About Me

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Married twenty-five years to my wonderful husband and best friend. We have 3 "home-grown" kids and 1 hand-picked by God from Africa. Our life is blessed. We are a close knit family with strong Christian beliefs. Come along with us on our journey…you might have a great laugh or two.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Thank you movers...

It's true...we have a tendency to relocate a lot (company moves of course). Now...every time we have to move we have the same moving team come and pack us up. I like dealing with them. I know them and they do a great job. However...I do get flack from them (joking, of course) because I make them move things that most people leave behind...like paint and tile. This weekend I reaped the benefit of having the movers bring all that stuff.

With a little bit of left over paint (a color which I loved before...), some left over fabric from a curtain from the another house...put it all together with a couple of pictures I found at a garage sale and viola'. I got myself a brand new bathroom. Pretty cool, huh?

So thank you movers...

Friday, May 29, 2009

Bring on the ants...

Around this time every year the kids begin to beg me for plastic containers ...containers of every size and shape. And guess what they want to collect in those containers?? Bugs! That's right...bugs. Bugs of every size, shape and color. Now, to be honest, I'm not a bug lover. In fact, the thought of creepy crawly things all around gives me the "heebee jeebies", but for my kids sake I give into this passion. For the way I see it...today it could be ants they're researching...and tomorrow it could be a cure for cancer.

So...bring on the ants

Thursday, May 28, 2009

What's that smell???

"Freeze...no one move!" The kids and the dog had just come up the deck stairs (they had been playing in the sandbox) and were about to go into the house. "Alright...hold still. What's that smell?" I suddenly became the much needed drill sergeant of stinky smells. "No one goes inside that smells that bad".

So there they lined up from largest to smallest and one with the tail stuck on the end. It was quite obvious as I went down the line...the one with the tail hung her head way low and gave herself away.

What is it with dogs and stinky smells. Why must they not only find the stink, but then proceed to roll around in it. UGH! So there I was rolling out the hose in the yard to bathe the dog (no way under God's green earth was I going to let that stinky dog in my house).

...here's hoping I've got enough soap

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

These are the moments I never want to forget...

Maybe it was the floor cleaner talking (I'd been mopping our wood floors), or maybe it was the fact that we had been couped up in the house all day because it was pouring down rain...but the look on my kids faces was priceless. Here's how it went...

"Hey kids...I've got a crazy idea." "What?" "How would you like to go outside and play in the rain?" There was no sound for about two seconds (an amazing feat in our house) and then there was a hoopin' and hollerin' you would not have believed.

So we grabbed our ponchos from our camping gear and put on our swim shoes and out we tromped through the rain (it was raining so hard that even the dog didn't want to come). The creek behind our house had overflowed and we went wading in that as well as every other puddle we could find. In the end we ended up completely soaked, tired and made a memory to last a lifetime.

These are the moments I never want to forget...

Monday, May 25, 2009

Just watching a little TV

My husband and I have been married for almost 17 years (this August) and I tell you we have had our share of funny moments in life. I don't know why but yesterday as we worked in the yard together, this one moment kept coming to mind....and I just laughed and laughed.

In the early years of our marriage, we had this small 13 inch TV that had a mind of its own. Every so often as you were watching TV, the picture would collapse into one line going all the way across; however, the sound worked perfectly. The only problem was that you just never knew how long it was going to take for it to come back to normal (being that we were young and didn't really have the money to fix it...we lived with it).

So one day, as we sat and "listened" and waited for the TV to come back on...I realized something. If you were to "bob" your head and eyes up and down really fast you could actually see the picture on the TV. So there we were...two crazy looking people bobbing their heads and eyes up and down

...just watching a little TV

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Don't let all the bought air out...

I came in from a run this morning and noticed something a bit unusual to me. If you were to drive down our street today, you'd be able to pick out our house immediately...we are the only ones with our windows open... on the entire street... and I'm pretty sure our neighborhood.

