Tuesday, August 31, 2010

homeschool and haircuts

We started out homeschool program this week. I like it so far :)
It's FIAR (five in a row) and the kids really like the stories. We're studying Japan. So, we also made noodles and watched Anthony Boudaines (sp?) travel channel episodes on Japan. Note to self: Anthony Boudaine has SOME things that aren't ENTIRELY appropriate for 8 yr olds ;)
But we really like watching those kind of shows. We REALLY love Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern. Michael could watch that every day, and I have to say it does kind of draw you in :)

The little boys both got hair cuts today, by me, in the kitchen sink :)
They look SO much better, especially Toma, his had gotten way too long and shaggy. Now he looks like a sweet little boy, a lot like he looked when we first met him.

Tomorrow I have to give my biggest boy, Shane, a hair cut too. It's funny that he's almost 19 and still asking me for hair cuts.( you see, he makes his OWN money now, so why spend it when MOM can do it for free?!)

I SO want to move to the country. I'm really tired of culd-de-sac life. Really.

If I had my way (dream) we'd move to a southern farm/ranch and we'd also travel back to 'my special country' to adopt another child or two.

Then, I'd be perfectly happy :)

Monday, August 30, 2010

words of wisdom

~God can only steer a moving ship~

I really like that. So many days, especially with the call to adoption, I just feel like standing still. It's way easier. I get stubborn and depressed and would rather just do nothing.

But as my friend Kristin reminded me "God can only steer a moving ship"....so when I feel like plopping myself down on the couch and saying 'FORGET IT' or when I dream of running off to live in 'my special country'all by myself ....(yeah, I REALLY like THAT one) ...I need to stop and focus on what's important , what I feel called to do ...and how to accomplish it. Which is NOT always easy at all.


I need to be a moving ship, not one docked and resting, which is easier.

Thanks Kristin, now that was sweet and mild mannered...wasn't it?!

Friday, August 27, 2010

What a day! I am the biggest airhead EVER!

Oh, my goodness, what a day.

Where do I start....

I had a coupon for a buy one get one free lunch at Space Aliens, which is a Alien themed restaurant nearby. We only go there once a year on Michael's birthday. Just me and Michael went today.

I wanted to take pictures of him with his silly alien do-dads on his head, the birthday kids get to wear them, but my camera on my cell phone was full and I couldn't figure out how to delete any in order to take more.

Anyway, the food was ok, but the real fun there is the arcade thing they have. That's why Michael chooses to go there. Well, I also had a coupon for 10 free tokens. He cashed that in and got a little cup of tokens. We went to play and of course, it doesn't take long to use up 10 tokens and then he wanted some more.

I didn't have any more cash on me so I got out my credit card and put that in the token machine. I was looking for the smallest amount you could get.....hmmm, I only see big numbers......I don't want to spend $10.00 on tokens! Oh, but wait! There's a button for a dollar!! YAY.

So I push that one and it says it has to get approval from the bank....ok, that's weird for a dollar, but whatever.
Then it says approved and out comes tokens....and more tokens....and MORE TOKENS.....then in absolute HORROR I realize I had hit the ONE HUNDRED DOLLAR BUTTON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!




I panicked and called a worker over and pointed at the tokens falling out all around us, dumbfounded, pointing...shaking my head, saying 'no, no, NOT A HUNDRED DOLLARS WORTH" I only wanted a dollars worth....more shaking my head, feeling like I was going to throw up.

She said, "sorry, but there's nothing we can do"....

More pointing from me and still shaking my head looking pretty sick at this point.

I told her I needed to talk to the manager, he quickly came over and I went through the whole thing again, saying "I just CAN'T spend a HUNDRED DOLLARS on tokens, I just CAN'T....there HAS to be a way to fix this!

I honestly felt light headed and thought I was going to be sick, all I could picture was Rich, at home, when he saw that transaction go through....because he knows every cent I spend WHEN I spend it!

