Wednesday, December 31, 2008

How To Be Nice

This morning the girls kept getting into arguments and poking and pinching each other. I finally had to put everyone in time out. After time out we had a talk about being nice to each other, and then I asked them to each tell me some things we can do for/with each other that are nice. THEN...they had to sit at the table and draw a picture of what it means to be nice. Here's what they came up with. I'm not sure what Elizabeth's picture is, but Ruby and Nora both drew kids holding hands. Check out all the eyes on the faces in Ruby's picture. Could this be a sign of something?

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Monkey Bizness

For all my friends who live in the Kansas City area, I have to tell you about a fun place I took the girls to today. It's called Monkey Bizness (in Olathe, KS), and they had a BLAST! It's basically a whole bunch of climbing gizmos and giant inflatable climbers and slides. I didn't think to take my camera, but I wish I had. They had the best time and were literally running from one thing to another, jumping, climbing, and sliding for two hours! It was a great winter time activity!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Zoo in December!

YEAH! We got out of the house today...we went to the zoo. It was a beautiful, sunny, 56 degrees while we were at the zoo. There were lots of people there enjoying the break in the cold, wintry weather. The girls had a great time, and best of all -- it's 8:00 pm and they're worn out and in bed! YEAH!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

The Quiet of My House

I haven't done a "my husband is wonderful" post in a while, and he really deserves this one! By the way, he really is wonderful all the time -- I just try not to brag too much. :-)

Since he's had a few days off work around the holidays, Tony has been giving me some much-needed breaks. Right now he's gone to get his hair cut (by our daughter-in-law at the salon where she works) and he took all three girls with him. Brave man, huh? Yesterday he went out to get me some cold medicine (came down with a cold on Christmas day), and he took all three girls with him. He made Christmas dinner, dinner again last night, and breakfast today! Last night he got everyone's teeth brushed, read stories and tucked them in bed. Oh, and yesterday when I wasn't feeling good he took care of things in the morning so I could sleep a little longer. (Did I mention that last night he was exhausted and commented on what a hard job I have?)

Of course, the girls love having daddy take care of them and do things with them. He said yesterday when he was in CVS they just followed him around in a little line, calling out daddy this and daddy that. Naturally he gets a lot of looks when he's out with them. I know I get a lot of people staring at us, so I can just imagine. It makes me smile to imagine him corralling them all in and out of the mini-van and through stores. He's such a good daddy, and he's such a great husband.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Barbie's Breasts

A very good friend of mine, Linda, gave the girls each a Barbie for Christmas. They've been quite entertained by them all afternoon. However, Elizabeth has this propensity to undress every single doll she has. She just five minutes ago managed to undress Barbie. I walked by just in time for her to point to Barbie's naked breasts and say, "Mommy you have that. What's that?" I managed to walk away without cracking up.

A look out our front door!

It is dim, wet, and dreary here in Missouri! Freezing rain and drizzle, yuck! But hey, at least it's warm -- 33 degrees. It's like a heatwave compared to the single-digit days we've been having.

But it's warm and cozy indoors and we're having fun anyhow. Well, most days we're having fun. Except for the times when one of the girls is getting on another one's nerves and slaps her, pinches, pushes, or just yells. OK, maybe it's not all fun and games, but I'm trying to find things for them to do! I'll be glad when Christmas is here and the gifts are open so there will be new toys to play with. Or maybe there will just be new toys to fight over. Gesh, I hope not!

Yesterday we made a gingerbread house, and yes it's on the FLOOR! There was no other way I could get all three girls around it where they could all reach it.

And today's fun activity...making necklaces and bracelets out of pop beads! I divided them up evenly into three bowls so nobody would get into an argument over who got which beads. :-)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Check out this picture...the girls thought it was hilarious!

Chris is always good at making people laugh. Our game of Scrabble the other nights was pretty funny too. His stellar play...the word "lowsebedoga." He really thought he could convince me that it was a word and was truly cracking himself up. :-) That's our boy!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Monday mystery?

Lots of bloggers have recently started "Wordless Wednesdays." Maybe I'll start the "Monday Mystery." What is this...and why?

Nora used the sock from her Build-A-Bear dog to fashion a sleeping bag for the little lamb she likes to sleep with. It was a cold night in Missouri with temps in the single digits, and she wanted to make sure her little lamb didn't get cold. I took this picture this morning when she woke up and came out of her room. I don't think I'm biased when I say she is one smart and cute little girl! I love my Nora!

Friday, December 12, 2008

I'm getting better at this!

Well, I should say I'm getting better at it with Elizabeth's hair. Ruby's hair is very wiry and hard to work with. Elizabeth loves her hair like this!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

What are the "little things"?

Our girls teach me every day about the importance of the things in life that most of us take for granted...what we often consider the "little things." In America, our kids grow up with plenty of food, warm clothes, toys, medicine when they need it, and a safe home. They even come to expect that a certain amount of stuff will just be given to them, such as electronic games, iPods, phones, etc. I know this, because we have three sons who are not international adoptees and have never lacked for anything they needed or most things they wanted.

Not so with our girls! Today a big box of oranges came in the mail -- a gift from our friend Pete who lives in Florida. I opened the box right away and gave them each one to hold, and Ruby was SO excited that she asked me to take her picture with her orange! She was grinning from ear to ear! Now, it's not like I never give them fruit. I do give them plenty of fresh fruit, but the sight of a big box of fresh oranges arriving at our doorstep just sent Ruby spinning. Of course, all three of them were excited, but Ruby was beyond excited! She was practically jumping up and down while I peeled their oranges!

My goal this Christmas is to keep the gift-giving small. I don't want to overwhelm the girls by so many gifts that they can't even take it all in. I hope that somehow we can maintain their appreciation for the "little things"!