Now, I love the fresh air. I love to hear the birds singing and feel the breeze blow through the house. I love the fact that I can hear the kids playing in the backyard. These past few days have been wonderful weather and we have just enjoyed every minute of it. The heat and humidity are relatively low and the sun has been shining down on us. So I am surprised that more people aren't taking advantage of it. Nonetheless, I'm just glad I'm not having to say...

don't let all the bought air out...

Friday, May 22, 2009

A day at the zoo...

Since we are finished with our "regular" school schedule and are now on our "summer" school schedule (meaning, there are a few things that we never stop learning throughout the year...i.e., math, Spanish, spelling, geography, etc.), the kids and I decided to go to the zoo for the morning.

Apparently, everybody and their brother decided that today was also a great day to go as well. For there were seven buses lined up and three more pulling in behind them when we arrived. However as it turned out, it was a great morning...none of my kids fell in the fish pond or got eaten at the petting zoo.

Yes...it was a great day!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Yeah...like today

"Mom... what do you think Heaven is like?" my little one asked me today during our lunch. It was a beautiful day...warm, sunny and we were eating outside on the deck. "Well, no one knows for sure but I think it's the most beautiful place in the whole wide world." "Like today?" she looked up and asked. I smiled and looked out across our backyard with the trees blowing in the wind and a sky so crystal blue you could almost touch it.

"Yeah...like today."

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Only a Grandmom...

Only a Grandmom...would fly all the way across the United States with an entire suitcase filled with fabric and patterns

Only a Grandmom...would spend hours upon hours sewing clothes and then call it her "vacation"

Only a Grandmom...would plop down in front of movie with her grandkids that she's seen hundreds of time

Only a Grandmom...would stop everything in order to play "beanie pet shop"

Only a Grandmom...would let her grandkids mess up her hair and make-up (which she just put on) with hugs and kisses

Only a Grandmom...would give her last $20.00 and not think twice about it

This isn't only a Grandmom...this is OUR Grandmom and we miss you already!

Hurry back soon!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Put on your thinking caps...

Now, I buy something every summer...lots of it...and I have no clue what's in it or how to make it. But what I do know is that my kids love it...they go through it like water on some days. It's bubbles.

It's amazing to me that someone out there came up with such a simple idea that brings so much joy to my kids. Dipping a wand "thingy" in a bucket of "something or other" and you get this perfectly round airy bubble...way cool! Sidewalk chalk is another fantastic creation of someone out there. The kids can draw for hours and create the most beautiful masterpieces...then a rainstorm comes and...viola!...I get my driveway back.

Now, if I could just get someone to invent a kitchen that cooks dinner, laundry that cleans and folds itself and grass that never gets weeds.

Come on now people...put on your thinking caps...

Monday, May 18, 2009

No tellin' what the neighbors must think...

Now I really do find humor in the little things in life. I mean what fun would it be if we never laughed a little at ourselves. I just happen to laugh a lot at me...what does that say about me?

So, while my Mom is here for a couple more days I decided that I would try and get a few things done that almost never get done...ever! One of which is steam clean the carpets. I have a wonderful steam cleaner which looks and handles a lot like a vacuum. So after I cleaned our master bedroom and the living room, I thought I would hall outside the entry way rug and clean it out on the deck. Now, it was while I had the steam cleaner going that I realize how funny this must look. Oohh...I can hear the conversations now...

"Hey, honey. Would you look at that? That lady over there is vacuuming up her deck...somethin' fierce. Why, I knew they were crazy but this just tops the cake."

Really...no tellin' what the neighbors must think...

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Havin' ourselves a little sewin' party...

My Mom has flown in for a little visit these past few days and we are just "havin' ourselves a little sewin' party." Now I understand to some people this may sound like agony (my husband for one...) but to my Mother and I it's been fantastic. We have spent hours in the fabric store (by ourselves I might add...a rarity) and have planned and cut fabric for umpteen outfits for the kids. Really all because I have trouble finding clothes for the girls that are both "age-appropriate" as well as well made (not to mention inexpensive...I think I'm asking for the world here...). So we have reverted to making a ton of dresses and summer outfits. The girls are ecstatic and can't wait for us to get done.

Let's just see if our sewing machines hold out...

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Ya think...

