Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Over and out~ for now

Tomorrow is the official move day so this will likely be my last post for a while. We have a long wait for our phone and internet appointment at the new place. I'll be in touch if and when I can. Meanwhile... Praying you are all doing well and will be missing the blog therapy! ;)

You know you are tired when.....

you start a bath for your child and forget all about it causing a flood all over the floor. Yep, time for a rest! We got a good laugh though and spent some time splashing around in the floor puddle before cleaning it up. It hadn't made it past the tiles to the carpet so it just made for a good time and a needed laugh.

Life is good when.....

you are young, and at Disneyland, and with good friends, and eating ICE CREAM!!!!

April Update photos

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Oh Happy Happy Day!!!!

Today my dear friend Ange caught her first flight to Haiti to bring her precious girls home! We thought it was going to happen a few months ago but there was a crummy hold up getting one of the visas. Ange, her daughter, and her sister arrive in Haiti tomorrow and will be hugging on her girls and not having to say goodbye this time. They will all arrive home on Friday. How cool is that?
Happenings around here~ Tomorrow will be such an exciting day. My friend Ali and sons will be in town and we will spend the day with them again at Disneyland. They are such a blast. Eat your heart out Texas friends. ;) So great that Ali moved to CA so I can have one of my priceless TX friends to hang out with.
We are all pretty exhausted preparing for the move. We will be gone all day Monday, doing the last minute things on Tuesday, and leave this home on Wednesday. Wednesday night we will be HOMELESS. It turns out the new house will not be ready to welcome us home. Don't cry for us just yet.... I found an amazing deal to stay at a resort for almost nothing! We will be pretending we are on vacation for the rest of the day and night. Thursday we will move into our new home BUT we will be without phone and internet for a week. BOOOOO HOOOO. Okay, now you can cry for us. Is it wrong that I am okay with temporary homelessness but heartbroken at the loss of internet connection?

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

What happens when there are no toys

You get SOCK BOYS!
All the toys are packed away. I had let Johnny and Luke play on the Playstation until they got in an argument and were sent to their (empty) room as punishment. A little while later I hear "Mom, come see what we made".
Who needs toys?

Some of yesterdays favorite moments

California Adventure park~ Is this place great or what?

Luke, Kyle, and Johnny strike a pose in a newly discovered area of the park

The kids want to play in the water. The Mom doesn't want to hear grumbling from cold kids. Compromise= ponchos. Everyone is happy!

Scott bravely took Kyle and Benjamin on the water rapids ride.

Look out- You are going to get wet...


All together again and waiting for the Pixar parade




Monday, April 21, 2008

The Surprise Family Reunion

Jim with his brother Scott

The sister "in-laws". While living far apart and the business of life has kept us from keeping in touch often~ My sister in-law has always been a great friend and is much more of a sister minus the in-law.

Our boys with their cousins, 2nd cousins, Aunt, and Uncle

My beautiful niece and her baby that we got to meet for the first time. I've only got two more days to try and convience them to leave him behind so I can keep him. He's so smiley and sweet. Any ideas? Do you think I could just take him and run on the last day?

Just one of the photos from Fantasmic (a must see if you get a chance)

We did end up going to Disneyland on Sunday night. We arrived around 8PM in hopes of getting a really great spot for the 9PM Fantasmic show but all the good spots were already taken by then. We decided to head to some rides and come back for the 10:30 show in hopes that we could get a good spot then. So around 10PM we are in a perfect spot for the show. We are just standing there, minding our own business, when someone comes up behind me and grabs me around the neck. Startled I turn around to see who's got a hold of me and couldn't believe my eyes! It was my sister in-law and nieces that live in Northern CA! We had no idea they were in town and had not seen them in a really long time. They had just arrived in So. CA for a family vacation at Disneyland and had decided to check out the Fantasmic late show also (they had no idea we were there either). They also arrived at the show early for a good spot and happened to be standing near us but we did not see each other. I had called out to Kyle about something and my sister in-law recognized my voice in the crowd and found us. Seriously... if you've ever been to Disneyland you will know what an absolute miracle it is for it to have happened this way. Minutes later Jim's brother and our nephews joined us. It was a great big, exciting, and unexpected reunion! We spent what was left of the night with them and didn't end home and in bed until after 2AM. Then we headed back this afternoon to spend more time with them and me and the boys are on our way back again tomorrow. We still can't believe we've spent the last couple days hanging out with them. So very very cool! Life is so fun when it throws unexpected (good) excitement your way.

