Sunday, November 30, 2008

10 kids curse

"mom, i kissed a boy tonight."
me: "really."
"yep. it was great."
me: "what made you decide to do that?"
"just did. it was fun."
me: "who did you kiss?"
"john."
me: "your cousin?"
"yep. i just leaned right over and kissed him."
me: "where did you kiss him?"
"like this." (followed by a kiss on the cheek).

yep...it's true. brooke kissed a boy...her second cousin, john, for pete's sake. hopefully this isn't a sign of things to come...i guess i need to ugly this girl up and teach her to keep her lips to herself a bit! boy, this is too much. i thought i only had to worry about the teen kissing the boys...and she doesn't!!! but, the 5 year old...oh my.

that's my brooke.

and, sadly, soooo me too. this is me and my cousin, kevin...throw back a few years...and kevin, btw, is john's dad.

this is one of those times where you hear your mom and dad laughing hysterically in the background saying, "isn't great to have kids?" it's the old "ten kids curse" (when ur yells, 'ur gonna have 10 kids that act just like u...and u get the curse) alive and well...ahhhhhh.
yep...i so did that!

Friday, November 28, 2008

blaaaahhhh

i did it.  i gave in.
i saw twilight with paige...now i feel like i am part of the cult.
and...now i'm terrified that someone is going to watch me in my sleep.

i'm a weiny...i don't do scary.  i don't do suspenseful. i don't like mean.  i hate vampires.
so why was the story line so amazing!!!??!!!
i guess i fall hard for a great love story...reminds me of hubs!  so, i say bring on the next one, whatever it's called...i'm a twilight virgin, so just bear with me.

ok, edward looks cute and his skin sparkles, but he's a vampire!!!  hello!!
in the first 3 minutes, i screamed
i yelled with all my might, "you go, edward" during the fight scene
i did the "bury the head in the shirt" and say over and over, "i hate scary, paige. i hate scary.  i don't do scary."

speaking of good...thanksgiving was good. (terrible transition, but oh well. it's my blog. right?) the fam was great.  the girls played like bandits on a train...food was good.  we are so stinking blessed it's not even funny.  thank you, lord...just thank you.

and, brooke asked to take a shot of me and r on wed night...and this is what she caught.  pretty fun...
_______________________________________________
national adoption awareness month

so, how do you know if adoption is right for you?  i have to say that getting pregnant was a much easier decision (although not outcome...9 years, really?).  
first, adoption is a lifetime decision...it's  kid for pete's sake!  
second, it is a journey.  if you haven't read my 'australia post', you should...it's the best description of the journey we call adoption.
third, it's an uncertain road...and even though your el eggo is not el prego, you are most definitely pregnant in paperwork, and man, does that put on some pounds.  it's different and people will give you their opinions...it's a little different than the stranger belly rub when a woman is pregnant, because it never really ends.
fourth, you will def be led to adoption.  things will fall in place for you with the right birth mom and birth family.  i can tell you that our birth moms are the perfect ones for us...and our kids, well, they are sooo us.  god totally has a major sense of humor on this one.
{here are my two kiddos that are adopted with their bmoms...see the love there?}
fifth, be knowledgeable but wait.  read ur bible.  pray. read books on adoption.  talk to friends.  talk to adoptive families.  and lastly, make YOUR OWN decision.

for a more professional's viewpoint on making the adoption decision, check adoption.com.
questions...email me.  i'll try my best.  i can at least listen...

Thursday, November 27, 2008

thankful day

happy thanksgiving...so i'm just doing the "scheduled post" thing today, because, seriously, eating food is way more important than blogging one day a year!!

a few (not so ordinary) things i'm thankful for today...in no particular order, btw:

faith and example from my elders
{this is grandma e's}


the beach...aaahhhhh

yes, my beans of joy...coffee

the crew...had to throw one given in here!

my kids art (and scanners)...this is from paige in 2000 
{she's gonna hate this when she sees it}


cereal...the "oh my we haven't eaten dinner and it's 8 o'clock" food

birth siblings 
{family...no matter where we live or where we came from}

crayons...hours of enjoyment 
{and the kids like them too}
i love sooooo many things...
and you all are one of them, my bloggy friends!!!

happy thanksgiving!

