Sunday, October 31, 2010

Autumn and ailments

We enjoyed a wonderful time at Miketober Fest, an outdoor party held by a church member, including campfire, hayride and supper. Loads of fun, the teens are totally nuts about FIRE, they get too close, throw too much wood in, burn too much food in it. Might be a good thing their brother is a junior fire fighter?

They played, we danced, we ate, someone brought a huge black pot of bean soup and I was told in church this morning how Chloe asked "where's the witch?" That goof.

Baba got to take Chloe on an ATV ride, Donovan took Chance and Chase. All three swore they know how to drive and wanted to badly but it was dark and they ended up as riders only, keeping momma from losing her last nerve:)

We almost didn't make it to the fun, the van's battery was acting up and it didn't want to start. When we went to an auto store to have them test if it was the battery or something else, praying all along it was "just" the battery, Chloe was amazed to learn the van HAD a battery. So she had to get out and see it.

First it was just her and Chance, then out went Donovan and Camden, I had to laugh when the auto guy looked up and saw Chase and Kat coming out next, he had a look that said "how many more kids are coming out of there?"
After the tune of $112 unexpected dollars, it's got a new battery. I am very thankful this happened on a weekend and wasn't something that found me with my usual 5-6 kids in the van stranded somewhere.

The radiator on Baba's blazer went as well, it has been going for some time, but it's to a point it has to be replaced. It's annoying but we have to be thankful that it does now belong to us and not the bank, yep, paid it off in August.
Let's hope this will be the last of the vehicle repairs needed, at least till we get through the increased cost of the Christmas season, which is coming all too soon. We want it to be very special as the boys' first Christmas but also to remember the reason for the season:)

I guess it's just that time of the year, as Kat also was sick, Friday evening she was very sleepy and listless. She then says " I threw up." I asked her "When, and why didn't you tell me?" Her reply? "I was nervous."

I thought that was odd, so I asked her if she knew what that meant. She told me "shy?" Hummmmm. Wondering if the illness affected her brain 'cause shy is NOT a word I would apply to her. She was assured she should and could tell us when she is/was sick with no worries.

We went to the party last night as she seemed fine all day Sat. By the time we came home last night Camden was pretty whiny and I should have realized he was next. 4 am and he was waking me up with "I don't feel so good."

Yep, he's not too nervous to wake me and tell me he is sick. So he has laid around looking miserable today, also mad he missed the pastor appreciation lunch and all that food.

Everyone enjoys eating with our kids, they are so interesting. Like when Chloe, who LOVES Kit K*t candy took ALL of them out of the bowl of candy at the dessert table and then had Chase hand them out to people. They are not ones unwilling to share:)

I think with the weather turning colder and me getting O-L-D-E-R, the aches and pains are setting in. My hip has given me grief this week, and when Baba went and got me muscle rub we all laughed when Donovan came in the door and asked "what smells like bathroom cleaner?"
And it was ME. You know, the grandmotherly smell of BenG*y. Oh well, it will just have to go along with spicy fall scents, right?

Friday, October 29, 2010

Spit Happens?

Ya think? Spit? I mean really, I have kids ages 7 and up now. (Not counting that little guy who drools buckets a day) Well, apparently it DOES happen. First it was Chance. Lest anyone think things are going"too" super around here, let me tell ya, life is NEVER without quirks. Big and small.

Life would be pretty boring without them, and Chance is never one I would apply the word "boring" to. No way. He was goofing off as he is prone to do. (I know you can't imagine such a thing, that cute little Chance?)

Anyway, he was telling me something when he spit on me. I wiped the side of my face and said "hey, don't spit on me!" He must have heard "hey, cool try that again." Because that's what he did, only this time, on purpose. My responding "Chance, knock it off!" MUST have been insufficient (I'll work on that) because he then did it AGAIN.

By this point I was HOT, you know the steam coming off the red hair, HOT. Never good to get momma there. I upped the tone and said "Chance don't EVER do that to me again." By this time he "got it" and he got mad at me for being mad at him! I know he thought he was just being funny but he crossed the line of funny into "too much" which he tends to do. So momma helped him learn a boundary.

He remained mad at me for being mad at him, for most of the evening, even though he had a blast at the Treat Party at church.

He made sure to look at me with an angry face a few times over the course of the evening to try to get the maximum effect. Too bad he didn't faze me at all. I won't back down when it comes to SPIT.

I think Miss Kitty "might" just be a little bit like her momma. I HEARD through the grapevine that someone spit on her on the bus while talking to her, a boy who really likes her.

He was very upset that she got angry and tried to apologize to her and this is what she said--- "that's not really doing it for me today." OIY. She had the poor boy in TEARS over her refusal to accept his deepest apologies. I am requesting the forgiveness of her future husband right here, right now.

Other than spit happening, we had the most fabulous time at church, the kids had a ball dressing up 3 of the men like scarecrows, Chloe was working so intently on "her" model, it was so funny. Poor guy got red face paint I am pretty sure he went to work with a pink face the next day since the kids got some on them and couldn't get it completely off.

