Saturday, July 31, 2010

Go Shopping

The kiddos love to go shopping. Even the boys say "Go shopping? Go, go, go!" Since school is only 31 days away, I thought I better get on the ball. Ha ha! Just trying to kid myself it's coming sooner, like some kids who go back to school on August 9th? Where is that happening? I am sooo moving there!

Anyway, my niece wanted to get baby's pictures so we loaded everyone up early today and off we went. Yeah, you got it- ALL of them. I told them- do not whine, or you never go again. Everyone was actually really well behaved except Chance, the master of pouting. He decided he wanted skinny leg jeans I guess since he saw how hard it was to find Chase some he liked.

When I told him they would be almost impossible to find and he tried on one pair that said it was "skinny leg" only to find they were miles too big in the waist but he wanted them anyway. When I said "no," the pout was on. He refused to look at anything else, till we left that store. I told him, "fine, now you will be one that I do not bring again and you will be stuck wearing whatever I pick you or go naked." Doesn't matter to me.

He told Chloe I was picking "ugly clothes." Poor baby. I even tried the "this stuff is all made in China, American boys wear these" ploys (no calls mom) to try to get them to budge on the leg width, I mean, come on, I'm not asking them to wear stuff that falls off them in sloppy style, I can't stand that.

I think I did really well with the budget, I got brand new, for $200 total- 4 backpacks, 4 belts, an outfit for Miss Kitty, 2 pair pants and 1 shirt for Chloe, 3 shirts and a pair of shorts for Camden, 3 pair of jeans and 2 shirts for Chance, 2 shirts and 2 pairs of jeans for Donovan, 4 pairs of jeans and 1 shirt for Chase and 1 shirt for oldest son, Derrik.

We are on a tight budget for me to stay home with the kids but even if we weren't I am a momma that can't stand to overspend on anything. So I got 31 items for $200. Name brand stuff:) and was thrilled with our "take" for the day.
Chloe, Kat and Camden did really well understanding the boys needed the most because they have the least. Not an easy task to cover their skinny hineys:) Chase wears about a boys 12 in the waist but needs at least a boys 18 for his height, Chance wears about a boys 8 in the waist but 12 for length, so you can see the issue!
Chloe is wearing a girl size 12 and it's easy to find skinny leg pants for her. She still needs a belt or the adjustable waist though, since she is about a 10 in waist size.

We had lunch at the kids' all time fave Chinese restaurant, there were kisses and "thank you mother" all around when I said we could go there to eat. It's a huge buffet and Chloe informed me after she got an unbelievably huge plateful of food that it was "the only food that filled her up completely, no Americk food can do that." Well then. It was funny that she had to take a break to go the WC to finish her food and go for dessert, of course.

The baby got his pictures taken, he did really well and looked adorable, of course. He was fussing some by the end of our trip, so I was holding him and checking out as all the kids were hanging around me, the cashier looked at me and said "wow, you have a lot of kids, you must be a saint!" Ha Ha, no sainthood here. I did break it to her that I only had half the clan with me. Poor thing looked a little shell shocked.
We got home and momma was spent. Broke and tired. A good day of school clothes shopping.
Look, look free-to-me pictures of Chloe! Amazing how the trade off for "go shopping? "Give up free pictures to mother and smile doing it." WORKS! (Honestly mom- do not call me, you TAUGHT me this)
BTW...... Chris are you spying on me? How did you know I pretend not to understand them when the tattling starts, or won't end, heck, I pretend not to understand/hear the English speaking ones when they start that or are whining. I am soooo busted:)

Thursday, July 29, 2010

33 days

Till school starts. I will make it. I will. The kids spent another hot day picking at one another. Camden telling Kat she couldn't be in the kitchen, so she cried that she wasn't allowed to eat, Chance tattled on Donovan for something, Donovan refusing to do chores, Chase fought with Camden over the bunny, etc.

Yeah, you read that right. A BUNNY. A wild little critter that arrived home with the boys when the 4 of them went to help someone bale hay and this poor sad little bunny had gotten caught in the baler. Obviously the guy they helped does not have children or he would have known to say "wild bunny needs to stay in the field he came from to survive" instead of "here's a box, sure you can take him home for a pet, your mom won't mind at all???" Grrrr.
Bunny is getting a few days to recoup his senses and then he is going back to his nice field.

The teens have found a new freedom. We had hoped this would happen when we got them bikes. We knew they had rode in Ch*na but were concerned to just let them go here, I mean it's not like they can tell someone their full name, their address, their phone number. So I gave them my cell phone, Chloe knows how to use it, and an index card to carry that had the info on it. It made me feel better to let them go biking, they feel much better being allowed to go explore their world.
As far as patience with my kids, well, some days I have it and some days I don't. I'm very human. I did learn one thing I was doing very wrong. I was praying and praying for patience, someone finally told me "when you pray for patience you get strife to learn it." Oh goodness.

