Monday, September 27, 2010

Fall is in the air! I really like the colder weather, which is funny, because I don't like to be cold. It's the sweaters and sweatshirts, the cozy fires and the soups, pumpkin spices, etc, that are so much fun. We look forward to getting together with family, even though we get together with them as often as possible. (Also not having a ton of bugs fly in the house when the children repeated fail to hear, "Shut the door!")

Our first taste of it was this weekend. Unfortunately, Samuel was camping with his cub scout pack equipped with shorts, t-shirt, and a rain coat. I was trying to get him ready while I was getting Catherine ready for dance, mixed in with a few errands, and didn't take time to check the weather, since it was so nice outside at the time. Oh, dear. I felt so badly when I got up Sunday morning to temps in the 50's! When he got home, it was time for a hot shower and sweat pants.

He brought a tree lizard home with him. What an education we received at the pet store! Thankfully, my brother had almost a complete set up, and we only need to get a different light. I was hoping for some powdered food we could put in the bowl. Nope. Live crickets that ALSO need to be fed and watered, in their own special habitat. We'll see how long Frenzy makes it...

On the way to church, I told Caleb and Catherine you can't sneeze with you eyes open. To which Caleb responded- "I don't sneeze in my eyes, I sneeze in my nose!"

Thanks to Bobby for an honest comment. "either because of the addition, tiredness, just plain orneriness, or whatever else you can think of" from the previous post referred to ALL the children, not just Hannah. Do we regret our adoption of Hannah? NO! Of course not. Is it true she's going through adjustments and that other family members are going through it, too? Is it true that even with the addition of a baby, life is not always beautiful until you figure each other out? Is it true that at times, after each of my 3 births, I wondered if I was in over my head in responsibility and duty? Yes, yes, yes, and many yesses! Same thing with an adoption. There are things I never imagined, in spite of reading books and adoption education.
If you've been following us for long, you are aware it was 2.5 years of great pains in even getting her here, which was all I could focus on. Kind of like marriage. Planning for the wedding day and not realizing everything that comes after.

Should I pretend it's all beautiful? Maybe I shouldn't mention any not so beautiful moments, but I also think the honesty I read in others' blogs helps me realize what I'm going through is quite normal. To see the progress she's made is great. Is it without pains? No, but we ultimately know it was God's design and leading that brought her to our family and His wisdom and help that will help us smooth the rough places we face. I regret it may come off as wishing things had stayed the same in our family. Definitely not my real feelings. Guess I need to learn a bit more discretion and be slower to share our lives.

So glad for another wonderful day in CC. I'm enjoying hearing the older sharing about their days and being creative together as they plan and discuss different things. It's also fun to hear Hannah and Caleb, especially H, get so excited to see me after just 2 hours apart. I know they're having a great time in their music class and play time. I'm also pleased to see that Hannah is playing with the other kids and being verbal with them. It's refreshing to hear the comments about her progress. She's doing so well, I think we'll be putting her in the morning class with the 3 and 4 years olds! I know she gets bored sitting in my class where she sits still and has to listen. If she was with Caleb, she'd be enjoying all their play and learning time more on her level. She enjoys our school time together at home, so I'm sure it'll be lots of fun for her.

Hannah has found 2 things that she can get for comfort, which is really great. Not the things we brought home with us, but a little afghan my mom made, and a little bear we got the first night we were home.

Well, it's off to make dinner. Thankfully, we have no activities tonight! It's so pleasant to just have a night together where we can relax. I'm rethinking activities and think I've found one solution. We shall see. On one hand, I regret not letting them do fun, learning things, and on the other, if we have to pay for it the next day, it's just not working.

Have a great week!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Some days are not so pretty here, either because of the addition, tireness, just plain orneriness, or whatever else you can think of. However, today was a beautiful day! The weather was nice, children behaved, tried almost their best, and played nicely together.
Hannah is getting more and more mobile and independent, which is great to see. It opens so much more to her. I can still see some tendancies to sit and watch the world go by, but with only a little prompting, she's ready to go outside and jump on the trampoline or play on the little slide. I think this past week was a big turning point for her. We've not had much crying, and much more being part of the family and doing what everyone else is.

