Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year

As I sit here tonight waiting to ring in the New Year, my thoughts are on a friend who has given me bad news today. My prayers of healing be with you my friend, I am so sorry for the illness that has befallen you but a stronger woman, I do not know. So it is fight time, and I will be here for you. We will not give up!

The children have spent their time off in different ways. Playing with their new toys, mainly that Nintendo DS is getting a work out from Miss Kitty. Apparently these smart children can link the DS's together and play against each other in the games. Don't ask me how they do it, makes me feel old and dumb. Donovan is enjoying his camcorder and train set. C is mastering that wicked skateboard, no broken bones yet. The Barbie cash register is a great gift, even the boys have played with it (the older ones) but don't tell them I told :)

We got a good snow last night and then icy roads on top of it. It wasn't very nice as we planned to go visit our Min sister, Narissa :( Boy, were we bummed. She only gets to our area a few times a year and since Kat and her clearly recall being crib mates, we love to see them together here and sharing each other again. So we had to postpone to another time.

The boys went and got some coffee, cocoa, cappuccino from the local convenience store, it is free on Christmas and New Year's Eve so they have to go and act like total pigs. They will be all caffeined up to stay awake, since they aren't usually allowed caffeine they will be bouncing off my walls soon.

We visited this week with my mom, my second mom, my grandma and other family. We had a great time at my second mom's with a yummy dinner and visiting with my cousin and her family. Also C's sister came and spent a night here, Kat was cozied up to her as soon as she got here. They were fast buddies.

I thought about taking down all the Christmas stuff today but then didn't. I like for it to last as long as possible and I can get away with a few more days till it needs to go away. It's a relief it's over but sad that it goes by so very fast.

Not to much else going on, just waiting to see the New Year in, wondering what this New Year will bring us. We have been so blessed this year, it's hard to think anything could top this!

As I hear the girly giggles from downstairs and think of all the fun we are having with our girl, it's just incredible the love we have for her and her for us! I posted a picture of her a year ago waiting for the New Year and the other day in her jammies. More hair, more language, some Kat-i-tude and lots of joy- that's what a year's difference has made. We love you Kitty Kat forever and more.

Happy New Year to all!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Christmas cheer

Our Christmas was WONDERFUL! We had such a FUN time. I love having all these kids, wow, are they a blast. We had our 5 plus my niece (Debbie) and her daughter, Jada, Jay ( #2 son) and Derrik (#1 son) come in after working night shift.

Camden was up at 5 am, crawled in with us with his freezing cold limbs searching out my nice warm fluffiness to warm him- YIKES!

We got up at 7, waited till 7:20 for Derrik to arrive and had to wake Kat and Jada, Jay, Malaree and Debbie. They raced down the steps and it was like a circus. Controlled chaos. Kat ended up in a chair covered by presents as she is slow going, in the present wrapping business. They older kids were all thrilled with their stuff. I think C will never be the same after his first wild Christmas spent with us :) He was very happy with his Ripstick skateboard, just 2 wheels that also swivel, he had to go our immediately to try it as I envisioned a fast trip to the ER for his broken head. But he is good, he managed not to hurt himself and even ride it some.

Kat opened her gifts, she got a DS game opened first and said "Oh Strawberry Shortcake, I love it" and didn't even realize it was a DS game, so when she opened the Nintendo DS (in pink, of course) she FLIPPED> she squealed with delight and said "Oh, Santa, thank you, thank you!" It is her favorite gift. Donovan got a huge train set and a camcorder, he was worried when he could not find any of his gifts to open, but they were there. Malaree got an IPOD, that was about all except a pair of jammies stating "My boyfriend is NO Prince Charming" with little frogs with crowns all over them - Ha ha!

The older kids got more useful stuff, Derrik a vacuum, Jay a shaver set and poker card set, Brandon a watch and flashlight. Camden got his beloved Pokemon cards, I had thought I was beyond those but no, alas, another generation of the craziness continues. The older boys brought him the ones they had collected over the years and had left, so he was sooooo happy. He also got a Pocket Rocket, Miss Kat is on it in the picture, even though it's not her gift!

My brother called us from Japan in the midst of the chaos and we got to share the fun with him. We miss having his family here but it seemed like he was just across town when he is able to call and share such special times. It really made my day.

We felt so blessed that all the children were happy, everything worked, nothing had to be returned, and we didn't charge one penny of Christmas buying. We were very good to stay in budget and right on with Santa's list of things for each one. Such a fun morning.

