Tuesday, October 30, 2012


Well then. Storm Sandy hit. We survived. We actually did just fine, no power out, big shocker there, although the storm is still pouring rain and even seeing some snow up on our hill this morning.

So it's still possible. But for the windy night, the downstairs was perfect. Didn't hear a thing over my fan and everyone slept well. The one tree down away from the house is the only one we had go down. And it's been the delight of our outdoor lovin' son, Chance, who strapped on his machete (sister brought that from Costa Rica MOM, I do not provide children with machetes) and he is out there "hacking up" the tree for firewood.

Don't worry, we don't NEED wood (MOM) we do not burn wood for heat. I think Chance would have been a perfect "Little House on the Pr*rie" son, dude LOVES to kill animals to cook, chop up wood to burn, hang out in the worst weather around.

The girls were in the house, hanging out in jammies, got a late breakfast. Then I  thought of what to do to keep them busy today. It was between the attic (cleaning it, sorting some still-unpacked-boxes from our move a year ago-- yikes- now you all know my dirty secret.)

  Or  changing rooms around for the arrival of Phoebe, moving the girls downstairs and a boy up. Because the current room for Kat and Paisley is too small to get another girl and all the STUFF that goes with a girl in there, let alone THREE of them.  So we (or I, that is) decided that's what we would do.

Tore apart bed #1 and #2. Moved bed #1 to different room. Tore down bed #3. Moved it to different room. Tore down bed #4.  Then hubby came home. He was less than thrilled we tackled this "honey do" chore planned for Saturday. OOPS.  Because beds #5 and #6 are bunk beds we needed to cut apart to make single beds. And I don't touch power tools.

So hubby graciously (I ignored the complaining) cut beds #5 and #6, even made them match with extra boards left over. We did this because Kat doesn't sleep well when she is in bunk beds due to the creaking of the beds. We then set up bed #5 and #6 in different room and put together bed #4 in a different room. Got all that?

Many, MANY, MANY trips later of girl stuff going down and boy stuff going up, we are done for today. I need a few under bed storage crates, Dad needs to hang stuff on the walls, but everyone has a bed that's made and can sleep in their new room. Whoo hoo:)

Chase was a great help, he didn't complain once when I asked him to help, he took apart beds, moved stuff, helped reassemble beds, etc. Although he still could not smile for me when snapping pictures---- sigh.

Sadly, someone not happy today.  Chloe. See her picture and thinkin' what I am? She looks like an ornery bugger.  Yep, she tried out that hat today.WHY? Well, most every evening I make things the kids like. Pork, sauerkraut, rice, noodles, but every once in a great while, like 3 months or so, I make (GASP) something I LIKE for supper. 

Pancakes.  Ornery daughter Chloe said "You eat these for breakfast, this is not supper food." Uh HELLO? They most certainly can be. AND I think once every three months or more they can suck it up and eat something they aren't terribly fond of.  

It always amazes me that children who have known true gut-hurting-hunger can stick their noses up at any food. But they do. They sure do.

At any rate, her snottiness did not mess with my happiness of the day--

It's so exciting to see Phoebe's bed ready. Her clothes hanging in the closet, her Hello Kitty pillow waiting for Miss Blondie to lay her head on to sleep. 

 I do believe I may be nesting:))

 We are very thankful that everyone made it through this storm safe and that we were able to make this a very productive day:)

We are praying for the people who are without heat, power, damages done from this storm. So many without power and the terrible damage flooding does. In our prayers. For sure.

Monday, October 29, 2012


I'm surprised we still have power, but we do. So far. We are "in the East," so we are being hit hard with this storm. I avoid the word "hurricane" because the kids flip out when they hear that.

So far a ton of wind. Nothing down yet. We will not get flooded since we live at the top of a hill.  But we are being pelted with sleet, rain, freezing rain. And the wind sounds like a train going by.  Roaring. Our big concern is the trees up behind the house.

Our lower level is basement, thank GOD, because if needed we can all "hunker down" there and it will be safe and fairly comfortable. I cooked supper early so we are fed. Snacking can be cooking free.

School is cancelled for tomorrow and Wed on a 2 hr delay ALREADY.

Pray for our safety and for the others affected by this storm, okay?

