Saturday, December 22, 2007
Wednesday, June 6, 2007
Today we had court to finalize Annalyn's adoption. It was a breeze! Not more than 10 minutes total. Annalyn was very excited and wanted to know if this was anything like Judge Judy's courtroom happenings. Not quite dear, I told her, in this court proceeding everyone leaves happy!
Monday, June 4, 2007
Today we watched Julia receive not one but two awards --- one in scholastics and one as Husky (student) of the year in her class. Go Julia!
This Friday is Sveta's 10th birthday! It is pretty much all she can talk about. She's hoping to get a cute, pink pair of skates -----not in-line but the old-fashioned skates like I had growing up. She wore them last time we went roller-skating and had a much easier and enjoyable time.
The last day of school for my kids is this Thursday. They can't wait and frankly neither can I!
We are going to the beach next week for a whole week! One day we are going to visit the San Diego Zoo. I've never been there, but I hear it is BIG!
Friday, June 1, 2007
I would love to write more -----so much is going on in our house, but us girls are about to go to my Mom's house for dinner. I promise to write more very soon. I just wanted to share that Julia's teacher called today to tell me she will be receiving the Husky of the Year award for her whole class. I'm so proud of her! But shhhhhhhhhh, it's supposed to be a secret.
Thursday, May 24, 2007
John and I have decided to have Anna repeat the 2nd grade next year. She is making great progress but she is still struggling because of her understanding of the English language. This is also the best time for her to improve her classroom behavior skills before she jumps into a classroom with 32 kids. Right now she is in a class with only 20 students and is able to get more one on one attention which has been very good for her. One more year of this small classroom atmosphere is going to benefit her greatly. Sure, we teetered back and forth with our decision but once we talked with Anna's teacher and the principal we knew it would be in her best interests. They are supportive of our decision and most importantly, Anna is in agreement and understands how beneficial this choice will be for her. She is excited at the idea of being near the top in her class (which I believe she will be) instead of struggling near the bottom. I am so proud of her optimistic outlook!
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
I am so glad that I took my daughters on this retreat. It had a fun western theme. I enjoyed watching my girls have fun as they experienced their first sleepaway camp. Though we stayed in the least expensive cabin, my girls thought it was the best. Sveta even commented on how nice it was. Bless her heart.
Jana Alayra did worship. She was really awesome. You should check out her website at http://www.janaalayra.com/. My girls loved her! They even got to get up on stage to help her with the hand motions to one of her songs. Anna was especially excited when I called her a Christian rockstar. When we first got home all she could talk about with her brothers was how she met a Christian rockstar.
During gametime on Saturday, Annalyn won a can of Pork & Beans and a box of Crunch and Munch while Julia opted to rope a steer. As we ate lunch, we saw a snake swimming in the creek, a big fat frog laying on a rock, and fish as long as my forearm. It was nature at its best.
Though the picture above shows five girls enjoying a paddle boat ride in the pond, it didn't start out that way.
Originally, six of us piled into one of the paddle boats (including myself). As I tried to steer it, I realized that it only wanted to go in circles as we drifted out into the middle of the pond. Frustrated, I tried to steer the boat by manually guiding the rudder only to end up with a freezing cold hand. The girls were quite tired from pedaling, so I finally grabbed onto another boat who pulled us back in. Later, as we explained that the boat must be broken, one of the camp workers took it for a test drive. It worked perfectly, as he informed us that it must have been weighed down with too many people. Thanks alot, I thought. Are you calling me fat?
Friday, May 18, 2007
Today was William's fieldtrip. We went to Weibe Farms. We learned all about stone fruit, and what goes on in a packing shed. It was quite interesting. I was very proud of William for at least trying the peach muffins that we had for snack.
Tomorrow will be a busy and exciting day. I am going with Anna on her fieldtrip and then we are going on the mother-daughter retreat. As we packed, I could tell the excitement was building for the girls. Sveta asked about swimming because I had them pack their swimsuits. Since the camp has a small pond, I told them that they could go swimming in there.
Sveta of course asked, "In there sharks? That bite?"
"No," I told her, "Just little fish that bite your feet like the kitty."
Sveta's face at that moment was absolutely priceless so I decided to play further with her. As I told her again about the biting, little fish, I went around pinching her and Anna's feet just like the fish would. She saw me smile and Anna knew I was kidding, but Sveta had to still inquire further to make sure I was just playing with her.
