Friday, February 27, 2009

If I told you what was going on in the adoption area of our life, you wouldn't believe it, so I won't go into it. Needless to say, we still wait. I keep buying things here and there as I see a sale. My concern is changing timelines mean changing sizes and seasons, so I haven't gotten too excited about it. Lessens the stress as the days pass with "might happens."
Our tax appt. is tomorrow. I'm discovering that I'm missing some things that I'm sure I recorded and now can't find. So, I left Catherine to read to Samuel this afternoon. I'm sure they were very diligent, but I heard frequent giggling sounds coming from the living room. Every year I promise myself to do better. This year, I don't have a choice. We'll have a lot on our plates, but it'll all be good.

Monday, February 23, 2009

It's not too late, but I'm ready for bed! Buddy and Catherine are still out after "The King and I" event at church tonight. I tried so hard to get her to sleep, but she was soooo excited for this date with her daddy. Samuel and I headed for Cub Scouts tonight and got to do a little hammering craft. When we got home, I let him stay up later to read in his bed. He really appreciated that and our time together. Thankfully, I was able to put Caleb to bed before we went so the sitter didn't have to deal with it, although he's pretty easy.

I also got to go to lunch with one of my friends today! For 1.5 hours, we got to chat and laugh and tell stories with no interruptions. AAAHHH! So thankful for that time. I honestly miss that and am grateful my babysitter was willing to come twice today.

This weekend, we got our garage cleaned out and filled our trash bin. Sadly, it wasn't the one normally collected. That's because our's disappeared two weeks ago, had to call the police to file an incident report, call city hall to report it and supposedly get a new bin. Evidently, when I left the message with the incident report, I left it on the wrong number because we went two weeks without the right one. After cleaning the garage we desparately needed it emptied! I wrote a nice note telling the men what had happened. They left a nice note telling me that bin was only collected certain times of the year.

Here's a picture for you. In the morning, I get the kids going and after they've started their individual work, I get ready for the day. Well, I hadn't gotten that far yet. I saw they hadn't taken the bin and were just down the street and tried to run after them, but they had gone around the corner. I told the kids where I was going, got in the car and chased around the corner to catch them. I jumped out and explained the situation and they told me they'd call, but there was nothing they could do. I went back home and got back to getting the kids ready for school. Pretty soon, there was a knock on the door and the man I spoke with was there to let me know they had no record of my missing bin and I needed to call again. As I'm standing there in my plaid jammie pants and leopard house coat, I hear them emptying my bin, anyway. I called the lady, gave her my incident report number, and within a few hours, the new bin was by our garage. I was dressed by then, but didn't see anyone. So thankful for merciful people helping us!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Thanks for the kind words about our neighborhood kids. We really are believing that once we get our adoption finalized, we'll be moving to more land and bigger house. You can't say we haven't tried our best to make our 1630 sq ft work for the 5 of us. Funny thing is, we have great memories in this house, but I'm ready to leave when we get "the word" that it's time. It's crazy to think of all the ways we've rearranged, repainted, and reorganized closets, drawers, furniture, etc. I was pleased to notice how little we have in the attic and know if I'm really diligent, we can get each closet done once more in a very short time.
Today the kids and I got busy cleaning bathrooms and floors, general pick up, and eliminating what we could in the garage. It's amazing what you can do in a short amount of time. Buddy was working 1/2 the day today, so we did what we could on our own and tomorrow should be able to do some more. We're thankful the garbage goes Monday, cuz we're filling the container pretty full! There are just a few things in the garage that won't fit in our house but I hate to get rid of them. I really like them and want to put them in our next home.
Yesterday, it was so nice out, the kids wanted to get out, I needed to exercise, we needed a few things from Walmart, which is just a mile away, that I thought the kids could ride their bikes while I pushed Caleb in the stroller! It took about 25 minutes to make the less than 5 minute commute! Not so bad on the way there, but after we walked around the store and started to leave, I looked toward home and groaned inwardly. This is NOT a jogging stroller, I had extra weight in it, and it's been far too long since I did any exercise. Needless to say, we made it and I actually felt good today! Thankful for my car and amazed at how spoiled we get. I'm sure we'll do it again, or maybe we'll head to Target next.
Should be getting something official next week. Not holding my breath, but looking forward to good news.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Mean spirited kids