Update--- still have power at 10 pm. Although it's flickering. 

Everyone sleeping downstairs for safety reasons. Worried about those trees behind the house but so far only one down and not in our direction.  Lots of rain.  Still hearing the wind blow like a train roaring by, it's really strong.

All children are fed and tucked in for the night. Overnight is supposed to be the worst and then lessen as the day goes on tomorrow. Hearing reports of  lots of trees down in the area, no one hurt locally that we know of.  Many, many without power.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Weekend Fun

Another Hay Ride? Sure, why not? Some four wheelin, throw that in too. A game with friends, a ball and a garbage can.  A camp fire. Lots of food. Music. 

Just told ya the favorite all-time-fun  thing to do per our kids. A guy from our church hosts a party twice a year and this was the autumn fest.  The kids love, love, love this "festival" as it's called.

Remember in the spring I had them sit after they played and someone (not naming anyone KAT ) was crying because they were "missing the fun." I got them all this time right at the start, no fussing needed:)

It was dreary out but no rain, not too cold. We are gearing up for the big storm to hit, it's all the talk around these parts. We got milk, eggs and bread (MOM).  I heard somewhere that we *should* have 3 days worth of supplies for each household member. I'm wondering where I'd put US if I stored that much stuff?

Guess we'll pray we aren't hit too hard and trust in Him to keep us. 

 Kat made a new friend at the festival. Something about her (might it be the blond hair and pale skin?)  that really set me to longing for our Phoebe.

 I could just see them playing together, an extra blondie in there and I felt my heart just YEARNING for our girl. 

Loving her from afar and knowing it will be time to travel soon, it seems so long yet with an end in sight now.

God sets the lonely in families, He sure does, and our "hole" will be filled right up with the addition of our Phoebe girl:)  So  thankful for her, that we are getting closer and closer!

Soon Phoebe girl, soon. And next Festival picture, you WILL be here:)

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

It's a Parade

It's so much fun to do "firsts" with our kids. No matter their age.  Last night was the Halloween parade. A first for Paisley.  The night before her first hay ride:)

She was so excited about the parade. She perched herself in my lap. I was surprised but happy she decided to stay there for the whole 1 1/2 hrs:)

She got up and down to get candy, Kat was a few feet down with Chloe and Camden a few feet on the other side. So it gave her a space for her to get some candy that was thrown with no one to accidentally hurt her or take her candy.

Don't mind the pictures of less-than-thrilled children, they do this every time my camera comes out.  Good thing I NEVER use the "smile" detection setting, I'd be waitin' forever to get a shot of anyone but Paisley. Should have a "teen smirk" setting.


Back to the parade--Paisley must have asked 20 times, "When it come, what is it?" The incentive of candy kept her waiting in anticipation.  Then it started.  They all enjoyed it, but Paisley got the most candy.

On the way home Chance complained about that and Paisley informed him that he  "Wasn't cute enough" to get more candy. Quite funny coming from the girl who doesn't want to be called "cute." 

Speaking of funny-- those kids. I promised to tell you some of the stuff they have said.  Chance has told us the secret to making it in life. Listen up all.  At 16, he's got it ALL figured out.

First he gets a job. Then a car and then a trailer to live in, because they are cheaper than a house. No electricity for him, no way-- because that costs money. No water, because that costs money.  Candles will suffice for him and as for water and bathing, well, a creek will do. We could just picture him with his bottle of 
shampoo heading to the local lake.

He then said "How long can I live with you mom?"  I told him for as long as he wants- just like I always do.

I started my day with this hubby sent to me---- "Happy anniversary to my beautiful wife. I am so thankful to have you in my life and I am looking forward to many,many more years to come. I Love You."

My response?  "Oh Hubby, I love you EVEN MORE now that your eye sight is failing:)"

Sorry to tell any of you single girls, this man o' mine is taken. Yep, he sure is. Failing eyesight and all I love him to pieces. He brought me flowers and a sweet tea:)

He's such a great hubby, father, example to our family. I thank God for him each and every day. He's sooo special and such a wonderful person.

And here's Kat's take on "us, her parents."

This was her  handmade card to us for our anniversary, cut in the shape of a heart.

