Thursday, October 30, 2008

Thanksgiving in October

I know we're still one holiday away from Thanksgiving, but today I just feel like giving thanks. I know you've all heard before what a wonderful husband and father Tony is, but it's days like today that make me even more aware of how blessed I am. I am so thankful that God led me to Tony. Here's what my day was like...

Got up at 7:00 (even though Tony was up at 6:00), waited as the girls trickled one-by-one into bed with me to snuggle for a while, fed the kids breakfast, said goodbye to Tony as he headed off to work, got everyone dressed, did their hair, got myself ready to go, packed a picnic lunch, and headed to the zoo! It was an absolutely perfect Kansas City fall day with a high in the mid 70s. The leaves are changing colors, the girls were all happy and sweet, skipping and holding hands. We rode the train and the carousel. Nobody peed their pants or threw up in my van. Pa came along with us, which the girls loved

And Tony...worked. He sent me a text message saying how much he wished he could be at the zoo with us. He called later in the day to see if we had fun and made it home safely. He works so hard so that the girls and I can have the joy of being together all day. I know a lot of moms who would love to be able to stay home with their children, but it's just not easy to do these days. And I feel thankful. I'm so thankful that I am at this exact place at this time in my life. It took such a long time to get here.

And after working all day, Tony came home and carved pumpkins with us. :-) Here are a few cute pics.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

My Four Little Beauties

Today Summer came over to play. We had a beautiful fall day with weather in the mid 60s, and the girls had lots of fun playing outside. Here are a few pics of my little beauties!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

To my blog-following friends and family...

I just found out today that my friend Jackie follows my blog! Seems like every few weeks I find out that someone I care about, but haven't talked to for a while, actually reads the blog and knows what is going on in our lives. Am I self-absorbed that this makes me happy? Maybe, but still it DOES make me happy. I love knowing that my friends and family who I don't get to talk to so much these days are still connected to us.

Will you all please start a blog so I can know what's going on with you? I promise I'll read it faithfully! It's free and easy! Takes only a few minutes to post every few days once you get it set up! Please, please??? I'll tell you how to do it if you need help!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Homeschool Book Club

I am so thankful for the wonderful homeschool group in our area, Raymore Home Educators.

Even though we are still Pre-K, they have so many great activities that we can attend. Today was the RHE Book Club -- story time with Miss Peggy. She read two books about voting, "Max for President" and "President Pennybaker." The kids got to have an "election" where two pre-school kids "campaigned." Both kids said if they were president you could eat all the pizza you want. One little boy said, "And if I were president you can pray whenever you want." I just about cried! The kids got to make posters for their favorite candidate and go on a parade around the library. Elizabeth wouldn't get more that three feet away from me, but Nora and Ruby proudly paraded around with their campaign posters. Then they got to vote, make buttons to pin on their shirts, and have a great snack. And it was all FREE!

I love the whole homeschooling concept! And wonderful Miss Peggy is a grandmother who donates her time to this activity! She's awesome! I can only hope and PRAY that God will grant me the patience to be as good of a homeschooler as these other parents are!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Random 7

I have been tagged by Karen and Gina! I feel so popular that I got tagged twice. It's like I'm in HS again and this time I'm one of the popular girls. :-)
Seven random things about me:

1. I’m affectionately known by my friends as “instant gratification girl.” I’m not good at waiting for things. Hard to believe I made it through the adoption process twice, huh?
2. I have a thing for cute, girly socks. I have socks with pigs on them, bumble bees, wine glasses, pugs, you name it.
3. I love Coach bags…my weakness. Since I’m not raking in money now I’ll have to stick with indulging #2 – it’s much cheaper.
4. I tend to buy two of everything when shopping for clothes. As in, "Hmmm, I like this shirt. Which two colors should I get?"
5. I know how to knit and crochet.
6. I know how to string barbed wire fence.

You not a good girl, OK?

Ruby holding up her purse: "Mamma, everybody purse?"

Me: "No Ruby, that is your very own purse. You don't have to share that."

Elizabeth, who is waiting for my verdict while glaring at her sister: "Ruby (rolled rrrrrr here and Ethiopian accent), you not a good girl, OK?"

The other day I heard Elizabeth saying the same thing to Nora...well actually yelling it. Nora was doing her own thing in the bedroom while Elizabeth sat in the living room yelling, "Norrrra, you not a good girl, OK?" Anything to get a rise out of one of her sisters. But she's such a cute little trouble-maker!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

At the Pumpkin Patch

This morning we got around early and headed out to Powell Pumpkin Patch -- 35 acres of pumpkins! The weather was beautiful, and the girls had a great time. We walked and walked until we found just the right pumpkins! Then the girls had the BEST time playing on these giant piles of hay. They would climb to the top and jump off into a soft pile at the bottom. No major injuries were suffered, just Ruby and Nora biting their tongues when they jumped and hit the ground. Even though we kept reminding them to keep their mouths closed when they jumped, I guess the tongue just naturally wants to come out when you're performing such a perfectly executed jump. :-)

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The best day...and evening!