Now I pray for tolerance:) I also try to step back when the kids are being less than angels, or make me mad. So I do not overreact. Take stock before I dole out any groundings and make then go to their rooms so they can't be heard, adding to my aggravation with them. Yeah, they like to go on, and on, not knowing they are making things WORSE for themselves.

A thing I always keep in the back of my mind was something a good friend of mine told me when I was struggling in my job with wanting to focus on the work which I loved, but not the co-workers who were quite mean. 100 years, all new people. Meaning in 100 years most of us will be gone, and what legacy will we have left? Really makes you think, huh?

Mr. Jaxon has been a pickle this week, he is 2 weeks old today and the stinker is spoiled. Even though I know, you can't spoil a baby:) Don't worry his mother KNOWS. Matter of fact, she is helping it along! He wants to be held all day long. He fusses if someone is not focused on HIM all the time.
He's still as cute as can be,loves to wrinkle up that forehead as if to say "yeah, I know I got you all in my pocket, so what???

I have super pics of the little guy as well as Miss Kitty who is more than willing to pose for free any time, anywhere, any day. She didn't earn that Diva title for nothing! And that's what you get since I am still refusing to pay the teens for their mug shots. I did catch Chance and Camden in their morning pose, head to head. Wouldn't Chance just be horrified to know he slept like that every night- ha ha on him.
Speaking of, Chance is telling me, somewhat in English, some Chinese, some hand signals, that his hair is growing and he is trying new styles. His hair grows so much slower than his sibs.
He is also telling me that he wants to eat, he had a huge supper and snack, but wants to eat AGAIN. But it's bedtime and he is arguing about bedtime since I told him to go to bed. He left my room then started chanting in the keyhole of the door - sue-fan, sue-fan (eat, eat), he's quite the funny guy. Persistent too.
It's very obvious Chance and Chloe are twins, the only time they are quiet is when they are asleep.
Oiy. I sure do love having 5 teens. They always have something to say........always.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Who's the maid?

Why does it always seem like the more you do for your kids the snottier they get? What's with that already? It seems the party turned our daughter into a (gasp) snot! And I mean Super Naughty Ornery Teen!

Yesterday I asked her to go out and sweep a 15 foot walkway instead of sitting and staring at me, as if I needed to provide her with summer entertainment, and her smart butt came off with "I'll go out there and just sit" and she proceeded to do just that. She was mad "no one else had to do ANYTHING" even though I was cleaning up, the boys were cleaning up and even Donovan was told to take out the garbage.

I have told the children numerous times that LIFE is not fair and "FAIR" is the "other" F word in this house and forbidden to be said. I don't want to hear it. Not with 10 kids keeping count on everything to gauge for FAIRNESS. Later when I was running the sweeper and asked Miss Snotty teen to do the dishes, and she was slamming them and I told her to "knock it off" guess what she came off with?
"WHY I HAFT TO BE YOU MAID?" WHOA--- drama queen alert--- wanna see your momma's red hair flare? Oh, just come off with something stupid about being MY MAID when I am cleaning as well. I can assure her I had no idea I had a maid but I can certainly sit AND let her do lots of things if she thinks doing dishes for about the 20th time in the 1.5 years that she had been home is "excessive." I WAS HOT!

I'm pretty sure at least some sparks were flying off my head, I was so incredibly mad at her. I sent her to her room and when she first came down and smartly said "sorry" I told her "not good enough, go back to your room", so she slammed her door. So she learned that a door is a privilege, not a right. Grrrrrrrrrr! Guess who is doing the dishes ALL WEEK too?

Her twin, Chance, not to be left out, was a snot in the morning when he woke up right next to Camden, it was so cute when I saw them asleep with their heads together. Not a sight you see often, although they are getting along a bit better. So when Chance realized he was right next to Camden he pushed him away rudely.

So I told him I was treating him just like he treats Camden to show him how it feels. Let's just say --he's no dummy, he caught on really quick that being ignored when speaking, not being shared with is not so much fun when it's being done to HIM. I also told him they are brothers for life now, he might as well get used to each other:) No one's going to go away or disappear here:)

Other than my annoyance with twins, it was not a bad day, it's par for the course with having teens. Although I wasn't thrilled with Chloe's behavior, it is pretty typical for a teen girl, I know I have jumped to conclusions before when my kiddos were acting up but this really didn't upset me, it angered me, yes, it was uncalled for behavior, yes, but it's also just a regular teen snit fit.

I have often said boys are so much easier than girls to raise and God knew what He was doing when I was blessed with 8 sons compared to 3 daughters-some people are great with all that girly drama, I am more of a no nonsense momma so I do not.

