"Tell your children of Him, and let your children tell their children, and their children to another generation." Joel 1:3

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

crazy lady

No, not me. Although some days it feels like me. It's this neighbor of ours. She is at the end of our cul-de-sac and for years the boys have complained that she stares at them from her front yard when they are playing in the circle. I think she's a few cards short of a full deck to be honest, but that doesn't fix the fact that the kids always feel creeped out when she's just watching them. She always has this mad look on her face like they are in her space and have no right being there.
Tonight, the boys came home saying that she took their ball. They were in the circle playing catch and it went in her yard....her front yard....so Tyler went and got it. She glared at him and said "keep that ball over there". Tyler said "okay, sorry" and they went back to playing. So.....a few minutes later, what happens?? Timmy throws it a little too far. It lands in her driveway and starts rolling down towards them. Before it did though, she grabbed it and walked in the house.
They came running home telling us what happened. This was just a final straw. We've always told them to just stay away from her and keep any balls out of her yard.....which they obviously need to try harder at. Jason decided to walk down there to talk to her. ..ask her what was the problem and to remind her that the cul-de-sac is public property and they have the right to play there without her staring at her like they are doing something wrong. Okay, so the ball in her yard is her property....but c'mon. This actually never happens, they rarely are playing ball down there. She just is mad when they are even riding bikes or roller blading nearby. What a nutcase. He was gonna tell her what concerned him and he was going to get the ball back.
He went, he knocked, he knocked again, she didn't answer. He pulled back and saw her watching him and pacing in front of the bay window. Ah, can we all say....crazy!! Apparently, the people that live right by her (thank God that's not us) just stay away from her too. She's not exactly known for her warm nature.
Honestly, I wish she would just call the police on us or the kids sometime. I would love to hear what she tells them. And just a side note, if this were the behavior of a man on our block, I would have called the police myself a long time ago.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Sunday Snapshot: The Cross

This past January we lost a special soul, my aunt. She was a Catholic nun for over 50 years. And although Sr. Teresa was 72, she was as young as any one of us. Cancer took her way before her time. But then, I guess God has His own time for things and He wanted her home...with Him.
Several months before she died a friend gave her a cross. A prayer cross. It wasn't fancy, it wasn't even pretty. It was carved from wood. A simple cross for a simple woman.

She was told to hold it in her hand, fingers wrapped around the 4 corners while she prayed. And then when she was too sick to pray....just hold it and it would become the prayer she could no longer speak.

And so she did. Religiously.....pun totally intended. She held it while she prayed, and she held it when she couldn't.

When our 4th boy was born, we asked Sr. Teresa to be his Godmother. She was mine as well and this seemed like a great idea. She was very touched and from the beginning she had a special place in her heart for Tony. Her face would light up when she saw him in a way that didn't happen with just anyone. Any story I could tell her about him and his antics were met with the laughter of a person that loved him like her own. She loved him so much.
Around the time when we knew she was coming to the end of her life, my mom told me what Sr. Teresa had told her. She wanted Tony to have her prayer cross. I was so touched because I knew what that cross meant to her. When she died, she was holding it during the viewing. One of her best friends, another nun, was sure to get it before she was buried. She had told many people about the cross and her special Godson who was going to get it.
About 2 mos. later my mom recieved an envelope in the mail. One of the nuns had come across it in her things. It was a letter to Tony. One that she had obviously written when she was getting pretty sick, as it was fairly hard to read. But it's message was clear. She wanted Tony to know about the cross and why she wanted him to have it.
The beginning was precious.....

The middle so sincere and loving.....

And the end more touching than anything I've ever read.

A woman who has had a life of service and a vow of poverty may not have much to leave in terms of material things....but the simple things she did have are far above anything money could buy.

The letter

My Dear Tony,

I want you to have this holding cross. It was such a comfort to me in my dying process and I want to share that with you. There may be times in your life when no prayer/no words come and you feel you are losing your faith. At times like that, just hold the cross and say nothing. This saying nothing is letting your body pray and is a prayer very pleasing to God.

I give this to you with all my love, loving you from heaven and asking God to embrace you with all His love and bring us together again in heaven.

Since I won't be around to see you grow up to be a good person, I want you to keep this as a reminder of whom you have been called.

My niece, me, Sr. Teresa, My brother, Tony

Thursday, April 22, 2010


It's safe to assume that when you have a family of 7, there's gonna be a fair amount of laundry. Okay, I get that. But this whole "I need to get caught up on laundry" has always been a foreign concept to me. There is no catching up at my house.....only "let's at least do enough to not get buried in it".
Between Tues. and Wed. I think I did about 20 loads of laundry. No, that is not an exaggeration to make the story more interesting. I literally mean I did 20 loads. Now, this did include all bedsheets and even a blanket, but that only accounts for about 4. I admit I got very behind on it recently.....ya think?.....but this had got to be a record. Usually I would periodically have the boys start an assemble line of bringing piles to the rooms they belong, but this time, as the folded piles got higher, I found myself wanting to see just how high they could get before either completely falling over or crushing the table underneath with their weight. Neither happened and the result was staggering.

