Friday, October 31, 2008
I have become a Twilight addict. I'm currently on the third book of the series and I can't wait for the movie to come out. Jordan and I went to B&N to get the third book and when I asked where she thought I would find it... she said, "It's in the teen section, mom," with a kind of accusatory tone to her voice. The books are a kind of teen angst, little bit of lust, lots of adventure and some vampires and werewolves thrown in. If you are interested in an easy, entertaining read, I would highly recommend. Even though it's a teenage, coming of age book series, it really is worth it for nothing else but some time away from reality. Hope you enjoy!
Here's the trailer for the movie that comes out November 21st.
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Yesterday was Justine's first teacher conference for real school. She seems to be doing so well. She is so dang smart. She is so funny! Her teacher thinks she is such a wonderful girl. She always helps the teacher. She listens. She does whatever she asks of her. I'm smiling. This is what I always hear. But...?
What do you mean ... but? My kids conferences aren't supposed to have a but...
It turns out that Justine often goes off by herself. She plays by herself at recess. She sits by herself at lunch. Her teacher asked if we had heard of any problems with her making friends. Well, we really hadn't. Or so we thought. Other than the usual, "so and so said they're not my friend today" and "so and so wouldn't play with me today." You usually hear that a million times from girls especially in kindergarten. Right? Maybe I should have been listening to that these last few weeks.
Initially I just thought well she's the last of 6 kids. She has always played by herself ... really well... like to the point that sometimes I forget she's here because she is so busy playing.
Her teacher voiced concerns that she wasn't fitting in.
It gnawed on me the rest of the night. I asked Jack about who Justine sits by at lunch because they are in the cafeteria at the same time. He said, "Well, she usually just sits with the boys." The boys are in a different class. I told Jeff and Jordan about it and had to hold back the tears... seriously I am crying about kindergarten?
Jeff came to bed last night, sighed deeply and said, "Why wouldn't she be fitting in?" "She is the funniest kid I know." "Those stupid kindergarteners... they don't know what they are missing."
She has been much more clingy and needy these last few weeks. Thank God I at least noticed that and have been giving her 110% of what she needs. I cannot imagine how bad I would feel if I had not really made a conscious effort to give her a little extra. She didn't have any problems making friends in preschool last year, therefore I don't know what the problem is. It may be nothing. I think it may be just that her imagination is so enhanced that they may just not understand her. Please keep praying for her to have peace and comfort and to work out whatever may or may not be wrong for her. And pray for peace for her mama that she doesn't feel the need to dress in disguise and hide behind the plants at school to watch first hand what's going on with her baby... or you could send me ideas about how to make a nanny cam I could attach to her somehow... whatever you feel led to do.
I believe the site is promoted by Sylvan Learning and it's purpose is to encourage young readers. My kids are so competitive (I don't know where they get that from...) and they love the computer, so this type of thing works really well for us. The site gives book lists and quizzes on the books. We have found that a lot of the books we have in our own library have quizzes available. The kids earn points for reading and being quizzed on the book, and eventually will get prizes.
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Today when I picked the kids up at school, Justine's teacher came running up to me and said, "I didn't know you were adopting again..." I stopped in my tracks and incredulously asked, "WHAT?" Apparently Justine announced to her entire kindergarten class that I had just gotten back from China with her new baby brother and that he was absolutely adorable. Her teacher said she even described him and had anectdotes about him already! Should I be scared?
Justine's "imagination" is nothing new to us. On her first day of daycare at age 3, she told the teacher that her daddy broke her heart... and her arm. We were almost hot lined that time. (BTW - her arm has never been broken) Then there was last year that her teacher came out to the pick up line and asked if my husband was alright... "yes, why? What did she tell you?" Evidently Miss Justine had told her preschool teacher that Jeff's back went out and he was sleeping on the kitchen table and we had to eat around him.
I guess I should warn her teachers that most of what she says is probably fabricated... but oh so entertaining!
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
2. YOUR GANGSTA NAME: (first 3 letters of real name plus -izzle.)
3. YOUR DETECTIVE NAME: (favorite color and favorite animal)
4. YOUR SOAP OPERA NAME: (your middle name and street you live on/or neighborhood if it's a number)
5. YOUR STAR WARS NAME: (the first 3 letters of your last name, first 2 letters of your first name)
6. YOUR SUPERHERO/CRIMINAL NAME: (Your 2nd favorite color, and favorite drink)
7. YOUR IRAQI NAME: (2nd letter of your first name, 3rd letter of your last name, 1st letter of your last name, 2nd letter of your moms maiden name, 3rd letter of your dads name, 1st letter of a siblings first name, and last letter of your moms first name).
