Sunday, November 30, 2008

Thirty-Two Snippets

Since Katie meant to tag me for this meme, and since she's such a good friend, I'll humor her.

Eight Things I'm Looking Forward To:

1. Fresh eggs from our chickens
2. my book club meeting in December
3. new cabinet doors for the guest bathroom
4. finishing the quilt I keep forgetting about
5. finding out what happens to Fanny in Mansfield Park
6. Elena's 9th birthday
7. 2nd Christmas with the triplets
8. date night swap next week

Eight Things On My Wish List:

1. Another Jane Austen book
2. refinished floors
3. a new computer, but I'll keep using the kids' (it's so much better!)
4. a healthy neice or nephew this year
5. gas prices to stay this low forever
6. Pedro to be protected and blessed
7. My triplets to know how much I love them
8. All my kids to know how very grateful I am for them

Eight TV Shows That I Watch(ed when we had TV):

1. 17 Kids and Counting (I watch this at a friend's house every week.)
2. Good Eats
3. Iron Chef America
4. Wipeout
5. I don't/didn't watch 8 shows, what can I say?

Eight Things I Did Yesterday:

1. Woke up late
2. Met an internet friend and her sweet family
3. Took the kids to hear the wind symphony
4. Ate lunch at the park
5. Bought toilet paper since we only had 1 roll in the house!!
6. IMed various Bettendorfs
7. Went to the library
8. Had a home date with Kyle

And I tag: Faith, Mariposa, Jamie, Vicki, Gretchen, and Renee.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Thanksgiving Tears

Last night, when we arrived home from the Thanksgiving festivities with the Clarks, Maya and Isaac got out of the car crying. Surprised, I asked: What's wrong?

I . . .miss. . .my. . .mom.

I think the holiday season elicited some strong emotions in my Liberians. So, we prayed for Nan, their birthmom, and all wrote her a letter. Elena wrote this super sweet note:

Dear Nan,

This is from Elena, Maya's sister. Maya and Isaac miss you. And Daniel can ride a bike with no training wheels. I know you mite note believe it. He can even ride a big bike with no training wheels. Isn't that amazing. And I wish I could see your face. Maya says your beatyful.

Love, Elena

Since I know a lot of my readers are adoptive moms, I gotta ask: What do you do when your little adoptee has these emotional moments? How do you comfort them?

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A Good Cry

I'm not much of a crier really. I've always wished I could be one of those girls that cries at sappy movies and Hallmark commercials, but alas that isn't me. I don't cry at the drop of a hat to be sure.

I cry when my babies are born, and I cried when we picked up Maya, Isaac, and Daniel from the airport. I cried when Stacey left us.

And Saturday, I cried because we weren't going to be able to get a family photo done like I had hoped. You see, we haven't had a family photo taken, professional or otherwise, since the adoption. That was over a year and a half ago. A good friend offered to take a family photo for us as an adoption gift, but it never happened and then she moved out of state. We tried several times to make it work after that but never could get the timing right. We were available, but the photographer wasn't; we were all ready to go, but it rained; somebody got sick; etc etc.

So, Saturday, my best friend, Gretchen, planned to do a photo shoot for us and I was super excited. Long story short, we weren't able to get it done then either. Gretchen and I both were unhappy about it.
I cried. I mean I boo-hooed. It was pathetic. I knew I needed to pull it together and move on with my day, but I couldn't seem to do that easily. So, Kyle offered to take us all to the park so we could at least get a photo of all the kids.

Lydia was miserably cold and wouldn't smile. And Maya's eyes are closed in that shot.

Liddy's still unhappy and Maya's eyes are still closed.

Liddy's trying but still not smiling. Now Chloe's eyes are closed.

Liddy flat out refused to fake happiness. (By the way, we did take more than just 4 shots, but none of them were any good either.)
We all went home, I went to my room, and cried some more. Ever have days like that?

And by the way, Gretchen, I'm still looking forward to our next attempt. You're the bestest photographer I know. :)

Monday, November 24, 2008

A Litter

Heard a new comment today: "You've got a litter!" That one stunned me a bit and it took a minute to come up with a response.

What would you say if someone referred to your children as a litter??

Friday, November 21, 2008

Cheating at School

Taken from: School District Fakes Records for Immigrant Teachers

For years, even after being advised by a state agency to stop, a major school district in Texas dodged administrative hassles by hiring foreign nationals as teachers and issuing them fake Social Security numbers.

The Dallas Independent School District, according to the Dallas Morning News, has been hiring Mexican and Spanish citizens for years to deal with a shortage in bilingual teachers.

The school district's Office of Professional Responsibility began an investigation, however, after it received a tip in July that many of the foreign teachers were being issued false Social Security numbers in order to push through bureaucratic red tape and get them on the payroll more quickly.

The Dallas Observer found 192 instances of Social Security discrepancies in the office's investigative report, with 26 caused by phony numbers given to foreign nationals.

How much do you really know about your child's teacher?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

What Were They Thinking???

