Thursday, September 30, 2010

No supper

No supper tonight. I had one planned, I sure did. I laid out a nice big roast, yesterday. In the evening it was gone. I figured dad put it in the fridge so we wouldn't all get food poisoning, as they all fear I will give them some day.

When I went to place that lovely big roast in the pan to start the simmer, slow roast all day, take out the juice, make some noodles, just think of the yummy smell all through the house. Errrrrchhh. Stop right there, I couldn't FIND the roast. Looked in the fridge, nope, not there.

A thought dawned on me. And I knew. With total dread I looked in the freezer and by George, ( or should I say Chase) it was THERE. In that freezer as solid as a block of ice. So there went supper.

He told me he sniffed it and it "smelled bad" so he put it back. And looked at me like "of course I put it back, it stunk." OIY. So I told him "no supper." Momma can't cook this- and I banged on the meat/aka ice block. He said sorry and he kissed me so I couldn't get tooooo upset, after all it is just MEAT. Not the end of the world.

As I already decided this week to dump, oops, I mean, invite dad to participate more with the teens, I am dumping this in his lap. I'm guessing it will be take out, since he's bound to ask what I want to do. And I'm not going to say "figure out something else to cook for supper." I'm just NOT.

It's been a rough week - can you tell? I had to scold Chloe AGAIN for her treatment of Kat, not letting her do things in their room. THEIR room, not CHLOE's ROOM. And again when she was scolded, the 3 teens all retreat to their rooms. Like they were all 3 in trouble.

I find it really difficult to describe the dynamics of adopting siblings such as we did. It's tough and trying at times. The 3 teens are trying to learn what it means to be a part of this whole family and at times they don't really CARE to be any more than their little threesome family. It's a process but at times it can be annoying and upsetting.

Chance was looking through Kat's life book and he questioned why she was a MIN. As if she wasn't allowed to have "their" name. And I set him straight really fast.
Chase, Chloe and Chance still seem to think Kat should act like a nearly 7 year old orphanage child. That means no crying, no fussing, no saying she's hungry, no yelling, no pouting, clean up after herself and others. I have to remind them constantly that they are NOT her mother, and they will not treat her poorly. Quite frankly I get sick of saying it.
I think part of their issue is they are jealous that Kat was here when she was little. She remembers her time in Ch*na with her beloved Po Po (foster mom who we now consider her grandma) as being loved, cared about. She maintains a tie to her heritage and life through Po Po still. Then she got us. At age 3. Not 13. Not after being taken from their birth mother and then living in an orphanage for years.

I understand where they would feel this way, but it does not excuse mean behavior toward their new sister. And she is now their sister. She comes with US now being their parents, which they all 3 do seem happy to have us.
Now as far as Camden goes, I see improvement. Playing together, living together, some normal bickering of boys, but no blatant meanness. They are accepting him and getting along with him, maybe me throwing that fit and telling them he was "our son first" and they better knock it off worked. I didn't want to go there but to protect the younger kids I had to.

The newbies weren't going to believe they would all be treated the same no matter what, that Camden and Kat were not "preferred children" having been here first. This has actually improved things, putting the big ones in their place.

Matter of fact, the "little family within our family" is starting to "crack"-- Chance has come to me to ask me to intervene on his behalf with Chloe and Chase. I see this as a huge step, instead of arguing between themselves, he looked to have me "save his hiney."

I am trying to just enjoy these blessings, as Chloe is sitting beside me telling me I am old, but not really, but I will be soon. Oh JOY. I can hardly wait. I can't imagine how much more we could possibly be blessed:)

Because we never lose sight that we are blessed. Because even on a rough week, we know that we did what God told us to do, we answered His call. And He has not left us hanging alone to work on these special children He loves. He created. He lead us to bring them home for a reason and we are thankful to have them to love.
And thankful daddy saved the day and we did indeed, have supper. Even if it wasn't roast:)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

It's a CELL

I've finally learned when Chloe asks me what something is to stop and ask how she is spelling the word. Since her pronounciation can not always be relied on for me to give her the correct answer.

So when she asked me what a cell was C-E-L-L and I told her "the metal bars to hold you in jail" and she said she had to make a model of it for school I was really wondering if her teachers had total lost it. Come to find out it's a CELL- C-E-L-L, as in the living organism cell. OOPS. Well at least it made more sense than the jail cell. I was worried teachers had heard things about our kids and wanted to be sure they understood "jail cell."

So now a jello mold complete with gummy worms, marshmallows and labels of all parts is headed to school to be eaten. I think this was just an excuse to have snack in school, if you ask ME.

Chloe was asking me what was in the deviled eggs that she really likes. So when I told her mayo, mustard, she said "MONSTER??" Uhh that's MUSTARD.

Kat went off to school grouchy this morning. Why when we are up and ready with 30 minutes to go does she decide 2 minutes before bus time to ask for breakfast? Offered earlier and declined, she was left with the option of eating at school. This was the result.
I did ask Diva girl if she was squeezing the tears out for maximum effect? OIY. She sure is something.

Kat and Jaxon have colds, Kat told me last night her nose was clogged and she couldn't breathe as if it were all my fault and I better fix it and FAST- boy, the attitude at a mere 6 years old is a bit scary. No need for Halloween costume if we did celebrate that.
I'm off to take care of the snuffly,grumpy baby who only wants to be held. Snuggle time- ahhh.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Picnic in the Park









Let me tell ya, if you don't live somewhere that you get to see the leaves change colors you are missing out! We were blessed today with a gorgeous autumn day. A little sun, a nice breeze. After church I decided on an impromptu picnic in the park. Aren't they just the BEST kind of picnics?

