Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Miracles Do Happen

During bedtime prayers tonight, Abigail's prayer included the following:

Thank you for raining down food for the Haitians. And please help the people in Texas....that their homes would be fixed this instant!

You want me to explain?  Good, because I can hardly stand it.
Remember, this post?
Well, ever since the girls learned that not every family has a pantry, they have been praying for food for the hungry....specifically praying that God would "rain down food in Haiti."

This morning, we walked into The Academy where the girls take classes.  (It is run out of a very large church in our area.)  
You won't believe what we saw.  Tons and tons (and tons!) of grocery bags full of food.  Above the food was a sign that said:

Yes!  Yes!  And again, YES!  

I had Madeline read the sign and after a few puzzled looks and a quick explanation, the girls started squealing.  They couldn't get over it. Madeline said, "Mom, that kind of IS like God raining down food in Haiti, don't you think?"

Do I think?  Yes, I definitely do.

Is it a coincidence that one, very-random church in our city (where there are hundreds - and the one where we just happen to visit) just happened to have a food drive.....oh, and a food drive where they just happen to be sending the food to Haiti?  

I do not believe in coincidences.  
One thing I do believe - my girls will never forget this.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Check Yes or No

There was a handwritten message on my desk this morning.  It said,

Why do Moms have to do so much work?
Please answer here:  ___________

Can I have an extra sheet of paper?  I think this one might be an essay question.
And since several of you have asked what I really replied, I wrote:

I wish I knew.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Throwback Friday

We are really throwingback this week.
Here's Ron and I at a Date Party at Miami University....15 years ago.

(Anybody else remember "Party Pics"?)

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Cookie Fatre (no pun intended)

Ron emailed me one of Madeline's art drawings that he had scanned a couple years ago.  I asked her if I could put it on my blog to which she replied, "As long as you let your readers know that I drew that two years ago.  And I didn't know how to spell very well."


So, please note this was drawn at the tender age of 5 but none other than Madeline Thomas.

"This is you and me working at the Factory."

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Random Thoughts

A few random things that happened today:

First off, can I give myself a tip and not wait an entire year next time to buy Thum??
Thum is the wickedly nasty lacquer you paint on if you want to break the thumb sucking/nail biting habit.  The main ingredient is cayenne pepper extract and let me tell you, its hot.....and nasty.  It instantly took me back to 1979.  Unfortunately, I was a bit more spirited (that's such a sweet way to describe myself at 5 yo) than Ellie and I would gnaw on my thumb until the lacquer wore off and then I was good-to-go.  Thumb sucking resumed.

Anyway, I finally picked some up last week and made a big deal of Lauren painting it on.  
Did it work?  Like. A. Charm.

She has not to much as put that thumb anywhere near her mouth. This, after 3 1/2 years of consistent thumb-in-the-mouth.  She is so proud of her paint job each day and refuses to "mess it up by getting it wet."
Are you kidding me?  I can't believe it is this easy.  I am still waiting for this to blow up in my face.  And for the bargain price of $2.79 and about 6 minutes of my time.

The other hilarious part of my day was when I came downstairs to find a sign on the front door. The girls love to make signs...especially when we are having company over.  Well, I went out to read it and here's what it said:
"Do to others as you would have them do to you!"
Our (former) Pastor is coming for dinner tonight.  
Brown-nose much?

Monday, September 22, 2008

Friendly Mom Tips

Occasionally, I like to give my tens of thousands (ok, its just tens) of readers a few helpful tips. These, said tips, have been passed along to me (I have no personal experience with them, nope. None.) and I - being the great friend that I am - would, of course, pass them along to you.

Wow.  That was the longest, run-on sentence with incomplete grammar and punctuation that I've ever written.

Ok, we're back.  Do you remember these tips?  A friendly Mom passed along some laundry tips - which of course I paid close attention to - and thus have not had any problems with laundry since.
But, in case you have:

Do Not... ask for a New-Mom-In-Town's phone number and then wash the paper with your dark load the next day.  That is the opposite of a friendly "Welcome to town!"  And, if you were to happen to do that, definitely do not call the horse farm you  just visited and appear to be stalking New Mom.  It does not go over well (or so I've heard.)