__________________________________________
national adoption awareness month

one of the newer ways that parents are adopting is through embryo adoption.  sometimes the children are referred to as snowflake babies.  with IVF (in vitro fertilization), there are number of embryos that are left frozen and unused.   here's a snippet from bethany's site:

"A trained physician can then thaw a select number of the embryos and transfer them to the womb of the intended mother. If a successful pregnancy and birth results, the son or daughter who is born becomes the legal son or daughter of the couple who gives them birth. Such a couple becomes, in effect, the adoptive parents of the child"

 many couples have chosen embryo adoption...bethany adoption services is a christian adoption agency that is fabulous!  one of the means of adoption that they handle is embryo adoption.  go to their link here and get more information.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

growling...and WW

video

my sofie is cracking me up these days...at 10 months she is moving like a jacked up lioness on mountain dew.  she's an absolute riot...such a great combo of all of us!!!  so, she may need therapy later in life for this, but she is growling all the time now...and we can't stop making her do it...and then laughing our butts off.  so instead of a pic today, it's def this video.

(yes, she really is that small...she's a 34 week preemie {3lbs 10oz}.  she's up to 13 lbs and 25 inches, so she's gi-normous to us!)

wordfull wednesday is hosted by angie at 7 clown circus
and you know:  all the cool kids are doing it!!!
_____________________________

november is national adoption awareness month


icareaboutorphans.org is a great site for information and uplifting in the adoption process.  here's a snippet on how you can help: 

Speak Up for Them

Be an advocate for the waiting children in your community. Talk to family and friends about the waiting children you know. Be their advocate and encourage others to help them as well.

Become a Mentor

Mentoring offers a powerful opportunity to be a Godly role model for a child who needs one. Being a positive influence now can change the course of an orphan’s life forever. You may feel like you don’t have anything to offer, but your consistent presence and encouragement can do more than you realize. To find an mentoring organization in your area, visit www.caym.org.

 

Support Those Caring for Orphans

Mow a foster parent’s yard, offer to baby sit, or organize a few meals for an adoptive family. Throw a shower for a family when a new child comes into their home. Sponsor a child services worker by praying for them, taking them out for an occasional lunch, or sending notes of encouragement.

 

Volunteer

Local child services, placement agencies, or adoption ministries could all use a few extra hands. Many of them would love help even one day a week. Answering phones, finishing paperwork, or making calls could be the relief they need.

 

Be a Support Family

Every year, nearly 20,000 teenagers “age out” of the foster care system. Once they reach age 18, the state and foster families are not required to provide any help or services. These kids are, in a sense, kicked out of the system with no support system. Talk to your local child services about being the support family these kids need. You can provide a place to go on the holidays, a listening ear when a relationship ends, or the arm that leads her down the aisle on her wedding day.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

teens teaching

one of the things that will forever be a legacy in this house is the little "krystal-isms" from our foster daughter krystal.  first, krystal is pretty much the only one that thinks ryan's jokes are funny...so she laughs, when paige and i stare.  years of "a mushroom walks into a bar" can do that to a person.  second, her affection for teaching jk fun little (mildly inappropriate) funny sayings that will forever linger. {u may have to mute my fab new music at the bottom...sorry}

  
video
________________________________________________
national adoption awareness month

each state has it's own set of rules and regulations on adoption...and since we all live in different places, click here to find out the good, the bad and the ugly of your state....just kidding!!

and for those kiddos who are not infants but have did a little time in life, there's the gateway for kids that are adoptable in every state in the union.  again, i say, you don't have to adopt one of these kids to make a difference...pray for them.  educate yourself about adoption and become and advocate for these kids without a voice.  check it out...

