Wednesday, August 29, 2012

I admit it

......................................I MISS THEM. 

Happy now? (MOM)

Not one phone call from school the first day and I am alone again today. Just the dogs to keep me company. Although today I am going to sit with my gram, she's 100 years old now:) 

I can't stand the quiet. Although we were back in the swing of things yesterday when I got a call.  Someone (not sayin' who) ended up in the ELL room sobbing.  ONE OF MY CHILDREN!!

WHAT????   Seems only 2 of the 15 teachers who received a letter from ME today via my children had already gone to the ELL teacher and asked what modifications our children would need in their classes.  Again---- WHAT???

So my children brought home paperwork saying they HAD to sign and so did I that they were going to read Charles Dickens and write weekly essays on said book, as well as study DNA, etc. HUH?  Can you imagine? That's like taking me to China and handing me a menu, no pictures and saying "Order for 20 and don't you dare get it wrong or you'll be slapped."  AHHHHHHHHHH.

So I spent numerous hours last night drafting 15 letters to 15 teachers pertaining to my children and explaining they understand about 20% of what is being said to them in their classes due to talking too fast and it being above their level. And that sending them home freaked out over homework involving DNA was NOT okay with us. 

Also calling on child and embarrassing them till they cried was NOT ACCEPTABLE to us. And better not happen again. Suggested group work, where they come up with the answer within a group and told ALL of them if they did not understand our child's need they needed to IMMEDIATELY contact ELL teacher to see what was the correct work for our child. And gave out my contact info for any who wanted to speak to me.

I sent copies to the principal because the twins are in high school this year and even though a few of the teachers had Chase last year and you would think they would realize, oh another one of ours by the last name and know adjustments would need to be made, that didn't happen.

And saying "We didn't know."  IS NOT OKAY. They were informed ahead of time. I know this for sure.  I'm thinking they MIGHT get it right about the time Camden comes along to high school and won't they get a shock when they see red hair and have everything adjusted for a Chinese kiddo:)))  Ha ha. 

So I heard back from the director of student services who will be taking care of things. She was very understanding.  I'm sure she wasn't thrilled I sent letters but I am my children's advocate. It is not supposed to take weeks to get the school on the right track to teach our children.

I have to say too, Chloe really gets the short end of the stick. Because she is so incredibly bright and was here longer (by a year) we see teachers thinking she comprehends things way above her level. No, she does not. The girl stresses and works her tail off to do work for her grade level, only 3 years home. So it was imperative they understand how long our children have been home as well as a short background of where they came from, treatment in schools in China which adds to their fear of not meeting teachers standards here.  

They KNOW they will not be hit here, not denied food, but deep down they are scared to death to displease a teacher. Thus, when I handed out letters to be given to teachers today, Chance was deeply concerned I was going to get in trouble, he was so concerned for ME:)

I guess he doesn't trust Mama Bear's temper. I told him it was perfectly fine, NO ONE was in trouble, it was just helping the teachers understand what help they all need and  what I do not want to see for our kids.

The kids all came home-- tired. Hungry. The usual- ha ha.  Wanting to know what was for supper. Paisley was wore out from her day. Not too much that she didn't show some spunk, she showed me her very sharpened pencil and asked if I wanted poked. I said "Nope, if you do I'll tell dad you don't love me and I'll cry like a baby."  She said "NO." Then she asked "Why you cry like baby?" I told because she would hurt me. And she said "No." Again. Phewww. She must like me a little:)  

We went to PT last night but put that on hold till next week when Paisley is more settled and we have some idea of how many sessions of PT the school will be doing with her. It's almost too much for her after school, she is very wore out even with using the elevator and modifications to allow her more time to get from class to class.

Adding to "school issues" I've got college son gone 1 week and calling home to say he is in emergency housing-- 2 of the 3 room mates have been arrested and are being expelled from college because of drugs. (NOT my son MOM)  OIY.  It's not even safe to be in his dorm room. Who goes to college to deal drugs? Oh, that's right, drug dealers. BOOO. I'm glad you were caught. Shame on you. 

So another day down of this school year and hopefully it will only get better:)

Monday, August 27, 2012

They went

And off they went. To school. EVERY-LAST-ONE-OF-THEM.

And I have 7 well, now 6 hours left to myself. ME, ME, ME. 

What am I gonna do? Well I started laundry, I showered, oh, you mean FUN? Not chores? Hummmm. Uhh dance in the kitchen? Sing off key?

