Monday, August 31, 2009

Rain, Rain Go Away or Maybe Not!!

If the rain went away, then there would be no need for really cute pink umbrellas or absolutely adorable rain boots!!

I believe that just as the trees, flowers and grass need the rain, so do little girls with pretty pink umbrellas and adorable rain boots!!!


Sunday, August 30, 2009

The Clothes Fairy

The Clothes Fairy strikes again!!! Thank you Kim!! Target must really be hurting these days:) After once again dumping everything on the floor, the chosen outfits of the day were a birthday girl shirt and nothing else, except pigtails for Lizzie and an adorable hat, Mickey Mouse shirt and flannel piggy PJ pants for Em!!!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Ten Fingers and Ten Toes

Ten fingers and ten toes. That is what you hear from someone who is expecting and close to delivery. As long as she is healthy and has all ten fingers and ten toes…” I remember my Mom telling me how that was hard for her to hear after my brother was born, mostly because she didn’t want him to hear it one day and be saddened by it. My brother has hands and feet very similar to Lizzie’s. I grew up knowing what her struggles and triumphs might be. I watched my brother’s strength and determination everyday and he became my hero. Lizzie’s hands are actually what told my heart that she was our daughter. The minute I saw that picture of her hands, I just knew that she was our destiny and we were hers. It was as if I was looking at someone that I already knew and had been loving forever. I knew instantly and instinctively what her struggles and triumphs might be and I could not wait to witness her greatness, as I have done with my brother. So why, in a moment of panic, did I forget all that I had grown up knowing. Forget all that I had learned from watching my brother figure out his own way and NEVER letting his hands and feet stop him from doing whatever he was determined to do. It overwhelmed me one day when Em and I were enjoying a Mommie and daughter bonding moment!! She spotted my fingernail polish and asked me to paint her fingernails and toenails. Em was so thrilled with her “Mommie like” nails and was showing them off to anyone and everyone. Afterward, I started thinking about Lizzie and what I would do when she wanted me to paint her toenails and her fingernails. She doesn’t have many of either and I panicked. What would I do? How would I handle it? Maybe I should ban ALL polish from the house? Surely Em wouldn’t miss not EVER having her nails painted again?? As I was officially freaking out, my very wise husband (did I just actually put that in print?) looked at me and calmly said, “Honey, you will just paint her fingernails and toenails,” and that was that. Thank goodness I knew to wait for my husband, who balances me so perfectly. He didn’t grow up knowing all this and yet was wise enough to know our Lizzie and know that she would LOVE to have the fingernails and toenails that she does have, painted a pretty pink color and would proudly show them off to whoever would stop long enough to look! To me, they are perfect and beautiful hands and feet and I just can’t stop kissing them most days. We have started to get more and more questions about her precious hands and feet and are responding that there is nothing wrong with them. She was simply born that way. Sweet Em actually asked that question for the first time today, as we were once again painting our nails together in a Mommie and daughter and daughter bonding moment! Hence this post! For now, Lizzie seems oblivious to the comments and questions but I know that the time will come when she will understand a bit more and recognize the fact that her hands and feet are indeed different and will, hopefully, understand that different is ok. I also know that she is tough (like her uncle) and wise (like her Daddy) and will be able to answer the questions herself and ignore the comments (if she so chooses) or be able to tell the very unfortunate person making the comment exactly what she thinks AND that she has 3 REALLY big brothers AND a really overprotective sister who have always “got her back”!! Hehe!! I know that I will probably continue to have slightly (notice I used the word slightly, honey) panicked moments in the future and more than likely some heartbreaking ones, but I find comfort in the fact that my wonderful hubby will continue “have my back!” One of the things my children are teaching me is to never, ever underestimate their strength of character and determination. Some days I think about the fact that Lizzie will have to figure out how to open jars with big lids or learn to swing from the monkey bars with her arms or count to ten without the use of her fingers or wear flipflops (because I know she will) or, eventually, how she will wear her wedding ring. All things that I know my Lizzie will figure out in her own way and I know that I just need to get out of her way and allow her to do it – to struggle until she gets it!! To be able to stand aside and cheer her on but to allow her to struggle is the hardest and best thing I can do for her. I understand completely now my mother’s courageousness at letting my brother struggle and what he gained from that. He seldom saw her sadness, but I did and it touched me in a way that I did not understand until I saw that picture on that waiting child list. I knew at that moment that this was what had been in my heart from the moment I was old enough to love. Lizzie’s journey has not been an easy one but it has been a journey that has grown our family and our hearts. In the months before she came home, we talked a lot about her hands and feet. We researched and discussed treatment and surgeries. We met with doctors and talked about what she might be facing in the future. The funny thing is, her hands and feet are (right now) such a non-issue. Her clubfoot treatment was longer than we anticipated but Lizzie proved to us how strong and determined she is and made what would have bedridden most adults, look easy. She breezed through her hand surgeries and left little doubt of her remarkable resilience – especially when waking up from the anesthesia, she wacked the anesthesiologist so hard she broke her cast!! That’s our Lizzie May!! What has been more difficult for us right now and more of an issue has been her recovery from spending the first 2 years of her life in an orphanage. Getting her through that has been a slow and ongoing process. It has also, however, been such a privilege to witness and something that I have no doubt, our family was destined to do and was handpicked for. I think this journey has grown our hearts to include our sweet Lizzie but it has also grown our hearts for each other and that is something that I will forever be thankful for. Some people say that Lizzie is such a lucky little girl but I know how lucky we are and how much Lizzie has blessed our lives. So now, because of my children and my amazing husband, I look forward to the future with a larger heart and a greater capacity for love and I can’t wait to see what is next for us. I hope that anyone thinking about growing their family will think about adoption (and in particular special needs adoption) and know that it will certainly change a child’s life for the better but it will also change yours in so many unexpected and beautiful ways. A tribute to my brother and my daughter!!!