3 Years and a total surprise

I just have a minute to post as we are headed out the door and will not be back home until late. Today is somewhat of a sad day in our adoption wait. We have officially hit the 3 years of waiting mark. Three years ago today we very nervously called to request permission to adopt our then baby Lovenie. What a ride it's been!

Last night we went to Disneyland and encountered a huge surprise that left me nearly speachless and very excited. Since we have to run the story about what happened will just have to wait. ;)

Have a great day!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Dead Fish

So Kyle taught us a new game called Dead Fish. I've gotta tell ya... Mama REALLY likes this game! The boys lay on the floor without moving or making any sound (can you figure out why I like it?). Jim and I are judges and walk around seeing if anyone moves and then they are disqualified. Johnny proves he IS capable of being still and quiet even if he never does it.
Kyle is an excellent dead fish

Yep, there is no hope for Luke to ever win this game!!!

The boys were all doing a great job until the judge (Jim) made the boys burst into laughter when he said in his best Pirates of the Caribbean impression "Dead fish tell no tails".

We've been so busy getting ready for the move that I have not done much posting so here is what's going on around here:
The last POD was loaded yesterday, yippee!!! It looks like we will be able to move into the new house on the 30th (instead of 1st) so we will not likely have a homeless night in between. ;)

Jim is not working tomorrow and we finally got the appointment referral letter for our fingerprinting. We will also be Fed Ex'ing our paperwork to Haiti for the kids' visas.

We have been so busy getting stuff done that we are ready to have a little fun. You know what that means~ Disneyland! We've always wanted to go really late on a Sunday night because the park is nearly empty (especially in the kids rides). The plan is to leave here in a little while and for the first time get really great seats for the Fantasmic show (way cool!) and then hit ride after ride until midnight while hoping that everyone else wimps out and we find ourselves without any lines. Please don't call us early tomorrow morning... We will be sleeping in!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Inching Closer

We received an email today requesting some paperwork necessary for getting our children's visas. We are still waiting for an appointment to update our fingerprints with immigration. We are getting anxious to get that done so it does not end up holding us up needlessly. Looks like we are continuing to inch closer and any movement forward is a celebration!

Monday, April 14, 2008

A New Bold Look

Lovenie, who is always leading the fashion world, has decided to sport a new bold (or is that bald?) look. She's ready to try out for Americas Next Top Model once she finally gets to America. She bravely chose to go with the Sinead O'connor inspired "shave it all off" look.
Well, okay... maybe it wasn't her choice, and she doesn't look too thrilled about it...

But she is still stunning. Check out the wide open healthy eyes. Is this the same child that was believed to be blind at one point? A silly little stroke is not going to keep her down!
Sadly the shaved head was not a fashion related decision (even if it works for her). Our little Love had developed sores on her head and this makes it easier to medicate her. I just wish I could be the one taking care of her little pretty head.

On the move~

Thank goodness for 2 drive ways!
The move has officially begun! Five large mobile storage units were delivered Saturday morning. As of last night they are all packed to within mili-inches (is that a word?) of unoccupied space. I'm always impressed with my husband but at times like this I'm in AWE of him! Not only does he have nearly limitless strength and energy but his mental capacity to be able to figure out the absolute best way to do things is truly something to behold! He works for hours on end without ever muttering a complaint. Today I will call to have these units picked up and replaced with 5 empty units. By the time we load those up we will be down to only what we "must" have until the 30th.

We sure know how to pick a weekend to start our move. It was nearly 100 degrees outside!!! We broke record highs that have been in place since the 1940's. Of course it was ONLY for the two days we were doing hard labor. By tomorrow it will be about 30 degrees cooler. I thought we left this weather behind for our Texas friends. What happened?

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Our New Home

Entry Area and Stairs

Formal Living Room

Double sided fireplace in our room. One side faces our bed area and the other side is a sitting area with a big bay window facing the beautiful lake view. This will be the new home of our "Spa Room". Imagine being on the massage table or chair with a fire roaring in the fireplace and the Lake view in the window. So great!

