Thursday, February 26, 2009

Everything and yet Nothing at all

Ever have those times that you feel like your life is in a whirlwind, and you have a mind boggling amount of things to do, but when asked what's happened in your day you can't think of a single exciting thing? We continue to plug along (very very slowly) with the unpacking. It is amazing to me how much longer it takes to "set up shop" with 6 instead of 3 children. A lot of our day is consumed with just keeping the status quo instead of getting ahead. But that's okay, no rush, the boxes are kind enough to sit there waiting for us.

Stephanie has had a good week. She seems to really like her new school. She has even shared with me a peer pressure situation where she totally stood up for her and her friend when someone wanted to involve them in something she was uncomfortable with. I was so proud of her and her friend was in "awe" that Stephanie would stand up to this somewhat scary person. Stephanie's response to that was "I'm not scared of her!". Once again it is proven that there are some UP sides to being a strong and unbending child (even if it is hard to parent one). This gave us a chance to talk about the pressures at school, what the bible says about these pressures, and pray together. Dare I say it... a moment of BONDING!!! Thank you Lord!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Meet Maizy

For those who know us well this may turn out to be the most shocking post of all. We are the proud new parents to a fantastic dog! We have not had any pets in 8 years and honestly have not been the worlds biggest pet fans. The kids, on the other hand, have begged and begged for a dog but we have told them they had to wait until our family is ready for that kind of responsibility. Beyond that Luke and Lovenie have been TERRIFIED of dogs. The two of them have been coming around a little to the dogs of friends and family so we thought maybe we would just start looking for a pet we would all be okay with. Saturday we went to a CARE pet adoption fair. We met 3 dogs we all really liked. One was my favorite because she was so sweet and mellow, then we also came really close to adopting another dog that was much more playful (but a bit on the hyper side). The very wonderful volunteers directed us towards a dog we had somewhat overlooked and put us in a room alone to get to know her. We all fell in love with her (even Luke and Lovenie!!!). She was right in between the other two. She wasn't so mellow that she would not be playful for the kids, but was not so hyper that she would drive the parents crazy. She is just right! Now that she has been home for a while we all adore her even more. She's just an angel of a dog. She is house trained (big plus), mellow yet silly, and so very sweet to us all. I really went into this whole thing ready to "endure" it for the happiness of the kids but now I'm finding that I may just be the one that is the gaga'est over her! She just darling. So, there it is... we took the plunge and we are all thrilled about it. We look forward to you all meeting our newest sweetheart!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Pardon Us

Today we got an update on Jacques adoption and YES he is STILL in IBESR. We have hit the 8 month mark which officially makes it an even longer wait then we had with Stephanie, Jude, and Lovenie. We have learned that we are waiting for a pardon from the President to approve us for the adoption of Jacques due to the size of our family. It is very difficult for anyone to adopt from Haiti but even more difficult for a large family. :( Please Pardon Us Mr. President!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Adventures In Transition

During our time between our previous home and finding our new one we played "vacation" as much as possible in our new area. You may notice that there are more pictures of our newest family members then our other children. This is only because I'm working on an album for their birthmom and was watching for photo ops for that. Here are some of our adventures:

Living only 3 hours away instead of 9 we got to meet up with my parents twice~

We took a tour of the Jelly Belly Factory and came home with 6 pounds of "Belly Flops"~

We went to the San Jose Children's Museum~

This explains a few things!

I LOVE my Sweetheart!

Seriously, Could she be any more precious?!

We spent the day in San Francisco at Pier 39~

As happy as six kids in a candy shoppe!

Jim always gets roped into going on stage. This juggler is trying to knock the cigar out of his mouth but of course he misses again and again and knocks Jim in the head with the paddle ball. The kids and I laugh and laugh. All part of our tobacco free family plan!

Such a goofball!

And even got to go to the under the ocean aquarium~

Petting sharks and other sea creatures~

Sunday, February 15, 2009

A First Valentine

Yesterday was our first Valentine's day with our newest family members. We made some wonderful memories. I thought I had received my gifts early but Jim had another surprise for me. 100 mini roses were delivered, one rose for each year he wants to spend with me. DEAL! I got a real gem in Jim! In the afternoon we called the kids together for a family meeting and gave them each a little heart shaped box of chocolates. We thought they would like them but were surprised by just how thrilled they were! We decided to share the love and picked up 10 more boxes of chocolates and headed out in the cold to meet our new neighbors and give them a gift. The reactions where wonderful. We handed out all 10 boxes (despite the cold and rain). When the unsuspecting neighbors would open the door they would find 6 kids yelling "Happy Valentines Day" and one of the children would hand them their box of chocolates. Our neighbors were all very kind and one even remembered every name of each of our family members. We all applauded her when she was done.

We ended the day with a yummy homemade steak dinner and dancing together in the living room. Good Times!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

A History Of Kisses

Happy Valentines Day!