Monday, November 24, 2008

Not Me Monday

i DID NOT say to hubs, "i am not beautiful. i'm fat. i look terrible. u only like me because u have  no other choice.  u r stuck with me."

i DID NOT eat pizza 3 days this week.  nope.

i DID NOT spend my entire girls clothing budget on one fab piece a girl at the Matilda Jane trunk show.  {so much funnn}

i DID NOT get p's report card showing all A's this week.  what a girl!!!

i DID NOT break away from the house by myself on saturday...and really miss my girls and hubs while i was gone.  sad.

i DID NOT make 7 operation christmas child boxes with my HS small group girls, who are the most flipping amazing girls in the world!  {woo hoo samaritan's purse}

i DID NOT try to talk on the phone 5 times with my friend, karen, since wednesday...and fail to have one single conversation.

i DID NOT get a big bottle of burberry brit from hubs as a little 'you mean the world to me and i think ur wonderful' gift.  {he's soooo good...and a gift like that is soooo not normal}

i DID NOT die laughing when brooke said on the way to church, "this is going to be the most amazing day in my life."

i DID NOT kiss jk at church and get more snot than kiss.   {hello winter. eeewwwww.}

i DID NOT thank God over and over for all my blessings...my fam and friends and church and home and food and well, everything.  on and on.  i so don't deserve any of it...

i DID NOT get a fresh bouquet of gerber daisy's from hubby on his lunch hour on friday. {i'm telling you...be jealous.  really...you should be jealous}

finally...i DID NOT take part in Not Me Monday with McK Momma...with all the cool kids!

____________________________________________________

national adoption awareness month

myths and realities about adoption...one of my fav topics and most often asked questions as an adoptive momma.  

myth: birthmothers (or birthparents) can change their minds after the adoption and come and get the child.
reality: once an adoption is finalized (likely 90 days after placement for private) the adoption is irrevokable and permanent.  the adoptive parents are forever the formal parents of the child...the child's name is changed, records are sealed.  even social security numbers are changed at this time.

myth: birthparents are irresponsible, on drugs or just don't care about their kids.  i get the "why would anyone give up such a cute kid" thing all the time {please don't eve say that to anyone, btw}
reality: birthparents make the best decisions for their children based on their life situation when the child is born.  placing a child for adoption is one of the most selfless things a person can ever do for their child, knowing the child's best interest is in mind.

myth: adoption is for rich people.
reality: private (thru an attorney) domestic adoption costs between $10k and $25k.  the us govt provides a $10k of a tax credit to all qualifying fams (the not rich ones) and many employers have adoption assistance programs that pay an additional $5k.

myth: parents don't love their adopted kids the same as their bio kids.
reality: i don't love any of my kids the same way, because they are all different kids. i love certain things about p that b doesn't have, but i love things about b that p doesn't have.  get it?  love is not a blood thing.  you are not related to your husband by blood (or i seriously hope not) so using that stupid logic would mean that you could only love a hubby who is blood related....and will not go there.  reality is that love is love and you love what you fight for...and you love the kids god blesses you with, no matter how they came to you.

myth: adoption is second best.
reality: adoption may be a second choice for some (for many, like us, it's a first choice)...but it is never second best.

we're all adopted as children of god...
"How blessed is God! And what a blessing he is! He's the Father of our Master, Jesus Christ, and takes us to the high places of blessing in him. Long before he laid down earth's foundations, he had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of his love, to be made whole and holy by his love. Long, long ago he decided to adopt us into his family through Jesus Christ. (What pleasure he took in planning this!) He wanted us to enter into the celebration of his lavish gift-giving by the hand of his beloved Son." Ephesians 1:3-6

Sunday, November 23, 2008

par le vous france???

ryan's trip to france (did i mention i am so going with him some time) was good. i asked for some pics of his daily time there...and without fail, he did as asked. what a man! {be jealous...really}

take a glance at these buildings...a little leaning going on there.

r ordered the sausage plate on night 1. who knew that in france you would get pickles with dinner?
so apparently co worker "k", ordered the king's plate thinking it was anything but what it was. i think his face says it all...lesson: ask for a literal translation of the entree.

dessert...now that's what i'm talking about!!! that's like gold foil in the middle. fancy...i like it!

another great thing that france has made a special place for...phone sleeping quarters. if you're phone is sleepy, this is where you take it to sleep on the train.
and look at how happy ur phone is once it's taken a nap!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

lovin' words

i heard some very sweet words this week...

