Sunday, April 30, 2006

Happy 8th Birthday Audrey!!!

8 years old already!!! They just grow up too fast. We had a small family party with Audrey's favorite foods-chicken casserole, pickles and olives! Then of course, cake and icecream. Happy Birthday Audrey!!! We love you!!!

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Good Read

Here's a book that came highly recommended by our home study social worker-I'm also recommending it to my home study families. It is Raising Adopted Children by Lois Ruskai Melina. I particularly appreciated the chapters where she breaks down a child's basic developmental stages and adds to each stage what and how they might be thinking and feeling about adoption at that particular stage. Very insightful!

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Chicken Pox Pandemonium!!!

I came home this morning after running some errands to find the kids' school phone number on the caller ID 4 TIMES! This can never be good news so I called the school immediately and was connected to the school nurse who informed me that my daughter, Audrey, had the chicken pox!!! I didn't know whether to laugh or yell at the nurse. I knew for a fact that she did NOT have the Chicken Pox. In fact, I had just lubed her up earlier that morning for a decent sized Eczema flare-up. I told the nurse that she did not have cp but a good case of eczema that she had been treated for this morning. She said that she needed me to come to the school and pick her up and that I couldn't bring her back until I had a note from a pediatrician stating that she did not have chicken pox. Of all the STUPID things to waste a day on!!! To make a LONG story short, Audrey ended up at the pediatrician's office where both the doctor and the nurse couldn't examine her with a straight face. They were also mesmerized by the stupidity of the school nurse and recommended that I return Audrey to school along with some internet pics of real Chicken Pox so that future parents' days aren't wasted seeking unnecessary medical treatment.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Sabino Canyon

We enjoyed a fabulous Saturday in Sabino Canyon with Grandma Debbie and Papa Bill. We rode the tram to the top, hiked around a bit then walked down to stop #8 where the kids could climb rocks, get wet and try to catch fish with their bare hands. Matt ended up stubbing his toe pretty badly and left behind what must have looked like a crime scene. All in all, a great day!

Friday, April 21, 2006

Kartchner Caverns

Alright, if you ever have plans to visit Tucson, here is a must-see. Kartchner Caverns is about 50 miles South (?) of downtown Tucson and well worth the drive. Just amazing that something so beautiful could exist inside of such an unassuming (and kind of ugly) mountain. They also have a very well done visitors center with displays that the kids (and the parents) can climb through and a picnic area. Lots of fun-we'll do it again sometime. It's also very close to Tombstone (which was ok). See Xander above posing next to his "bad guy." Nice to have relatives in town-gives us an opportunity to be tourists!

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

I've Been Tagged!

I've been tagged by Shelli and Angela! I'm supposed to list 6 weird facts about myself...only 6? Actually, after my '100 Random Facts' it may be a little tough to come up with 6 more that are weird. So, here it goes:

1. I should buy stock in whoever makes Q-tips. I am obsessed with their use. I must have the cleanest ears in the west!

2. I can usually share a soda with my kids or husband UNLESS the drink accompanies a meal that involves beans. I think I am scarred by a 'backwashed bean' experience at Taco Bell with my brothers as a child.

3. I gain 10 pounds every winter (Chili and Casseroles?) and lose 10 pounds every spring (Water and Watermelon?) I've lost about 8 pounds in the last 3 weeks which could be part of my 'Spring loss' but it could also be the braces diet. ;o) It takes me so long to eat that I'm full before I get started!

4. When I try on clothes in the store or at home, I always stand on my toes when I look in the mirror. I haven't thoroughly analyzed this one yet. I'm 5' 9" (if I round up) so it's not like I can't see myself in a full length mirror. Maybe there was a mirror I couldn't quite reach when I was a little girl...don't know. I would never have known this if my mother hadn't pointed it out to me. Weird.

5. I think that the ugliest part of my body has got to be my armpits. I'm not saying that they are the only ugly things on me. I know that I am proportioned like a circus freak and I'm aware of my other less than attractive areas but, for some reason, the pits are the most distressing. Even when they are shaved, I've got a '5 o'clock shadow, razor irritation, you name it. Believe me folks, U-G-L-Y. This girl won't be starring in a Dove commercial any time soon.

6. I can't remember a time that I didn't have the desire to adopt a daughter from China. From a very young age, when I would try to imagine what my future family would look like, there were different combinations of children, but always a Chinese little girl in the mix.