What you can't see in these pics is that the piles are 3 deep as well....all just as high.
Can you believe that Jason actually says all the time that we need more towels. Gulp!

Then there's the socks. Let's talk about the socks. There are enough socks in this house to cover the cold feet of every person in Alaska.

Two baskets catch them all as I throw them out of the dryer. Once they get pretty full (or once we're all sick of going into the laundry room and matching a pair every morning....whichever comes first) we bring the baskets upstairs and start the dreaded pairing. It is a chore we all hate doing......so lately I've been having the boys do it. Hey, I should be able to get out of at least one dreaded chore.

So....here I am. Sitting here knowing that all the laundry is done. None in the bedrooms. None lurking under beds. None in the bathrooms. Done. Hmm....I can honestly say that is the first time I've ever said that.

Well, I'm off. Going to some garage sales this morning so I can buy more clothes and create more laundry.

It's like the circle of life. Well....it's the circle of my life.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Sunday Snapshot: The Falls

Today was such a beautiful day, we took full advantage of it. We made a trip to the Falls.

I love that we live in an area where you can drive 30 minutes and either be in the heart of downtown or at a beautiful river with a waterfall and natural trails. Makes for lots to do on a sunny day.

April around here isn't usually so warm....it's not even uncommon to have snow still on the ground. So when it is nice, people come out of the woodwork.
We invited Mindy and Kaylee to come along and even ran into some friends while we were there.

The boys wanted to give their feet a dip. They were actually surprised at how cold it was. Umm....yah, duh. :)

I love when we can do things as a family without spending a dime. That's my kind of day.
And frankly, the boys are much more happy with a picnic,

walking trails,

wading in the water,

and football with dad

than they are with any old expensive movie or bowling trip.
I would have to agree.

Ni Hao Y'all

Saturday, April 17, 2010


Hard to believe, but my 20 year high school reunion will be this year. I know everyone is supposed to say that "I can't believe it's been 20 years", but I really can't. And last night when I met 2 old.....not old...prior...LOL...classmates for dinner, it seemed more surreal than ever. I have not seen either of these girls for almost the whole 20 years. I think we said a few hi's at the 5 year, but that was it. Funny thing is, as soon as I saw them it was as if no time had gone by. Weird how that happens. We were getting together to discuss plans for our reunion this year.....did I mention that I'm in charge of planning it?? Yah, I was bored, nothing to do, not busy enough, so I though....I know, I'll plan the reunion. Actually as it turns out, no one else was really stepping up and it's getting to be about that time when something needs to be put into the works so what the hell. I was able to recruit a few other people to help out and that was what last night was for. Since we hadn't seen each other in so long, the majority of our evening was gabbing and catching up on things. We sat at our table for 4 hours (leaving a hefty tip for our poor waitress who could have gone through 2 other parties by then). It was really fun. I'm looking forward to this. We've all got some calls to make and we'll be getting together other times to keep moving forward on it.
I'm really anxious to see a lot of people. I went to our 5 yr. which was just the same thing, different day. I was in North Carolina for our 10 year (and Jay was in Italy) so I missed that one, and then we never had a 15 year. So this will be a lot of fun to see what everyone is up to.

Friday, April 16, 2010

My morning....

I think mom's do more before 9am than even soldiers do.

Ya ready?? Here goes....

6:45 am - kids up and ready for school
7:00 - Trae is coughing up a lung and can't breathe good....he's staying home today
7:10 - Kids on the bus
7: 45 - I call dr. office to make appt. for Tyler to be seen at 2pm for his feet issues (a whole 'nother story)
8:00 - call my work to ask them to move up my last client so that I can get Tyler to his 2pm appt.
8:22 - Health nurse calls from school to tell me that Tony is sick
8:25 - I call work back and tell them I won't be coming in at all today
8:35 - Tony throws up in the hallway at school in front of the 5th grade classroom
8:45 - I get to school to find out from 2 kids and the office receptionist that I missed him throwing up by 10 minutes
8:55 - get to Tanner's preschool and ask the teacher if it's okay for me to drop him off 15 min. early cuz Tony is sick in the car.
9:05 - get home and try and figure out how I"m going to keep Tyler's appt. today at 2pm with 2 kids home sick.

Haven't even had breakfast yet...

Who says moms at home don't work.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Adoption update

On Monday we went to the adoption agency to go over our completed home study. Everything looked good......Jason and I even had a good laugh over a couple parts that our social worker elaborated on quite eloquently. For example, in our family guidelines we wrote, about Tony, that he was our little stinker that you never knew what he was up to next......in our home study she wrote, Tony is a creative boy who always seems to be planning something fun. HA HA!!!!! Hey, that's why she's the professional...who are we to argue with her wording. Too funny!
I was pretty impressed with us after reading that. We're a great family.....who knew? Haha..

