Wednesday, December 30, 2009

We Did It!!

Well, friends and neighbors, we finally did it. Licensing agent came this morning and cleared me to care for children! WoooHoooo!! Not exactly sure how many I am licensed for--she didn't fill in that blank on the form. But seeing as how I'm not going to fill up on Monday, I don't suppose it matters. I'll find out eventually. Thank you all for your support.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY...December 28, 2009

Outside my window... cold and clear

I am thinking... about Wednesday's visit from licensing.

I am thankful for... a happy day with eight children and a return of Internet service after a two week hiatus.

I am wearing... this is what I love about childcare: my uniform. I am wearing new Eeyore scrubs with a thermal underneath. Cute, professional and, most importantly, comfy.

I am remembering... or trying to remember where I stuck all of our non-Christmasy home decor items so that I may pull them back out and put away our seasonal trimmings.

I am visit an elderly friend sometime this week. I've been meaning to do it for months. I'm going. I am.

I am currently reading... suffering under my promise not to start a new book until the daycare opened.

I am hoping... please, please, please, let the state write me a license to care for children on Wednesday.

On my mind...the daycare. Tired of that one part of my life draining so much of my thoughts, focus, and concern--and we haven't even opened yet!

Noticing that...Cara is getting around so much better these days. She is really not that far behind developmentally.

Pondering these words... "The only time success comes before work is the dictionary." But someone assure me. Success does--eventually--follow, right?

From the kitchen... crock pot full of Taco Soup.

Around the house... four children watching new DVD. Cara talking to herself. Outside this circle of family, general order presides. We hosted a HUGE Christmas Eve party (so of course, I cleaned like crazy), and then quit the place the following morning only returning late last night.

One of my favorite things~high-speed internet. I can't lie. It is good to be back.

From my picture journal...

Watch out, world. Here she comes.

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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Christmas Burn-Out

I have 80 ornaments to make. Four more sets of fleece jammies to sew. Fifty Christmas cards to address. Who knows how many presents need wrapping behind the Sunday School door marked, "Esther"? I have one project to paint and one memory book to make. I'm supposed to bake sausage balls for Abby's class party.
And what am I doing? Sitting here blogging. I need an intervention.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Commenting on a Comment

I appreciate your respectful comments on my blog post "Find My Family." However, perhaps you did not read it carefully.
I did not say "If you have those feelings, I will have failed." You did. I said, "If they cherish the fantasy of being found by them, I would most assuredly feel as though I have failed." I was speaking in the context of life-long dreams, ultimate ambitions, singular obsessions, not natural curiosity and interest. Of course they will wonder! But, if my daughters' whole adult life is wrapped around a consuming passion to be re-united with their biological family members, I will feel as though I've failed--particularly since, in their case, it will most likely prove impossible. It is my blog, and I'm going to be honest. My goal is for them to be comfortable with that aspect of their history, not DEFINED by it. There is a difference.
My husband and I talk often about their birthmothers and encourage them to include them in drawings of our family. We gave them their birthmother's names so that they would always have a piece of their past with them. I will not feel threatened by any future desire to search for them or other biological relatives; on the contrary, I will help them search. The comparison of me to the mother whose "heart would break" if her son searched is actually laughable. I've known adoptive moms like that--whose world would fall apart if their children searched--but it's not who I am. Regardless, I'm going to be o.k. I anticipate my daughters will know this about me; it is their emotional health I'm concerned about.
If you took the time to read my other posts about adoption you would have known that.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Christmas Traditions

Some random Christmas tradtions for our home:

*Three presents--The children each have three presents under the the tree. Three gifts, because the Christ child only had three gifts. The other day, Abby asked if they could have more than three (actually they get a Santa present, plus the TONS of gifts from extended family) since they had been very good this year, and I told her that as soon as they deserved more presents than Jesus, they could have more than He had. They laughed, "Awww, Mom, that will NEVER happen." My point exactly.
*This one developed just by chance. One year, I ran out of name tags. I wrap each child's gift in a certain wrapping paper (i.e. all of Ian's gifts are wrapped in the red ornament paper, Marina's in the green tree paper, etc.). I cut a little square of paper and adhere it to a poster next to their names. We don't have to spend time searching for the name on Christmas morning. We know at a glance whose is whose. This year, I'm keeping the decoder poster top secret. They don't know which paper is theirs. It has been fun hearing them discuss the possibilities, "I think mine is the purple Santa paper." "Maybe K has the snowmen paper." They will have much harder time guessing their gifts.
*Holiday hookie--I let the children stay home from school and do holiday baking. This is a tradition I grew up with. It was always a favorite, because any other time of year, my mother was a stickler for school attendance. I felt so special being at home when I wasn't sick.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Please Tell Me...

Please tell me this looks like a juke box. Lie if you have to. I have fifty+ people--half of whom I do not know--coming to my house tomorrow for a "Fabulous Fifties" party for my mother-in-law, and this is supposed to be her cake. As cake decorating goes, it is not one of my finer achievements, and the longer I look at it, the more convinced I become that it doesn't remotely resemble a juke box. Randy is no help. He keeps prancing around it, crying, "It's a juice box, Mommy, a juice box cake for Grandma! It is a BIG juice box!"

I added the music notes to hopefully tip folks off. I can just hear myself tomorrow night:

"Actually, it's a juke box."

"'s a juke box."

"Well, it is supposed to be a juke box. You know, from the fifties?"

Monday, November 30, 2009

Oh, He is Good

Very, very good.
I put up my nativity last night on the back of the piano and sure enough, this morning the babies were drawn to it like moths to a flame. Nervous of their loitering and longing looks toward the delicate ceramic figures, I queried, "Hey, what are you two doing over there?"
Randy did not miss a beat, "Mommy, I'm teaching her about Jesus!"
Now, how's a mom going to argue with that?

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Tree Farm and Follies

We have the best tree farm in America thirty minutes drive from home. Oh, how we missed it when we lived on the coast. After a year, we found a decent one an hour away. The folks were nice there, but they just couldn't hold a candle--or Christmas light--to the one we visit up here. At this farm, there is a Santa (with a real beard and an authentic twinkle in his eye), goats, hot cider, and even a few Christmas trees ;0) Add Image

K is lamenting our "outdated family tree" as he put it. Funny, but those cutsie group ornaments are hard to find with eight (or say nine and ten) members. Because we have all the room we could want and 9 1/2 foot ceilings, we got an eight foot tree--our biggest tree ever. And it is beautiful! Still with six kiddos, throwing ornaments on in wild abandon, it didn't take long to decorate. Just as we were sitting down with hot cocoa to admire our handiwork, Randy's seat (a turned over ornament box) popped out from under him, making his cocoa into a fountain and soaking him through and through. Poor thing! He hardly knew what happened to him and he looked so funny with cocoa dripping from his face and hair--he even had a marshmallow clinging to his nose! We all busted out laughing. Kind of spoiled the quiet H*llmark holiday moment, but that's the way it goes at our house.