Read my Bible in total peace? Spent quiet time with God? Ohhh, does that sound soooo lovely. I miss that when they are all home and as soon as I get up they want to know what they can eat, for breakfast, lunch, supper and snacks.

 And what their social director AKA Mom, Me, Mudder, has planned for them for the day, then moans and groans when I tell them "cereal- don't care about lunch till lunch-same for supper and NOTHING- I am not a social director."

No calls yet today from school. Not yet. I am sure I will have at the very least 2 even though I told everyone I could- just ONE DAY, give me just ONE DAY before you start calling, 'k?  

They just laughed at me and the ESL teacher called last night, smart woman that she is.

SO I leave you with pictures of the cuties, all looking SHARP (Chloe did ask what does that mean, looking sharp, are we cutting someone?) Oh that girl.

Only one meltdown to speak of this morning, "Someone" not telling Miss Kitty  was mad when I asked why her backpack weighed 20 pounds and I refused to let her take the 15 lbs of crayons she was "100% SURE" she was gonna need them.  Nope. 10 crayons or none. I haven't missed her morning drama:(

Although she was impressed that I was able to zigzag her part for her pony tails.  You think I'd get a break from her drama just for being that COOL, but no, it didn't cut me any break.

She and Dustin leave over an hour later than the others, but they were up and ready early, everyone had trouble sleeping from excitement.  

So all alone I am. I'm not lonely, don't worry (MOM) you don't need to come over.  It is awfully quiet here though?

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

My girls

Time for a post all about those girls.  What girls you say? (Or not)  Well...... my girls:)

Those lovely daughters of mine.  #1 girl-- Mal is back at college. Not sure if that means I get to see more of her or less? She was really busy over the summer.  She's a super big sister and always helpful with the kids. She is helping Chloe's team with practice for field hockey because she played as well for her high school years.

#2 Chloe-- well that girl is busy too, field hockey, fretting about starting high school, what to wear the first day.  She got rude about leaving her shoes for practice and dad had to have a talk with her. Telling her they were HER responsibility to make sure she has them.

Because she was being rude to ME-- and I told her field hockey was optional, not required and if she couldn't be nice to her "driver" the trips would stop.  AKA field hockey no longer. And she did a quick, and I mean, quick, turn around in behavior.  Such a teen:)

She's looking forward to going to China with me, she's very excited to return and wanted to know if she could take an entire suitcase empty to fill with her favorite snacks to bring home. Uhh, no. They are bound to think she's nuts, checking an empty suitcase:)  I did ask her not to pack up all her underwear yet. 

#3 Paisley-- she is calling me "Mudder" which cracks me up. It's her way of saying Mother, something Chloe and Chase call me. Not as a formal "MOTHER" but more out of respect for me.  Mom, mudder, I'll take either:)

Although I worried when she first came that she would not be thrilled to learn we were adopting another child after she came, she has been happy and even helpful about Phoebe. She told me the other day when she was sharing things about her orphanage and life in China that I needed to learn more Chinese for Phoebe. That she would teach me. So she said I needed to know how to say "bathroom" and she worked with me to teach me.

I said to her "So you are saying "I love you daughter" isn't enough?? And we laughed, because I have that down pat:) I say it often to all my girls. (Yes, MOM, I can say I love you son too)

But she felt my Chinese is sorely lacking for all these neat Mandarin and Cantonese speaking children I have.  I did worry if Paisley would be upset to learn I would not be taking her to China for Phoebe's adoption, but she knows and is fine with it.

I guess it's because Chloe is going because her English is the best, and I told all the teens that. Now, when we plan our return trip (someday) for all of them we will go and take all, visiting all the places each child is from.  

But about Miss Paisley my #3 daughter--We did our private tour of the brand new Middle School as well as met Paisley's new buddy today. We have decided to place her in 7th grade to give her more time in school and for the best fit maturity wise for her. She was surprised but just smiled, when I told her. 

 She knows the others here are also lower in grades than they "should be" and we didn't really expect it, but the ELL (English Language Learner) teacher got some test scores for Paisley and she suggested this would be a better fit to go with 7th grade.

She seems happy to be going back to school although worried she won't understand what the teachers are saying.  I told her they know she needs help and she will have plenty of it. Her "buddy" will be a good help to go over work with her as well as letting the ELL or guidance counselor know if any issues arise that Paisley needs even more help. She's getting a ton of support for all her needs.

