Sunday, September 27, 2009

My Solace

I was in desperate need of some little girl cuteness tonight. My Dad is not well and will not be with us much longer and my family is my solace. So without further ado, may I present Em and Lizzie with their rendition of that classic children's ballad entitled, "Put Your Finger in the Air!" Yep, really, that is the name of the song:)

video

And Lizzie's very sweet version of "Jesus Loves Me!"

video

OK!!! I feel better now:)

Friday, September 25, 2009

Cheap Entertainment


OK!! This has to be the best $2 I think I have ever spent!! I blew them up, turned 'em loose and sat down!! Yep, I actually got to sit down - at least until I HAD to go get the camera!!

video

I had to ask myself, why don't I just keep a never ending supply of these wonderful, cheap as dirt, "toys" around all the time??? Just look at their happy, joyous faces!! It was loud but did I mention that I actually got to sit down???

And then it happened....

This


turned into this


which precipitated this


which lead to a trip back to the store for more of these.


Oh well!! Question answered!!!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Cotillion

Now I really don't know if Cotillion is a Southern phenomenon or if it is done all over the country but it just seems so Southern! Maybe it's the young ladies in white gloves or the young gentlemen learning their manners while sipping on lemonade but it just conjures up a vision of the South to me. We had Cotillion when I was growing up but I guess because I was from a VERY small town, I remember it being more of a throw down and we definitely didn't wear white gloves!!! Hehe!! Thankfully my Mom is a true Southern lady and saved me from a life of complete etiquettelessness (like my new word). Not that I always practice what I was preached but my "Miss Manners" book is always there if I ever need it and of course, Mom is just a phone call away!! Anyway, our older two boys received an invitation to join Cotillion and because a couple of their friends were participating, we felt like it could be a good thing to do, so... They had their first Cotillion dance and etiquette lesson on Monday and, drum roll please, they had fun!!!! They were required to wear dress pants (which around here = khakis), a navy blazer, tie, dress shirt and shoes!! I really thought they would HATE having to dress up and I really HATED having to pay for all that stuff because my boys don't just have navy blazers hanging in their closets!! A wonderful friend of mine knew how tight money is for us right now and actually found a navy blazer at Goodwill for $4!!! Wow!! Thank you, Nicole! I decided to go back and found 2 pairs of pants and another navy blazer, all for a grand total of, another drum roll please, $10!!! Thank you Goodwill! I thought they looked VERY handsome and was oh so proud and a little sad that they looked so incredibly grown up!!







The girls wanted in on the act as well! Em NEVER wants me to take her pic so when she asked, momma's camera was whipped out in less time than it took for her to complete the request!!! Hehe!!!







Now to find out if this is strictly a Southern tradition or not! Anybody????

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A Blog Hop

I decided to participate in a Blog Hop entitled, "why you should read my blog!" Even though I am not really,exactly sure why you should read my blog, I thought it might be fun to explore the topic!! First off, I do have to be honest and say that we don't do a whole lot of dangerous or exciting things like wrestling alligators (although after wrangling 2 three year old little girls at bedtime every night - it kind of feels like wresting alligators). We don't live the jet set life style or offer up much in the way of thought provoking intellectual ponderances. We do, however, have 5 beautiful, God given, children (4 bio and one adopted from China) 3 dogs and one very brave (or really insane)cat and lots of love and laughter!! We do like to ponder on life with 5 kids and how adoption has changed us all and made our hearts fuller, as well as some of the challenges that comes with life with 5 kids and adoption!! We do like to advocate for those children who still wait and hope that our small effort might make a difference to one of them! So, I am still not quite sure why you should read my blog but hope that you do!! Maybe one of these days you will read about a waiting child and who knows, you might be the difference!!
MckLinky Blog Hop

Special thanks to Purell Hand Sanitizer for sponsoring this blog hop.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Blogging Carnival

I am participating in an adoption carnival but cannot figure out how to insert a link to it! Maybe I will figure out all the fancy blogger stuff one of these days! Sigh!!! I just think I need about 3 or 4 more hours tacked onto every day or less need for sleep! Anyway, the carnival is about what no one told you about adoption.

No one told me how immediate the love is once you see that first picture of your child's face and how she would seem somehow, familiar.

No one told me how incredibly emotional the wait would be.

No one told me how this process would refresh my faith and cause me to explore it more fully.

No one told me that no matter how much you think you prepare yourself for gotcha day, you cannot ever be totally prepared.

No one told me how adopting Lizzie would allow me to see how beautiful my other children's hearts are.