Lizzie and her favorite pink polish, waiting patiently for it to dry!! Isn't she gorgeous?????

Remember this post????

Re-advocating for this special little girl

I was asked by Lynn at WACAP to please re post about this beautiful little girl in the hopes that she can find a family soon. It is so great to know that wonderful agencies like WACAP truly care about the children that are entrusted to them. Thank you Lynn for being such an angel for these kids!! I was asked to re post about her and of course I will. Please pass the word about this very special soul!!

Girl, age 12, severe burns, speaks English, up to $9,750 grant/waivers, time running out
We need a family to adopt a talented 12-year-old orphan girl from Asia with severe facial and hand burns. Her situation would be greatly improved if she could be adopted soon. This girl has had successful surgery in the United States. According to her host family, she speaks English well. She is also a gifted sculptor and artist who likes to draw. She loves pets and soccer. WACAP has waived its application fee for this child, so there is no financial obligation if you would like to ask for her photo and complete file. Up to $9,750 in grants and waivers are available to an eligible registered family who adopts her. Please feel free to forward this post, especially to families familiar with burn issues.
 She was found with a note indicating her birth date.
 She suffered severe facial and hand burns when she was 2 years old and was brought to the orphanage.
 She cried out for her mother at first but then adjusted to orphanage life.
 She speaks clearly, likes to sing, and has normal development and a good memory.
 She has an outgoing personality and gets along well with others.
 She can draw very well and is artistic, sculpting very fine characters with dough.
 She uses her hands well and cleans very efficiently.
 She is recovering well after her second plastic surgery (completed in the U.S.).
 Her U.S. host family reports that she speaks English well.
 There is a $4,000 Promise Child grant available to eligible registered families for this adoption.
 Please ask about a possible additional fee waiver of up to $5,000.
 The application fee of $250 has been waived.
 The pre-approval fee of $500 has been waived.
 Married couples please ask about a possible exemption from a requirement (determined on a case by case basis).
 YD.0297.16195.01
WACAP ( is a non-profit adoption agency. Please contact or 1-800-732-1887 for additional information and to see her photo. There is no fee involved to see her file and photo.