I'm finally posting about our new home. We are eyeball deep in packing and preparing for the move so it is really helpful for me to be able to look at pictures and remember how excited we are about moving here. Pictures just do not do it justice. It really is a great place. The home owner association includes a stunning club house , swimming pools, spa, huge lake view park, weight room and more. Our back yard is big by Southern CA standards and includes a wooden playscape for the kids.
This Saturday we are having the first drop off of the mobile storage units (like a POD). Then another round of them next weekend so we should have the house nearly empty by then. The following weekend we have hired a housekeeping company to come and do the last dreaded move-out clean. My back is thrilled at this idea!
Meanwhile~ Jim and Johnny are on their way to get Johnny's medical exam done for our home study update (for the adoptions of Jacques and Vilner). Tomorrow is my behind the wheel drive test and if that goes well I just need the safety office to reinstate my license and I'll be driving again. Will it ever really happen? Between the adoptions and my license I feel like my wheels just spin and spin and I wonder if it will ever really end. Until then, what can I do but keep trying?

Monday, April 07, 2008

Riots in Haiti and a big crazy day UPDATED

So sad to share that there are protests and riots going on in Haiti. While the protesters certainly have reason to protest (50% raise in the cost of food while many are already starving!) it does not take long for things to get out of hand. The riots include road blocks, looting, burned cars, UN workers shoot at and shooting, and at least 4 people already killed. As if that is not concerning enough... There are people that we love right in the midst of the madness. Our children were taken out today for immunizations (one step closer to traveling!) and are now back at the Agency office where they are locked in (if I understand correctly) the office along with our friend Bryn, NLL staff members, and 2 families trying to get their visas today! They are just 100 yards or so from the Presidential Palace so please pray for their safety.

The families that are waiting on visas could really use your prayers also. One family has flights booked for this evening and need their child's visa in hand to leave. The other family leaves on Wed. The potential for something to not go well is big. The government could just shut down due to the riots, they could have trouble getting to the US Consulate office to get the visas, and may even have trouble getting to the airports to get out of Haiti. On top of all of that... The US consulate closes tomorrow for possibly around 2 weeks! It's a situation of getting them today or being stuck for a long time! I'm certain these families would not turn down your prayers either.

Last, but most certainly not least~ One of my closest friends has 3 children that were taken on an errand somewhere in Haiti today. Please pray for their safety as well. Beyond that... please pray that their errand will be successful and they will receive long awaited good news.

Thanks for your prayers!

UPDATE~ Very exciting news.... The family that hoped to be able to get their daughters visa in time to catch their flight tonight has made it! They are bringing their daughter home. This truly is a miracle! Keep those prayers coming!!!

Sunday, April 06, 2008

New Fun Fact/Lego Man

Based on an actual conversation that happened in our home today we have learned....

Legos can not TALK!

Not him

Or him (Business man made out of Legos)

Or him (vacation man made of Legos)

Or him! (Giant Lego-man at the beach)

Hmmm... you learn something new every day!

It's Back

The Disneyland smiles!
Chasing bubbles after the Pixar Parade


Friday, April 04, 2008

All Work & No Play? NO WAY!

We are off to spend the day at Disneyland as a family. Dear, worries, work, effort, stress, problems, trouble, concerns.... You are NOT invited! Dear, fun, friendship, family, laughter, play, silliness, kindness, and everything happy... come along!

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

One down~ Two to Go!!!

Lovenie has a passport! Woo Hoo!!! Now we just need passports for Jude and Stephanie, a scheduled visa appointment and after 3 years of waiting we will be on our way. So exciting!

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

What a good sport!

Ahh man... I love April Fools day... Part II~~ So I showed my husband a little grace this morning so that he would not miss his train but even that in its-self ended up being a good prank. Jim told me later that he was already suspicious of the fact that I stayed up later then him last night. He was sure I was rigging some sort of trap for him. So this morning (he gets up while it's still dark) he carefully crept across our room, across the bathroom floor being careful not to slip on anything or run into any string on the door. Just the mental picture of him moving cautiously waiting for something to happen had me cracking up!
He usually calls me when he is at the train station and getting ready to board to come home. He tried telling me he was still at work and not going to make the last train~ I didn't believe him. Then I told him how relieved I am that he was just kidding because me and the kids decided to walk to the Carl's Jr. that is a couple miles from our house and I was hoping he would come by and pick us up. So after he got off the train and back in the car he headed to Carl's Jr. talking to me on the cellphone until he was just a couple minutes away. I gave a very compelling chat about being at Carl's Jr and then told him that I was going to go and get the kids ready so we could head home as soon as he got there. So, of course, he gets to Carl's Jr. and his family is nowhere in sight. He calls me and tells me he thought I might be tricking him and knew I was at home. That's when me and the boys said "April Fools" into the cell phone. Then I told him how I hurried to get off the phone with him and rushed the kids across the parking lot and we were now in the grocery store. So we stay on the phone together while I tell him we are in the ice cream aisle and start asking him what kind he wants and reading flavors off to him. He goes to meet us in the ice cream aisle and GUESS WHAT? We are not there!!! Once again we all say into the phone "April Fools". Then I add "Hey, since you're at the store in the ice cream aisle, can you bring us home some ice cream?" So, yes, it was an elaborate hoax to get some ice cream! Then he gets home with the ice cream to find a note on the door that we are at the park! Where are we anyways? Sure enough he opens the locked door, turns off the alarm, and is greeted with a dark and quiet house. Meanwhile me and the boys were hiding and giggling until he found us.

