Saturday, July 30, 2011


It's been a while since I posted some funnies from the kids. And what is life without funnies? Well, just plain boring. So we'll have none of that!

Kat was looking at Uncle Roy, sitting between his wife, Aunt Junko and sons, Dustin and Jerry and she said "Uncle Roy, you must be adopted?" We asked her why she thought that and she said "he doesn't look like his family!" So we explained he was "Japanese on the inside" like I am "Chinese" on the inside. We got a kick out of that though, since we usually get the "are they adopted" about all these Asian kids, not the red heads in the family:)

Chloe and her pronunciations that she insists she is saying it how we do- "fridge-radar? " Uh, that would be "refridgerator." " Peppy's" is not Pebbles. She is a hoot, that girl.

Chase has taken to calling me "tiger mother" when I get angry with him. So he is trying harder not to make me "tiger mother." It's funny but also progress. Deferring to me, as he should. Letting me parent him. I'll take him calling me "tiger mother" to get where we need to be. After all we do have the hair color in common- tigers and I, that is.

Camden went swimming with Uncle Roy and family and got the treatment we usually get- puzzled people wondering how that family got a pale red head then 2 Japanese looking boys. We are so used to it, it just doesn't phase us anymore, but he was not really used to a "mixed up" family so they noticed people looking.

Chloe wants to know why Uncle Roy (who Chance is calling Uncle BOY) doesn't have a girl (daughter) and when I told her they just had 2 boys, she said "well tell them to get a girl, just go get one." Clearly the birds and the bees will need to be in her future conversations with Mother.

I guess having come from a culture of girls being of lesser worth than boys, and Chloe seeing the result of that type of thinking, she figures it should be easy for anyone who wants a girl to get one. Even though she is aware of the time and somewhat of the paperwork requirements to adopt. I guess it's the innocence of her youth, Want a girl? Excess girls in her culture- 2+2 = 4 to her:) Didn't we wish it was that easy??

Hershey Park went well. We got there around 9:30 am. We had lunch in the parking lot, we had taken subs and drinks, stopped for breakfast on the way. The kids were SOOOOO good, they didn't ask to play any games for $$, we did not purchase one drink or food item in the park.

I know that sounds nuts, but they didn't even ASK. I think they saw the bottled water was $3 each and realized that was outrageous. I even heard them exclaiming over the cost of the foods there. I'm glad to see them making the connection of wasteful spending.

They rode rides, then did the water park till it started to rain and then we went back to Chocolate World and bought some of that heavenly brown stuff to bring home. I gave each of them $10 to spend since they had done so well within the park. Upon exiting there we were wiped out and it started to rain again, so we decided to head home. It rained and down poured most of the way home, not an easy trip. But God got us home safe and sound- getting in around 9 pm.

Friday we had DRYWALL delivered to the house- WHOOOO HOOOO!! The walls begin to go up Monday morning and we can hardly wait. Dad decided he would like more insulation between the walls so he is putting that up himself- uhhhh- itchy. I bought more shrubs, and am off to dig some holes to put them in.

Finally, for our wait for our home to be done--an end in sight:))

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Brothers, ya gotta love 'em

My brother comes from Japan, has me running all over creation with him then says this morning " I see you haven't updated your blog this week." Really. Like I have time??

Yesterday's adventure was a train ride from nearby town to another nearby town, just for the kids to enjoy a real train ride. It was SUPPOSED to be a 40 minute ride with us "girls" picking them up then we get to go shopping. Well... of course, the train was late, the train took an hour instead of 40 minutes and till we ate we were about wore out. Not much shopping got done, but the kids had fun, so that's all that really matters, right?

This past weekend we had a family gathering of our dad's side of the family. It was nice, although I forgot my camera. (I know, you all thought it was glued to me but alas, it is not) This weekend is mother's side of the family, I think after all this I'll be familied out. I mean, it's not as if we get to PICK these people. ( It's true MOM)

Tomorrow is a big day and no, it's not the dry wall dude. He has not shown up yet, he is to be here Friday and if he doesn't show I'm ready to use the "F" word on him. ( Not that one MOM- I mean FIRE him) Quite frankly if he did not come so highly recommended I think he would have gotten the "F" word sooner. But we wait for the "best." (And he better be it)

So tomorrow's plan is Hershey park. Yeah, we are braving the heat and going with our friends, my bro, and our crew, a group you might as well call us. We leave out early and go for a day of fun. The kids are super excited. I'm super glad all the kids will have someone close to their age/size to go on rides with. It works out well.

