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

Monday, September 27, 2010

My football players

I have been so wrapped up in adoption news that I never even shared what's been going on with the boys and their football season.
It's been interesting, to say the least. But, then again, is anything here boring? We pretty much epitomize the phrase...."Never a dull moment."
This year, it was 3 going into football. Last year was 2, year before that was one...you get the idea. Basically, hubby and I are gluttons for punishment and apparently didn't think we were busy enough.
Since the teams go by grade, they were all three on seperate teams. Of course.
This was the schedule rundown for practices that began in mid August.
Getting to practices....
Tyler - 5:30pm (monday - friday)
Trae - 5:45pm (monday - thurs)
Timmy - 6:15pm (monday thurs)
...all at different parks. Of course.
Getting picked up from practice...
Tyler - 7:00pm
Trae - 7:15pm
Timmy - 8:00pm
Now, because I work on Tues. and Thurs. nights, that meant that Jay had to do this all on his own....with 2 little ones in tow....somehow getting them all fed dinner at some point as well....God help that poor man.
Fast forward a few weeks to when the games start.
Now, practices are the same, but we've added games.....lots of 'em
Tyler now has a game every Saturday and Sunday. Sunday. Huh?
Trae has games every Monday and Wednesday
Timmy has games every Tuesday and Thursday.
In case you lost count, that's 7 days a week.
Wasn't that nice of them to spread them all out like that.....just for us...
But wait....don't forget that now school has started. So on top of it all, we have to somehow squeeze in homework and getting to bed at a decent time. Notgonnahappen
Something had to give....and since I'm pretty sure they wouldn't let us adopt another child if we chose dinner as the thing to cut out....we don't get them to bed on time. Ever.
Exhausting right? Well....I'm not done.
See, what I didn't yet mention was that in the second week of practice Tyler fell backwards and broke his thumb right at the growth plate. He got a cast up to his elbow and was out for 3 weeks. That didn't stop him from wanting to go to practices and games though. He knew if he did that, he could get back into the game with a couple weeks left in the season.
Three weeks came, he got his cast off, got it re X-rayed....and then got told by the dr. that he could not play. He said he should not do any contact sports for at least another 3 weeks. ??? To say he was not a happy camper was an understatement. All this time he spent going to the games and practices only to be told that it would not pay off was not what he was hoping to hear. I have to admit, at that point, all I could think was "if I'd have known this 3 weeks ago, I could have probably gotten our registration fee back..."
So, that was Tyler.
Timmy....is another story. Like I said, Never a dull moment. Tim was trying to pop a wheely on his bike in the backyard when he fell backwards hitting his head....hard. He got a concussion and was told he couldn't play for 2 weeks. That time has just come and gone. Last night, he was back to playing and was happy about that.
Trae is the only one that didn't lose play time this year. It's a good thing too cuz that kid is goooood. He plays offense and defense for the entire game. Plays several positions and becomes a big part of most plays. Last night he got the teams only touchdown by running in a hand off. We were very proud of him.
I think he uses all that energy that drives me outtamymind all day long and channels it into kickin' butt on the field.
Works for me.

Thursday, September 23, 2010


Wow, what a crazy couple days.
Jason stayed home from work on Tues. to be with me to get some stuff done with the referral. We needed to write up our LOI (Letter of Intent) to get sent asap to China. We wrote and sent it, it got translated and sent back to the agency and just had to be uploaded and submitted along with a few other things.
No problem, right?
We got a call on Tues. night from Jill, our social worker. She was just on her way home at 9pm because she had been struggling all day with a computer issue that wouldn't allow her to submit our paperwork. She was on the phone back and forth all day with a woman named Tu, who is the agency's liaison in China. Tu kept trying to reach someone at the CCAA (the place that facilitates all the adoptions) but was unable to because they were all off for mid-autumn festival. The problem was that after 72 hours (which happened on Tues. night) the lock is released and we lose the referral. Jill had called a couple other agencies and found out that one of them was not having the same problem. It was for this reason that we were sure she was lost for us. If the system is affecting only sporadic agencies, then the ones that aren't affected will have the opportunity to now lock into our little girl. Because CCAA was closed for 3 days, there was no way she wouldn't be snatched up in that time. She's a girl, under the age of 2, with a minor need....they don't stay unlocked on the SN list for long. Jill was very sorry, but there was nothing she could do.
We were so sad and very frustrated.
Could a computer glitch really just have taken this little one who's face we already adored?
Surely, God had not put her on our hearts only to take her away. We just didn't know what to think or how to feel.
The next day we woke up with the thought that if we were lucky we might get a new referral that week, but more than likely we felt we would be waiting another month.