We had our ham dinner at noon, Grandma Y came in and we enjoyed a good meal. Pumpkin pies for dessert. I put the ham in the night before on very low and it was wonderful. We had just finished up the dishes and clean up and was considering a nap when the phone rang and it was my work. I was to be on call for 33-11 and 11-7 shifts. I was needed- ahhh! So I went to work but was able to come home and be on call after 11 pm. So it wasn't too bad. I was pretty tired but we had a Christmas baby girl born. Just a lovely reminder of the precious baby Jesus' birth.

My grandmother, age 95, visited us yesterday, she is the only living grandparent I have left. It was wonderful to see her and see the spunk she still has going on. She enjoyed the kiddos and we talked of Christmas' past when we went around visiting all of my dad's brothers and we all would leave everything under the tree to "show" when people came. Funny to think of that now.

Today we have C's sister here staying for them to have some time together and see what kind of life each other has in their foster homes. She is in a different home and doing well. But she misses her brother. He is going to stay a night with her in her foster home next week. She is enjoying the little ones, although I am sure they would annoy her after a while :) Kat hasn't left her alone since she got here.

I have to share a recipe with everyone. It's called Winter Trail Mix. It's super easy, I make it for all those hard to buy for people, neighbors, mailman, bus drivers for the kids, teachers, etc. My family LOVES it, and I LOVE how easy it is.
Winter Trail Mix

2 cups Cheerios (generic brands are fine)

2 cups Rice Krispies

1/2 jar unsalted peanuts

3/4 bag pretzel sticks ( 16 oz. bag)

3 bags white chocolate chips

Christmas colored M & M's, one bag

Place everything in a cake pan. Heat at 200 degrees for 30-45 minutes ( do not make higher temp to speed up time or white chocolate will burn) then mix together, add colored M & M's, then spread out on a cookie sheet. Cool. Break apart and bag. Serves 10-15 people, stays fresh in airtight containers or bags for up to 2 weeks. YUMMY.

We are enjoying the gifts everyone got us and the kids are playing with everything.
A fantastic ending to this year for all of us and hopefully all of you! We love you all. Thanks for being here for us :)

Here's Kat enjoying her favorite gift, must work better for her this way??

Saturday, December 22, 2007

All I want for Christmas

All I want for Christmas is........ there to be no more orphans. I know, I know, this is an impossible wish. But if one by one they are adopted till there are no more.... wouldn't that be amazing.

I have had in my heart since we came home with Kitty Kat, the idea that WOW- I want to do this again! Since we were focusing on our family and getting Kat settled we have done little except think about doing it again- someday. We felt as she deserved her time to be secure in her place as the baby. I do not care to touch that security with a ten foot pole :)

No, I have in my thoughts and prayers, a child of older age, maybe 9,10, 11 that is a China girl, Haiti, Columbia, foster??? I do not know. I have asked God to lead us to her. Wherever she may be. My first thought is another China girl, for the simple reason of staying within one culture of learning, as I feel the need to teach our China girl as much as I possibly can about her heritage. But skin color to us is not a factor, so I do not rule out other countries or even our foster care bringing us a child to adopt.

I can only imagine a child, of any color, wanting a forever family, maybe standing and watching as all the cute babies go to forever families, thinking she is too "old" to ever be wanted. We want you precious child, to be blessed by you as a part of our family. Hubby is even on board, we just need FUNDS. So we are holding off, waiting for God to show us the who and the how :)

It would be so nice, as I am sure ANY adoptive family will tell you, to have a money tree, sugar daddy, lottery jackpot to pull out every time a "fee is due"- in reality this is not happening and it isn't free to adopt. If love counted we would be rich!

I liked a story I read in a book a dear friend (Suzy) sent me that was so neat, a girl adopted from China came home from school and said a boy asked her "how much she cost." And the mom replied "all babies cost money, it costs to go to the hospital and have a baby, fees are involved, paperwork, care, etc." Made me really think.

We can consider foster to adopt, if our child is there. But my heart is first and foremost drawn to ORPHANS, something you rarely find in the U.S. foster care system. We are foster parents so we KNOW how it all works. Too often it's the PARENTS these kids have that can't/ won't/aren't able to cope with raising their child.
I am very close to our foster son, he has made such great personal strides here, we are proud of him. The girl aged out and moved out, she was safe and secure here. She was putting in time and we knew it.

This is a far cry from being orphaned at birth due to being a girl, or being so poor you have no food to eat and your mom takes you to the orphanage to try to spare your life. Or your parents die in war or from AIDS.

Foster children come with a set of BIG issues that we lovingly take on, but can be terribly frustrating. But we are wiling to take on whatever God has in store for us. We love our children, they are fun, they are a handful, but they bring us great joy. They are the future. They are a neat group of kids- each one special. WE consider them a blessing from God, one that we hope we deserve and honor Him in His gift.
I'd love to post the pictures of Kat with C- they got pictures together and separate for his family gifts, they are so sweet, but as he is a foster child I am not allowed to.

