Thursday, July 31, 2008
Another Big Change
A few days ago I took Samantha, who will be entering 7th grade this year, out on a little date. We went to the Ulta Beauty store where I let her get a mini makeover. It was fun, and FREE. We then went over to Panera Bread for dinner.

While eating dinner I dropped the Bomb. That would be the home schooling Bomb. Lets just say there was a loud explosion when the bomb finally hit its target.

Dave and I have been talking all summer about how we can make our lives easier and more enjoyable. Last school year was a nightmare. We had 5 kids in four different schools and I spent two hours a day (not to mention lots of gas) dropping off and picking up children.

If that wasn't bad enough we had three different school calendars going on. Some kids would be in school while others were on break. It was crazy and also very hard to plan any kind of family get away.

About six months ago we started discussing bringing the younger kids home to school. The more I thought and prayed about it I knew it was what we should do. I feel like a huge stress and burden has been lifted off my shoulders, and I am really excited for this new experience.

The kids, well, not so much.

Garrett came home from football practice earlier this week in tears. I ran to him thinking he had been hurt. I was asking questions but he wasn't responding, he just kept crying and looking at me like he was really really mad. His father comes over and says to me "I just told him". It seems this child wasn't any more excited about the prospect of home schooling than his sister.

Our two High School kids came to the defense of there younger siblings asking how we could do such a thing to them. Then all the kids stormed off together to bond over this great injustice that was being thrust upon them.

Well, that was several days ago and things have begun to thaw............I'll tell you all about that tomorrow.


  posted at 7:50 AM  

Tuesday, July 29, 2008
I Love Ice Cream, Don't You?
A month ago we started looking around for a good deal on a little truck for our two teenage boys to share. I look through adds online each day looking for that perfect deal we just can't pass up.

I came across this last night.

I especially love the 22" fancy rims. Quite a deal I thought for $4,000.00.

The boys didn't seem all that excited but I was trying to convince them that this could be their first entrepreneurial adventure. They could sell ice cream out of the back during lunch at school to pay for gas.

They. Were. Not. Amused

I also tried to talk them into the little old fire truck I found on Ebay. They didn't like that either.

Kids these days. There really is no pleasing them.

  posted at 8:29 PM  

Monday, July 28, 2008
My Little Tom Boy
Today I went shopping for Paige's birthday present. She turns 5 today but we aren't celebrating until Sunday.

I decided to drive out to the big Toys R' Us about 30 minutes away so I could have a big selection and find the "perfect" gift just for her.

I looked in the little girl section and found an amazing supply of Barbies, Baby Dolls, and dress up clothes and even put a few things into my cart. However, after a few minutes I realized I was buying her things she really wouldn't play with (they were the things I wanted to play with). She likes babies and dolls OK, but she prefers trucks and trains. I still have not given birth to a girl that loves Barbies like I did as a child.

So, off I went to the boys area where I found a new Thomas the Tank Engine train I knew she would love to add to her collection along with this bridge. I bought her more digging utensils for the back yard (the dog had chewed up the others), some wooden Melissa and Doug Bead sets, this cute princess set (she loves magnets) and this because she loves to make music (I also got the microphone that you can sing into and it records your voice). She probably really would have liked the boys wooden tool box with all the hammers and nails but I had spent my limit and that will have to wait until Christmas.

Maybe our new Ethiopian daughter will want to play Barbies with me. Anyone out there have a Barbie loving girl they would like to share until then? I really want to play dress up with someone. Though I do have to admit......I love the trains and dirt too. I wouldn't change anything about this sweet 5 year old girl for ANYTHING! Messy hair and all.

Side Note: Our little dog Jo Jo is doing much better and has been running around the house all day biting at our toes. I feel such relief that she is OK, she has grabbed all of our hearts and is already such a wonderful part of our family. Thanks so much for all the kind words and prayers.

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  posted at 5:02 PM  

Saturday, July 26, 2008
Jo Jo The One Pound Wonder Dog
We have had a busy and event filled week.

Samantha's new litte dog, Jo Jo, decided that she wasn't feeling well and started not wanting to eat. This made her blood sugar so low that she passed out and scared the you know what out of all of us. We took her to the vet and they thought she might have a parasite but nothing was showing up in her stool samples.

I took her to the vet several times last week, and each time she weighed all of ONE pound. This girl needed to eat. She is a very finicky eater so we thought she just wasn't liking what we were offering her. The vet gave us some special food with added minerals and vitamins in it and she ate that ok for about 24 hour hours.

Zach was playing in a baseball tournament all week and Garrett was attending a baseball camp all week. Add that to taking the dog to the vet several times and spending hours trying to spoon feed her nourishment and you get one hectic week.

I want to add that Samantha was doing a great job taking care of her little dog. However, it would become apparent very soon that this dog had problems that were way bigger than this 12 year old could handle.

Zach had a double header about 30 minutes from our house on Thursday. The first game started at 3:00 so I went and left the other kids home to monitor the dog. They won there game and therefore were having a second game at 8:00 p.m.. I left and came home to check on everyone and when I walked into the door Samantha met me with a worried look in her eyes. Jo Jo was very listless again and not eating.

