Any News?

So many of our wonderful friends know about my sister Ellen’s, plans for adoption.
So much love is going into this baby I can hardly stand the wait!

We are asked all the time, “any news?”
Sadly no news is just that,
No news.
Waiting is such a hard thing to do.

She has friends all over the country praying for this baby girl who will be welcomed into her life with more love than that baby can handle!
We have nurses, and dr’s and hospital staff all over the country who know Ellen is ready and waiting to be chosen.
There are friends all over the country willing to share her story with a birth mom who has a hard choice to make.
{if you are new to the blog here is Her Story}
Please share her story, maybe one of you will be responsible for the connection between Ellen and her baby girl.
We’d love to take a road trip to bring her baby HOME!

So she waits on GOD who does all things right and according to HIS plan.  She glorifies Him as she waits on His Perfect Timing.

As you know Ellen is selling THIRTY ONE bags in order for her adoption to be debt free.  She has been saving for over a year now.  The typical cost of adoption is between 18,000 and 30,000.
{if you want to purchase anything, O is having a party in a week YIKES or hold a party let her know she’d love to do one for you!}
The restaurant RED ELEPHANT held a fund-raiser for her in the spring, saying that they have never given so much money in a fund-raiser before.  The place was packed out from 5 until after 7.  It was pure party crazy fun, all that love for her baby who is not even here yet, what a story to tell her!!!

Now some dear friends are holding a fund-raiser for Ellen and the sweet pea.  {Ellen taught one of their sweet boys last year and until he retired from teaching, he taught 2 of our children} They sell a nutritional product called Body By Vi that you make yummy shakes with, you can check out their site if you want more information.  Their “team” is holding a fund-raiser challenge for Ellen and her adoption.  Please check out their OPERATION ADOPTION and see what they are up to.  We’d love for your prayer as they get a team of people together to have fun, play hard, and raise money for Ellen and the sweet pea.  And if you are in the area and would love to join their team, follow the site directions.  It is sure to be an exciting day!

I’ll end with some exciting baby news, she was given a beautiful crib, exactly the kind she has been looking at for months now, another friend has taken that crib, sanded and painted it so the sweet pea has a pretty new white crib to sleep in when she gets HOME.

So please check out our friends and their fun challenge, check out her Thirty One site if you get a chance.  But more than anything else please pray.    I want you to pray every time you see a pregnant belly, that someone soon will choose my sister to be her child’s forever Mommy.  She will be an amazing Mommy because she is an amazing aunt!
And please keep asking “any news” because one day she will have amazing news to share!

Go hug your kids and remember the awe as they placed that baby in your arms


Wednesday Fun Stuff and a few Updates

On Sunday I had to make a mad dash into Sam’s club.  As I was walking in I noticed an elegant elderly lady, black pumps, tailored black dress, and classy hat with a white magnolia on the brim,  she looked stunning and turned heads as she walked past people.  When she came near me I saw why everyone was smiling.  In her cart were 4 bottles of wine and 2 bags of plantain chips.  Which for some reason was funny to all of us, maybe the odd combination or the classy lady with so many bottles of wine?  Not sure but she kept walking and we all kept smiling.

I often refer to b**bies as “the girls” when pointing out someone who is not dressed appropriately to O.  I was brushing E’s hair, it was particularly tangled that day, she was holding her head and cried out to me, “mom watch the girls, your killing the girls”  which caused us to burst out laughing at her understanding of our code words.

Weasley is still here, he seems to adore Keith, which is fine by me.  Keith, C and the dog go for a very long walk every evening,  he feeds and waters the dog.  We just need to figure out how to keep him from chewing things that are not food.  He leash walks wonderfully now thanks to a friend’s advice {she trains leader dogs} We don’t know how to wear him out, his energy is boundless I am beginning to think he is just beyond puppy stage, he gets frisky but last night when he nipped at my hand {he wanted to play I did not} a firm “OFF” seemed to do the trick he cowered and whined at me then crawled behind me.  J and I are now both struggling with allergies.  He still is on trial at our house.