Friday, November 27, 2009

What She's Thankful For

What I'm Thankful For

I'm thankful for alot of things. I'm thankful for a loving God who is there for me. I'm thankful for great parents who watch and teach me. I'm thankful fo a big house for me to live in. I'm thankful for my brothers and sisters as well. I'm thankful that we have food on the table. I'm thankful that we can worshp our God in church. I'm thankful that God gave us away to go to heaven through His son Jesus. That's what I'm thankful for.

By: Abby-age 8

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

"Find My Family"

This started out as a comment, but it was getting long, and then blogger ate it. I'm retyping it here. It is concerning ABC's new show "Find My Family."

Overall, it was a good show. It definitely left me with warm fuzzy feelings for the birthfamily and I was very happy for the adoptee. Of course, this is television, so we are seeing a "fairytale" adoption story--i.e. the birthparents stay together, get married, raise three other children, live the American dream, all the while never giving up hope of being re-united with their long-lost daughter. I think you would find that stories like theirs are pretty rare. They aren't going to tell you about the prostitute who had to be drug out of a crack house to sign her TPR, the eighth grade drop out who was being sexually abused by her uncle, the biological father who beat the mess out of his girlfriend and hit the road when he found out she was pregnant, or the dear old dad who was about to be incarcerated for 10 years. They aren't about to put that much "reality" in our reality t.v.
I also feel that they heightened the drama on the part of the adoptee. It is important to remember that--while she was glad to meet her biological parents--prior to the cameras showing up, she had not searched for them on her own. Even though her dad had encouraged her to! It was clear to me that adoption was no big, bad boogie man hanging out in her past and shadowing her present, but a fact about herself that she was on good terms with. Sure she was curious, but had she never learned any more about her adoption story, she would have been o.k. with that. I found this very comforting.
I am disturbed by the title "Find My Family" and the multiple references to biological parents/siblings as "YOUR family," "YOUR daughter," etc. The people who raised her and the brothers and sisters she grew up with are her family! In this show, I felt the adoptive parents were being treated like glorified babysitters. Especially when the host commented, that "It is every adopted child's dream to be found." What?! For starters, my girls are not "lost." They are right where they were placed (by an almighty people Placer)--in a family, loved and cared for. We are in closed adoptions--not by our choice--it is simply the way it is. Now, I regret that my daughters will have very little information about their biological backgrounds and that building relationships with their birthparents was not possible, but if they reach adulthood cherishing a fantasy of being "found" by them, I will most assuredly feel that we have failed. I would have to see more episodes; perhaps they would have devoted more time and attention to the adoptive parents had the adoptee been younger. I would choose, "The Missing Piece" or "Back to Beginnings" or "Roots" (wait as second--that's taken!) or something to that affect as a more appropriate title. The title demonstrates that the narrow definition of 'family' as individuals who are genetically linked to you is still alive and well within our culture. A supposition that, as members of the adoption triad, we should continue to work towards changing.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Talking In Your Sleep

1. Has anyone in your life talked in their sleep? The kids talk in their sleep off and on. I love to hear them laugh in their sleep.
2. What do you like about fall? Cooler temperatures. Looking forward to the holidays. But I've married something of a Scrooge, so I have to keep that kind of low key.
3. Do you have an addictive personality? I don't think so. Seems as though folks can get quite enough of me. I can't even get my own sister to visit for Thanksgiving for Pete's sake. More like I have a-little-dose-will-do-ya' personality.
4. Who was the last person to do something extra special for you? My friend Cari made time out of her week to meet with me twice in the last six months. Since together we have a dozen children, I think that is pretty monumental. And my mom and dad put their heads together and replaced a special keepsake of mine that I had lost (and assumed was irreplaceable) for my birthday in July.
5. Would you ever take someone back if they cheated on you? No. I don't see myself being able to forgive that.
6. Are you happy with where you are in life? Yes. Only I wish we had more money--but we are working on that.
7. Do you believe that you can change someone? No.
8. Have you ever wished you could've had someone but you couldn't? I don't care for the verbiage in that question.
9. Would you ever fight someone over your significant other? "If you don't want to go to Fist City, you better detour 'round my man...."

Thursday, November 19, 2009

My Hockey Stars?

They have the look, if not the skills.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Encouragement and Correction

From my three year old.

Encouragement- I'm standing at the bathroom mirror when Randy walks in.
Randy: Mommy, what you doin'?
Me: Oh, I'm trying to make myself presentable.
Randy: But you are just so cuuuuuuuute!

Correction-As we are driving out of the W*llm*rt parking lot we must stop and let the traffic filing out of our local plant pass. There is a homeless man "camped" at the stop sign. It is the last moments of light before the sun sets.
Randy: Mommy. There is a man there. He is sitting in the dark. In the night. His clothes are dirty. He is not walking. He does not have a car.
You can tell the wheels in his head are turning. He cannot fathom why someone is alone at night beside the road. I feel certain he is about to bust lose with a hundred questions: Why is he there? Where is his house? How did he get here? Where is his family? Questions I will evade as best I can and blunder through the rest. I feel mild irritation at this man. Another bum who has to be standing at a corner where I have to stop. I know it is horrible, but I'm keeping this blog honest--ugly, unloving, selfish thoughts and all. I clicked the automatic locks and hoped something else would catch my child's attention. This whole time, I have not said a word; I knew he was perplexed, but I wasn't going to volunteer any information. Little did I imagine, Randy would draw his own--wiser, better, truer--conclusions.
Randy: That man is not filthy. He is...he is...lost.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY, Monday, November 16, 2009
Outside My Window...brrrr......
I am thinking...I am thinking about the gruesome murder of the 5 year old girl in NC. Wish I could stop thinking about it. Her own mother selling her as a prostitute? I want to vomit. When I hear stories like this, I feel certain we live in the last days.
I am thankful contacts and restored vision. I've been blind since Thursday.
From the kitchen...finally finished off last week's VAT of turkey soup tonight. Tomorrow we have lentil and ham stew. New recipe--I'll keep you posted. We had to spend this week's grocery money on contact lenses, so things could get interesting.
I am clothes. Went back to aerobics after a two week absence. It felt great to exercise again, but I'll probably be soar tomorrow.
I am creating...finishing up some sewing projects and work continues in the daycare.
I am going...I have no travel plans at present--unless you count L*wes and H*bby L*bby.
I am reading...started new bedtime book with the kids tonight--The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey
I am hoping...the headache I feel beginning behind my eyes will dissipate once I lay down. I wonder if it is related to my new contacts? I hope not.
I am hearing...not a creature stirring, not even a guinea pig.
One of my favorite things...I really dig a well put together classroom. My daycare rooms are starting to look like first-rate learning environments. I love that.
Around the house...I started to type "fairly clean," but as I glance out the office door my conscience pricks me. It was "fairly clean" this morning. In all honesty, it now falls into the "needs improvement" category.
A Few Plans For The Rest Of The and nutrition lady is supposed to come train me tomorrow. Wednesday church.
A picture thought I'm sharing:

She is five years old, too. What have we come to?

