Sunday, November 30, 2008

Vote for Owen!

Owen won!  His site received the top number of votes and will receive $250.  Thanks for voting!

Please head over to my SIL's blog and vote for Owen!  It takes about 2 seconds (today is the LAST day to vote!) and you could very well help raise some funds to bring Owen home to his forever family!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

(craft compliments of Madeline)

"Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good.  His love endures forever."  
Psalm 107:1

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Christmas Town!

Our fun decorating memories included Gabriel smashing 2 (very old and sentimental) ornaments together like cymbals.  We had a good laugh as there will be many more to replace them.

I managed to capture this photo of Ron putting up the garland and lights. 
(notice Gabe begging/crying, "Up! Up!")

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Friendly Mom Tip

Its been quite a while since I had a good, friendly tip to pass along.  

(I am just sitting here....trying to figure out how to tell this story without looking like mean-grouchy-Mommy?  Pretty much impossible.  Just start typing.)

I threw my child's craft out the car window today.

Madeline came out of Art class with a really gooey, gobs-of-paint, not-even-close-to-dry craft. 
Am I the only one that thinks DRY crafts are good ones to send home?

We start the drive home and Madeline begins to explain that her art teacher said to be "very careful" because this "special" paint only comes out with bleach.
Am I the only huge fan of washable paints?

I try not to notice that not only are both of our hands covered in said paint, but her (brand new, first-time-to-wear) shirt is also adorned with this lovely liquid.

We take a corner and the craft slides.  I now see paint on the car leather.  
Another left turn.  The craft comes into contact with a book.
Next turn.  It almost lands on the carpet.
Paint is everywhere.

And that is when Crafty Craft found its way onto the pavement.  I wish I could say I had thought it through more carefully.  I just popped open the window and tossed it out.

I am proud of my daughter for how she handled her mean-grouchy-Mommy.  It took grace.
Not only did I need to apologize for tossing out her craft but I had to say I was sorry (to the whole gaggle) for littering.  
Not Ok.  Definitely. Not. Ok.
I am thankful for grace.  

And so, my friends, do not -- in a moment of sheer frustration -- toss your child's craft out the window.  Don't do it.
Just a Friendly Mom Tip.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Gotcha Day!

Gotcha Day! is a term used in the adoptive community to describe the day when the adoption is finalized.  Today was Maximus' Gotcha Day and we all headed to the court house for this momentous occasion. 

Gotcha Day! was about to take on a few extra meanings.

We arrive early (of course!  I wouldn't want to make a scene with GLAM now, would I?) and I park the car and tell the kiddos to unbuckle and unload.

I am contemplating whether to take the double stroller, going back and forth, with a mental list of the pros and cons.  Finally deciding that pushing 2 toddlers (with the other 2 in tow) through a court house will be less obvious (and require less energy) than toting them on my hip(s).  

We get inside the court house and see that "Adoption" is on the 2nd floor.  Easy enough.
Upon arriving, I double check to make sure this is where the Honorable Judge Spicer will be holding his proceedings.  It pains me (again) to report that we are not in the correct building.

Apparently, there is another Family Services building where Judge Spicer bangs his gavel and since this is his court room, we will go to him.  How do you get there, again?

We head back out and down a block to the correct location.  We meet Max on the way -- looking dapper -- and maintain our composure.
(read: try not to breathe like you just finished a marathon)

Upon entering the 2nd building, I quickly realize the double stroller was a VERY. BAD. IDEA. This building is much smaller and the security area is about 6 inches from the front door.  We bid Max adieu (mainly to save him from embarrassment) and begin the rigorous process of de-clothing, I mean coating, and putting everything through the security scanner.  

I can't even re-live the tugging/wrenching/heaving process it took to get said stroller through the security check point for fear that I will break out in hives.  

Once I think we are (OMGoodness-finally) done, I am detained for questioning as the officer needs to see the "EpiPen" in my purse.  After a lot of digging, I finally produce a Matchbox car and am released.

Did I mention I am sweating profusely at this point?  Really.  Who needs Pilates?

In the end, the proceedings went beautifully (Gabe has a massive bowel movement in his diaper) and Max was a complete angel (Lauren keeps saying, "I thirsty!") during the entire thing.  It got a bit teary eyed when Sam and Jen (Abby keeps asking to sit beside me) were asked to explain their commitment and bond to Max.  

Friday, November 21, 2008

Throwback Friday

Warning: this is the best Throwback Friday ever.
Here is the first picture we ever saw of my sweet nephew, Johnathan.  February 2008.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

RAK Wednesday

The girls decided to write a letter and mail it to someone who would least expect it. 

Since I love to get fun mail, I thought it was a fabulous idea.  It literally takes 5 minutes and 42 cents and it will really make someone smile.

Who could you drop a note to?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

My Nephew is Home!

Johnathan is finally here.  Thank you God!  

Monday, November 17, 2008


Could those be snowflakes on our roof?
Let's throw our wellies on and go investigate.
Yep, winter is coming!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Throwback Friday

I was howling with laughter when I ran across this photo today.
Ron had purchased some new light bulbs that he thought would be "perfect" for the kitchen table.

I know a few of you were over to dinner that night - was it you Bex?  We definitely laughed -- and squinted -- our way through dinner that night!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Photo Tag

I was photo tagged and apparently I am to post the 6th picture from the 6th album on my computer.  
Of course its my husband being a goof ball....per the usual.
In lieu of "tagging", I will let you choose to participate.  Come on, its fun!
(in case you think this has anything to do with me being too lazy to officially tag and link up your blog, you are wrong.  I do not have a barnacle - aka Gabe - attached to me.  Nope.  So, if you are reading this, consider yourself tagged.)