Utah Teen Dies of Shot From Blank Gun Intended for Use in School Play

Keeping Warm

It's almost getting cold enough to turn on the heater, but we haven't yet. We've just been dressing warmer. Some more than others. Maya seems to be always be colder than the rest of us.
Case in point:
Now, you remember my saying that Maya can do anything in flip-flops? (That's a Liberian thing.) Well, she's having a
letting them go now that the weather's getting colder. Let them go, Maya. Let them go.

If this ever happens again, we may have to have a family intervention.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

But They Love Kids!


This is not a public school issue. This is just an out-schooling issue. This type of thing could just as easily happen in a private school as in public. The bottom line is: nobody loves your child like you do. Nobody else will have the patience you do for your child.
Why let somebody else spend more time and have more influence over your children than you do?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Boy, He Has Changed!

I was digging through my email folders, cleaning house and deleting like mad, when I found these pictures of our first days with Maya, Isaac, and Daniel. This picture was taken in the airport a couple hours after we first met our triplets.

I was stunned to see how different they looked. I want to talk about the most dramatically changed, my Daniel. He looks like a baby in this picture. He had just turned 2.

Notice he never smiled. We received plenty of pictures of our three while they were still in Liberia, but only one of Daniel smiling. This is why toddler adoptions are the hardest in my opinion- because they are experiencing a lot of trauma at a very important developmental stage of life. Breaks my heart looking at that picture of the two of us.

Daniel still crawled a lot and played in this position most of the time. He wanted to be held a lot, so I rocked him a lot and sat him in my lap all the time. I carried him on my back when he wanted to be carried. He was too heavy to do otherwise. He cried any time I left the room- he was so confused, nothing was secure for him.

Now look at my sweet boy:

He has changed so much! We get to see his beautiful smile all the time now, he's confident and secure in his family, and he has grown almost 9 inches in the 18 months since he came home!

This is my favorite Daniel in the whole world.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Bible Bee

On May 31, 2005 at the age of 23, Shelby Kennedy went home to be with the Lord after an intense struggle with cancer. Shelby was described as a "one-in-a-million Christian who had an unusual spiritual gift of faith--a special person who radiated joy, life and hope to everyone she met." Although Shelby had minimal energy and needed to use a wheelchair most of the time she was awake, what energy she had was focused on proclaiming Jesus Christ. Her testimony of hope in the midst of a fiery trial sparked a spirit of revival in those around her.

Much of what kept Shelby's joy alive in her last days was time spent studying the Word of God. Shelby is the inspiration behind the Shelby Kennedy Foundation, a nonprofit ministry established in her name to encourage children and youth to grow in Christ through Scripture memorization. Shelby's testimony sparked an incredible vision--to launch a world-class Bible Bee!

Motivating Bible memory competition for children and youth from 7 to 18 years of age, the goal of the Bible Bee is to build godly character in young people by calling them back to the lost discipline of Scripture memorization.

Local Bible Bee Contests will be conducted throughout the United States on Saturday, September 12, 2009. One hundred finalists from each of three age categories will then advance to the National Bible Bee for a two-day, world-class competition held in Washington D.C. on November 5-6, 2009. The National Bible Bee will distribute more than $260,000 in prize money with $100,000 being awarded to the first-place winner of the top age bracket.

More information here.

Friday, November 14, 2008

We Called It School

Like I said, when the weather's nice, we go to the zoo a lot. Last week, we went with my good friend, Lis and her sweet kids. Maya can't get enough of holding baby Sam. I was jealous.

Maya also got called out for violating the carousel rules. Apparently, riding backwards is a serious offense.
She was quite embarrassed as she was forced to unbuckle and turn around. When we got off, I told her she should apologize to the old man running the thing.
He was kind enough to lecture her on carousel rules and threaten to not let her ride if she did it again. Nice reward for her humility.

Joshua and Isaac didn't get in any trouble. Lucky them. These two are best buddies. They followed each other every where. Isaac probably would have followed him into trouble, but Joshua's not that kind of friend. Lucky me.

Candace and my three spun themselves dizzy, totally unaware of the misdemeanor activity happening on the other side of the carousel.

The weather was perfect and Lis and I enjoyed chit chatting for a good hour while the kids ran off their lunch. They're good at that.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Call It School

This is a phrase I hear all the time from homeschoolers- "We called it school." Here's an example:
Today, we had a lot of errands to run. I took the kids to the grocery store, the
drug store, and the health food store. They selected the best apples, found the
best deals, and made it all fit in the budget I gave them. We got home at 2:00.
We called it school.
What does that mean? I really don't get it. Do people say that because they're trying to meet a school quota for their state? Do they still have a school mindset that tells them they need to have academic meaning for everything they do? I honestly don't understand the point.

I homeschool year round. I don't take off three months in the summer. In fact, we work the hardest in the summer and winter and relax more in the spring and fall. We don't school with textbooks; we use living books. When we go to the zoo, which we do a lot in good weather, I don't have to keep track of what all my kids learned while there. We go to enjoy the animals and have fun. And yes, the kids learn a lot while we're at it. But I don't have to fit the public school mold. That's the freedom of homeschooling! The bottom line for me is achieving our goals each year. I don't care how long that takes. Right now, I want my kids to be good readers, improve on their penmanship, complete their math books, and their Ambleside reading list. No amount of calling something school is going to help me achieve those goals.