Last night we went to a big huge extravaganza given through our church to celebrate the end of a great Awanas/Cubbies year. (Awanas/Cubbies is a bible study group for little kids given every Wednesday night) There was food and a ton of inflatables for the kids to enjoy. They had bounce houses, mazes, a bucking bull and an enormous slide (which made every mother nervous as the kids plunged their way down each and every which way).

It was at this time that I noticed the rules printed on all of the inflatables and I had me a good little laugh. (of course, it doesn't take much to get me to laugh...) There were the normal rules that you would obviously think of when talking about inflatables...such as...no shoes allowed...one person at a time...stay away from the sides. But then there was one...just one that someone put in with a good sense of humor. It said...if inflatable begins to lose air, head for the doorway...

...ya think

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Just kidding...only slightly

The postman stuffed a big envelope in our mailbox yesterday. It was the long awaited USCIS approval. Woo-hoo for us!! So I decided that I would call and tell our adoption agency about the approval. (any excuse I can come up with to call them to "help them remember" that we are anxiously waiting here is pretty good to me) So ever so slightly I told her..."I thought you'd like to know that we received our USCIS approval". "That's great!" "Yep...just thought you'd like to know. You know...just in case you get a run on kids this week from Ethiopia and need a family." She laughed. "Just kidding." I said.

...only slightly

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Something's always gotta give...

I've been noticing lately that for me...somethings always gotta give. It is a constant never-ending cycle. And it goes something like this...

If I'm out working in the yard then the inside of the house isn't getting cleaned. If I'm cleaning the house, then clothes aren't getting folded. If I'm folding the clothes then the kids aren't being taught school. If the kids are being taught school then the curtains aren't being sewed. If I'm sewing the curtains then the bedroom isn't getting painted. If I'm painting the bedroom then the yard work isn't getting done...UGH!

I give up...I think I'm going to stop thinking for a while and go play some Playdoh with the kids...

Monday, May 11, 2009

Who could ask for anything more...

"I can't wait to show Daddy..." was all she said from the time we picked it up until we got home. She barely got out of the car before she was racing to get her helmet. I'm not even sure if the tires were completely filled up or not. She didn't care...she just wanted to ride her new bike.

All of my children are in need of a new bike...this weekend it was my smallest's turn...and she loved it. A new bike...complete with the handlebar tassels, "beanie" car seat and a bag on the front...a princess bike

...who could ask for anything more.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day...

I had barely pulled out of the driveway of this garage sale as I am whipping out my cell phone to call my Mom. "Mom...you are never going to be believe it. Guess what I just found!" "What?" (my Mom knows that I get excited over a lot of things...so one can never guess exactly what road I am taking her down) "O.k....so you know what a Viking sewing machine is, right?" Oh yeah was all she said. (For those of you who don't really sew that much it is top of the line sewing machine. I inherited an older Singer sewing machine almost 16 years ago and while it's a very good machine I have only wished and dreamed of getting a VERY fancy one) "Well, I just got one at a garage sale...a Viking sewing machine. Can you believe it!!" For several minutes after that we oohed and ahhed and we planned out what to do with it in her upcoming visit to my house.

I love the fact that of all the people I could have called...it was her. I love that I still have my Mom and can enjoy these little things in life with her.

Finally, I hung up the phone with her and my kids started yelling "Happy Mother's day!" (technically "they" gave me the sewing machine as a Mother's Day gift...since they can't drive...I still get to pick out my own gift) I just hooped and hollered with delight at the thought of a brand new sewing machine. Thank you kids...and thank you Mom...for always being there.

Happy Mother's Day!

Friday, May 8, 2009

A little bit crazy...

We've been home schooling now for over 4 years and it is still amazing to me how often the kids and I are out in public and we are asked..."the kids have a day off from school, huh?". As we are very accustomed to it I still find it funny. I wish I could think of some great comeback line like..."nope, I just thought I'd wing this whole parent thing"...or "you mean, they have to go to school"...but I don't. We just smile and say that we home school and I laugh a little on the inside.

