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Friday, November 30, 2012

It is starting to feel more




It is starting to feel more like Christmas.  I think my problem was that I thought I needed to be done with all the shopping which  I am not because to be honest the adoption has taken center stage.  In order to proceed certain documents have to be turned in before you can make go to the next step.  Anyway, I am usually done with all the shopping by this point because that is just how I roll.  I am a doer.  I am closer to finishing.  I just need to do my two oldest boys which I will get started on in the morning.  The second problem that was keeping me from feeling the holiday season is my diet.  See I have been really trying to lose weight, but the last month I haven't been sucessful.  I really wanted to reach my goal this year and finally lose all the baby weight of 5 pregnancies.  I didn't make my goal which made me sad.  Also because I haven't been eating well and not exercizing I just over all feel like crap.  So today I got off my b.u.t.t. and went to the gym even though it was dark and cold outside and I was tired.  I feel so much better.  Today, I retrieved all our Christmas books and wrapped them and put them under the tree though I might need to find another place for them because baby girl is determined to pull the Christmas tree down.  She has managed to mangle 6 ornaments.  Last night she attached poor frosty that was made for me by a blog follower.  I was sad.  She covered him in chocolate and pulled his yarn hook out.  Maybe that was the third reason why I was having a hard time with getting into the spirit.  This little girl of mine is one determined little girl.  She see something she wants and she goes for it.  Like Halloween candy for example: the fact that it is wrapped doesn't stop her from eating it.  She manages to bite through the paper until she can release the candy.  She knows where her brothers secret stash is and then we find the evidence all through the house. 

So, What is on our Christmas reading list:The Littlest Angel by Charles Tazewell, The Tale of Three Trees retold by Angela Hunt, A Present for Santa (Dora the Explorer) by Chris Gifford, McDuffs New Friend by Rosemary Wells, The Gift of the Magi adapted from the O. Henry, Duck and Goose It's Time for Christmas, by Tad Hills, How Do Dinosaurs Say Merry Christmas by Jane Yolen and Mark Teagan, Christmas Oranges by Linda Bethers, Merry Christmas Curious George by Margaret Rey, Snow Happy to Be Here by Cheryl Hawkinson, Santa's Stuck by Rhonda Greene, The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg, The Snowman Storybook by Raymond Briggs, Twas the Night before Christmas, The Legend of Candy Cane Lane by Lori Wall burg, Carl's Christmas by Alexandra Day, Christmas in the Manger by Nola Buck, Die Weinachts geschiste by Eleonore Schmid, The Snow Angel by Glen Beck, A Christmas Dress for Ellen by Thomas S. Monson, Snowmen at Night by Caralyn Buehner, Frosty the Snowman by Steve Nelson and Jack Rollins, Bear Stays up by Karma Wilson, Holly and Ivy by Rumer Godden, Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats, and The Animals First Christmas adapted byGaby Goldsack.
 
While the bible story of baby Jesus birth is my favorite Christmas story The Story of Holly and Ivy is my all time favorite.  I found it in cartoon version on You Tube.  There are 4 parts.  Grab a box of tissues and a mug of hot chocolate and don't forget to watch.  Have a great weekend!  I am going to a holiday party for the woman of my church.  I am sure it will bring in the Christmas season.  The program is usually always so wonderful. 

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Welcome Holidays "Cornerview Thankful"












Throughout the neighborhood lawns are adorned with Christmas lights, wooden reindeer, and and an occasional blowup snowman.  Yesterday, I joined the mass and finished the majority of my Christmas shopping on the internet.  Rod Stewart plays and his voice floats through the air singing I am Dreaming of a White Christmas.  Sitting at the table two boys crying over who gets to decorate the gingerbread house.  "No, I want the snowman to go here, cries Roman."  Winston tries to be patient but he also wants to decorate the house.  He finally walks away.  Addy has managed to find a piece of candy cane.  Her face and hands are covered in red which she smears all over my white shirt.  Later papa brings the tree in from outside.  He places it by the window.  Twisting it one way and then another trying to make it look best.  Some branches need to be trimmed on the bottom, but we don't realize this till bedtime.  It will have to wait till morning.  I string the lights around the tree.  The children ask."Where are the colored light?"  I answer, "I thought I would try white this year. It reminds papa of the candles on his tree growing up in Germany."  Roman is desperate to hang ornaments on the tree.  Addy wants to help too, but ends up breaking one that Roman hung to close to the ground."  She wants to be held, but I can't if I am going to finish decorating the tree.  Harris walks in the door and declares, "What's with the serious tree this year?"  I grew up with colored lights.  I can feel my blood pressure begin to rise as the boys begin to squabble over who is going to hang what ornament.  I am not feeling the holiday spirit.  I don't know why, but I just can't seem to catch the holiday spirit. I haven't even begun Christmas cards and I am not sure I am going to this year.  The idea of getting the kids gathered and dress for a photo just doesn't seem like fun right now.  I didn't buy any special outfits for them this year except for Addy.  I am trying to save money so we will have the money for the fees for our adoption.  Thankfully, the agency doesn't demand the money all up front.  Hopefully, I will start to feel the Christmas spirit soon.  The Grinch Who Stole Christmas  is on TV tonight or maybe I will read Roman a Christmas book tonight.  How do you get into the Christmas spirit?  