Hopefully by Friday I can post a picture of the hard working dry wall dude, and if not we'll be looking for a few good folks to hunt him down and ---------you fill in the blanks there:)))

Saturday, July 23, 2011

No laughing

I kid you not, I am sitting on the mower using the hood for a desk. Trying to type fast as darkness rapidly falls. Why? Well.... no drywall man made it to my house this week and I just don't feel like sitting on the porch wishing my house was getting work done on it:(

So the only place to get Internet access is OUTSIDE the trailer. So here I am. Confirming to the neighbors we are nuts. We sit on garden tractors with computer in the dark. What else they gonna think of people who have 12 kids?

It's major birthday time around here, the twins celebrated yesterday and my bro.. who made it in from Japan with his family turned older than me today:) Always good to be the "younger sis." Ha ha!

Chance was horrified when I told him I "didn't buy a cake because the twins don't like cake." He was all worked up thinking no one would come to his birthday party (less gifts for him) if mother didn't serve birthday cake.

How terrible am I to mess with him that way? I had my friend make them an ICE CREAM cake. I didn't BUY cake. So he was surprised, as well as happy as could be over his gift- A GUN. Now before I receive a call from we all know who-- it' s a foam dart gun that can't take any one's eye out (MOM) and yes, I'm sure!

Chloe got smaller things since we paid for her plane ticket for her to go to Costa R*ca on a missions trip next year with our church, but she was no less happy with her new pillow and shag pink round rug for her new room. She came to me later and hugged me, kissed me and thanked me. She still hates to be the center of attention for anything but she is getting more used to it for birthdays at least:)

We weren't sure what to do as far as a party for the twins and the horrible heat wave we are in but believe it or not we fit 23 people in our little temporary home to celebrate the occasion. AND we got the party done before everyone needed to leave for Vacation Bible School. Are we good or what? Ha Ha!

We've been swimming every day, since the temps here are outrageously high. We are hoping for the cool off predicted to come in tomorrow. Otherwise I think I really will melt away.... didn't the wicked witch do that?? Uh oh.

Well, it's totally dark now and the children came out with flashlights to find me-- so my time is up.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

And another Min

This time for Kat, a Min sister. Rissa and Kat remember being crib mates and although they do not live close together, these 2 girls are sisters in their hearts. It's such a blessing to see them together, this is their second time visiting since they both have been home.

Each time, no matter how long apart, these 2 immediately cling to one another and time apart melts away. It's so sweet. We were so thankful for Ruthie and Craig who took time out to visit with us and travel so far to do so:)

We are trying to keep busy as the dry wall dude did NOT arrive yet this week:(

It's very hard to know everything is held up by one thing, but it is what it is.

Hopefully with Uncle Roy (my bro) and family coming in from Japan tonight, we will be BUSY and not notice the lack of activity on our home? Yeah, right.

The kids are busy this week with Vacation Bible School, a "panda" theme, which they LOVE, of course. They tied dyed shirts last night, obviously the VBS people are brave to do that with over 100 kids!

I opted out this year and declined helping, just too much on my plate to add that in, so off I went on Monday night, alone for the first time since school left out. I was pretty much slap happy and talking to myself while I purchased groceries with no one pestering me to buy stuff, claim they HAD TO HAVE whatever. Phewwww, was it NICE.

Now don't get the impression I don't dearly love my children, but they cost me a ton extra in things they "have to have" as well as drive me nuts in the stores. The teens have not had the chance to "ask mother" for things and they act like 5 year olds in the store. So I end up with 5 children grabbing things and saying "can I have,I need, I want, etc." Which is why we usually do turns when taking them to the store, but with summer that option is out.