I've seen this on lots of blogs so not sure if I'm double-tagging anyone. How about.....

Dana, Shana, Michelle, Shelly, Christie and Karyn

If you have already been tagged then don't worry about it!

Rules of the tag:

1. Now you list 6 weird facts about yourself and post them on your blog and in my comments section. Then tag 6 more people.

2. Leave a comment in their comments section telling then they are tagged and to go to your blog.

Have fun!!

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Happy 5th Birthday Noah!!!

I can't believe our boy turns 5 today! I'm still not sure that I can hand him over to the public school system next Fall. He is just too much fun to have around and such a sweetheart. He asked me this morning what time he was born because he didn't want to celebrate his actual birthday until the minute had arrived. I wasn't sure of the time so we got out his scrapbook and looked at the pictures we took on the way to the hospital and shortly after he was born. Can't believe it was 5 years ago... We found out that he was born at 8:18 p.m. but managed to talk him into celebrating before then by having a "pet party" with his preschool friends. It was a lot of fun. The kids each brought their own favorite stuffed pet. They freeze danced to 'Who let the dogs out?,' played 'Drop the Dog Biscuit in the Jar,' Had a dog biscuit relay race, played 'Teach the Dog a New Trick, 'Cat, Cat, Dog' (instead of Duck, Duck, Goose,) and made beaded collars for their pets complete with Shrinky Dink ID tags. We ate hot dogs (of course) and enjoyed eating our ice cream just like a puppy would. Each child took home a doggie dish filled with treats. Fun party and cute kids! Happy Birthday Noah! We love you!!!

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Happy Easter 2006!!!

Happy Easter to you and yours! We had a great day that started out with an Easter egg hunt in a backyard that actually had some grass in it this year! Audrey found the golden egg and Xander must have eaten his weight in chocolate. Aunt Jennie, Uncle Joe and cousins Robert, Thorin and Sydney were in town and it was fun to have them around for the festivities. We went to church and enjoyed wonderful meetings, all reminding us of the true reason for the holiday. The kids got a good laugh at church when they realized that Jenn was wearing the same dress as their friends' grandmother...proof that good taste spans generations, right?

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Cousins in town!!!

I can't believe I didn't take better pictures. Why didn't I gather up the kids for a group shot? What a bonehead I am!!! Anyway, we had a great time with Uncle Joe (shown stepping out of Kennedy's Airforce One above) Aunt Jennie (mysteriously not photographed all weekend long) and cousins Robert (digging for moonrocks above), Thorin and Sydney(believe me, they were there too). Our trip to the Pima Air and Space Museum was great! There are volunteers there that were pilots in WWII. With many of them getting up there in years, what an opportunity to hear what they had to say. The kids loved seeing the SR-71 Blackbird and riding the tram around the plane yard. So much to see...we bought an annual pass so we can go back and check it out some more. It's a good thing that I was raised on airshows-being a mother of three sons means that there are lots of planes, trains and automobile-themed entertainment in my future

Monday, April 10, 2006

My Word Cloud

These word clouds have been 'floating' around the blogosphere for a while now. Thought I'd try it out. I'm not sure why mine is so blurry??? Anyway, I think it would be neat to wear these shirts in Guangzhou. There are so many of my blog friends out there that I would love to meet in person. I might not recognize your face in China, but I'd recognize your blog!!!

Sunday, April 09, 2006


Matt mentioned to me that this morning before church he felt like today was the day that Meili was born. I had a feeling yesterday while I was shopping that she would be born soon. Thought I'd post here just to weigh against the facts once we finally have them.

I have always felt like when she was born, I'd know it. Of course, when we started this process 7 months ago, things had been so steady that you could pretty much guess on a birthdate within a few weeks or so based on other people's timelines-not the case now!

The hard thing is the new level of anxiety. I used to be able to think about my daughter, floating in amniotic fluid somewhere on the other side of the world and that was ok. But now, our daughter has some real needs and I'm not there to meet them. She might have a great nanny, but a nanny is not a mother.

The thought of 1.2 million children living in Chinese orphanages is heartbreaking. Knowing that your daughter is one of them is an especially hard one to swallow. I just pray that Meili will be safe, warm, fed and cared for until we can bring her home.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Noah's First Soccer Game

...and it didn't go over too well. Noah has loved practicing for the past few weeks, but froze up when it was time to play a game. Maybe because he was expecting to play on his practice field? Not quite sure but he whined and cried on the sidelines for the ENTIRE game. We don't have high athletic expectations for our children and we blame ourselves-it's just not in the genes. This, however, was a bit ridiculous.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

The Camping Trip That Wasn't Meant To Be

It's been a few days since this happened. I needed the time to develop a sense of humor about this...We decided about a week ago that we would try to take our new tent trailer out for its maiden voyage the past Saturday. Plans were underway. Food bought. Car gassed up. Blah, blah, blah.