Update on the pinterest fail post.  I tried freezing and I tried remelting the melt~a~bead ornaments I made with E when she was home sick…  I froze the whole thing for a few days, but when I did manage to pry one ornament off the pan I pulled off the layer of non~stick from the cookie sheet,  so I left it on the counter for a few days, then put it into the oven so that while it heated up for a future dinner it would melt them enough that I could push them out.  Yeah that did not work either.  So last night I sent it to the trash.  C had been suggesting that all along, while some of the others were sure I could get them off.  SO if you do that pinterest activity let me know how you kept them from sticking.

Update on the posted schedule from yesterday…  I should have put on the list PUT AGENDA AND HOMEWORK IN BACKPACK because this morning J was crying on our way to school, he left his signed agenda someplace in the house.  We will give it another try tomorrow.  But it looks like standing on the wall will be in his recess plans for today.

Update on the dishwasher soap.  It is a bust.  I tried vinegar, that did not stop particals from sticking to glasses, or chocolate milk left in the glasses, or spots to not be on everything, the dishes were crusty and I was not happy.  I tried buying jet dry and the results were the same.  Keith took a cascade dishwasher packet from my sister’s house and AMAZING our dishes were spotless, they sparkled and there was no residue, they were not crusty.  I went out and purchased a big box of cascade gel packs and I am THRILLED.  I will save the homemade stuff for scrubbing since another person said they use it to scrub hard pots and I still need to scrub out that oil fire-pot.  I’ll let you know how it goes.

Enjoy your Wednesday, or “hump day” as my highschool principal called it.  Really he should have found a better thing to say to a bunch of immature highschool boys.

Go hug your kids and let someone know how much you love them.

Remembering Not to Forget

Every day after school the children are supposed to put their lunch boxes on the counter and their thermos’ in the sink.
Every day after school they ALL {except R} forget to put their lunch boxes on the counter and their thermos’ in the sink.
Some days some of them remember {O usually puts her lunch box up but is less frequent than R and more forgetful about the thermo.s}
Most days I am washing out thermos’ before I refill them with juice, and signing the assignment tablets as we run out of the house or as they file out of the van headed into school.
EVERY day I have to ask the biggest one where his lunch box is.

Many years ago the biggest one would leave his lunch box at home, packed with yummy foods.  He would have to buy a lunch, suddenly I had a bill on our lunch account.  I realized that he was the problem, with his lunch box, he would be ready for school, sit down to read a book or play with a toy, I would hand him his lunch box telling him “put that in your backpack.”  The boy was in 5th grade, I know there are 5th grade children out there who get themselves up and pack their lunches AND bring them to school.  But he kept “forgetting” his.  Once I realized that his lack of lunch stemmed from disobedience I had a talk with his teacher.  Mrs F. was so sweet and funny.  I went to her and told her that “If C does not have a lunch box he may not charge a lunch, he may not ‘share’ with a friend, he may not eat anything.  But he can have a small cup of water”  She laughed so I told her my reasoning.  When C came home that afternoon I explained to him that if he did not obey and put his lunch box in his backpack he could not eat.  He could not buy anything, he could not share with anyone.  He could have a cup of water.  That was all.”  You’d have thought I told him he was not going to eat ever again.  He was upset but I was tired of running it up to school or having charges appear on our bill.  I was even hopeful that the threat would make him realize I was serious and he would remember to put his lunch box where I told him.  We made it almost a week from that initial threat before he was too busy to put it away.  He left it next to the couch where he had been building with Legos.  I felt badly for him, I knew he would be really hungry, but he had been warned many times.  He came home famished and mad at me.  {it was my fault that he forgot his lunch box, it was my fault he could not order food, it was NOT his fault…  sorry buddy it was his responsibility to obey.}  I thought that would teach him a quick lesson.  He went many days that school year with no lunch while his lunch box sat on the floor or in the van where he left it.  I stood firm.  That boy still “forgets’ to bring his lunch box and still goes hungry on days he “forgets”.  That was 5 years ago.  Some things are not a quick lesson.  {I ask every morning for his lunch box because most days he takes it to his room with his backpack.  I have his lunch made and will ask once, only once, then I leave the food all piled neatly on the counter for him.}  I will say if I don’t get to make his lunch in the morning or on the occasion I feel he truly has forgotten it with all he needs to carry in I will run it up and stuff it in his locker.