Well it looks like this special little girl has found her family!!!
I just love hearing happy endings like this one and thought I would share!!!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Boys Just Love to Flip

Two of the boys and I spent the day and night with my folks. My Dad's health is deteriorating rapidly and it has been very hard on my Mom lately. My wonderful hubby took the girls home with him (our eldest was spending the night with a friend) and the other 2 boys and I got to hang with JuJu and help with GaDa!! As I watched the boys swim (cause JuJu's house comes complete with a pool and candy), I thought I would try to get some pics of them as they swam. The boys really got into it and we ended up having a great time just trying to get some cool shots. I did get soaked but we did get some pretty neat shots, especially for MY camera:) Have I mentioned that I would like a nicer camera??? These were all taken on the "sports" mode - even the butterfly!!

Boys love to flip


and to cannonball

and to dive

and apparently walk on water - this one was taken a night and didn't look as good but it sure does look like Charlie is walking on water!!!

and I just couldn't resist the butterfly!

It was a wonderful and difficult time and I was so glad to be able to be there for my parents. The beautiful man that I was smart enough to marry sent me this before I went to my parents' and I just had to post it. It is wonderfully done and worth watching and can help to remind you of those things in life that matter the most and what is important, even when it wasn't always perfect.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

My Bottom is Really Stinky!!

Not mine, but apparently my precious daughter's!! I guess you could say that this is a complimentary post to all the "Big Girl Pants" posts on here lately. We really aren't obsessed with bottoms around here but we have just completed not one but two successful potty trainings (at the same time, I might add) and we do have 4 of the male (alien) species living amoung us, soooo.... We end up with big BOY pants on pretty little girl bottoms AND songs like this from pretty little girl mouths!!! Oh my!!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


Now she has recruited little sister!!!! Will the madness EVER stop!!! No Diego for Lizzie!! She went straight for the race cars!!! I just know these two stay up at night thinking of ways to drive their mother completely crazy!!! I think I will put the Big Momma hex on the pair of them that they will both have nothing but a house full of boys!!! Really LOUD boys!!! bwwwaaahahahah!!! Oh wait, that means that we would have load of really loud grandsons!!! Never mind:)

Welcome Visitors!!

Can you see what is in the picture? It was the best I could do without scaring them away. There is a family of deer that come and hang in our backyard from time to time and they are soooooooo cute!!! I just love all the wildlife that we see in our yard. We have seen our cute family of deer, turkeys, an albino squirrel and a big FAT possum that moseys up our drive way whenever he gets hungry. The only guest I wanted to kick out was the alligator that we saw taking a stroll across the street!! My 9 year old wanted a picture of it on his cell phone, soooo being the wonderfully cool (insane) mother that I am, I got his phone and took some pictures. Easy enough, until he started hissing at me!! I guess he wasn't ready for his close up!!


What a great weekend!! My cousin (who is more like my sister) came to E. Beach for the week with her hubby and 2 boys. Her Mom and my Mom are sisters. She is the youngest of 5 while I am the oldest of 2! So here we are, she has 2 and I have 5!! How did that happen?? LOL!! We always have such a great time together and miss the times that “could be” because they moved waaaayyyy up North 6 or 7 years ago – ugh!! We spent ALL day at the beach and had a blast! And yes TM, I applied the sunscreen this time (not hubby) and no one got a sunburn! Hehe! Thought about you:) Anyway, here are some cute pics from the weekend.

Hide and Seek. Can you tell how many kids are in there??

Cousins are great!!!

Caleb's sand castle and the encroaching waves!!

A valiant effort was made to try and save brother's castle from the incoming tide!! All hands pitched in!!

But in the end, the sea claimed it's prize!!

Em trys her hand at it!!

The difference between boys and girls at our house!

According to my hubby!! Hehe!!

It was a fun weekend! Miss you guys already!!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Em in all her glory!!

If you recall a couple of posts back, I wrote about my adventure in "big girl pants" shopping with my pretty princess who wants to be a boy when she grows up (or a baby doctor/ballerina - she really can't decide). After much whining and nashing of teeth (and that was just from me), we compromised on purchasing some pretty pink big girl pants IF and only IF she could wear some of her big bro's Diego pants:) Well, just had to get a picture for prove or black mail, whichever comes first!! Hehe:)

I also just HAD to post this picture!! Hubby took this picture at the pool this afternoon. To me, this picture captures Em's gusto for life!!! I LOVE it:) It terrifies me at times, but mostly I just revel in it!! Love ya girlie:)

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Back to School - Whoo Hoo or Oh No!!