Listless was a major under statement. When I picked her up she couldn't hold her head up and if you set her down her legs went right out from under her. By now the vet was closed so I rushed her to the emergency animal hospital about 30 miles away praying the whole time she didn't die right there in the car. I was really scared.

We arrived at the vet and they took her right in and put her on a IV to get her blood sugar levels up. He was pretty sure she did not have Parvo, one of the first things you think of with a puppy, however he was also perplexed as to why she was not eating. She perked up pretty quickly once her blood sugar levels came back up and I left her there for the doctor to run some tests. I was a nervous wreck. I had left Samantha at home crying, terrified that her little dog was dying, and to be honest I wasn't really sure if she was going to be OK or not.

The emergency vet happened to be close to the ball field Zach was playing at so I headed over there to pass some time until the vet called me back. I got a call about 45 minutes later. It seems our little one pound wonder has a parasite that this veterinarian has only seen four times in his 25 years of practice (my kids always get strange ailments, why should our animals be any different?). The parasite dies within a few minutes of hitting the open air so that is why it wasn't showing up in any stool samples I had taken to the vet earlier in the week. He was treating her and though she would be just fine after a few days.

Whew. I was so relieved and so was Samantha when I called her. I picked Jo Jo up at the hospital the next morning at 7:30 a.m. with instructions to make sure I fed her every two hours to keep her blood sugar levels up. She should start feeling better in about 24 hours. So, for the last two days it has been like having a new born in the house. We have been spoon feeding her baby food (she likes the Gerber's turkey with gravy the best) and force feeding her honey to keep her blood sugar levels up. When I carried the dog into our bedroom at 3:00 a.m. this morning because she wouldn't eat and I needed Dave to help me you should have seen the look on his face. We thought we were done with middle of the night feedings.

The good news is that this morning Jo Jo seems much better and she actually ate about a tablespoon of real dog food. She seemed very hungry and played for about ten minutes after she ate. This is a HUGE improvement. We are all thrilled.

Now I am off to clean my house. We have family coming over tomorrow and with all the running around this week and drama the house is a mess. I am waaaay behind. So the troops are ready for action with mops and brooms and I am off to supervise and help.

Perhaps if I'm lucky, there is a nap in my future.

  posted at 10:20 AM  

Friday, July 18, 2008
The Contract
When our oldest daughter, Samantha, was around 9 she asked her Dad if she could get a little dog for her birthday. He told her no, that we already had a dog. She pleaded and begged and finally he told her that she could have a little dog all her own when she was 12, and old enough to take care of it herself.

She promptly took pen to paper and made up a contract stating that when she was 12 she could get a little dog all her own. We signed it. And then forgot all about it. Until she turned 10 the next year and happily proclaimed that she only had two years to wait until she could get her dog.

What dog, we asked? The one you told me I could get when I was 12. "We never told you that" I said. "Oh yes you did" our oldest daughter proclaimed smugly. "Seeeee" (as she produces the signed contract we had obviously forgotten about from the year before).

The contract jogged my memory and I knew we were in big trouble. She had saved it between her mattress that entire year. The next year she turned 11 and happily proclaimed she only had one year left until the dog would be hers.

Sigh. What do you think the odds are that she will forget about this by her next birthday I asked hubby? "Slim to none" he replied. "Yeah, I thought so" I said defeated.

I felt we really had enough on our plate without adding another animal. However, a deal was a deal. As her twelfth birthday approached this past April talk of the dog was at a fever pitch. The contract we had signed was hanging on our daughters wall. There was no getting out of this.

In March we told her we would honor the contract and get her a dog when she got out of school for the summer. That way she would have all summer to train her puppy and take care of his/her needs as she would be completely responsible for the dog.

We started looking and had a hard time finding her "dream dog" somewhere in our price range. I refused to pay $1,500 for a dog. We searched rescue agencies online and the local dog shelter weekly but never found just what she was looking for. Until three weeks ago.

We found her.....

All one and a half pounds of her. Meet Jo Jo. Our daughters dream come true. Her cute little 9 week old puppy.
This is our very tired daughter with her little dog. He doesn't really like to sleep at night yet.
I told her this is good training for when she becomes a mom. She bathes her, gives her medicine each day (she seems to have a low blood sugar problem) and rocks her to sleep. She is working on the potty training but the blades of grass are still bigger than the dog so she isn't real sure about going outside yet. She prefers the newspaper.

She is a really sweet dog and we have all fallen in love with her. Samantha is doing a great job and I can see that she will be a really good mommy some day. That's if she doesn't decide to go to law school first. Her legal mind is a little scary. and fun. and remarkable. Man I love that kid.

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  posted at 1:46 PM  

Sunday, July 13, 2008
Surfer Girl
These waves don't look to bad.
Hey, those guys are really far out there. Wait for me!
Dang, I fell off.

This is harder than it looks.
I'm ready for a break.

Building a sand castle is much more fun. The shells have to be placed just in the right place.
A castle fit for a queen. Or a four year old princess.


  posted at 6:43 PM  

Saturday, July 12, 2008
The Long Awaited Update
I had a little panic attack regarding our adoption about six weeks ago. All of our paper work was done and had been sent off to the Secretary of State for Authentication when our family discovered that my mom was ill.