Do Not...  wash (sensing a theme here?) your $10 Born Free Sippee Cup in the washing machine and then spend the next 4 hours wondering if it is still BPA-free.  Even the FDA would agree that bisphenol-A does not enter the cup during the wash cycle.  They might wonder, however, why you aren't using the dishwasher.

Do Not... pretend that you are still the hip Mommy that knows how to ride horses (because you took one class in college, many moons ago) and offer to demonstrate trotting for other Mommies.  DO NOT DO THAT.  EVER.  Unless you like walking around looking extremely bow-legged and popping Advil.  For. Several. Days.

And Finally....Do Not.... put your children to bed absolutely filthy dirty, from an entire day of outside play, and complete with black feet from the trampoline, and expect the sheets to not have brown streaks on them the next morning.  
Bathe your children, that night, like any respectable parent would do.  

A final "thank you" to the gracious friend who passed these Friendly Tips along.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Stephanie - Our Missionary Friend

Madeline saw the post with her "missionary" picture and said, 
"Mom, you should have put Stephanie's picture with mine so they could see her too."

Here you go, Love.

Here's Steph in S. Afghan.  She is sitting on a Toshak (a form of mattress) - she rarely sits at a table or on a chair.
This is Stephanie near the Iranian border.  She is wearing a Chudar Namaz - all black. Sometimes she sends pictures of her with other women and makes us guess which one is her.  It's tough!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Bringing Home Johnathan

The adoption agency closed its doors, without warning (I'm sorry, with 2 weeks warning) and filed bankruptcy.  Unfortunately, they have our money.  All of Johnathan's files were transfered to a new agency.  New fees will need to be paid to the new adoption agency.  As you will see below, we really need you to let Oprah know.  Or Ellen.  Or The Today Show.  Really, anyone that might have a few extra bucks to help us get J home as soon as possible.  
**UPDATE**  - THANK YOU to the anonymous donors....your totals do not show in the Chip In but we sincerely appreciate your donations.
I'm about to get serious on you.  I know, I usually write funny (or not so - maybe you've just been humoring me all this time) tidbits about life in my family.  However, I'm taking a moment to share something serious.....seriously cool.

I should start by saying that I feel like I have the coolest family.  Really.  I am blessed beyond measure.  But there's an even cooler family out there and I need to tell you about them.  Ron's sister and her husband live down the street (I know - doesn't that ROCK!) and they have 7 children.  Ok, I am already getting ahead of myself.  Maybe I should just have you watch the video.....those 3 minutes will tell the story better than I ever could.

View this montage created at One True Media
A Father's Love 3/11/08

So, friends, family, anyone in cyberspace that is listening:  I need some help.  It is freakishly expensive to bring home children from China.  Freakishly.  As in, more than $20,000 each time you do it.  And, as you saw from the video, they have already done it twice.  Johnathan will be the 3rd little one to come home in just over 2 years.  Do the math.  Yikes.  

With 6 (almost 7) children to care for, that's a ton of moola.  But, if I can tap into a couple lattes from each one of you, we start to make some progress.  I'm setting my first goal at $2,000.  Its only 10% of what is needed but hey, you gotta start somewhere!

Its what any good and loving aunt would do.  And please, if any of you know Oprah, send her my blog link.  Then we can all go back to drinking lattes.

Click on the link to the right.  Help bring my nephew home.  Peace.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Throwback Friday

Our friend Stephanie recently returned from doing missions work in Afghanistan.  In January, she returns for another full year.  The girls adore her and especially love when she is dressed in her full garb.  Here is a shot of Maddie in her chador....pretending she is a missionary in Afghan.

Steph, this one's for you.  

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

In Memory of Macky

My child wants a pet so badly she has resorted to catching wild animals.  Entirely true.
Yesterday, with the help of a box and small broom, she managed to trap a wild rabbit.  Poor guy was innocently hopping along minding his own business before he found himself at the bottom of a Seventh Generation diaper box.

The kids quickly named their "new pet" rabbit, "Mack Thomrie" -- his middle name a combo of M&A's middle names -- Thomas and Marie.  

After carrying him around for several hours and lunching with him, I told M to put him back in the box in the garage and come inside.  She decided to show him to one more neighbor boy and in the process (of not obeying I might add here), Macky decided to bite her and make a run for it.....it being the big, green electrical box in the neighbor's yard.
(here is Mack's lunch of a carrot stick, some lettuce and a sawed-off dixie cup of water)

M came running home bawling and if you think it was over the bite, you aren't even close.  She was devastated that Mack had escaped and was no longer part of the family.  She was only momentarily distracted (fearful) when I called the Ped to make sure she didn't need a tetanus shot (she didn't.)