So if it's God's Will we hope and pray that we will continue to foster and help children in need this coming year and maybe give an orphan a chance for a forever family. We'll just have to see :)

One by one, till there are no more orphans......... I'll take 2 please, since the blessed child we have been honored with to raise is an amazing and wonderful little girl, how could we NOT want to add another?

Prayers be with all the orphans of the world tonight.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

6 days till Christmas

It's 6 days till the big one. We have done the Christmas program at school. I have worked the last time till Christmas. Everything is wrapped. I think, I think I am prepared.

I have a few pictures to get frames for as gifts and my dinner stuff. Otherwise we are counting down the days and enjoying the childrens' excitement. It's so fun to be blessed with little ones that still believe in Santa and even the big ones are excited too.

Miss Kat was in her Scooby Do jammies and playing, then she got into trouble. She is trying to explain WHY she hit her Gie Gie Don-o-bin and still deserves to have the Nintendo DS show up under her tree. Such a turd.
We went to work today just for a meeting and CPR re- certification and she was totally amazed by the tiny 3 lb baby twin boys we have. Red headed like Camden and she said "too tiny for Kat to hold." Yes, too tiny. Sorry Kat. She'll have to stick to her dolls :)

We stopped off and saw the foot doctor that we know that has a China girl. He said she was growing and needed to come see his girl. I mentioned something about Kat being labeled "Special Need"- ha ha, that her toe was the issue and showed it to him. He said " I will fix it for her, for free." I was shocked. This was not a consultation, just in the hallway, talking about our China girls! We LOVE her toe, as it is. I would have to really consider doing anything to her toe. I think if it embarrassed her or hurt her then I would want to fix it as best we could.
Kat is having a hair issue. Her bangs are thin, they have breakage going on. I do not pull her bangs up into her piggy tails, I HAVE to put something in her hair other wise it grows straight down in her face. Doesn't try to part at all to the sides. But I don't put her bangs up and yet they are breaking off. I hope it's a temporary thing and they come back in full, they seem to be growing and I hope moisturizing her hair is helping. It's not terribly noticeable unless you look for it but I certainly do not want anymore of it to break off. I'm sure our dry winter air isn't helping matters.
Both Camden and Kat got to go have their parties at the sitter's. They had a ball getting all sugared up and getting their gifts. Camden got a Playstation game and Kat got a Dora backpack that she just loves. It has a "map" and she tells you what all the things on the map are then sings the "map" song.
She is a singing and happy girl, eager to see her 2nd Christmas with her forever family. 6 days to go girl!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Any one else nuts about now?

The kids are home from school, yippee yeah. It's freezing rain and sleet outside, a nice coating of the stuff, so I can't even send them out to "play" without risking the dirty looks of the neighbors. Darn. We are expected to get a few inches of the ice coating with a snow storm coming this weekend too.

So far Camden has complained Donovan gave him a "wet willy" (what is that?) and Kat is fussing since she isn't thrilled she must behave to get her "pink DS" from Santa. She decided last weekend she wasn't going to behave any longer and she didn't WANT the pink DS any longer. So there to YOU, 'ol Santa. She has since changed her mind, although she is frustrated with the amount of time it is taking the old man to get here!

Camden was taking some pictures for me the other day, I wanted some of Kat and I together and he snapped this one of me kissing her. Is her expression not priceless? Like, ohhhh, I am sooooo loved by my momma and I know it. Too cute :)

I got all my wrapping done and am nearly done with the cards and finishing stuff for the holiday. PHEWW. This year we feel blessed and thankful for all that we have.

What does everyone want? The big kids always ask for $$. Ha Ha to them, mom likes to shop and spend that $$. C wants a skateboard. Malaree wants an IPOD, Dono-bin wants a train set, Camden wants a all kinds of things, and Kat wants her pink DS, of course, along with everything she sees on TV.
Anything girly, that is. Dora kitchen, furry animals, anything with girls playing she says " you get that for me?" and I give the standard, " we'll tell Santa and see." To which she says " okay" and giggles.
H will be leaving us next week as she turns 18. She is moving on with her adult life and we wish her well. Kat will miss her painting her nails (green and red right now for Christmas) and I will not know how to act with a phone free for my use at any time :)
For today though, my world is lego building, fighting over the TV's, hot cocoa, snuggling in and enjoying my life. Doesn't get better than this. Is it nap time yet?