I *think* I got through to them when we left a store after they all were really bad about this and I asked them " if you were MOM, and you had 5 children who just grabbed things and begged to have them over and over like you all just did in that store would YOU like it?" And I pointed out how I had to just give up on what I needed to buy and leave the store because of them.

I still find it odd at times to look at my teens and know they are teens, but see them act like a toddler and realize this action is due to their lack of having things or learning things back when they were toddlers/young and I pull from a deep well of understanding God has given me in reserve just for these times.

One time was when Chase was in a store and asked for a huge teddy bear with a heart that said " I love you." I really thought he was joking when he asked for it. But he was not. So I asked what he wanted it for, I've learned to do this because they will hear someone say they want something and will want to buy it for them, they really do have hearts of gold.

But when he said he wanted it for his bed, I knew this was one of those times, he was acting much younger but he needed to be allowed to have this big ol' bear for his bed. And so he has it:)

Lest anyone think the teens are too childish- Well, Chloe has now changed her shirt 3 times since she got up, a mere hour ago. So I don't have to look too far for teen drama:)

Adventures they are, always keeping me hoppin'. As summer flies by!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Not so giddy

Well, the house remodel adventures continue. The dry wall dude did not come this week, nope, instead he chose to injure his ankle. I know (mom) the nerve of him.

He is expected to arrive now on Tuesday of next week. We'll just see if that comes true. The spouting dudes came and we now have gutters and spouting. Yeah! All the little jobs, the back deck, the pole trim on the front porch, that's all done.

I did threaten to move in sans walls, I mean open floor plan is all the rage, right? No looking for a stud (that's a board mom, not a cute man) to hang a picture, they would be right there in the open. I'd know everything the kids were doing. The contractor just laughed at me:(

Snag of the day- garage doors came. As the garage door dude (can you tell I'm terrible with names?) got working, I had a friend stop by for a tour that ended at the garage doors. And I took one look and went "huh?" Uh oh. Not the right color. No way. Nor do I want windows that allow anyone to look in my garage and see if we are home (I did not say YOU mom) so I now have a call in to the contractor.

They will not be remaining on the garage so the nice picture I wanted to post today of my house with everything done except the stone and shutters ain't happenin'. And the "just paint them" option is a no go too, I did that at the last house every YEAR and do not intend to do it here too.

Good thing is that even though it takes up to 3 weeks to get new garage doors, I do not NEED garage doors to move in so I refuse to be upset by such a silly thing as the wrong colored doors.

We planted some shrubs last evening that I got on clearance, and stood looking at them saying "We'll be sitting on our porch for years to come saying I helped plant that- look how big it has gotten!" One plant was called Holly China girl, we thought that was pretty funny and appropriate for our yard.

The kiddos have been busy gathering all the left over wood and nails for the highly anticipated club house dad has told them he will help them build. They wanted a boy one and a girl one but they are getting ONE they have to share. Sorry kids.

Some times the kids come off with things, recently we were planting a bush when Chance took off his shirt and Camden commented on his birthmark on his side. Odd thing is ALL of my kids have birthmarks, as well as me. Anyway, Chance said "mother in China need to know if child has this so if someone take-ahh her child she know her child and can get him back."

I never know quite what to say, so I just nodded and told him I "knew" his birthmark and no one would take him from me. I hoped it was the right thing to say, you just don't expect some of the conversations I find myself in sometimes even daily with my teens.

Chance told me when I die he wants to cut off my hair and keep it to remind him of me. OIY. And no, I don't plan on doing that soon, but that was another weird conversation. As well as him telling me he likes burnt toast but when I am old and he has to cook for me he knows I do not like burnt toast so he won't burn mine:)

I think that conversation came from us making and delivering a meal to one of our special older ladies of our church who is no longer able to cook and we all take turns making her meals each week. It was tougher with us only having a grill we are cooking with, but we managed some grilled fish, rice (one burner on the grill) plus green beans and then watermelon for dessert. That was our supper too.