Recently J has become more forgetful with his assignment tablet, library book, and taking care of his lunch box.  I have warned, I have disciplined, I have let him stand on the wall at recess, and we seem to be sad or sorry but things are not changing.  So today I made a list on the wall.

Years ago I made a morning schedule to keep the kids going and they drove me nuts with it.  They read it every morning, they would choose something to do, run and do it, then come back and count the list to see how many things they had left.  With every task compleated they would check, count and often check other lists. They would share with me what they had compleated, ask the others what they were doing, offer to check things off for the others. Drove me nuts!!  I realized that the list was making things worse I had started out with the normal, eat, brush your teeth, get dressed, get your backpack.  but it morphed to put everything on there, because if I did not put on the list ‘put on shoes” they would not have their shoes on in time but they were proud of the check marks.  Then they started trying to reason with me about getting paid or a reward for being ready.  Honey your reward is you go to school without getting in trouble…  ARGHHHHH  I threw out the list and went back to verbal reminders.  Now as they age I have less reminders for them but I swore I would never go back to a to-do list for them…  This is a different set of kids so maybe this will work with them?
Hopefully this will stop our frustrations.

Here is their reminders, not check marks, NO REWARDS, and hopefully no more tears or trying to sing their assignment tablet while driving.
We actually don’t have to do homework right after school, but as soon as it is completed he needs to get someone to sign it, and return it to his backpack.

What about you, do you do check lists for your kids?
I know my friend Christine over at A Fly on our (Chicken Coop) Wall has made an afternoon plan which sounded like a great idea, I tweaked it a bit to work for us and we’ll see if my little people can do this.

Go hug your kids and share your afterschool routine

A Little Story About Fire Safety…

I love Love LOVE popcorn.
I really love it.
Since the microwave explosion a few months back I have started making in on the stove top,  I add some chopped garlic to the oil and season it with some garlic salt when it is done popping it is so good.
Friday I  popped a piece of candy corn in my mouth when I remembered how good hot buttery popcorn and candy corn taste together.
I decided to make some later that night.
We got home from a very soggy football game {we did not stay it was raining so much.}
Watched a little Cosby show.
I sent the little kids to bed, R went to my room to watch tv with A who I had not yet gotten to bed, while C took over the family room tv.
I washed up a few dishes grabbed my popcorn pot added the oil, turned on the stove and ran upstairs to pray with the girls.
Praying lead to visiting when I heard R yell out

{He heard a weird popping noise and saw the shadow, and reflection of flames on the kitchen wall}

I took off like a shot yelling
“is it a fire yet”

Oh yes it was a fire

It was probably 4 feet in the air, just licking at my pots hanging over my stove, almost licking at my curtains which hang a foot higher than the pots.

I yelled FIRE.

What happened next was not pretty, at all.

C began yelling to anyone near him
“CALL 911 CALL 911”

O came running down stairs with her phone calling 911.

R left the baby standing crying in my room and he hovered in the sitting room,

I grabbed the lid and tried to throw it on the flames, they were fantastic and out of control,

I missed, the lid did not land on the pot but in the pot.

I grabbed the pot and yelled to C to open the door.

I put the pot back down on the stove it was just too hot to move.

C is still yelling to call 911
O is talking to 911
R is hovering in the sitting room watching the flames
E is standing in the sitting room crying
A is standing in my doorway crying
I have grabbed our half empty salt shaker, knowing that oil and water don’t mix.
J comes out of his room and says
“Mom use the fire blanket from Pow”

I grab the fire blanket
glance at the 1 picture directions
drop the blanket on the fire
with in seconds the fire is out.

O looked up and said “the fire department says to get out of the house”
I took my house keys so we could hang out in the van while we waited for them to arrive.
While waiting AND since the fire was out I opened the back door and grabbed the dog leash knowing that he would be crazy barking at them when they arrived.  I gave C “dog duty” to give him something to do.

They arrived quite quickly.

O sent her daddy a text
“you have no idea how fast the fire department comes”
She followed up with
“we are fine the house is fine”
He stood with the Headmaster of the school at the football game and said “this is not a text you want to get”  when asked if he wanted to go home he gave the information of the next text and said “I don’t think I need to go looks like it is all under control”

There was no fire for the firemen so they sent home 2 of the 5 trucks.