You guys are like---

Shampoo and Cinditoiner (conditioner)
Cool and emberessing (embarrassing)
bolts and nuts 
(wonder why she included that one? who is bolts, who is nuts? Or shouldn't I ASK)

the twin towers
(uhh, lovie, these are gone??)

ranch and ketchup 
shirt and pants
cup and straw

"Have a nice anerversry (Anniversary)"

Notice she got the "NERVE" in there-- another hint?? Hummm, that girl.

Could that be ANY more special? 

Leaves NO wondering why we love these kids, huh?

Friday, October 19, 2012

Hey there

Hi there. Miss me? Apparently mom did because I've been told to get off my duff and blog.  I kid you not (Told you I'd tell on you MOM)

What have I been up to?  I have to spill. Nothing super exciting, interesting for sure. I *could* make you all guess but that would be another call from MOM so I won't be going there.

We took a child for respite (a break from their family MOM) when the family was in crisis.  It's been an interesting time, she thought she would hit it off with Chloe but she hit it off with Paisley instead. 

It's been a busy time. The girls have curled hair, painted nails, tried out my make up.  They've also gotten in trouble. It seems this child struggles because she divides and conquers, I mean she literally got Paisley to pair up with her against the other teens here. I saw what was happening and put my foot down very fast and very hard.

I told ALL I will not tolerate their behavior and I split her and Paisley up and forbid Chinese speaking.  Respite girl tried to give me her reasons for what she did and I gave her the reasons it was NOT okay to do so. She continued to tell me over and over why she did what she did. And I continued to tell her why she could NOT do what she did.

I didn't think I got through to her but she came to me the next day and told me she understood what I had told her and she was sorry. She has since made great effort to spend time with Chloe, as well as Paisley.

It's interesting because it shows us our limitations, yes, we do have them.  Not that she is "too much" but that our children in our home have limitations and I have often said to hubby that I do not ever want our kids to revert to orphanage behaviors and not get what family is about.

It's very touchy with our teens, as to how hard it is to maintain the right balance and reminds me even more how God got brought us Paisley who is a perfect fit here. It hard to explain but too many teens and the kids start to feel they have to go back to survival of the fittest and they get mean and nasty with each other. They fight over E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G.  Not fun when you are parenting them. Not teaching love and kindness to your siblings because they are family.

I'm very glad we were able to see this issue arise and head it off, as well as the kids responding right away to being told to "knock it off."  I think in some ways with Paisley being our newest that she has had some feelings of being the "lesser" one here, which is not true. But it was clear when the issues arose she had been feeling this way and her feelings were acknowledged and dealt with. She now feels more "on equal ground" as the teens, who have been here longer. 

It's really typical for a new child to feel like they aren't as important as kiddos already in a family. So to overcome this is progress of her blending into our family.

What else has been going on? Birthday central here. Not kidding. Malaree turned 21 on Wed. And then Kat turned 9 yesterday and I turn beeeeeeep tomorrow.  We've had cake galore. 

 Kat's birthday was a multi affair. What does that mean?  WELL-- Princess Kat had to have a fancy dress she chose for school. As well as cupcakes for her class. And extras too, for "other people." She also had to have a gift to open on her day, so she got some boots, and H*llo Kitty pj's. And cake. It's not a birthday without cake. Not even with the promise of a double party for her and Mal tonight. NOPE.

So cake again tonight, as well as more gifts. The word SPOILED came to mind, for some odd reason.

Tomorrow is my "big day." All I want is-------hummmm--- plane ticket money??  Yep, it would be nice to see that fee all ready to go. We are waiting for visa paperwork and getting excited about these last few steps being quick and the end result being our travel to Phoebe.

We are anxiously waiting on an update on her. It didn't come yet, so maybe that will be my late birthday gift?  

We will have to see. So now I spilled all that's up, I'll have to find time to tell you all some of the funny things the kids have said lately.  I'll tell you one of them- that Chloe, she says to me "Hey, how come we respite kids, you never send us anywhere, why aren't you sick of us?"  Uh, because respite doesn't mean a family is sick of their child- CHLOE--   OIY, that girl. Trust me when I say that our kids keep us well entertained:)

Monday, October 15, 2012

Field Hockey

Off we went today to Chloe's field hockey game. The kids didn't have school today so we packed up everyone and went to her game. It was fun to watch Chloe who buzzed up and down the field quite often.