Mike is a youth leader in our church and for all his wackiness, our kids just love him. He has made the most inroads with Chloe becoming more comfortable around men than anyone except Baba.

I couldn't believe how much candy they had for the kids, we had about 25 kids total and as usual when we walked in they were sighing with relief, that we had come and we bring so many kids in one scoop:) Always nice to have our BIG family appreciated:)

The kids did crafts, had a short lesson on respecting God while everyone else is celebrating "Halloween." They all dressed up, Chloe was the worst when it came to the costume part, she didn't want to dress up but decided she could put wings on and be a lady bug if her BFF could.

I had to assure Chase I was NOT putting him in a dress, he had a cloak, like the robes the Wise Men wore. And the witch hat was not supposed to be a part of his outfit but he was wearing it most of the night. Kat was Tigger, Camden a Ninja, Chance, Superman.

Just some all around fun for all.

Jaxon aka the Monkey-on-my-back, ha ha, even made an appearance with his momma. He enjoyed all the noise and kids. He dressed as a monkey and looked adorable. He's starting to really smile a ton now and even chuckle when very happy. I haven't heard anything beyond "gooo" that I could claim was him saying "Na na" yet. But he'll get there.

So that was our Treat Night, we were able to let the boys enjoy acting like kids, dressing up silly, and having an over all good time.

Today Chase and Chance are headed to the Elementary School in the afternoon, the kids get to wear costumes and walk around the playground in parade fashion, so they will get to see their sibs and have fun seeing all the costumes.

Chloe on the other hand has turned GREEN lately, and I don't mean she is recycling. She is very jealous, she wants to know why the boys are getting to do such fun things in school when all she gets to do is "writing." NOT her favorite thing to do.

The ESL teacher last year retired rather than put in another year with Chloe, as well as she didn't really make learning FUN for Chloe as they didn't get along well. Thanking God again for her BFF Hannah and family, who DID make things fun for her and helped/continues to help her.

This is a new ESL teacher, ready and happy to make learning for the boys fun, and she works with Chloe as well but Chloe is further along and doesn't need the breaks that the boys do. I explained to her AGAIN, that she has been here longer, her English is better and that's just how it is.

I also told her I could go out and buy size 10 boys pants for everyone in the family but that wouldn't work very well to clothe all of us, and it's the same with schooling, privileges, homework assignments, etc. Things have to be specialized for each person.
Her response?? "Well, I'll just forget my English so I can get to do the fun things." Hummm, wonder how she'll accomplish that? She makes me laugh, that's for sure.

At least when she made her educational complaints she didn't SPIT them at me. There's always that.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Parade

It truly still amazes me to think the boys have only been here 5 months and everything is so "new" to them. Even a simple parade we have attended for years, brings them such fun and amazement. They were so excited they could hardly wait for 7 pm to arrive.

Chance cracked us up as he said "hello, hi, hi there" to everyone. He decided that, along with standing next to his cute little sis, Kat, would insure him the maximum amount of candy thrown in his direction. He, unlike Chloe and Chase, likes candy. He's like his momma:)

Chase has taken up this habit, I think (gasp) it's to get out of getting kissed by his momma. He throws me a kiss when he wants something or does something and I thank him and he tells me "one thousand." Or one million if he is REALLY happy:) He told me last night, one "billsand." Chloe corrected him and said "that's not English!!" But I told her I knew what he meant, more than a million but not a billion:)

Chance asked me in the store yesterday, could we get beef pork? I explained to him beef/ cow, pork/pig. No such thing as a beef pork, at least, not yet. He still marvels over all the choices at the meat department.

Chloe has some kind of chicken issue, she loves chicken, but really can't understand why we eat "chicken butt" but will not cook the head or feet? She then told me she didn't like a certain picture of herself, because she looked like she had "chicken eyes?"

When I take pictures of Chase and tell him to smile now, I get this. You know what he calls it? His American smile. Funny, funny guy.

I couldn't get very good pictures with the bright lights someone spotlighted into the street across from where we stood to see the parade but you get the drift. Happy kids, enjoying the fun. Chase and Camden even paired up and shared a bag, since Chase doesn't care for candy Camden made out pretty well and it was great to see them do something together. No fighting, dirty looks, nastiness.

Tonight is trick or treat, actually we do treat night at church, so they get to dress up and have fun but still honor our God. I'm excited for them to go and enjoy their first Halloween. I'll try to get some good pictures of them in their costumes.

Good news from their school today as well, they finally figured out that since the ESL teacher went from 4 students last year to 20 this year, the boys being the "neediest" that they needed another plan of action. So a retired English teacher was hired to help the boys.

And they are doing much better with this set up. As well as they are making every effort to speak English here at home and we are seeing huge leaps in their ability to communicate. I'm so happy for them. It only can get better:)

Well they all just piled in from school and need homework help, so off I go to help 'em. Chloe is writing a scary story and wrote the character had a "mop" to get to the time machine to get out of the jungle. Oops, I think she means MAP. Good thing she asked for help, not sure a mop is going to get her character very far:)

Monday, October 25, 2010

Storm Brewing

And I don't mean the weather. Look at the face on the older one here. We are getting to know him and can see the signs. I told dad I was willing to bet he would blow by evening.