On another note, I think our new kitten thinks she is a dog! She's a ton of fun, the kids just love her playfulness and I love not worrying if they are being bitten by a dog. She'll scratch and they let go, a perfect solution. Today the kitten tried to go outside with the dog to potty?

And Oreo Cookie (the kitten) lays in the kennel (door open) with the dog and when dad tried to move her(to shut the door for the night) the dog growled at him! So apparently the dog thinks the kitten is a dog too!

Crazy animals, doesn't it look like my dog is smiling? I guess they fit right in our goofy household:)

Sunday, July 25, 2010

The Party

Wow--- was their party FUN! They really had no idea till I lowered the signs their friends had made and said "guess what? This party is really for YOU!" They were a tad embarrassed, they were falling back on the old "make no fuss about self or it's terrible shame" Chinese cultural thing when we told them in America birthdays are FOR making a fuss:)

A good fuss. They blew out their candles of their cakes, don't worry (cousin Debbie) Chance still loves you even though you dropped his cake and it looked like a bomb hit it:) I told ya I was gonna blog it!

They had a pinata they enjoyed, then came the gifts. They were embarrassed again, but I think it helped there were the two of them. They opened and thanked people quite nicely. We had them open everything then covered all 3 of their eyes and brought out the crazy skateboard for her and bikes for the boys. Let's just say they were SHOCKED-- a GOOD shocked. So happy, all 3 of them. Mouths hanging open happy. They hid their faces so I didn't get any good pictures except Chloe hugging her Baba, a rare thing!

I asked her later if it was her "best day ever" then said "well, behind getting your brothers" and she said "no, 3 best day, 1 you adopt-ahh me, 2 we get they (the brothers) 3, this." Isn't that so sweet. She sure can be a moody pickle of a girl, but she was very open about how happy she was, she told me later at home "thanks mom" not the usual "Thank you Mother", the standard teen snotty required thanks.

She also asked me how we "cheat-ahh her" meaning Miss Nosey wanted to know how we pulled a surprise party over on her. Wasn't easy, that's for sure. I did have to explain we told little fibs about the party day and who the party was for, and that didn't hurt anyone, it was for them to get a good surprise. Don't want her fibbing and saying it was for MY good, to not be upset with her, I can just SEE her trying that.

Chance was just enjoying all the fun, he gets embarrassed like Chloe but he is also more outgoing than her so he can easily get over it when it's something as fun as a party for HIM:) He's such a sweetie. He has some money now, I asked what he was going to buy with it, he said "gum." Okay then.

His only request for his birthday? A picture of Hannah's (Chloe's BFF) brother, Fox. He and Chance are buddies now, and all he wanted was a picture of his new best friend. And he got one, it's even framed:)

Isn't it hilarious how you can SEE their twin bond? I am totally guessing, of course, but I think even though Chloe is more shy than Chance, if I were a betting woman I put money down that Chloe was born first. Can you see her bossing her bro?

She does it to Chase too, she told him to hold something and he just did it. I asked him "she always tell you what to do like that?" He told me "yes, Mother, even little, she rraaaarrr, rrrarrr, raarrrr, him." I kinda thought so.

We are glad they were surprised, had a good time and can celebrate their birthdays together from now on.

Just a side note for those of you adopting older. We got Chance's Certificate of Citizenship early on. Not Chase's. I waited. This past week I got "the letter." That is a letter from H*meland Secur*ty out of NY stating as he was "14" when we entered the USA he had to "appear" to be sworn in.

We arrived May 14th in Washington DC and his paperwork date was May 22. So I sent back a "not so nicely" worded letter as well as copies of his documents with the date on them and stated he was NOT 14 when we entered the USA and therefore his certificate should be sent to him via mail. I said "not so nicely" since I pointed out to them we had adopted 3 teens now, close to age 14 and of the 3 only one time did they send the certificate like they were supposed to, two times now I have gotten a letter in error, that the child had to "appear."

Let's hope it appears in the mail this week.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

The End of Bible School

Phewww... we made it through. Bible School is over. The kids got study Bibles for the last night and we had the ending program as well as hot dogs and ice cream sundaes, yummm.

Today is the surprise birthday party and the twins have no idea. Chloe spent the night at a sleepover party, we went to leave the church last night and the boys thought I was forgetting her- ha ha, like that is possible.

We have a heat index warning for our area, the humidity and heat are unbearable. Baba took the kids to pick up Chloe who is already out swimming, so they all are out getting wet to keep them cool.

Chase has learned a few new words. He leaned over and said to me "mother, Kat drama queen?" Uh, yeah. She is but we love her as is:)

I started looking at some school clothes, funds are tight but the boys will need clothes. Chance will be easy, he is basically the same size as Camden. Chase is going to be harder, he wanted pants like in Ch*na, skinny leg. So I got on e*bay and found a pair at a great price. I got them in the mail yesterday and had him try them on. What does he say?