She might have ended her day by praying that Mack would jump up and ring the doorbell to our home signaling that he wanted to come back into the fold.

Mack "Macky" Thomrie
9/15/08, 11:15  -  9/15/08, 2:05

Monday, September 15, 2008

Remnants of Ike

Here is the beginning of the wind unleashing its furry.  I snapped this right before a slab of shingles almost flattened me.  

Here is one side of the roof after the roofers finished tarping it.  I kinda like the look.  I'm thinking about keeping it.

Yesterday was c-r-a-z-y.

We decided it would be a delightful day to celebrate 2 of my niece's birthdays at the park.  
Isn't this starting out so quaint?  Like a perfect Sunday afternoon?  Don't be fooled.
The park would have been delightful - had it not been for the 70 mph gusts of wind that accompanied us.  Leave it to our family to not check the weather....
We managed to frantically eat 2 small bites of cake before jetting to our cars.

We then decided to check on Ron's Grandma and found ourselves head to head with a gigantic tree which had fallen in the road.  The best part was when Ron thought he would "just move the tree so others could use the road" -- that is an entirely different entry.  I wish I could post the picture I took on my phone!

Afterwards, we pulled into the grocery to grab some milk for Gabbers.  We should have known something was amiss when we saw dozens of workers outside the store but did we turn around and flee?  We did not.  We learned that the store was closed (due to power outage) about 4 seconds before a flying grocery cart came crashing into the side of the Denali.  Damage?  Yes.

That's it though, right?  How could anything else possibly happen?  Well, I'm glad you asked. We arrived home to find hundreds of roof shingles flying off our roof.  Again, we should have known when we entered the neighborhood and saw large sheets of shingles flying around the main street.   
(Thank you to our many neighbors who phoned us and/or chased down shingles in the storm.)

I will post a picture later.....just to keep the comedy alive.  Praying that the roofers arrive before the rain.  
That is important when your roof is now plywood, right?

And please say a prayer for those hit by Ike.  We only caught a tiny, itty-bitty glimpse of him in our city and there are 250,000 homes without power....they are saying for maybe a week. Every school is closed.  Businesses are without power and internet.
I called the insurance company to file a claim on the roof and they said their systems are down and not to expect a call back until the end of the week.  If that is the case here -- with only a wind storm -- the people in TX need our help!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Skaters Interviewed

This just in.....we were able to catch a quick interview with the show's performers.  Here they explain the purpose of their show.

(scroll down to bottom and pause Playlist before watching interview)

The One-Footed Skaters

We had a very special performance here this morning.  The One-Footed Skaters, currently touring the US, stopped by to give us a private performance of their show. 

Aside from the trivial incident where one of the skaters physically assaults an audience member, I have to say - it rivals Cirque Du Soleil.

(and yes, they emptied Daddy's wallet before he escaped to work)

(scroll down to bottom and pause Playlist before watching)

Acceptance Speech

I just received my very first blog award.  I will pause for the erupting applause.
Thank you to AngiesAngel's for nominating me for this very prestigious award.  We met in blogger world and she's a pretty cool mama.

Apparently, in accepting this award, I must answer the following questions - ONE word only - and then nominate another candidate.
1. Where is your cell phone? car
2. Where is your significant other? work
3. Your hair color? Blondish-brown (hyphenated words so count)
4. Your mother? amazing
5. Your father? wise
6. Your favorite thing? newborns
7. Your dream last night? angels
8. Your dream/goal? giving
9. The room you’re in? office
10. Your hobby? reading
11. Your fear? dentist
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? here
13. Where were you last night? neighbor's
14. What you’re not? bored
15. One of your wish-list items? zooper 
16. Where you grew up? virginia
17. The last thing you did? cook
18. What are you wearing? yogapants (that is one word!)
19. Your TV? off
20. Your pet? lol
21. Your computer? mac-the-one-and-only
22. Your mood? content
23. Missing someone? definitely
24. Your car? denali
25. Something you’re not wearing? shoes
26. Favorite store? gap
27. Your summer? amazing
28. Love someone? God
29. Your favorite color? green
30. When is the last time you laughed? 8:30
31. Last time you cried? hmmm?
I am nominating my SIL over at Heart-Smiles who is patiently waiting for TA to bring Johnathan home.
See post on 9/4/08 for details.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

I'm sorry, what?