First of all I just have to say that I have really enjoyed my children this summer!! It has been a very laid back summer, mostly because we really couldn't afford to DO anything, so we went to the beach and the pool and the library and (of course) JuJu's house!! We spent many evenings on the front porch eating ice cream and Popsicles and it was simply grand!! I have loved sleeping til 7:30 and NOT having to rush to get anywhere! That being said, it will be nice to have a schedule again and, I must admit, I am looking forward to some alone time, even if it is only 9 hours a week:) So next Tuesday my alarm will go off at 4:45 am and the craziness will begin for the next 9 months!! I am already longing for the lazy, hazy days of summer and that's saying a lot because it get REALLY HOT here!! LOL!! Am I crazy?? Does everyone else look forward to school?? Let me know! Any advice on making the crazy days easier, organization wise!! I do so LOVE to organize!! I guess you have to with 5 kids:) Hehe!!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Sorry Ebay!!!

So just last night I was breaking the bad news to my hubby that I was Ebay bound in the next few days to try and find some dresses for Em. She either grows an inch every time I put a dress on her or my dryer is some sort of a super duper shrink-a-nator!! Well then today, in rides my wonderful friend on her white horse and bag FULL of clothes for Em that her gorgeous daughter had outgrown. She had barely gotten her foot in the door when Em spotted the bag! It took less than about 3 seconds for her to ever so stealthily (is that a word?) mosey on over, grab the bag and dump the contents on the floor. The next 30 minutes were spent sifting through the dresses and shirts and pants and trying on whatever struck her fancy! At one point, she sat in the midst of all her new clothes, in her big girl pants (she was in between wardrobe changes)and nothing else but a warm, woolly, winter hat!! I would have loved to have been able to get pictures of some of her outfits but she just does NOT like having her picture taken - UGH!!! It really should be illegal to be that cute and that camera shy!! Hehe!! I did glance over a couple of times, however and caught her with MY camera taking pictures of her beautiful bounty!!

The next 2 are Em's pics!! Not too bad:)

This was the ONLY one I managed to get while she was twirling!!

I found this quote and thought of my friend!! Thank you, Kim!!

"A friend is someone who reaches for your hand, but touches your heart."
- Kathleen Grove

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Painted Lady!

A local shopping center had a block party tonight with jump castles and face painting, so of course we had to go because everybody wants to get their face painted! The kids all waited patiently in line while they deliberated what they would choose to adorn their faces. There was much discussion about the tiger versus the frog, versus the smiley face. In the end they ALL wanted to be a tiger! OK, easy enough! For once, I didn't have to get the pen and paper out to write down what all the kids wanted so I wouldn't get it wrong! Hehe!! After waiting for what (in kid time) seemed like FOREVER, it was finally our turn! Sure enough, all of our boisterous, energetic and just plain LOUD kids suddenly became mute!! Little Lizzie was the ONLY one who found the courage (and her voice) and decided that she wanted a heart! Very appropriate for this tiny girl with such a gigantic heart! What happened to the tiger and my LOUD children?? Oh well, Lizzie wasn't to sure about it at first, but as soon as she looked in the mirror she LOVED it and spent the rest of the night showing everyone her "paint"!!!

Look at that beautiful face!!

I had to post this one because it really shows the difference in size of my 3 year old virtual twins!! Keep eating that candy baby girl!!

Friday, August 7, 2009

15 minutes of pure bliss!!

Looky what I got this morning!! 15 minutes of pure bliss and peace and quiet and coffee:) I awoke this morning to the sound of "Momma" from upstairs and a pair of 6 year old feet in my face (but that's a different post)! I got up and got dressed and listened and then heard - nothing! Could it be?? I strained my ears and checked the monitor (is it actually on?) and sure enough, nothing! So, there I was up and dressed and NO ONE else was awake!! WOW!! What do I do? Do I check email, do I dust off the yoga tapes, do I prepare a gourmet breakfast for everyone - yeah right!!! As I as pondering my whole new world of possibilities, our bladder challenged puppy dog looked longingly into my eyes. Translation - gotta go Momma!! So I grabbed a cup of coffee and off to the front porch we went - just the dogs and me! For 15 glorious minutes this morning I enjoyed an uninterrupted cup of coffee while swinging on my front porch swing and soaking up the quiet! Amazing how relaxed I was by the time the call of "Momma" came again!!