The kids were all--- bored, cold, hungry, bored. But they took one for ol' Chloe, okay, maybe they did complain quite a bit, but it was good for them to see sister play and to cheer her on.

We lost anyway:(

Chance has decided since he could do SOOOOO much better than sister that he will go out for the team next year.

I told him he will look great in a skirt.

I was very glad when we came home I had a lovely beef stew that I had slow cooked all day long all done and ready to eat. We had us some hungry bears, oops, I mean, kids to feed.

Homework, showers and bed, now that bellies are full. We are so thankful to God for the little things today- healthy children, those gorgeous leaves changing colors, food on our table, no injuries during the game.  Warm beds to sleep in. 

Our children we enjoy:)

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Time flies

Kat age 3 in China

Who in the world is this lovely girl? Our Kat. Miss Kitty, as she is affectionately known as,  with us today now SIX years!
I know, I know, it's hard to believe. On one hand, she wore 18 month baby clothes at age 3 when we got her, so it seemed like we have had her since birth almost. Yet, on the other hand, it seems like six years went flying by and there's no way it's been that long.
I truly can't imagine life without her. She is the most loving, sweet, spunky diva I know. 
As you may notice in her pictures, she has GROWN.  Matter of fact when I took the kids to my favorite park for pictures yesterday I was blown away by the pure beauty of the last picture posted. It's so HER.
Gorgeous. Lots and lots of hair. Angelina J*lie lips. Those almond eyes. She is just breath taking.
All I could think of in the full length shot, when did she get so TALL? She's 4 ft 2, catching up fast to Paisley's 4 ft 5 but still not taller than Phoebe (4 ft 3 as of last update)
She's all of 48 pounds, dripping wet. Skin--eeeyyy. Although she is very healthy, rarely gets anything but a cold. For a lovie who spent the first 6 months here sick all the time, this is much preferred.
She still eats the most Chinese- like, noodles, meats, seafood, no cheese, no dairy (Yes, MOM I know she should) doesn't care for bread. But she's got a sweet tooth, yep, she does. Girl likes her candy.
So many years, so many things changed, foster siblings, our baby passing, a new sister--- who brought 2 new brothers, big siblings growing up and moving out, another new big sis, and another sis to come. 
Through it all Miss Kitty has remained loving, wonderful, caring and the reason we were willing to go forward and add "just one more"-   Okay, permission to laugh for ALL right here.
Seriously, if she had been a "tough" child, not blended in so easily, I know we would not have been open when God called us to Chloe. And call He did. Unmistakable.
But our Kat, well, she was a delight from Day 1. The little girl of my dreams. Girly giggles, frills, dresses galore, earrings, bling.  Shoes!  Hair bows. Wooo, hooo, a girly girl:)
A blessing she is, and always has been. She will receive a small gift and a thank you card from us, thanking her for becoming our daughter:)
Love you Kitty Kat, always and forever. You are so precious. A gift from God that we treasure.

Monday, October 8, 2012

All about him

Is it really 4 years since I kissed you goodbye?

4 YEARS since I held you?

4 years, yet you didn't see your first birthday?

My son of my heart, handed to me at 4 weeks old, so little, so sweet. So good smellin,' so incredibly doomed, we were told you had already "outlived" your life expectancy.

Yet, we took you, we loved you, we kissed you, held you, taught you love. Did everything in our power to give you QUALITY of life if you couldn't have quantity.

We did it with LOVE, because you were 100% lovable. I mean, who doesn't love a baby? I could not NOT fall in love with you even when they told me you were going to die. I couldn't. 

 You stole my heart the first time I laid eyes on you and I KNEW I had been handed one of the most PRECIOUS gifts I have EVER been given. To be your MOM.

You shared with us your love, your crooked smile, your fight, your pure babyness.
You taught us to relish every moment we have here, don't waste our lives. You taught us patience, perseverance, to slow down and ENJOY- life, our children, little things, wind blowing on your face, flowers, leaves turning colors. 