BUT.... he didn't. I think it all started when he got in trouble for the disappearing act and escalated when Camden put in his 2 cents as he is apt to do when I asked Chase to not look like he was being tortured by us in my pictures.

I could tell he was mad, he doesn't like any of the younger kids making comments or "telling him what to do." So I told Camden to mind his own business and by today, Mr. Gloom was happy and actually joking with us.

Soooooo this tells me some things. Although we still lack in English, we are getting to know our sons. They are getting some ability to shake things off, not make them major issues. We are (GASP) making progress! We really are. And it feels good. It is happening. And by IT --I mean the blending of our family.

I can leave the teens in a room with the littles and not fear what will happen. I do not have to park myself between them, to referee. They are doing better with accepting, albeit grudgingly, ALL of their siblings.
Each one of the teens are starting to show me their own personalities, they are less the "threesome" they used to be. It's neat getting to know them for who they are, not what they "think" they should be.

I don't know how to explain adding in olders any better than this---

When these kids first come we are all excited, including the kids already here. We open our arms WIDE with joy. They are home. WOW!

Now let's pretend we are THEM---here's what THEY see and think---

I got parents. WOW.
Oh, and everything I was told I would get when they told me getting adopted was great and going to America even better. So where is it?

Why am I sharing a room with this kid who might touch what little stuff I do have?

Who is this little person and why does he talk funny and think I can understand him and what does he want from me?

Why is he allowed to do "this or that" and I can't?

Why do these kids bawl and whine, and why doesn't anyone slap (literally) them into shape?

These kids aren't MY sisters/brothers-- they are competition for the attention of these parents I JUST got.

I'm gonna do what I have to in order to fight my way to the top of this chain since I am coming in as the "new kid" on the bottom.

I'll smack them before they get a chance to smack ME.

Learning the language is hard and no told me I would be stuck and have no choice but to learn and I don't want to and no one can make me.

I'm miserable, homesick, scared, changing, worried, ANGRY that I lost everything in my life as I knew it to come HERE?

We have seen all of this in different degrees with all 3 of the teens. We have gone through the grieving, we are not DONE with that, it's an ongoing process we will revisit with our kids, but the initial BAM, no choice you are HERE for good-- grieving, seems to be easing. We hit the denial. Wasn't going to learn, no thanks, didn't care to blend into this family, just keeping up the threesome. Started working through the denial recently. It all adds up to---PROGRESS. We are heading toward acceptance:)

Hallelujah, praise our wonderful Lord. I am so thankful for these boys and their progress. Not that some days aren't still rough. We can revisit any and all of their steps of grieving at any given time. But as we get to know them better we know how to comfort them, help them and they look to us to climb those hills WITH THEM. It's an unbelievable thing.

Just today, Chloe said to me, "when I die will I go to Ch*na Heaven or American Heaven?" I laughed but said " well, I believe Heaven is what you want it to be- so either place." I asked her if she was going to be there alone ( she picked Ch*na Heaven:) and she said "no, it's not the same, lots of people have to be there."
Then she said "IT."

"Oh, I want YOU there with me mother, I want to be with you."
Meaning for all eternity, she wants to be with ME. Her mother. I cried later, from the joy of it. I didn't want her to think I was upset with her. She wouldn't understand that for me, she just gave me a wonderful gift. It's the gift of her healing, from past pains, as well as her acceptance of God's home for us when we pass.
For everyone who wonders "why do they DO this?" This is why. That one moment when you know this was sooo meant to be. That these precious children are so worth every tear, every aggravation, all of it. So worth it. Love without reservation, healing of little souls that have borne more than they ever should have at their ages. Feeling that bond, that we are their parents, no matter our looks, or theirs, blood, culture.
This is why older children NEED families, not to be considered "too old." They are not too old to want a family, to make this work. And it is WORK, but it also WORKS:)
Oh, and just so you know, we live in a very small community and no one else would take in these goofballs, everyone knows they belong to us and would send their hineys right back on home. So we have NO concerns that they might go scouting for a new home. I laughed when I saw that in the comments, too funny:)

Friday, October 22, 2010

Disappearing children

My niece so graciously offered to babysit and sent me and dad off tonight for our wedding anniversary, which happens to be tomorrow. (I told ya it was a busy month!)

So after we go she allows certain children, namely Chase and Chance, as well as Kat, to go outside and play. They were instructed to "stay in the yard." WELL...... she is obviously too trusting because not only did the boys take off, they took Kat, as well as the dog.

They claimed- after returning 45 minutes and a near heart attack (our poor niece) later, they were "walking the dog." Now, this would be a super excuse, IF the dog LIKED them and wanted to be walked by them. As it is, they have no love lost of my tiny little fluff ball and do not consider him a "real" dog so they torment him more often than not. They do not have any desire to "walk the dog" any other time, as well as me telling them to "never take the dog again for a walk."