"No, you just kidding." she retorted, smiling as she encouraged me to tell her more about the things that bite in the pond. I continued to make things up as Annalyn joined in.
"And don't forget the octopuses Sveta, that come and suck your face like this." I said as I pretended to be an octopus by placing my spread out hands over their faces and making slurping noises. The girls busted up laughing. I think I enjoyed myself as much as they did!
Tonight as I rallied up the younger boys to brush their teeth I had one more good laugh as Jonny came running into the bathroom screaming, "No poothpase, no poothpase!!!!!!!!"
Monday, May 14, 2007
I would love to write more today, but I have to sort through clothes instead. We have been blessed with five or six families giving us hand-me-downs and now I have clothes coming out of my ears. Literally, I have them in piles going up the stairs. This has been a growing problem for months now, and the clothes just won't stay in the closets anymore. The girls keep going through them (afterall isn't that what you do with hand-me-downs) and now that the clothes have gotten loose, they are roaming everywhere.
Thankfully, I am able to pass the extras down to other families or take them down to our local church donation store. They never go to waste.
Friday, May 11, 2007
I started my morning off with good ol' sweetened condensed milk drizzled over a buttered waffle. Yumm - O as Rachel Ray would put it. One of my all-time decadent treats since my little Anna turned me on to it many months ago. So simple, yet oh so delicious. They love to describe the near and dear things they remember eating in the Detski Dom. Condensed milk spread on bread and poured on top of kasha is just one of the many things they enjoyed eating and I love that I am able to provide a comfort food for them by merely opening a can.
Adam has discovered E-Bay. He just made his first, very own purchase even after I tried to dissuade him. He rationalized his $50 shoe purchase as something he needed rather than admitting that he wanted them because of the brand.
That's ok. At least he heard me out, asked permission, told me I had actually made him rethink his decision, and went ahead and bought them anyways. Hey, it's his money and one less pair of shoes I have to buy.
Sveta is going on a field trip today. She is probably boarding the Amtrack train as we speak. She was so excited this morning --- I'm sure she is going to have a blast! I even packed her hot Cheetos! Since this is her second time going on this fieldtrip (she is repeating 2nd grade) and I already went with her last year, I decided to give her some freedom and stay home. Afterall, she is getting to be a big girl as she told me, "Mama you don't have to go with me on train because I am already big. I can go by myself. I will stay with Mr Bartell." Besides, I have two field trips I am going on next week.
Jonny split his lip last night and got a bloody nose. Poor guy. Even after telling him a million times, he went ahead and ran on the wet cement patio ------need I say more. Of course, I didn't have the heart to punish him for not listening ---- sometimes the natural consequence of one's actions is enough.
Tomorrow our family is going to an Adoption Ark reunion in the park. I am so excited. I'm glad AA is doing this because I think it is very important for adoptive families to get together so that they can support each other. I have found that other adoptive families are the only ones that really know what you are experiencing and so getting together to visit and share stories provides an outlet where you can share your joys and struggles of parenting. I have found myself (a couple of times) walking across the street to vent my current parenting woes to my good friend and neighbor who has also adopted only to find her walking towards my house --thus meeting half way.
Next week, I am taking my four girls on a mother-daughter retreat. Again, I am so excited that I can hardly wait! I invited two of my friends who have also adopted daughters similar in age. Plus another dear friend who knows all of us and has a six year old daughter too. So a total of 12 of us will be piling into my big van to go up to the mountains for the weekend.
I jumped in the pool yesterday, and it wasn't even that cold!
Wednesday, May 9, 2007
Thankfully, I remembered to this morning.
Swim Season has offically begun.
Yesterday we went to Grandma and Grandpa's house for swimming and barbecued hamburgers. Boy, does Grandpa make the best! The pool is supposedly up to 87 degrees but I am not ready to test the water yet. My kids on the other hand can't seem to get enough. Maybe this weekend I'll take my first dip of the year. John is already teaching Jonny to swim and I expect he will be official by the end of summer. Go Jonny!
Friday, May 4, 2007
Four days ago my three daughter's brought a kitten home from school.
"Mom, mom. Look how cute she is." Julia told me this as she brought the kitty out from inside her coat pocket.
"Isn't it soooo cute, Mama?" Anna chimed in.
"Mama, It wants a drink of milk. Can we give it some milk?"
"A man was just giving these kittens out and no one wanted this little grey kitty. I promise. Come on Mom can't we keep it. Please?"
