Tuesday, July 29, 2008

New trick

I've been working with Caleb to teach him to pull up. Everyday at swimming lessons he stands facing the bleacher behind us. He was moving down the bleacher by himself today. Well, when we got home, I fed him and put him down for a nap. I walked by a little later and heard him sucking on his paci and peaked in. Here's what I saw... All by himself, he pulled up and was standing in his crib! Needless to say, the rail will stay up all the way now.

Summer Reunion

We had such a good weekend! (Yes, I know it's Tuesday.) Friday we got to spend time with my mom's sister and husband. They were in Branson for a week and then came to spend a day and a half with mom and dad. They hadn't seen Caleb yet. He took to Randy and really enjoyed being with him. Saturday, we went to a pool with Catherine's friend and her family, then met mom, dad, Elaine and Randy at church that night. Sunday we got to sleep in a bit and then went to Charissa's house and met with our friend from nursing school, Kristi and her kids. Charissa and I gave our first bed baths together. Kristi was working at a hospital while we were in school and was so "together" and knew what she was doing with care plans and meds. Kind of intimidating. In spite of Kristi's 14 moves, she still comes back each summer and we get to watch how our families grow. Last summer, we had 9 kids between the 3 of us and Charissa let us know of their plans to adopt from Ukraine. I was pregnant with Caleb and hadn't even dreamed of Hannah. I was hoping to make it 12 kids this year, but, we'll save that for next year and hope to have 13 or more (hint, hint Kristi!)
Jude, Simeon, Samuel, Tim, Chris, Kelsie, Ava, Leisel, Catherine, Caleb and Hope. Here's the first picture I have of kids together- Samuel, Kelsie holding Tim, and Chris. I think that was about 7 years ago. How time flies!

Buddy wasn't sure if he wanted to come to a ladies' thing, but got to spend time with John and was glad he'd come along. We're hopeful Charissa and John will find a house near us so we can more conveniently get together more often!
Thanks, Charissa for posting first so I could swipe the pictures! My camera battery was dead and I was dependent on her.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

This time tomorrow...

Do you remember the story in the Old Testament about when the Israelites were surrounded, dieing, without hope? The prophet told the King "this time tomorrow" things would be totally different. The King didn't believe him. 2 lepers were sitting outside the gate and came to the conclusion that if they stayed, they'd die, if they went to the enemy, they may die, but at least they would be doing something. God cause the enemy to hear the sound of a great army as the lepers went and in the confusion the enemy destroyed themselves and God totally changed the situation. The King didn't get to enjoy it even though he heard what happened and actually died. I don't want to be like the King. I believe to see the goodness of God in every situation and choose to believe He is working on our behalf and Hannah's. It doesn't matter how things look, it could all look 180 degrees different this time tomorrow.

Got this from Robin today. "Hannah adores her family book (the picture book we sent to her) - it's what she takes to sleep for naps and bed every day... it's very cute how she says Day-DAH in such a sweet little voice... Mommy is what she is saying :)"

Swim lessons

In the mornings Samuel and Catherine have been playing a fun game- Polly Pocket/Legos. Sometimes Littlest Pet shop/Legos. They even play Polly Pocket/Littlest Pet Shop/Legos. This way they get to play together, play what each one likes and not have to given in too much to what the other one wants. All the while trying to keep Caleb out of the mix!

We started swim lessons again Monday. This time Samuel and Catherine are in the same class. Samuel got to demonstrate "front crawl" for the class! Catherine got to try diving off the side for the first time. Both do an excellent job on the back stroke and are showimg improvement everyday. They have so much fun and are asking how many more days of lessons. Unfortunately, our pool has stinky water that I'm trying to solve, so they can't swim at home for the next day or so.

This morning, Caleb pulled up to standing in his crib! I've been showing him for the past few days how to hold the rail and stand. This morning I put one hand on the rail and he did the rest all by himself! Now the mixed emotions- he's growing and learning and it won't be long 'til he's walking, and the- oh my! it won't be long 'til he's walking! He charms all the moms and kids at swim lessons and seems content to just watch from the sidelines this time. I certainly don't mind not freezing.;o)

Fun pictures from last week

Samuel got to try out the F-14 flight simulator after graduating from his week at space camp. Caleb even got to check out somethings!
Samuel designed an aircraft, which had some challenges when flight tested. They each made one that actually flew and was powered by a rubber band.
Catherine and her friend with Miss Manners teachers. We still haven't figured out all she learned!
When we were at SDC last time, we bought gooie gunk. They've already put many hours into creating master pieces. Catherine's creative cooking juices have flowed! Here they are making dessert for us.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Just got an email from another mom adopting from ROG. Although we submitted our I600-A MONTHS before the cut off to change to the I800-A (just forms for visa clearance for our adopted child) they stopped processing the I600-A's! I'm so thankful Robin is there to set things straight. So, another answer to why things so abruptly stopped for us.