Tommy really only prefers ME to take him out at any given time. A little "prince like" but that's my Tommy for ya. I keep telling him when he refuses to go out on rainy days he does NOT belong to Par*s Hilton and needs to get over it, already.
Beyond the boys' disappearing act --the MOST aggravating thing about this was they knew they did something wrong and yet Chase and Chance sat there and LAUGHED when being scolded.

They have done this to me before, numerous times, as well as saying "it's okay" when it clearly is NOT okay. Quite frankly, it makes me feel like slapping the grins right off their faces, grounding them for life-- I guess you get my drift. It's incredibly annoying and they have been told this is NOT appropriate behavior but it continues. So any ideas, my trusty readers?

Luckily Debbie did not call us, we enjoyed our dinner out, then went in search of a t-shirt, hat and letters to create a baseball outfit for Camden. He has a presentation this week and he picked a character that requires a uniform and it's someone from ages ago that we couldn't find a real jersey for the dude if we wanted to. So we get to be creative, of course we do. Camden had no understanding how difficult the outfit would be to make up. Gotta love those innocent 10 year old boys and their ideas.

We guess Debbie will know better than to babysit for us again, man, there goes the only crazy- oops I mean, wonderful person who was willing to even TRY babysitting our hooligans. And now they've messed that up. To think, we only let her with half the crew, too, Camden and Chloe were at friends houses!
We really are stuck with these hooligans for good, for always, thick and thin, every day 24/7, sniff, sniff...... I hear our date night swirling their way right down the toilet. Honestly I can't believe we can't leave 15 and 14 year olds, and they not pull this crap. And they look so innocent and sweet in their pictures, don't they? Guess they act like ours so we gotta claim 'em. OIY.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

And Another

Yep, It's official. I'm O-L-D-E-R. 43 big ones today, not embarrassed to admit it even if my older kids refuse to accept that I am, indeed over 40. Matter of fact when I hit the big 4-0 they insisted I was 39 so I humored them by counting backwards for a few years but then realized I would be the same age as them before too long and that's just silly.

So I'm owning up to and proud of every one of those 43 years. Okay, maybe not so proud of a few of those teen years but I've earned every wrinkle, stretch mark and freckle.

My kids don't seem to know what to do for mother's birthday, they asked, "was it really, my birthday?" As if I dared to have birthday:) I told them it sure was my day, all day, mine, mine mine:) Miss Kitty got up this morning and said "oh it's your birthday, you're 24, oops, I mean 34 today RIGHT? See why I love that girl so much?

I started my day with dishes and laundry, not that I am complaining, mind you, since I am ever mindful that we are blessed to have running clean water in our home, as well as a washer and dryer. I try to always give God a little thank you when I wash dishes, or fold our clean clothes.

Okay, now for the latest on the kids. These kids have been ganging up on me with their dad. Picking at me. I swear I saw Chloe bumping hips with dad, you know, that ogre that she has been avoiding for over a year. I think she decided at some point he's not so bad. So it was entirely too funny to see dad stru
ggling to put something tiny together in his hands and Chloe bumping his hip and saying "whatcha doing?"

When she figured out he was trying to do something she laughed but also said "oh sorry!" It's so good to hear "dad" once in a while from them instead of always "MOM."

Chase spiked his hair back up after I hounded him endlessly- oops I mean, suggested it often. Chance now refuses to comb his hair up like I prefer it. Chloe asked about getting her hair cut again. It was funny, her trying to plead her case by saying that I could have my "little daughter" to have long hair, and she should be allowed to do what she wants. OIY.

Then dad was telling me that my cell phone was being billed for 4 months now for a game site- and I never play games on it. Interestingly it started after Chase had my phone messing it with BRIEFLY one day. Hummmm. And these 3 think the
y should have cell phones of their own?? That will be a cold day in.......well, Florida. Ya didn't think I was gonna use a BAD word there did ya?

Chance was trying to get my attention, when I dared to spend some time with Chloe, working on a project, so he sat beside us and he decided to pray, and it went like this "God- dee, please help me- blah blah (in Chinese) God-dee." Chloe was laughing and telling him, it's GOD, not God-dee! And he still was messing up and saying Goddy. He's such a nut.

Check out what his shirt says, not sure he could handle the whole "Jesus" word any better than Goddy, so I'll just let him with his "Goddy."

Chloe asked me to get her some shirts for under her clothes, meaning a "turtleneck." When I told her that I would get some turtlenecks w
hen I went shopping next she exclaimed "I don't want a turtle- neck- that's gross." I realized she was thinking a real animal turtle NECK. Never a dull conversation around here- that's for sure.

As far as reflections of the past year, wow, where do I start? The biggest thing was of course, adding in the boys. The miracles that happened to get them home.

