Saturday, December 31, 2011
We played Minute to Win It games that came in a board game that Daniel got me for Christmas. The kids had to do things like toss a shoe right side up onto the coffee table with their toes, balance an egg on their heads, and generally do funny moves that we all enjoyed laughing at. Daniel did a few of them, too.
Saturday, December 24, 2011
We were so excited that our former foster daughters, Molly and Lina, got to join us for Christmas weekend. Their family is Buddhist and does not celebrate Christmas, but they didn't mind if we included their girls.
On Christmas Eve we went to church about 4pm for a short service. Or, I should say, Daniel and nine of the kids went. I got stuck at a Supercuts waiting for Molly and Kevin to get hair cuts. We came in ten minutes before three. They said we could get done by 3:30. They didn't START until 3:30. So we missed most of the Christmas Eve service at church.
The part we did get to enjoy was very nice, though. It was fun having all our kiddos there, although we were all missing our other two girls who left in August. Afterwards, we went home and opened our traditional Christmas Eve gifts, which are always new PJs so the kids will all look nice on Christmas morning. "Hoops" especially loved her Pink Panther PJs, jumping up and down, smiling and laughing. She said it was the best Christmas ever... before it was even Christmas yet.
We also did a special family lunch. I prefer to do the big meal on Christmas Eve so that we can all relax on Christmas day. I spent most of the week leading up to it wrapping presents every night until midnight and then most of December 24th working on it, too. Christmas was much more relaxing.
Thursday, December 22, 2011
The kids had fun playing dress up and Wii with their friends. Katie and "Happy" had some difficulties sharing with two year old Elizabeth, but they worked it out. Katie especially loved taking care of nine month old Braeden. She held him and fed him some baby cereal. She played with him in his walker. She's going to be a very good mommy someday.
Saturday, December 17, 2011
Thursday, December 15, 2011
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
After "Happy" made a finger paint Christmas tree with sequins for decorations, Miss Christine allowed Katie to make one, too. Katie gets so excited watching "Happy" during her therapy sessions. It's hard for her not getting to participate most of the time. During speech therapy we have to remind Katie not to tell "Happy" the answers to questions. But during occupational therapy, Miss Christine often asks Katie to demonstrate how to do something. Then "Happy" will follow her example. I think Katie has been a very good influence on "Happy". Miss Christine agrees. She's only going to come every other week from now on, since "Happy" has improved so much. She's amazed at "Happy's" progress. We are, too.
Sunday, December 11, 2011
Both girls really love the extensions, although, after three weeks, "Hoops" is ready for a change. I still can't believe we got "Happy" to sit still for the hour and a half this style took to put in. That's not even counting the time it took to take out her previous style, detangle and wash her hair first. She swings her extensions and grins so big her face may split. And she doesn't mess them up, either, which is nice. This may be my new favorite hair style for "Happy".
Friday, December 09, 2011
Tuesday, December 06, 2011
Then I went up to see the show. But "Happy" was not so happy and kept fussing and climbing and squirming. Kevin and "Lego Man" wouldn't stay sitting where I put them. I couldn't get a good photo of the stage without getting in front of people. Ugh. It's so hard attending events without Daniel.
Then, as I was rounding up kids and costumes and clothes and accessories, I saw a strange man talking to some of my kids. He was telling them that he'd taken lots of photos of them. ?!*? I asked him how he knew them and he said he wasn't a parent or a teacher... but he had a nephew there. Still didn't explain why he was taking pics of my kids... But it turned out that the nephew was named Lucas and was in Shane and Kevin's class. That's the name of a kid who has been bullying Shane since school started! I had the man point out Lucas and his mom and went over to meet her and see if we could find a solution.
Turns out, it was the wrong kid. There are two boys named Lucas in the class. Okay, not a problem. So, I talked to the mom a few minutes. She told me about another kid in the class who has been fighting with her son and asked what was going on with Shane and the other Lucas. We laughed about something my 2 year olds were doing. Then I left. No big deal, right? Apparently, though, the lady and her husband told the director of the school a very different story. I got a stern email saying she hoped "none of the other students had witnessed" what happened and that she expected parents to set an example. HUH?!? I have no idea what the mom must have said, but I do know the uncle had jokingly said that for a minute there, when I'd gone to talk to the mom, he thought I was going over to hit her. Who even thinks that way?! What kind of adults do they normally associate with? I'm baffled. I explained the situation to the director who apologized for pre-judging and I let her know she could give my email and phone # to the correct Lucas' mom so we can set up my plan of play dates or something so the boys can become friends outside of class. I'm starting to miss the old Options program. Much less drama.