8. YOUR WITNESS PROTECTION NAME: (parents' middle names)
9. YOUR GOTH NAME: (black, and the name of one of your pets).
Black Mr. Kitty
10. YOUR HOOD NAME:....first 3 letters of your first name plus iqua:
So just which political candidate is being supported in this household? Well, both of them.
Jordan turns 18 just a mere 72 hours after the election, and boy is she mad that she won't get to vote! We are very proud of her efforts to campaign for and canvas for Obama. We try to not get into too many political discussions around here because they usually end in tears, but we want to make sure we honor all the opinions of everyone who lives here. We are proud of her and are so grateful that she is smart enough to know about the issues and cares enough to do something about it. We don't have to agree on the candidates to agree that this is a very important election. So make sure you get out there and vote next Tuesday!
PS: She was upset that her sign was smaller than mine... ha ha ha.
Monday, October 27, 2008
I know it's a stretch, but I was a maniac state prisoner.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
We have been trying to lay the groundwork that we may not see grandma again in this life, but we will see her again in heaven. Jameson has been specifically intrigued with this thought, as well as more than a little sad. She has been asking a lot of hard questions about death, dying and heaven. She and I sat in the chair together crying as she whispered that she's afraid she doesn't remember what her mother looks like. I think this is a huge fear for all of us when someone dies. Will we remember them? Will we remember their scent? I can remember wearing my grandfather's pajamas for a long time after he died simply because they smelled like him. It was very sad when they no longer smelled like him. So how do we keep these memories alive for them? It's a fine line for sure. The kids need to remember. They need to grieve. But they also need to be alive themselves and not feel guilty for being survivors.
Josh and Jameson have seen so much in their short little lives. They haven't been allowed to have the sheltered little lives most kids have. Jameson said her mother went to the doctor and they didn't know what was wrong with her and she still died anyway. She said she was walking in the street, lost, and alone, looking for her mother. I felt sick when she said this. I felt my heart in my stomach.
We talked about *when* grandma dies that she will no longer be sick and she will have perfect vision and walk straight. I told her that her parents are no longer sick, but are waiting for her in heaven. They are smiling as they watch her grow. I told her they would be very proud of her for learning to read, to ride a bike and for being a good girl. And what did she say to this? She said, "When I get to heaven, I'm going to thank grandma for giving me to you." I'm a blubbering idiot at this point. Oh geez!
It's so hard to answer those questions. It's so hard to imagine what these kids have been through and to figure out a way to not compound those hurts. It takes so much insight and guidance through prayer to be able to even approach it.
Please pray for us in the next few weeks, as we are now laying the groundwork to talk about grandma with the kids. I know it seems like I am postponing the inevitable, but I just want to make sure that we prepare them to deal with it in a positive way. Please pray that we make it a positive thing, and that it will be a faith building and family building moment.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
1. I am deathly afraid of squirrels. I once ran off the road because there was a *gulp* squirrel in the road.
2. I graduated first in my nursing class of 1993.
3. I love stupid movies and quote them all the time. My favorites: Dumb and Dumber, National Lampoons Christmas Vacation, Happy Gilmore.
4. I am adopted.
5. My daughter makes fun of me because my toes are always pointed and my pinky finger always pokes out when I pick up my cup.
6. I have three of something most people have 2 of (think Chandler on Friends), my son has 12 toes, my daughter has 3 ureters, and my other daughter has no canine teeth. We are a genetic freakshow around here.
Mendy - because you are finally getting back into blogging and I like that.
Peculiar Rebecca - because I want to know more about you.
Crystal Tower - because girl you make me laugh!
Amy - just because you're you.
Grace - because I need to know!
Jeannie - because I love you!
Monday, October 20, 2008
Friday, October 17, 2008
So I got a phone call bright and early today from the new Doctor who said that actually Josh not only has the highly contagious, reportable to the United Nations (OK I'm exaggerating... only somewhat) Giardia, but he also has two other parasites that evidently are just like the Giardia's homeboys who hang out with Giardia, but don't actually do much.
He actually said Jameson was the only Ethiopian child he had seen who didn't have something... considering she is the one who I would have bet the bank on having something in her poo, I asked him again and again if he was sure. I was so sure that she had something. The new doctor probably thinks I am obsessed with her poo. New doctor said it may take 18 months to two years for her normal flora to be converted to "our" normal flora which means her poop etc is just going to smell bad for that long. I did convince him into checking a few more things; he's probably just doing so to appease me. So the poop saga continues.