Have to share some Caleb'isms before I forget.
I walked out on Sunday morning and he said, "Mom, you've got sprinklers on!" My shirt had sequins.
I told him God had big plans for him, one night. The next day he told me, "God has plans for me, but he doesn't give me treats."

I'll have to think about the others. Some really funny ones.

For my birthday, I got a gift card and some cash. Mom came over yesterday to watch the kids while I shopped. Sadly, I haven't done it in such a long time, I had a hard time finding things I liked or that fit. I did find some really good deals and got a few things and still had money left over! That means I'll get some more practice in sometime soon! I'm really thankful mom has been helping me out. I'm able to get some errands taken care of, and she is a favorite of Hannah's. It's also good to hear what she sees in H's progress. Good to get an outside opinion to help you appreciate changes.

Thanks for the good book suggestions. Agnes Gray came in first, so I'm already partly into it, then Mansfield Park, followed by some Charles Dickens. Fun, fun fun. Also, for fun, one of my fellow CC'ers asked me to parse Ephesians 6:1-8. My goodness! That's some complicated stuff! Good for the brain. I like those kinds of challenges!
Off to another wonderful school day...

Friday, September 17, 2010

What a sweet day for me! I woke up to "Don't come out, mom." I happily complied with their wishes. In come the kids with breakfast in bed. Our traditional oatmeal with a candle in it. In this case, there wasn't a 4, so 4 individual candles and a 0. Followed by a fairly good morning of school, including being seranaded by fellow CCers, thank you very much! Catherine and Samuel made our lunch, followed by a brief bit of school, a movie for fun, and a mandatory rest for me. They were working on a surprise, but needed quite a bit of advice, so I eventually got up, cleaned up all the many measuring spoons, cups and bowls, finished making the cake Samuel started, and completed the dinner Catherine started. So glad we could be all together for this day. Can you tell who decorated the cake? Pretty ingenious, I thought. Cake and ice cream, Kung Fu, and some Survivor top off the day.
Funny comment about the day- Catherine said, "You don't look 40. What do people look like when they're 40?" Sweet girl!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The big 4-0

This post has nothing to do with my family, and is all about me. Why? Because this is the eve of my 40th birthday. What did I expect in turning 40? Nothing really. It's such a wierd thing, since my life is so different from my parents', who had an empty next by the time they were this age, and because I look so radiantly young! Really, though, it's hard to feel old when your youngest is 3! I have at least until I'm 55 before it'll time for everyone to scoot out on their own. Considering Buddy's age at the time, I'm a spring chicken! ;) (Don't tell him I said that.)

I'm really thankful that God gives me the strength and energy to keep up with my life. Some days, I rely on Him more, and I have the peace and the wisdom to deal with all my life entails. It's those days I get too busy, too impatient, too self-centered to look beyond myself to the inner strength He wants to give that I have the worst times. So, you can tell what my quest/need for the coming year is.

A haircut was in order. Starting with a change for the next 40 years sounded great. I was conservative, since I know Buddy doesn't like it very short, and only cut off 2 inches. No one even noticed, which tells me I should've been braver than I was. Next time...

I finally read Jany Eyre for the first time. It really was fun to stay up until 12 and 1 am to finish it. I was trying to tell Buddy the story, and he didn't get into it as much as I did. But to find out the customs of the day, stretch my brain (I should have had a dictionary nearby) while I was learning new vocabulary, and read a story that was over 160 years old was fabulous! One of the draw backs of going to a little school was not having to read classics. I'm up for another, this time with either a notebook to write things down, or a dictionary at my side. Any suggestions? There are all those parenting/self improvement books that I have on my bookshelf, too.... I think a classic is calling a little louder. :)

There is a lot to be thankful for on this birthday. I'm surrounded by blessings and love. I've had great adventures so far, and trust God to bring even more my way. My plan is to live to be quite old, but not the old, wasting away kind of old, which gives me time for lots of living. Won't it be fun to look back after another chunk of time has gone by?