paige: "thanks mom. that was fun."
brooke: "mom, you are the bestest cooker int he whole world. you cook the bestest food ever."
jada: "i love you mommy. you look beautiful."
sofie: "ma ma ma"
ryan: "i think you are beautiful. i wouldn't take you any other way."
{which was shortly before i had a nervious breakdown about my tummy being too big and looking fat in everything i own. poor ryan}

so here's the deal..in the midst of being a mom, i find it hard sometimes to let go of all the crap that surrounds my head and brings me anxiety (toys everywhere, dirty dishes, piles of laundry). i am a "builder" of sorts. when all that other stuff isn't done, i pile any little thing on top...then the pile gets top heavy and i start to tip! yikes.

so i am remembering the beauty of my kids and the loyalty and love of my husband...who take me for who i am, not for what i do or don't do...and who love me in spite of myself. thanks guys!


Housework Rules
Housework Rules

Friday, November 21, 2008

so fast??

it happened.  the question.
"hey mom.  can i got to the mall?"
how did that happen?  she isn't 4 any more???

it's ok because she went with krystal (our former foster daughter, always daughter) so i knew she was in good hands, but to the MALL!?! what in the world?  

now, she's at the mall, eating sbarro's (hysterical btw, that she thought it was new) and shopping and not buying (that's my girl).so on that note...i have to admit that i still kinda look at her and think of that little 4 year old sometimes. i guess that's a momma's way of dealing with the 'beautifulness' of her daughter.
paige, i'm so proud of you. you are first and foremost, a lover of jesus and a woman of grace. you are compassionate, funny, a servant, smart, open, honest, faithful, and so much more. we bond doing the stupid things in life, but you still love it. i pray that as you continue to grow that you be strengthen in God's word...that you continue to hold your purity high and with dignity...that you find love first in God...that you be a light shining bright in a dark world so that others will see the light of Him.
i love you...


PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and MamaGeek

__________________________________________
national adoption month

part of the adoption process is getting a home study completed and approved.  it is one of the scary things when you've never adopted...once you have, it's just a person who asks standard questions and writes the answers in a report.  it's about your life...and they also check out your house to make sure you have no fire arms (if you do, that you have them secure).  they also ensure there is proper living space for the child....and food.  really, i actually look forward to this part now, because everyone else thinks my house has to be spotless, so i always get a monster house cleaning party from my mom...and  that makes me happy.

anyway, to find out more about home studies, check out this site.  
if you decide at any point to get a foster care license, you have an annual review and approval that goes much the same.  so, remember, get your house cleaned for free once a year...ok, and make a difference in a child's life!!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

always have ur camera

proof there's always a need for ur camera...all since monday morning:

when u get that little box of love and there's a ton of perfect saltiness on it...you have to capture the moment!  
{i realize i have a problem}


i don't even know what to say about this...but i had to have a picture.  those are real curtains and real porch lights...and on the other side, there's a solar panel.  i'm not sure if it's a trailer for camping or a play house or a real house.  i'm speechless. {shut up}


when you go done the horsey road, you never know when the ladies will be out saying hello!
{b really sticks her head out the window and yells to each of them...she swears they talk back and say, "hello. thanks for coming by"}

when daddy leaves on a jet plane {come on and sing along} we can remember his smile!!
___________________________________
november is national adoption awareness month

CASA...court appointed special advocate...is a volunteer position that every day people who want to make a difference in a the life of a child in foster care do each day.  CASA's are the voice for the child...to ensure the system doesn't forget or lose track or lose the voice of the children involved.  Dr. Phil and Robin McGraw have joined the National CASA group to promote and advocate for children in the US.  you don't have to foster a child in your home to make a difference in their life.

take a minute and read a little more at National CASA...be an advocate for the helpless.
 