On to the next one--#4 Kat. She is growing so tall! Size 6x pants are out for her. She has 7 to start this year. She picked out the brightest pink with neon green lace new sneakers. Girl loves BLING.  She is excited to be a third grader. She was worried about her backpack being "big enough" for all the work she is going to have. 

Her front teeth are FINALLY almost the whole way in.  And clearly she will be needing braces. Crooked as can be. 

Last but not least--Phoebe. #5 daughter. Wow. I never thought I would wait so long to meet this precious one. BUT---- I'm 100% sure she will be so worth it.  As we wait for LOA, yes, still waiting for LOA (Letter of Acceptance MOM) which we should have had months ago, and our HS (Home study) should never have taken so long, but we have no doubt of God's perfect timing and we totally trust in Him.

Therefore we wait for this treasure, knowing she is worth this wait. Worth the paperwork, worth the aggravation of paperwork errors that have been out of our control. She is our girl:)

It doesn't surprise me now, that when I was birthing children, with each one I asked God for a daughter. I wanted a girl so badly.  I thought I didn't have anything in common with boys. I was a girlie girl, I didn't do dirt, bugs, and all those wonderful BOY things. And yet, 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 birthed sons I got.  

So interesting enough, He will have given me 5  daughters--the same number of the sons I birthed. Not that I would change any one of my children, nope, I love them as is. Every last one of them, no matter how they came to me. It just seems funny to look back now and see God was so right, and did it so perfectly to give me the daughters I have.  None by birth, but none any less MY girls. Every single one of them. Each so special, such a blessing to me.

Beautiful inside and out, I'm just overwhelmed with God granting me not just 1 daughter of my dreams, but 5!  

I'll try to get to a post about those boys, right after I get done being mad at one for putting foil in the microwave and nearly causing a fire even though he has been told over and over not to do that- then the one that put his sister in a suitcase in the attic, as well as telling her he was "sending her back to China" and the one who left me hanging till Monday if he was going to college or not and classes started MONDAY. (He went MOM)

They are in the DOG HOUSE right now. So I love them but I'm not exclaiming how wonderful they are just today. Maybe tomorrow? 

Boys, you just gotta love 'em:)  (Yes I do MOM)

 What else can you do with them?

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Kite Flying

This week brought Paisley some new fun- kite flying. 

Brother Chase got it going for her since she can't really run, and she hung on while the wind blew, soon to storm, perfect weather for kite flying.

She was so excited that she could hang onto it and watch it fly.  It stayed up a long time and went really high. Neat to see her enjoying an outdoor activity.

We see much improvement of her strength and endurance.  Physical therapy (PT) 3 times a week along with the shots she had has given her much more mobility and we are seeing her much happier to be able to do things she could not previously.

Her doctor visit last week went okay. Doctor is pleased with the shot results and PT but the long term damage of her bones from the steroid use for years in China is bad. Her right hip is supposed to have a ball and socket, uhhh, she has neither:(  Just some bumpy and weak bone left there--- and she's walking on that:( The steroids made her bones look like they have bubbles in them, that's weakened spots:(  That hip and her wrists are the worst.

We go to an Ortho doctor next month to get a picture of where she is at now, so if she worsens we have a baseline of where she was. The issue is her bone is not healthy to support a hip replacement more than ? 1 or 2 times? And they only last 10 years. So we are going to keep that as a last resort for sure.

We are working on a buddy for her in school, we will be getting a private tour of the new Middle School they are completing now with the buddy this coming week. That's to keep the bustling of many people (during regular touring hours) away- we have to be very careful she does not fall on her hip ever. 

She will have PT at school and no gym, extra music class which she loves as well as use of the elevator and a rolling backpack:) All things to help her make it a great year. We are going with 7th grade for her after much thought about the best fit for her. 

What is everyone else up to? Chase has continued to have great strides in behavior. Gosh, he's really likable when he is open to talking with people. He seems so much happier too. Normally he wouldn't think to help anyone to fly a kite but he OFFERED to help Paisley and we were thrilled to see him "play" a little too:)

Chloe is in field hockey and started practices. I'll have to get a picture of her. I try to arrange to pick her and Hannah up from practice after Paisley's PT to keep the trips to town down. Hannah's mom is sharing the trips to get the girls to practices which is wonderful of her because it's a huge help.