The manager said the same thing, 'there's really nothing we can do'.......but I must have had a look of pure horror, like I felt, because he said, 'ok, ok, we'll collect all the tokens ( that were still coming out of the machine) and we'll give you the $100.00 cash'...Thank God!!!!!

I called Rich and tried to explain it all but I was still so flustered. All he cared about is that I was getting the money back. Can you imagine, buying 400 tokens? Goodness.

So, they collected them all in buckets and had the workers counting them all and they DID give me the money...they were still counting when I left :) I don't think I ever want to go back there again!

So, I really didn't feel well after that. We were going to go to a movie, but I told Michael I didn't feel well and lets do something else.....I know...lets go for a nature hike!!!

Putting my credit card into that machine was bad idea #1....going on a nature hike was bad idea #2.

We drove out of town to a park preserve we used to go to many years ago with the older batch of kids. Many years ago, when I was MUCH younger and in MUCH better shape. :)

So we start walking and saying "oh how beautiful this is...you see this flower, you see that bird.....nice things like that.

Then Michael starts saying he's thirsty. We're about 30 minutes into it and he's really complaining about wanting water. Well, we didn't plan on going hiking, and we didn't bring any water.

We keep walking......and walking....and walking....he's still complaining about being thirsty.

We stop to rest in the shade.....wow, I must have been a lot younger when we did this before.....I'm getting winded and so is Michael.

But we get up and keep going. and going. and going. He's not having so much fun anymore. I say something about he better stop complaining or a bear might hear and come and eat us. (we're totally out in the boonies with NOT another soul in sight) he says that would be good because atleast he could kill the bear and drink it's blood.........yeah, I know. He's 8.

We keep walking and I'm starting to wonder just where it comes out, I mean, it MUST like wind back around to where we started, right?....


By now, it's been over an hour of walking probably more like an hour and a half and he's about had it. It's hot and dusty and not very fun. He throws himself down on the ground and wails "I'm going to die"!!!!

So we rest there for a while. Then we're off again. There were many T's in the path and we had to guess which one to take. We chose poorly.

Over 2 hours into it, I'm seriously getting worried. I tried to pretend we were pirates and looking for treasure and keep positive and talk about how beautiful it was, but he wasn't buying that AT ALL.

It was so HOT. We had NO water. We were TOTALLY lost.

He finally broke down and lost it. I kept walking and he followed behind balling his head off. For atleast another 45 minutes. It was miserable.

I tried calling Rich to tell him to come find us! But he didn't answer.

So, we kept going and FINALLY came to a clearing....civilization!!! We saw a gravel road and got on it and low and behold it brought us out.

We both ran for the water fountain and drank and sprayed water on our feet, which both have blisters. I was wearing flip flops. Not a good choice for hiking.

Then we came home and the kids Michael invited had something come up and couldn't come to his party.... I tell you nothing was going right today... so we just ate some cake and now I want to go to bed and forget this day!


Happy Birthday Michael!!!

Two birthdays in a row..... It's my sweet Michael's 8th birthday today.....
I wish I could say he was being 'sweet' .....

But I can't.

I was going to take him to a movie today, but I'm not so sure about that now...

He seemed to gotten bit by the 'naughty bug' on his birthday :(
Oh well, Happy Birthday Michael !!!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Happy Birthday Artiom!!!

It's Toma's 6th birthday today!
The first time in his whole life that he has a family on his birthday to love him and sing Happy Birthday to him :)
He had chocolate cake but was a bit crabby about it and certainly didn't want to wear the stupid birthday hat!!! His words, not mine. Well, ok, he can't talk, but I could tell that's what he was thinking ;)
These aren't the best pictures, because our camera is on the blink so these are from a cell phone. But they're better than nothing, I guess :)
He spent much of the day in his pool, well....until he p0*ped in it :)
Water is still his fascination. He NEVER tires of it. Easy kid :) Water and an empty milk jug, and he's in HEAVEN.
Happy Birthday little guy! We are so grateful to have you in our family!
Adoption truly is a beautiful thing.....

summer pics of Artiom

Enjoying the rain :)

These two are at another parade a couple weeks ago, notice how BLONDE he's gotten?! He loves the SUN!