The dog walking neighbor came up to me to be sure all the kids were safe and did I need anything. {sweet lady}

The firemen pulled out the giant smoke fan opened the front and back door, shut all the interior doors and blew the smoke out of the house.  {The next  morning you could not smell a thing.}

The fireman who was on “family duty” asked to talk to me.
He told me I was not going to like what he had to say…
Our boys hallway smoke detector DID NOT have batteries.
Nope, no batteries
I had no idea
He said we did not have enough smoke detectors in our house
{I’m going out today to buy more}
He talked and talked and talked
I tried to let him know that I had kids who HAD to go to bed
O had a cross-country meet we had to be at school by 5am
J E and A were little and tired and scared.
He did not care, told me he’d stay till 5am if he needed to.
I think he wanted me to get upset with him
I realized it was my fault,
I took ownership of my stupidity.
I don’t know if he wanted me to yell or cry or what.
I kept agreeing with him, he was right I was wrong.
He kept talking, and talking, and talking
He started telling me family stories of his family…
I was not happy when he told stories of burned people
I was the one who left the oil on the stove
I was the one who is to blame
No kids were playing with fire.
No kids put the food on the stove
No kids were to blame
No need to scare them past the point they were already scared.
I had done an effective job of scaring them all on my own.
While I was listening to him, another neighbor and friend showed up and loved on the kids for me while I listened to him some more…
I needed to love on them, so thankful that she did it for me while I listened.

He finally left right before Keith got home at 11:15
From fire start to the last fire truck leaving it was 2 long hours.
I had to convince the kids to go to bed.

J and E needed to sleep near us, I laid out 2 kindergarten nap mats together on my floor and after they both fell asleep on my bed I moved them to the floor.  This is how they slept.
A went to her crib after sleeping.  O went to bed 2 hours late and had to get up at 4:30.  C took a shower to get all the “dog” off him.

I learned a few things, and thankfully they were with a good outcome.

I also learned who will handle a stressful situation best in our family
O followed by J both think on their feet
R was completely forgetful
A does not count she was a scared baby
E was so upset she froze
C was so upset he could not do anything but yell at everyone and yell call 911 even thought O was actually on the phone with them.

Our lesson on fire safety was easy to learn, no one was hurt, our house does not smell, and I will be buying a new fire blanket.
Here is the blanket information
{I could not find the blankeon the site but that is what the bag said}

Go hug your kids and make your own fire safety plan, you never know when you will need one.

p.s. on a happy note we fall right into the fire statistics, oil unattended, an even number address, mom home alone with kids…  glad to know I am just average.  {weird about the even number address}

Princess Toothpaste

As you know I almost always take my kids shopping with me, mostly because I have no other choice, but also because I hope that in shopping with me, they learn how to make a wise purchase on food items, what they choose to put in their bodies, and with coupons get the best deal avaliable.
One day a little over 2 years ago, I was standing in the toothpaste aisle, thumbing through my coupon box looking for the best coupon for the toothpaste we used.  E was chattering and looking at the items in the row.  Her eyes landed upon the princess toothpaste, she instantly ‘needed’ the pink princess toothpaste.  I told her she would not like the toothpaste, I have never purchased the full size tube of special kid toothpaste, once they start wanting toothpaste I just use a tiny smidge of regular toothpaste.  Each child at one time or another begged for the specialty toothpaste and I was able to find a travel tube that they could use which they did not like.  There was no travel tube, and someone left a coupon for the princess toothpaste right on the box.  She was quick to notice that coupon, so I went against my better judgement and let her have that tube of pink princess toothpaste.

She was so cute the rest of the shopping trip, she never put the toothpaste down, she carried it the entire trip and even told the cashier that she was getting her own tube of princess toothpaste, that she did not even have to share with anyone.  The cashier put her toothpaste in her own bag which she proudly carried to the van.

When we got home I dragged in all the bags while she ran into the house right to the bathroom to try out her new toothpaste.
She came out of the bathroom crying.
She hated the pink princess toothpaste.
It tasted nasty.
It smelled funny.
She was so upset.
She begged for a tube of regular toothpaste.
I told her she had to use up the entire tube of toothpaste and then I would buy her a regular toothpaste.