At noon, I was at mom's house and Jill called me on my cell. She told me that the CCAA found out about the problem and discovered it was actually system wide. Every agency had the same problem. That meant that not only were there tons of people who got the same bad news as we did the night before, no one was able to lock into our child. They allowed everyone to re-lock the same child (something not normally allowed once the time frame ends) and extended the deadline for paperwork until noon that day. Jill found this out at 11:00am and frantically got all our papers uploaded and submitted just in time. I couldn't believe what I was hearing so I asked her just to be sure I wasn't misunderstanding her.....You mean we got her back??

Yes. We did.

I had woke up that Wednesday morning to my alarm going off to my favorite Christian station. The DJ was in the middle of a sentence that caught my attention, even in my half asleep mind. "....maybe you got a call yesterday that changed something in your life, and now you don't know what to do. Offer it up to the Lord and cast your worries on Him. Trust that His plan will be layed out for you."
I made the decision that morning to do just that.
Surrender it all to Him.
There was nothing I could do to change the situation.....but He could....and He did. God is so good to us and we are forever grateful.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Telling the boys

On Tuesday, after we were sure of our decision, we called the boys to the living room to tell them the news. They knew nothing of what had been going on the past few days, so they weren't expecting it at all. When we said we had gotten a call and had gotten a referral, they were so excited. Tyler just said "what?..already??" Timmy started crying right away and so did Trae. That made me cry. I love that they are so happy about this. What makes some kids like this? Actually, what makes some families like this? I can't tell you how many kids I know that would probably not be happy about another sibling or at least could care less. I think our family just has such a good openess to life and it gets in their hearts and makes them the same. What a blessing.
When I got home from work on Tues. night, I was pulling into the driveway and this is what I saw. Sooooo cute!

How to choose

I was going to wait until everything was done and we had our pre-approval, but I have so much to share that I thought I'd do it now.
Last Thurs. we got a call from Jill, our social worker, that we had recieved our LID (Log In Date). This is what we've been working towards this whole time. It's the holy grale of the adoption process becuase once you get it, it means you are finally eligible for a referral. We didn't expect it until Oct. so this was a welcome surprise. The timing on it could not have been better because the new shared list for China's Special Needs that comes out once a month, was coming out that next Monday, Sept. 20th. Monday morning in China is Sunday evening in America so Jill was at the computer ready to go Sunday night as the kids started to come up on the list. Ya see, the whole process is a bit of a game....a race, really. One by one, new kids get added to the list. As they pop up, it's up to the social worker to lock in a child for their client....but, every social worker around the country is doing the same thing at the same time....so, she has about 30 seconds to read male or female, birthdate, and a one/two word description of their special need before having to lock them. If they don't do it fast, the child will be locked out by someone else first and they lose them.
On Sunday night, Jay and I had to go to a Couples In Christ function at church. We had our cell phone close by hoping she would be calling us. She did. At 8pm she called to quick ask us if we would be interested in a little one yr. old girl with bad scarring on her feet, ankles, and thighs. She said it looked like burns. I said yes and we hung up. An hour later, she called again to say that she had not got that little one locked in on time for us, but that she had gotten 2 others. She was sending the emails with their records to us and we would have to chose. We quick finished up at church and headed home. We both pulled up a chair to the computer and opened the files.
The first one.....girl, age 22 mos., unrepaired cleft lip/palate, loves to play on her swinging car, loves to eat meat congee, bone soup, and cake, loves to imitate, understands what "No" means, abandoned at a post office at a day old, and the most beautiful eyes you've ever seen.
The second....girl, age 2 yr.4 mos old, repaired cleft lip/palate, loves to eat sweet foods and fruits, can point to her eyes, ears, and nose, abandoned at a police station at 3 days old, and a totally sweet little face.
Talk about making a tough decision. We weighed all the factors and made a choice based on something very obscure and something most people would probably not even consider when making a decision like this. It came down to personality. The personality of the second little one was listed as timid, shy, like's quietness, introverted. The first one's personality? Restless, active, like's to imitate, outgoing, extroverted, talkative. Um...I wonder which one would have an easier time getting used to our home, our boys, and our craziness? We didn't care either way, but we considered her. What would be easiest for her. And so we picked the first little baby girl we saw that night. And we are so happy we did because each time I look at her face, which is often, I just fall in love with those beautiful eyes and sweet chubby arms a little bit more.
And anyone who welcomes a little child like this on my behalf is welcoming me.

