"What lies behind us, and what lies before us are small matters
compared to what lies within us."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Monday, February 28, 2011

Sunday School

Every year I make the commitment for the kids to go to Sunday school. I don't really like it for many reasons. First, you have to wake up early, and rush around trying to find socks that match for four kids. Plus, they like parents to volunteer, which makes me break out in hives. Also, they want you to bake things, like homemade cupcakes with organic icing. My kids eat Fruit Loops for breakfast, so you can see my issues are prodigious.

Yesterday though, I realized I was wrong. They are learning some really wonderful things at Sunday School.

Anastasia rushed out of her class, grinning from ear to ear.
"What did you learn about God today sweetie?", I asked.

"Ummm, we colored a picture or something, but guess what!" she was really worked up.
Even I was starting to get excited as I anticipated a real revelation.
""My friend and I drew funny pictures of each other. I made Owen have a lettuce head and giant underwear! Then, we collected rocks."
Well, at least God might have gotten a good laugh!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Sunny Sunday

A friend of ours has horses and she invited us come to her barn today and ride them! I am kind of scared (ok, totally petrified) of horses, but I had to be brave so the girls wouldn't think I was a chicken! Anastasia was a little worried at first, Catherine wouldn't ride at all, but Isabella took to riding like she had been doing it all her life.

I am so darn glamourous...
We had so much fun!!!

Friday, February 25, 2011


At the risk of sounding like a terrible mom, I lost Catherine twice today. Both times were in our house. Our house isn't very big, so either she is really clever or I am an idiot.

I eagerly looked forward to Catherine's nap and laid her in bed and shut the door. Sweet silence for a whole hour. Then, I went to wake her up and she was gone. I didn't immediately panic, since she likes to hide. I looked everywhere, under her bed, in the closet, in the dresser drawer (she is really, really small as you will soon see). I looked in the bathroom and my room. Things were eerily quiet. Catherine is never quiet. I called and called for her. Nothing. Finally, I noticed the dog nosing around in the laundry. Yep, she had fallen asleep amid the mountain. No wonder I couldn't find her.

Later in the day, she was gone again. No one could find her this time, until.....

No wonder I buy wrinkle cream in bulk.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Happ Birthday from far away!

Today little Nastya turns two! I wish I was there with her. I wish she could have had the surgery she so desperately needs on her skull. She should have had the surgery when she was less than a year old. I'm starting to worry about what if's.

What is she goes blind from the pressure of her skulls being closed on her brain?

What if she has brain damage from not having the surgery soon enough?

What if she has hearing issues and pressure in her ears, which can be quite painful.

Could you all could say a prayer for Nastya today! Pray we can get her quickly!

If you would like to read about Nastya's condition, here is a good website:

You can donate to Nastya at http://reecesrainbow.org/category/rescued

Happy Birthday baby!!!!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Cheapo Mom vs. Barbie and Ken's new duds

Everyday I try to make sure my children never lack for new opportunities to learn. Today, they wanted to go to the store and have me actually purchase clothes for their Thrift store dolls. Dolls that cost about a quarter each.
"Oh, no, no", I cried, aghast. "you'll have so much more fun making clothes yourselves".
"How?" they whined.
"You are both so smart, I know you can figure out something!" I reassured them.
They did.
They figured out how to use two entire rolls of toilet paper wrapping up their baby dolls like little mummies. They lined them all up on the couch. It was kind of creepy.

I would have taken pictures, but I was too busy yelling.

They moved on to cutting clothes out of paper with my hair-cutting scissors that I was sure I had hidden.

Gotta go and hide the towels.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Mystery in the Night

For a while now we have had weird things happening while we are asleep. Weird things like pee on the floor. Lots of it. We assumed it was the dog, but how did the dog get pee so high up on a door? Then we blamed the cats and locked them in a room at night. A few nights ago, there was pee on my bedroom door and my door was shut. Hmmmm...

At 1:00 in the morning, my husband whispered in my ear.
"I know who's peeing!", he hissed.
I was pleased as punch to be woken up, but apparently this kind of news can't wait until morning.
He then regaled his story. He was up late watching tv, when he heard a shuffling sound, then a bang, then a stream of water. He thought the pipes had burst. Something had burst all right, but it wasn't related to our septic system.
It was our son.
He was sleepwalking and apparently dreaming about urinals.