Chase has been mad lately, he got lippy, then mean, then blew up. His usual cycle. I told him, you need to stop doing this, even though his blow ups are much milder these days. But I told him,"You don't have to do this to get us to say we wanted you, we love you and no matter what you do we are keeping you, we will never give up on you." He snapped out of the anger faster than I have ever seen him do.

After a year+ home it seems we are making good headway and can be more matter of fact with him- to which he responds to better. Learning about our son. He's one complex, deep person who cares so much. He's very special.

Miss Kitty has been wiggling away at her front tooth, it was loose, but when it bled and then hurt she stopped trying to get it to come out. She has been whiney lately, the extended daylight/bedtime hours have helped her grouchiness, nor has trailer life helped her rest well either:(

I did have dad get our swing out of storage, I told him I needed one thing at the house to make it seem like home, and what better than a porch swing? I'm not a terribly materialist person but having everything we own in storage so long is taking a toll as well. I miss our big table where we can all sit down to a meal:(

It's all good though, we know this is just temporary then we will be in our house and there will be no going back. And that's a wonderful future for us to look forward to:)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


Yep, the boys were dunked. Dedicated their lives to the Lord. Camden and Chance took the plunge and announced they were giving themselves to God. We are so proud of these boys, both of them.

It was a beautiful lakeside service, which was good because I needed a calm, moving ceremony to get me through the storm this week has since become.

House news, the contractor is almost done with what they can do. The siding is up- the garage doors are coming, the spouting it coming tomorrow, but so far, no dry-wall dude. All I hear is we are "next" --sniff sniff. Yes, I've been reduced to whining. Our appliance delivery has to be backed off:(

Good news is that the budget has not been blown, even getting in much deeper than we thought with replacing things. We are doing "okay." Not getting extravagant but also not having to leave things undone. A blessing.

This week's tough spot has been the kids, they are sick of the trailer. They are tired of waiting to get in the house. They are bickering and this is what I got to deal with this week so far and it's only Wednesday. (really??)

The bio kids have accused me of caring about the Chinese kids more than them. Then the Chinese kids accused me of caring more about the bios than them. Yeah, both sides. Normally they don't take "sides" it's NOT encouraged here. But I have now said FAIR is the "other F word" not ever to be said again in our home.

Then the smartie pants said "what about when the COUNTY FAIR comes along, can't we ask if we are going. Ha ha those children just make me laugh so much- NOT.

You see, I don't play the "fair" game. Because life is not fair-- or my children would never have lived in the streets. Or any of the other things we can point out as "unfair" would never happen.

And as much as I equally love my children, each one is different, special in their own way and I HAVE to treat them differently to acknowledge them as the special individuals they are.

Tonight we are celebrating Donovan's birthday, even though he turns 17 tomorrow. He has asked to go to a (I kid you not) greased pig contest for his birthday. The word "hicks" came to mind, but to each his own, right? Donovan is always good for a laugh, he's a special guy who isn't too old to still hug his momma. I just love him.

And as for the bio verses adopted- well, I told them all to "knock it off" that they know darn well we do not look at them and treat them different from how they joined our family. That straightened them up- for a few minutes at least:)

In other news, Chance has decided he doesn't like his middle name. Well, having already been through Chloe wanting to be renamed "Chicago" and us telling her that name was already taken-- I thought I was prepared. TILL he told me he wants to be called "Chance Pumpkin Pie Monkey." REALLY?? Sorry for all you who *think* I am such a great mom- I laughed. I couldn't help it.

All I could think of was, he doesn't even LIKE pumpkin pie???

Laughter, tears, trials=life. Living. Growing, learning and doing our best as parents and a family. Somedays it's a joy, some days are hard, but we keep on, plugging along:)

Friday, July 8, 2011

Lots going on

The house is taking shape FAST. Good thing too. We are rapidly getting sick of so much "togetherness." Although it has given us some great insight on how our children talk to one another and quite frankly, it's not nice.

We pointed out that we expected the olders to teach the littles, not act like the littles since we have ones who still think they reside in an orphanage where the faster, meaner, you are, the further ahead you get:((

That whole empathy thing, it takes a LONGGGG time to teach and get through to children who didn't get it as a youngster. Makes me sad to know they lived in "survival" mode, but their behavior can be modified. Just takes time and a lot of reminders.