We had absolutely the BEST day today, and then the best evening! Today I took the girls to the zoo. We had fun looking at the animals, had a picnic, and played on the playground. Then we came home and had nap time and then went outside to play some more.

THEN at almost 8:00 tonight...Beth (my step-mom and Granny to the girls) called and said "Hey, how about if I come over to your house and hang out while the girls are in bed and you and Tony can go outside or whatever." Well YEEEESSSSS! You won't find me refusing THAT offer. Beth leaves for work somewhere around 6:00 in the morning, and STILL she did this! I feel strongly that Ruby and Elizabeth, being home for only two months, need to have Tony or I here all the time. But, Dad and Beth live about two acres away so this works out great, and the girls were in bed asleep by the time we went outside.

So, for the first time since I don't know when...since before Nora came home last year. We just went outside and started up a bonfire. Then we went for a night-time 4-wheeler ride in the woods, got lost and laughed and found our way out and came home. And we just had the BEST time. It was great!

Thank you Beth, you made our night! And since you offered to do this while they were in bed, and since I was just going to be outside, I had no guilt about leaving them. Yet it felt like we were on a date for a couple of hours!

P.S. If you're reading this Pam, the only thing that would have been more perfect is you and Billy and some red cups. We miss you!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Our Family, So Many Years in the Making

The video below is really special to me. It reflects our family and our lives for so many years. Although life has not always gone as planned, things have without a doubt always turned out for the very best. Somehow, the paths we never could have predicted several years ago have brought us into the fullness of the most beautiful and richest life imaginable. If you know our family very well at all, you'll know what I mean when you watch this montage. Be warned though, it's kind of long. You might want to get a cup of coffee and get comfortable!

Monday, October 13, 2008

And Elizabeth's little "gem" for the day...

I posted my funny Ruby story below, so here's a cute Elizabeth story too. I'll preface this story by saying Elizabeth loves to eat. Tony and I joke about her hearing food hitting a plate or bowl and running to the kitchen from wherever she is in the house.

So this morning I was in the kitchen making cupcakes, and in Elizabeth walks with her tray (the lid to a plastic container) and some of her toy plates and says "Mommy, breakfast!" Look at Ruby's face in the picture below.

I must be careful what I say!

Oh, the kids do copy what I say and do. This was too funny! Nora and Elizabeth were just outside playing on the swings while Ruby was busy at the sand and water table. Nora and Elizabeth started calling out "Ruby, Wuby (Nora can't say r very well), Wuby, Ruby." And then Ruby put her hands on her hips and said "Oh, what now?" in an exasperated tone of voice. :-)

I sure am glad I don't go around cussing!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Hi to Sara!

Our friend Karen was so sweet to post on her blog a video clip of her daughter, Sara, saying hello to Amsalu and Nigate. Sara even named her stuffed animal Amsalu! How cute is that? The girls were so tickled with the video that they asked me to play it about 20 times for them. So this afternoon they recorded their hello back to Sara! Amsalu got all shy and didn't want to talk for the camera. Nora doesn't even know Sara, but she got in on the fun anyhow!

Friday, October 10, 2008

My Amazing Husband (And My Very Best Friend)

I post so often about the kids and our life in general, but I rarely post about Tony. I just wanted to say that I have the most incredible husband. He is the most loving, giving, kind, generous, sensitive, hardworking, incredible man. I love looking at pictures of our life together. Here are just a few...

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Hep B -- You can prevent it!

At the risk of sounding like I'm a know-it-all or preaching, I just have to post some info. I know that most families immunize their children according to the schedule their pediatrician gives them. However, some families make alternative decisions about immunizations, and I have to put in my two cents here -- specifically about the Hepatitis B immunization.

There are many children who have Hepatitis B and are carriers; we know this from experience. Privacy acts give us the right to NOT disclose to daycare, school, etc. that our child has Hep B. Now in theory that should be fine because Hep B is spread through blood, which doesn't happen all that often, right? And the law says that you're responsible for protecting yourself (no exclusions here for kids). However, if your child comes into contact with a carrier's blood through a playground accident, nosebleed, etc. your child could become infected with Hep B. Very rarely Hep B can even be passed through biting, if blood is drawn (let's hope our kids don't get bitten, but I've heard of it happening in day care). If you're homeschooling and your child is not in daycare this is less of an issue.