What a great way to get my floors mopped by my favorite son!

Saturday, February 19, 2011


I was going to post about our fun Saturday, but then I read this and thought it was much more important!
This is Lovely. She was only weighs 1 pound, 10 ounces. She is only 20 days old and has survived this long without medical attention! She measures only 16 inches long.
Please pray for this little one and her mom!

This was written by a woman named Dixie who runs "God's Littlest Angels", an American run orphanage in Haiti:
"I decided yesterday to try and feed Lovely some of her mother’s breast milk by a tube into her stomach, giving her 1 teaspoon of milk every three hours. But during the night, she did not tolerate it very well and vomited once and then she vomited again this morning. I immediately stopped her feedings, but her lungs have “crackles” and I fear she aspirated some of the milk.

So we went through her heart rate dropping and oxygen saturation dropping.

Lovely’s mother is so young. I do not think she knows or understands just how serious Lovely’s condition is right now. She sits and watches us and we scurry around her tiny baby and I am sure she wonders what all of those tubes and medications are doing for her baby. The mother looks like a 12 year old. She is tiny and young herself! It is hard to believe she is actually 18 years old!

Please pray for Lovely. All of the staff really wants this baby to survive. We have had too many premature babies not survive lately."

God, please hear our prayers and be with little Lovely!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Terminator

My son has a special way with electronics. Last week, he left his school laptop on the edge of his desk. Need I say more? Who knew computer screens were so expensive?

Today, he did a complete system restore of our ancient computer. Apparently, this does not rejuvenate a computer, but erases everything!!! Pictures, gone. Documents, gone. Files, gone. EVERYTHING!!!!!

Let's just say my sweet son is going to be doing a lot of babysitting for the rest of his life!!! Go get him girls!!!

(I would post a picture, but they are GONE!!!!!)

By the way, one of my cats chewed my speaker wires, so I can't listen to anything either.
Coincidence, or diabolical plot?

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Lots of Trouble

People ask me all the time why I go to so much trouble to adopt. They are right. Adoption is a ton of work. First, you have the cleaning frenzy to get your house ready for the first homestudy visit. The night before our first visit, I stayed up all night to paint 20 steps (then a dog walked on it and I had to do it again). We even moved the refrigerator and cleaned under it!
Then, there is the local fingerprinting at the police office, the fingerprinting for the state, federal fingerprinting, all of which are not located in the same place. Waiting in lines getting things certified, making copies, applying for grants (which requires pages of documents), requesting records, trying to be patient, sleepless nights of worrying, praying, being afraid, and doubting what you are doing is right. The work really begins once you bring your child home. Adoption is all about loss. The child is being taken from everything they have ever known, even if all they have known is terrible. So expect some attachment issues. Little Catherine wouldn't look at me for months. Plan on behavioral problems, stealing, lying, screaming, physical problems, doctors appointments, and your other children want some attention too! Many times I have thought it would be so much easier to just go on a fabulous vacation and lie in the sun and only think of myself.

Unfortunately, there are many things to remind me why I adopt......

They are worth every paintbrush stroke, every penny and every gray hair on my head!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Peace at Last!

Usually, Catherine hangs on me and climbs on my lap when I try to use the computer. I finally found a way to get her to leave me alone for a few minutes when I want to use the computer.

"Come here Catherine, I need to wash your face."

She was out of the room so fast, I could feel a breeze!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

No Rest for the Weary

My kids always want me to lay down with them at night, secretly hoping that I will fall asleep with them. Yesterday I was so tired, I told them I would lie down with them for a little rest. I envisioned sweet cuddles and heart to heart talks. I should have known better. Nothing good can come from that many breathing creatures in a Hello Kitty bed.

Anastasia immediately launched into questions that made my brain hurt.
"Can we die if we breath in the carbon dioxide that we breath out?

Then, Catherine wouldn't stop singing "Santa Claus is coming to Town".
"Be quiet!", Anastasia, the hypocrite, bellowed.
"I can talk if I want to.", retorted Catherine, trying to shove Anastasia, but instead falling on my nose with her sharp little knees.

"Let's play the quiet game.", I suggested, brushing cracker crumbs off the sheets.