Off we went for some chicken, fruit and chips, and we made our way to the park by the river. There were trees of orange, reds, yellows, brown, green, so many shades. A perfect setting. We ate, the kids waded in the river, tossed a football, played on the swings, blew some bubbles, took some pictures (0f course I did).
Chance somehow ended up falling in the river with his shoes ON, and I just shook my head, nothing was going to ruin the perfectness of this day God had given us.

I'll leave you with the pictures of some seriously cute kids who graciously took time out from playing for me and my obsession:)

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Who lives here?

I often wonder how someone who is a mere 35 pounds can make as much noise as she does. Miss Kitty, along with her lovely sibling, Chance, have a very bad habit. They STOMP their way through the house like a herd of elephants. It's terribly annoying. And they seem to be oblivious to what they are doing.

I swear I'm gonna borrow one of Donovan's alarms and blast it at them and when I do it I am going to tell them I thought it was an elephant crossing that needed to be manned.

Don't think I won't do it either, just ask the older kids about the dishes on their beds:) They refused to get their clothes off my bed, they were clean, folded, sorted but they could not bring themselves to come get them so I could get in MY bed at night, without taking clothes off and then back on the next day.

After a few days of people STILL not coming for their things, I put dishes on their bed while they were at school.

They came home and said "uh mom, have you finally lost it?" And I said "Yep, over the edge I went. You refused to get your clothes, now you can see how it feels to have to move things off YOUR bed to get in it to go to sleep." Guess what? It WORKED, they got their clothes from then on. And they still talk about how nuts I am to have put dishes on their beds.

Anyone notice anything different about the blog?? Yep, I finally did it. Put up pics in the sidebar of us, the nutty parents, and our crew. Claiming 'em all. And making them claim US:) I have at least 4 who throw a hand up to their faces the second they see my camera so I was super proud to be able to get pretty recent pics of them all.

It might have helped that I wasn't beyond some threatening to put up the worst picture of each that I could find if they did not cooperate. See, we really are the proud parents of 10+. And didn't I have one (Brandon) who really liked his picture:) Said it was the best ever of him, swelling my head terribly.

My day started with some children in my kitchen for the second day in a row. Now certain people (mom) think they shouldn't even be allowed in the kitchen but I was holding fast to my belief that they might someday be compelled to do some work if allowed in the kitchen and yesterday was the DAY.

They were "bored" so they decided since they had no school and were not allowed to touch the dryer to "help." In the KITCHEN:)

Chloe and Chase cleaned out drawers, I did have to "joke- ahh" Chloe a bit when I showed them the silverware did not all go in the drawer, that we have a set in a box that has been on the counter for many years, and Chloe "NEVER" knew.

Chance was so impressed with my box and it's velvet lining, he said "oh mother, very beautiful, very." Then they washed, dried and stored all the silverware and moved on to the drawers. I think Chloe is trying to do better, I found this note on my desk.

Today they cleaned out the fridge and did the cups, bowls and plate cupboard. First Chase burned popcorn in the microwave, OIY does that STINK and I mean, the whole house stunk for hours. Then they cooked potatoes and made deviled eggs.

They did all the dishes, and I mean, wash, dry, put away, not a dish to be found. So I am beginning to wonder what happened to my REAL kids and who these ones are?

I did notice Chance didn't really participate in the cleaning, he is more than happy to let Chloe and Chase go to it. He was enjoying playing his video game and sits at my feet just like Chloe used to, as close as he can possibly get to me.

We are very proud to say my niece Debbie graduated from Business School Thursday and started a job yesterday. No graduation ceremony so no pictures, but I posted one of her boy, Jaxon, who is starting to coo.

It's so funny how he tries so hard and just loves when anyone talks to him. Chance was checking him out and marveling at how tiny he is. He's getting lots of lovin' that's for sure.

I lost a follower (MOM, really, how could YOU) see, I do pay attention to all you who read and I am so happy to know if Kat ever goes through all those 7 big brothers and needs stood up for you all have her covered.

She seems to have no lasting effect of the whole ordeal, I did talk with her again about it just to be sure if she needed to voice anything she knew she could tell me.

Diva girl has a hard time not thinking everyone adores her, so that does help:) Healthy self confidence level for that one, that's for sure.

Camden's on his way home with 2 friends, twin siblings, last time they stayed I recalled saying something like "never again!" But here we are, they let him stay so it's our turn. Seems my bed is calling me early, dad, who is watching football will be stuck keeping them in line. Oh, well, guess that's only fair PLAY:)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Guilt Trip

You all may not know this but I learned to guilt people by the Queen of Guilt. The MASTER. I mean, my mother could have won AWARDS for how well she could guilt anyone into feeling BAD. Really really, BAD. You NEVER wanted to go there, wherever there was, AGAIN. (admitting it is okay now mom, and I'll expect your call)

So when Chloe finally decided on Day 2 of sitting in her door less room of silence, to apologize, I let her rip. I told her she HAD to tell the boys what she had said to get in trouble. Then when she tried to say I yelled at her- I put a stop to that excuse, since amazingly enough, I did not raise my voice to her at all with the original conversation we had.