Sorry, I know a couple of the photos are blurry, but I wanted to post the whole gang.  I hope to take new ones in the next couple of days.

Thankful that I can be a mom and thankful that I am blessed to have all that I have even pickering and all.  If you missed our trip to Orlando check it out.  It was one of the best Thanksgivings we have had in a long time.  

Monday, November 26, 2012

Orlando Part 2

The day before Thanksgiving the children and Frank went to Sea World with our good friends Marco, Simona, and their children. Unfortunately, I am having a hard time downloading the pictures tonight, so I will have to post them at another time. They had a great day! Roman didn't originally want to go, but when he came home he said it was the best day of his life. Afterwards, everyone came back to our condo and we enjoyed a turkey dinner. I wasn't taking any chances this year, so I made sure we had everything we needed to make dinner this year. Everyone was super excited. The next day, Frank stayed home with Addy and I went with the children along with the Marco and Simona's family to Universal's Islands of Adventures. Harris and Winston were super excited to get to taste the Butterbeer this year. That is the closest they will get to tasting beer. Actually, it is a cream soda like drink with cream on top. It was pretty good, but it was a good thing we only ordered one because they are pretty rich. Roman was in heaven on the Spiderman ride. He is still in love with all things Super Heros. The next day, Frank had to work and Harris didn't want to go, so Winston, Roman, Addy, and I went to Animal Kingdom. It has been a few years since we have gone to this park because usually we go to Magic Kingdom. We met our good friends from our life in Michigan there! We had so much fun with Rick and Kierste and their family. We also met up with Julie and Dale and their family who we knew in Seattle, but they also know Rick and Kierste because they live in Michigan too! A small world. It was like we were never apart. It was so easy. Everyone had a great time though I suspect it was a little too baby like for Winston. He did enjoy riding Mt. Everest. They really need some more roller coasters in the Disney Parks for the big kids. The trip went by way too fast! I guess the saying is true when you are having fun time flies. We arrived home really late on Saturday night. The traffic was bumper to bumper. Well, I hope everyone had a very Happy Thanksgiving! We sure did!!!!



Sunday, November 25, 2012

Sunday at Home


Hi!  We arrived home late last night and are now enjoying a day at home.  Just about everyone is sick, so sadly we won't be going to church today.  The good thing though is I was finally able to finish a book and it was fantastic. The book is called Where The Mountain Meets The Moon by Grace Lin.  The  story takes place in China and is about a little girl who goes off in search of changing her families fortune only to realize she all ready had everything she needed.  This book is such a sweet magical story and is a great story to read at this time of the year.  It is a children's book, but I think it is equally enjoyable for adults too.  Well, I have a lasagna to put in the oven and clothes to put away.  I promise to share the rest of our trip to Orlando soon.  It was one of the best trips we had in a long time.  See you soon!  

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Energy "Corner View"






When you have 4 children soon to be 5 your house is filled with a ton of Energy.  This week we have off from school, so we headed south to Orlando.  Saturday, we made a stop in Jacksonville where we visited our cousins Teddy, Anya, Olivia, Ellie, Eddy, and baby Natasha.  Roman and Eddy hit it off and had a blast.  Addy loved having someone her own size to play with and we all enjoyed Teddy's beef ribs.  They were mouth watering.  Yum!  It was so nice to catch up and see their new home.  Sunday we drove the rest of the way to Orlando and went straight for the pool.  The kids had fun hopping between the hot tub and the pool.  Personally, I thought the water was a little to cold.  Afterwards we tried to go the Bubba Gump Shrimp Company, but I didn't realize it was $15 to park at City Walk near Universal.  Boo!   Since it was getting late we just headed to Olive Garden.  The kids were happy!  Monday, we headed to Down Town Disney.  The kids always have fun at the Lego Store.  Then it was off to pick up Frank at the airport.  He had to work over the weekend and could not drive down with us on Saturday.  Everyone was so happy to see him.  We celebrated with Hostess Cupcakes.  We tried to find Twinkies.  The kids never had them.  We sad our goodbyes to Hostess and went out for a steak dinner.  Tuesday, Frank took the car to get detailed.  It was a mess and then after the kids finished swimming he took Harris to get his haircut and to see Skyfall the movie.   The said it was fantastic!