No one told me how I would long to have held Lizzie and rocked Lizzie and sung to Lizzie and experienced Lizzie as a baby and how I ache to make up for the first 2 years of her life.

No one told me how adopting Lizzie would change the direction of my life and how a little piece of my heart would remain in China with those left waiting.

No one told me how immensely proud I would be of our beautiful, strong and courageous daughter!!!

No one could adequately tell me how incredibly beautiful and frustrating and faith full and life changing adoption is and how I would want to shout out about the beauty of it all!!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

24 Pounds - 33 1/2 Inches

Whew!!! I am exhausted!! Do you know how hard I have worked, how many grey hairs I have gotten (too many), how many countless hours I have spent at the table begging Lizzie to take just one more bite, how much muscle I have built up holding her close while she tantrums because I asked her to take one more bite (she is tiny but she is strong), and how much Pediasure I have bought (cha-ching) for that 7 pounds and 2 1/2 inches??? When we got to China Lizzie was 17 pounds and 31 inches tall and was wearing 3 month size clothing (she was 2 years old). By the time we got home she was 19 pounds and there she stayed, no matter how hard we tried. Completely understandable because she was living through leaving everything she had ever known (good or bad), coming to a new country with virtual strangers to immediately start speech therapy, physical therapy and occupational therapy, blew through 2 different hand surgeries and castings for her clubfoot (there were 18 in all), complete with some horrific skin issues. No wonder she could not gain any weight! Now that all the physical stuff is mostly behind her, we have seen some small amount of growth. We took her to the doctor yesterday just to get a growth check and low and behold, she had grown! Not enough for Momma, because well I am Momma, but enough for the doc! She is still not on the American chart but is on the Southern Chinese Growth Chart for girls!! Wup Wup!!! Small victories! I will take 'em!! So, for now, we will continue with the Pediasure (cha-ching) and the Carnation Instant Breakfast and the meds to stimulate her appetite (seriously, who actually needs their appetite stimulated???) and the prayers for patience and understanding and more small victories! Now if I could only figure out how to get the girl to grow a little more booty!! This is a short little movie of how we spend our time at the doctor's office. You know, when they immediately take you away from the big room with all the toys and put you in the tiny little room with NO toys (except of course for the stool that spins around and flings children everywhere) and tell you that the doctor will soon be with you - yeah right!! Enjoy!!

video

Monday, September 14, 2009

Precious Little Boy on CWA's List

Ok, this little one just breaks my heart!! He is simply beautiful but in his video (that's right, video!!!!) and pictures, he does not smile. Not once!! How I would love to see a smile on that precious face!! He is listed with Christian World Adoption and I promise you, he will tug at your heart. He has limb differences of both hands but looks as if he has already adapted well and should manage even better when surrounded by the love and attention of a family. He just turned 6 this month and I pray someone celebrated it with him. Please go take a look and pass it along to anyone who might be interested in making this little sweetie smile!!! Hi number on the list is c0907-36 and the website is www.cwa.org. You will need to email to get a password but they are very fast to respond!!! This seemed like a good time to post this poem that I found on Heather's blog (I think), Noodles, Tea and a Didi Please! It is called, An Orphan's Prayer!!

AN ORPHAN'S PRAYER
I am waiting…somewhere far, far away…on the other side of the world.
I may not know who you are or what you look like.
But somehow, deep in my heart, I know you are out there.
That one day you will come and find me.
It's a long journey, and it takes a lot of time.
I wish it could be easier.
But I know that the ones who come for me will not count the cost.
They will only see the joy of finding me.
For now I abide in the fields of the fatherless.
Day by day wondering, "Why was I born here and not somewhere else?"
Asking, "Why couldn't my life have been different?"
It is so lonely…
Even though I am surrounded by hundreds of other children,
I know that something is missing.
I know in my heart I need a place to call home.
My arms long to be wrapped in a father's embrace…
I long to be saved by a mother's love.
Gazing out the orphanage window, I offer a prayer of hope,
"Oh God, please help them come quickly."
Even as I lay in the darkness each night somehow I feel assured.
That no matter how lost I appear I am not alone.
Holy hands guard my steps; sacred fingers wipe my tears…
Touching my lonely heart.
The one who made me,
The God who knew me before I was born,
Hears me every time I call.
He whispers His promises in my ear.
I listen with hope to His voice.
But what I worry about most is that no one wants to look for me.
The fields are vast, and there are so many scattered all over the earth.
I wonder how one little child, so lost, can be found.
Yet He calms my heart and assures me that He will find you.
That He will make sure you hear His voice clearly.
He has promised me that He will make a way through the fields.
That He will personally cut a path, and lead you right to my orphanage door.
My prayer is…
When He speaks, please don't forget to listen.
When He calls, don't be too afraid to go.
For I am waiting…somewhere far, far away.

from All God's Children's Newsletter. No author noted.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Soccer 2009!!