Last night all the kids were tucked away in their beds and Jim and I had a movie ready to watch (this is what we call a date night now that we have six kids!). Jim left the room to get an early present for me. I had mentioned wishing we had some chocolate while watching our movie (wink, wink) so Jim returned to the room and threw a few Hershey kisses at me. At first it startled me but I thought he was just tossing some to me. Then he threw a handful more. THEN he poured the entire open bag over my head and told me he was showering me with kisses. ;) I laughed and laughed and laughed. It was so unexpected and chocolate kisses were now all over me, the couch, and the floor. He's so much fun! Several years ago I had done something similar to him~ When he got home from work I had a bag of Hershey's kisses rolled up in the bottom of my sweatshirt. As he turned around he heard a strange quiet sound. He looked kind of puzzled but turned back around and continued walking. He heard the sound a couple times more when he turned back around to find out what was going on. It was then that he noticed a trail of Hershey kisses following where he had walked. He stood there for a second before it registered to him that I was "kissing the ground he walks on". Once he figured out what I was doing it became a game. He started jumping from one place to another while I threw handfuls of kisses to each place he had been. Then he took off running upstairs and all around the house while I chased him covering the ground as we went. Of course it made a huge mess but we laughed and laughed so it was totally worth it. So we thank you Hershey's for making a way for us to kiss the ground the other walks on and to shower our loved one in kisses!

May your Valentines Day be Sweet!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

You're My Mom, Mama

Around lunch time I hear this question again and again "What are you making for lunch Mom?". Today I turned it around on Jude and asked him "What are YOU making ME for lunch today?". This verbal tennis match went back and forth for a while until I playfully asked him "What makes you think I'll be making you lunch today?". His response was to sweetly respond with "Because you are my Mom, Mama." There is something extra sweet about an adopted child so matter of factly referring to you as Mama. He wins~ I'm headed to make this darling lunch!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

School fun, frustrations, and triumphs

We are settled in a bit more and as of today we are enjoying a stable internet hook up. Woo Hoo! The last week or so has been pretty tied up in trying to figure out what to do with each of our children regarding school and then jumping through hoops and hitting some brick walls. Stephanie started her new school last Thursday and is enjoying it so far. It took quite a bit of effort to get her enrolled as they wouldn't let her start until she had another round of shots. The whole thing was a little silly since she already has had two rounds of immunizations and certainly has it well in her system. We had to scramble to set up our new insurance and rush her in for the shots. I ended up there with her for hours because they took a look at her last shots and said that she was given the wrong shot last time so could not get some of the shots the school said she needed. Oh boy! So I didn't leave there until I had a doctors note in hand saying that there was no reason Stephanie should not be enrolled in school. We hadn't even left the medical office, after getting this letter, that the school called and said they had decided to go ahead and let her start without the additional shots. Gee, that news sure would have been nice to hear THREE HOURS AGO! ;) Then we went and got her school bus pass and were shocked to learn that it was $300 per semester. Are you kidding me? So I gulped and paid it. After riding the bus just 2 times we got a letter saying that due to budget cuts they may be ending the bus rides as soon as next week. That news would have been real nice to know $300 AGO!

Meanwhile Kyle, Johnny, and Jude had finished their school curriculum for the year and are ready to graduate to the next school year. We ordered their fantastic private school curriculum just to find that it is way too difficult for Jude to do until his reading and English comprehension is much improved. So we considered signing him up for public school too so that he could take advantage of their ELL program. I took him to the nearest elementary school just to find out that their school is FULL and we would have to send him elsewhere. Also because his birth certificate says he is 11 (while we suspect he is no older then 9, although we refer to him as 10, REALLY clear, right?) they would start him in a much higher grade then would be good for him. So back home he is for now while we try to decide what to do. For now I'll continue to home school him the best I can. We also have tried to sign up Lovenie for a special preschool where she can receive speech therapy. We think this would be great for her but can't get anyone to return our inquiries.

Today Kyle has official become and 5th grader and Jude and Johnny have started 3rd grade. Luke continues with his 1st to 2nd grade work and I've started some preschool on my own with Lovenie. It's going to take a while to get everyone settled with their new school work. Until then I expect to continue to be pulled a bit like taffy running back and forth between the calls of "Mooooooommmm, Can you help me please?".

All things considered we are doing well. We've had a couple good days with Stephanie and each one of those we consider to be a great gift. I will be starting counseling soon to help me learn the best ways to parent her. We are also planning to get her in soon to seek both medical and psychiatric help for her. We suspect that we are dealing with mental delays as well as RAD and PTS, possibly more. More days then not I feel tempted to just throw my hands up and "give up" but God's the glue holding us together and that's some SERIOUS glue!

Thursday, February 05, 2009

The 23RD Night

Just wanted to check in and share that our family is home again (new home that is)! We spent 22 looooooong nights in a hotel during transition. I used to love staying in hotels but I way underestimated the absolute exhaustion that comes from 6 kids in a hotel. There was a whole lot of "shhhh, quiet down" and "Don't do that". It's exciting to be in our home where the kids can be kids and the Mom can get the slightest bit of down time. Last night was our first night in our home. We were up late searching for the boxes that contained the bedding for 7 different beds~ that was fun! It was so very worth it and feels great to be snuggled up in our own digs.

I had posted that we would be without internet for a while as we are having a hard time getting someone out here to hook things up. I was dreading being in a new place without being able to go online to look up where to find things we need and then to mapquest it. Last night I opened up the laptop and told Jim that while I knew there we had almost zero chance of being able to go online... you never know unless you try. Would you believe I found a wireless connection that lets us log on? Woo Hoo. Super excited!!! Not sure where it is coming from but happy to have it.

Stephanie started her first day of school again today. She is in one of the top schools in the state and they have been just fantastic to deal with and seem enthusiastic to work with her and her specific needs.

We are healthy and very very happy to be home again!

Tuesday, February 03, 2009


Tomorrow is the big move in day. We say so long to the hotel and hello to our new home! There will be a bit of a delay for us to wait for the whole phone/internet/cable hook ups so until then I won't be able to go online (WHAT will I do with all that free time??? Oh, right, unpacking!).