Coming up in part two! Thanksgiving dinner with friends, Sea World, Universal, and Disney!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Gobble Gobble
from Sunny Florida
Wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

A New Language

Roman and  his turkey A.K.A. Spiderman

When Roman was diagnosed in utero with congenital heart disease we learned a whole new language and I cannot say necessarily welcomed.  Words like Tetrology of Fallot which by the way is the name of his heart condition, but words like: echo, stenosis, blue tet, pink tet, VSD, pulmonary valve, syonotic, aortic arch, and a long list of other words that relate to his condition.  I also become familiar with other words that relate to other congenital heart diseases as I became friends with other families who had children who had congenital heart disease.  Now that we are adopting we have had to learn a whole new language.  I have to say this language is welcomed because in less than a year we should have a new daughter.  The children are so excited.  They have all ready begun including her in our family prayers and in their individual prayers.  We do not know what she looks like or how old she is, but we know she is meant to be apart of our family. In the upcoming year I will be using words like dossier, homestudy, LID, 1-800, LOA, TA, and Gotcha Day.  Last night we completed our homestudy.  What is a homestudy?  It is a series of meetings with a social worker.  They come to see that your home is safe.  They talk to you about things like attachment or lack of attachment.  They talk to you about how to include your children in on the conversation when people in the supermarket find it fascinating that you have a child adopted from China.  They talk to the children to see what they think about adopting and many more things.  It can be a little scary because your life gets examined under a microscope, but as the agency explained to us it is more an opportunity to exclude you in than out.  They want to make sure you are prepared for this new addition not just financially, but emotionally.  We are excited to have this part of the process completed because that means our 1-800 can be sent in to the government to get approved.  This document states that we are requesting approval for the adoptive child to become our relative once they enter the United States.  You cannot send your documents to China without this approval.  The process seems to be moving pretty smoothly.  The agency knows me well by now as I call just about every other day to make sure I am filling out the forms correctly.  Let's pray it continues to go smoothly.  

Well, we are off for the week!  We are heading south.  My children have off from school this upcoming week and we are going to go to Orlando.  I am so excited because a friend of mine and her family who I haven't seen in 10 years are going to be there at the same time.  Along with another family that we know, so it is going to be a fun week.  I may or may not blog, but I hope you have a fantastic week and a Happy Thanksgiving!


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Spirituality "Corner View"


It is Easter and everyone is gathered at Owens home. The home is not large maybe no more than 1800 square feet.  It is a Salt Box home built when he was a baby and belonged to his parents.  It is white with blue shutters and door.  In front of the home is a circular concrete driveway  and leading up to the door are three concrete steps with an iron railing. She is 4 and her almost white hair hangs to her shoulders to one side a bow tucks part of her hair behind her ear.  Her aunt has dressed her in a dress which she finds a little uncomfortable.  She much rather wear pants like her cousin Shawn.  As she enters the door she sees the fireplace but it only has fake electric logs which she finds rather amusing and to the left her grandmothers piano which no one plays anymore, but under the piano bench are song books.  Sometimes she pretends she can play the piano.  The piano needs tuning.  Someone once taught her how to play twinkle twinkle little star.  Near the window is a couch and there are a couple of chairs that lean back and you can put your feet up if you are tired.  On one chair is a multicolored afghan. A small table sits to the side of the couch and on it is a lamp, a  pair of reading glasses, a crossword puzzle and pen, along with a rosary.  To the right of the fireplace is a dining room.  A table and chairs take center stage.  The table is covered with delicious food such as leg of lamb with mint, a bowl of black olives, chips and dip, a tray of veggies and dip, a platter of deviled eggs, mash potatoes, and peas.  She doesn't really like the peas, so she hides them in her potatoes and somehow they taste much better.  The room is filled to the max capacity.  Aunt Peg is there with her children Mary and Warren, Aunt Mary and her husband Freddy, Mo and Peggy Anne, My cousin Shawn and his father Eddy.  The little girls father Owen comes in after her and when he walks through the door he has to duck his head in order not to hit it on the door frame.  He comes to shake Shawn's hand and it vibrates.  The boy squeals at the surprise.  The little girl wants to be next so she pushes her way past the people and sticks her hand in her father's hand.  It vibrates and tickles.  She laughs and wants to do it again.  Food is running out and one of the Aunts goes into the kitchen.  Over the doorway is a wooden plaque with a heart on it, the heart has a cross on the top and  wrapped around the heart is barbed wire.  It kind of scares the little girl, but she knows it is sacred.   On the wall beside the door to the kitchen someone has pinned palms from Palm Sunday.  The love in the room is so thick you can't help but feel loved too.  Later that evening the little girl is looking for her cousin before she goes to bed and as she goes into her cousin Mary's room she sees her cousin kneeling on the wooden floor holding a rosary counting the beads in her head and saying "Hail Mary Mother of God."  She repeats the prayer over and over taking no notice that the little girl has entered the room.

