Thursday, February 26, 2009

Progress for Joe Cool...

Tonight was Josh's soccer banquet for Springfield Soccer Club. I have to say that even I was a little intimidated when we walked in and there was a huge convention room full of people... at least 500... Typically this would have totally freaked him out.

Josh walked in, walked away from us, and immediately went to hang out with his friends. He was laughing and talking... he was the center of attention. Of course, that's where he likes to be, so he was in 7th heaven.

We were revelling in his progress with crowds and being independent. He was actually talking to girls, which he never does. He was Joe Cool and was strutting his stuff.

When it was all over... he went out to the parking lot and got in the wrong car.

Joe Cool.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

11 years!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

On Saturday, we will celebrate our 11th wedding anniversary. On number 10, we weren't even in the same city. We had only been home from Ethiopia for two weeks. They were all terribly sick, and I was completely overwhelmed with two new kids who wouldn't eat, wouldn't speak and were trying to jump out of a moving car. I ended up spending my ten year wedding anniversary hiding in my garage... crying... where no one could see me. Oh, such a memory!
But this year... this year is going to be different. Jeff and I are going away for a night and a day to Branson. I know, after last year, my expectations are not high. It doesn't have to be a big trip. It doesn't have to be expensive. It just has to be something. We are going to watch movies and spend time together without any little ones pounding on the door. What bliss!

Here's where we will be!


Not Me! Wednesday

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

So I may be a few days late... I have been busy not doing a lot of stuff.

I did not work 5 nights in a row and threaten to kill anyone who asks me to do that again. I did not ask a charge nurse on one of the floors if she was "in charge of this hole"... on a particularly stressful night. And she did not burst into tears right then and there. I did not feel obligated to bring the entire floor food after that.

I did not set my alarm to allow me to sleep 2 hours after night 5 and then get up out of bed to hit the snooze button every 9 minutes for an hour and a half.

I also did not dream about making origami out of toilet paper. Does that indicate a sense of futility and hopelessness? I think so.

My dishwasher did not flood my kitchen with ankle deep, nasty, disgusting water. I did not have to run from the room before doing anything about it just to gain my composure. I did not want to cry at all.

I also did not fix the dishwasher. Woo hoo!

I also did not give an hour long dissertation to ALL of the children about not putting their food in the side of the sink without the garbage disposal. I did not include pictures and graphics descriptions of what will happen to them if they don't get it right. I do not know why this is so difficult, but it must be right up there with rocket science.

I do not have at least 20 loads of laundry piled up and have not been stepping over crap all over my house for the last week.

We do not have a history banquet in two days that I have not completed the costume for, nor has Jaiden memorized her speech. I do not have a very uncomfortable feeling in my stomach every time I think about it.

My 11th wedding anniversary is not on Saturday, and I most definitely am not going to Branson for the night with my husband.

I promise to get it together and have a Not ME! Monday post actually on Monday next week.

Have a great one!


Thursday, February 19, 2009

Reefer Refill

Realizing that our children are new English learners, we realize how inappropriate it would be to laugh at them... but sometimes you just can't help it...

While in a restaurant, holding her cup out, Jameson says very loudly, for others to hear, "Can I have a reefer?"

Wordly Wise?

We have started Explode the Code for phonics and Wordly Wise for vocabulary because even though Josh and Jameson have a strong utilization of English, there are still a lot of words they just wing it on, and they really have no idea what the words actually mean.

Today during vocab, I asked Josh to use the word "flavor" in a sentence. Here's what he came up with:

"When you are sick, you have a flavor."

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

New Ellerbee American Idol Scoring System

I know, I know, we've sworn off TV for a month... which is going quite swimmingly, I might add. But it's American Idol season and Jeff and I have been TiVo ing Idol and last night I finally gave in and watched it with him. It was the top 36 and our first 48 minutes alone... together... in I don't know how long.
Jeff and I came up with our new Idol scoring system... and that would be the "goose bump" monitor.

goose bumps on the arms... 1 point

goose bumps on the back of the neck... 2 points

overall body goose bumps... 3 points

We will continue this new Ellerbee American Idol scoring system throughout the entire competition.
Alexis Grace......2 points

Danny Gokey ...... 3 ++++++ points

I still have goose bumps from Danny's performance last night. Here's to another great season of late night dates with my husband... watching TiVo'd Idol... locked in my bedroom... with chocolate... after all the children have been put away... pretending that we have any authority or idea what we're talking about when we say that the singers sound "pitchy." What an exciting life we have when TiVo'd prime time is an exciting date night.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Freaky Facebook Fascination

I recently discovered the phenomena known as facebook. For those of you who were born before 1960 or perhaps have been in a coma for the past several years, facebook is an online networking system where you can make friends, find friends, and share information.