Chance wanted to know how much summer school he would have to do? Gosh, worrying early that he will fail 9th grade. Poor guy, he improved more than Chase (willingness to learn the problem there) in ESL last year. I told him to stop worrying, he will be fine.

Camden and Dustin are playing with their trains, having a grand time together.  It's such fun for them, they get along so well.  BTW--Dustin's momma-- I am NOT adopting your son. I know he "looks" like he fits right in here, but he loves you and misses you. I'm quite content to be his Aunt Vickie:)

Kat is eager to start school, the girl loves school. She is such a social butterfly:)
"Everyone" at school knows her and she can't wait to get learning. She wants to be a teacher when she grows up so she loves to learn. Math is her favorite.  When Paisley was telling me that her knuckles were hurting (yeah, she is telling me when she hurts, a clear improvement over suffering in silence) Kat was AMAZED when I told her it was probably going to storm.

She said "HUH?" And I explained that sometimes bones and joints ache when it's going to storm, if you have arthritis like Paisley (and a little for me in hands, a hip and knee) so Kat thought that was SUPER cool, till I told her it really wasn't fun to hurt to know it was going to rain, we could just watch the weather?  She nodded and said "Oh, well yeah."  

STILL no approval for Phoebe. 100+ days, I quit counting. It's just too hard. We are trying to be patient. I know it's all God's timing and HIS path for her to join our family. So we continue to trust totally in HIM and know it will be His perfect timing for us and her.

This week will be school clothes shopping, although much is done because I clearance shop after school lets out in June (and before that) so only a few things needed. 

 Only 9 days till school!!  Wow, where did summer go?

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

God calling

You'all KNOW how much I love orphans. How much I want to see them ALL get families.

And how much I believe fundraising is God's way to give people who can't adopt or even ones who are adopting, ones who have adopted-- a way to continue their love of the orphans.

To show they care, to show God's love for them.

We GOTTA get this guy home--

The need is big, but OUR GOD is bigger:)

Go here and let's get this precious boy HOME---

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Bloomin' Fair

This week has been quite the busy one. Not too busy that we didn't make it to the county fair. Of course, we had to go, I mean when else do we get to eat bloomin' onions, fried twinkies, funnel cakes, monkey bread, and cheesecake on a stick.

Lest you think all we did was EAT- I assure you we viewed many a cow butt- why do they make the cow barn so that you are viewing their "back ends?"

We also saw miniature horses, donkeys, big horses, sheep, pigs, goats, bunnies, and chicks. The children badly wanted a bunny, but got a fish instead. (No laughing MOM)

Yes, we paid $5 for 80 balls and split them so they could win a pitiful looking 50 cent fish that we named Ody and immediately took to Hannah's house for "safe keeping."  Meaning if it lives a week, we'll buy Ody a bowl, but likely since Ody is looking ill already he will meet with the toilet bowl of life (or death if you prefer) and his issues will all be washed away- literally. 

I enjoyed the fair immensely, for 2 reasons. Chase, who had a genuine good time and smiled a real smile in the family picture with a tractor, hey, we are in rural Pennsylvania, here, the size of your tractor is VERY important. We will not discuss how big a tractor we own (none). He really has made huge strides this week, I see a peace in his face I've not seen before.

Second reason- Paisley, oh be still my heart.We started out all in a group, which means a fairly large group to try to stick together. Doesn't work so well, plus lots of people bustling around. She grabbed my arm first, hanging on. Kat was holding my other hand. When Paisley realized she was throwing us both off balance hanging onto my arm, she took my hand. And she held my hand the whole time:)))) It was so sweet, even when she needed to let go to open her water to get a drink, she immediately came back and grabbed my hand. 

I was able to give her stability with all the walking, and we walked the whole grounds. I was able to make sure we weren't wearing her out, and ask her discreetly if she was up to more, giving her the ability to tell me and me end the evening not with her feeling blame for not being able to "keep up" but with ME saying "It's gettin' dark, time to go."  

I made sure she got in to see all the animals as close as she wanted, I  even got an owner to let her pet a calf up close. She also called me "mom" a number of times when  she wanted to see something:)

Kat said at one point, "She has MY side" and I had to remind her the "side" she was talking about was ME and MY arm/hand and no one OWNED me-- that the other hand/arm was just as good. She pouted a few minutes then came right back to the other side which turned out to be just as good as the "favored" side.