Aren't you so glad I shared?
Oh and he said the rest of us only need to be tested if any of us become deathly ill with explosive diarrhea. Isn't that great news?!
Yeah, I'm waiting patiently for that.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
On homeschooling days, I typically don't answer the phone because otherwise we would never get anything done. Imagine my distress when we came upstairs and heard a message from the new doctor saying he really needed to talk to me, except he was going to be out of the office all afternoon. NOOOOO!
I called the nurse back who started the conversation with, "I really don't know anything about this, but the doctor will be in tomorrow." Great. So what I got out of her was that Josh has tested positive for Giardia cysts. She whispered that we have been reported to the health department as well as the CDC. Of course, he is asymptomatic, but still ewww... gross!
From what I have read, it won't be a big deal to treat with Flagyl, but the poop collecting is not finished. Absolutely wonderful. If you are so inclined, you can read more about Giardia here.
When I asked about Jameson's "samples," the nurse said, "well I don't think they are normal either but at least she hasn't been reported to the CDC and the health department." Gee thanks.
I so want to call our first doctor so bad to thank him and let him know that all of us have been exposed to Giardia while swimming with Josh, sharing a bathroom etc. Maybe I will... after I get done power washing the bathrooms, bathtubs and toilets.
But my most prized "score" was a huge book called ESL SMART! Ready to use Life Skills and Academic Activities for Grades K-8 by Margaret Bouchard.
This book is probably my "score" book of the year! It has personal life skills activities, pesonal communications, manners and social interaction, personal hygiene and health, safety, literacy, alphabet and handwriting, how to use the library, math, calendar, weather, time, colors and shapes, spatial concepts, directions and world geography.
I am so excited. (I know I'm a dork! I love books) The kids are doing some extra school work today!
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Today we had an adventure. We rode our bikes to the edge of our neighborhood. Looking like a contestant on the 80's video game Frogger, I directed the three big kids across the street, then ran the 2 smaller kids across, then ran back across and rode my bike across. The greenway trails are close to our house, yet have seemed inaccessible due to the highway and the difficulty in getting 6 bikes there in our car. Today we took a chance. And it was worth it.
We rode out bikes up and down the hills. The sky was a weird gray color. Rain was coming, but it would be later. The dullness of the sky made everything else seem so surreal. The colors were brighter. The sound of the insects making their music was more intense. The wind on my face was more refreshing. The leaves scattered the trees with different colors of orange, red and yellow, and they appeared to be dropped randomly from the sky by God himself.
"This is the best day of my life." Justine says this every single day. It is so refreshing that it takes so little to make it the best day of her life. But then Josh agreed, "Yes the best day ever." I was stunned by the perfection of it all. He has never said that anything was the best day ever... not the day we met, not the day he came to America, not the numerous trips to the very expensive amusement park. This was a very special moment for all of us.
Riding our bikes on the trails with the leaves falling silently around us was definitely a surreal moment. Just like all moments in my life, it quickly came to a screeching, non-calming moment when Justine forgot how to use her brakes and went screaming down a huge hill with her feet dragging the ground. Eventually she flew over the handle bars and lay in a pile of the leaves I was just admiring. She was screaming and crying, "I can't ride my bike back. I can't even walk." Great. I didn't bring a phone or anything. I looked her over and miraculously there wasn't even a scratch on her. I conned her into getting back on her bike. She made it around one more corner and then ran over a snake. Instead of just going on, she turned around and around the snake on her bike, screaming like someone had cut her head off. I finally got her away from the snake and it slithered away... probably more scared of us than we of it. We got back to riding and finally caught up with the big kids. Jaiden was crying uncontrollably. Josh had told her that I left them there and they were lost forever. (Yes, he is a zebra with many different stripes, but that's a different story) We kept on riding and decided it was time to go home. Those beautiful gray clouds which caused such a serene effect on me earlier, opened up and it started raining on us. The children began to whine and complain about the hills we now had to climb to get home. We made it through another episode of Frogger and finally made it home thirsty and exhausted.
It was the best day ever.
Friday, October 10, 2008
In 8 short months, we've actually seen the seasons change from winter, to spring, to summer and now fall. Just as the other kids feel a sense of accomplishment and ownership in the stories we share from before they were born, Josh and Jameson now feel some ownership in all of this. Jameson asked me this morning, "how long did it take for us to paint that map on the wall..." And I don't think it's because she got her pronouns mixed up... she now realizes that all that happened before they got here is still theirs. We have talked about God's plan for their lives, and the fact that God, while he didn't cause their parents to die, he did make plans for them to be with us from the minute they were born. Because of God's plan for them and for us, they have always been a part of our family as God intended it to be. It's funny to look back at how Jeff and I met and got married 11 years ago... the people we were then compared to now. God has been grooming all of us for this. These are the things we share with the kids. We let them know about the long road getting here. And we help them to see God's hand in their lives.