How do you deal with neighbor kids who call your son a wimp, tell him he has no friends and to go home? Do you let your kids keep playing with the kid who who says your daughter is annoying, even though she comes to see if they can play, you feed her, include her in fun activities, and let her play for hours on end?
I felt like I handled the moment well, but it sure did irritate me and I'm feeling bad for my kids and wonder what to do next time she comes around to play. We've already had the talk that if she can't treat them nicely and only wants to play when there's no one else, that's not going to cut it. Growing pains!
Thankful there are other children we can go visit.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Legacy, honor, and choices

One of the joys of homeschooling is that you can take rabbit trails in your studies. We've stopped moving ahead in our time frame for history and hung out with the leaders of the Revolutionary was. Most recently, we've read of Nathan Hale, Benedict Arnold, Ethan Allen, and Thomas Paine. These men all had an impact on our nations, but it was amazing the choices they made and the effect that had on their future.

Nathan Hale, born in Connecticut, was faithful to his commitments, even when it went against his personal desires. He was committed to his cause and was willing to face death to help at a critical moment. When the British caught him during his time spying, he told the truth. He died honorably at age 21- even his enemies thought well of him. Think of all the places that are named after him.

Benedict Arnold was born in Connecticut, as well. He had a need to prove his bravery, to be noticed, to be the best. Appearances were important and debt was always an issue for him. When he didn't get his way or wasn't recognized as he thought he should be, he was ready to quit or leave. In the end, he was willing to give up a Fort to the British for money. It was all about who would give him the most money. He died a sad man at 60, bitter and lonely.

Ethan Allen was also born in Conn. He was all about freedom and defying anyone who seemed to be taking away or opposing his freedom. He was not interested in following orders if he had a better idea. This caused him to make a major blunder, lose his chance to be a hero and leader in the war, and spend almost 3 years as a prisoner. He was a great writer and very inspiring. Because of him, Vermont became a state. He was a hero and larger than life legend who died at 51 years.

Thomas Paine was born in England, didn't like to study or to do the work in his father's shop, dreamed of being a sailor, and ran away twice. Went to America and wrote Common Sense which inspired people to ralley to make this an independent nation. He also wrote another article about the soldiers who were without supplies which raised awareness and support. He even gave up his own money to help support the troops. Sadly, he didn't get paid for his efforts. He made several trips back and forth to France and America. He was imprisoned in France because, after hesitating to get involved, he supported the French Revolution, but said the King should live, not die. He stayed there for quite a while until he was finally rescued. Thomas Jefferson sent a ship for him and brought him back to the States, but unfortunately, people had forgotten what he'd done and most of his friends were dead. He ended his days alone.