"Mom, please talk to Daddy. We can't just let it go or it will die. I promise. It will die."
"I promise Mom, no one else wanted it. Promise. So can we keep it?"
Boy, do my daughter's know how to get me to say yes. I promise. My husband on the other hand ------well I couldn't answer for him.
First of all you need to realize that I absolutely love animals but my husband isn't really an animal person --------he is highly allergic -------and doesn't like poop in the yard. After many years he finally agreed to take Dolly our dog. One reason being because our daughter Sveta really, really wanted one and we have read how wonderful children with FAS respond to having a pet. A second reason being that Dolly was my late Baboonya's (grandmother's) dog who my grandfather wanted to keep in the family so asked us to take. Thirdly, he promised the children that we could get a dog if it was small, free and nice. Dolly is all three.
So the girls brought this kitty home who I had no problem keeping, but wondered what Daddy would say. I told them that they needed to call him.
"Can't you call him?"
"No. You brought the kitty home, you need to call Dad."
Surprisingly John said yes. I am a very blessed woman, and my children have an awesome Dad.
I was a little concerned about how Dolly would react to this new Kitty, so I got the bright idea of introducing the kitty as Dolly's new baby. It could work.
The kids were skeptical that a dog could take in a kitten, but if it was possible I knew Dolly would be the dog to do it.
I introduced them while holding both of them and I just kept giving Dolly lots of praise each time she would try and smell the kitty. At least she wasn't trying to hurt the baby kitty.
After a while I tucked the kitty into Dolly's bed and told Dolly to go lay down too. I kept doing this every time I saw Dolly get up and I would continue to give her praise and talk sweet to her like I know she likes. After a couple of hours we began to see Dolly licking the kitty and nudging it (I don't mean to refer to the kitty as it, but I still can't tell if it is a boy or a girl) with her nose to keep it in check. Soon the kitty was following Dolly around and the rest is history.
Dolly has a new baby, and she is quite the Mama. She sits close by and watches while her baby eats and only then finishes up what is on the plate. Dolly's ears perk up and she is runs up to the kitty if she hears it so much as meow. Dolly plays with the kitty and tolerates the kitty's playful scratching and biting even when I am sure she has had enough. And the very best part, the kitty rarely cries and sleeps through the night with Dolly laying right next to her. Dolly will even stand over the kitty with her legs apart whenever the kitty tries to nurse.
It really is amazing to see.
What is really special about all of this, is that my girls have a better understanding of adoption and the limitless ability to love God gives us. The kitty didn't come from Dolly's tummy and isn't even the same kind of animal, yet her love for her new baby is very apparent. To her, it doesn't make any difference that she is a dog and the new baby is a cat.
Saturday, April 21, 2007
Also, Adam and Caleb's team played their toughest competition tonight and won 1-0. That makes them 8 - 0. Go Reds!
I am taking William up to the Diagnostic Center tomorrow for evaluations. The testing will last three days.
I was so proud of myself for having eaten the fish, that I could not wait to tell John, who I was already beginning to miss deeply. So much was happening, and I would have loved to have him by my side. Isn't there some saying about absence makes the heart grow fonder?
I slept so well last night. I didn't even have to use the bathroom ---which is unusual for me. Probably because I am afraid of coyotes or snakes or something. Everybody was loading up as this would be our last day at this particular camp. We would spend the rest of our time over at the actual church site.
As I walked around taking pictures, a dog came up and laid down on my foot. She rolled over and so I petted her. She was a sweet dog who apparently lived at the camp and she loved it when I rubbed her belly. I wish I could have brought her home with me.
We headed back over to Terry and Zacorros's house for breakfast. I again was amazed to find them and a couple of other ladies already busy cutting up papaya and peeling oranges. I intentionally greeted Terry with a warm hug so I could look over her shoulder and get a glimpse of her cooking little, individual omelets. Here again was a crowd of 20 whom I would have happily fed a bunch of scrambled eggs if left up to me to do the cooking whereas Terry was taking the time to cook individual cactus omelets for each of us. Bless her heart. I was touched by her willingness to not only serve us, but serve us something extra special.
After I watched her make her 7th omelet with only 13 more to go, I told her that the kid's and I would probably only eat a third of one so she didn't have to cook a full 20 like she was planning to do. She looked relieved and soon we were all enjoying yet another authentic Mexican meal. Cactus omelets, refried beans, corn tortillas, and fresh papaya and oranges. And of course, I ate more than than my fair share. Julia and Annalyn on the other hand didn't really care for the cactus but I praised them for their willingness to at least try it.