Good times!

Messing with our children

Anyone who knows me knows that today is one of my favorite days of the year! However, my closest friends and family members are hip to my game. They now never believe me, don't answer my calls on April 1st, and even remind each other to not believe anything I say. This morning I even found a warning on my friends blog telling people to beware of anything I say (thanks Ange, you're in trouble!). So what does one do when all the grown ups don't trust you anymore? You mess with your kids! ;)

This morning I called the boys together and told them we needed to have a family meeting. I told them that me and their Father are concerned about how little they help around the house and announced that next week they will all be sent off to chore camp. Then I handed out brochures I had printed yesterday. The brochures tell them all about the fun activities: making your bed, washing the car, doing dishes, the list goes on and on. Kyle actually got really excited, poor Johnny was trying to fight back tears, and Luke stubbornly said "I'm not going!". I let this charade go on for about 10 minutes before telling them it was April Fools day. They all cracked up. Johnny and Luke were relieved and Kyle begged to still be able to go to this imaginary camp.

Gotcha~ Chore camp brochures and crazy maze

Then, in hopes of seeking their forgiveness, I passed out some fun activities. The first one was this maze.

The boys worked hard at their mazes while I exclaimed that I couldn't believe how long it was taking them to finish it. "Usually you do these much quicker." This picture caught Kyle mid-sentence as it all clicked and he said "Hey, this maze doesn't have an answer!" Smart boy.

Then came a fun game. A memory game! Only problem is... None of the cards match! Don't they look like they are having a blast?

All was forgiven when they found out we would be eating our meals backwards today. Starting with dessert... ice cream bars

Then Spaghetti for breakfast. Tonight we are having Chocolate Chip pancakes and eggs for dinner.

Oh, the plans I had for Jim. I ended up not doing any of the morning plans. I was going to try a trick where you take a tube out of the toilet tank and tape it to the top of the lid so that when a toilet is flushed it sprays the unsuspecting person with water instead. Turns out our toilet is not made this way. :( Then I stayed up last night after he fell asleep and was going to take all his underwear out of their drawer and replace them with mine to confuse him in the morning. I also had planned to tape balloons to the back tires of our SUV so that when he backed up he would hear a loud popping noise and think the tires blew. Oh, how tempting my plans were! I decided against doing them though since he has to catch the train and I didn't want to make him run late and miss it. See... I'm not TOTALLY bad! Don't think you got off the hook, babe. There is still lots of day left. ;)

Now Kids Can Fly For FREE!!!

Kids Fly Free In a rare show of solidarity, all major airlines in North American have announced today that all kids aged 0 to 17 will fly free on all routes. Spokesman Mike Ep, president of Intercontinental Airlines, was misty-eyed as he proclaimed: "It's hard enough for parents to afford to raise kids, let alone give them decent vacations. This is our way of saying, 'Thanks for everything, Mom and Dad.'"
Going one step further, the Canadian government has announced that it will fund free resort stays for families. "We think it's only prudent," says Finance Minister Maul Partin. "Sociological studies clearly show that Canadian children who escape winter with a holiday at a Caribbean resort almost never grow up to be criminals. By spending our money now on preventative family resort holidays, we can save billions on the justice system down the line."
Not to be outdone, Behemoth Cruise Lines has a bold new pricing policy for families: kids pay only the amount of money the child has in his or her piggybank.
All in all, 2008 could be the best year ever for families, if only April 1st pricing policies can be extended to the entire year.

This of course is an April Fools joke- Have a fun April 1st!!