Then I pointed out to her that like it or not, Kat was here first, she is the baby here, and she is not going to act like a 6 year old orphanage child EVER. That being mean to her was NOT going to be allowed and quite frankly, Chloe should be ASHAMED of how she treats her little sis. I told her right from the start when we sent her pictures of Kat to see she would have a Chinese sister, giving her some comfort in that before we went for her, as well as her being able to play and learn from Kat, who never ONCE was mean to her about that.

Then I piled on some more guilt about what she said, considering when she was home 4 months and she got in trouble I was pretty sure she wasn't feeling safe enough to believe we wouldn't send her back. So I asked her "WHY" would she want to make her brothers feel that way?

That she needed to (and she did) tell them that they are not dogs or toys, they are CHILDREN, and even being rude and saying what she did, we would NEVER consider such a thing. It isn't EVER going to happen. They are our children, no matter if we look alike, we don't, we birthed them or adopted them, if they like us, they don't, if we like their behavior or not--they are STUCK with US (and us with them) like, FOREVER.

Then she got some MORE guilt dumped on her about her behavior when she tried to blame Camden for her mouthing off, that he does it sometimes. And I told her, "Yes, he does, and he gets in trouble. So WHY are you looking to follow a 10 year old's example and use him as an excuse." I told her she was 14 and more is expected of her as such.

She had obviously spent some of her "room time" working out how she was going to get out of what she did. NOPE. NOT SO. Might need 3 days next time to get a better plan worked out-OIY, that girl!

The dryer is fixed, after I came home from the dentist with Chase after being slammed with a ridiculous $90 extra charge for the "build up at his gum line"-- come on! The dryer repairman was here, as I proclaimed I was "broke- oops, except to pay for the dryer repair." Little bit of red faced moment there.

I have to say "kudos" to the repair place, they remembered me from April when the dryer broke right before we left to adopt the boys. I called, they sent someone out within HOURS of my call. Don't get that kind of service every day! It was so NOT surprising to learn that my wonderfully rough children had caused the dryer issue. They were SLAMMING the door and broke the sensor in the door.

I KNOW, I didn't do it. I mean, that washer and dryer are right up there like precious jewels in my world since I do 4-5 loads of laundry a day. I MUST have them working and as such I thank God for them each day that they keep plugging right along for me. (or with me, if you please)


We will have to chalk it up as another thing that Baba and I, when old, will be sitting here in our broken chairs, yelling to hear each other, saying "What in the world happened here?"

And then hopefully we will fondly remember those children we brought home that roughed up everything as they learned what it was to be in a family and we'll laugh till we do one of 2 things, or maybe even BOTH!

1. Wet our pants. 2. Go looney.

I'm sure by then we will have guilted the children enough that they will kindly come take care of us, change our pants, wipe our slobber and say, (just like my mother is going to when she calls, not IF, WHEN) "OH MY! What did you do NOW?"

Kat came home yesterday and was sad. She just wasn't herself. Come to find out some little boy made "slant eyes" at her on the playground. After a call to the school today, learning they were aware (saw the brat do it to Kat) and they had addressed it with the child as well as having a talk with all the children about being different and being accepted.

The teacher told me that sadly, she is seeing this more and younger than in the past, and one boy even commented while they were having the group talk that his dad says "brown skinned people are bad." GRRR--- what is WRONG with people??

I was happy that for Kat, me saying "I LOVE your eyes, they are so beautiful," made her just glow with happiness. Ohh, to fix all prejudice that easily, wouldn't that be grand. I hope she can continue to see her differences as being just fine to have. That she is special and deeply loved as is.

Just wanted to say thank you to everyone offering me a room. You all are so sweet. I feel so much better knowing I could if I wanted to - just don't tell mom I was on the Exped*a site checking flight prices and things:) SHHH.

Gotta go now, I think I hear the phone ringing..........anyone want to get that? Oh my, I'm betting it's my MOTHER.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Chance's Advice

Last night, the teens went with Hannah and her family for evening church since the teens are practicing for a skit they will be doing for church soon. So when Chance saw that Hannah's older sister was not very happy, he wanted so badly to HELP.

He asked her "what's wrong." She told him she was mad. He decided to help her out by giving her advice. Chance's type of advice. He told her "when I mad, I go to room, go SLAM!" (As he pretended to slam a door) And she said "how's that working for you?" As he shrugged he had to admit, "now no door, no SLAM." And they laughed.
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It's just the epitome of our son, he some how can always make you laugh. I can't stay mad at him for anything, he's just too darn cute. Now his sister, there's a different story. She is one who makes me VERY thankful her siblings were BOYS. OIY. It's really something, this whole raising daughters thing. I'm still not sure I like it. I don't know how people with 4, 5, or more GIRLS do this. I wouldn't have any red hair LEFT.
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Kat has been fussy lately. When I mentioned to Chloe last evening that Kat was really feeling out of sorts, that they needed to be kinder to her, she was really hurting from everything being about the teen sibs.
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Guess what Miss Smarty Pants said? "Why don't you just send us back then." WHOA. It took me a full minute to pick my jaw up off my lap and I said "go to your room." SHE KNEW I was UPSET. I told her as she went no computer, no TV and keep her mouth shut." She flies back with needing the last word with "NO!"

Unbelievable. I sooooo did not like her behavior at that moment- ya think? Okay that was just a nice way of saying I was HOT-- red hot, as mad as can be.