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Shopping, Shopping

It's Christmas time and shopping is the word. I saw a lovely sign at a Wendy's saying "Happy Birthday Jesus", Kudos to Wendy's for that. He's the Reason for the Season. Let's not forget that.

Miss Kat went shopping - although for groceries on Thursday so I am NOT depriving the child of her shopping fixes, no nasty e-mails- please. Yesterday when Baba came home early for us to go do the "big one" she started to fuss then I told her we had to talk to Santa and make sure he was getting her the pink DS and if she went along he wouldn't talk to us. She settle right down and was FINE about not going!

We accomplished much, even had a dinner out to ourselves!!! WOW, I thought I should be cutting up someone's meat, wiping a nose, something, let me tell you Baba didn't appreciate my efforts to "help him get to the bathroom". Oops. My mommy mode forgot to turn off.

Apparently Malaree can't understand the meaning of "mom and dad OUT together" as she must call us to check up on us numerous times when we go anywhere alone together. She'll be the one we call when we are old and can't find our teeth, so it's good to know which one cares enough to call often:) Paybacks are fun, Mal, just remember that.

Our shopping is done even though we looked at the haul when we got home and were shocked, as we usually are, at the actually amount of bags we had for all that $$$. Sad, we used to have to make many trips to get it in, this was only 2 trips. But they are blessed children, technology has even made diapers smaller in size so no wonder all their pricey toys are so small. We are thankful we are able to provide them with a nice Christmas, that they know why we celebrate Christmas and the joy will be felt here.

I took Miss Kitty to see her Great Grandma, my father's mom, as she is in the hospital. Gram asked that Kat come see her at home. I think Kat misunderstood her that she would have to go the hospital aka- doctor's and she said "no, no thank you." Gram just loved her, she was talking about a 5 generations picture with my niece's child being her only great-great grandchild and Kat said " I want be great great" with the cutest pout. Grammy got a good laugh out of that and said "okay, you can be," making Kat all smiles again. Gram is doing well for her age and is spunky as ever.

So now I just have to wrap that haul and try to keep my irrational fear of the house catching on fire and ruining everything in check. It's seems to get me every year after we manage to pull off buying for all these kids and are done, that "what if" and the 5- yes FIVE house fires within blocks of us in the past month are not helping my paranoid state.

I did dress Kat in the same dress and hat that was so adorable last year in her picture, I was lucky enough to find a pair of velour pants with the same print so she is wearing the dress still, just as a long shirt. It's so cute on her and I wanted to post pictures of her in it last year and this year. What a change! You can see that Kat- i- tude shining right on out of her, huh?
She's so incredibly gorgeous, hubby said last night as we shopped for her, "she is the prettiest girl to ever come out of China."
There's a Baba in love with his girl, if you ever heard one, huh?

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

No shopping today

Miss Kitty was getting dressed today and declared- "We go shopping." When I burst that bubble for her she cried and cried. She was wanting to GO.
She even said last night at bedtime - "we fogot somebin ( forgot something) today mom, go shopping." The nerve of me to NOT go shopping for 2 days in a row.

It took some coaxing and thank goodness for Yo Gabba Gabba (never thought I'd utter those words) for her to settle down. She doesn't care that I have 6 loads of laundry to do and that I am a scrooge when it comes to buying anything in December- even a deodorant could be a stocking stuffer :)

She will be even madder when she finds out Baba and I are going on Friday and Saturday to shop and hopefully finish the gift buying fun. Hope Grandma comes prepared to block that fit.

We got to go to the mall and she talked with Santa last week so then when we went to a party for the foster kiddos Saturday we got a bit of a "oh no" moment when Kat decided she was getting her pink DS she had asked Santa for. YIKES> to prevent meltdown I explained to her that she had to get her pink DS under our Christmas tree at home, and she was very happy with the pony he got her. She even went back up to him and thanked him. Donovan said she now knows what she is getting- I think at age 4 and you ask for one thing you pretty much can be excited and happy still to get it:)

We got a letter from our wonderful China grandma, Po Po. They are doing well, but for arthritis. It is winter there too, but not near as cold as here. They have never seen snow and I am trying to think how to describe what it is like. I think the most amazing thing to us living in a small town, is the quiet, serene atmosphere that prevails even in town. Just the scraping of the snow plow once in a while, the distant motor of someone's snow blower, but it's so QUIET. Just a really special time. I actually go out to shovel on purpose to enjoy the beauty of it.

So far none of that beauty has found it's way here, we have had the wind blowing for 2 days, rain, snow flurries, some ice even but no pretty snowfall. Maybe for Christmas it will come. We'll have to see.

Oh by the way- 21 days till Christmas-ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!