"Mother, no, too little" while showing me the legs are TOO skinny- ahhh. He is still willing to wear them, as he came with only 2 pair of pants and they are at least 2 inches too short now, that's good! He's growing taller.
He's still maintaining his weight at 118-119 lbs but he is at least 5 ft-8 inches now. Skinny enough to pull off his new skinny jeans:)
Hopefully we can get the next try right for him to have school clothes he likes. As well as being thankful Chance is not picky about his clothes at all. Chase wanted to know if I would buy his clothes and then he repay us when he started making money.

As sweet as we find this, I had Chloe quickly explain to him this is mother and father's place, to buy him things, to provide for him with no repayment expected. And that providing for him is not 2 pairs of clothing either, I do not wish to be hounded to get those 2 sets of clothes clean constantly so he will have to accept it's okay to have a few more than 2 outfits:)
He doesn't want us to be burdened by him, I know that, but he is far from a burden to us. He's a wonderful, caring son.

Except when I told them I hadn't gotten any pictures of the threesome together in a while, and the three turds said "you want picture? One dollar please?" WHAT? Blackmail for pictures? I'll let you enjoy the pictures of them, don't expect any of them for awhile if I have to pay them to pose, you'll be seeing Miss Kitty who LOVES to pose and does it for FREE!
Such typical teens, they are such a blast. Never know what they will come off with next. Never a dull moment here, that's for sure:)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Big Day is.....! Happy 14th BIRTHDAY to Chloe and Chance. This will be the FIRST ever birthday they have spent together, celebrating as the TWINS they are.

We have cupcakes planned due to VBS, and a shhhhh.... surprise party happening on Saturday. They "think" it's for a friend who's birthday is tomorrow, but it's really a party for THEM:)

We (Baba and I) are giving Chase a gift for his big day as well, since we missed his Feb 28th birthday this year. Chloe asked for $$$$- but also had wanted a R*pstik skateboard for Christmas that Santa told her to wait for summer to get. So she is getting both since we got the boys bikes. They are going to be thrilled. Shhhh--- don't tell them:)

We never dreamed we would be celebrating the birth date of TWINS, but here we are. All three home and celebrating their special day with their family. We sure do love these kiddos!

Thanks goes to God for making this possible, along with His followers who helped us!! Hope knowing what a BIG deal this is to our children brings you all some happiness today- just a year ago we didn't know where this would all lead and now we can say WE DID IT!! THEY ARE HOME! Still gives me a smile thinking about it.

Happy 14th Birthday Chloe and Chance- our son and daughter. You are two very blessed children. As well as Chase:) Amazing that God knew your path all along. I am sure He is smiling down at His children today:)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Stink kids

I believe the kids came up with a plan to punish me for letting the noodles run out. They ate garlic 2 days in a row, straight garlic cloves, for lunch. Now the 3 teens STINK of garlic. It's downright embarrassing, and possibly dangerous.
Little baby Jaxon came over and was lying on the bed, they adore him and crowd all around him. He actually got a whiff of them and got this huge grimace on his face. I told them to back off so they didn't harm him with garlic breath. Yikes.

The teen trio also figured out mother can't stand the smell of garlic so they decided to KISS mother, repeatedly, and although I love them dearly I wanted to barf. They thought this was even more amusing and smothered me in kisses.

I took them to Vacation Bible school and left them with their poor teacher, apologizing for their, uhhumm, odor. I am doing the crafts this year, I was supposed to float around and help but it ended up that no craft leader was there so I am doing it. I did NOT come up with the crafts so I am wondering if whoever did is going for the messiest ideas of all times. I mean on a scale of one to ten we are at a 4 and getting higher each night.

I'm worried by Friday, the last night, we may have kids wrestling in jello at craft time! The first night we did ID cards. Not too bad just some fingerprint stamp on them. Last night we did plants in a cup with foam stickers on the outside of the cups. I "planted" the plants, so that didn't make the mess, just 100 kids running around with half full cups of dirt??? I know tonight is Modge Podge, on mugs, some more messy fun and I didn't even ASK what is tomorrow night. I may not want to know.

The kids are having a ball, even Chase, who I offered to help me instead of going to class and he said "yes" at first then he saw flowers and he said "flowers, no, no thank you. Bye." And he was gone, the traitor. The teacher has been super for the boys, they went to the trouble of printing out the lesson in CHINESE for the boys! Is that cool or what? We have a super church family.