He has his candy bucket handy, but that's as far as it went. He still has NO interest in such things. Someone tossed him some candy and he picked it up and threw it back at them!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

waiting and listening

Things are weird for me right now. You ever get in a 'holding pattern' and feel like there's nothing you can do but WAIT for direction?

That's where I'm at.

I thought I knew what God was saying to me. I had a very clear picture of what he wanted me to do and who he wanted me to bring home. (future adoption) I was certain of it. I have this childs picture all over the house, we pray for him ( and for when we can go get him) every night at supper.

But bit by bit things seemed to get more difficult. And it seemed harder to make it a reality. He wasn't where we thought he was....he has more medical issues than originally thought.....now he is in a VERY difficult region to adopt from and he lost his original grant. All these not good things started coming up. So, I have to question, "God, are you saying this is not the child you have for our family"? Or are you just seeing how determined I am? Do you have another child in mind for us?

Then I start looking at other children, one little boy in particular at the same orphanage where Toma was at. A child I've seen many times in pictures and never felt drawn to him. But now I see him in a different light, with different abilities and such a sweetness about him.... and I would love to bring him home. Plus, we know the region. We have dear friends there.

But my mind is swirling around all these details. I said about a month ago that I was just going to stop pushing so hard and sit back and LISTEN.

That's what I've been doing.

It's just hard to know what He's saying all the time. But perhaps doors closing are His way of saying no. Or perhaps, I'm just taking an easier way out. It's so confusing!

So, all I can do at this point is PRAY for direction, PRAY that if another adoption is His will for our family that He shows us HOW to do it and which child is meant for us.

In the mean time, my newest son will turn 6 years old tomorrow :) And we're so very grateful to have him.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Henry and Harry....

Our ferret Henry died overnight. We had 2 ferrets for years and years...in the garage because well, have you ever smelled a ferret? Yeah.

But our Harry died last summer :( and poor Henry was left alone over the winter. They had a 'winter house' and a 'summer cottage' out there, and I know poor Henry missed Harry and was lonesome.

So now, when the kids were sad I explained that they were together again in heaven and happy. So, they are going to dig a hole on our 'cemetary on the hill' in our back yard and have a funeral today.

Dasvidaniya Henry!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

stuff cont.

Finally almost done moving the "stuff".... it was SO stinkin hot in the attic, I thought I was going to DIE.

Yet, I can't even say I sweated off pounds up there, I guess my chub like's me too much to leave me. (Oh wait!, was that red-neckish) :>O

We have someone coming in the morning to pick it all up. It feels good to de-clutter.

Friday, August 20, 2010


It has been requested by a certain teenager in the house that I stop coming across like a 'redneck' ...'hillbillie'...'hick'...or anything of the sort.

It was pointed out to me that 'people' already think we're weird enough.


Can't have any fun around here.

How come teenagers don't have a sense of humor anyway?

I'll say it again....Hmp. (yes, I'm rolling my eyes)

Thursday, August 19, 2010


My parents come over for breakfast every morning.

My dad's a snus chewer.

He spit his snus in an empty can of chocolate pediasure. yuck, I know.

Alex was outside and apparently very thirsty.

He ran in the house and grabbed the can off the table and before anyone could stop him he CHUGGED it!

Yes, he chugged snus spit from grandpa.


Then he started gagging and doing the dry heave type of thing.

He didn't look so good , but after drinking some milk and sitting for a couple minutes, he was all spit and vinegar again! (pun intended)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

20 years ago today

I married this man. Best move I ever made ;)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

short and NOT sweet.

I had to 'snake' the toilet today......

I didn't feel much like a lady doing that.

Monday, August 16, 2010

What we've been up to....

It's been a quiet few days around,....well, as quiet as quiet can be with this gang.