"Someone is touching my feet and I don't think it's human!", someone shrieked in the darkness.
Pandemonium ensued. Several things flew through the air before I could get the light on, one of them being my glasses.
Apparently, the dog was under the covers. I'm not sure which dog, but when another dog tried to join in, dog #1 got territorial and growled.
Catherine thought it would be helpful to dump the contents of her sippy cup on the dog.
At this point, I wasn't feeling too relaxed.
"I'm leaving!" I hollered.
"No, please stay Mom, we'll be quiet".
"I'm hungry".

This morning, my husband said he was tired, so he was going back to bed. I waited until he was snoring softly before I tossed all the kids onto the bed.
Happy Napping!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

One Very Small Word

3 letters can change your life.When I first received the draft of our homestudy the other day, our social worker had only approved us for one child. I was devastated. I talked to our social worker, who said, "You should just choose one". How could I ever choose? I'm sure it seems strange that I could be so devoted to children that I have never met.
She said, "It's going to be too hard with two special needs children".
I told her I know it will be difficult, but I wasn't here to have an easy life, but a life that was going to make a difference.
She said she would think about it. I prayed and prayed. The girls prayed with me (I'm thinking maybe God listens to children more, after all they are much more saintly than me!)

Today, I picked up the homestudy. Only one word was changed.
We are approved for two!!! Many lives will change because of that one little word.

Friday, February 11, 2011

H2O & Fun Friday

Catherine is big on questions. The other day, she asked me what water was made of. So, I told her and she ran off to make a mess.
Today, at IHOP, some guy said hi to her and she piped up, "Water is made of 2 Hydrogen and 1 Oxygen".
I sure wish I could take credit for her genes!!!

Here are a few Fun Friday pictures. We got manicures at casa de la mama, our fancy salon where even dogs get a French manicure.

(Poor Hugger is pretty humiliated by this treatment!)

We played sockball, which Catherine thought was hysterical.

Daddy attempted to take a nap.

Hugger did take a nap, on my bed!!! It's his fault that the bed looks messy, you know how neat I am!

Don't we live exciting lives? I know I am exhausted!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Hallelujah, Rejoice, Horray!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We got our homestudy today!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Holey Moley, we are really going to do this!!!!

Monday, February 7, 2011

New View

Adopting an older child can be tough. Yes, as everyone will tell you, it is rewarding, they can bond and it can be wonderful. But, it is tough because you don't have all those sweet memories of when they were little to fall back on when times are tough. When Elliot is obnoxious, I can ponder the day he made me breakfast (gummy fish and popcorn) when he was four. Isabella came to our family when she was seven. That is a lot of years that we missed with her. A lot of time for some really bad things to happen in the orphanage. Of course, I understand that some of her behaviors are because of her experiences, the lying, stealing, sneaky, passive aggressive stuff, but it still makes me mad. Everyone says how sweet she is and how beautiful and sometimes that makes me mad. This is unfair. She is sweet, she is beautiful, but the face she shows others is not exactly the real deal sometimes. I struggle to look past these negative things and focus on the positive. Sometimes I feel resentment though. Which I think makes me a pretty rotten person sometimes.

Today, Anastasia, who is seven, told me how Isabella said she wished she was only two years old.
"Why?" asked Anastasia, who always wishes to be older, so she could stay up late like her brother.
"Because then I could start over". Isabella told her.
This broke my heart into pieces.

Tonight, Isabella asked me if I thought her mom in Haiti would mind that she calls me mom. Then, she wondered if we could ever find her mom and dad again since there was the earthquake.

I realized that I just have no idea how courageous this child is. Maybe this is something I can remember when things get tough. Something stronger to bind us together, stronger than all those memories that are lost.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Loosing Calories

I didn't really think I needed to diet, but now that I am old (42!), I find the scale is not my friend. Lucky for me, my children are such sweet helpers. I got some delicious doughnuts with the yummy powder sugar at the store today. I ate one. ONE! Then, I made a big mistake. I left them on the counter unsupervised. Guess how many are left now?

When asked about the sad looking empty box, surprisingly, no one had any idea what had happened.

Don't even get me started on the missing jelly beans.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Super Heroes

I had a really productive day. I cleaned, mopped, and picked up 20,000 toys. Then, the phone rang.
A five minute phone call is all it takes for the dynamic trio to dismantle their beds and make tents.