She had been feeling OK but upon a routine blood check they discovered she had a very high white blood cell count. After a few weeks we were told she has ALL which is an acute form of Leukemia.

I had my little freak out and wasn't sure we should be adopting if my mom may get really sick. I would obviously want to be there for her and wasn't sure how that would work with a new little one or two in the house who also really needed me at the time.

Over the past few weeks God has comforted my heart and let me know it will be OK. My mom looks great and is feeling fine at this time. They discovered she had ALL by chance so she has not started showing any symptoms and could not for many years. Our extended family encouraged us to continue on our original path assuring us that if anything happened we would not be alone and the entire family would work together to see that everyone was taken care of.

This made me feel immensely better so we are back on track (after a few month delay) and anxiously hoping to have all our documents in Ethiopia very soon. There was something wrong with the signature on the the license from our Home Study agency so I have to get a new copy from them for the Sec. of State. Other than that all our documents are done and waiting to be sent off.

Truth be told I am not sure I really could have halted this adoption. My heart has already been attached to the children there.

When I look back at the timeline we had set for ourselves we had hoped to be traveling this summer to pick up our kiddos. I never would have dreamed that nine months into the process we would not have even gotten our paperwork there. I am sure there is a reason for this and I try and remind myself DAILY that God is in control of this journey and not me. I'm sure there are reasons why our timeline has been extended. I just need to keep reminding myself of that.

I will let you know when we send everything off to our agency, hopefully very soon. If California has an earthquake you will know it is the day we sent everything off, all my jumping up and down caused a seismic disturbance. The courts close in Ethiopia on August 5 this year and do not reopen until some time in October. Our agency will continue to give referrals while the courts are closed but no one will be traveling until the Fall.

OK, OK, I would love a quick referral. The odds of that are not good however. I am praying for a referral before the end of the year. However, I am repeating my mantra that "God is in control of the situation" over and over so as not to drive myself crazy.

If you know me, no comments on the last sentence. Yes, I know. I am already crazy!

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  posted at 8:13 AM  

Monday, July 07, 2008
The Fourth and The First Day Of School
Our family had a wonderful weekend. All of my siblings (4 total) but one were able to join us for a few days of fun. We swam, had fireworks, hot fudge sundaes, water gun wars, and several pinochle games where the sisters were victorious. I ate so much I still feel like I might explode. I think it may be water only for me today.

Paige started Kindergarten today. She was very excited to go until she discovered it was at a new school and a new teacher. There were some tears but I think she will do fine overall. I was sad to send her off today because all the other kids are home for at least another month.

I have started researching home school groups in our area and have been pleased to find so many with so many options as well. Dave and I are pretty sure we are going to home school our 4th and 7th grader next year and let the teens continue at the high school. If we do this we can have everyone on the same schedule which will make life a lot easier and more enjoyable for us all.

We haven't told them yet. I wanted to figure out which group we were going to join, etc. before telling them. They won't be happy at first but I really believe they will love it once we get started. I would love to home school Paige as well but she really needs the speech and occupational therapy right now so I am keeping her in her "special" class for at least another year.

We have lots going on with the adoption also but I am out of time. I'll try and update on that subject tomorrow.

Have a great day!

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  posted at 12:22 PM  

Wednesday, July 02, 2008
Today In Bullets

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  posted at 8:36 AM  

Tuesday, July 01, 2008's sucking the fun out of our lives
I grew up lighting sparklers and roman candles on the 4th of July. These were some of the happiest days of my childhood. I want my kids to experience our Independence Day the same way I did.

However, it seems that fireworks are illegal in our town. Why does it seem that everything fun has to be over regulated (did you die from not wearing a helmet as a kid?). Do politicians enjoy sucking the fun out of everything?

This mom has had enough. Today we drove 45 minutes to another town where there kids still get to have fun. I bought sparklers, and cones and all the fun things I remembered from my childhood. These were safe and sane fireworks, nothing that launches into the air and can cause a fire.

The man at the stand told me this would be there last year. There city had recently banned fireworks as well. Geez!!!

I think I'm going to move to North Dakota. I hear there kids get to have all kinds of fun doing things that the kids living in my state can only dream about.

What about you, are you a fireworks family?


  posted at 12:17 AM  

Lilypie Countdown to Adoption tickers
About Me...


I am a spontaneous, out going, daughter of the King, who is married to a wonderful guy who is a quiet, shy, non-spontaneous, scientist who also loves the Lord. Truly a match made in heaven! We fight and argue, love and laugh, every single day. I am passionate about orphan care and love to tell our story to anyone who will listen. This blog is dedicated to that journey.

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Cast Of Charachters

Me and Samantha (13)

Tyler (16) with Grandpa and Grandma

Hubby and Zach (18) at a game

Garrett (11) and Paige (6)

Waiting for a court date!

The Gang

Jo Jo


Mr. Fluffy Bottoms

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Blessed By Adoption

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Words To Live By
"Sons are a heritage from the Lord, children a reward from him. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them."
~Psalm 127
"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.
James 1:27

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