Looking back, we see this is an answers to prayers. We had been praying that whatever the hold up was, it would be taken care of. When we found out Robin had gone there, I must admit, we were saddened that we didn't know and hadn't had a chance to even ask if we could send something with her. In spite of that, she was our answer to prayer! God was working even though we didn't know it, just like always.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

News from Georgia!

Robin emailed today...

met natia - she is living with "i" - wonderful foster mommy - her son "C" ADORES Natia - sheis a living doll - so happy and VERY funny - poor Delahne - "C" likes rap music - he has no clue about the words or meanings - justimitates the dances - Natia imitates "c" and is a gangsta girl... ohmy!!!! LOL... he sings Georgian nationalsongs and natia sings with him - she is doing great - ... she is around 40 pounds...clear skin and easy child - loves to look at her mommy and daddybook. was happy to show offer hermanicure and her pretty little piggys...

Friday, July 18, 2008

Milestones I forgot to mention

Tuesday, Caleb got up to sitting from being on his tummy! Catherine used to do full splits to go up and down. Caleb bends one leg while the other is straight and kind of falls over. Samuel? Too long ago to remember! Sad, but true, I don't know his particular method. So, Wednesday night I put Caleb to bed only to have him cry for a while. I went in after a bit to just make sure he had his paci and was ok. There he was, sitting up in bed and not able to get back down! Good excuse to snuggle for a while together!
Now, he's a pro at up AND down maneuvers. He's also learned how to make smacking noises and clicking sounds.
Today we had an appointment and after we were done, they had some fruit for us to munch on. I let Caleb suck on a piece of strawberry and it was so funny. He had such a big grin on his face, his eyes were closed. He had leaked in his diaper and I forgot an extra outfit. So picture this- the sun shining, the wind blowing softly, only in a diaper, sucking on a strawberry with a grin that could win the heart of the meanest person. That was how good he felt!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Catching up on the last week

How the week flies by when you leave your camera various places and don't want to post without the pics to go with your post!

So, quick recap of our past week.

Last Thursday, after we finished the kids' school work, I went out and planted some jasmine plants on the west side of our house. I rarely go over there and hope they are hearty! Samuel wanted to check to see if the neighbor's grandson Skylar was there, so off they went an ddidn't come back for a while. After I finished up, Katie came over to see if the kids could play. I told her where they were, she disappeared shortly and then returned with Catherine. The neighbor decided it should be boys there, girls here. Good idea. They play so nicely together! Samuel came home for lunch, Katie stayed and ate lunch with us. After lunch, Samuel got Skylar and brought him back. The girls helped me bake cookies and the boys played Legos, imagine that! Buddy came home and Katie stayed for dinner. Finally, I sent her home around 7 pm after about 9 hours at our house! She behaves very nicely and enjoys being here.

Friday close to noon we took off for Branson. Mom and Dad brought our neice and nephew Gabriel and Alex along and we all stayed in the same cabin. Oh my, what a fun time they had! We got there in time to play in the pool before taking off for church. The boys got to sleep in the loft the first night and the girls were on the floor in the living room. I'm amazed they slept at all, but they did. We spent from 10 to almost 5 on Saturday at SDC. Buddy had a friend (Gabriel) for the more exciting rides and mom and I got to go on a few together. We all enjoyed ourselves a bunch and wish we could do it again with the 4 older kids.
Sunday after church we came back home and got here at a nice time where we could all rest before dinner. Nice to be back in your own bed, but feel it would be ok to go back the next weekend!
Monday Samuel started space camp at the air and space museum here in Tulsa. He did it last year and had such a good time, that he wanted to go again. This year it's aeronautics and they're building an airplane they'll launch tomorrow morning. His friend Zach is in the same class, so they're having a good time. Catherine and her friend Courtney are at Miss Manners Camp at the University of Tulsa. Funny thing is, when I asked her what she learned the first day, she said "nothing, but we made crafts, had lunch and recess and watched part of a movie." About 2 hours after we got home she told me they learned not to talk with their mouths full our drink with food in their mouths. I'm enjoying carpooling.