Years have passed and the little girl is no longer the same faith as her family, but she knows these images planted the seeds for what would create a desire to know God.

Monday, November 12, 2012

In Gratitude


Thanksgiving is just around the corner and I have so much to be thankful!  I am blessed beyond measure! Here are 10 things I am grateful for:
1)  I am blessed to have a knowledge of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, His Father, and the Holy Ghost.  I know my testimony has guided me in my life in good times and bad.
2)  I am blessed to have a husband who honor his vows in marriage.  In an age where marriages are disposed by the waste side I am grateful to have a husband who believes in our marriage and making it work.
3)  I am grateful for my 4 beautiful children.
4)  I am grateful that while we all don't agree in this country that we are blessed to live in a country that believes in choice.
5)  I am grateful for my extended family!
6)  I am grateful for seasons.  Right now the changing of the leaves are at their peak.  I can't get enough of their beauty, but without the other season it wouldn't be as sweet.
7)  I am grateful that right now all my laundry is washed and folded.  It may sound silly, but it makes me very happy.
8)  I am grateful for this beautiful world we live in and all the diversity of land and cultures.  I can't wait to get out there and explore somewhere new.
9)  I wouldn't be me if I didn't say I am grateful for chocolate.  A little piece can offers so much joy.
10)  Last but not least I am grateful for you for stopping by, your comments, your prayers, and offering pieces of your lives that make me such a better person.  

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Why Adopt?

Sorry I left you all hanging, but dinner was calling.  My boys have great appetites!  Anyway,  many of you are probably wondering why we are adopting?  Our journey started many years ago when my husband and I first got married.  I had always wanted to adopt in that I felt there are so many children out there with no homes, so why not give them one.  My husband on the other hand had no desire to adopt.  He felt that we should have our own children and as I would bring up the topic  up over the years he would list a 100 reasons why not to adopt.  We had our children and when we had our last child Adelaide who is 16 months we felt that our family was complete.  I mean 4 children is a lot.  A lot of busy, a lot of stress, but a lot of love and happiness too!  Then I started having the feeling that we should have another child, but it was not possible since I had my tubes tied when I gave birth to my daughter.  Her birth was so difficult and dangerous.  I really did feel good and had prayed that tying  my tubes was what I was suppose to do.  I didn't say anything to my husband.  I thought he would think I was nuts.  Then one day he said, "I wish we could have more."  I just ignored the comment because I thought he wasn't really being serious.  Then he said it a few more times and finally I answered him back with, "You know we can't have anymore.  It isn't possible."  Then I threw out the idea of adopting.  At first he said no, but then later he came back to me and said I should look into it.  Well, I knew exactly where to go because for years I had been following several blogs of families who had adopted from China.  Before he could change his mind, I sent out several e-mails asking for more information from a few families and began researching on-line the process. 

Why China?  Well, after looking into all the possibilities of adopting from around the world we felt that China was the best fit for our family.  Why not just adopt domestically?  It just wasn't right for our family.  Yes, there are many children here in the states who needs home, but as we prayed we just did not feel this was the direction we were suppose to go in.  