We hurt so bad when it was time to let you go, but it was clear, your job here was done. The pain was indescribable. Yet we could NOT hang on because it was time, you needed to move on to Heaven, to be in your Heavenly Father's lap. Whole and healthy, it was your TURN.

I do NOT weep for you today son, because you are HOME. I know you are whole, you are happy and I WILL see you again.  I miss you but I look forward to the day when I WILL press my lips to that spot on your nose between your eyes where my lips fit perfectly and I kissed on you always:))

My love for you, dear Tristan Angel Boy--- is a treasure, buried in my heart, never to fade, never to change. I will carry you with me FOREVER.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

FUNdraising ideas:))

From a wonderful, God loving, orphan loving, mother of many-- woman, Lori----

Vickie wanted some FUNdraising ideas and so Iasked her to allow me to guest post to her blog.  I have an idea that I think we can all have some fun with....and we will get to see just how creative we all can be.  Often times when it comes to giving or to helping others out, we think, “Wow, I would love to help but I really just cannot afford it right now.” 

 In these hard economic times it is probably true for many of us.  I want to put a challenge out there for us to really pay attention to where we are spending our money and look for an area that we might be able to cut back in order to give to something bigger than ourselves! Let's give the gift of family to a child who otherwise would not have one.

Children without family go without so much of the privilege that we have become so accustomed to.  Depending on where that child is from it could be anything from necessary nutrition to a hug and kiss before bedtime.
In this land of abundance we truthfully do not go without many of our needs met, even during difficult times.  I want to put out a challenge to each one of us to make a sacrifice over this next couple of days, weeks or month and choose to give what you would have spent there to help bring Phoebe home.  For some of us that might be a weekly trip to Starbucks, which could be a donation of $20.00 over the next month. 

 I think that often we hesitate to give if we only have $20.00 to spare thinking it is not worthwhile.  The truth is if 200 people gave a donation of that amount Vickie's flights would be paid for!  A small sacrifice on the part of one, multiplied to meet a huge need!

And this is where the fun comes in!  Post in the comments section what it is that you are choosing to give up in order to give to Phoebe's adoption fund.   Let's try to be really creative.  Just maybe there will be a little surprise in it for the most creative idea!

I will start this ball rolling...although I am not expecting to get the prize for most creative!  Both of my boys needed haircuts this month.  Instead of taking them to the barber, Mom gave them buzz cuts!  Fresh new look and I can give that $30.00 saved to help bring Phoebe home!!

Let's hear your ideas and let's get Phoebe home!!

Vickie here- THANKS so much to Lori, this is a wonderful idea, and in a time when Lori herself is fundraising to bring home a treasure from China, I mean, HOW wonderful is that??

God's love, shown right here:)

Friday, October 5, 2012

Birthday Girl

Guess who turned 15 yesterday?  Yep, that tiny-but-full-of-spunk Paisley girl:)

She was as happy as could be, when I got up in the morning, I picked her up and sang Happy Birthday to her and said I have NEVER been able to pick up ANY of my kids at age 15. I twirled her around too:)  Ha Ha.

She had a great day, they ordered Chinese food in at school (yes, my children are spoiled by their ESL teacher, for sure). It was low key last night because her PARTY is tonight.

Although we did give her stuff from US, because we didn't want her to be without SOME gifts on her actual birthday. She was so tickled. You could see this really meant a lot to her, each little thing was exclaimed over, pictures had to be taken and then every thing was examined in detail:)

Paisley came to me on Wed night and said  she was upset with Chloe. You see Chloe is top girl around here, not that she is "more important" but she is the oldest girl in the home. So she "puts Paisley in her place" as the younger sis. In many ways, Paisley NEEDS that, she tends to be bossy.

Anyway, Chloe has been making duct tape hairbows, yep, your read that right. Aren't my girls soooo creative? So Paisley really wanted one but Chloe told her she had to PAY HER a dollar for one. And knowing Paisley like Chloe does, she wouldn't PAY for a hair bow, no matter how much she wanted one. 

So when Paisley told me I told her a little secret. Chloe knew she wouldn't pay for a bow and she only said that because she knew that. Because Chloe was making them to give Paisley as a surprise birthday gift. Paisley said "No, I don't think so." And I assured her, "Yes, it's true." And I told her not to tell. 