Matthew 18:5

Our News

Sunday night, for the first time, Jason and I saw the sweet face of the child that we hope will be our daughter. We recieved our Log In Date (LID) on Thurs. just a few days before the new Special Needs list came out for Sept. We weren't expecting it so soon, we were hopeful for October so this was a great surprise.
I can't share too much about her yet because we technically do not have a permanent lock on her. She is temporarily locked in to us, but we will need to submit a Letter Of Intent (LOI) to China first thing tomorrow morning so that they can give us our Pre-Approval (PA). It's then that we can truly call her ours and I can share all the details. Until then, I am only allowed to disclose very minimal information about her.
So, here's what I will say.
She will be 2 in November.
She has an unrepaired cleft lip and palate.
She sounds like a fun, feisty little thing.
She is absolutely beautiful.
We are over the moon to have 'met' her and can't wait to start our journey to bring her home.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Sunday Snapshot: Missing Pink

Pink is not a good color on me, so I don't wear it.
Because I don't wear it, it is basically non-existant in our house.
After all, with 5 boys and a former Marine living here, you don't see many pink shirts, bows, socks, or even toys.

Lately though, I've been really achin' for some pink around here. Maybe it's because I know it's coming soon....or it could be that I'm just tired of camoflauge and blue. Maybe if we weren't going through this adoption, the thought of pink wouldn't even enter my mind. But...we are...so...it is.

Personally, I think that a little pink around here will be a nice change of pace. Maybe having some pink will calm the place down a bit. Maybe?
Maybe the hint of girliness in the house will be just what we need to stop breaking bones and breaking things.

A pair of pink sunglasses on the table (right next to the spiderman ones). Some little pink shoes in the foyer (beside the pairs of football cleats). Some pink heeled socks (amongst the dozens with holey toes). A little pink sweater in the laundry (next to all the grass stained jeans).

And a little black haired, brown eyed sweetie smack dab in the middle of this.....

and of course......wearing PINK

Ni Hao Y'all

Saturday, September 11, 2010

1st Day of School

It's here....It happened.....the first day of the new school year. Oh.My.Gosh! Is it wrong for me to be this excited?! Okay, maybe it is just a bit....I'll tone it down. But c'mon...can ya blame me? I have these 5 crazy boys that are so sick of each other by the end of the summer, they can't even walk by each other without nudging or just outright pushing the other. Then the other one pushes back, then the other one hits him, then the next one yells, then the first one cries, then mom steps in and smacks them both on the head......that never helps, but it makes me feel a little better.
I think in light of the fact that the above scenario and similar ones happen several times daily.....I am very reasonable in my excitement about them being back in school.
So, that's the mom in me that is tired and ready for some peace during the day. The other mom in me is feeling a little nostalgic about having my youngest start kindergarten. Is he really 5 yrs. old? How and when the heck did that happen? It really is true about these days flying by. I think my mom puts it best when she says that time goes by so fast, but a day can last forever. Very true.

I realized that I forgot to spike the boys' hair, so I ran in to get the paste and took care of that before the bus came.....so we needed a new picture. Love the smile.