Personally, my faith in God growing, expanding me to do more than I ever thought possible. Amazing happiness but also some rough times. I'm okay with the rough, I have come to understand I may need to go through the rough to grow in God, to help others that will follow God's lead and adopt older kiddos,
and they NEED support and help of someone who has BTDT.

Truly an amazing year that has brought me to here, another year older and the mother of 11. I'm thankful for my Heavenly Father for giving me life, for always being with me and never giving up on me.

I'm so thankful for my family, as goofy as they are, they are MINE. And I love them. I feel tremendously blessed on this birthday of mine, no doubt about that:)

Oh, and since it's my birthday I get to post some of my fave pictures of this crazy crew from the past few days. Who wants to see me anyway, I look the same as always:) (yah HUH MOM)

Monday, October 18, 2010

Birthday girls

There's some happy girls here. Mal and Kat have birthdays today and yesterday. Kat was squealing with joy opening gifts, isn't that just too fun? She got all she asked for and more.

Chloe, on the other hand was less than thrilled with Kat's gifts. Paper, stamps, markers, glitter, messy, messy stuff:) Chloe is SURE she is going to have to clean it up in their room.

I sometimes think it's a shame Chance was not the girl of our twins, as he and Kat would be bunked together and they could just mess away. Chase keeps Chance's mess in check, and Chloe hounds Kat. So I guess I should be thankful their rooms stay in order even with the complaints.

We had cake yesterday as well as pumpkin pie, and enjoyed a day with our girls. We HAD to tease Chloe since Mal turned 19 and after 18 the rule in our house is birthday gifts are socks.

Chloe is sooo not impressed by this. She can't understand WHY the older kids are GLAD to get socks. She'll learn someday, huh?

Chase's ankle is better, I asked if he was sure he could go to school today, and he said "yes." He rested it yesterday, he didn't even fuss about staying down, so I know he was hurting. Donovan, Cam, Chloe and Chance went to an evening church service at a farm, they had a hayride and bonfire.
Never without incident, they were on the hayride and Donovan got hit by branch, reached up to save his hat and realized his glasses were GONE! Total kudos to my BFF Brenda and kids, they actually FOUND his glasses in the dark and on the trail, then when the tractor came back for them they scared the others by jumping out at them.

Today Kat wore her new dress and pink coat I found her on clearance, she has her "Birthday Girl" ribbon on and she wanted to know if she got more gifts again today. Aren't we just totally spoiled?

She does get her choice of supper so we are having chicken. Her all time favorite food:)
Note to Heather and everyone else, thank you for leading me to a family in need. I truly feel what we experience is for a purpose and am more than happy to help any family, before,during or after adoption. I will be honest. I do not sugar coat. I will help in any way we can.

It's part of our children's blessing in our lives that we can take what we have learned and even have the kiddos help, which they have no problem doing. They are truly concerned and caring kids, especially when it's a child or children that have just came home and are trying to find their way in this new world and life.

I'm ever mindful of how hard this can be, how important it is to have support and will help any family we can, so don't hesitate to e-mail me.

To Beth-- YOU are a SUPER momma, doing ALL the right things, and I can tell you, it only gets better! As your kiddos learn English, find their place and settle in it does get easier, so hang in there. You are doing just fine, and remember- as long as they aren't duct taped in a closet then it's been a GOOD day:)

To my 2 precious birthday girls, could ya, would ya, just stop growing up so darn fast? It's unbelievable how fast your birthdays come and go... oh, wait a minute-- does this mean I' m getting O-L-D???

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Campfire

We went off to our friends home tonight, for a campfire cookout. Brrrr was it ever C-H-I-L-L-Y! Great weather to snuggle close by a fire, cook a few dogs, or chicken patties if you have kids like mine, that refuse to eat hot dogs:) Do a few s'mores and just chat.

Of course, if you know our kids we expect SOMETHING to go wrong, like Chance catching himself on fire, but this time it was Chase, who was playing that darn BASKETBALL and didn't he twist his ankle?

Now, if you know anything about former orphans, one thing we noticed right away is that they are incredibly clumsy. Not sure WHY that is, but seen it with all 4 of ours. The other thing was when they realized we CARE when they are hurting they end up crying about the smallest little boo boo.

Just today I heard about his mouth, an ulcer from eating spicy food, as well as a shoulder, not sure about that one, unless he slept on it wrong. Then the ankle, which it is slightly swollen, so I am sure it is hurting. I sent him to bed with it propped up after he iced it down. We'll see how it looks in the morning, but for now he is limping heavily and very unhappy. See what that BASKETBALL does??

Even with the injury we managed to have a good time, we sent him inside with Miss Kitty who is never warm enough no matter how many layers the girl has on, and it's not even winter here yet! OIY.

We had a good time, relaxed and were able to enjoy our supper and the evening. We managed to get a picture before injury since we have Post Placement reports coming due soon and they require pics WITH parents, unusual for us to have anyone to take pictures of all of us.

