Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Hannah's getting a package!

We were without internet for about 5 days and what a deal that was! I found I had more time in my day, but certainly missed catching up on the goings on of families around the country. Now we're back and thankful!

We were told Samuel needed an ortho evaluation at 9.5 years! So, Monday we trooped to the office, filled out the papers and found out he's just fine. Crazy to think about things like that at such an early age. I guess as puberty creeps up (yikes!) those things are creeping, too.

Last weekend we were able to send a package to Robin to take to Hannah! I should have taken pictures of what we sent, but we'll be seeing it again soon. Samuel wanted her to have one of his soccer pictures, Catherine wanted her to have a class picture, and I sent a family picture from January. We laminated them, punched a hole in the corner, sent a ring in Catherine's picture so Hannah can have them to look at and see the more recent "us." Samuel sent her a little mirror, a Littlest Pet Shop animal, and his picture all inside a Lego Creator box (his choice) with a sticky note that says "Handle with care. From your loving brother to *****(birth name.)" (He asked if the box would come back and was ok with it once I said yes.) Catherine wrote a note she wouldn't show me, tucked it into the ribbon on a bunny, along with her picture, wrapped in cute paper. I was able to find a little pink satin blanket with a classic Pooh holding a portion of it. Catherine thought we shouldn't get it for her because we have special blankets/afghans for her here. Then I explained to her that when Hannah leaves the orphanage (yes, she's back for the time being) she will have nothing familiar to take with her except what we've sent when the Spahr's went last March and what Robin is taking this time. What a comfort for her to have these familiar things when she comes home. That made sense, so she helped me pick it out. We are anticipating great things happening while Robin's there. Looking forward to pictures- it's been since January! I'd so like to be able to plan the beginning of the summer but will be patient and just keep going until we hear news.

Only 11 more days of school for our happy homeschoolers. I'm sure they're greatly anticipating it, although we will be working on math and language throughout the summer. We've survived to tell of the joys of getting through the first year!

Thanks for the advice on strollers. I need to get hopping on that.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Art, date night, and more

Just a few catch ups for you. Isn't that usually the case? Yesterday, we completed a neat art project together called foil art. I got a video at the library to help out with ideas and this was a great one. The mushroom pictures were from the same video. Anyway the kids were really excited about the 3 day process and couldn't wait to get started. First, draw a picture with black crayon on stiff cardboard. Then go over your picture with a thick line of glue. Let this dry over night so it's nice and dry.
Cover your cardboard with foil and fold over the sides. You can tape or glue if you need to. Press all over with your fingers to get the outlines and then use a clean eraser to get in closely to the lines of glue.
Use black shoe polish and rub all over the foil. Let this dry overnight.
The next day use steel wool and polish your picture. The raised areas will get shiny and the others areas will end up looking like tarnished silver. Pretty cool. The kids were pleased.
Yesterday was also milestone day for Caleb. He did big stuff on the potty. Every day is a new day for his schedule, so I just did our usual sit on the potty and pretend thing. Well he sat there and started grunting and before you know it, there were presents in the potty! He also was putting the shapes in his shape sorter correctly! I'm sure the 2 have nothing to do with each other, nor did they happen at the same time, but it was pretty cool.

I've been looking online the past few nights for double strollers, feeling the need to get more in order for Hannah's arrival. The debate about tandem vs. side by side. I've heard great from both sides, but I don't want something really heavy or hard to maneuver or really costly. I'm sure it's out there for me and I will find it. Any input, though is appreciated.
Since Buddy hasn't been home much this week, the kids were showing it. School was a little challenging even though I was trying to do fun things, take breaks, go do more places together. Since I'd already gotten a babysitter for our special date night to the Third Day concert that we missed, I decided to take the kids out. At first S&C did not have great attitudes and I told them it would be ok to go home or we could try to have fun and enjoy this time together. Thankfully, they changed their tunes. We went to a restaurant Buddy didn't want to go to, got take out, went to a park to have a picnic and play. We stopped and picked up ice cream on the way home and after Caleb was in bed, we had Chocolate Caramel chai ice cream cones with sprinkles and read Junie B. Jones Loves Handsome Warren. Fun was had by all.

Fish update: Catherine's snail died before it hit the water and she's been begging everyday to get another one. While we were on our date, the 1st stop was the pet store. this morning we didn't see anything showing out of its shell. Moments of concern turned to excitement when we saw it poke its head out and open and close its mouth. Thank you Lord!
Looking forward to a nice weekend together starting with a soccer game and Buddy being home all weekend. Yeah!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Where is my brain?

Our whole family likes Third Day, so when we found out they were coming to Tulsa, we debated about taking the kids. Knowing how late it would be and the many chances in the future to see them, we decided to have a date night ourselves and go. Buddy decided to go to some meetings every night this week and was really excited about them. I reminded him of the TD concert, which I thought was Thursday night. He'd be home in time. Last night he was at his meeting and I was reading what Samuel's been reading to check up on his books, made soup for today, and got in bed at a decent time.
This morning I checked my email, checked Facebook, and saw a comment about how great the concert was!! Well, it could be worse.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Our newest family members

While in Branson, the kids each won a gold fish and 2 other little fish, I am not sure what they are. Of course, we had to go to WalMart and get all necessary supplies. We'd watch a Popular Mechanics for Kids that showed how to make an ecosystem. what a cool science project! We first went to a pet store to get snails and find out what we'd need to get at WalMart. As expected, there are amazing cute dogs, birds, mice, guinea pigs, etc. there. OK, not cute mice, but the rest were. "I wish I had a bird and some dogs..." We have 3 cats already and I'm just not feeling the need or the space to add more. Fish can live on a shelf, so they are acceptable.