More daybooks at

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Family Opinion

My friend Debbie wrote a post about the decision to adopt--specifically in regards to the degree your family's opinion influenced that decision. This post is for her.

Al*n J*ckson sings a song, "Chasin' That Neon Rainbow," that contains these lines.
"Daddy won a radio
Tuned it to a country show
I was rockin' in the cradle
To the cryin' of a steel guitar.
Mama used to sing to me
She taught me that sweet harmony
Now she worries cause
She never thought I'd ever
Really take it this far."

I think that about sums up my parents, when it comes to the master and I adding to our family. The lessons I learned on their knees and at their breast--lessons about love and strength, redemption and family, sacrifice and significance--have indeed influenced my desire and decision to give birth to and adopt children, as well as provided me with emotional resources and values to care for them.
But they, "worry cause they never thought I'd ever really take it this far." And that's not only with adoption. On the day we found out that I was carrying a girl, my mom exclaimed, "Great! You have a boy and girl now, so you can stop!" It just made perfect sense to her. Over the years I've tried to explore their concerns and fears about our ever expanding family.
*worry over finances--Will we be able to support them? Where would we live? How will we live? By far, the number one issue.
*concern over my long term ability to cope--Why do I pursue a life that in many ways is such hard work? Will I crack under the strain leaving them with 3...4...5...6... children to raise?
*concern over limited resources--can we give each individual child the love and attention they deserve?
Still to this day my dad will lament that I "have ALL these children." He says 'all' as though it is not a good thing. To which I will respond, "O.K. Daddy, I'll have the kids line up and you can choose which one we should get rid of." He will chuckle. He knows I've got him there.

When my older sister could not carry children, it made perfect "sense" to my parents that they adopt. But when I the middle daughter with three borned children in tow come up with the hair-brain scheme to fly around the world and adopt a baby from Russia it was quite a different matter. They had new and old worries mixed and compounded by two daughters in the adoption process at the same time:
*worries over finances!!! When I told my dad what it was going to cost for Marina's adoption, I thought he was going to have a stroke.
*fear they wouldn't love an adopted child like they did a birth grandchild
*worse fear--they would bond with the child and he/she would be taken back (my sister was trying to adopt through the foster system.)
*worry about the child's medical diagnosis and prognosis
*a sense of awkwardness trying to explain our reasoning to their friends, co-workers, and extended family when they themselves do not understand it
*concern for their daughters' heartbreak if the whole thing did not work out.

Time cured or made them face those fears. I know each of them--all of which are fairly valid--stems from a sincere love and concern for me and my family, so I don't let it hurt my feelings. Love covers a multitude of sins. I don't know how I would feel or react if I doubted that or believed they came from selfish motives--which may be your case, Debbie. I listen with respect and try to hear what they are saying. They are my parents and I honor their opinion, even if, in the end, we must make a different decision. And I must say they have done splendidly despite their misgivings--it just takes them a little while to come around. They love their adopted grand-daughters every bit as much as their birth grand-children. If anything, they are more protective and tender towards them.

All that to say:

Yes, my parents opinion is important to me. No, my parents have not always approved of our decision to expand our family--either by birth or adoption. Yes, in the end, we did adopt/have more children despite that. Yes! Thankfully, they did accept these children. And--purely hypothetically--should we sit down one day and say, "Mom, Dad, we're flying to Uganda to adopt two children from Am*ni Baby House," I won't expect them to like it. They will share all the reasons we shouldn't do it. They will blush in their Sunday school class as they tell their friends the news. They will worry that they will not be able to accept a black child. They will be concerned for the children's health. They will worry about them growing up in a white family in a still very prejudiced south. They will want to know how much it is going to "set us back." They will be convinced that their middle daughter is insane for having EIGHT children and they will wonder if I will ever stop. BUT, they will ask for prayers on our behalf from that same Sunday School class, they will become champions of equal rights, they will keep the other children so I can take the babies to check-ups, Mom will find "the cutest" outfits for them, Daddy will secretly slip us cash, and when we step off the plane, they will be the first ones to hold them.

At least, I'm betting they will. ;0)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

You Decide




Which one for our Christmas Card?

We had an appointment yesterday evening at the local Wallyworld for Christmas pictures. It is the same studio I used this summer for individual photo shoots (I refuse to buy school pictures--it's a racket), and was quite pleased with the portraits especially considering the price. Since I bring along six children worth of business, they have been very solicitous, calling every few weeks to see if they can schedule another appointment. Last week, I relented. They were offering free 10x13 with booking. So, I ran around town all day yesterday, taking in two Goodwills, and J.C. Penn#y just to make sure we could pull off eight coordinating outfits. Then convinced and/or wrangled all six to don said attire amid several protests of "But Mo-om, it isn't even Sundaaaaaaaay." AND made it to the studio at 5:15 on the dot.
We were there, but the photographer was not. We waited 45 minutes, but they never showed. The kids were getting cranky and hungry, and there was no way, I was going to go through the holiday photograph ordeal twice in one season, so we called a church member with an awesome camera and begged her to have mercy. We were getting pictures made one way or another. She took these in her living room. I don't think they turned out half bad. Be sure to vote on the above for the card picture, but I'm including some rejects for fun.

Marina: "Me? Smile? Seriously?"

Randy: "Will it never end??!!"

Cara: "I feel certain they are plotting against me."

K sporting his dazed and confused look

Sunday, November 8, 2009

When the Moon Hits Your Eye...

