Saturday, April 28, 2007

Birthday Campout

The month of April just about does me in every year. We have two birthdays (Audrey's and Noah's) just 12 days apart, Spring Break (read 9 days of entertaining 4 kiddos from sunup to sundown), and Easter usually sprinkled somewhere in the mix. May 1st usually finds me tired, broke, usually both. One family tradition that has been born of necessity is that the kiddos only have a birthday party on even years and then pick a fun activity to do with the family on the odd years. This way, I never have to do 2 birthday parties in the same month (Taylor and Xander's birthdays are 3 weeks apart later in the year) and the kids have gotten to do some really fun things that wouldn't normally be in the budget with the money that I would have spent on their party. Two years ago, Audrey chose horseback riding camp and didn't miss a party at all. This year, she chose camping with the neighbors and it was another winner. Audrey was very clear that the who was just as important as the where so we were very grateful that our neighbors and friends were willing to join us for the weekend. We had quite an adventure...Shortly after setting up camp, a bad windstorm picked up so I piled all of the kids into the trailer for some Parcheezi while the other adults tried to salvage their tent. I was a bit freaked out-had to open all the flaps on the trailer to allow the wind to blow through because it felt like it was going to be blown over. The kids were oblivious and had the time of their lives-great to be a kid, huh?

The next morning, the weather was beautiful-perfect for some fishing! Nobody caught anything which was just as well. I'm not sure what we would have done with a fish if it was caught...
Our neighbors-They each deserve an 'I survived camping with the Boutons' t-shirt. Thanks for a great weekend, guys!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Happy 6th Birthday, Noah!

I can't believe that this kid is 6 already! I love that he still calls me 'mama.' I know it's just a matter of time until it evolves through mommy and ends up at 'MOM!!!!!!!!' We celebrated all day long by taking Eegee's (shave ice fruit treat) to his kindergarten class...I got to meet his future wife (unless she has anything to say about the matter.)After school we had a pizza party at a local place with about 12 friends. They decorated bags, played ABC bingo, burned a few tokens and ate pizza, of course!
Later on the same night, Noah had a birthday dinner with the family-he chose Chicken Fettucini Alfredo, opened gifts, had cake and icecream and fell asleep as soon as he hit the pillow.

Happy birthday, sweet boy!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

China Bling for a Good Cause

My sister-in-law, Jennie, is raising funds for a charity bike ride in support of Leukemia/Lymphoma and in honor of our Uncle Steve who passed away last year. She is making and selling bracelets to help raise money. She only needs about $250 more to reach her goal! Click here for more info or to make a flat donation. She is selling the bracelets for $10 including shipping. You can contact her at and work out the details if you are interested. I think that the bracelet above would be cute with 'RED THREAD' or the name of our Chinese daughter spelled out on it. I bought one that is green and has PATIENCE spelled out on it. Who couldn't use more of that???

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

13 Months Since LID...

I can't believe that it has been 13 months since LID. That's 18 months since we began paperchasing! Can't believe that we still don't have Meili and are actually more clueless than ever about when we will finally see her face. I really can't believe that we are trying to figure out how long to delay renewing the I-600a in an effort to avoid possibly paying the fees for a third time down the road. I spoke with the orphan officer at our local USCIS office last week (sw perks!) and confirmed with him that there is no disadvantage in letting the I-171H and fingerprints expire other than the chance of being 'caught with your pants down' in the event that we were suddenly presented with a referral...fat chance.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Happy Easter 2007!

Whew! What a day! Audrey woke up at 4 a.m. and couldn't go back to sleep she was so excited. The dog barking for his breakfast finally got us out of bed around 7. The kids each got waterguns in their baskets and a water war ensued. They must have been at it for an hour and a half. Matt and I sat in the porch swing with the dog in our laps and watched the kids have fun. Matt noted that there was a dog in my lap and our children were playing with weapons-two things I swore I'd never allow. There must be a tatoo somewhere in my future...

Last night we made Empty Tomb Cookies-very cool! Each ingredient has a corresponding Easter scripture. When the dough is mixed and dropped on cookie sheets, you place them in the oven, turn it off and tape the door shut. You don't take them out until morning and the centers are hollow. A new tradition! After we checked out our cookies, we had a late breakfast and colored eggs.

We had church from 2-4, came home and had an early dinner-ham, 'funeral potatoes' (you know, the evil cheesy ones?), asparagus and rolls. We waddled into the living room and watched Grease with the kids. Funny, I don't remember noticing all the sexual innuendo when I saw this movie as a kid. Now that I know what the words to 'Greased Lightning' are, I'm actually shocked that the movie got a PG rating in 1978. Did they sneak that in there recently or have I just now become a prude?

Where were we? Oh yeah, Easter. I hope that everyone had a wonderful day!

Easter Water War 2007

Coloring Eggs at Noon on Easter-Better late than never, right?

A Rare Moment- All 4 kids clean at the same time!

The End of an Era-Taylor has informed me that he is DONE with the matching outfits. I love this guy!

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Two Damn Days...

After hearing the crappy news that only 2 LIDs worth of referrals were matched this month, I grabbed my keys and headed out the door for the nearest burrito. This one was the size of my head which presented no challenge in polishing it off. I can also attest to the fact that yes, there is ALWAYS room for ice cream...

And Puppy Makes Seven...

I haven't blogged for over a month. We have been generally busy with life and having a blast with our new dog, Jackson. I used to think that I/we needed a dog like we needed a hole in our heads but I was wrong. The kids love him and are having the time of their lives playing with him and teaching him new tricks. To deny them a dog would be robbing them of a very important part of their childhoods. These kind words are not to say that for the first 2 weeks that we had him home, his life was not in jeopardy. It has been quite a transition. The housebreaking is still a work in progress and he has yet to learn the difference between a shoe and a chew toy but we are seeing progress. He's a very smart dog-some days he obeys better than some of the children. I'm still not ready to include him in family portaiture but he is getting his own Easter basket tomorrow...
This photo was taken shortly after Jackson 'spelled his name' on my white carpet. This act of genius on his part may have saved his life. He looks like his is there to snuggle but he is in fact using the children as human shields...
One of the kids took this shot and it just cracks me up. I think that Jackson has noticed how the kids make silly faces whenever a camera is around and thought he should do the same...
Someone please tell me why Jackson will lounge around like this when he is outside but will run around like he's on crack whenever he's in the house?
Not my best photo ever but thought I better include proof that I actually touch the dog...