Well our 2009 Fall Soccer Season has begun and the boys did great!! This is a brand new club that hubby was asked to help start by a friend of ours. It was started to help target kids that might not have a chance to play for the other (more expensive leagues) in town and has grown to include some other wonderful outreach type programs as well. We have teamed up with the Boys and Girls Club and with our local Special Olympics! WooHoo!! We also plan to initiate a mentoring program so the older kids can help coach the younger ones!! My boys will love this and are already talking about what age they want to work with - so cute! Anyway, our first game was a total victory (lost count of our goals) - way to go U10's and our second game was a victory at 4 to 1 - way to go U12's!!! We went to Mom's house afterward for some swimming (and of course candy) because our second game was in the town where I grew up!! NICE!! I took some more shots of Mom's yard because, well, It would just be criminal NOT to!! I don't know why I did not inherit her green thumb, although I will say that it was more green pre - first kid!!!! Who knows, maybe I can reclaim my green thumb inheritance apre-kids!!! When will that be again????

Here are some shots from Mom's yard and the after effects of the first game of the season!!

Mom's beautiful flowers!








Now for the after effects of playing from 8:30 until 1:30 in 90 degree, hot sun heat!!! Oh and let's not forget swimming and playing bad mitten and horseshoes!!





The first injury of the season and she wasn't even playing soccer!!! Weird, huh??


The after effects obviously didn't hit Lizzie until today, when she fell asleep in her high chair!! First time ever!!


It was a good day with (gulp) many more to come!!!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Helpful Hint!

The girls' going to school pics reminded me of a helpful hint post! The adorable dress that Em was wearing for her first day of school was in one of the big batches of clothes that my angel friend, Kim always gives us and it had a very large brown stain on the front. It honestly covered almost the entire front of the dress. Kim said that she had tried everything to get it out and was unsuccessful. I tried the stain stick that I normally use but it got a big fat "F" too!!! My wonderful hubby suggested that we try soaking it in some Oxy Clean, because he is all about me NOT going shopping!! Hehe!! So, I tried it and I have to say that I am more than willing to turn over all laundry duty to the King!!! The Oxy Clean worked!! There is not even a hint of stain left on that dress!! I am not affiliated with Oxy Clean and I do not own stock in the company, but I might buy some now!! The key, I think, is the pre-soak. I have since tried it on some other really yucky stains and I have to say that it is amazing!! I also have to say that hubby respectfully declined his title of laundry King:(

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Good first day at school and how I spent my "me" time!!

So the girls had a great first day!! They had fun and made pictures and played on the playground!! Can ya think of a better day??? They really didn't seem to miss me at all or so I thought!! Lizzie has begun to express herself more lately (thank you speech therapy) and has begun to put her feelings into words and it has been amazing and sometimes heartbreaking. That will be a post of it's own later!! Anyway, as I walked into Lizzie's classroom, she spotted me and bolted into my arms. I picked her up and she just hugged my neck so tightly (she is very strong for such a little thing) and was laughing and telling me that she had had so much fun at school!! She kept her firm grip around my neck and then began to repeat my words to me, "Momma always comes back!!" "Momma always comes back!!" She then included some words of her own, "Momma stay me forever!!" "Momma never leaves me!!" No baby girl, Momma will never, ever leave you and will stay with you forever!!! She continued to hug me until, I think, she was satisfied that she had hugged me enough and we went to Em's classroom. They were on the playground so I think Em was a little annoyed that I had come to take her away from all the fun!! The girl likes playgrounds!!

The answer to what I did with my morning will follow these cute first day pics and video!!




video





video

As to what I did with my morning.... Did you know that 3 hours feels like it lasts about a nanosecond!!!!! I guess it does depend on what you happen to be doing. If you are stuck in traffic for 3 hours, then it would seem long. If you were stuck in traffic with 2 adorable 3 year olds who try to outdo each other from the backseat by trying to see who can say Mommie, Mommie, Mommie the most and the loudest, then, ok, it would seem like a lifetime!!! However, when you have 3 hours of blissful silence, we're talking nanoseconds, people!!!! Do I go have a great cup of coffee or window shop(thanks TM and Heather) or do I just have some alone time (thanks Monica) or do I go home and wash laundry and clean the house!! I could enjoy myself but get nothing done or could be practical and get a lot done!!! I ended up with kind of a combo of both!!