Funny girls. It's such a blessing to have Kat, who is still so loving and needs that contact, because for Paisley she is able to see that and not feel out of place wanting that contact as well. No one looked at us funny when it looks like I have 2  littles holding my hands, it's not obvious to anyone she is a teen.

I've seen more and more of the little girl within the teen, such a good sign. Sharing her needs no matter if they appear immature or not, they are needs and I will meet them. Building her trust in us. In some ways she is very vulnerable/ yet very mature--- that amazing combo that most teens have to keep their parents on their toes:)

Speaking of the teens we call "ours"--I am not mentioning any names here (Chance) but who would think to put their hand in the mini horse pen and horsey would think it meant FOOD--- yep, a bad nip of those small-but-powerful teeth and he has a nasty boo boo.  Then later I see him putting his hand in the goat pen? HELLO SON??

Did you notice how colorful my family is? Well--they did that all themselves, by accident.  Everyone a different color, making them look bright, if not all cheery.  (Don't know what Camden or Chloe's issue was in my picture-- I bet it was hunger, we hadn't fed them yet)

Off to enjoy more family fun today-- dad's family reunion.  Swimming, more food, family, more food, some more swimming.  A great summer Saturday planned:)

Friday, August 10, 2012

A Letter to my son

My Dear Son, 

I am on a mission. One God has given me. I do not take this mission lightly or think of it as an easy road. Some days I very humanly want to quit, then God pulls me up and sets me back on my feet, to continue on plugging away at you and your stubborn refusal to accept you are lovable- that you are loved.

You see, when I started this mission, I didn't even know you. I found out about you and I somehow knew you would be "the one." Of the 3 of you and your bio siblings, you were the oldest, you had endured the most, you were going to be the "tough guy" whose smile was rare, indeed.

All along God granted us grace, He guided, right to the point we made of having your sister call and ask if you did want to come here. Because we had to remind you later down this road that you said "yes." We did not force you to come here.

We wanted you to come. We worked frantically on paperwork, knowing that for you to come God would have to perform a miracle and He DID. Home you came. At first you were very lost. Where did you fit in?  It was hard for you to see your younger sister surpass you in language and adjustment, a blow to your confidence.

Then if that wasn't bad enough, brother Chance easily accepted us as his parents, as was sister Chloe, leaving you with no job of parenting anymore. Further making you lost, unsure of where you belonged here. The concept of someone parenting YOU was completely foreign to you.

You struggled right away, you decided it was really hard for you to learn English so you weren't going to. As well as listening and being given rules really rankled you even further.

But God kept us strong, He didn't give up on US, so we refuse to give up on YOU. We KNEW what joy and security awaited you, when you finally got it. IT--- being what we were trying to give you-- a family.

This family has not come easy for you, nor honestly for me-- no, by far, you have stretched me, you have taught me, you have pushed me, you have angered me. But I continue to love you and I always will, because I know without one doubt God meant for you to be my son. And growth, even for mom is a good thing.

Many days, I am sure you do not like me at all. And that hurts. But I still keep on because I recall being 17 and not liking rules, or parenting aimed in my direction either. So I really do "get you."  It doesn't mean my mission ends, oh no, by far it just amps up the important of the mission. Because time is short and I'm not here to be liked, I'm here to be your mom.

Yet again, we butted heads recently. You were pulling yourself away, isolating yourself and ignoring us. I am sure pretending in your head, that you really didn't belong here and would be able to whisk off to a faraway land called China where you would live happily ever after as soon as you possibly could. Then I very rudely pulled you right back into reality. With a cold, hard crash. (No MOM, I didn't beat him or even lay one finger on him)

Because I knew where you were trying to go and I know it's not where you should be.  God again, guided me when I really, really wanted to think about just letting you live here, taking the easy route.  No, He said, no easy route.  Time to do the hard work, standing up to you and demanding your rudeness stop.

That you put forth effort to communicate and involve yourself with us, your family. Because you were very honest- you finally said you blamed us for what happened to you in China and for bringing you here. And just hearing someone (not me, my good friend and his youth leader) say it out loud was like seeing you lift a huge burden off those strong shoulders of yours. 

To face your anger and own it. To see your choices were taken from you back then, but they are very much your own now. Make it-- use the tough past to overcome and succeed, or be crippled for life by your past. And if there's one thing I know will not happen is that you will wimp out. No way, because you are my son, you are strong.