I have heard my daughter talk about her facebook for years now, but assumed it was a high school thing only. I received an invitation recently to view someone else's facebook, therefore... I had to set up my own. I had to... really!

The day after I set up my facebook, I saw a friend from work who had seen my facebook page. She excitedly told me, "I love facebook! I have 87 friends." I unwittingly laughed and thought, "Wow, 87... really?"
I subconsciously now keep track of my number too.

I think the fascination with facebook and internet friendships in general is so unique to our generation. I guess time will tell whether our reliance on technology related relationships is a good thing or bad.
Does it prevent true friendships? Or does it release those face to face inhibitions to allow friendships to grow in a safe way? Has facebook made me a lazy friend or a better friend?

I was a lazy friend before. I didn't take time for friendships. I didn't take time to keep connected with others. Technology in general has made it a lot easier to get to"know" people through text messaging, internet facebook pages and blog posts. It's easier to say what you think and feel without that face to face interaction.

Here's an example of my facebook entries from this morning:

Gina is now dealing with two sick kids... what are the odds that they will all be sick by Wednesday? 7:28am

Gina is well another one bites the dust... now three kids are sick... 7:52am

Gina is now the kids are throwing up... could this day get any worse? 8:17am

I have hooked up with old friends from over 20 years ago through facebook. I have made new friends. I've been made fun of for being an "old person" on facebook. My own daughter has refused to "accept my request for friendship." But I don't care. I love my facebook, and I am learning to be a better friend because of it.


Not Me! Monday

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

My six year old did not eat her first cheeseburger EVER this week. And I did not tell her that it was a cow. And she did not throw up that cheeseburger. In the grocery store.

I did not hide in my bedroom, faking a headache, requesting NOT to be disturbed, so that I could watch TiVo'd Grey's Anatomy.

I did not go to Lostpedia to find out what happens in season 4 of LOST because I haven't watched it in over a week.

I am not pathetic.

Justine did not tell me, "Oh I already gave myself that medicine..." when I attempted to give her Tylenol for a fever. And she did not correct me when I attempted to give her adult cough medicine instead of the pediatric stuff. I am a nurse and I certainly would have the Tylenol put up high where the children can't reach it, and I would most definitely make sure what medicine I was giving my poor six year sick child.

I definitely did not accidentally send an email to the wrong person at work, the email that was actually somewhat negative and/or making fun of the person I sent it to.

I did not have breakfast in bed on Valentine's Day from my sweet, sweet husband.

I did, however, take tons of pictures this week to add to my Not Me! Monday post!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

My rant for the week...

How did this...

Turn into this?

Seriously Joaquin... you've ruined your life.
Shave the rodent off your face, take a shower, and get off the sauce.
I can't believe you put your gum under Letterman's desk... good lord.
Didn't you learn anything from Johnny Cash?

Here's my take on this situation: This woman is crazy. The doctor should have his medical license removed permanently. The people who are threatening to kill her via the internet should be locked up.
I would love to have had 14 children myself, but I KNEW I couldn't financially take care of them. And to think, she's living on student loan money. She must have got more than I did. I hope she's getting a good degree because those payments come around quickly. And to think that we, as tax payers, paid for her in vitro fertilizations... and I make that plural because evidently she's used disability money for more than one.
The woman is sick. I blame the doctor. The public should be outraged, but it should be directed at the system and not at the woman. We should be outraged at a system that allows people disability money that can be used like this. We should be outraged at the doctor who did this. We should be outraged that we will be supporting these 14 children for the next God knows how long. We should be outraged that the public is actually making physical threats against this woman. We should be outraged.