After breakfast we headed up to the church for Sunday church. I was sharing my testimony today along with some others and began to get nervous. I had to be careful with how much I said because I didn't think my girls were old enough for me to share all of my testimony with them yet. I prayed, "God please help me to discern what is appropriate to share for all who will hear. Please fill me with your spirit so that I may speak Your words."
I expected church to start at any moment because my watch said 10 am. sharp. Why was the church still half empty? I was told that it would be overflowing with people. After talking to Lonnie, I learned that church didn't start around here until everybody got there and would end when the message was over and not when my watch showed a certain time. He went on to tell me that sometimes church lasted 1 hour and sometimes church lasted 2 1/2 hours. You just never new. A little confused I have to admit, I just went with flow ----what else was there for me to do.
It was time for Church to start. It was 10:26 am.
Friday, March 30, 2007
It is has been really good for the boys in more ways than one.
Ever since we adopted, I had had the attitude that we don't have time for sports. I felt like I wasn't getting enough quality time with my boys as it is, let alone having to compete with baseball. I guess you can say most of the hesitation was coming from me. So as a result, I hadn't let them try out for baseball. But after talking with another adoptive Mom, I realized that I was not being fair. After much prayer and consideration, I let them try out. And they made it!
Sure, baseball does take a lot of time what with practice every day but you know what? I am getting to spend more quality time with them in spite of the long practices. When I take them out shopping for gear, we make the most of it by going out to dinner too. Just the three of us. Also, every night after the rest of the kids are asleep we get to talk about practice and what happened at school as we eat bowls of ice-cream and watch Full House reruns.
God is good.
Tuesday, February 27, 2007
Adam is finally feeling well enough that he went to school today. The whole weekend was spent in our bed and I even stayed home from church with him this past Sunday. At lunchtime yesterday, he said something very nice to me. I had just made grilled cheese sandwiches and was pouring some juice when Adam asked, "You do this everyday for them when I am at school?" When I shook my head yes, Adam replied, "That's cool. They are so lucky Mom." It made me realize how blessed I am to be able to stay at home and take care of my family.
Although I could of ended it on that note, I can't help but share how cute Sveta is. She came up to me last night to tell me how much her throat hurt and how she thinks she should stay home with me. Concerned, I felt her forehead and asked if it hurt to swallow. No fever and she answered, "No I said it hurt right here." as she pointed to her neck. When I acted very concerned and told her she should go lay down to rest her poor old neck, she quickly told me she was fine. Nice try Svet (nickname purposely pronounced without the A). :)
Sunday, January 21, 2007
Thursday, January 11, 2007
A couple of weeks ago, probably around the beginning of December, my wonderful husband was putting Christmas lights up on the house. Being that he is such a fun Dad, he of course let some of the kids help him. Well, while they were up there, one of them accidentally stepped on the drain that catches the rain run off and cracked it (although we didn't no that at the time.)
Anyways, fast forward to the first heavy rain after that incident and Julia finds our hallway flooded with puddles of water. First thing, I assume it is from the washing machine and think, "Great, a full load of laundry in the wash and the washer breaks." But as soon as I looked up, I realized that that would have been my preference. Instead water was dripping through our light fixture and door molding and down our wall. Agghhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!
Now after three weeks, the drain and roof is repaired and the ceiling is ready to be repainted. Why do I mention all of this? Because I have been lugging all of the laundry upstairs (smart husband insisted on 2 laundry rooms when we remodeled) and spending twice the time making do using one washer and dryer. This, all because the downstairs washer and dryer also finally stops working during this time too, leaving me with a useless laundry room.
Well not all's lost, since I've had the joy of watching my two youngest boys play while I fold all the laundry upstairs. Today they were playing cowboys (ever since their Grandma bought Jonny a red hat at Dollar Tree) and Jonny was straddling Andrew's back like he was a horse, both of them preparing to slide down the stairs. Quickly thinking, mainly to avoid them injury, I pulled out a mop and a broom showing them what great horses they were. It was so cute to see them riding all over the house on a broom and a mop.
Wednesday, January 10, 2007
Anyways, I wanted to apologize for not writing sooner. I know it is the same song and dance with me, but again my hope is to get better at keeping my blog more updated.
The kids are about to walk into the door (every Wednesday is an early release day) and then homework will begin, so I gotta go for now.