It wasn't pretty, you pushed hard-- but I refused to back down. And results abound. You are talking to everyone- you are someone we all love and want to get along with, not just exist with. You have been helpful, you have been more open and polite than we have ever seen. You are such a neat person we are enjoying this improved behavior.

Do I think you will not regress? Well, we are human so most likely you will. As will I. I may become angry and you don't do well when you think I am mad at you. Or you may take something the wrong way and take offense to it. But I'll take the baby steps forward, and I will not give up on you getting it. Getting your place here, in this family. Where you DO belong.

Because you know, as do we, you are meant to be here. You would never have been the same person if you had lost your brother and sister. I fear it would have broken you completely. And God did not have that in your future. No way. He loves you so much, He has never left you even when you didn't even know who He was.

Through Him we continue to parent you and are so thankful to have you in our lives.
Keep on growing my son, make us proud, more importantly, know that you ARE loved, you are WANTED, and you are one AMAZING person who is worth it ALL.  

Love,  YOUR Mom (who will always love you even when you act like a turd)

PS. If you go back to the way you were acting again, I WILL call you on it. I will. I will not EVER let it go.  You are too important to not keep you on track. My mission continues for LIFE.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Four Wheelin'

Round these parts a good time can be described as gathering with friends, playing a game of ball and hopping on some 4 wheelers for a ride.

So off we went to Mike's Fest, one of the Youth Leader's from church invites everyone over to his farm and we all bring a dish and us ol' folk sit around and talk, and eat. While off the kiddos go to enjoy games and 4 wheelin.'

I was thrilled to see someone brought a go cart type thing, with seat belts and roll bar included. Because Miss Paisley has been wanting to go a 4 wheelin' and I've been scared to death to let her. Although I KNOW (MOM) I can't treat her like a fragile flower.  It hard not to, it's the momma in me.

So off she went. And she had a blast. She wanted to go over and over, as did Kat because they were able to be safe and go.  So when I asked for my annual pic of them I goofed. I waited because when we got there people were already on all the picnic tables and I didn't want to be rude my momma did teach me something and I didn't get their picture then.

So by the time I got them rounded up they were --- sweaty.  As well as mad that I pulled them away from the fun. Crying (Kat) because it was her turn to go and she would surely miss out:(  Annoyed, because they had to sit for a few seconds.

Oh, the pain I go through to provide them with treasured memories in their books. The buggers. 

Speaking of their books, this is how I do their books. Lots of people think they aren't possibly crafty enough to do a life book but it's not tough.

 A few pictures, some fun scissors, some stickers, print out a few things (China flag, Asian real looking baby doll, personal sayings) a glue stick and you are ready to craft.

I always start at their birth no matter how little we know. Because they need to see their beginning and know that their birth was important.  A reason for celebration. Special. 

Then we go into the place they are from, some of what their city in known for, then their pictures they come with, then us as a family waiting for them, then when they join us.

  I added the picture of how we handled Paisley's adoption, the clip covers the entire journey in pictures of her adoption from China. I did a "birth" page then all her pictures she came with along with info about her city- then to the adoption and then to us.

I think the biggest factor for making the book, even if you only make one and do it from birth until they come to you-- it shows your child their story and shows them their life is important and special, special enough to get their very own book made about them.

What else are we up to around here besides 4 wheelin' and scrapbooking?  

Well we started physical therapy for Paisley. To strengthen her. Get her more mobility. 3 times a week. She thinks it's quite funny to squeeze the ball between her knees and  lift the tiny weights. The first weights, 2 lbs, were too much for her wrist:( So they went to 1 lb. and will work up to 2 lbs. She just doesn't have the strength in her arms or wrists.

The whirlwind- aka, my bro, left yesterday to return to Japan. I think he forgot something- or should I say "someone" ---'cause this little guy is still here?  

Actually, Mr. D is staying here till his dad returns in 3 weeks, much to Camden's total delight. And honestly, I don't think I have ever been so thankful to have another child staying. You see, Camden is kept sooooo busy there is little time to pick at and fight with KAT:)))  

What a relief. I mean, they could sign up for the Olympics as a new sport Picking 1:1 and they would WIN. Honestly. My friend suggested our kids should go to school 10 weeks then have 3 weeks off, all year. I sure wish they did. 3 months is just too long. Our kids do not enjoy unstructured time and I do not like being considered their social director for 3 months solid.

We go back to the Rheumatologist this week, to see what course of treatment we need to change/follow for Paisley. No shots involved this time- phewww.