The boys are out now shopping for my present. It's going to be fun to see what they come up with and how the kids mark the day. They told me that because it is my birthday, they decided not to do school. My thoughts were in a little different direction- because it's my birthday, you should do a really nice job and not make it rough on me. I'm sure it'll be the way I planned.

Hope you enjoy your day as much as I do mine. And, please, have some cake or ice cream to celebrate with me.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Celebrating Caleb

Today was our family get together to celebrate Caleb's birthday. At this point 3 years ago, after being in the hospital all day, we were debating going home or just staying through the night and inducing in the morning. I was in no pain, just wishing this boy would make up his mind to get serious about meeting us. Happily, just 14 hours later, he did make his entrance. Caleb means bold, Joseph means and addition, and that he is. This little guy is full of personality and energy, not much slows him down. He loves life and being in the middle of all the activity, yet he loves snuggles with his mommy and tickles from his daddy.

One of the funnest parts of today was that Catherine and her cousin Alex made salad outside, which included the fronds from my asparagus that had gone to seed, leaves from my lavender plant, totally decimating it, and leaves and flowers from the crepe myrtles. After they made the salad, they bagged it, even ate some of it, (not the crepe myrtles) and had Buddy and I reenact our wedding. Dad was the minister, as before, but this time, Samuel and Gabe, his cousin, gave me away, Caleb just stood by me, Alex and Catherine were flower girls (crepe myrtle blossoms,) mom was the photographer, and Hannah was the guest. Very funny!

At the end of the day, the new scooter from G'pa and G'ma was quite a hit, and everyone wanted to play in the moon dough, making animals for the farm. Really fun toy, slightly messy, but lots of fun.

We're so thankful for our littlest munchkin!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Working on making a list of Hannah's English progression:

Mommy, Doddy, Shanno, Catawi, Cala, kitty, Nikki, Nora, eat, drink, sleep, outside, car, yellow, jump, thank you, please, potty, all done, Grandma, good job! shoes, uh oh! apple, banana, Jesus, me, no, yes, Bible (parts of Jesus Loves Me.)

Yesterday was raining, an Hannah was quite disappointed. Why? Because on Tuesday, she figured out how to go outside by herself. If she has her shoes on, and even when she didn't, she would open the door, walk across the porch and head out into the back yard. The trampoline is out there, and she's figured out how to get on by crawling on the little slide we scooted over so Caleb could climb on. She can also climb off by herself. I really like the independence she's gained! It's good for her, and I know she doesn't get as bored when we're busy and can't pay attention to her. She's never been distructive, just obviously bored and wanting the attention on her. She also likes the little tykes car we have and can get in and out.

There are still times she'll do things and I wonder what's going on in her head. Take for instance this morning. Caleb had woken up during the night twice crying really hard, , and I'm sure I will for a long time, saying his foot hurt. There was nothing on it, no redness, so swelling, nothing I could feel or see. The second time, he kept saying, "take it off!" So, with about 5 hours of sleep, I wasn't ready to get up at the normal time and asked Samuel to let me rest for a bit. He did; an hour later I got up and Hannah was still in bed. She never called out to get up, or even sat up in bed while she patiently waited. Only when Samuel said her name did she respond and was ready to get up. Now, if all my kids were like that...

We're almost done with our first full week of commitments. Normally, it's CC on Monday, with scouts that night. Catherine started ballet this week and really enjoyed her class yesterday. Last night was AWANA, tonight is karate for the boys, tomorrow is nothing, and Saturday we're back at dance. I'm rethinking how great I thought the schedule was, since we like to be able to go on the weekends to Branson. What WAS I thinking? I may have to talk to her teacher about switching classes, which will mess up the car pooling we'd planned. We'll figure it out.