I could quote you many scriptures that spoke to us as we prayed and searched our scriptures in coming to the conclusion that we should adopt, but I won't .  Believe me there are many.  I bet many of you don't know how many orphans are out there-millions!  However, I am not here to give any one a lecture on how they should adopt too!  I am just simply telling you how we came to the decision to adopt.  Not everyone is in the situation to adopt and it isn't right for every family.  It is for our family.  We have the love, the room in our hearts to love someone who wasn't born biological to us, and we definitely have the room

What do the children think?  They are totally excited to adopt and add a new member to our family.   

So what is next?  Well, we started this process a couple of months ago.  We researched agencies and found one we are comfortable with and now we are in the process of completing a ton of paperwork. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Remember








I want to remember how adorable this little girl is at 16 months.  Time is going by too quickly and I am finding that it is hard to remember her as a tiny baby.  How she smelled, how she held her hands together like  she was praying,  and if I am not careful before I know it she is going to be all grown up.   Today I want to remember her in all her sweetness.

At 16 months, she says 6 words (papa, mama, baba, this, here, and oh no).  She has 5 teeth of which two are on top and three on the bottom.  She loves to sit and look at books, but she is very busy and loves to pull everything out of the cupboards.  She is not a fan of food except for chocolate.  I can't blame her on the last one, and she loves to dance to music!  She is pretty loud and makes sure everyone recognizes her when we are out and about.  She is so cute when she puts the telephone to her ear and in baby gibberish starts talking.  She gives kisses and waves bye bye. She lights up when she sees her brothers and they usually can get her to smile.

I want to remember how my 5 year old Roman said today, "Mom, I love it when your pick me up from the bus stop.  I don't like walking home alone.  It makes me sad."  He never walks home alone.  Usually his brother Winston walks him home, so maybe he meant he likes it better when I walk him home.

I love how hard my oldest son is working on fixing his robot for this Saturdays competition.

I want to remember that my 10 year old is giving over 1/2 his candy to the troops.

Do you remember a couple of post ago when I told you we will be going to China sometime in the next year?

Well the reason we are going to China is because we are ADOPTING!!!!!!  You read right!  We are adopting.  I will tell you more on that later though because right now I have to go fix dinner for my kiddos before we head off to Scouts.  Hope you had a great day today!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

My Day "longing Corner View"



 Heaven for the feet!
 We Voted!
 Enjoying the warmth of the fire.
 Comfort!
In concentration

We had been longing for family time and yesterday we were able to
spend the day together doing the things we love.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Scenes from Saturday

The room is dark.  I can feel the fan slowly rotate around blowing softly on my neck.  I thought I had turned it off before going to bed.  Addy is crying down the hall in her bedroom.  I pull the covers up higher and snuggle into my bed.  I can feel the warmth of my five year old pressed against my back.  Addy isn't going to stop until she gets what she wants and what she wants is a bottle of milk.  I tip toe down the hall and open the door.  Addy is standing up holding onto the railing.  She gets excited when she sees me and I take her bottle downstairs.  The light in the kitchen guides me to the frig where I fill her bottle to the top.  I go back upstairs lay her down and hand her the bottle.  I can hear the milk as she gulps it down.  I close the door and tip toe back to my room where I fall fast asleep until morning light.

There is no hurry this Saturday morning.  Soccer is finished for the season.  Earlier in the week we sadly pulled the boys out of German School.  We just couldn't do it anymore.  It was getting too hard with all the other activities we have on our calendar.  Harris wants to compete in the robotics tournaments.  He is the team leader for his group.  Winston really loves soccer.  Roman could take or leave soccer, but he had fun with his friends.  Thankfully, Addy doesn't have any activities.  We just couldn't be in more than one place at a time.  I was having to pay the girl next door to transport one or more of my children to activities since my husband works on Saturdays and so does Nana.   It felt good not to have to run off and sit in traffic.  It felt nice to be able to make eggs and bacon for the boys for breakfast.  We will just have to make our own German school.  No more driving two hours for 2 1/2 hours of instruction.  Yes, we will miss our friends that we have made over the years, but I think we will have  more family harmony and that is completely worth not going.





Later that day, Nana comes over.  She pulls out the sewing  machine.  She threads the bobbin.  She changes the thread on top.  Then she cuts the fabric.  She shows me what to do and I do the same only larger.  She irons the fabric.  I iron my fabric.  She folds over the edge of the fabric creating a hem.  She shows me how to align my fabric up with the ten underneath the needle and the foot.  Then we sew the two pieces of fabric together.  A couple hours later one project is finished.  A Christmas skirt for Addy and one for Emily who lives in Seattle.