I explained to Chance today that it says in the Bible to "turn the other cheek" and he argued with me that it was "Wrong, you hit back!" So I had to go on to explain that it was NOT wrong, God is NEVER wrong and that if he did not understand that he should not be thinking of getting baptized this weekend. Yep, you read me right.

Camden and Chance have asked to be baptized. I have talked with both about what this means. I'm a little surprised Chloe doesn't want to, but I think she needs to see it happen for her to not be scared. Chase has no interest, he is still claiming not to know what to believe in.

Which is really okay to us. We take them to church, we let them know how we feel through how we live. We do not back down when we say they made it here because of God and usually Chase tries to argue "nuuuhhh uhh, you do papers and fly to get us." Yeah, and it was just that simple?? NOT.

Chased after Chase, to get this son home. God's miracle that we hope he will realize someday but for now he is respectful in church and that's all we ask of him.

I told him I had a dream about him one night. He said (before I could say more) " That you no want me?" And I totally shocked him when I said "Nope, I dreamed YOU didn't want ME and I was crying but saying if I had to find you another mother for you to be happy I would." He didn't say anything but I could tell he really took that to heart.

He told me later I was loud and annoying and I laughed and said "Of course I am, I'm a redhead!" I asked him if they didn't warn him ahead of time how I was and shame on them:)) He is such a normal 16 year old, it is actually quite funny. I could see any of my many kids at 16 saying that same exact thing!!

Ohh, the love. I feel it. Whooo hoo.

Miss Kitty keeps asking if every surprise I tell them about (since the Minnow surprise) can be Phoebe is coming home. OIY. No. So she asked if we could have no more surprises till it is time for Phoebe. She can't WAIT for her lil' sister to come.

The house is being sided, it's looking like a house again:) Although I had/have no idea who the man I am sharing this house with is. MY hubby is an easy going guy who would never worry about measuring porch posts to see if they are exactly so many inches apart, as well as fretting if the garage doors are "too much tan."

We changed the colors when we couldn't get the color of shutters we wanted, so these are the new colors, on the door- pretty huh? Tan and sage, the shutters will be sage. Hubby's choice.....

But as far as hubby goes--I gotta tell ya, I don't know who this guy is-- and I want my real man back, pronto. As I am the one HERE all day and workers are gone every day by the time this man gets home, I get stuck asking ALL the questions he has in regards to the castle. And some of them I am just plain embarrassed to ask. But then I get a text "What was the answer, what are they doing today?"

I do have to give him SOME leeway with never being here when the worker dudes are here, that has to be hard to wonder what is going on, but I am thinking I could trade him a day and let him see the goofy looks and laughter I get with my daily "list of questions." I even told them it was HIS questions, I just don't think they believe me.

Although there is NO complaints on the work, it's going fast and they are doing a great job. Now if the dry wall man could show up, I'd be downright giddy. Never thought I'd be saying that! But that's who we are waiting on now.

Our homework for the weekend is LOADS, I tell ya LOADS of fun. We get to put nice, itchy insulation in the ceiling of the lower level as well as rent a machine to get vinyl square tiles up off of cement. I tried it out, it's loud, and barely made a dent in the 300 ft of tile we have to get up:((

Dad, or that man I don't know anymore, took 4 of the kids and went to a ballgame, leaving me and Chase here to play with the tile machine. Oh joy. Matter of fact, I shouldn't be wasting daylight time writing, but then I weighed- homework- blog-homework- blog.

Blog won:)

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Another Min girl?

I'm not talking about Phoebe either.

But I won't make you guess or wait (mom) since we had the internet issue when we went to announce Phoebe's addition to our crew.

We aren't adopting two either---

It was a visit, with another Min girl:) Miss Minnow was like a little sis to Chloe, they were very close. Chloe helped her get dressed and washed up each day. Then news came, little Min was to be adopted. A full year before Chloe was chosen by God for our family, Chloe watched her "lil' sister" go with the Ayi's to meet her new family.