The only one missing was our 90 pound teddy bear - Tazzie

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Big Girl Pants = Happy Momma

Well I do believe the day has finally come! A day that we have been anxiously anticipating, a day that will live in infamy, a day that will forever more be celebrated with great jubilation - the girls are finally wearing big girl pants! We no longer have any kids in diapers! Oh my! I thought I was ready!! Hehe!! We have been clipping diaper coupons for 12 years now and have always at least one (if not 2) kids in diapers! I actually thought (hoped) we would have been here sooner because girls are easier to potty train - right??? All 3 of the boys were potty trained at exactly 3 1/2 - ugh! I know, I know, that is very late but they just were not ready until then and we just did not push it. At 3 1/2 they each just decided one day that they wanted to go poop in the potty and that was that! I was thinking that the girls might do better and they did but only by a month or two and Lizzie has (so far) done a little bit better than Em - go figure! So anyway, after deciding that it was time, I told the girls that we would go to Target and purchase some pretty, flowery, princess laden big girl pants. They were very excited and could not wait to get there. As we were looking through the immense collection of pink and green panties, I found Em checking out the Diego pants! Now, I do love the fact that Em is such a great mix of girly girl and tomboy, however, when it comes to underwear... Momma was standing her ground!! Em pleaded with me to let her buy big BOY pants!! No amount of pink princesses was going to change her mind!! I finally had to promise her that if she would just pick out some big GIRL pants, she could wear some of her big brother's old Diego pants!! That did it and the flowery girl pants were purchased. Sure enough, as soon as we got home, she beboped upstairs, pick herself out some Diego pants from her brother's drawer, put them on and promptly tinkled in them:) Hehe!!! I do now have them both wearing big girl pants and things are going pretty well. Do I have a little sadness at not having a baby in diapers anymore? Yeah, I do but I did find myself dreaming of all the wonderful things that I can clean (other than a bottom) with baby wipes!!!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Tips and Tidbits

Ok so here is a tip from an idiot! You all probably figured this out a long time ago but a friend of mine emailed this to me and I had to share. Have you ever struggled with the roll of tin foil or plastic wrap? Does it always want to fall out of the box when you are trying to rip off a sheet? Did you know that there at the ends of the boxes there are places to push in that secure the roll of whatever??? I never knew this and feel like a complete idiot for spending half my life mangling rolls of foil and plastic wrap! And it does not matter what brand it is! I spent (wasted) an afternoon checking out the various brands to make sure! Why haven't I heard of this before now!!! Again, the whole world probably knew this at birth and I am just now getting a clue - but had to share - just in case:)

Also had to share what I found at Target the other day. This is a Ni Hao Kai Lan floor puzzle that has words on it in Chinese and English! LOVED it and know what will be on Lizzie's Christmas Wish list!

I also wanted to let everyone know that we know have a new Power Ranger at our house fighting off bad guys and rambunctious big brothers. The dogs feel VERY safe:)

Very cool email!!

Got this from a wonderful friend of mine and thought it was beautiful! This is great love!

God's Wings -

A little something to put things in perspective...

After a forest fire in Yellowstone National Park , forest rangers
began their trek up a mountain to assess the inferno's damage.

One ranger found a bird literally petrified in ashes, perched
Statuesquely on the ground at the base of a tree. Somewhat
Sickened by the eerie sight, he knocked over the bird with a stick.
When he gently struck it, three tiny chicks scurried from under
their dead mother's wings. The loving mother, keenly aware of
impending disaster, had carried her offspring to the base of the
tree and had gathered them under her wings, instinctively knowing
that the toxic smoke would rise.

She could have flown to safety but had refused to abandon her
babies. Then the blaze had arrived and the heat had scorched her
small body, the mother had remained steadfast ..because she had
been willing to die, so those under the cover of her wings would live.

'He will cover you with His feathers,
And under His wings you will find refuge.'
(Psalm 91:4)

Being loved this much should make a difference in your life.
Remember the One who loves you, and then be different because of it.