I relaxed with some yoga (quality alone time)



Took an uninterrupted shower (a Mommie dream)


Dryed my hair, because I actually got to wash my hair (see the afore mentioned uninterrupted shower)


Got some computer time (without the cries of "see, see, I want to see")



And did some laundry (the practical part)



and then in a flash, it was over!!! Oh well, at least there was no time for tears and I am already planning the agenda for Friday!! Hehe!!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Bye Bye Summer

While Labor Day does not necessarily mean the end of the summer heat (around here anyway), it does kind of signal the end of summer and it seemed to take forever to get here this year - got to be because the boys started school so dang early - ugh!!!! We decided to spend our last “official” weekend of summer playing soccer at the beach and having a picnic at the park with our local FCC (families with children from China) friends. The boys always love soccer and the girls always love the beach so it worked out well:) We are just starting to get to know our friends in our FCC chapter, and I think it will be a good thing for Lizzie, especially as she gets older. We ended up having a great weekend and are already looking forward to next summer – sigh!!

The girls actually start school tomorrow!!! After several hugs and kisses (ok, a lot of hugs and kisses), I think I will be doing the happy dance while wiping my tears away and wondering what to do with my 3 whole hours!! Any suggestions???


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Sunday, September 6, 2009

Student Council


Lookey who got nominated to serve as a Student Council Representative for the 6th grade!!! Christian came home the other day and just casually said that 6th graders could run for student council and that he had brought home an application - oh yeah!!! Both Hubby and I jumped on that and immediately said that we thought he ought to run. He filled out the application and promised to turn it in. Well, the little stinker waited until the very last day but finally turned it in and sure enough, he got nominated!! He was so excited as were we and so very proud!! Christian is a hard working, dedicated, responsible young man and he has very much earned this recognition. We know he will serve his 6th grad class and his school well!! When I spoke to one of his teachers about it, she was very excited and told me that every teacher they had spoken with about Christian was thrilled that he wanted to run and said, "YES!! Get him on student council!!" Did I already say how proud we are of him?? Way to go, sweetie!! We love you!!!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Charlie's Redemption Post

Charlie's class had to (already - ugh) complete a project. The topic was how something has changed over the decades. They were given a list of suggestions that included ideas such as cars, airplanes, hairstyles, etc. When my hubby saw the list he immediately picked the ones HE thought (hoped) Charlie would pick!! Cars and planes topped that list. Anyway, as my hubby drooled over the thought of helping his son research cars and planes, Charlie blew us away with HIS choice. This was a topic that he thought of all on his own. I even checked with his teacher to see if she might have suggested it in class, but sure enough our "not a care in the world" (except for the previous TV debacle) 9 year old came up with this topic all by himself. The topic was race relations and how they have changed over the decades. WOW!! REALLY??? The teacher thought that maybe we had suggested this topic to him and asked if I was surprised by his choice? All I could say was, "honestly, yes!!!" She then went on to say that she was not and to describe Charlie as a very quiet (HUH??), shy (again, HUH???), observant (OK, maybe), caring (OK, she got that one right) child. Now I begin to wonder if we are talking about the same kid!! At least now I know why he is bouncing off the walls the minute I pick him up from school. He has been saving it up ALL day!! He must be like a ticking time bomb set to explode with energy the minute his foot leaves school property!! He did work hard on his project and we are in awe at his level of awareness. I must admit that we do not agree with the President on, well, just about anything, but we DO agree that it is most definitely "not the color of your skin, but the content of your character!" It won't save him from his punishment for the TV debacle, but it sure did make us proud!

Sorry about the quality of the pictures, I was scrambling to take them as we walked out the door for school.



Should Chores Be This Fun??

My Hubby decided that yesterday was the day to wash both cars. Forget about the fact that we were going to the beach today!! Hello!!! Kids + beach = SAND!!!! Anyway, it started out great, well organized and orderly!! Hubby had the troops well in hand.



However, it quickly deteriorated into this...






Unabashed, caveman like craziness!!





What is it about boys (and men) and a water hose???






Time to dry off!! They may be big enough for caveman like craziness but never too big for a favorite old puppy towel, except for maybe my 11 (soon to be 12) year old!! Sniff, sniff!!!