After a little while she went back to the bathroom.
I laid the baby down for her nap and went to check on E,
She came out of the bathroom, smiling at me.
She calmly informed me that she “needs new toothpaste”

I was shocked that she had brushed her teeth so much that she used up the entire tube.
This is what I saw in the bathroom
Sure enough she had used up the entire tube.
And the half empty tubes of regular toothapste.
Just not the way I had intended.
I could only explain the problem with her definition of “used up” and how it differed than mine,
I had not told her “not to squeeze the entire tube into the sink”
I had told her to use it up.
She did.
She was right it did smell funny.

What about you, anyone like the special toothpaste?

I did reciently switch to TOM’S toothpaste and no one is happy with it.  {Which had me thinking about that tube of pink princess toothpaste}  So once we use it up I will keep looking for a ‘natural’ toothpaste for the family, not too sure I like all the chemicals in the ones we’ve been using.

Go hug your kids and enjoy your toothpaste!

My Biggest Fear

Okay confession time.
We all fear something for ourselves and our families.
Some fears are founded, and even acceptable for protection and safety.
But lets just dwell on what we fear for ourselves, some people fear the water, heights, public speaking, roller coasters, snakes, getting lost…
The thing I fear most is getting a bug in my ear.
Laugh if you want, it does seem pretty silly but I am terrified that I will get a bug in my ear, that it will lay eggs, and then tiny baby bugs will come out of my ear.
I don’t know where this originated, I have never actually had a bug crawl into my ear, but still I am very much afraid it will happen to me.
I remember seeing an episode of “mystery diagnosis” where some lady had a bug in her ear, and probably the only episode of “house” I ever watched the lady had a bug in her ear and they thought she was crazy.

I once mentioned this fear to a friend who {I will not disclose her name} shared with me that she actually had a cock roach climb into her ear one night while she was sleeping.  She woke her husband yelling about her ear.  He looked in and could see the antenna sticking out of her ear but when they tried to get it, with tweezers they only managed to remove one of the antenna, and the thing scooted down farther.  They ended up flooding her ear and it ran out.  {see it can happen}

I was chatting with a friend last night, who shared that once she had a mosquito get into her ear she thinks it flew by and she smacked it in her sleep sending the bug into her ear so badly that she had to have a Dr remove it for her. {again see it happens}

We go to a cabin in NC for a week in the summer {missed the last 2 summers but plan on getting back into that vacation routine} and while it is a nice cabin, isolated on a mountain, there is no air conditioning so the windows and doors stay open letting in fresh air, and letting in bugs.  I am fine during the day but falling asleep at night is torture, every breeze that blows over my body I think is a bug, if a stray hair tickles my ear, my heart races and I am wildly awake, only falling asleep from sheer exhaustion some time in the middle of the night on with my arms over my ears.  Someone mentioned I should get ear plugs but then I could not hear the kids if someone called out for me.  But I am tempted because I have such a hard time falling asleep.

A few years ago I had a bug crawl on my body while I was sleeping, the gentle tickle of it woke me up, I yelled out to Keith who was inches away from me, to kill the bug, seeing as he was sound asleep he did not catch it, I was crying and had to go to the couch to sleep because I could not risk the bug finding me again or my ear.

I listen intently as I am falling asleep and if I hear a bug and cannot kill it then I can’t sleep in our room.  A few years ago, a roach found its way into my room while Keith was gone on a business trip, I HAD to kill that bug myself and I had to do it before I could comfortable fall asleep.  It took me 15 minutes and a desperate moving of the dresser, crying and praying out loud to God as I smacked with great anger at the bug who invaded my room.

So that is my biggest personal fear.  Last night my mosquito friend said sleeping with cotton in her ears allows her to hear her alarm clock but insures that no bug will climb or fly in.  I’m going to add cotton to my bedside table and will most defiantly be taking some on vacation.  I’m excited to be looking forward to a better nights sleep on vacation!

What about you?  Any weird fears?
Go hug your kids are realize that while their fear might seem weird to you it is still a fear to them.