Like a big pizza pie, that's amore. Abby and Marina cooked dinner tonight. Homemade pizza ....mmmmmmm.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY, Monday, November 2, 2009
Outside My Window...chili breeze, but clear and very beautiful
I am thinking...I am one of the most blessed people in the world.
I am thankful for...times when I remember the above.
From the kitchen...not much. We've been in revival this weekend, and we have taken most of our meals at the church building.
I am wearing...striped shirt and blue jeans.
I am creating...still not many creative endeavors beyond the daycare.
I am eat dinner with a friend Thursday night. Looking forward to it.
I am reading...honoring my promise not to begin another book until the daycare opened. The daycare must open soon.
I am hoping...that Women of Faith trip will be a blessing to our church. It is not until April, but I have been put in charge and I'm starting to get nervous. I have to get 25 women to the conference or the church has to eat the tickets. I have eleven signed up. Anyone want to join us?
I am crying her "final protest before I succumb" cry.
One of my favorite things...being with other Christians and feeling that sweet Spirit--knowing heaven will be like that--only a million times better.
Around the house...a little tidier thanks to my mom and mother-in-law's efforts, as well as my this-has-gone-on-too-long breakdown over the bathroom. I stayed up till 11 last night scouring it.
A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week...some family is coming in to help us paint the daycare tomorrow night, the aforementioned dinner date, and who knows what all?
A picture thought I'm sharing:

Tickle Torture
To enjoy more daybooks, visit

Saturday, October 31, 2009

A Little Pixie Dust

A night in Never Land

Wendy (sewn from an old fitted bed sheet. Sometimes, I impress myself.)

Tick-Tock (recycled dinosaur costume from years ago)


My man Pan

Tiger Lilly (Is she not the cutest thing you have ever seen?!)

The expense of the last three costumes counter balance the economy of the first two. I had to go to the party store and make painful purchases--even though it nearly killed me to spend money on costumes as simple as Peter Pan and Tiger Lilly. Finding a perfectly good Pan costume in Goodw*ll this morning only poured salt in the wounds. Oh, well, I simply did not have the time this year to sew them all.

And this is the first year K did not dress up. I'm pretty sad about that. Where was the Pixie dust to protect him from growing up?

Friday, October 23, 2009

Friday Photo Journalism

Parents Consider Legal Action in Wake of False Advertising Debacle
Texas--Br*tt incorporated, owners to the popular children's icon, Th*mas the Tank Engine, bamboozled countless customers into buying shrill train whistles falsely touted and packaged as flashlights.

The proposed class action suit accuses the company of lying to consumers not only in stocking the toys in a separate, whistle-less section of the gift shop, but also in cleverly concealing the offending mouthpiece located at the base of the flashlight. Unsuspecting moms, steered children past sirens, bull horns, and snap whips to flashlights, deceitfully nestled between toothbrushes and themed underpants, only to be horrified once the plastic came off. Too late for remedy.

"It is MY flashlight. It is for to make the light. And here, it is a whistle. I blow it loud and louder," testified a three year old of his new Th*mas flashlight.

His parents were considerably less thrilled. They grimly agree, "someone should pay."

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Three Questions

Tired of asking your kids about their day at school ("How was your day?" and "What did you learn today?") and getting the same one-word responses ("O.K.," "Fine," "Nothing")?

Try the three questions.

1. What happened today that made you laugh?
2. What was the best thing you ate today?
3. Who did you help?

I don't exactly remember where I picked these up, but I've been using them for over two years now, and they certainly help get the ball rolling around the supper table in the evenings. For instance, tonight I learned that Ian helped an unlucky classmate clean up a dropped lunch tray, Marina caught the giggles on the playground and almost couldn't stop, and Abby found the cafeteria's mashed potatoes "excellent," but the chicken nuggets decidedly lacking. Good stuff. And, as an added bonus, I've found the children now anticipate my nightly inquisition and actively look for someone to help during the day--reason enough for me to keep asking.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Inside Job

**Yes, I know it isn't Saturday, but Tuesday works for me

1. When you were young, what did you want to be when you grew up? I went through a stage of wanting to be a veterinarian when I was very young. Then I decided I didn't really love animals that much. Mostly, I wanted to be a mom. I always thought that I would be a foreign missionary if the whole marriage/children dream did not pan out. Around 13, I strongly considered becoming a midwife. Finally landed on a teaching degree as my fall back career. I'm good with kids, creative, excellent classroom manager, and no needles are required (generally speaking).

2. Did you ever pursue that career? No, on veterinarian. YES, on being a mom! Trouble is, it doesn't pay much. And to become a midwife, you must first become a RN, and I thought I did not have the stomach for that. Wish now I had bucked up and gotten over it. I've taught off and on since graduating.

3. If you are not in that field, what changed? Six kids.

4. What is your current job? Substitute teacher...very soon, daycare owner/director.

5. What's the best part of what you do? Telling little children about Jesus.

6. Do you have plans to do something else down the road? Ultimately would like to sell business at enormous profit or keep it for Marina to run one day. Since she is only in kindergarten that is some long range planning. ;0) The master and I are always coming up with one scheme or another. We both would love to travel--perhaps realization of the old foreign missionary dream lies ahead. Of course, I'll never retire from being a mommy, but look forward to being promoted to Grandma eventually.

7. How did you get your present job? God gave us a building. Since I am qualified to direct a daycare center, it just made sense to open a business.

8. Did your parents influence your choices of jobs over the years? No. Mom and Dad did not allow us to get jobs in high school. They said making good grades for scholarships was a better return on investment than any minimum wage job we could get as teens. Now my sister-in-law (not college educated) makes three times what I would make teaching as an officer in a bank. She started as a teller when she was 15. So, I have to wonder? But, I never felt pressure from my parents to enter any certain field, only to follow my interests.

9. What advice would you give your children on careers? Pursue any of your interests, but make sure you acquire a degree in something that will pay the bills.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY, Monday, October 19, 2009
Outside My Window...dark, cool, and clear

I am thinking...boring stuff like minimum standards, and ratios, and TB tests

I am thankful church. *deep breath* I am really starting to love (and dare I say--trust?) these people. Scary stuff.

From the kitchen...'tis but a bitter waste land.

I am wearing...snugly winter jammies someone donated to the women's shelter that has not been here for two years. Hey, if I see them leaving stuff outside the building, I'll tell them that the mission has moved, but many people throw out bags and drive off. Most of the clothes are trash and we dispose of them with our garbage. But if it is something we can use...we wear it. I have no pride. Good stuff that we can't use we take to Go*dwill.

I am creating...daycare and fall festival ensembles. A few of which may end up coming from Party's Plus

I am turn in my application to the state this week.