Chloe was learning her Bible verse the first night, we were in the van coming home. I didn't know why she was asking what "knit" meant and I gave her this meaning "like making a sweater with yarn." She remained puzzled looking at me till she told me she wanted to tell me her memorized verse. And it was "He KNIT me in my mother's womb."
Oh dear. Can't you just see where her brain went? Knitting a sweater in my mother's belly...hummm. Not sure what good that "sweater" did her but we got a good laugh out of it when I told her teacher what happened:)

We have Jaxon for the first time today, he is doing great, mommy was unable to leave him and took a few extra days off:) He likes noise, so he does just fine here.
Sleeping away.

I do need to pick some brains of my dear followers again, so someone tell me please- what is the "cabbage in a jar of water" and let sit till?? rotted? dead? what? as something to eat? The kids are wanting to do this and I have never heard of it, is it safe?
Tomorrow is a BIG day around here, any guesses???

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Pure Joy

Wanna see how some kids have fun on a rainy day? Here it is:)

Yep, it was down pouring and Chloe and Chance wanted to know, could they? Go outside and "shower?" It wasn't lightening and Chloe has told me numerous times she did this in Ch*na so why not give them a piece of their past? They introduced this form of fun to Camden as well as Kat. Chase was fine to stay in the house laughing at them with mama as I snapped pictures from the window.

You know how YOU can spread this joy and fun? Wellllll....... we have 2 families that we are close to, as they have adopted older girls, and it gives us a bond as we plow through the fun and the hard times supporting one another as we lean on God following the road He led us to.

Both of these wonderful families are doing just what we did. Going BACK. For a brother, a bonded child of their girls. Now they aren't bio, like our kids, but does that really matter? Does blood make these children any less our sons and daughters?? Nope, not a bit.

As well as the fact, that these children love one another. Deeply. They become attached as the "siblings" they are, within the orphanage. Or foster care. And although not every family is able to go back for every "sibling" these families have been called and has answered the call. Older boys, both of them, with little hope of getting a family but now they do, they have families.

They just have to overcome the mountains that we all KNOW are but ant hills for God. The fact that fees have to be paid. Travel has to occur to get these boys home.

Will you please, for us, for these wonderful children, in honor of our kids, your kids, your mother, your father, your sister, anyone who has touched your life in adoption hop on over to these blogs and give what God calls you to give. Even if it's prayer for them, it all counts to get these boys home. Playing in the rain, like our kids today, so many people helped make this happen for our children, hope each of you that did can feel the joy of our children being loved and home forever. Keep that warm fuzzy feeling going, won't you please?

Both families are running fundraisers right now, so you might even win a super neat gift for helping these families. I personally do not advocate for the families to be entered in their drawings, I ask that they do not enter me since I see this as a way to give back to all that helped US:) It isn't forgotten, nor will it ever be.

Oh joy, 2 more boys coming home. My heart is so happy for them, can't you just SEE God smiling down at our kids today, as the boys coming home are sleeping in Ch*na and He knows they will be playing in the rain as well, carefree and loved within their own family.
Just as He planned--WOW-- Our God is so awesome!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Bumpin' along

Hit a bump yesterday. I had been upset, irritated at something that had nothing to do with the kids. Apparently I have a son who is very in tune with mother's feelings. I didn't realize how bonded to me he really is:) Such a sweetie.

When we went to church yesterday I handed snack off to Camden to take to the basement, since I knew he would be able to get it where it belonged and not get lost, much to Chase's annoyance. He did not understand why I wouldn't let him take the snack.

So after church when Sunday school started, I was called out of class by his teacher, since Chase left class, went outside and was sitting at a picnic table looking miserable. I sat out there with him and tried to figure out what was wrong, thinking the worst, of course. That he was unhappy, he didn't like us, he didn't want to be here, he hated church, he wished we had never adopted him.

Pretty soon I was in tears as well as him since I had no way to communicate with him and he was just saying "uhhmm" to everything I was saying. My heart was just breaking not knowing how to figure out what was wrong, and at one point he put his head on me and just cried.

After we got home I asked Chloe to help. I asked if he had understood what I had said to him at church- the answer was "no." Then I asked what was wrong. He was concerned that my being upset and annoyed was due to him. So I had Chloe explain to him that I can be upset and annoyed but it have nothing to do with him and he needed to understand that. He then asked about the snack incident and I explained that wasn't because I was angry with him.

It was amazing to see the weight lift off his shoulder. He is one sensitive son. He always amazes me with making our tea, doing dishes without being asked, helping out in even simple ways, if he walks past me and I am done eating he picks up my plate and takes it to the sink. He's just like that. Even when we go somewhere and he sees someone needing help he will be right there to lend a hand, before they even ask.
Chase also has encouraged his siblings, all of them, to help more, when they see him helping out without being asked or whining. It's such a blessing to have him as our son. I am thankful we had Chloe to figure out what was wrong, but I can't wait till his English is better and he can tell me himself what is wrong, but that comes in time as well as him learning he has a moody, very human mother who isn't all smiles every day. Chloe also told him to say "I don't know" instead of "uhhumm," when he doesn't understand us. That may just help matters:)

Just him being willing to help with chores and him caring so much makes me more aware of being thankful for what I have and to be more thoughtful of how my behavior comes across to the kids. That can be a hard thing for me when there are 501 things needing done and family issues as well. Extended family that is, not our family.
What is it they say about family? That you can pick your friends but not your family----oh, so true.