Didn't the foundinf fathers pledge in those days their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor? Look how far we've come from that. Look also at the choices these men made that are examples for us to follow and avoid. Look how important it is to know our history and to recognize those who deserve respect and honor for their sacrifice.
Long ramble, but I'm thankful for these lessons to share with my children.
Two really funny Caleb stories for you.
I'd introduced him to the potty seat just so he'd get used to it. It has this little ring that you can use to hang it on the wall so it's handy when you need it. (We tried a little potty for the older 2, but it took up room and I really disliked having to dump the contents.) Caleb has taken the seat, used the ring to put it on his arm like a purse and walke around, pleased as can be! Well, one night before bath, I put him on the potty and he was fine. I took him off and went to check the water for the tub. When I turned around, there was a nice little pile in front of the potty. Do you cheer for that? Then, I needed to take a shower and he needed to be cleaned up, so I put him on the potty in the kids' bathroom and brought him into ours for the shower. He kept looking down (he was naked) at himself, but went on playing. He sat down on the floor and when I turned back from getting the shower ready, there was a little puddle. There's a pattern here, I think. Don't look away!
Second, on occassion, I'll grab a stray sock to wipe his nose if no tissue is handy. Yesterday we were reading as a family about Ethan Allen. Caleb grabbed a mismatched sock and blew like a champ. Funny thing, he kept it up and really needed to blow!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Some happy, fun tid bits to catch up.
Caleb had a shorter nap Friday at Charissa's while her mom watched the youngest 3 so we could take the older kids to go see the Tulsa Historical Society. He was pretty happy for the most part after he woke up, but after eating some really rich chocolate cake I made for our Valentine's party, he was done for the day! I put him down at 5:30, thinking he'd maybe play for a bit quietly or take a short nap. However, he slept until 8:30! I got him up, changed his diaper, put him in jammies, tried to feed him, which he wanted no part of, and put him back down within an hour. Amazingly, he slept until 7:15 the next day!
Saturday while I worked on taxes, Buddy took the kids to the museum to do some crafts, do a few errands for himself, then home. It was so nice to be able to concentrate on work and not have to stop for much of a lunch! After lunch, everyone else napped and I was able to get the majority of the taxes done, which is such a blessing. Just a few more hours and I should have it licked.
Then after dinner, we took Caleb to a friend's for the evening and took S & C to the ORU homecoming game. I only saw 3 people I knew, but we had a very nice time. We were in the balcony, so all the freebies that were thrown out were too far down. Very disappointing to the kids, but ok with me to not have any more items to contend with! Buddy did get us a dozen roses for Valentine's- shared among the 4 of us, and cards for all who could read. I had left him a message not to bother- I know everything is 50% the day after and it has been challenging in the past for him to think up something to do. It was sweet of him to ignore me.
The day after Valentine's is such an awesome day to shop! I went to Walmart to get a few groceries and ended up getting some great things for our V. Day party next year. I also found a little fondue set for $5! I quickly added strawberries to the cart and headed home. The kids were thrilled and had a bit of a time staying focused on dinner. We had strawberries, bananas and grapes dipped in melted carob chips. Mmmm! Caleb decided the best part was the chocolate on the strawberry and sucked it off thoroughly, but left the strawberry!
Catherine has been practicing her leaps for ballet and has really improved. Tonight she was also doing "bird flapping" as she ran around the living room. Much more interested in her leaping than in our game of Uno!
Samuel asked to take a bath with Caleb tonight. I don't usually let him because he takes up so much of the tub and is so much bigger than C, but tonight, I did. I was showing C how to pour water on S's head to rinse it. He very methodically put the cup in the water and tapped it on S's head. No water in it, just the tapping. He did it over and over with S being totally patient with him. S and Buddy got to play some chess and checkers today. It's rare that they do and was a really fun thing for both.
We've been going to this new church for about 1.5 months and really enjoy it. They have a carousel which we've never gone to see. After the kids asking every week, we finally went today. At first, Caleb wasn't sure. By the end, he cried when I took him off. They all enjoyed it so much, I'm sure we'll be doing it many more times.
I'm debating on switching to a 4 day school week. Although the kids are doing well, I feel a bit overwhelmed with everything I'm trying to do for taxes, school, work, house, adoption. Buddy suggested it today and it sounds like a great idea. Or maybe the 5th day could be flashcards, music, art, fun things like that. It'll work out.
Looking forward to a great week this week. Hope you have one, too.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Got to make another OKC run yesterday. When I spoke with Robin that am, they needed new documents today! At first I was going to take all 3 kids and then thought I'd call on the mercies of a friend. Boy, do I owe you, Charissa! She kept S&C and I took Caleb with me. Little did I know, there were a huge number of homeschool families at the capitol today as a kind reminder that a bill being introduced which would make homeschooling nearly impossible in OK, was a bad idea. I got to see so many big families-4-7 children. I also met 2 families who'd adopted in the past year and got to share stories. I got to meet a little boy named Samuel who wanted to see pics. of my Samuel and then I had to take one of him to show mine. then his sister wanted me to take one of herself and her best friend. Great way to spend the waiting time!

After a small mishap, we were able to complete what we needed. My notary's insurance agent forgot to send in their renewal on their bond. Oops! I found a bank nearby and the lady who helped me was adopted.