Our Beautiful Ballerina

Yesterday between carline drop off, cleaning the house, measuring OL girls again, and sewing the Bucket’s curtains {OL and Buckets are for the Willie Wonka musical}  I took baby A to her first ballet class.

She is now a “Beautiful Ballerina”

We took ballet from Mrs Rosie when E was younger,  We took it because I saw the sweetest little girl in line at the post office and asked her mom about her ballet clothes.  She directed me to our city rec center’s beginner ballet class.  She told us about the wonderful Mrs Rosie, and how in her beginner ballet class they learn some ballet but she also works on self-control, being kind, and being polite.  We took it hopes of increasing her muscle tone and getting her accustomed to people, she was so shy, we took it in hopes of learning how to make friends and listen to people in authority. We went once and loved it.  When E “graduated” I eagerly looked forward to the day baby A would start dancing with Mrs Rosie.

We are thrilled that we are almost old enough, and yesterday I took her in hopeful that she would make it, that her teacher would not bring her out to me to return in a few weeks.  Nope baby~girl made it the whole class and she L O V E D it!

How could she not love it?
Cute Costume
Cute shoes
Ballerina Bun in her hair
a wall of mirrors to dance in front of.

On the way home she told me all about twirling.  She wants to go back to ballet again!
I am so excited as we begin this new adventure together.

Go hug your kids and do a little dancing with someone you love

Cleaning Day

I love cleaning day
I love the feeling of a nice clean house.
I love the smell of my cleaning products.
{Lysol toilet cleaner, method all purpose pink, vinegar/water or murphy’s oil soap, and spray away glass}
I love the feeling of clean and the exhaustion after spending the day cleaning.
I do not however love the day after cleaning when our home looks like a family of 8 lives in it.
Today I am cleaning, while cleaning,  I will pretend that it will stay that way for the rest of the week.{Being so helpful putting all the toys IN her bed!}

I love the help of my kids on cleaning day, and can’t wait for A to slosh water all over the house from the floor washing bucket.  I can’t wait for her to follow behind making a mess where I have just cleaned, drop the paper towels in the toilet so I can fish them out,  or spill the toys off the shelf again.  I love how excited she is to spray the cleaner, to wash the windows, and to use the wet rags.
I love all of their help.
{Some more than others.}
I am reminded over and over by older friends that one day I will miss this.  I am not so sure I will miss stepping on tiny legos, or tripping over plastic high heals, or having to push the books off the couch to sit down.  I will miss the reasons for it, I will miss the lego village being built while I cook dinner, I will miss the little princess’s tripping through the house dancing to their own music, I will miss the snuggle time reading books.  I will not miss the rotten milk left hiding in the back of the bookshelf for who knows how long, but I will miss the children I am making the milk for.  I will not ever miss the pees on the floor, not ever.  I will miss listening to the chatter as they play doll house, or playmobil, I will miss the building of forts, and the tiny “mouse doors” left of my walls.
I love a good clean house and while there are things I could live happily with out, I am thankful for the little people who are going to make a mess in the house at 3:30 today.

Off to give the house a good scrub down I only have a few hours till I welcome home a small tornado of children.
Where they will promptly build a block tower and put on their plastic high heals, and spill out a box of crayons to work on homework.
{as long as they keep the pees off the floor I’ll be okay}
Go hug your kids and relax about the mess they have just made all over your clean house.

Busy Weekend with a Blessing on Top

Well, did you bless someone this weekend?
Did your family choose to bless someone?
What did you do?
Were they surprised?
J saved the weekend for us.  We thought we missed it.  Then someone remembered that J was a blessing this weekend.  He did it for us!
After his flag football game and a quick dip in the pool, he asked to help Keith work in our yard, then he made lunch for the two of them, after that, he went to my sister’s house to help mow her yard.  Working hard but happily with Keith.
So J blessed someone with out making a big deal out of it, or giving it much thought.  That is what I want my kids to do, to learn to think about others, to try to help others, but to not make a big deal about it, not look for the praise, or the awards.  But to just see and do and he blessed someone.

What about you?
If you missed this weekend there is still time.
Go hug your kids and listen to their stories, today was a busy day in their lives.