I'm sure Chloe thought that would never happen for her, or maybe she agree to be adopted once she saw Min go. We may never know. But I do know adoption, time, new families, nothing has changed the love these 2 girls have for one another.

Chloe girl is terribly nosey, her and Miss Minnow have sent things in the mail back and forth since Chloe came home. But I "cheaty her" when I didn't tell her they were coming through Pennsylvania on vacation and we arranged to meet them at the local Chinese restaurant my kids eat at to survive:)

So when we waited outside the kids had decided I was losing it, when Minnow and family arrived. Chloe was sooooo surprised but also so happy to see her little buddy.

It was so cute to see them shy with one another, but also bursting with happiness that they were in person, live, visiting one another after so many years. I doubt Chloe even realized she made such a lasting impression on Min but from all she has told me Minnow was very special to her.

I am sure caring for Minnow helped her understand what it would be like to have a little sister and I've seen great bonding with her and Kat that I am sure is due to this past relationship.

And Tim, Minnow's dad was KIND enough to show my kids a trick with straws that makes a loud popping noise and uses up tons of straws, they KNOW they will be the COOLEST kids in school this year, so thanks Tim, we couldn't have managed without you:)))

Don't the kids look thrilled to get their pictures taken? They did have a grand time at lunch, again, thank you to Minnow's family for putting up with us:)

Friday, July 1, 2011

Me and a Mouse

Let me just tell you all that I hate rodents. With a passion. Could live life completely without them.

But alas, the children have behaved quite well with all the disruption of construction as well as us having our second and last visit with the social worker who has our Home Study for Phoebe all but DONE:)))

And kids who (gasp) have never been to the Mouse Palace- better known around here as Chuckie Ch**se's and they were fascinated. Begging to go.

So off we went with their BFF's, and play they did. I never saw a kid (Chance) who went through tokens at such a fast pace. He was like a mad man. I bought tokens 3 times as well as crappy pizza and they got a few hours of fun and some "junk" toys- as Chase called them. Can't pull nothin' over on that one:)

Even Donovan had a good time. We pretty much had the place to ourselves, but my fondness for the mouse was not increased by that. I came home and needed--

1. Tylenol

2. A nap

We hit the home store and got all the older kids keys to the castle. They picked out orange neon, a pink princess, motorcycle, skulls- no plain, dull keys for these kids.

In house news, the porch is done. The garage is done except the wiring and siding. The inside is waiting for the "dry wall dude" and then it will be paint, floors, MOVE IN!!

The plumber has come and gone. He left us with a hooked up 80 gallon water tank and the coolest board of flex pipes, I forget what he called it, but it allows 2 people to shower at once, no cold shower. Flush a toilet while someone showers, no screaming anymore! It ended up being cheaper to re-do all the plumbing than to fix what was here- OIY. Lots of things have turned out that way, but in the end it means we are basically starting out with a new house all around. Plumbing, electric, walls, well, fixtures, etc. All new.

The kids went to track last night and then went for ice cream. They were with our friends when someone asked their mom about adoption. And she said I would be happy to talk with them and help them if they wanted to adopt. So I was confused when they came home and were asking me if I got paid to help people adopt? I said "no, I just wanted to see as many children as possible get a family." Then they wanted to know if we are "famous" and I told them- Uh, no, I don't think so."

Somehow this went into the President of the US, that HE should know EVERY single person- wow, they sure have high expectations for our leader! I understood more (about the adopting, not about the president) of their conversation once their friend's mom told me about the family interested in adopting.

As their mom told my children, God gives each of us special talents, gifts, passions, and mine is children. And I am thankful I am able to make a difference for so many children.

I can honestly say our children have given us so much more than we give them- and I don't mean lip either:)

I mean they have such amazing spirits, amazing growth, amazing personalities, it's never boring in our house. So if your life needs a little spice, a lot of laughter, a JOY is missing, you too, can look to bring home a child in need.

There's 163 MILLION children that need families all around the world.

Pray to God and He will guide, cover the fees, give you strength, courage, willpower, and bring the perfect child to your family.

Don't be afraid, don't do NOTHING. You are missing out!! Even during the rough waters, these children are sooooooo worth it:)