Boys will be Boys

I know, this is edition 486.  Didn't I just post this one like 2 seconds ago?

I snapped a couple funny photos of him yesterday which I had planned to post last night.  Well, that was before my little man decided to jettison himself out of his crib -- head first -- onto the floor.

I heard a (scary loud!) thump and as I am running toward the nursery, (I was not laying in bed leisurely reading and eating hummus and pita chips.  Of course not.) I see his door open and he comes toddling out holding his forehead.  I maintained my composure. 
(read:  I was completely freaking out...quietly)

Might I mention at this point that I pulled the very same stunt at the tender age of 12 months....and weighing a mere 16 lbs?  

So, today, my little man, we are off to buy you a crib tent.  It's going to be a we're-camping-out-every-night kinda deal.  You're going to love it.

Back to our originally scheduled program:
Hmmm.  I think I'll sharpen a pen.  Even though there is a pencil sitting right here.  
Yes!  I hear the motor making a very weird (fantastic!) noise.  
Hi Mom.  What?  I'm just hanging out....not sharpening a thing.  I'm just sitting here on top of the desk.  And I'm not even messing with your computer.  I know you don't like that.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

RAK Wednesday

The girls are anxiously planning our RAK for today

They have decided to bake some homemade cookies and deliver them to a neighbor that we don't know very well.
(if you like this idea, pick a neighbor that is not a complete stranger....or they might just chuck your cookies in the trash!)

If we have time after the baking session, they want to finish raking our next door neighbor's leaves.

What is your RAK today?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

And Speaking of Squeezing!

I might have hijacked the post below from my SIL's blog who hijacked it from her sister's blog.
Hey, we're all family here.
(oh, compare this picture to my sidebar picture - he's gotten bigger!  Little buddy.)
God is good...all the time.  But some days my radar is more tuned in to this truth than others....Today was the first full day we relished in the reality that Johnathan was safe and happy in his Daddy's arms.  Today was the day that Johnathan ventured for 90 minutes in the outside world to meet the man that would have thoughtfully packed a bag of goodies just for him.  And today is the day that Stripey Man got to hold his Stripey boy....the boy he had been praying for and anxiously plotting their times together.  Today Johnathan got to meet his forever family on Skype...a video conferencing tool that I knew nothing about five years ago but that has played a significant role in my sister's growing family.  Today is the day that six beautiful children got to laugh with and share together in the joy of their precious baby brother....the brother who will snuggle to read books with them, sneak their french fries, and surely will want to do everything his big brothers are doing.  And today is the day that I got to see my sister's life feel slightly more complete....she has dreamed and prayed over this day for days, weeks, months, and in many ways, for years.  Her family is her ministry and her life...I am so very thankful for this most amazing day when she could hear the laughs of all these children at the very same time.  Thank you Jesus.  Truly, God is good, all the time.  We can't wait to see you Johnathan.  We love you!!!

Couldn't You Just Squeeze Him?

I bought this Pumpkin Patch coat for my nephew Shayden.
Doesn't he just look yummy?

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Out of the Mouths of Babes

As I cleaning up after breakfast this morning:

Come here love, let me wipe off your mouth.

You know Mom, I don't have to look perfect.

And why is that, sweetie?

Because each one of us is perfect just the way we are.

And today's lesson will be on humility....

Friday, November 7, 2008

Throwback Friday

Ok, I've been promising an authentic Throwback Friday photo.  Here you go...
Senior Prom - May 1992 (no I did not.  change the font size for that part.)

And as a side note:  Ron and I were "only friends" back then -- we did know each other and had been out on a "just friends" date.  Funny how God's plan can be different from your own.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

RAK Wednesday

Random Acts of Kindness

There is nothing more amazing than surprising someone with something unexpected.  Be it a stranger or a long-time friend.

One of our family favorites is to take a bottle of Gatorade out to each of the guys that pick up our trash each week.  As he girls ran out the bottles this morning, they had the (brilliant) idea to make every Wednesday a RAK day.

So, we are inviting you to join in with us.  Think of something random and kind to do for someone today.  I promise it will bless you as much as it will bless them.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Question of the Day

Guess what my Car Questions were today?

Mom, who shot Abraham Lincoln?  What was the name of the other President that was killed?  And why?

Wikipedia is soooooo much better at this kinda thing than I am:

Abraham was shot by John Wilkes Booth

Unfortunately, 3 other U.S. Presidents were assassinated: 
James Garfield
William McKinley
John F. Kennedy

There were also attempted assassinations on 12 additional Presidents, the latest of which was sitting President, George W. Bush.  He has had 2 attempted assassinations.  The first was outside the White House in 2001 and the 2nd was during a speech in Tbilisi, Georgia.  Both men were convicted.

(oh, and that was for your reading pleasure.  My kiddos got the very simple-- and vague-- answer.  As well as a few questions of my own like, Where did you hear this? and Why is it coming up?)

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Hippopotamus Diet

Seems like a bit of an oxymoron, doesn't it?  

We were headed to the zoo yesterday when one of the kids asked me what hippos eat.  Now, I looooooooove these questions when I'm near Mac
(nothing wrong with looking like Super Mom occasionally)
The car is an entirely different story.  I stalled for time and then replied, "Grass?"

I went on to explain that they eat lots of different things (random guess) and would everyone like to find the hippos as soon as we get to the zoo (can't remember where they are despite bimonthly zoo visits) and there we can read the exhibit because it will tell us everything they eat. 

As I finish outlining our (rather brilliant) plan of attack, Lauren pipes up from the back seat, 
"Or, we could just Google it Mom."

I think they're onto me.