Another bump for us, but it was smoothed over fairly quickly and I am happy to say when Chloe asked the boys were they happy to live here today, they both came off with a loud and strong "YES!" Making me feel much better:) It's so easy to jump to conclusions when you have the language barrier, but this just goes to show that it can be something very small that they are sensitive about and it's wrong to think the worst right off the bat.

It takes time for us all to blend, to understand each other, to figure out the boys' needs and meet them. But we love them beyond measure and will keep plugging away till we can communicate better--- each day brings us more learning and closer together. Last night when I told them all night, night, I love them, and gave each a hug, I kissed Chase's cheek and when I went to go on to the next kiddo he called me back and kissed my cheek and told me he loved me. My precious son.

Now I have to go answer questions as to "when can they drive, when can they have a cell phone, when can they get their upper ear pierced, can we go swimming today, etc." AHHHHHH! Always an adventure here at my house:)

Saturday, July 17, 2010

The kids meet Jaxon

I took the kids to meet Jaxon. The older ones assured me they had held Chinese babies often, even so I wouldn't allow them to walk around the room with him in their arms. Grannie can't handle that on her one nerve left.
Camden was pretty emotional. It was obvious Jaxon's birth has brought back memories of our dear baby Tristan. If you haven't known us long Tristan was a super special foster baby we got when he was 5 lbs and 4 weeks old that was not supposed to live with his severe birth defect.
Wellllll..... that precious little man blessed our lives for 9 months and 12 days:) His life was short, for him it was painful, but we taught him love and he gave us love and so much more. Having him pass away was hard, so hard but it was meant to be. God needed His baby back. Almost 2 years now, he has been gone but he lives forever in our hearts. He is my 11th child.

Camden is so happy Jaxon is healthy, that we will be able to see him grow. Chloe wanted to know why Jaxon wasn't brown like them:) Apparently everyone is supposed to be brown? Those kids crack me up. Chance was so eager to hold Jaxon and make sure I knew he was capable of holding him correctly:)

Chase was angry with me yesterday. He must be bored or something because he decided to YELL-- and I mean YELL everything he was saying yesterday. Not mean, just thinking it was funny?? I was soooo not amused as my dog ran for cover, Miss Kitty was in tears and needed reassured she had done nothing wrong and I lit into the boy. I said "Knock it OFF!" "Cause I KNOW he knows what that means. Man, to have a conversation minus any translation would be sooooo nice about now? Frustrating.

Anyway, after we went to the hospital we stopped to get some groceries (anyone noticing a re-occurring theme in my life- groceries, groceries, shopping for groceries??) and as we left Chloe asked what the lottery machine was. I told her put in money to try to win "jackpot" and she said "let's try" since some guy was doing it. My response?

"We don't need to play that-we already hit the jackpot, we got YOU!" To which the guy at the machine chuckled. I'm not sure if that was out of pity or joy--- I'll let you all decide:)

Thursday, July 15, 2010

New Life

No, I didn't take the kids and run off to join the circus.(MOM) I watched an amazing thing happen today. A precious baby boy entered this world at 5:32 pm today.

Mr. Jaxon is the son of our niece (another "child of ours" who lives next door to us) and since my niece doesn't have her parents in her life we are next best thing. So I'm claiming him as a grandson since all of my "kids" claim to never be having children:( Even if I am not quite old enough to be her mom:)

Jaxon was 7 lbs 4 oz. and 19 inches long. He has gorgeous black hair and dark eyes. He is going to be one spoiled baby since as of next week when his mommy goes back to full time school, we will be babysitting:) The kids can't WAIT to get their hands on him.

We were discussing Jaxon and his mommy staying the night in the hospital, all of this being very new and unknown to our Chinese kids. It breaks my heart to hear Chloe say she was very, very sick and had to go to the "small doctor place" (doctor's office) instead of the "big doctor place "hospital" because of money. But that was life for them. Babies, dying people do not get treated unless money is upfront given in Ch*na. There is no free care, care no matter what you earn, or no matter who you are.
We Christians need to be in prayer for these people, who have no choice to watch a loved one die, or a leave a baby with a medical need that can't be afforded, f0r their world to change and for hearts to open up and realize all life is important.
That, as I explain to Chloe, Chance and Chase, every life counts. A disabled person may be able to use their hands and work at a desk to do paperwork and give orphans families. No one is less than another.