I've been so busy de-cluttering the house and the attic. Now my garage is totally stacked full of years and years of stuff. I DON'T LIKE STUFF.

I used to be a pack rat, but NO MORE!

I'm so tired of rearranging STUFF. Moving my STUFF. Making room for more STUFF. Ugh. Enough is Enough.

My mom isn't even a 'closet STUFF person' she's a full fledged, proud-to-be STUFF collector. So she just can't wrap her brain around why I want to get rid of STUFF.....she just keeps going to garage sales and brings me MORE....

So anyway. That's what I've been up to, and I have a good week or so left of work to do on it.

Lindsey is coming home from staying with Nancy in Florida on Wednesday. That's also our 20th wedding anniversary :)

Rich is still off the hook for gifts though, I told him before the adoption that he'd never have to get me another gift if we can go get Artiom. He'll gladly stick to it too :) He HATES buying presents and he's TERRIBLE at it...so I ain't missing out on much!

Michael and Summer have been going to Vacation Bible School this week. At a church we aren't even members at or even go to(we're not even that denomination)....is that weird? They went there last year too. I drove by and saw the sign. So, they are having a great time there in the evenings.

Well, that's about it for now, not a whole lot going on around here.....which can be a GOOD thing :)

Friday, August 13, 2010

Artioms first fireworks

Toma saw his first fireworks tonight!

I 'think' he liked it.....it's hard to tell with him. He doesn't interact at all.
In fact, that's a hard thing about him. He doesn't show affection AT ALL, never has. He is a gentle little soul, but it's hard to 'connect' with him.

I see other kids brought home that are little cuddle bugs and I turn a little green with envy.

It's been 4 1/2 months and he still doesn't seem to give a hoot about me.

Rich reminds me that God makes everyone 'special, and unique' in their own way....and I 'know' that. But it still would be really nice to have a little emotional interaction.

Plus, remember, he doesn't speak. So no communication either.

I know things take time, but I have to wonder if it's ever going to be any different. Honestly, I don't think it will.

But even if he stays exactly the way he is, I'll love him anyway, and always feel so blessed to have him.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

And the winner is...

Five In A Row!!!

I'm so glad to be done with that. WAY too much research for my liking and now my house is a total disaster from neglecting it for 2 days.

Thank you all for your advice, I did look into everything that was suggested....except you nasty chinese commenting person that I can't delete.

I think we're really going to like this curriculum. I love the idea of 'getting lost' in a book every week. I love the kids using their imaginations. They do NOT do well sitting down to bookwork so I sure hope this is the change we were looking for.

The best part is that I just ordered the volumes but not any of the books, which is what gets it REALLY expensive. I looked up all the books and the vast majority of them are right up the street at our library! For FREE! That's the part my husband likes :)

Well, now I gotta get cleaning.

Thanks again everyone.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Charlotte Mason, anyone?

Ok, after researching home school curriculum for this year, I have come to the conclusion that I like this woman, Charlotte Mason.

She taught of a relaxed home school environment with short lessons that spark the imagination. Focusing on the CHILD, and their strengths and interests. And again, building that imagination.

So, now that I know what style I think we are going to focus on, I need to find the right curriculum to go with it. I'm thinking about Heart of Dakota, or Living Books. But it's expensive all right. I wanted something that came complete and with daily lessons all mapped out for us and that don't take too long and that are interesting!

Any suggestions??