I am reading...I went through a reading spree about two weeks ago--reading non-stop and neglecting my family and home shamefully--and have now sworn off starting any new books until after the daycare opens

I am hoping...once again hoping that we will be able to sell our old house. The mortgage is a millstone around our necks.

I am hearing...clothes tumbling in the dryer.

One of my favorite things...hearing Marina laugh. It is a loud, brash, guffaw sound, so very incongruent with my thin, waif-like little girl, that I invariably laugh along with her.

Around the house...Staying up late hours to try and keep up with the housework after working in the daycare all day. Futilely, I may add; I am not keeping up at all. And we ate take out twice today. TWICE! I think that sets a record.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week...More daycare, TB test, I think we have some parent/teacher conferences, my parents are visiting this weekend...

A picture thought I'm sharing:

The bluest eyes in Texas.

Friday, October 16, 2009

What A Day!

Thomas the T*nk Engine came to a railway near us, and we hopped aboard. Considering we once drove all the way to Colorado for a similar event, I was thrilled to make this super-fun family outing as a day trip. On the way back, we stopped at a pumpkin patch. I'm pooped, but wanted to show off some my best pictures!
Randy would not cooperate for pictures but wanted instead to stand in front of Thomas and look and look. He kept saying, "That's my friend, Thomas. I ride in the freight cars?" I kept telling him that, yes, we would ride Thomas, but we would ride in 'coaches' not 'freight cars', but no need to confuse him with the facts.
I did a double take when I saw this little girl running around the state park. She is Cara's twin for sure! They looked so much alike, I had to ask the mother how old she was. I know Cara has a biological half-sister who is only a year older than her, and boy was I curious when I saw this cutie run up to a very Caucasian looking mommy. Just in the nick of time I thought to ask, "How old is she?" instead of blurting out, "Is she adopted?" Turns out this little girl is only six months older than Cara, and when we met her daddy, he was an Asian man with darker than usual skin tone. Both of us snapped pictures of our look-alikes, and the funny thing was, I know the man was looking at John and me and the other, Arian N*tion kiddos and thinking, "Where did she come from?" But he was polite enough not to ask. Kudos to him! Isn't that hairstyle darling? I'm strongly considering having Cara's hair cut in a chili bowl now that I've seen how cute she will look in it!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Never Before

And with any luck, never again. Thought I'd take a quick potty break between committee meeting and evening service. Pee in haste, repent at leisure. My skirt did not clear the commode. Thankfully, I was able to rush out of the side door without (I hope!!) anyone seeing me. I really must give up wearing broomstick skirts. I have not the careful, cautionary personality they require.

*If you wonder why my posts are few and far between, something has gone wrong with the computer. It takes forever to type on a website. You have to peck S-L-O-W-L-Y. Otherwise, the cursor just blinks at you. Getting a post up on blogger is painfully slow. I don't do slow.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Everyday Celebrations

I began the seasonal clothes sort today. This evening, the children discovered winter pajamas in their drawers. You'd have thought it was Christmas morning! They were that excited over the "new" clothes. Mind you, none of them were, in fact, new. Abby is wearing a nightshirt I found at GoodW*ll. Ian is styling the moose jamies I made him last winter with fabric I picked up from the discount table at Hancock's. Rina's Barbie nightgown and Randy's puppy dogs night clothes are hand-me-downs from older siblings. Yet--in their minds, at least--"Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed as one of these."

Lord, grant that they will always find such pleasure in the simple things of life.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Saturday Nine-Let's Go To Bed

1. Has a relationship been effected by how one of you slept? No, not really, but we have had some pretty heated discussion regarding the whole fan/no fan issue. Once, early in our marriage, I talked in my sleep (which I do from time to time), stating, "I want a divorce." Unfortunately, he was awake at the time, and heard me--very clearly. I honestly don't remember what I was dreaming about and was shocked when he repeated it to me. I most certainly did not want a divorce, but as you might imagine, he was quite upset for some time over the incident.

2. What side of the bed do you sleep on? right.

3. Do you sleep on your back, side, or stomach? I start out on my side or stomach, but usually awake on my back.

4. Describe the bedding on your bed right now. How does it change with the seasons? Are you particular about your pillows or linens? When we moved last year, I refused to move with the comforter because it was old (five years or more) and not in good condition. I figured that if we didn't take it with us, we would be "forced" to buy another one. Guess what? We still don't have one. We sleep with a sheet, and on cold nights, we throw on a quilt. Poor folk have poor ways. Our linen closet is in such bad shape, my mom is embarrased for me when she comes to visit.

5. When sleeping with someone, do you hog the bed, steal covers, or snore? The master says "no," "yes!" and "sometimes."

6. What do you wear to bed? If it varies, explain. Night gowns or T-shirts in fall, spring, and summer. In the dead of winter, I'll wear flannel pj's. Oh, and my bra.

7. No matter how much you love someone, would you rather sleep alone? No, I've never minded sleeping with someone. Unlike the master, who cannot rest without me, I don't have to have a partner to sleep soundly.

8. Tell us about a time when you awoke in bed, saw the person next to you and thought, "Oh, no..." I had to giggle, becuase this actually happens to me all the time! ;0) Any night I don't remember to put the baby gate up in the boy's doorway, Ian or Randy will come curl up next to me, and it gets really crowded and uncomfortable. I wake up in the middle of the night, stiff and cramped, and look over to see their sweet little faces.

9. Tell us about a time when you awoke thinking it was a different day than it was. In college, I hated waking up on a Tuesday and thinking it was a Wednesday. It's a bummer to get ready for an 8:00 class when you don't have one until 9:30.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Back in the Saddle Again

After a three year break, I returned to the public school classroom today. I have to admit, it was good to be back. I'm sure there will be days when I want to pull my hair out, but not today. It was a successful day, and overall, a well behaved class. The regular teacher left me pretty thorough plans, and that always helps. Don't know why after a year of having my application turned in they suddenly started to call me to substitute. It could be that a friend put in a good word for me. Or my going back around last week to show my face in all the offices. Maybe they got really desperate. My dad says it was because he prayed (I'm leaning toward that as the most probable reason). Whatever the reason, I'm thankful. My bringing in some income will certainly help the financial crunch we are in.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Friday Photo Journalism

Mass Transit Stalls in Tracks

A full two days of expectation and endless turns of the ignition finds Eight Heart's mass transit riders not knowing whether their services will resume in the near future, or at all. Significant funds already gobbled by two house payments and new business endeavors left local government at a loss for providing transportation to its citizens. After lengthy debate and discussion in a closed chamber session, they've tabled the matter. Talks are scheduled to reconvene Monday--following payday--when it is hoped that the much needed repair and maintenance will be financially feasible. Meanwhile, general morale ebbs as residents miss previously scheduled events.