Labor Day Camping

This past weekend we went camping at a new campground. It was at Helen's parents place. Okay, so that's not a campground, but it was probably one of the funnest places we stayed at. They have a huge yard and lots of property covered in woods and a pond. The boys just love being able to walk the trails through the woods. They find all these boy treasures....like frogs, catepillars, and a turtle shell with no turtle inside. The shell was cracked and broken on one side so someone said it must have gotten attacked by another animal....to which Timmy said (totally serious) 'oh, that must be why he left'. Ha...I am picturing this shell-less turtle walking around the woods cold and afraid looking for a new shell to call home.
We had a really nice time though. They were so nice and kept inviting us in to eat and Helen's mom cooked some great breakfasts and lunches for us. We told her she didn't have to do that, but she insisted and I think she enjoys it. We teased them all weekend about their "campground" saying things like "what kind of a place is this, there's no electrical post out here or water" They just said "you get what you pay for" Haha....too cute.
We spent the day at the fair on Sunday and got them each a gift for letting us stay there. We got Peggy an ornament that was a chef and had it personalized, and we gave Frank a wooden thing to hang that said...."I childproofed the house, but they're still getting in". They really got a kick outta that.
Here is just a part of their yard....you can see why the boys love it so much.

We did some fishing on Saturday at White Bear Lake....

....and bonfires every night

Friday, September 10, 2010

Baby shower

Recently we had a baby shower for Lindsey and baby Ben. I love showers that are given after the baby is born because then the guest of honor can be there and everyone can see him. He got passed around for about 3 hours straight and did great. He's done really well with all the times that he's been around a group and everyone is in line to hold him.....kinda have to be in this big family.
Amy had it at her house and then us sisters all hosted. We had a really yummy brunch and played some dorky shower games. The dice game, of course, and then a game where we asked Lindsey a bunch of questions about Ben that we had asked Pat earlier that day. If she didn't match Pat's answer, she would have to eat a piece of gum....and not just Trident....Hubba Bubba gum. Well, she didn't do so hot on matching, so she probably ending up eating about 8 pieces of gum. She could hardly talk by the end of the game, it was very cute.
We opened gifts and ate some cake and had a very nice time visiting and laughing.
I think the biggest laugh of the day came when one of Lindsey's questions was "Who's idea was it to bring mom on the trip to Texas?"
and the very next question.....
"At what point did you regret that idea?"
Lindsey didn't seem to hesistate long enough for mom's liking and quickly decided they regretted it when "Rita took over driving and was flying 90mph down the highway"
They didn't get a match on that one.
Pat's answer......Lakeville.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Como Zoo Day

I'd been telling the boys all summer we'd go to the zoo one day.....I didn't make it there until almost the last week of August. Whooops. Hey, at least we went. We took Kaylee too and they had a lot of fun. Here's some pics to proove it.


No, I'm not having Twins....we went to see the Twins. My brother had come into some tickets and was nice enough to give them to us so that we could enjoy a great family day at the new Target field. I've heard so much about it since the season began so I was excited to see it in person finally. Well, let me tell ya....it did not disappoint. It was amazing! We had the best time. I could really see getting used to that. We had these bleacher seats that are probably considered cheaper ones, but we loved them. There was tons of room to move around with all the boys, we had a great view of the field right behind 1st base, and a perfect view of the JumboTron where we could see all the fun things the game has to offer in between playing. The boys were in heaven! Thank you Uncle Mike and Aunt Kristin, they will not soon forget that day!
This is us when we first got there and were walking around taking it all in.

One of the cool things about the field is that you can actually take food in. They let you bring in a backpack with any sort of snacks and waters. We literally had a lunch packed for all of us, some water bottles, and some snacks.
So, we found that by the time you get your tickets free, you bring in your food, and mom does her own face painting rather than paying someone else to do it.....we got away with a pretty cheap day. If only Jay didn't insist on that $10 steak sandwich or the $7 beer......

Enjoyin' the day....

The boys and I made a couple signs before going. There is this thing that one of the announcers, Bert Blyleven, does with the fans. In between innings, he'll find people in the crowd with signs and circle them on his screen so that when the people at home see it, the fans are shown on TV. We held ours up high whenever there was a chance and right around the 4th inning, we got our whole family up on the giant Jumbo Tron. The boys were sooooo excited! I never imagined with all those thousands of people there that we'd get picked, so it was pretty cool.

All done.....what a fun day!