I was going to bake cookies later,(ok, really I was going to open a box of Chips Ahoy, but I really have been thinking of using my oven for more than storage), but thanks to the super hero known as Sticky Chick, who has super powers of gluing mixed with creativity, I have pet rocks on my cookie sheet.

Messy Girl to the rescue! No chocolate was harmed to make this picture. Notice the chocolate in her hair!

I went to get the mail. Notice the clean silverware and dishes Amazing Miss lugged outside, along with clean blankets on the dirt.

Last night, I got out of bed to go to the bathroom and found my spot was taken by Messy Girl and Sticky Chick (notice Dad Man did not wake up).

How do the work so fast???!!!

I love those little tornadoes!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Not Perky

I wish I could be writing something clever and witty tonight, but I just don't have it in me. My very first cat, Jamie, who is 12, is dying. I just found out today that she has a rare bacteria in her red blood cells. I have been giving her under the skin fluids with a needle today. It's so hard to stick her, but she is really dehydrated. The vet said we can try to treat her with a really strong anti-biotic to kill the bacteria, but the antibiotic is so strong, it could kill her. So, I have to decide what to do. Me and me alone. It sucks.

We were supposed to get our homestudy last Friday and we still don't know what's going on. I am trying to be patient, but it is always on my mind.

I have a huge meeting with my son's school tomorrow so the school will get their act together and teach the boy in a way he can learn. It should really be a blast.

Hardships make me stronger, right? So why do I feel like crying?

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


I had to go to the doctor to get a physical to adopt. Foolishly, I scheduled it for a time when my husband wasn't home, insuring that I would have to take all three girls with me. The doctor frowned.
"Shouldn't they be in school, or do you homeschool them?" she grimaced, as if she had just eaten a hairy monkey eyeball.

Then, she asked me how much I exercised.
"Well, I do have four kids." I attempted to joke.
She stared. "No, I mean do you do a cardio work-out four times a week?"
This wasn't going well.

Finally, she asked if I had ever drank, smoked or done drugs. I decided to be safe and say no.
"Never" she smirked.
"Well, I do an occasional reefer on the playground." I responded.
"Reefer, reefer", chanted little Catherine.

She hasn't given me my letter of approval yet.
I think it will really put a smile on her face when she sees my husband show up for his appointment next week, with all of us by his side.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Happy Birthday!

Birthday are usually such an exciting time. Little Catherine will be four in 6 months! To me, four kind of marks the end of toddler-hood. There's so much to celebrate, how much you love them, how much they've grown and learned. Lots of cake
with gooey icing and presents.

Four years old means a totally different thing in orphanages. When you turn four in an orphanage in Eastern Europe, you have a very different kind of day. You get visited by a doctor who prepares your paperwork so you can be transferred to an adult mental institution. You get to take your first car ride and your last car ride as they drive you to the institution. You are forced to leave everything that is familiar to you, everyone you know.

This is Masha. Masha is four, but she is the size of a 12-month-old baby - so tiny!!! Her sweet little eyes are crossed and her hair is shaved. She takes a lousy picture.
She is a week away from being transferred. Here is her information from Reecesrainbow.org

Girl, Born January 10, 2007

Photo dated Feb 2010. This beautiful muffin…..Masha struggles with many symptoms of FAS (fetal alcohol syndrome).
From her medical records: Diagnosis: mother was an alcohol addict. This little one has so much potential.
Her strabismus (crossed eyes)have gotten worse, and at 3 she is still not walking. Masha needs a family to help her be all she can be!

Masha is not only what you see in her description, which sounds scary.
There is a family at her orphanage right now and this is what they said about Masha.
"Oh Masha is so, so precious and smart and friendly!! She is happy and curious and just a delight!!She kept playing peek a boo with us and waving and talking to us in her language but never the less she was talking. The speech therapist came in to work with the kids and soon it was Masha's turn. But here is where it gets very sad....the doctors were there to do medicals for the children being transferred to the adult mental institute sometime in the next week and Masha is one of them. Please someone come forward right now and be her family."

Regrettably, this orphanage is one of the poorer ones, with very little outside aid and very little hope. All of the children are tiny and undernourished. These children are immediately transferred at 4, and have little chance of survival where they are sent.