Alas, one of the snails didn't make it while I prepared the fish bowl. Who knew? The other seems to be doing quite well and the fish are happily swimming about. The kids have been able to identify their own fish and have multiple names for them. At some point they'll settle on it, but I don't think the fish really care.

On the adoption front... Some hoops have been jumped, we seem to be getting ever nearer. I'm reminding myself that the Lord is faithful and will carry us through this end-of-the-game waiting.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Resurrection day

...And because He lives I can face tomorrow. Because He lives all fear is gone. And because I know He holds the future, my life is worth the living. Just because He lives.

We went to Branson for a lovely Celebration Sunday. The Lord is truly so good to us and it was wonderful to take time to remember that. A lady there said it so well- if all Jesus had done was die and rise again for us, it would have been enough. Ah, but there's so much more! Can't thank Him enough for being so faithful and true to His promises, for being the One we can run to in times of trouble, confusion, hurt, and need. Or the one He likes best, just to say thank you and tell Him how much you love Him. He always causes us to triumph in Christ Jesus. Nothing can separate us from His love. Does it get any better than this?

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Photography tricks with Samuel

One of the neighbor kids showed Samuel some tricks with photography and he requested I post his cool pictures. Ignore the yard. We know we have much work to do.


Monday, April 6, 2009

Random catching up

Saturday was Samuel's second soccer game. Thankfully, the weather was MUCH better than the first one. When I pulled up to the field and saw the team they were playing against I asked God to help them not get creamed. They didn't have enought people to have a 9-10 year old AND an 11-12 year old league, so they combined. Only thing is we have kids 8-11 on our team. This team looked more like the 11-13 year old team. My, but they were giants compared to our mighty Hornets. Our team had improved greatly and had a really good goaly after we gave up 2 goals. The game ended 3-0, but could have been much worse. I was so pleased to see how much effort they all put in and didn't give up. I'm also pleased we only have to play them one more time before the season is over!
Tonight was a Father and Son event at church. Samuel was so excited to go, he wasn't the least bit sad about missing cub scouts. It's fun for Catherine because she gets undivided attention from me. We HAD to have Papa John's pizza since Samuel and I did when she and Buddy went to their thing. Then we jumped with Caleb on the trampoline, had a family band moment with toy guitar, morracas and cluster bells and a newly made up song about Hannah coming home. Very nice. Got some good future musicians in the fam. ;o) After Caleb was down, it was time to play play dough and start reading The Secret Garden. Sadly, I don't know if I've ever read it before. We read the first chapter and I hope to continue with her. She's much more of a run-until-I-have-to-stop than a sit-quitely-while-you-read-to-me kind of girl. It's so much fun to find old books that are from before my grandparents were even born. The kids get pretty excited about it, too.
We had Catherine's observing day at ballet today. She did very well- I can tell a huge improvement since December. Alas, she has outgrown her second pair of ballet shoes since October! Crazy thing is, shoes vary in size by maker and regular shoe size has nothing to do with it. Wow! Caleb was quite taken with the whole program and was trying to do the things the girls did. Arms up, moving his legs, he tried to get in their line up. Fortunately, it was only Catherine's class and another small child was in there with us, although not as active.
Caleb started saying "Bubba, Sissy, Daddy, Mama" over and over and over.... mostly in the car. It's funny to listen to, and nice to have something besides "mama, mama,..." While we were in the class he kept saying, "Bubba" and trying to get to Catherine!
I keep looking at Suburbans for sale, knowing our time is getting closer to really needing it. We do have some requirements, though. After having 3 kids in a vehicle with leather seat, cleaning up messes in it, I know cloth seats will not be an option unless I plan on having stains everywhere! I found one that looked pretty good and a good price, until I found out it had no 3rd row seat. The right one will be there. Or as a friend and I have discussed, a 12 passenger van might be great so we have plenty of room for our family and anyone else who wants to come along.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Skating fun

Yesterday was homeschool day at the ice rink. Knowing it was right in the middle of Caleb's nap time, I wanted to find a way to keep him home so we could all enjoy it. It wouldn't be nearly as fun without friends. So we left Caleb with Charissa, borrowed some Urban children and their larger vehicle, and off we went. I tried to get away without putting on skates; it's been at least 18 years since I last donned my lovely white figure skates (which I still have in our garage.) However, as I was helping Hope around the rink, I was informed that was NOT ok. I was really concerned that I would fall while I was helping the kids and who knew who would be hurt in the process. Turns out that didn't happen. However, the videos I was taking are probably pretty wild when I was flopping my arms to keep my balance!
All the kids did well. Samuel and Catherine had never been skating of any kind, but by the end they were ready to let go of the wall while they shuffled at a painfully slow rate around the rink. Look mom! I'm doing it! The last few falls did Catherine in, and tears were right at the surface. Our cue to go. However, they have great plans about going back soon and frequently. Guess I'll have to dust off my skates and remember my second layer of socks.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Growing up

Today, Caleb had a rite of passage. He got his first real haircut. I had trimmed at Christmas, then let it go. It was definately time, but the tears came as I snapped pictures. He watched Samuel and Catherine go first, then he sat in the chair all by himself and giggled when the clippers came. (He's used to our Vita Mix and food processor, so noise is a fun thing.) It changed him so much. Yesterday, he said "up" when he wanted up instead of "dow," which had meant up and down. Today he peed on the potty and got his hair cut. Imagine, he's doing exactly what God designed him to do!
I borrowed a camera for the event and will post pictures when I can.