"We couldn't go Putt-Putt. The van wouldn't start." stated a young woman regarding the current transportation crisis. While saddened by this development, she remains cautiously optimistic, "But if we can watch a movie, I will be happy."

With lawmakers eager to woo disheartened constituents, in all likelihood, her wish will be granted.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Going the Wrong Way,But on the Right Track

Most Sundays and Wednesdays we walk to church. It's delicious and makes me feel like our family stepped right out of a Norman Rockwell. Only thing missing is white gloves and a frisky puppy tagging along behind us.
This morning, as we waited on the stoop for Abby and K to locate their Bibles, Ian--lost in thought--turned Cara's stroller around in the opposite direction from church. When they emerged I laughed at Ian as I brought her around and started off,

"You silly goose! Where do you think we're going this morning? Church is that way!"

He looked across the street and pointed.

"Nah. That is the church building. We are the church."

We've taught him well.

Friday, September 18, 2009

A Picture's Worth

I decided it wasn't the right time to discuss the outburst. We had dinner, and ball practice and aerobics. As the days went by, no time seemed exactly "right." I mentioned it to the master and we both agreed that we should sit down and talk to her about how she was feeling. Funny how when you don't really want to do something, the opportune moment never presents itself. And besides, HOW was I to go about it? I can't just sit my five year old down and say, "Hey, let's talk adoption." Well, I suppose I could, but I doubt any productive outcome would spring from a forced, one-sided lecture. I drew a blank on how to introduce the topic naturally.
The incident had all but slipped my mind, until Wednesday night. I was discussing with the children's mission class about passports, what they were, and why missionaries needed them. I asked the class if any of them had passports. We have two children from Mexico and I mentioned that Marina had two passports. A Russian one and an American one. I smiled at Marina. She did not smile back.
When we got home I had the other children ready for bed and asked Marina to bring a piece of paper and some crayons from the art cabinet. I asked her to draw a picture of her family. She took her dear sweet time, savoring this unexpected reprieve from bedtime. She drew grass and a flower and clouds and then started on the people. She chatted as she drew,
"I'm drawing Abby first because she let me play in her room today...and you have a mouth Mommy, and TEETH...I'm drawing Daddy with two legs, because it is day time. Before he takes his fake leg off..." This was taking longer than I bargained for, but it was fun, and she was enjoying herself immensely. She drew the stick figures, and I added names above each head. As she finished up K and Ian, I began to second guess myself. As I looked at her drawing I thought:

She has drawn our family. The page is full. Complete. It is a good drawing, and she is happy. Why say anything to change it? No one else belongs there! Is it really so important that I bring painful stuff up? Just hug her, post her picture on the fridge and send her to bed. This hurts, and I don't like it.

I said, "Marina, someone is missing from your picture. How about you draw your birthmother?"

Instantly she stiffened. She looked at me with eyes that seemed to be waiting for a trap to spring.

I tried again, "Could you draw your birthmother?"

"I don't know." She shrugged.

"Well, just try, o.k.?"

"There isn't room." The voice that sparkled with enthusiasm seconds before was dull and lifeless. Maybe this was a bad idea. A really bad idea.

Trying to keep my tone light, "Sure there is! You can draw her right here next to you."

Seeing that I was not going to let it go, she reluctantly picked up a crayon and added another head to the picture. I was relieved to see that the figure did not look different than the other, smiling heads. If she had drawn something morbid or grotesque, I'm not sure what I would have done. Probably would have called it quits and started searching for a therapist on the spot. I asked Marina if she remembered her birthmother' name. She said she didn't--even though we've told her on several occasions that she has her birthmother's name. I wrote 'Marina' above the head, and to differentiate between the two Marina's, added her last name. By this time, the master had gotten the other children to bed and joined us in the living area. I suggested she give her birthmother some hair. She picked up a yellow crayon and I said, "Yes, I think she might have blond hair like you." She glared at me, put down the yellow crayon and exchanged it for brown. She colored in long brown hair. But then she proceeded to color her hair, mine, and Abby's brown and Cara's orange, so I'm not sure that had any significance. She gave the boys sprigs and then let Daddy tease her about not giving him any hair. Her smile came out again and she relaxed. "Daddy, you don't have any hair!"
I made several suggestions trying to get her to explore what her birthmother might look like, but she resisted this, and I had to let it drop. When the picture was finished the second time, I pulled her into my lap and brought out the infamous bag of rice. I reminded her of the conversation and I asked her why she had punched the picture of the lady. She said she didn't remember hitting the rice. And maybe she didn't. This is a child who, if over-stimulated, stressed, or physically tired (at this point, she was most likely all three) cannot remember her own name. I wasn't getting where I wanted to with this line of questioning. I dropped the rice bag, swung her in a cradle hold, took a deep breath and sailed in:

"Marina, I know you may feel sad and confused when you think about your birthmother. It is o.k. to feel sad. But I hope you will not be angry with her. She couldn't take care of a baby. Any baby. She was sick. Not like when you get a cold sick, but very, very sick. You needed someone to take care of you and she just couldn't give you what you needed. She hoped you would be adopted. And you were! God gave you to us to be our little girl and we love you very much."

So I am crying now, and tears are standing in Marina's eyes. I know I said some other things about trying to meet her birthmother when we were in Russia and telling her how sorry I was that we didn't have a picture but knowing her birthmother must have been very beautiful because she is so beautiful....Maybe she needed to hear my ramblings, and maybe she didn't. But I needed to say it.

Anyway, we did finally kiss her and send her off to bed. She went calmly and quietly, but just as she reached her bedroom, I thought I heard her make a faint noise. Was it a sob? The master went to check on her. I felt emotionally spent and talked out. He stopped at her door and listened. She was laying in her bed weeping. Heart-broken, gut-wrenching sobs. Children should not have to cry like that. They shouldn't. Ever. Outside the room he cried with her for a few moments, but when he went in to comfort her, she tried to dry it up and hide that she had been crying. She's hurting, but she is not letting us in. It's as though she is trying to be strong for us. Is that possible?

Perhaps it was enough to cry? The tears may have been the release she needed for now. Or did I only dredge up my daughter's sorrow unnecessarily? How can I know if I am doing the right thing?