I met some girls for dinner and came home to find this list on my kitchen counter:

Pros -
* show affection - they lick you
* fun to play with
* protect you
* strong

Cons - 
* itchy eyes
* some aren't fluffy
* high maintenance (feed, water, potty, bathe, walk)

Pros -
* low maintenance
* fun to play with
* pick them up and cuddle
* fluffy and soft

Cons - 
* clean litter box
* spend lots of $  
* jump on tables
* get stuck in trees

I have no idea what this is all about but I want no part in it.....

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


my newest niece, Sarah Rae Christine.  Isn't she beautiful.     
Truly a miracle from God.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Beating the Mulch

I found this on YouTube and was appalled.  I'm relieved that's not my little one running around outside in a diaper.  We live in a suburb, for goodness sake.  A neighborhood.  That would be most unproper.  So relieved I have more couth than that.  Phew.

Throwback Friday

Ok, so we are only "throwingback" a week.  Remember Boys Will Be Boys?  This is Part 23.

Does he think he's out on the sidewalk?  Cause I'm pretty sure its the kitchen table.

I hate to break it to you, sweetheart, but you're not water skiing.

Musical Talent

Ron sings these crazy, off the cuff, made-up songs for the kids.  I knew he would really appreciate if I blogged one so we don't forget how special they are.  (read: obnoxious sarcasm)

(Sam, they aren't as abhorrent as your hip-hop shower singing)

I managed (regrettably) to remember this morning's and it is written below....along with my thoughts.

Goodbye guys, I have to leave - BOO!
(Excellent idea.  I, too, think you should stay.  Or we could play Trading Spaces?)
Don't think today you'll be wearing snow shoes
(Don't kid yourself.  Lauren just wore rain boots to the grocery and it was 95 degrees.)
It hasn't snowed in quite a long time
(Thank God.  When are you buying me that home in Costa Rica, btw?)
I wish someone would give me a couple of dimes
(Let's think big and move the decimal to the right about a dozen places.)


Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Keepin' It Real

A couple interesting things I've seen or heard around the house this week:

M: (as she sat reclined back in the chair on the patio, arms crossed behind the back of her head) "Now, this, is what I call a relaxing dinner."

G: Has now decided its great fun to throw his blanket and "wubie" (spell check, help me out) out of his crib during nap time and then yell for you to come and get them.  

A:  IS LEARNING TO READ!  Whooo's hooked on phonics?  ;)

L: OCD-ish about hand-washing.  If they are not completely and thoroughly dried she will say, "Ugh, my hands are still slimy!"

The other new thing she loves to say is "Ooooh, fiddlesticks!"  This can be used when she has fallen down, drops something or is told its bedtime.
I looked it up in Urban Dictionary and it was actually a swear word in the early 1900's. 
Vintage swearing.  Should I be discouraging this?

Oh, and I found my (new & slightly over-priced) Bare Escentuals make-up brush in the shower.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Blackberries, Bees and Boy was it HOT!

We went berry and tomato picking at a nearby organic farm today.  I wish I had a picture because it would be worth way more than 1,000 words.

I hear Madeline saying, "Mom, this is sooo beautiful!" and Lauren saying, "these berries are soooo yummy!" and all I can think is, "this is sooooooooooooooo bloody hot!"

HOT.  Really.  Flippin'.  Hot.  That could be because Gabe was - on my back - in the Kelty but even still, I got back in the car and the thermostat read 95 degrees.  Now, maybe its just me but you really shouldn't be on a farm, picking anything when its 95 degrees.  I honestly stopped and said a prayer for anyone that has to "pick" stuff for a living.  

No, I really did.

It was just a laughable moment.  Up until the point where Gabriel got stung by a bee.  Poor buddy.  He picked up (geez, doesn't his Mom watch him??) a bee to "play" with and it stung him right on the thumb.  Thank goodness for the goats which distracted him.  

So, for future reference, pick a breezy, cool day to take your gaggle out for a day at the farm.