I found out today that Paisley has worn 2 shirts that are pajama shirts to places. I didn't realize they were pajama shirts, and quite frankly they were CLEAN, so it wasn't a big deal but Chloe pointed it out and said she had told Paisley but she refused to listen. So I told her "No pajama shirts when we go out." She went and changed:)  Chloe was mad she didn't listen to her but I was glad she listened to me, like she should:)

Chloe cracked me up when she told me "Mother I have no sense." And I thought, well, you said it? But she meant CENTS. I was laughing-oops.

Then she told me "You need that" when a commercial came on about needing relaxing, healthy lifestyle---- but it went on to say "to get pregnant" and she quickly said "Ohh, whoops, you don't need that." And I said "No, I do not, thanks anyway."

I guess I could claim to be "paper pregnant" waiting for my 8 year old Phoebe to come home. Apparently I birth them BIG? Ha ha.

 Bring it on, I'm happy to take that "pregnancy" and have it move on to the ending aka, our beginning with her:) 

 Praying for LOA (Letter of Acceptance) this week-- God's timing- it's never, ever wrong. 

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Gifts Galore

Not only did we get to have very special visitors this week- they came bearing gifts.

Amazing gifts. Translators, puzzles, games, writing paper, computers, snacks (sadly for the children- happy for mama --no chicken feet) all from China. The kids were soooooo thrilled with all these goodies. 

Ben is the cutest guy that Mark and Sarah adopted  from the same orphanage as Chloe and he had a very special closeness with Chloe. Therefore when they adopted him and then returned to visit years later, they had pictures of Ben and Chloe in the orphanage as well as when they returned.  We are so thankful for these pictures of her because they are the youngest pictures we have of Chloe:)

Mark, Mia, Sarah. Ben, Chloe, Auntie, Director
The kids (and us adults)  spent last evening visiting, enjoying all the fun stuff and the kids enjoyed talking with Ben's parents, since their Mandarin is much better than mine. We had such a wonderful evening. 

In other news, whirlwind- aka brother Roy, found a house.  Made an offer, they countered, he countered, they accepted and he is now under contract to be a proud home owner. Now, no laughing, but he needs the entry way painted. Because someone liked a very deep shade of purple that brother saw past and said this is our house. Could picture himself living there. All but for the purple paint, that is.

So even though I swore I would not paint again for years, just last year,  I see myself unable to make my OLDER brother live with purple walls. Humm, I think he's gonna owe me for this.  BIG.

Add that to the 20 or so boxes of his in my bedroom, he's really gettin' in deep debt to his lil' sis, huh?  Between that and him telling our mother to come visit then not being here when she got here? He's really getting into deep do-do.

Good thing I love him tons:)

He noticed when he was video calling his wife in Japan, Ms Paisley was easily picking up things they were saying. Seems she is quite gifted in language as well as song.  I'm terribly jealous since not only am I directionally challenged, I do not pick up other languages easily.

I was able to use one of the neat gifts Ben and family brought, paper that you write on it to learn the Chinese characters with a pen that writes with water, it then fades and you can practice again, over and over. That's me, needing practice:)  Chloe was showing me how to write, flower, mud and water. Not sure if she wants to plant flowers or what her theme there was?

What else is up around here?  Paisley is moving around MUCH easier, no doubt feeling better making us feel better for the torturous shots she endured.

Chance has become a summer bum. I think he sleeps 12 hrs a day, and I told him I'm gonna put him to work if he can't crawl out of bed with mom telling him to before noon.  And no, (MOM) he is not ill.  His appetite has not waned in any way, shape or form. 

Chase was getting close to resorting to grunting at me, in order to avoid speaking, when we put a halt to his rudeness. He so easily tends to fall back into the rude ways, sometimes it's hard when I know such behavior in China would be not be seen as rude, but it is here.

 And he lives HERE. He needs to get along HERE-- so letting it go is doing HIM a disservice. He would go to the patio door and grunt out "garden" when he was already out the door.

I insist he say "I'm going out to my garden" in a normal tone which takes very little extra effort. And he has been able to do it.  A work in progress, we see improvement with him not being angry for long periods of time, accepting our parenting.

A long time coming but totally worth the effort invested in him, just as we do for all the kiddos.  Some easier than others, but all are 100% worth it.  

Today they are one happy, entertained bunch of Chinese treasures:)