GRRRRR. I guess you could say she is a fairly normal 14 year old girl- huh? I recall thinking the world should revolve around ME when I was 14 too. Chloe doesn't want anything to be about Kat, just about HER. Chloe can be quite jealous and her jealousy was on full blast. NOT that it excuses her behaving this way. Nope. She's in her door less room, sitting. Till she apologizes as well as straightens up.
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And although some days it might just be tempting to send them all back- she isn't getting rid of this wild and crazy family any time soon. Nice try. I COULD tell her that I've been trying to ditch these crazies much, much longer than her but then what fun would that be to ruin her hopes and dreams? MOM- just joking do not call me or CPS.

Donovan in the meantime was trying to make sure I noticed him today, he was complaining that he wanted ungrounded then he actually figured out that he needed to apologize. And he did. Forward movement on that front.

Chase is very quiet tonight, he doesn't like that Chloe is in trouble. It bothers him. I don't know what she told him, another issue of no communication with the boys. Not a good thing, it's hard to tell what she says to them. I know Chance complained to me tonight that Chase is threatening to hit him if he doesn't do what he wants, not that Chance hasn't been known to threaten that as well. So they both had to be told they do not threaten or do that to anyone in the family. It's not allowed.

Camden is driving us all nuts practicing his new flute, I guess I have to be thankful it's not a set of drums. OIY.

I'm dreaming of a vacation far, far away from here. Hey, anyone got an extra room for a goofy red head? I'll bring my own chocolate:) Just a week or so, for me to "get a deeper appreciation of my life". Sounds good, huh? Especially since the dryer has chosen to die tonight, of course it has, sighhhhhh.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Humbled

As a momma it is my job to watch out for everyone. To evaluate behaviors, attitudes and moods. It brings me great joy and great concern at times. Both which I share with God, as He gave me all this to handle:) He says I'm up to it.

I WANT to believe it.

Chase is my current concern. He is (at the moment) a wonderful son. He takes care of his own needs, never having to be told to shower, fix his hair, brush his teeth. He is meticulous with his things. He now has 3 pairs of shoes and on a weekly basis he scrubs them, taking out the laces and washing them then sits them out to dry in the sun.

He takes care of everything he has. Hangs up shirts, runs the sweeper in the boys room. He also makes me and dad tea, he carries baskets of clothes each day, up and down to help me. Yesterday when I had Donovan hang towels on the line I remembered them much later, nearly dark and asked Chance to get them. Uhh, guess who had already done it?

I don't know too many 15 1/2 year old boys who CARE if towels come off the clothes line so I made sure he knew "he didn't have to do that." And as usual, I get the small nod meaning he knows but he's gonna do it again.

So instead of sucking it up and thinking I have hit the jackpot of kids, I have to worry. Of course I do. It's a special kind of insanity created special for mothers. Here's where it takes me--

Does he think he has to because we adopted him? To prove his worth?

I wasn't sure so I decided to give him a small reward for always being thoughtful and got him a big pack of gum and beef jerky. So guess what he did with it? SHARED. He would not accept it just for himself, and he didn't leave anyone out.

I realized this son of ours really is just a humble and kind soul, in some ways a teen, in some ways a young man, in some ways a young boy. Just as he should be. He is the quiet one, the more mature one of the teens, but he is also very much happy with having a family.

He is a very special person, for sure. He makes ME a better person because I try to think of things I can do without being asked, without expecting thanks, just to make someone else happy. Shouldn't we all do that?

Chloe and Chance were talking in the van on the way home from church today about some girl in church likes Chase. (Not that she is anywhere NEAR old enough for him) So Chloe tells me Chance likes Hannah. Like I didn't know that. But then Chloe said "I wish I was boy." I asked her "why?" She informs me that it is much easier to find a girlfriend than a boyfriend. I informed her that she had better odds of getting a boyfriend since the ratio of boys to girls is higher.

Plus I told her that if she was a boy she would like Hannah, then her and Chance would have to duke it out over her:) They laughed at that, imagining themselves fighting over Hannah.

After church, mean momma that I am, I held up their EATING, and stopped at a park to get some pictures. They moaned and groaned but I won. I got some nice shots. Later Chloe was arguing with Donovan as to which one of them was more "famous" as well as them messing with our computer chair so now I feel very SHORT when sitting in my chair:( They broke it in a low position. Dad and I have to wonder if we will have any possessions left by the time they are all grown:(

Neither one of the 2 will fess up as to who did it. Then for some reason Donovan was extolling the wonders of being a bio son of mine, he was telling Chloe all the things I GAVE HIM.

How he has a red birthmark on his face, his "weak" legs, his hearing is "bad" he thinks he will be bald early. (I'm sooo not taking the blame for THAT- I have a TON of hair- his father? Welllll.... not so much.)

I tried to mention his doctor says he is completely healthy, although he does have the birthmark by his lip (can't we call that a beauty mark?) that he does have a father that can be held responsible for any and all of these "issues." Nope, it's ALL MY FAULT. Of course it is. All I can say is "WHATEVER." I am soooo not going to go there.

Miss Kitty is bawling in her room, the Drama Queen decided to "count some money" sadly she scarfed it from Camden and Chloe. Now she is sure she is headed to "jail" and is having a meltdown that can rival the best of them. We had to make her stand in the corner just to get the confession out of her as to who the $$ belonged to, then she started. "Booo hooo, I'm gonna go to JAIL!" OIY.