I don't want to sound like I'm a know it all or preaching, but most people aren't aware that Hep B is 50-100 times more contagious than HIV, depending on the carrier's viral load count. Our child's viral load count is incredibly high. I am a responsible parent and always do everything in my power to protect others from contracting Hep B, but I don't know if everyone is so careful. If our child has a scrape or cut, I cover it immediately. I carry bandaids with me at all times. Does everyone who has a child with Hep B? I don't know, but I wouldn't count on it. I guess I don't trust the general public with the health of my children. And if our child had an open cut on her hand and another kid had one on their hand, and they were skipping around the playground holding hands, that child could become infected.

Bottom line: You can SO EASILY prevent this risk by MAKING SURE your children get the Hep B immunization series.

OK, I'll quit now. Thanks for listening. I just don't want any more kids to face life with Hep B.

P.S. To internationally adopting parents... What if you chose not to get the vaccine before travel? You wait and wait and finally travel to get your beautiful child. A few days later they have a nose bleed and of course you rush to help them. Later on back in the U.S. you find out that your child has Hep B. You could have contracted it too if you didn't have the vaccine. It's just such a simple thing to prevent! It's NOT worth the risk. Get the immunizations!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

A Family in Need

About five weeks ago, another family with our adoption agency, Carole and Marty Phillipson, brought home their two boys from Ethiopia, Samuel and Paul. They live in Wisconsin. Last Saturday Samuel, who is 3 1/2 years old, was severely injured in an accident involving the family's tractor. Samuel is alive, but has lost one leg below the knee, the other leg at the ankle, has a badly broken arm and hip, and has many, many other very critical injuries. He is now in stable condition but has a very long road ahead of him and many, many more surgeries. They've been on my mind so much, and I just wanted to tell you all about them. They need a lot of prayers. If you want to follow Sam's progress, the family has a web site through the hospital where they are posting updates with his progress. It is: Additionally, there is a fund set up for donations to help the family financially. I have information about that if anyone would like it. But mostly, please just keep them in your thoughts and prayers.

Nora can skip!

OK, this might not seem like a big deal to anyone who doesn't have kids, but Nora is soooo proud of herself. Today it finally clicked and she was able to skip! She's been trying super hard every since she saw Ruby skip, but still all she could do was gallop. Ruby skips just about everywhere she goes, but Nora just wasn't getting it. Skipping requires thinking in patterns, which kids generally start to do around age 4 or so. This video has a lot of wind noise, but still it's cute. Check out the part where Elizabeth asks Nora to hep her and Nora says "No, not now."

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Where have all the toys gone?

I started asking myself this question early this morning. It just seems like the toy box is not all that full now-a-days. Hmmm... Well, I got the answer when I took a quick look at the backpacks and purses hanging on their pegs in the girls' room. They were bulging! My girls are nothing if not resourceful!

So here's what happened -- they found a nifty work-around to the sharing rules. As in, "If it's in my purse or backpack you can't play with it." Now I'm not talking about a necklace or a favorite book. Oh no, I'm talking about pulling an entire TEA SET out of a backpack, complete with teapot, cream and sugar bowls, cups, saucers, and spoons! I won't list everything but let me tell you there was a LOT of stuff in these purses and backpacks. So, this morning's project for the girls was emptying out every single thing and then sorting out all the stuff and putting it back where it belongs.

After clean-up we had a little talk about what you're allowed to hoard and what is community property. Nora gets it. It was rough trying to get the idea across to Ruby and Elizabeth with their limited understanding of English, but I think that at least Ruby now understands that only your own special things go in your purse or backpack. Elizabeth, being Elizabeth, probably chooses not to understand it so she won't have to follow instructions. Ha ha! She also pretended not to understand that she had to help clean up.

After all their hard work their reward was watching "Beauty and the Beast." I was relieved that they asked for something other than "Chim-chimmeny." Marry Poppins is a great movie, but you know your kids have watched it many, many times when they are taking off their hats and turning their pockets inside out to fill them up while dancing down the sidewalk like Dick Van Dyke.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Happy Birthday Song

Tony's birthday is Sunday, so today I was "secretly" teaching the girls to sing "Happy Birthday to You" so they'd be prepared on Sunday. Well, they thought it was the greatest song they'd ever heard and kept singing it for hours, including when Daddy came home from work -- so much for the surprise! This video is too funny. When Ruby and Nora were off playing with something else, Elizabeth got out Nora's guitar and started belting out her rendition of the birthday song!