Saturday morning comes and I am just in a funk. There is a list of things to do around the house that is at least a mile long and I am not in the mood to spend the weekend camping and falling further behind. Matt, once again, is on a mission. He is going camping come hell or high water. I am working on 'the list.' He proceeds to pack for a family of 6 single-handedly while I comment that he is going to a lot of trouble for a family that is NOT going camping this weekend. He just ups his pace and takes off for a moment returning with a Coke and an Almond Snicker bar. What can I say, it was KING SIZE! I asked for minute to change clothes and we were on our way!

Matt hooks the tent trailer to the Suburban. It didn't look secure to me so I ask him about it and he says its fine. Five minutes and 2 blocks later, we hear a repetitive CRASH into the back of the truck. The tent trailer has come loose and the only way that it is going to stop is if we do and let it crash into us. I was screaming like it was the end of the world. We finally stop and get out to survey the damage. The Suburban is amazingly enough only minimally damaged (scraped up plastic bumper coating) but the tent trailer is in bad shape. The battery is on one side of the road and the propane tank is on the other. There's a 2 foot crack in the outer shell for good measure. Matt gets his bearings and patches us up well enough to get us home.

I get straight on the computer for some theraputic blogging and he continues to work on the tent trailer. I feel vindicated that I was right to not want to go camping in the first place. Besides, I knew the darn thing wasn't attached properly! So, I'm off the hook for camping, right? WRONG!!!

About an hour later, Matt exclaims, "I can't let it beat me." So, his masculinity on the line, we set out once again for the camping trip that is not meant to be. Two hours later, we pull into the campsite and find ourselves faced with a sign that says, "NO CHARCOAL OR CAMPFIRES." Great. We have foil dinners in the cooler and plans for a dutch oven breakfast the next morning. Matt says, "we're just going to play stupid" which won't be much of a stretch considering how the rest of the day has gone. We drive through the site and there is nothing but concrete and grass, not even a place to fake a fire ring. Everyone is out there cooking on their wimpy Coleman stoves with thier smug faces, so proud of themselves for being law-abiding campers. We have a propane stove in our trailer. It's just too bad that the propane tank had just met it's doom on the highway and was unusable.

What are we going to do? There was a Taco Bell about 20 minutes back on the highway. We could eat that for dinner and let what we have go to waste. We could eat raw s'mores for breakfast and head home earlier than planned. Nope, it was man against machine and the man was not going to lose.

We had checked out a place a few weeks back that was about another half hour out-that's right, a full 2 1/2 hours from home. When we checked it out a few weeks prior, it was supposedly "just south of downtown." (Another story...) so we head back on the highway and finally get to that campsite. It does have fire rings but it does not have a VACANCY. I'm ready to go home but Matt has a plan. We are going to share a group site with some homeless people who are sleeping in their van. Yep, thats safe! Let's just take our 4 children right on over there and make ourselves comfortable. Just to make things a little more interesting, there are no hookups and our battery is sitting at home in our garage. We ate our "hobo dinners" (new meaning to that considering our campmates) in the dark and found the bathrooms by moonlight. As you can see from the pics, we did end up having a good time afterall.

Man vs. Machine
Guess who won?


After a nice farewell Vanilla Coke from Sonic and one last pack of Rolos, I got braces put on yesterday and I'm in PAIN. I forgot how bad this hurts-enough to keep me away from good food-now that's bad. Maybe I've discovered a new diet plan-I'll keep you posted. Between all of the restrictions (no popcorn, soda, sticky, hard or sugary foods), not wanting to eat in public for fear of getting anything lodged in my grill, and the intense pain, cold ice water has become my best friend. It sucks that I can't even chew the ice. The good news is that they are only supposed to be on for 9 months. Hopefully, they'll be off before we meet Meili or I'll scare the the split pants right off of her!

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Future Plumber???

Xander's grandfather and great-grandfather were plumbers so it wouldn't surprise us one bit. But, if you ask Xander what he's doing when you pull up his pants, he'll tell you that he's "selling crack."