All I can say is we love her little criminal hiney, no matter where she ends up:) Let's hope it's NOT jail. She'll be soo upset that she doesn't look good in- gasp- prison orange:)

Friday, September 17, 2010

Friday Fun

Tonight was Activity Night at the teens Middle School. I went to spy- oops, I mean chaperone, scoping out how the kids are doing socially in the school. Chloe LOVES activity night, and the boys had an absolute BALL.

I never thought they would get out there and dance like that!

I tried to get pictures but they were too far and too fast for me to get a good shot. Trust me when I say they went ALL OUT.

I wanted to give you all an update on the kids, school updates since we are 3 weeks in... I'll go kid by kid.

Donovan has shown me no grades yet, nor have I gotten any more phone calls. Usually quiet is not good, in his case, so I figure whatever bomb he has awaiting me will drop soon.

His attitude has not improved one bit but I refuse to tolerate him baiting me, which has made life so much easier for me, I just have to keep my mouth shut. (Did I say that was easy?- ha ha)

I have a goal with Donovan, he is going to "get it" in terms of respecting mother before he leaves for good. As he is already a snotty 16+ year old, time is short. But I can not excuse his behavior, there is no excuse for rudeness, nor disrespect. He has a huge potential, he is such a neat guy under all that attitude.

Chase is doing well in school. Settling in. He finally "got it" that the red folder is to come home with him EVERY night. (English homework) Mother will know if you don't bring it! He is catching on to more words, although I still hear mostly Chinese when they get home. His buddy (now a girl) is working out much better for him.

Chloe is doing a bunch of her grade level work, even with the ESL teacher stating she is about a 3 rd grade reader level. That girl is bright and she will go at something over and over till she gets it. She is surviving (barely in her opinion) without Hannah in her every single class to help her- GASP.

Chance is learning slower in actual reading, but the speaking English he is learning fast. We found out Chance can not read in Chinese. Not sure why, if he has a learning disability or laziness. So he is being watched as he is learning English for signs of needing help. He likes his buddy Sam, but also wants to be independent, so he walks "alone" sometimes, he tells me.

He continues to be a total love bug and is always my funny guy.

Camden is doing great, he has no issues, excited and having a ball in 4th grade. he is wanting to play the flute so if anyone has any help to give I would really appreciate it.

We are considering rental to see if he will stick with it. I don't know if we should go with a student one, brands, borrowing?



Kat is accepting school really is every day, that she is there to learn, not look pretty.
She likes her teacher and is doing great. No "bad kid"stories yet.

She is "Student of the Week" next week, she gets to sit by the teacher and take in things to tell about her. She is busy making drawings, gathering pictures, and things she wants to take in.

She has never been a morning person, but she usually makes it to Wed, sometimes even Thursday before she is really, really grouchy in the mornings.

Home updates-
The boys finally, finally seem to be slowing down on the eating. Chance is now 89 pounds, same as Chloe. He gained 5 pounds total. Chase is growing upward, as if he isn't tall enough to come home already taller than mother? He's still a skinny 119 lbs. But they both seem to finally see that food is a given here. The next meal, and the next, are coming. Do not stuff as much as possible in you because you may not get another meal. YOU WILL. They still worry about "getting fluffy" --as if. Drive their fluffy mother nuts.

With school starting the boys seem more settled to me. Not so antsy. They are busy in school and when they come home they are ready to chill. It's nice that Chase still helps out in any way he can, carrying laundry, taking out the trash. Never being asked to do it. He just is that way.

Chance will do nothing that he is not goaded into doing. By me or Chase. But how can you get mad at that face? Their rooms are kept neat, clothes away, beds made. A nice change from some not-so-neat children I have raised in the past.

I stood tonight and marveled at the miracle of them being here. Last year I chaperoned the first Activity Night when Chloe went and we had no idea if we would be able to get Chase home or not. We thought so for Chance, but not Chase. I can't get over the feelings of amazement in our God that I have.

To see these 2 boys dance their hearts out, fitting in just fine with their peers, being accepted and cared about, WOW. Just a short year ago, they sat in an orphanage, waiting for us to keep the promise we gave that we would return for them. Not knowing if they could trust us, would they ever see their sister again?

A year later and here we are. We love them, trust me, they have their moments, but I assure you, they are deeply loved. They are cherished. They are learning about God and all the people who helped get them here. It's overwhelming to them now, to understand it all, but they will understand one day.

Chloe is getting back in her groove as well. Less translating and a much happier Chloe we have. She is happy to have her own space and help in school, without brothers. It's obvious the boys blending in better is giving her relief of where SHE fits in here. Because they did displace HER when they came, bio brothers or not.

So for today, things are good. No further accidents this week, everyone must be accidented out. Let's hope anyway. And we are thankful to just be livin' life, lovin' each other and for all of YOU:)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Accident prone

I don't know what has gotten in to my children, they are destroying things at an amazing rate this week. First it was Camden, a brand new pair of Skech*r shoes lasted him exactly ONE week. Big hole torn in a seam, and of course, this was a pair I bought on clearance a while back and can't return...grrrr. Second week of school he asked me to "sew" his backpack, can't happen when the entire bottom was ripped out!

Kat was next, I was trying to tie her shoe and the only thing around was a metal garbage can, but what does she fall into but that can, right on her face. Ouch. Instant bloody nose and swelling as well as a nasty bruise.