Caleb did really well in the car and got to try out Hannah's car seat. We'd taken both Buddy's truck and our van, which we'd intended to donate to the car wash so we could get them both shiney at once. Monday when Buddy went to work, the car seat was still in there. I'm so thankful we had Hannah's. I'm pleased with my purchase. It'll give her lots of room to grow into and was perfect for napping in the car.

We gave our van today to a great ministry in town. We're not sure if they'll use it for ministry use or give it to an individual. Either way, we trust it will be a blessing, and know that God will bring it back to us when we buy our growing family vehicle.

Much progress was made on taxes today. Not sure if I can squeeze all the remaining work left in and get an appointment before my accountant heads out of town again. How much stress do I want to put myself under right now? If only we had that very special travel date, I could feel like I'm in control and can plan my life! Ah, but that's right! I'm not supposed to be in control, it's called faith. We do believe we're seeing some of the mystery unfolding. Can't wait to tell the whole story when it's all done!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Why I enjoy this crazy OK weather

Today, we had spray painting weather! I have some projects I've been wanting to do and I finally had a chance! I got my knobs for my bathroom drawers/doors sprayed with one coat and started on a dresser that will be for homeschool storage. Looks like it'll be nice through this weekend, so off I'll go to get more cans!
One of the best things about today was that Caleb can walk well and was such a big boy trapsing about the back yard exploring, playing with S&C and letting me know he was ready to swing!
Enjoying a mango.

I tried to keep him upright in the van, but he had fun scooting down.
How many kids do you think this tree can hold?

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

random tidbits

I hope everyone knows it was ME who made the mix up yesterday, not anything bad about the museum. I don't know anything about surrealistic art and should have called before we went.

The funniest thing about the field trip flub up was Samuel. Before we went, I told him he needed to comb his hair again and use some water- it was sticking up. His hair and Caleb's are much the same- lots of body and cowlicks! He had a solution- he'd just cut off the part that was sticking up. Only he slipped and about scalped himself! There is now a patch about an inch square with hair about 1/8 inch long! Good thing it's mostly covered by the rest of the hair around it!

Caleb is having fun with hats lately. last week, Buddy had a stocking hat on that Caleb wanted. Buddy put it on him, him down and C walked around so pleased with himself. If you took it off, he sat down. Put it on, he got up and pranced around. Monday and yesterday, he was putting things on his head- one of Catherine's bows and different hats. I took him to the mirror and he touched his own head while looking in the mirror, not touched the mirror. I know that's a milestone somewhere! He rarely crawls anymore. The last time he did, Catherine said he was taking a lesson from Ava!

I had a dream last night that Hannah came by herself to our house. She wasn't talking in 2-3 word sentences, it was full blown English! Buddy reminded us all last night of the story in the Bible of Joseph. It seemed everything was going against him. He held onto the dream God gave and in the right time, he was set up for an awesome role. In one day, his entire situation changed. Good story to remember. (I still like Hannah just showing up, though!)

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Field trip flub-up

We have had some fabulous field trips while we've been homeschooling. Today, however, was NOT one of them! We found out there was going to be an exhibit called "Genesis" at the Jewish museum through the end of January. When I went online it said Feb. 8th, instead. Of course, we had to make this one of our trips. I was excited to go because I've enjoyed reading about Jewish culture for many years and Buddy had actually helped complete the building. So this morning, the Urbans and we loaded up and went to town for this fabulous field trip. It was supposed to be in the 50's today, so it was perfect! Not so. 33 was the highest I saw. We were cold, went to the wrong building, got to the right one and found out the exhibit had been packed up- yesterday!
The receptionist was really helpful and gave us alternatives for future exhibits and encouraged us to we watch Anne Frank movies and read the book. They do have a Holacaust exhibit that is permanent that I'd like to see, but was only 6th grade and up. I can't imagine trying to explain the true horrors of that to Catherine.
We took time to look through one of the books of this artist's works, which my kids said they learned nothing at the end of that time (I knew Charissa would be better at discussing the arts!) and went home. They did have 3 beautiful stained glass windows from a synagogue in Houston, as well as the star of David lighting from there. Looking forward to making it to some of the other exhibits in the future.