Everyone is in bed, and it's time to relax! Have a great evening.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Samuel took this shot of the stormy sky one night last week. What is Labor Day, and why do we celebrate? Well, to be honest, we usually don't. We end up working on a project and that's about it. This year, we made a very good effort not to do that. The day started out with Buddy letting me sleep in, thank you very much. Then Catherine and I hit Wally world all by ourselves. We wanted to have a picnic, but knew that it would take too long to pack up and go where we wanted, because we were really hungry. So, the picnic was in our back yard. Everyone had fun. Followed by some serious swinging.......while the other 2 read.Then it was nap time for the littlest 2, and the big guy who was supposed to be watching a video for school. The kids and I played some games while the others snoozed.
When they were done, we headed to Will Roger's birthplace. It's just down the road about 20 miles, and we went during swim lessons. It was a bit windy (our stroller ended up halfway across the yard on the other side of the house while we were inside) which kept us feeling much cooler. There were stroller pushing contests...moments of silliness,some pitiful looking animals,some pride eating moments (why didn't I take 2 minutes to put on makeup!?!)and some joys in meeting animals.
On the way home, I dropped Buddy and the kids off at the park and went home to start dinner. It was so nice to have all this play time! After the little ones had their baths and were in bed, we got some ice cream and ate in the back yard. We put the tent up so S & C could have a fun adventure for the night. They came in at least 3 times before they were finally done for the night. I think they're sleeping, but who knows. At least they'll have had fun. Tomorrow starts dance for C, so we may need to make time for resting during the day. Looking forward to a great week.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

So, where've we been? Getting our car serviced to sell, running around doing errands, having happy hearts doing our school work, learning to obey quickly with a happy heart, and so much more that's not really blog worthy. Read as down right boring!
Buddy did start school last week. He only has 7 more weeks and he'll have finished all his courses. So far, he really enjoys his classes. It's broken down into one teacher, all day, for a week. Then another teacher for the next week. Each emphasizing a different aspect of missions training. Very interesting, he says.
We're enjoying the weather and being able to be outside. We sat out in the front yard watching chocolate balls melt in the sun while reading about the sun. It was really neat to see that they were soft in the middle, even though not melted on the outside. We didn't have a magnifying glass, so we used a glass jar and moved the chocolate ball to where the light was focuses. Lessons in improvizing, I guess.
We went to my parents last night to spend time with them and my brother's family. It's been since the end of school that we've all been together. Such craziness! It used to be that summer was the time when we got together more than ever. Well, life has a way of making it challenging to get 15 people together at the same time.
Currently, we're having a 3 year old wish to revert to diapers. Why?!?! He was doing such a great job! Not even wearing diapers at night for several weeks. I imagined we would have some serious reverting going on when I got home, but he did really well. Now, I can't see to wash fast enough to keep him in dry pants. Samuel used to get distracted and forget to go because he was so absorbed in his play. Not so with C. We'll get through this, too.
On the knitting front, I'm almost done with the front of the sweater! Then it's sleeves and putting together, and I think I'm done. I just don't see going to all the work of a hood and him not wanting/using it. We'll see how motivated I am. My eye is already wandering to other patterns, but I haven't picked Caleb's up to finish it! Goodness, I don't like doing things like this.
I've been working on the hidden accomplishments in our home- cleaning the pantry, organizing our hall closet, (games, Legos, business storage) organizing my part of our closet. What amazes me is, although you work so diligently to make things nice, you create soooo much chaos, and then when you're done, no one knows. Maybe I'll get my seen things organized soon....
It was so nice to be home together today, I'm looking forward to tomorrow. No plans, just want to maybe labor lightly and then spend the majority of the day enjoying each other. Naps don't last long enough to get in a long game, so we may have to put some children down early. We tried to play Cash Flow for Kids, but were really distracted keeping hands out of the game pieces. I didn't end up playing, but was banker and guard. :)
Everyone else is watching Kung Fu, season 1, so I think I'll join them. Not feeling very quick or as wise as Grasshopper, but maybe I'll learn something.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Standing takes more energy than sitting. So, if it's 11 pm and I'm eating honey puffs standing up, does that make it better? I was playing solitaire on my iPod, which should definitely help, too.