I'm off to bed to say my prayers of concern for others as well as thanks, for the life I witnessed born today. Who knows what his lifetime will bring us. I am so thankful to have been part of this wonderful event. Welcome to the world Jaxon, it's more special now, 'cause you're in it:)

Oh and BTW, Chloe informed me I am not a "nut." I asked her how she knew this? "Because I'm not brown, nor do I have 2 circle like thingys in my inside." (think unshelled peanut) So there. Straight from Chloe's mouth. I guess it's a good thing I don't tan or she might just change her mind?

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Funny, vary, vary funny

That would be my kiddos for ya. Vary, Vary funny.

Camden made me laugh yesterday when he said he is only going to have 1 child, or maybe 2. I asked him "Why? Did he not like our big family?" I know GASP- how could you not like US?? Nope. He "doesn't want to have to work so hard and go to work as early as dad."

Chase and Chance have taken to telling me "night, night," every night. Chase has also told me he loves me, and it was sincere. Isn't he so sweet? Chance still only says it when he is getting something or wants something, Chase uses that too but less often now that he is understanding what it means to say that.
They both tell me "good morning" and Chance adds today "how are you?" Learning and learning, so neat to see them growing.

Kat asked Dad last night "Daddy will you pleeeassse sleep on the couch so I can sleep with mom in your bed? It's cooler down here:)" She added that on for incentive, and dad (also known as the one wrapped around her finger) caved. Even after I frowned and said that hard working daddy deserved to sleep in his own bed.

Miss Kitty wrote us a letter that went like this "Dear mom and dad. I ceand (cleaned) your bed for you. So you will be happy to me. Love, Kat, you'r wlcum" (welcome) and 2 hearts on each side with mom and dad in them. She's so cute. I can't believe she is going to be 7 in October. Where did all the time go?

Speaking of birthdays-- that Donovan's is tomorrow. He will be 16. Oh dear. He was given a choice of a larger gift or a party, he picked the gift. I had to tell him it was not what he was asking for and you will all understand when I tell you why.

My wonderful son Donovan wanted a night ALONE at the local Comf*rt Inn hotel. To swim, watch TV and (in his words) having "no one breathing up his air." I told him to get real, if me and dad didn't get a night there alone, he sure wasn't getting one. Goofy kid.

Chloe has been babysitting again this week, or should I say "kid sitting." She got up early to get time on the computer, the kids fought all day yesterday as to whose turn it was on the computer, who was next, then for some reason-- I'm blaming temporary insanity-- I packed up 6 of them and went to Walm*rt for groceries and necessities.

As if I didn't know how that was going to go with them fighting all day as it was???

Quite frankly, they drive me nuts in the store. Camden scouts for birthday gifts to add to his list (his birthday is in SEPTEMBER) Chance tries to hand me everything wanting to know if we can get it, Chloe is yelling at him in Chinese, Kat is in the cart yelling as they dump stuff on her, Chase is standing back like he isn't really with us and Donovan really isn't with us, he disappears.

Once Donovan reappears and wants to know what I am buying for his birthday supper, and arguing with me that on "his birthday he is the boss of everything" to which I (not so gently) explained when he starts paying our bills is the day he becomes boss for any period of time in my house.
I tried to tune out him and Camden who by then was picking at Donovan and making me want to bang their heads together, all while I continued to tell Chance "no, no, and no, stop trying to put everything in the cart- PLEEEASEEE, that we didn't need to go hog wild" to which Chloe demanded "was I calling them HOGS??"

Try explaining that expression to a new English speaking child--oiy.

Instead of crying and begging any one in reach to take one, take two, take them ALL, I decided to start humming a ditty "when does school start, oh how I miss school, how many days now, so I don't drown them in the pool."

They were not amused. I think I saw another mother or 2 grinning though:)

They hardly look that ROTTEN, do they? But then, neither do I look CRAZY-- now do I? Huh?

Sunday, July 11, 2010

The gift of friendship

Yesterday had to have to been the prettiest day by far of this whole summer:) We traveled to Pine Ridge Park in Pennsylvania, a half way point for us and Shai's family. Shai was in our adoption group for the boys and is very close friends with Chloe.

It was a delight to see the children take up just where we left off, in Beijing when we sadly parted ways with their family. It was so hard for the girls to part, but we promised them we would get together again and this was the day!

They quickly demolished a bunch of fruit, snacks, and shelled peanuts while they got each other up to speed on their lives:)

Chance wanted to help with the chicken, adding so much spice and salt none of us non-Chinese could eat it:) Hey, more for them... I am sure that's what THEY were saying. Too bad for us who didn't pay attention while we got each other up to speed on our kiddos lives and realized he was out of control with the seasoning:(

You can just see how much he loves to help and yet how incredibly ornery he is:) I sure do love him.
He reminds me so much of Chloe when she first came home and he gives us many, many laughs. Just a sweetie, our Mr. Chance.