I can't figure out what Chase is doing with his hair and neither dad nor I like it, I tried to tell him in my not-so-subtle-way "I don't like your hair, fix it." (yes, MOM, I recall you saying I'd be paid back some day for my behavior and this is payback time- glad you lived to see it as you claimed you wouldn't survive raising me)

I should know better than to do that since I am the mother of so many teens who will spite me just for fun. Chase pouted, of course he did, and got his way. Chance keeps asking for a mohawk to which I will not agree to at all. His hair is getting long and he actually combed it back and it looked good on him. Always has to be one of them making me wonder how did they look in the mirror and think that looks GOOD??

Donovan missed out on our evening of fun, he was helping the fire company with a dinner, he enjoys going and helping in the kitchen. I don't quite understand it since he won't venture in MY kitchen for anything but to stand with the fridge door open complaining there is "nothing here to eat." Go figure on that one.

I should mention we left when Camden was reduced to tears by Chance, he bumped into a candle holder and it fell, did not break, but Chance lit into him like Chase does to HIM. So we will be having a talk tomorrow about how we treat little brothers, that Chase's example is NOT the route we want Chance to go toward Camden. I talked with Camden before he fell asleep, explaining Chance doesn't KNOW how to be a big brother, we have to teach him the right way. I could see he understood but he was still hurt to be yelled at like that. GENTLE our teens are NOT. In soooo many ways:(

Tomorrow is Kat and Mal's birthday party, I made Kat's cake today and at Mal's request, pumpkin pie:)

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Mad


Not me, surprisingly. The BOYS, are mad. At ME. And I don't care if they are. Okay, so maybe I do care a little. I don't like them mad at me. But they did it. Not me.

They don't bring home homework, but they can bring home an application to play basketball. Well, seems to me you really gotta understand what the coach is telling you, in ENGLISH and I don't think the boys have good enough English for that, nor do I think their evening time should be taken up playing basketball when they need homework time.

Chloe was less than helpful, she was so kind to point out that I am allowing HER to do basketball, to which I pointed out she always does her homework and has been home longer, having better English. She never seems to know when to zip her lip, shut up, be quiet, whatever you want to call it. She goes on to rub in that her English was better by the time she went to school than the boys' is now. Grrrr.

So the boys are angry with me and I am not too thrilled with them trying to get out of doing their homework. It's not like we aren't willing to help them, we do a ton of homework help every single evening.

I have decided to compromise, since I really am not totally MEAN- I offered the boys the option of doing karate which they expressed an interest in and we can get a family rate for classes up to 3 times a week, but only IF they start bringing home and doing their homework. I think karate would be super for them to do.

Chase was not willing to even talk to me last night, Chance told me he was mad, but that was about how long he stayed mad:) He can't stay angry long. They both are talking to me tonight, even if it was only to yell "Mother SEE, basketball!!" which was on a TV news show:)

The kids all just all started yelling, scared me half to death, and here's why. That gorgeous rainbow. Pretty huh? Chloe commented they never got to see a rainbow in Ch*na, sadly smog didn't give them a clear sky often.
So glad they get to see such wonderful sights and can enjoy them so much:) Just as we enjoy these kiddos, even if they are MAD. I can tell they still love me so all is well:)

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Fall Farm Fun

Off to the Farm we went. With a local adoption group, a planned outing we invited our friends to come along since they have 2 Ch*na girls as well.


First we went on a hayride, I think the kids were too hyped and we should have done that last when they were TIRED, but then we visited the reindeer, ran around the pumpkin patch, went through the corn maze, ate, climbed the hay stack and just generally had a ball.


All the kids were thrilled they got to play in fire, oops, I mean, cook hot dogs even if ours do not like hot dogs they cooked plenty:) The s'mores were more popular with them even as sweet as they were.


It's so funny that no matter the age of any Asian child, they are immediately drawn to and comfortable with our kids. Chase was doing his darnest to get this little boy snuck home with us, much to the little guy's mother's dismay. Cutie boy looked at me like I had 2 heads, he didn't even flinch when Chase picked him up and carried him around. See how taken he is with Chase? Same with Evie, she just adored the teens.


They had a ball with Evie, Em and Ethan, they ran and played and chased each other, threw hay at each other, crawled in the tunnels under the hay stack and scared each other:)


Even the big kids got into the act, they started out watching over the littles but by the time the littles were wearing out the biggies decided to do cartwheels, climb the hay themselves and act like a big bunch of, well, KIDS!


I was thrilled to see our serious Chase up there playing and having a blast, he is doing so much better. It will be a long road of healing for him, but he is taking baby steps. Just behaving like a KID is huge for him.


He is treating me like a Ch*nese mama, he is bossy and pushy, something I had been warned Ch*na boys are like with their mom. So we are working on that for him to feel he is being heard, but also that I don't feel pestered (to death) by him. Teaching him how to be our child:)


Fun things we have been blessed with lately----


Chloe answers the phone now that she knows dad's number on the ID, when he asked "where's mom?" She responds, "up my butt." Uhhh, not quite. She meant she was sitting on my lap, I was UNDER her butt. We sure did laugh over that though.