We also got to meet with Jill, the person in charge of the list. The "List"...the miles of names and info on over 1500 kiddos looking for a family to call their own. This list is shared by over 300 agencies and can be looked at by any one of their clients. She showed us some girls to see examples of how the file works and what sort of info we can expect on each one. The list is mostly boys, over half the kids are severe needs, and another 3rd of that are over the age of 7. This makes a little girl under age 4 with minor/correctable needs a more rare find. They're out there, just harder to lock in because you have to do that before anyone else does, and unfortunately, those same criteria are not only the most rare...they're also the most sought after.
We knew all of this going into Monday. But there was something we learned that we didn't know. Mostly because it's a new law only a few weeks old. China has changed the way they handle the special needs list. In the past a couple could look at and lock in a child and then get their dossier (paperwork) over to get approval. Not anymore....now, they want everyone to have it all over there already and approved before you can lock in a child. This goes for any child that has been put on the list since 3/19/10 and from now on. What does this mean for us? Well, since we don't have our dossier sent over yet (you have to have a completed home study and immigration paperwork all done first) we would have to wait another 3 mos. or so until we can get a log in date before we can lock in any child. Major set back on our timing. There is the possibility that we can look for a child available since BEFORE the 19th.....but the reality is, if a girl, under age 4 is still available after being on the list for that long.....she probably has a more severe need.
I left there definitely a bit discouraged, but still knowing that it will all work out. It may not be in our time frame, but I know there is a plan for us and God has His hands all over this. So for now, I choose to believe that there is a reason we aren't supposed to find her just yet.

Horses, cake, and a concert....

......what could be better? On Sunday we had a birthday party for Helen's son, Alex. It was way the heck out in the middle of nowhere at a horse farm and the kids were allowed to ride ponies and run around the farm. They loved it. It took about an hour, 20 minutes to get there so we were driving as long as we were actually at the party, but it was worth it. I had offered to make a cowboy cake for Alex which turned out pretty good. We had to leave a little early because Jason and I had a casting crowns concert to go to that night and we were meeting for dinner beforehand. But we managed to be there for the horses, lunch, cake, presents, and pinata....so we were good.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Big step

I'm so excited. Monday is our appointment with our social worker to go over the home study she has completed for us. I'm worried....er...anxious to see it all down in writing and what she said about us and how we come across.
I have a small detail to take care of with our medical reports because my doctor decided it wasn't important to follow the directions. It took him 5 weeks to get the report filled out and back to me and that was with me calling every week.....so, I'm pretty much gonna walk my butt in the office on Monday and tell them I'll wait right there while they bring it back to him to re-sign. The person at the agency that takes care of this suggested to me that I just write it up the correct way and see if they can just copy it onto their letterhead and have him sign. Simple enough....hopefully.
I'm really hoping that while we are at the agency on Monday we'll be able to meet with Jill who is the person in charge of China's Waiting Children program that we are going through. Wouldn't it be amazing to find a child on that list just waiting to be brought home by us. I don't get my hopes up about that possibility, I know it's a long shot, but it's still exciting to be able to finally look and see.
Jason and I are still hoping to be traveling by the end of the year. This is doable if we get a referral before June. If it comes after that, we're looking at the beginning of next year. Either would be fine, I'm just antsy. I feel like we've already been waiting for so long. It seems like longer than 3 months since we started the process because we've been preparing for it for almost 2 years. As much as I want the time to go by quickly, I'm still apprehensive because we just don't have the money we will need yet for traveling. We 'lost' $5000 of money we had anticipated getting between now and then. It happened because of 3 different unforeseen changes that we weren't expecting. So, yah, it wasn't really our money....yet....but we thought it was pretty sure thing and we were counting on it. I just have to keep believing that God will provide. If this is meant to be, it will all come through when we need it to.
So, for now I'm crossing my fingers on bended knees.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Sunday Snapshot: Easter Eggs

Coloring Easter eggs, for me, ranks right up there with decorating Christmas cookies....in other words...it's just not my favorite thing. Is that bad?

But here's one of the beauties of having the boys get older.....I barely have to do anything anymore. Just get out some cups....measure some vinegar...and watch them do their magic. ooohhh....now that sounded bad.

I know deep down I should be cherishing these moments because it won't be long before they will be too old for all of this.....and I'll probably be sad.

But, I do it for the boys and smile though the whole thing.

I admit I even got secretly excited when they decided to have a contest who could finish the most eggs the quickest. And, let me tell ya, I was cheering them on.
Oh man, I'm a really bad mom.

They finished in 21 minutes start to finish.....and....God, help me.....I can hardly wait for next year when they try to break their record.
I am a good mom, I am a good mom, I am a good mom....

Ni Hao Y'all