Thursday, September 17, 2009

It All Started With a Bag of Rice

A few weeks ago, in the rush to get dinner on the table, I overheard a disturbing conversation between Ian and Marina. As per the status quo, they had been bickering most of the afternoon.

Ian: Look Marina, that woman is Russian. referring to the WaterM*id Rice Lady. Who, is clearly not Russian, but I think is supposed to represent a genie. She is a cartoon figure with bouffant hair, Asian styled eyes, and balloon pants. These pants do look an awful lot like the pants the male Russian folk dancers wear in some pictures we have in Marina's baby book. I'm guessing it was the pants that led Ian to say that.
Marina: No, she isn't. If Ian had said, 'The sky is blue,' Marina would have answered the same way.
Ian: Yes, she is. voice changing to taunting, sing-song I bet she is your Russian mommy.

Heretofore, I had only half attended their words; I instantly snapped to attention. I'd never heard any of the birth children tease, question, or ridicule Marina's status in the family and the direction of Ian's comment alarmed me. They fight, but with honest, above-the-belt punches--things so silly I usually laugh, "You're fighting over that?!" To me, because of my own sensitivity and insecurity, this jab belonged in an entirely different category. I thought, "Oh, no! Has he said these ugly things before, when I haven't been around?" In the next instant, I also remembered how as a child, I tormented my younger sister (both of us born to our parents as full biological siblings) with tales of Mom and Dad finding her in a basket on the front porch. I can still hear my own taunting, sing-song voice, "You're not my real sis-ter...You're not my real sis-ter." Inwardly, I breathed a sigh of relief. Most likely this was a new take on normal brother/sister stuff-not adoption related at all-at least on Ian's part. Nevertheless, I couldn't let his statement go unchallenged, though I wish now I had waited and heard Marina's response.

Me: firmly No. Marina only has one Mommy. Who is that?
Unison: looking guiltily at me and answering reluctantly You. They didn't realize I was listening.
Me: repeating words I have said a million times. Yes, I am Marina's mommy. Marina grew in another lady's tummy--her birthmother--but I am her mommy forever. Looking sharply at Ian. Just like I'm your forever mommy. Adding briskly to signal this conversation was C-L-O-S-E-D Now, get that rice put up and finish setting the table.

I turn back to the pot on the stove. The children turn toward the pantry. It is clear from their hushed tones that they think I am no longer able to hear them.

Marina: Ian, let me see that bag.
Ian: No.
Marina: louder hushed tones Ian!
Ian: Why?
Marina: whining Let me have it!
Ian: Why do you want the rice?
Marina: I am going to punch it.
My back was to them, but I hear Ian hand her the bag and she hits the rice bag with a balled up fist. It's amazing it didn't bust all over the floor.
Ian: suppressed giggle You punched her! You can tell he did not see this coming from his little sister and is highly amused. They have gone from being arch enemies to best buds--also typical.
Marina: triumph mixed with bitterness. Yeah. I punched that Russian momma.

As I'm sure you have guessed, this is not the end of the story, but this entry grows long. Follow-up post to come.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Bedside Poem

Abby leaves the master notes for bedtime. Tonight's made him cry.
Daddy, you're the best.
You beat all the rest.
You make a 100 on this important test.
Your love is better than the rest.

Your baby girl,

Monday, September 14, 2009

Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY, Monday, September 14, 2009
Outside My Window..."And the rain, rain, rain came down, down, down in rushing, rising rivulets..."
I am thinking...that if I had as many prospective clients, as I have prospective employees, I would be all set for a successful daycare. I've heard from an awful lot of stay-at-home moms calling to see if I'm hiring yet. Um, no. Businesses generally need income before they can manage out-go. I usually ask these ladies if they have experience in childcare or teaching, to which they respond, "Well no....but I have kids," or "I've babysat alot." *sigh* Running a good early childhood classroom is a whole different ballgame from "baby sitting," and being a mom does not necessarily mean that you are cut out for childcare. Believe it or not, folks, managing a classroom and caring for large groups of small children takes skill and special gifts. It's not a job that "just anybody" can do--or at least, not do well. Listening to the radio this afternoon, I heard the statistics for the shortfall of registered nurses in this country and thought, "I should have made that my major instead of early childhood education." Not only would I be in demand and most likely have my choice of positions, no one would tell me, "I've been to a hospital, so I think I could work as a nurse," or "I've taken care of a sick person before. That's nursing, right?"
I am thankful Chi iron. After four months of chi-lessness, I broke down and bought a replacement on Friday. My little sister had a shower this weekend in our hometown, and I just couldn't face a room full of old friends and relatives with THE POOF. It really is a shallow, vain thing to be thankful for, but I am. I can't help it.
From the kitchen...This rainy, cooler weather has put us in a soup mood. Large pots of potato soup and gumbo, should feed our crew for the better part of the week.
I am wearing...2009 VBS shirt and black capri pants.
I am creating...slings! I made a beautiful pouch style sling this weekend for my sister and nephew (I wish I had gotten a picture!), and I've had a request for a ring sling from a new friend.
I am going...except for Wednesday church, I have no travel plans this week.
I am reading...Parting the Waters by Jeanie Damoff (I read a little and ponder and pray. Read some more and ponder and pray. Not a story you can just plow through), Have A New Kid by Friday (I must not need new kids, because I'm not getting much out of this one), and The Mysterious Benedict Society (kid's bedtime book that has me hooked. It is excellent!)
I am hoping...for a good return on all the hard work and money that is going in to fixing up the daycare.
I am hearing...the master munching popcorn as he reads Princes of Ireland.
One of my favorite things...Have I mentioned my Chi iron?
Around the house...Cara is cruising, Randy's language is exploding, Marina is learning to keep a cleaner room, Ian is lovin' some guinea pigs, Abby continues to experiment with new hairdo's, and K has added songwriting to his list of accomplishments.
A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week...finish last online course to renew my childcare director's license, and fill out application for a private tutor (hey, options are a good thing.)
A picture thought I'm sharing:

Hmmm, what can I get into up here?

Enjoy more daybooks here.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Guinea Pig Party!

Yes, Ian had a guinea pig party, complete with guinea pig cake (made by mom), races, and carrot pinata (also homemade). He, he. My kids are nothing if not creative. He's been wanting a guinea pig for over a year, and we told him when he turned seven, he could get one. Of course, our luck is that Disney would release a movie starring the rodents only a few weeks before--making guinea pigs a hard-to-come-by commodity. In the end, we had to make over an hour drive to purchase his new best friends and store them at neighbor's house for the week. It was well worth seeing his expression when we wheeled them in though. He's in love.