It was so cute to see her face LIGHT UP last evening then when Chloe came to her and handed her 3 duct tape hairbows and said "Happy Birthday Sister."  Paisley looked me and smiled. She KNEW. But she didn't say a THING-- besides "Thank you." Sister love:)

Paisley asked for a "candy cake" and I know, you all are thinking-- "What?"
I thought the same, but I being the SUPER mother (vanity is a sin, yes, I know MOM- don't call) that I am, managed to come up with this-- a cake wrapped in Kit Kit's, adorned with PB cups, chocolate kisses and dot candies.  Even has a "P" in tootsie rolls on it for Paisley.

Whatcha think?  A girl after my own heart, I tell ya. A candy cake. Why didn't I think of that?  All I ever got was a gingerbread man cake, 'cause I was born in autumn. Well then. Enough about ME.

Let's just say we're all gonna be on a sugar high come tonight and celebrating the fun of turning 15. WOW.

I'm going to try to connect up soon with some of you super fun people with FUNdraising ideas, I applied for some grants this week:)) 

For now, another birthday of 2012. Our first with our girl. Happy Birthday Sweetie, we LOVE you!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

And Life goes on

And indeed it does. The funeral is over. It was quite sad. It was very hard to see the aunts and uncles that I thought of as "older" when we were kids, as the "much older" people they are now, which also means I am now "them" as in, the "older" people my kids think of. Or nephew and nieces think of me.

OIY. Not always pretty to face. Although I will admit, I'm shaping up not too shabby, I think I have come around from the snotty, won't listen to anyone brat (Yep, I said it MOM) to a fairly decent, law abiding, society contributing person.

Not to be tooting my own horn, but to see people as they age getting very set in their ways and refusing to speak to other family members and unable to compromise, well, I'm just thankful to be able to chalk my "bad years" up to "immaturity of youth" and move on. I want to see things get BETTER, not see the break down of a family as others seem to be doing:( I was very much reminded we aren't going to be here forever, don't waste the time you have, be doing God's work NOW. Don't wait.

It's just too sad. What else made me sad, 3 things. The aunts and uncles "didn't want" the planter I was asked to order by our family. (From our Mom, me and my brothers and sisters) You read that right. SO I am now the owner of a VERY LARGE planter of plants needing re potted.  OIY.

And my MOTHER who says, as we walk away from the graveside, this "Well, I'll be the next one going in there."  Okay now. As if I want to be thinking of that? Really MOM? I'm chalking that right up there with the "You don't call me enough" guilt trip MOM.

Anyway, the kids, who I am SURE is why you read this blog and not because I'm gettin' old, did very well. Chance told me he was going to have nightmares, seeing Gram at the funeral. Which I thought was odd considering things he has told me he has seen at the orphanage :( I mean, what he told me gave ME nightmares. But seeing Grammy all in pink and looking lovely does it for him?

They did not like the meal afterwards as it was preordered for them. Kat started to turn into  Jekyll/ Hyde so when Chance got his plate first we scarfed it from him so she could eat first, thus warding off a melt down from hunger.

The third thing-- Mr. Dustin is no longer our guest:(  We will miss him greatly but his momma (thanks everyone for praying her here) is coming this week and he will be with both his parents and his lil' bro in their new house where he belongs:)

I love, love, love the FUNdraising ideas that came my way, some of them were so neat, so thoughtful, so FUN. I can't tell you how much it means to know God has whispered to you all and you respond. It's heartwarming.  Some gave ideas, some just decided to donate, we are 100% thankful to all of you:)

I hope to get to some of these fun ideas real soon. Just trying to take a few days to get back into our schedule and thinking of what Gram said when I told her we were going back for one more, "Well, for goodness sake, you need another one? " (She always worried about how much food I have to cook for some odd reason)

  And I said "We sure do, she's a blessing Grammy and we accept all the blessings God wants to give us." To which she said "Good golly then, you can't be wrong on that can ya?"  She loved our children, from here and afar. Knew the love we have for them and she loved that we gave them God. She only wanted us ALL to know God. I know Gram is having a wonderful homecoming, and that she will be watching over Miss Phoebe's journey from up above:)