THEN the big whammy from her, she stole gum, went to bed with it in her mouth, fell asleep and you guessed it by now, right? In her HAIR, a big wad at midnight, that I had to work out with PB which took me 45 minutes and a ton of work to save her hair. Thank God she is the one with the thinnest hair. I saved all but 2 small unnoticeable spots.

Then Chase made mother almost blow a gasket, I soaked beans for chili for supper, used 3 pounds of hamburger, put in everything else, Chance was stirring, I put it on "low" and covered it. Told him "don't touch." Out we went to change our seasonal stuff on the front porch, didn't take but 15 minutes, and as soon as I came in I smelled it- the odor of burnt food. Come to find Chase thought he would "help" mother and turned my chili on HIGH which seems to be the only temp they seem to know. Ruined the WHOLE 8 quart pot. I was so MAD. The waste of it! Oh my.

I had to go to the store to get out, to buy groceries and get a break before I had to cook a whole new supper for the crew. Otherwise I was threatening to drink, and we all know I may never stop if I would start.

Chloe and Chance, the usual buggers didn't accidentally do anything YET, although that Chance is going to be the death of me, he decided he LIKES the door off of the room. Of course he does.

I can say I am pretty sure Chloe loves her momma, I was teasing when I said "dad said if I make one more dish with noodles he will shoot me." So when I made T*na Helper, my modified version of it, that is, which adds in extra noodles to 2 boxes of Helper, a bag of frozen broccoli, and instead of tuna, imitation crab . Quite yummy but full of noodles.

Chloe was so worried, "but, but, you said dad shoot you if you make noodles again." Yep, I told her, he sure did and you better protect me since you love all these noodles. Off she went and asked him if he really would shoot me, terribly concerned, you see:) He assured her he would let it go "this time." Ha Ha.

Maybe since she loves me so much she will keep from accidentally doing anything destructive but at the rate they are all going, I'm not holding MY breath.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Door-less

Yep, certain children in this house are, as of yesterday, gasp, door less. Off the hinges- in the hallway- door less. I told them, Baba told them. "STOP SLAMMING THE DOORS." And they kept on slamming. In, out, in out.

So when Miss Prissy Chloe was in a mood yesterday morning and took off for her room with a BIG HUGE, WHAM...... that was it. I said "I'm taking 'em off. Don't know how but I'll bust 'em if I gotta, the doors are coming OFF."

Baba was kind enough to gently pop out the pins and remove them. And yes, it was THEM, as in, when we got home from church and twin bro threw his snit fit (guess it was his turn) then SLAMMED his door, there went his privilege as well.
So until they have learned a door is a privilege and not a RIGHT, that slamming them is not going to be acceptable, they have no doors. And now they can't slam a thing. Except the bathroom and if that one has to go it's gonna get ugly here. So let's see how they do.

I am sure you are all dying to know what the prissy/snit fits were about. Yeah, you are all holding your breath waiting, right? Believe me it's not worth your breath. They were picking on EACH OTHER about clothes. Chloe came down in a nice skirt, leggings, high heels and A TEE SHIRT? Uh, no, wasn't going to NOT tell her the shirt was a "no go."

But apparently when she came back down in a dress Chance looked at her and pretended to vomit, then got Chase doing it. She was really upset with them and in a grumpy mood as it was, but she lit into them and then said I picked on her too.

Then as she bawled in her room and refused to come out, we went to church, Baba stayed back with her, Chance acted mad all morning. Right till we sat down for lunch and I asked him if he wanted something and he ignored me, so I told him he could go sit in his room till he could behave and act right with mother. Off he went to bawl in his room, after slamming the door, of course.

He was unbelievably LOUD and got progressively louder. I asked Chase did he act this way in Ch*na, "nope" was his answer. Hummm. So it was for attention. When he finally settled down to a mild roar, I told both twins to come downstairs. I sat them down and told Chloe, "it is my duty to make sure you look right for going to God's house. I do not ever pick on you about your clothes. I want you to wear appropriate clothes, that's all.

Now your BROTHER pretending to vomit, that's another thing. He WAS picking on you, and that is NOT allowed. He is NEVER to do that again." I had her explain that to him, I backed it up with our limited English and showing him, and then I had her explain that clothes here and clothes in Ch*na are very different and he doesn't know enough about America to be making fun of what Chloe is wearing. That she has been here longer and he should be trying to LEARN from her, not making fun of her.

Then I made him look at her, say he was sorry and HUG her. I also told Chase, "no pretending to vomit about ANYTHING."

Honestly, I couldn't believe they were picking at each other. Gosh, they are so close, they really remind me of peas in a pod, one, two, three, that them squabbling like this was last on my list of concerns. But it seems they are growing within the family and seeing what they can pull, testing if their momma and baba are going to just let them go at it, as they were pretty much able to do to each other in Ch*na. And the answer is "No, they are not allowed to hurt each other."

Most of the time, their playing and teasing is minor, and doesn't get out of hand. But if it does we will step in. Of course we will.

I am pretty sure Chance has decided having parents stinks. All I can say is some days we think it stinks to parent him. So we are Even Steven Mr. Chance. Good thing we still love him even when he is stinky. He is a handful to parent, that's for sure.

Last evening he was told to do the dishes and next thing I know I see CHASE starting the dishes. I told him, No, you do not do Chance's dishes." He (Chase) had the grace to look guilty but said "okay mother." So as Chance goes out and starts doing them making all kinds of complaints in Ch*nese, I asked Chloe what he was saying.