Friday, September 4, 2009


Debbie did a post this week on [adoption] questions she gets when she is out with her daughter, Isabel. She asked for other adoptive parents to leave the questions they have received in comments. Rather than clog up her comments, I thought I'd address a few in a post of my own. Right after we brought Cara home, I did a similar entry here--of course, since no one knew we were adopting (we didn't know ourselves), it came as quite a surprise and folks peppered us with questions. We don't have to deal with many questions on a day-to-day basis, and I'm thankful for that.

1. How much did it cost? By far the most frequent. If it is someone who is asking because they are seriously considering adoption themselves, I will honor this question with a straightforward monetary amount. If not, I keep things pretty vague, "Our international adoption was rather expensive." or "Not very much." Depending on which adoption they are asking about. I really feel I need to come up with something better, especially since Marina is old enough to understand what is being talked about. I don't like people discussing her as though she were a cut of meat. I've thought, "Not as much as your Escalade." Or, "Just a few dollars more than your new swimming pool." But that was Ethyl talking, and so far, I've been able to keep her at bay.

2. Just this week someone at church asked us, "Does she [Marina] remember her life in the orphanage?" And we've been asked that before. This is a tough one. No. And Yes. No, Marina does not have specific memories of her first 13 months of life, i.e., "I remember when...." Judging from her verbal development, I would be shocked if Marina' s first true "memories" date before the age of four--three and a half at the earliest. Prior to that, her brain did not possess the linguistic capabilities required to store them for retrieval. But I believe in some part of her brain, expressed usually as primal emotions, those experiences do still affect her. Example: She immediately takes to grey haired older ladies, particularly if they are in lab coats/hospital scrubs. Once, when I was taking the older children to an eye doctor appointment, she ran to a nurse (probably in her mid-sixties) and hugged her, smiling, and looking in her eyes. For Marina, that's HUGE. For a moment, I thought my child had been body snatched, and then it hit me. The nurse reminded her of the orphanage doctor. Not that Marina could have told me that, or understood why she instantly liked and trusted this stranger, but I honestly believe it to be the case. When we were visiting the orphanage, the doctor was the only one Marina would smile for and follow with her eyes when she was in the room. She would even reach out for her, and the doctor always spoke sweetly to her in a sing-song voice. None of the other caregivers that came and went did that. I believe the doctor may have been her one source of adult/infant exchange from her first year and on some level Marina was attached to her.
She as other "buried" memories from orphanage life that are not so pleasant, but I won't go into that.

3. Concerning Cara: Is she mixed? or What is she mixed with? These type of questions regarding Cara's racial background peaked around 4-5 months of age and were always from AA women. I guess they are just more aware of color? And are not shy about asking? Haven't had one in a while, though at church the other day someone was remarking on her big brown eyes and asked if we knew What her parents looked like? I got the feeling it was a backward way of asking if she was white or not. Anyway, I told her yes, "We know exactly what her parents look like. Her father is a good looking bald man age 35 with a prosthetic leg and her mother is a 5 ft. 4 in. brunette who could stand to lose 15 pounds."
This summer when we took Cara down to the agency to show her off, the director kept commenting about "how light she was." She said that when Cara was a little baby, she had almost looked bi-racial African American (is this why she drew attention from the AA ladies at the grocery store?), but now she could "pass as white." The way she said it was as though she thought that we should be pleased about this. Now this lady is not a prejudiced person--they place children of all races and mixed races with parents of all races and mixed races--and she relates so well with the different groups. I've witnessed that myself. It makes me wonder if she thought we were relieved that her skin tone had lightened up? We didn't--and still don't--care. We hadn't even noticed. Should we have? Did she mean that Cara will have an easier time in life if she can, "pass for white?"--in the sense that she won't stand out from the rest of her family? I don't want her to have to "pass" for anything. Along those same lines, a relative recently made the comment that Cara's looks were changing, and then she said, "She doesn't even look Hispanic any more." I didn't know how to take that. Was she just making a statement of fact--as she saw it--or insinuating that "not looking Hispanic" was a good thing?

4. And just for grins, the question that makes me chuckle every time: Does she talk Russian? and Does she understand Spanish? Seriously people, THINK BEFORE YOU SPEAK.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


I was running late to aerobics on Monday, and when I arrived, they were finished with warm-up, and going strong with cardio. I grabbed my gear and jumped in the step routine. BIG MISTAKE. It wasn't three minutes later, a bomb went off in my right calf, and I went straight to the floor. Apparently, I "popped" a tendon. Popping a tendon HURTS. One time in high school I pulled a ham string at drill team practice, but other than that, I've never so much as strained a muscle. No broken bones, sprains, or spurs either. I'm unaccustomed to being incapacitated.
I've been laid up for two days. I don't have time for an injury. But the good news is that I'll have loads more sympathy for the master. Never again will I tell him, "Why don't you use your crutches?" or "How come you don't just hop?" when he has his prosthetic off in the evenings. Crutches are horrible awkward devices of torture, and hopping is exhausting and--in this house--dangerous.

Friday, August 28, 2009

I Wonder...

I wonder what the poor folk are doing?
Standing around, watching the popcorn pop?

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Monday, August 24, 2009

First Day of School

Blissful, blissful day. The kids are back in school! And don't they look handsome and beautiful? And very, very grown-up?

This was Rina's first day of all-day school. She did well and came home chatting happily about all of her new friends. According to her, she is now best buddies with her entire class ;0)

Unlike last year, Ian came home with a good mark on his behaviour chart for the first day! We threatened him within an inch of his life if he didn't. In my life as a mom, I've had some embarrasing moments, but nothing beats my child coming home from his first day of kindergarten with a bad behaviour report! I taught kindergarten and every kid--absolutely everyone--gets a good mark on the first day. It's the law. Oh, but not my son....anyhow, better and brighter things for first grade.

Abby likes both of her teachers but isn't too sure about the gym teacher. "She yells all the time. Even when she is talking to other teachers!"

K said he had a good first day, but switching classes every hour is going to take some getting used to.

The home crew had an amazingly productive day without the older four. I breezed through the "children's summer chores" list in about an hour. Tackling in 60 minutes all the tasks it took four kids most of the morning to complete. With me riding them the whole time, and half the time having to go behind them and polish the job. Surprise. Surprise. Randy plays as happily on his own as he does with the group--which is a blessing. Cara seemed a little puzzled by the sudden reduction in adoring servants content to follow her around and see to her every comfort, but ultimately this may encourage her to get off her well padded Luvs hiney and do things for herself. Which is a good thing!