Monday, December 8, 2008

My glasses were in the freezer!

You may remember a month or so back that I posted about how I'm now having to use reading glasses...only once in a while for VERY small print mind you. Well, a couple of weeks ago, while my mother-in-law was visiting, I lost my dang glasses. I have been looking everywhere -- literally everywhere. They were just cheap magnifiers from Wal-Mart, but the mystery of their disappearance was killing me. Well, last night I was looking in the door to the freezer for some veggies to cook, and what do I find? My glasses! Yes, in the freezer! I never thought of looking there. They were fresh and frozen.

Also, when Mom was visiting Nora lost a glove. We looked everywhere for the silly thing. Mom even walked the north field where we had all taken a walk, but we never could find it. That little mystery was solved yesterday too when the girls opened up the sand and water table and found the glove in the sand!

Two mysteries solved in one day. I think I can sleep better now!

I've been bookworm tagged!

Jaclyn has bookworm tagged me! I'll admit, I kind of like these "tagging games." Some people think they're a pain, but I think they're fun. They give you a little more insight into your online friends.

So...when you're bookworm tagged, you have to pick up the book that is nearest to you, turn to page 56, and type the first sentence of the fifth paragraph on that page. So, here's mine: "Once, his rowdy entrance included a guitar, which he began strumming furiously while singing badly and demanding that the rest of the family sing along." Anyone know the book? It's John Grisham's "The Innocent Man." It's actually the fourth paragraph because there are only four paragraphs on the page. I don't read much John Grisham (more of a historical fiction and classics kind of girl), but this book intrigued me because it's Grisham's first non-fiction book. And so far it's pretty good. I'm about halfway through it.

Jaclyn's blog indicated that she is reading the Twilight series. I'm just like Jaclyn in that I initially had no interest in reading about vampires in teen books, but Gina Ellerbee's post a while back kind of perked my curiosity. Gina seems like she has good reading tastes. I still haven't read Twilight, but now that Jaclyn is reading it too, I'm getting more and more curious! I may have to break down and read it!

So, I'm tagging Linda and Lori ! Tell us what you're reading!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

My Awesome Mother-In-Law (Post Gone Missing)

It was just brought to my attention that one of my posts has gone missing! During Thanksgiving week I posted about how wonderful my mother-in-law is and what a great guest she is. Where did the post go? I don't know! So, here's a recap...

I just love my mom-in-law. She visited us for a week over Thanksgiving, and we had such a great time with her. Some of you might be thinking, "Yeah, right. Mother-in-law at your house for a week is a good time?" Heh heh heh. Well, she is simply a great guest and a joy to have around.

Here's what makes her such a great guest, just in case anyone wants to take notes (just kidding I'm sure you're all wonderful guests). She is helpful, but not overly helpful. As in...she's not cleaning everything while commenting on all the dust in my house. She's easy to chat with, but doesn't feel the need to chat all the time. Sometimes she enjoys just sitting and reading in the same room as the girls and watching them play out of one eye. She goes along with whatever we're doing for the day, and if for some reason she's not up for it she just says so. The list could go on and on.

I know it's hard for her to travel so far; changing flights and layovers take their toll on anyone regardless of age. But still she has made the trip from Massachusetts three years in a row and stayed for about a week each time. Thanks Mom! We love you, and we love your visits.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Quotes from Ruby & Question for Hope Friends

I have a question for my Hope friends who have already traveled to bring home their children. Do you know if there is a caregiver at Hope's orphanage named Hutalem (pronounced hu-tall-um with emphasis on the middle syllable)?

Ruby has very recently started talking about her life in Ethiopia. She mentions Hutalem in the context of being her birth mother, but at times I get the feeling she's someone at Hope. I'm hoping I can find out so that if it really is her birth mother's name I can write it down so she will never forget it.

Other things she's told us recently:

"One time big girls hitting me so my mommy hit them and they go away."

"One time I walking walking walking and find money buy banana and eat eat eat. No car walking by self not far away."

"Cold outside get warm by fire and then hurt (pointing to the burn scar on her forehead)."

"Elizabeth no bottle eat here (pointing at her breast indicating her mommy breast fed her)."

"Sih mesh mah no means what is your name."

And my favorite...after telling me about "sih mesh mah no" they broke out into song. I got them to sing the song again, and here it is. It starts with "sih mesh mah no" and I have no idea what the rest of it is about!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

The Christmas Party was a big success!

I don't know how many people attended our homeschool Christmas party today, but it was A LOT! There were booths for about 14 or 15 countries, and we had two of them -- China and Ethiopia, naturally! Our backdrops turned out great, and we had cookies, injera, doro wat, and misir wat for everyone to sample. We also had some Chinese and Ethiopian currency on display, which the kids were all very interested to see! Lots of the older kids (8-12ish) asked me a lot of questions about traveling to China and Ethiopia and what it was like. And I was so very happy to share information about adoption with a mom who had some questions and is considering adoption as a way for her and her husband to complete their family! It was a great day! Here are a few pictures.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

More busy days!

Yesterday I had to go to Costco! Need I say more? Costco with three little girls! But wait -- first we had to go to the bank, gas station, and make a return at another store. And Afterwards, we had to go to Wal-Mart, Michaels (to get stuff for our homeschool Christmas Around the World projects), and out to lunch.

Today I spent the entire morning working on backdrops for the China and Ethiopia booths for the Christmas Around the World party, and then we had to go to the grocery store. By the time we finished with that it was dark outside. Fortunately, the girls begged for spaghetti for dinner. Couldn't get much easier than that!

I'm exhausted! Here are the backdrops for the Christmas Around the World party. Tomorrow we're going to the Ethiopian restaurant to get injera and doro wat for people to sample. The China booth will feature fortune cookies...because I'm too tired to do anything more complex!