Turd boy was telling Chase not to do the dishes when I could see him - he should have waited till later. And I ripped into him and told him "NO- you will NOT have Chase do your turn of dishes EVER." That BOY!

Chance did his dishes, Chloe was back to normal, she had fixed my hair so tight I think my eyes slanted and I had 2 chopsticks coming out of my hair?

I recall she mentioned something about black hair dye, I don't know what she was saying since I just tuned her silliness out --aka I wasn't listening (no calls MOM-- you don't have her unending gift of gab in your face 24/7)

Just what is she trying to do to me anyway?

Another day in the life of this crazy household.... enjoy, the pictures of them fooling around in their Japanese robes from Uncle Roy, uhh, BTW, the one Chase has on, that would be MINE! Can't say they don't make us laugh....that's for sure!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Dental news

Yikes, the news is not good. We thought Chloe's teeth were expensive, huh. Well, since we have no dental insurance, we self pay and we were really hoping the news on the boys' teeth would be better. It's Chase, so far, and to the tune of over $1,000 to get him in shape.

I waited to take the boys since coming home, it was hard on Chloe to come home and go directly into treatment for her teeth with never having been to a dentist ever. She is not happy to go now for anything. So I wanted to give the boys some time to be settled.

Chase had x-rays today and an evaluation. He has 4 cavities. He goes for cleaning next week, then they will schedule the repairs depending on how well the cleaning goes, either all at once or in two visits. They did confirm his age, 15 1/2 to be correct per a wisdom tooth root. That tooth is just coming through. Odd thing is that he is missing the wisdom tooth on the other side, just never developed a tooth there.

Mal has an appointment Monday for a filling that came out in her tooth, then Chance is next for x-rays and evaluation. His teeth LOOK good, but who knows what they will find.

I'm thankful God provided to at least take care of the worst of it right away since Chase finally told me his teeth were hurting him, he is understanding he needs to tell us when he is hurt and we will do something about it. He was just suffering in silence till now and I couldn't see the cavities he had, they are in the very back of his mouth.

He was really funny when he saw the bill, he's nosey like sis and had to see it, he said "oh mother, BIG money." I said "yep, your teeth big money, but it's okay, momma, baba pay big money for your teeth, we love you." He then kissed me on the cheek and said "sank you mother." Isn't he so incredibly sweet?

I am so glad we can show him he is important, that he is cared for, by us, his parents. That we will give him the care he needs, things he never dreamed would be taken care of for him. Things he has needed taken care of for most likely years. He was glad I went back with him and sat with him, it wasn't anything he couldn't handle alone but I knew he was worried and wanted him to be as comfortable as possible.

As we left the dentist and they were doing the scheduling, I went to hand him the keys to the van, I told him "no drive!" and he laughed. I love his laugh. It's so neat to see him so happy and he assured me "Mother, me no drive."

We have enjoyed looking at some pictures we were sent to see, of the kids many years ago, even a few with all 3 again:) Funny thing was Chance was looking through them with me and I was pointing out my kids faster than he could and he said "Whoa mother, you GOOD." I told him "Mother knows her children":) He couldn't believe I knew them even from the back, even in a big crowd.

I'm posting a few and see if you can find them. Some are tough but the kiddos are there.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

10

He's 10. Unbelievable. 10. Already? 10. Yep, Camden turned ten today, actually he was just minutes old exactly 10 years ago. The last time I gave birth. I remember thinking "wow that hurts and I sooo don't want to do this again." Must be thickheaded since it took me 5 times to get there:)

5 sons. A "step" daughter, I hate that word "step, step to what? step on, up, down? I saw no "step" when I was raising her- but I didn't birth her so I didn't get to claim her on my hips. Yeah, each boy got blame for an area of me that, to this day, remains fluffy from them. All their fault.


10 years ago "little male me" as he is affectionately known as, since he looks like a male carbon copy of ME-- was born and I would have laughed my head off if someone has said that 10 years from now, I would not only have 2 more daughters, but 2 more sons as well. Laughed like a nut. Told whomever said it they were bonkers. Not gonna happen. Mother of 10, yeah, RIGHT. Not me. No way.

Yet, here I am. And I can't think of my family being anything less. Camden was a gift, the blending of my 4 sons, Baba's girl, the child related to them all. He has been doted on, spoiled and still remains a loving and giving child we are proud to call our son. ( it helps that he isn't a teen yet too:)

When he was 5 he started asking for a sister, we laughed it off at first. Told him--"girl, boy, monkey, it isn't coming out of me!" When he got to a point where he was looking in a Christmas catalog and asking how old each girl model was and saying "okay, I'll take her." I knew we needed to really listen to this innocent child's pleas.

So we started the process to adopt, and found our Kat. I've never seen a child fall in love so quickly as those 2 did. They meshed like they were always brother and sister. Her first English word was her version of his name. She followed him everywhere. Adores him to this day.

God sent this child to us, opening a door and making us see, we need to go back. In the mean time we fostered children here, special needs children and helped 10 foster children whom we will never forget.

Then were led to consider an older girl which was Chloe, that then led to the boys, Chance and Chase.

Camden has taken the brunt of blending all our Chinese kiddos, since he is just the right age to help them and let them learn from him. And he does that willingly. He has been thrilled to add to the family, even when we had to say to him- no we can't do this, or that, we have to save money to adopt again. And again. And again. He never once said "I wish we weren't." He always looked forward to each one coming with joy and anticipation.