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

the room...and WW

*****updated...pics are up and the big computer is down. good thing we're geeks and have two other laptops*******

in the room, the finished product...shams, pillow cases, pillows, duvets, curtains and bolster. shewwww...i'm tired just typing it all. my fab SIL meg and i did some sewing overtime and got some projects done last month...i love meg for that!!!

ok...i hate that i can't upload the pretty upclose shot of the curtains, because they are hand worked little fairies that have poms...soooo cute!!! (clearance at hobby lobby)

my girls are huge fans of minky fabric...so they each got a pretty pink pillow (which made up for me not giving into repainting the room pink or purple...yikes)
this little shelf has been in the room since b was a newborn, but i love it! i did update her name by painting them black, distressing, glueing them in a fun pattern and adding some cute hot pink jewels for pizzazz. so cute!


my girls are sooo into fancy nancy...ok, i'm sooo into fancy nancy too! have you read those books? totally fab! anyway, these are the book covers...cut and framed and up on the wall. my girls LOVE this!!! fancy nancy adds 'fabulous-ness' in a way no one else can!
and this is wordfull wednesday where my friend, angie, at seven clown circus hosts a bunch of great blogs...so go and take a look. remember, all the cool kids are doing it!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

ta da!!!!

blogalicious is delicious makes my heart go loco!!!
i'm blogalicious!
my blogs stays viscious
i be up in the bloggy staying wit' my fitness
u my witness
i be puttin' my posts up on da block
and ya'll come over just to see what i got
i'm blogalicious!
(idea stolen from the not so nice fergie)

ok. these girls, staci and stephanie are not only talented, but funny and patient!!!  if you all are even considering a need for a redesign or a new header, you need to see them...look at them...they are delightfully sweet and too beautiful (i hate them for that...jk).

i was the winner of the SITS blog redesign...and doesnt' it look fab???  so the peeps on the blog are the fam...u got that right??  and we're in a rose bush...pretty fancy huh??  so i'm still rearranging and putting up picks and i'm just so delighted that i want to make it pretty.

thank you so much blogalicious...you rock my face off!!!
_________________________________

before you miss out on one of the sweetest girls in the world, head over to vote for Kayla in the Prego food photo contest.  Michelle (Big Blueberry Eyes) is her momma and , well, go read, then vote!!!
___________________________________
national adoption awareness month

infertility and adoption is a big thing.  any mom who is infertile hears, "just quit thinking about it" or "adopt a child...that will cure it".  for those of you that may say those things....DON'T!!  first, it's stupid.  second, infertility is very difficult and personal...and honestly, none of your business.  third, unexplained infertility is just that...unexplained!

here's a stat to throw back...of couples who were infertile prior to adoption, statistics show that 8% become pregnant at a later point...those aren't good numbers.  yes, i am aware that i became pregnant after infertility...but, my friends, that was God's plan.  i absolutely can notimagine my life without b and jk...and they are part of God's big plan.

so, here's the deal...infertility and adoption.  personal.  pray for peeps.  support peeps. love peeps. listen to peeps. don't judge peeps. 

for more info on coping with infertility issues (and people), see fertility community.com.

____________________________________
i got some fab bloggy love today from my friend megan...it's one of those things that i just shout hooray for! 

i was bestowed this award because "she is bringing awareness to adoption, especially this month. She has a gorgeous family. And although we still don't know what our future holds, at least I'm learning something from her."

so, wanna know what the struggles with infertility are?  go and visit megan...and give her some love and encouragement...she's darling!!!!

Monday, November 17, 2008

get the rock out of here

********revised: ok, blogalicious rocks my face off!!  here's my new blog design that i won thru SITS.  it's amazing!!!  more tomorrow...but today, check it out!!!**********

i know it's november...but we rocked out the high school 80's party saturday. paige and i had so much fun getting together all the outfits (and laughing the whole time).

ryan...became the hair band rocker.  watch out axel rose.
me...def a madonna-ish, punk valley girl.
paige...16 candles
brooke...debbie gibson (post halloween sale on hannah montana for $1.24)
sofie...flash dance
and jada...she opted to stay with krystal and have girls night painting nails and eating popcorn.  you totally have to start them young!

without further adieu: behold...the rocker fam.  {i'm not sure we pull off the punky, mad at the world well...we can't even not smile!!!}

oh, that's def ryan's class ring.  be jealous!