We are all together looking forward to what the future holds for our family. We talk about the future. We look forward to our first trip to the ocean. We look forward to Christmas and snow. We are no longer all looking backwards. I have learned first hand it's a lot easier, safer, and more fun to walk while looking straight ahead with our heads held high than to walk with our backs turned to the future.
There are still some issues that we are dealing with, but we are dealing with them on a day to day basis with a sense of hope for the future. And we are laughing again... and laughing and laughing and laughing. 8 months is good.
Justine to Jameson after Jameson threw trash out the window of the car,
"Oh, don't glitter. The earth dies when we glitter."
I'm so glad our kids are learning to conserve, reuse and recycle, as well as to not glitter. After Jameson understood the message, she said, "Oh yes people in Ethiopia glitter everywhere. It's a mess."
Thursday, October 09, 2008
As if that wasn't enough, I worked several extra shifts this week, which makes me grumpy anyway due to lack of sleep.
Yesterday on my way home from the carpool frenzy, I blew out a tire.
Today as we were delivering poo samples and dropping books off at the library, every light on the dash lit up and alarms started saying, "engine failure, service needed soon, door ajar, hot, hot, hot, danger Will Rogers..." I smelled something burning and the car seemed like it was going to implode. The car had overheated.
Once I finally made it home, I opened up the mail and found a cell phone bill for $506.65. The horizon began to shrink, the world began to rotate slightly, I was dizzy, everything around me seemed to slow down and I felt almost as if I were having an out of body experience.
I felt as if I was going to blow.
On the way to Jack's birthday party, I called Sprint. I was on hold for over 20 minutes. Evidently I am aggressive. I don't even know what I told the Sprint guy except that I was yelling, threatening and I mentioned that I felt like the top of my head was going to blow off.
I'm not sure what that guy thought that meant, but he totally and completely freaked out. He started saying, "Oh ma'am, don't do that. It's not worth it. I'll get it fixed. Can I call someone for you?" I was like, "Sprint dude, I didn't say I was going to blow the top of my head off. I meant it felt like it was going to happen naturally."
Evidently it works to be aggressive and overly emotional, he took over $400 off my bill.
I'm so afraid of what tomorrow holds for me.
Wednesday, October 08, 2008
"pumpkin pie, potpie, popcorn, porcupine (OK that was a stretch but it was from Jack... what do we expect), pizza, pineapple..."
The list went on and on.
Suddenly Josh, who as you know seems to live in his own little world, seemed to wake up only realizing half of what we were talking about and yells out, "macaroni and cheese."
Everyone stopped what they were doing and started laughing hysterically. If nothing else, our household is entertaining.
Sunday, October 05, 2008
for the rights of all who are destitute.
Speak up and judge fairly;
defend the rights of the poor and needy."
Today after church, Jameson's sweet little voice came from the backseat saying, "Mom, I love North Point Church."
"I know Jameson. So do I."
"They help people in Africa."
Justine to Jameson, "You're from Africa. Maybe they can help you."
Jameson quietly, "Mom and Dad already help me."
Saturday, October 04, 2008
Some of my favorites are:
There is no chin under Chuck Norris' beard. There is only another fist.
Chuck Norris can divide by zero.
Chuck Norris’ house has no doors, only walls that he walks through.
In the Words of Julius Caesar, "Veni, Vidi, Vici, Chuck Norris". Translation: I came, I saw, and I was roundhouse-kicked inthe face by Chuck Norris.
When Chuck Norris plays Monopoly, it affects the actual world economy.
Wednesday, October 01, 2008
Today I took Josh and Jameson out to lunch as a reward for doing their schoolwork so well. We pulled in, parked, and went inside. We were probably inside for 30 minutes. When we came back out, I thought, "That's weird. It sounds like my car is running... wow, I left the door unlocked... wow, my keys are in the car." And my next thought? I can't write on a public blog. I had left my car running, unlocked in the parking lot for at least 30 minutes.
I am losin' it! Gas prices suck so bad, you can't even give away a gas guzzlin', environmental killing Expedition! I practically gift wrapped it for someone, and it was still there when I came out!
One of the little girls responded to the other, "Oh yeah, they don't have books in Pinocchio."