So you didn't school and instead ran all the errands necessary to feed your family. Great! Your kids are learning valuable information, but what's the point in "calling it school"?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Growth Tradition

One of our family traditions is marking the kids' heights on a door jam every November. Why do we always do it in November? Because that's when we first started it. No such thing as a stupid question. Don't feel silly for asking.

While Kyle is scribbling all over our trim, the babies are pretending to be monkeys. Monkeys move much faster than this, but don't tell them. It'll hurt their feelings.

Can you guess whose closet we're marking up?

Here's this year's stats, in order from least change to most dramatic change:

Chloe grew 1.5 inches since last November
Elena & Lydia - 2 inches
Isaac - 3 inches
Maya -3.5 inches
and little Daniel grew 4 whopping inches in the last 12 mos.

Way to go, Daniel!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


An angry mob of homosexual activists in Southern California attacked an elderly bespectacled woman carrying a cross then shouted her down during a live TV interview as she tried to explain to a reporter her defense of the state's new marriage amendment.

"WE SHOULD FIGHT! WE SHOULD FIGHT!" screams one protester as the woman, identified as Phyllis Burgess, stands calmly with a reporter waiting to be interviewed.

In the live interview by KPSP-TV in Palm Springs, another protester yells, "GET OUT OF HERE," and the reporter tells her anchor team back at the station, "As you can see we are being attacked."

The confrontation developed when homosexual activists gathered at the Palm Springs City Hall for a protest following voters' approve by a margin of nearly 53 percent to 47 percent a state constitutional amendment that recognizes only a marriage between a man and a woman.

Read more here.

I think it's ironic how those who fight for tolerance are so very intolerant of those who disagree with them.

A Job Well Done

In my bathroom, because I don't trust the girls with it, are all the hair do-dads. The girls' barrettes, clips, rubber bands are kept in this little drawer set.

Saturday morning, I was fixing everyone's hair so they'd look nice when their grandparents arrived. As Lydia was walking out of my bathroom (with a beautiful 'do if I do say so), she accidentally knocked over the drawer that had all the rubber bands in it. HUGE mess! Maya was next in line to have her hair done, so she was also in my bathroom. She sweetly told Lydia to clean it all up.
My jaw dropped as I watched Lydia quickly bend down and commence the massive clean up. She didn't stop until all the rubber bands were put away and she never complained. When she finished, I said, "Thank you, Lydia," and she left.
I called Kyle in and privately told him what she had done. He went into the girls' room and asked, "Lydia, did you make a mess of the rubber bands? Mommy said that you cleaned THE WHOLE THING UP BY YOURSELF AND YOU HAD A GOOD ATTITUDE!" (He was saying it with a loud excited voice so all could hear.)
"Lydia, you deserve a prize for your hard work."

Monday, November 10, 2008

Hands Full

Saturday night, after entertaining my in-laws all afternoon, we decided to go out to eat. Now, for me eating out is a social event. When we go out to eat, it is almost always with friends or family. In fact, there's only been a few times lately that we've gone out to eat just the 8 of us. (Pedro moved out last weekend. Oh phooey, I forgot to tell you about that. Maybe other time, ok?)
So, I called Allison, my good friend and neighbor and asked her what she recommended. (She knows all the good kid spots) Kids eat free at Denny's on Saturday nights, she says. It's been years since we've eaten at Denny's and I absolutely love breakfast for dinner, so why not? 2 Kids free per adult. Woo-Hoo!!
Fast forward to the restaurant-- the waitress comes over to take our drink orders and immediately says:
Wow, you guys have your hands full tonight.

I think I hear that comment more than any others. I know a lot of big families are used to hearing, "Wow, you've got your hands full," and that didn't bother me back when we just had kids that looked like us. But that particular night, I didn't want to deal with that comment.
So when the sweet waitress said

Wow, you guys have your hands full tonight.

I think I cracked a weak smile when I said: "Every night. We're really blessed."
She then went on to say how brave we are. I was looking down at my menu when a "That's frustrating" look came over my face.
She didn't miss the expression (subtlety is not my strong suit) and tried to explain that she just meant that most people wouldn't want so many kids and we must be really brave.
She's not doing too well digging out of her hole and I, ungracious as I was feeling, didn't help her either.

As soon as she walked away, a rush of guilt came over me. I wasn't nice and I hate it when I'm not nice. She was trying to compliment us and I was rude.

I apologized as soon as she came back.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Licorice Root

Licorice Root has a very sweet taste; when infused in a tea it needs no honey or sugar. It's delicious as is. It is specifically used to stimulate and regulate the adrenal glands and the pancreas. It is one of the best known herbs for hypoglycemia. Licorice Root also acts as natural cortisone and it can help with hoarseness or voice damage.

Try it and see if you don't love it. I do!