4 nights last week of dumplings, made by our children, now that they have admitted they know how to make them and they are fantastic ( the dumplings and the kids), the kids just randomly go to the kitchen and start making them.


My dream come true, someone other than ME producing edible food out of my kitchen. And they even clean up after themselves. WOW.


All the teens are using English, a ton of it, getting more and more freedom to speak to me on their own. Chase especially is using a lot so he clearly knew more than he let on. He is asking what things are, checking if he has the right word for things, and just generally more happy-go-lucky.


It's like seeing a weight lifted off him. Not that they are ALL off, but one lifted off, that's for sure. He has started kissing and telling me he loves me, on his own!! ( Although it's usually to get something he wants so my head isn't swelling too much)


Chase cracks us up because he talks in his sleep. LOUDLY. And this past week, guess what language it's in?? ENGLISH!! Can't fool me, it's gettin' in!! He said "done, Debbie, DONE." I'm sure that was a fight about cooking something with my niece:) And another night it was "Go. Go, GO."



He looks like he is wide awake, sits up in bed and is yelling. Chance thinks it's hilarious. I'm glad Chase is not sleeping in MY room. He's noisy!


Some not so great things, but all part of LIFE around here--

Teaching Chase "I don't care" can be said nicely, or nasty. And nasty is not acceptable. Him testing out 20 ways of saying it to "get it right" when he knew what I meant on the first try- TURD.


We seem to be "butt oriented" for some weird reason, as we are having to teach Miss Kitty that saying "I'm shaking my booty" while shaking her tiny hiney is NOT proper behavior for a 7 year old girl. OIY, where does she get this stuff??


The twins did not, in fact, go to school and cry wolf, I mean, cry they didn't know English. I warned them they better NOT, that I would be very upset with them. Must have scared them good:)


Camden lost his toe nail. He injured it weeks ago, dropped a weight on it, I know , OUCH! I took pictures but he said "MOM do not put those on your blog!" Since it is HIS toe, and quite frankly, really gross looking, I am not putting pictures on the blog. But trust me when I say it's been a disgusting happening.

He screamed so loud when I had to drain it I was sure CPS would be at my door, asking who we were torturing here. But it's in the healing stage now and I don't want to even see it, let alone mess with it.

Chance is figuring out his place here too, he has been a bit whiney lately, really wanting ALL my attention. Now, if you have any idea what it is like to be the favored parent of THREE teens with many, many needs and wants, you can relate to feeling like drinking yourself to a stupor. (Just telling the truth mom! Now that you are BACK)


But it's essential to take breaks, I tend to not be able to get out much but my MP3 player and I become best friends, the kids think I can't hear them over my music and I "take a break" from them. I have to in order to remain sane.



It's very draining. They don't even have the understanding if I lay down to NOT come in my room and wake me up telling me something! So much to learn:)

But it will come. Someone said to us at the farm, wow, you have 10 kids, that must be wonderful.


Before I could even think about it, I said "uh, well, most days I feel like I'm being tortured, I want to pull all my hair out and scream, so I guess not." Then we all laughed.


I did mention something about feeling blessed so I hope I covered my booty, oops, I mean, fixed that pretty well, huh? Don't worry, we really do feel amazingly blessed. Just gotta have some fun once in a while with people:)

Sunday, October 10, 2010

4 years ago

We walked in a hot crowded room with 14 other families. We were called first, there was our girl. Kat Aza Min was placed in my arms. I recall thinking "ohhh, she's so light, I better not drop her!"

She was so incredibly tiny. Just 23 3/4 lbs and 35 inches at age 3! She was not really thrilled to met us, but we were instantly taken with her.

She had on little pants, a pink shirt and sandals. Her hair was the biggest surprise, shaved down like a boy. None of the cute pigtails we had seen in her pictures, nope they were GONE. Nonetheless she was adorable, incredible, a dream come true.

Her SN a double toe nail on her one piggy toe that we still call her "special toe" and tell her she was PERFECT for our family since daddy cut off a fingertip. including the nail years ago, she makes us the RIGHT number of nails in the family- see how crazy we really are?



Her amazing spirit, her obvious love of her foster parents, now acting as her grandparents, inspired us to foster children here, as well as to look to journey to Ch*na again to add another older, wonderful daughter into our family, which we all know then that brought us 2 more sons!

Kat was named perfectly, she is a "copy cat" as Camden calls her. She loves to copy anything he does, she has from Day 1. She was totally enchanted by his and my earrings, so I pierced her ears as soon as the ink was dry on the Adoption Certificate. Baba went for a swim, she went down for a nap, boom, she had pierced ears:)

Her first word was "Cam-dean- ahh" her version of Camden. She adores him. He is her big brother, her protector, her buddy and the reason we even looked to adopt. He asked for a "little sister" and we were sure we were done home growing our family:)

Her first year home was tough, she was sick often, some pretty scary stuff, landing her in the hospital, but once we were able to get her tonsils out the following June, it was amazing how quickly she gained good health.
Although she is clearly never going to be a BIG person, she in now healthy as can be. She came to us wearing 18 months baby clothes, size 6 shoes.