we like totally danced all rad and stuff to thriller...and then did like fav movie clips from top gun and goonies and like dirty dancing.  my small group of girls rocked out the trivia game...and won it all, like rock stars.  it was rad when we got a whole totally awesome bag of reeses cups to eat!  like, awesome!  (ok, my head is hurting now)

well, happy monday...ryan is off again today.  boooooo. but i guess i can just remember his hotness in those skin tight camo/bedazzled, tight rolled pants and keep him close to my heart. {puke}
___________________________________________
adoption tidbit for the day

one of the means of adopting a child is through what is called special needs adoption.  our jk is one of those kiddos.  special needs is defined a number of ways, but the basic jest is that these children are harder to place in adoptive homes.  they may be part of a sibling group, part of a minority race (is this america peeps?), at-risk or even just too old for what most folks choose to adopt.  in most cases, there are special services, like medicaid and per diems available for SNAP kids.  to find out more about special needs adoption, take a look at adopting.org.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

he's back

the last 10 minutes before ryan walked thru the door, we played "wait for daddy"...which consists of us sitting at the front door...waiting.

...and playing tickle torture with sofie.

...and big sis b reading "scaredy squirrel" to
 pass the time. (you have to read this book..it's a "germ free" book...so stinking funny)

there's a little encouragements from s...

and of course complaining.  and more waiting...(did i mention 10 minutes?)

...and then, it happens!!!! he's finally...home!!!!!!!

hugs and kisses all around (paige was at a school dance)...

and a deep sigh of relief...knowing that things are best when we r all together!!

______________________________________________

national adoption awareness month

here's a photo listing of children in foster care that are awaiting adoption in the US.  you can search by state, by age by race, etc. even if you aren't considering adoption, please look at their faces and pray for them.  take a look here at adoption.com.

Friday, November 14, 2008

luv...

last friday me and the girls all picked up brit, b's bmom, and went out to (steal all my money bear) build-a-bear to look at some new diggs for Lala (monkey) and Patches (dalmation). b's monkey, Lala, brit made for her right after she was born...she kept it and slept with it for a few years and then when she felt it was time for her to let go of it, she passed it along to b. what a beautiful picture of adoption...

brit never thought one day, "i know, i'll get pregnant really young, have people talk about me and stare at me. oh, and i think i'll just decide to place the first grandchild and my first child for adoption". life happened...and it's really none of your business how that happened either...that's b's story to share if she chooses.

what brit did, was decide upon determining she was pregnant that this life inside of her was a precious human...and she made the most difficult choice a woman could ever have to make. it was a choice...a choice to carry b. a choice to not abort (was never in her mind one time, btw). a choice to look at me and r and p and think, 'that's them. they are the family for me'.

so, when you consider adoption in your every day life, consider that there is a life and a story behind each and every child, sister, mother, cousin, etc. a story that you will never understand and therefore, should never pass judgement...you should only pass along love.

so spread some love today...promote adoption to others.

read about it. be an advocate for adoption.

do something because silence, my friend, is acceptance.

{november is national adoption awareness month}
___________________________________________________
speaking of love!!! the blog-o-sphere is an amazing place.
i have made some awesome, supportive and uplifting friends in this little bloggy world and somehow, two of those friends gave me honors. little old me.
i like this one from Lindsay from Our lives in a Nut Shell because it
has a fun little translation needed! ha! and since i'm not even smart enough to know what language this is in, i am stealing what my good friend over at Chronicles of a Mommy, who loving bestowed it upon me, said that it meant. i should check it out...for all i know, it could say, "this is a blog that the writer believes anything she is told as long as its in another language"...that seems unlikely though!
ok...so it's suppose to say:

"This blog invests and believes in ‘proximity’"

{meaning that blogging makes us 'close' - being close through proxy}

“These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in prizes or self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers! ”

The second one from Briony who is amazingly talented...check her little bloggy out too!!! and i love her blog...what a coincidence!!!

so passing this along is always so hard, so i think i will introduce some of my new, faithful friends to you...please go and visit them...you're gonna love them!

Carrie at "Oikology"...she will make you smile with every post and she has a beaut daughter...and she can cook too! what in the world??

Candy at "everyone has a story to tell. this is ours" is a gorgeous momma and wife and photographer who just did the NYC marathon...and with a smile!

Susan at Fordy days and nights is a darling momma and wife too! she is so uplifting and encouraging. i always feel better when i read her blog...u will too!