The teens talked, they walked, they played in the creek, they played ball, sat on the swings and they talked and talked. I don't think they shut up the whole time and we spent the whole day there. The park was just perfect, we had 3 tables and a grill right next to a huge play set for the children, as well as viewing distance of a small creek that was just deep enough to hold some interesting critters for all our boys:)

It was shady and cool, we had no major injuries, no fights, no illness, no sunburns. For people with a total of 12 children aged 2- 15 years old, that's quite amazing.

We got to meet the rest of their crew and them ours:) Kat and their 9 year old girl Sarina, hit it off for sure, and Kat was nicely ignoring little Seth, who was totally taken with her and wanted to kiss her. I told him he was too young:) Everyone loved little Tova, the tow head:)

I think for our boys and Shai this was a wonderful chance to catch up, compare notes, they are at about the same English level - minimal right now, but they are learning. They got to chat away in Chinese, a wonderful blessing, to see them so happy and enjoying their time together so much.

We spent a relaxing and enjoyable time then drove home through the mountains and gorgeous country side of Pennsylvania. We have to have some of the most beautiful land and views there is. It never gets old.

We are very thankful to Shai's family for taking the time to meet with us, we had a lovely time and the kids were so incredibly happy to see Shai again and spend time with her. We did get some super pictures of all our kiddos, tough going with 12 of them but we did it. And Shai captured what has to be my favorite picture of Chase and me, can you tell he is happy I am his momma? Just warms my heart looking at that smile:)

Chance was game for crayfish catching, he is really good at it, thrilling the little boys who wanted to put them in cups to keep. We were able to convince them the mommy crayfish would miss their babies so they kindly returned them before we left for the day. Sorry no cooking those for supper- euhhhh!

We got home late, the kids were all exhausted. They had played hard and long. They were unhappy to have to shower, but they did and all were down for the night quickly after getting clean.

Enjoy the pictures, they show the joy the kids had being together. Can't you see it?

God's blessings they are, for sure:)

Friday, July 9, 2010

Where's all my kids?

Our teacher friend was kind enough to offer to take the boys yesterday:) As this is Chloe's friend's mom, Brenda and we have been to their house often, I knew the boys would be fine going with her. Camden went as well, they went to swim and have lessons as well. Miss Kitty stayed with me and we had a nice quiet day together.

Chloe went with Brenda's other daughter to help her babysit. She was thrilled to get this opportunity since she is a money hungry teen. I mean, she wants a net book and wants to earn money:) The brothers were quite jealous and didn't understand why SHE can have a job and not them. Yeah, yeah. Get over it already-- life isn't fair.

Along with everything else, they are doing just what Chloe did. Watching to see if everything is "fair". I just LOVE (not) when they pull this. Why does Chloe have 2 scrapbooks and us only one? Why does Camden have this or that and they don't?

Teacher Brenda is making great progress with the boys, they are now required to ask mother for anything they want from the kitchen. This was to improve their English skills, and to spare my kitchen their 24 hour presence and unending eating.

We named them correctly in Ch*na, Eating Machine #1 and #2. They have done some serious damage to the groceries around here. It had becoming a free-for-all with them downing everything in sight, and I mean everything in sight, although it is mainly healthy stuff.

So when teacher told them they must ask in English, this has given me 2 things.

1.Children learning to use their English. Yeah!!
2.Reign on my kitchen. DOUBLE yeah!

It's quite obvious they are eating out of boredom at times. Not any real hunger. Even Chloe is still prone to this, she ate supper and ate well, then wanted noodles, I told her to eat some of the cantaloupe from supper, nope, she didn't want that. So I told her she must not really be hungry.

It's a fine line to feel they understand there is always food here, wanting them to eat if they really are hungry, knowing they went without food often in the past. But we have been able to show them there is always food here, regular meals and I always cook supper, and no food is allowed past the dining room doorway so we do not have any issues of hoarding.

We actually have more trouble out of Donovan than anyone about that. My wonderful, nearly 16 year old son has a locked box in his room that he tries to keep "snacks" for when he doesn't like my food. This kid, who is 224 lbs and told someone we didn't have food in the house for, like, a whole year. Can you tell he is starved? Not unless he is like 8 feet tall, which he is not. Drama king.

Chloe went to her babysitting job and asked "so where's the baby?" The "kids" were 6 and 9:) She said "why it not called "kid sitting, they not baby." Oops on her.

Don't ya just love Chance's hair after a long day of "you-you-ing?" (Swimming) We teased him and said he was a Chase-wanna-be, which Chase got a good laugh from that.

It's wicked hot here again today so we are off to you- you aka swim yet again, and visit my 97 year old Grammy.