His heart is huge. Huge. His eyes are brown, with some green, just like mine. He has freckles. He is pale skinned. He has the exact shade of hair as me. He sunburns so easy. He is sensitive and caring. He could care less what color skin his siblings have, other than to be jealous they don't sunburn:) He adored Tristan, our foster baby that passed away. He still talks about him with love, pure love in his heart and a deep understanding of God taking Tristan home for him to be whole.

We feel blessed to have this son, we are proud of him and thankful we get to parent him. I cherish this child of mine, a gift from God, that we have been entrusted with. I'm sooo glad you weren't the girl I was hoping for:)

God knew I needed YOU, my 5th son.
Happy Birthday Dear Son Camden, 10 amazing years with you- WOW!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

MY Homework?

I'm a little stumped. Since when did I have to do homework assignments for my kids to get graded? Donovan brought home a paper that he declared I had homework in the form of writing a paper about how wonderful my son is to me.

I'm thinking his teacher might be sorry he assigned such a thing to ME. I mean, really, who even likes their snotty teen kids? So instead of writing the usual blah, blah letter, my son is soooo wonderful, blah blah, I wrote (gasp) the TRUTH.

It went like this-
My son is the most wonderful son in the whole wide world because--

Donovan is tall and can reach things I can't. If he would do that for me, but he won't.
He is so thoughtful.

Donovan can argue any point I bring up no matter what the issue.
He is so caring.

Donovan has a goal to earn a ton of money, live in a mansion and allow me, his mother to live in the basement and clean his toilets.
He is so loving.

Donovan makes noises to annoy everyone in the family.
He is so creative.

Donovan doesn't do his chores because he expects to be paid to do anything, even though he is fed, clothed and cared for.
He is so appreciative.

Donovan is a junior firefighter. When trusted once to babysit his brother, he left him alone to answer a fire call.
He is so responsible.

Donovan doesn't do school work or homework unless I hold use of the computer as an incentive.
He is so motivated.

Donovan likes that I wrote these things about him.
He is so wonderfully weird.

I seriously doubt this teacher has/will receive another homework assignment like mine. And all I can say is, he asked for it. I mean, my kid is a TEEN! Clarifying here-- (MOM) I love Donovan. Totally, and as is. He is my Asperger kiddo and he struggles with mostly social issues, reading people when they talk, being single minded. It's hard to tell when he looks and acts mainly like any other 16 year old boy. But I had already spoken to the teacher and he knew we struggled with him having Asperger's. And Donovan was very happy to take my homework in and tell his teacher his mother is "nuts."

We had a fairly quiet holiday weekend. The teens annoyed me once more when I told them they could wash my van that they had wrote their names and stuff in Chinese all over in the dust on it.

So the first thing out of Chloe's mouth was "Camden did it too." Which I know wasn't true because it said "CHLOE" on the back window and Chinese on the sides, so which did he write? GRRR. Then they went out and hurried to wipe the dust with TISSUES to erase the evidence.

Ended up I pulled weeds instead of ripping the kids' heads off,(oops-- did I write that?) and Baba washed the van:(

Between the weed pulling, my essay getting done, school back in session today, and my chores all caught up, I feel much better and I could hardly wait for 3 pm to come-- when they all got home. (Did that sound convincing?) Okay, so I'm just not annoyed with them anymore, it's not worth my time, and I have better things to do.

This morning when I came downstairs to see the big ones off to school, I asked if Chase was wearing a shirt or a jacket. AND HE UNDERSTOOD ME! He answered via Chloe translation, but he knew what I asked. It's coming, communication will happen!

I asked this because he was wearing this really odd shirt/jacket combo thing that looks like two separate pieces of clothes, but it's not. The partial shirt is sewn into the jacket and per Chloe, it's a famous Chinese rock star. He brought this with him when he came from the orphanage and he had it on in a few of his pictures he brought too, so it must be a favorite of his, along with the plum shirt.

Chloe said he had pants that went with it, I was relieved to hear he has grown out of them, as they were the ones that had "five hands"written all over them, including a hand on the rear pocket of his tush and they didn't really look appropriate for school to me. He's grown at least 1 1/2 inches, maybe 2 if you count the spiked hair:)

This past weekend Chloe managed to get all her stuff out of the garlic-- I mean, attic, yeah, she calls it the garlic, another Chloe twist of words:) And I got all the stuff she had to have washed immediately done. She is ready for the cooler temps.

I had to dig in the boys closet and tell Chance that certain clothes were his, bought before he came, and they were to be worn to school NOT old summer clothes.

I sorted Camden's stuff for the same reason, school/play clothes, Chance had to be told he was NOT wearing his clothes to bed as if that hasn't been tried on this momma before??

As well as being told his bed it NOT his closet, no clothes allowed on the bed and the bedspread covering them is NOT fooling mother. He hides his mess since Chase is extremely organized and wants their room spotless. Chloe and Chase are very alike in that manner.

Another odd thing about Chloe and Chase- their hair. It's the same, thick as can be, black as night. Grows fast. They both also get WHITE hairs. Usually just 1 or 2 in the back. Chance's hair grows slow, is thinner, and is a lighter shade as well. I've never seen white in his hair. So why, my faithful readers do my teens get white hairs? I can understand MINE but them? I am clueless on this?

Over all a better day today, not so tough:)