It takes a lot to get some weight on her, after 4 years she is still just a tiny thing, at 7 years old (next week is the big birthday) she is 36 pounds and 45 inches, and yes, she STILL fits the outfit she came in, all but the shoes:)

She wears a size 10 shoe now. She is very slim, she needs size 6 for her height, but can fit a 24 month, 2T size in the waist! Makes for a rough time buying jeans, so it's cool that she LOVES dresses, is the most girly girl of all times.

And her hair, well, it's grown quite long. Her foster mother (Po Po) shaved her hair for us, to try to get her hair to come in thicker, but this did not happen. She still has very fine hair, and a very flat back to her head, making a ponytail just look silly on her. So she prefers her hair pulled up and a bow on top, of course.
She's spunky, not a morning person, an absolute diva, who knows without a doubt how loved she is. She also thrives under the love and pampering of all her siblings, but mainly the BOYS, she has them wrapped right around her finger. She is also the first one to help a peer in school, the most loving, the sweetest girl.

It was as if we were her parents from her beginning, it doesn't seem possible we didn't always have her. I've started to say something about her being "like this person in the family" only to realize we didn't home grow her and it wasn't possible. When we look at her we don't see a Ch*na girl, we see OUR DAUGHTER, the baby girl in our life. And we thank God for His blessing of her in our lives. We love her sooo much.


She's changed our world for the better. I've been telling her how WANTED she was, and is. She is the perfect fit for our family. Sent by God to fill our hearts with love and joy. She was our very first MIN child. She gives the teens a tie to us, as Min children as well:)

Happy 4th Anniversary Day Kat!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Memories

Two years ago we had to say goodbye. It was, without a doubt the hardest thing I have ever done in my whole life. Hand your precious life back to our Maker. A baby boy. A baby who was born to teach. To touch lives for the short time you were here.

You did, my little man, you touched so many, you taught us so much. We never regretted the decision to share your life, even when others said "how could you, why would you" and we thought the answers were "no brainers." (Pardon that PUN) We wanted to love you, to care for you, to give you the best we could for whatever time you had. And in return we expected nothing, but your life was full of giving.

You gave us hope, you gave us coos, smiles, the cutest crinkled nose, a turn of your head to acknowledge the kisses you were being given constantly, the leg kicking told us you were awake. From a baby "they" said would be a vegetable, huh. Someone forgot to tell you that:)

Officially diagnosed with hydranencephaly- meaning you had a stroke before you were born and it destroyed a major part of your brain. Rare, and no life expectancy is what we were told. So for the 9 months and 12 days you not just survived but loved, shared, fought, and LIVED and we thank you, baby boy, for each day we were blessed with you. We didn't waste even ONE of those days from the moment we were handed you.

You gave us an amazing gift of your life, showing us what pure and unending love is. You showed many people that although we didn't share a last name or one drop of blood, I would have given my very life for you, that you truly were our son in every way that mattered.

My biggest struggle after you died was the ache in my heart to feel you in my arms, and the anger that a baby had to die. It didn't seem right, to lose you. But even then you were helping me understand your life was a gift, a precious and rare gift that we were given and timing of your departure was God's choice and not a punishment to us. He needed you back, to make you whole. I couldn't possibly be so selfish to want you to stay and be in pain, as I am a nurse, healer of people, not one to wish to prolong any one's suffering.

Your spirit to live, even when you were hurting, your joy over a simple kiss or lovin's from your Momma, can never be forgotten. We cherish each kiss, each hug, and keep you close to our hearts in our every single day. We don't have to "get over you" because we have you. We carry your love in our hearts and we use what you taught us always. You live on through us.

I wish you had met your 3 new sibs, I'm sure they are making you laugh the whole way up in Heaven looking down at them, they are a riot. I know you probably told the "Big Daddy" up there, "ohh those 3, they are PERFECT for my momma and daddy, but hey, put a spin on it will ya Daddy, 'cause they are just typical folks, they LIKE some fun!" So thanks for the little "twist" in their story and the help of your "Big Daddy" to get them all home to us.

Your life gave us a patience and love for these new children that have since joined our family of fun. Because as tough as any of it gets, we will plug on, looking for the rare good day if necessary, just as you did. We learned your life teachings well:)

Your family will celebrate your life today, we will get blue balloons and we will write you love notes and send them on their way, straight to Heaven. To honor the day you left us and earned your angel wings. And we know you did.
Camden has felt you kiss him as he dreams of you and awakes as you kiss him. He worried you would be too young to fly but I assured him that when he needed to be kissed by you an angel would bring you and hold you so you could, indeed kiss your brother's cheek. That your every wish is fulfilled.

Kat has her last words to you in her heart. "Ahh, go to Jesus baby Tristan, I wuv you and I will come play wif you, but not today." When she comes that's where she will be, playing with you. Whole and complete. Our baby of love.

It was an honor to parent you Tristan, we love you forever, SON.
Tristan- 12-26-07 left us 10-08-08