume!  How perfect for a little boy who will unzip his sweatshirt and flap his arms and say, “My butterfly!”

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Two-year-old talk


I don’t know if you’ve noticed this, but I’m really bad about blogging about big things.  We spent the last two weeks in Colorado with our family, and here I am blogging about two two minute conversations with our two-year-old!  Sigh.  I guess it’s just easier to share snippets, rather than large eventful experiences.  Maybe I’ll try to review the Colorado trip later.

But for now, check out this cutie wearing a pack-n-play sheet on his head today:

Though he looks a little angry, he really was in the middle of “smiling” at me, which right now means he squints and winks.  Emet did the same thing a while back- I don’t get it.

Anyway, after church tonight on our way into the house, I was carrying Jamin.  He was saying in a baby-ish voice, “Daddy.  Daddy.”  So I asked him, “Who is your daddy?”  And he pointed to Jesse.  And the rest of the conversation went like this:




  • Me:  Do you love your daddy?
  • J:  Yao (which is his funky way of saying “yes” or “no,” but more often “yes.”  I try not to let him get by with it.).
  • Me:  Does your daddy love you?
  • J: Yes!
  • Me:  How do you know Daddy loves you?
  • J:  Cuddle.
  • Me:  Daddy cuddles you, so you know he loves you?
  • J:  Yes.
  • Me:  How else do you know that Daddy loves you?
  • J:  Cuddle Mommy.
  • Me:  Daddy cuddles Mommy, so you know he loves you?
  • J:  Yes.
  • Me:  Any other ways you know Daddy loves you?
  • J:  Pay (play) toys.
  • Me:  Daddy plays toys with you?
  • J:  Yes.  Pay ducks.
  • Me:  Daddy plays ducks with you?
  • J:  Yao (Jesse later clarified that “ducks” was probably “trucks” because that’s what they played last night).

The second little conversation took place while Jamin was using the potty (we have all sorts of great talks in the bathroom!).  He started out by pointing to his big toe.  I think you can imagine the pointing and which toe he indicated without me telling you, so I’ll just repeat what he said.

  • J:  Daddy toe.   Mommy toe.  Little boy toe.
  • Me:  Who is the next toe?
  • J:  Jamin toe.  Emet toe.
  • Me:  I see.  Who is the last toe?
  • J:  Daddy toe.  Mommy toe.  Jamin toe. Emet toe.
  • Me:  Yes, but you have five toes.  Who is the little toe?  Could that be your baby sister toe?
  • J:  Baby sister toe.

He seemed satisfied with this, and then he scrunched up all his toes and covered one foot with the other, saying, “Cuddle Mommy.”  Can you tell the kid is into cuddling?