When you spend 24/7 with your kids...you really have to laugh...or you just might go a little crazy (and don't ask my husband about that...cause he thinks I'm already there...). So to all the home schoolers who are laughing...or a little bit crazy...this one's for you.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Just one moment...

Today is World AIDS Orphans day. As we are in the midst of an adoption from Ethiopia, I cannot help but think of all of the children in Africa. Did you know???...

Over 15 million children worldwide have lost one or both parents to AIDS – equivalent to the number of people living in New York, Paris, and Bangkok combined. In sub-Saharan Africa alone, over 12 million children have been orphaned by the pandemic. Experts believe that millions more orphans remain unaccounted for in India, China and Russia. By 2010, the number of AIDS orphans worldwide is expected to reach at least 20 million. (more information can be found at World AIDS Orphan Day website)

Today is also National Prayer Day. Can you stop for a moment...just one moment...and pray with me today? Pray for the children that are left behind when a parent dies of HIV/AIDS. Pray for the children that long to be loved again...by someone...anyone. Pray for the children for that one moment...that one moment you are praying...who are scared and lonely...and don't know where to turn. Because for that one moment...you might...just might...be praying for our child.

Please pray for just one moment...

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

I think it knows...

My van...my poor wonderful little van is eleven years old. It has been a great van giving us very little trouble at all - only the occasional new tire and oil changes. But even the greatest of things must come to an end...so just recently my husband and I have been talking about buying a new van. It was then that I began to notice the little things with my van. First...it was "kids...do you hear that noise?" while we were in the car. Next, it was the rattle of my driver's side door. Now, it has been trying to act like it's going to overheat...although it doesn't seem to really want to get there. Call me crazy...but I promise you...it knows. It knows that its time with our family is coming to an end and this is it's last plea. The plea of..."let me stay...oh, please let me stay...I'll be good". But oh...if it only knew what it was up against. The new vans have automatic doors, back-up cameras and CD players (...remember eleven years old van here I've got. By the way, I think I'm the only one still driving around with a TAPE PLAYER in their car. That's right...I said it...a tape player). So as we continue to shop around for a new vehicle...the "pings" and "clanks" and "rattles" grow a little bit louder because I promise you...

...I think it knows

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Man shopping at its best...

This weekend we had the fun of going to Omaha, Nebraska to do a little shopping..."man shopping" I should say. Now, if you are unfamiliar with "man shopping" then let me enlighten you.

We walked into Nebraska Furniture Mart (an ENORMOUS furniture store) to buy a couple of TVs and 3 bar stools. My husband took the lead and went straight to the Electronics section of the store. The kids and I stood around for a moment and just watched in amazement. In about 20 minutes he had bought 2 TVs, a wall mount, wires and a few other smaller electronic items. I couldn't believe my eyes. I asked him..."Don't you want to "browse" around and see all the different types they have to offer?". "Nope...I know what I want." And that was that.

Next, it was my turn. We headed over to the bar stools area to buy 3 (keep in mind that they are all three the same...). I shopped and looked and sat and after an hour at looking at all they had to offer...I asked my husband..."Come over here and tell me what you think". The glazed look in his eyes told me it was no use...

...cause to him "man shopping" is the only way to go

Friday, May 1, 2009

A little bit of Prozac...please?

Having grown up in the South, I am, by far, EXTREMELY unfamiliar with many of the customs the Midwest has...unfortunately for one little boy May day baskets just happens to be one of them. Apparently, the custom is for the kids in the neighborhood to fill plastic cups with candy and popcorn then "sneak" up to a neighbor's house and ring the doorbell and "flee". Now...here's where it would have been nice to have known this before I scolded a kid about ringing doorbells and running. Poor thing...I mean...really. The motherly instinct took over and I told him that it wasn't nice and everything (all the while not even looking down to see why he had done it). After he left, I looked down...and my heart sank. Oh yeah...I felt just that bad. So I found my shoes and went outside to try and find the boy (great...now, I looked like a stalker). After explaining profusely to a now petrified eleven year old about growing up in the South and being unfamiliar with it all I apologized again and again. Needless to say...I am in need of two things

...a book about Midwest customs and a little bit of Prozac