Tuesday mom came over before I picked up Catherine and stayed the night with C&S and Caleb and I went to Tahlequah where Buddy works to spend the night with our friends Chad and Heather. Caleb did great and we had good food and fellowship. I got to take my time in the morning and not hurry to get anyone anywhere or fix breakfast. Wow, it's been a while! As I drove to T, I passed where I blew the tire a few weeks ago. It's now down to a one lane road. I was so thankful that was not the case when it happened. How dangerous that would have been! Caleb and I stopped for a quick visit at mom and dad's on the way home. It's fun seeing them so often. Sadly, mom will soon be back at work and our day time visits will come to an end.

Today Caleb and I went into town after dropping the kids with their various rides. He slept on the way in and home! Very nice. Katie came over after we got home and since there was noone to play with, she stayed with me while I took care of Caleb and had my lunch. She helped me bake some muffins and just talked and talked. Of course, she's really looking forward to Catherine being home, but she still was glad to be here. I'm amazed at how fast the week has gone! Tomorrow will be their last day of campsuntil next summer. By then Samuel may want to go to an overnight camp and hopefully I'll be ready to let him!

On the adoption front, I did find out that Robin from Hopscotch is over in Georgia, or at least she was earlier this week. We believe we'll be hearing something good because of her visit.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Conversation with Samuel

I showed Samuel how to do something and he said "good idea, mom." I said, "sometimes moms have those." To which he replied, "yeah, but I think boys have more," and took off laughing!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Yesterday Samuel went with Buddy to visit a guy Buddy used to work with. While there, Samuel aquired some scraps of granite that have rubies in them. Well, the treasure hunt was on! He spent quite a bit of time out on the porch pounding away to find jewels. He hardly wanted to come in for dinner, wolfed it down and was back out to discover more. Then he got out his mini microscope for a closer look. Sadly, he gave one to Catherine who let me have a look. It was about the size of a pin head and as I moved my hand around to look at different sizes, it rolled off my hand, never to be found again! First thing this morning, before he got dressed, he was outside pounding again. We had popsicles after dinner- Catherine kindly shared with Caleb.

I had just taken off Caleb's diaper, with the clean one there, ready to go so I could get him in his jammies. Off he went, turned over and got on all 4's!

I'm so excited to have caught his "mama" on video! Unfortunately, I'm having trouble getting it to upload!

He has a little toy that sings and shoots balls up, which he really likes. He can get one ball in each hand and then has tried to get a 3rd one with his mouth. Very funny, but not caught on video.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

I have a video and pictures I'll post, but Caleb said "mama" today and got on all 4's! Of course, mama had nothing to do with me being around, but it's still pretty cool!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Summer days

Amid much crying, I took Catherine home from my parents' Sunday night. She had such a full day of church, swimming, and then fun with her cousins and was exhausted. Grandma promised to bring the cousins over Monday to play, so that made things a little better.

Monday was FUN! They got here around 10 am and didn't leave until about 2:45. Guess where they spent 90% of their time together? In the pool! They had a pizza picnic in the backyard and went back in the pool as soon as they were done eating! They are turning into quite the little brown berries! Catherine took a 2 hour nap after they were gone, she was so worn out!

A much quieter day today with great anticipation for Friday when we will head out to our favorite place to spend the weekend with Grandpa, Grandma, Gabriel and Alex. We'll see what fun we can have tearing up the City, Silver Dollar City, that is!!!

It was time for haircuts today. Samuel has changed mind about a buzz and wanted it longer, that is, until we got to Ms Nikki's and he was back to wanting it short. We only trim what we have to off Catherine's ends so it can keep growing long and beautiful. I gave her mostly free reign with mine, just don't cut above my shoulders. What would I do if I couldn't have a pony tail? Now, if only she'd come fix it so nicely every day! I need to take a picture because it'll be this way until I go to bed and never look the same again!

We have a little problem...

... Samuel has two tubs like this of Legos. Great for building all sorts of wonderful creations, but not so great because Caleb is much more mobile now and makes a bee line for them anytime he sees them.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Weekend fun

We had a wonderful 4th of July, enjoying our time together, taking naps, being with family. Here's Caleb being festive..
Mom and dad came over and we had grilled fish, lettuce salad, steamed asparagus, slices of tomatoes, Italian bread, corn on the cob and Wacky Cake for dessert. Samuel can put down some corn! He'd stop and say he was full and next thing you know, "Can I have more______?" Caleb enjoyed his time with Grandpa.When it was time for fireworks, we attracted a few extra neighbor kids
Samuel got to light some Roman candles and was very dissapointed when they were gone and it was too late to go get more.Catherine liked the sparklers and enjoyed watching all the Roman candles go off.