Sunday, December 04, 2011
Bad surprise? We found this lovely little note on our front door. He smashed in the grill on our 15 passenger van. But on the plus side, we took it in for an estimate and the guy said we could go to a parts place and replace it ourselves for under fifty bucks. At least our next door neighbor was nice enough to tell us he did it. He wrote on the back of his business card so we can get in touch with him... because walking over and knocking would be awkward?
Saturday, December 03, 2011
The kids have been bringing me their Christmas Wish Lists written on 3x5 cards so I can easily carry them in my purse. Clever idea. The not so smart part? Putting things on the list that we can't possibly afford. Try explaining to a five year old that he's got a $100 total gift budget. This year we're including our former foster daughters, Molly and Lina, so we're looking at a minimum $1,400 bill. There is no room for a new Nintendo DS because your old one has a cracked screen. And you're not getting a puppy or a pony. Why do I suddenly feel like the Grinch?
I also learned that if you try to add candy cane hooks so that they can double as ornaments, you must make sure the candy canes are in the oven for less than a minute or they will melt and harden onto the pan so that you need a jackhammer to remove them. Kind of frightening to
think what they do inside your stomach after you eat
Friday, December 02, 2011
Conveniently, their Wednesday night church AWANA club was having an ornament contest the following week. Danya entered her angel. Gloria decided, instead, to crochet an ornament. It was a neat little red and green ball. She filled it with coins so that it would jingle. I'm constantly impressed by the things she makes.
Poor "Hoops". Her ornament broke before she even got
to paint it. "Happy" dropped it on the table.
Sunday, November 27, 2011
Friday, November 25, 2011
My best friend from high school, Glenda, brought her crew of four (and a half if you count the one on the way) and later our former youth pastor and his wife brought their five (or was it six?). Daniel and I became friends through that youth group when we were teens. We didn't go to the same school. Glenda and I also met there. It's hard to believe that was about 18 years ago.
Thursday, November 24, 2011
I had prepared my mom ahead of time, letting
her know that our soon to be adopted daughter is 9 years old, but she's as tall as a
preteen. So, my mom walked in and saw
I have to say that it felt a bit like the miracle of the loaves and fishes where Jesus feeds a crowd of 500 with a little boy's lunch. Somehow, what didn't look like nearly enough food, managed to stretch to feed everyone and still have some leftovers for dinner that night. I'm always amazed how that works out. Guess I'll add it to my "Things I'm Thankful for" list this year.
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
One of the absolute best things about their house is the yard. They have three acres that are beautifully maintained, including a mini forest that they keep mowed during the summer, so you can stroll among the trees and play in the leaves during the Fall. Grandpa's new green house is interesting, as all his projects are. They have a
The very best thing, though, about their home, is the love and the welcome that's always waiting there. I know that's why our former foster daughter, Molly, enjoys coming back with us each year. She pointed out that Daniel's parents will be her baby's only living great grandparents... and what GREAT
great grandparents to have!
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
The only bad thing that happened was that, when we stopped for lunch at McDonald's, I left Danya to guard my phone while I took "Happy" to the bathroom. She messed with it without permission and ended up accidentally putting a coded lock on it. We couldn't figure it out. We called the phone company who couldn't help us, either. All they could do was tell me how to do a complete reboot of the system.
Monday, November 21, 2011
I didn't get to be there for my son's first hair cut. I did, however, make sure I was the first one to take him to get some super cool "hair art". You can see the before and after photos here. I searched online and asked several hairdressers for recommendations. The important thing was to find a place that really knew how to cut African American hair. The place we found was "Freddy's Barber Shop" in Westminster. They have a whole book of designs to choose from, or you can bring in your own drawing or clip art. "Lego Man" was nervous at first, but he really liked it when it was done. The sad part is that it only lasts about a week and a half before the hair grows out too much to see it.
We got this done the day before we were supposed to leave for our trip. At the same time, Daniel took our big 15 passenger van to get new tires. We knew it was going to cost about $600. What we didn't know was that the shop was going to find a wobbly ball joint and say it would cost another $900 to replace it. Eeek!
Daniel called our friend, James, who told Daniel to meet him at a different mechanic shop. That place told us that the ball joint had been incorrectly installed originally. They just reattached it and tightened it... for no charge! God is so good. We're so thankful for the friends He's brought into our lives through our church who have helped us out in so many ways.