Monday, August 9, 2010

Look at this sweet little boy

Could he be your son?
This is Brady, he lives in an institution in Eastern Europe. He's almost 6, but probably the size of a much younger child.
Look at those eyes! Such deep, soulful, beautiful eyes.
He needs someone to love him, to take care of him, to teach him.
He needs a family.
His future is very, very sad if he stays in the insitution. He's in a place where there are mostly semi-adult boys mixed in with the little boys...
His situation is about as desperate as they get. He needs SOMEONE to save him, to VALUE him.
I can just imagine the joy and love he would bring to a family.
Is God calling you? Is He gently nudging you?
Has He placed the burden of the fatherless in your heart?
Brady, and so many like him are just waiting and waiting. And waiting.
They are totally at the mercy of those around them.
He could be adopted very quickly...most likely in 4-7 months he could be HOME.
It's really not that hard. I used to think it was before our adoption. It seemed like a huge mountain that I was afraid to climb.
But it wasn't hard, it was a wonderful journey that I'll always treasure.
It was the best thing we have ever done.
"God doesn't give children with special needs to strong people; He gives children with special needs to ordinary, weak people and then gives them strength. Raising a child with down syndrome doesn't TAKE a special family, it MAKES a special family!"

Please search your hearts....look in this little boys eyes, and SEE the possibilities.
LISTEN to that little voice coming from your heart.
Yes, I want Brady to be my son...but the Lord may have other plans for him. Please don't hesitate on his behalf because you know I have a special affection for him.
Perhaps that special affection was placed in my heart to help his family find him.
Nothing would make me happier than to see him on the 'my family found me page' of Reeces Rainbow.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

the weekend

was long.

It's been a super hot/like tropical hot around here lately. The kids get cranky, mama gets cranky then WE ALL get cranky.

Michael and I went to Walmart on Friday and we bought things for him to sell at the corner stand he set up. I figured it was a good way to keep him occupied. So far, so good ;)

He made $44 in one morning! So, he had to pay me back for the merchandise; pop, freezies, suckers, pop rocks, juicies, licorice, silly bands, and candy.
But he's quite happy with having a few bucks in his pocket. And it DOES keep him busy :)

The only thing is that he has a lot of things to pull down to the corner and back. We live on a culd-de-sac on an incline, and today he was pulling his cart back up the street to come home and his whole thing of 697 gumballs fell and all went rolling down the hill.

Luckily, his dad took pity on him and helped him pick them all up.

I've been cleaning and rearranging this weekend and I really don't feel well on top of it. I took a nap today because I didn't feel well, while my sweet husband went grocery shopping for me.
The little boys took a nap too, but Toma isn't used to taking one so instead he took off all his clothes and pe*d in his crib. Now I have to strip that down. The laundry is already a mountain!

But I have to thank all 6 of you that are now following me (albeit out of pity) but hey, I'm not complaining.

Lizzy, you are such a sweet girl! Really. Thank you for your kind invitation, we would love to bring the gang over sometime :)

Well, that is if your mom is still talking to me after the Elton John comment.

Friday, August 6, 2010

I'm not picky

about even or odd numbers~ as long as they're high numbers! (followers)

I just have to meet and exceed Nancy Thornell's! HA!

What do I have to do, take another trip to 'my special country' to get that # up?? Cuz, i will you know!

I know, I know..............pathetic.

and I will take sympathy followers.

you know I need to get a life when...

I get so excited that I FINALLY got 40 followers!

I've been sitting at 39 for the longest time and it was driving me BONKERS.

Weird, I know.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

You should really get this book... MaryBeth Chapman...Love her!

I have always loved this family.
They are SUCH an inspiration.
Anytime I think my life is hard, I think about the road this family has been called to walk.
Unbelievable pain...yet unbelievable faith.
Praising God in the worst moments of their lives.

These people 'get it'. (and exceed it!)

They are the inspiration behind Artioms adoption.

I wish them only happiness and I long for the day they are reunited with their princess.
Read the book and you too will be inspired!

I love this song

Have you ever listened to 'Tears of the Saints' by Leeland?

I love this song.

I listened to it while flying over the ocean on our way to get Artiom.

It was was the middle of the night, and so quiet on the plane. I had so many different emotions about the whole journey; excitement, hope, fear, uncertainty.

But mostly, compassion for these children who have no one. No chance at life unless they are a few of the lucky chosen ones to get a family.

Anyway, this song runs deep to me. Maybe it will speak to you as well :)