Tired girl, but having fun with Grandpa. Mom and I enjoyed ourselves, too, just no pics to prove it!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Pool fun and more

Yesterday am we began the process of setting up our little soft sided pool. It's 10 ft x 30 inches. Just right for us with minimum maintanance. First, I had to mow where it was going. No, first I had to start the mower (which took the neighbor girl's assistance- she held the lever and I pulled the cord. Ooh to have about 6 more inches!) and mow a patch, find a level spot and blow up the inflatable ring. Hmmm, we only have the bicycle pump, but we'll make it work. We worked until it was time to have breakfast (we started about 7 am) and then went to swimming lessons. Katie left when we did and came back when we got home, had lunch with us and then we went back to work on the ring. Finally, we got it up and the filling process began! Boy, were they antsey to get in. By the end of the afternoon, we'd accumulated 3 extra children and all were well satisfied with their play. Bed time was pretty easy!

Katie was back before swimming lessons, but we didn't have time to play much. Samuel and Catherine both made tremendous strides, but Samuel needed to get a little stronger with breathing and some of his strokes. I asked him if he wanted to do it again and he did, so we'll be going during session 4. It's only about 1 hr. 40 mins. out of the day with travel for 2 weeks and they have such a good time. I was amazed to see Catherine jumping off the diving board on the 12 ft. end and swim over to the side of the pool with not a bit of fear or hesitation! She will be going again and will attempt level 3, but will drop back to level 2 if that proves to be too much. Caleb will have to repeat, but not until right before he's ready for level 1. When I dunked him today, he didn't even whimper! Very exciting considering he's so little.

Yesterday Caleb began to army crawl with a one legged push. He did manage to get one leg bent and under him once, but not when he was trying to go anywhere. Today, he progressed to alternating legs for pushing. He is making amazing strides! I wish I would have gotten it on video how he is all over the place. I did notice his knees and elbows are getting red, so I'll have to keep pants on him just to protect his legs. It's hot, but that will be better than rug burns.

Buddy took the kids +1 neighbor boy to pick out some fireworks. They were so excited to go and wolfed down their food. They didn't make dinner to hurry us up tonight because they were too busy being fish! It looks like it'll be a pretty rare occassion to just have the 2 of them in the pool or to be outside and it not end up being pool time. Maybe I'll get some more yard work done this summer and start getting a tan when it's actually summer! We're looking forward to being a house kids want to come to instead of having our kids running around and us not wondering what's going on in others' houses.

A new family moved in across the street and they have a boy a year older than Samuel (he went with them to pick out fireworks.) He has a pet snake and a hamster. There's a tree to climb in their back yard, too. I can see that Samuel will really enjoy having a boy to play with instead of just his sister and a neighbor girl.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

In March, we went to Branson (surprise, surprise) for Resurrection Sunday. At the church there, they have what they call Celebration Sunday where you bring things you'd like to give to bless others and during the day, you get to "give and receive" anything you want. Samuel had it in his heart to give his bike away. He really liked his bike a lot, but figured someone would be really blessed if he gave it away. While we were there, we saw the little boy who got it pushing it out to the parking lot. That really touched Samuel and we were all excited about it. So, in the mean time, he's been believing that God would bring a bike back, somehow, to bless him in return. Monday, we got an envelope in the mail that was for him, but we had some things to take care of and I left it for Tuesday. Well, inside the envelope was a sweet letter and a gift card to WalMart! He knew exactly what he wanted and could hardly wait to go get it. Buddy had the truck, so I couldn't do anything for him. He was so excited and had to call Daddy and Grandma to share the awesome news! God is so good and he was as thankful as could be. So, yesterday the kids put their Food Network watching to good use and prepared dinner for us again (at 4pm) so we would be ready to go. The menu was: potato chips, frozen fruit salad, soup for 3 (with the broth drained and water added back to it, they'd make more for daddy when he got home) artichoke hearts, and that was about it. They got the crystal goblets out for our water, complete with ice cubes and lemon juice all around.
So, Buddy walked in the door and had basicaly enough time for me to make a smoothie for him and off they went. Catherine decided to ditch the training wheels and get a kick stand and streamers for her bike.
It was over 1 1/2 hours before they got home! An exciting and prayful decision to get just the right one and it's a beauty!
Our neighbor girl Katie came over while they were gone and waited with me, then helped Catherine ride in freedom. By the time it was time for bed, Catherine had decided walking her bike or running were preferable to riding! But Buddy worked with her and I will do more today. They're growing up!