And my final thought.... WHO CARES?
Seriously people... get a grip and leave the kid alone. Look at those abs. I believe it must have been an alternative medicinal treatment for his ADHD, and I'm sticking to that theory.

TV, the solar system, and nachos

How's it going... you ask? Well let's just say, I've lost track of how many days we have gone without TV. To be perfectly honest, it's not as much fun as it was a few days ago. To be really, really honest, I miss Lost. I miss Idol. I watched Grey's Anatomy on tiVo.
On a positive note, we seem to be getting used to it. There isn't any begging or crying. Bedtime has gotten a lot easier. It has been a really good thing.
On the negative side, Justine has been really, really sick, and it's difficult to not let her lay on the couch and watch movies, which is what she wants to do. I let her watch Sesame Street in my bed yesterday.
Oh yeah, I forgot, I did give in and let them watch an Earth Science educational video, but hey, they can all name the names of the planets in order...

My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nachos...

Mercury Venus Earth Mars Jupiter Saturn Uranus Neptune

That seems worth a little bit of TV time... right?

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

12 months home... Gotcha Party

Yesterday was our 1 year anniversary of becoming a family.
We got back into Springfield on February 10, 2008 sometime in the evening hours... I have no idea when we got back as we had been traveling for over 30 hours, with two children who barely spoke any English, had been in 3 different countries, and had completely tainted multiple airport toilets in 3 different countries.

When we were planning what to eat on our anniversary day, I asked the kids what they wanted to eat. I was thinking along the lines of Injera and Dora Wat... they requested pepperoni pizza. Go figure! That's their favorite food now!

It is partly because of this sweet little angel Jayden that we have our wonderful kids! Jayden is from the same orphanage as our kids! Tim and Julie have become our best, best, best friends. I think it is so awesome that our kids knew Jayden before her parents knew her, and Tim and Julie knew our kids before we knew them! What a beautiful, wonderful circle! (Hey Roger and Abby - this pic is for you!)

12 months home. What do I say? EVERYTHING is better. It seems that as we finally came out with the fact that Grandma had died, they kind of mellowed out. Maybe it was hanging over their heads. Maybe it was hanging over ours. Maybe they were dealing with the guilt of those they left behind? Maybe her death made them realize that they are stuck with us and can't go back. In reality, everything was getting better before that. It's just a gradual thing. We are all so much closer today than we were even 3 or 6 months ago.
A Few Stories to Illustrate:
Yesterday, before the Gotcha Party, Justine fell on the trampoline and straddled a spring. Her thighs were really tore up. Jameson and I put her in the bath and took care of her. Jameson looked at me, with tears in her eyes, and said, "My poor baby." She helped wash Justine's hair, put her in her pajamas, and took care of her. The compassion I saw in her eyes was breath taking. I could not love her more.
Josh, as you know, has been the difficult one this year, but even he is getting better. He is learning to talk to us. He is learning to share his feelings with us. After we told them about Grandma dying, he shared with us that every year since he was 5, someone had died. Can you imagine? Can you imagine your memories being defined as before and after someone died? When I asked him about something in his family, he had to remember it in terms of who was still alive and who had just died... It breaks my heart! He still comes upstairs with his clothes on backwards and doesn't listen much of the time, but he takes his laundry down every single day and takes out the garbage without being told to... which is something I can't get the other kids in this house to do, so I consider that a victory. I consider a lot of things a victory. The hugs, the smiles, the conversations. Everything about this kid is a victory, and I'm lucky to know him.

not 1, not 2, not 3, but 4 kids...

We had an actual "come to Jesus" meeting in the parking lot of WalMart today. I'm not sure how the subject came up, but Grandma's passing has sparked a lot of conversations in all of the kids. We were talking about baptism, about heaven, about living your life for Christ. Evidently these kids have been listening! Not 1, not 2, not 3 but 4 kids prayed in the car, in the WalMart parking lot, for Jesus to come into their hearts today. They prayed to follow Him. Josh, Jameson, Jaiden, and Justine are all going to be baptized! We told Jameson that Grandma in ET just did a back flip in heaven when she heard that prayer, and she said, "I didn't know she could do that!" Well she can now!
WOW. What a day!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Taxes...Ethiopian style

There's been a lot of talk around our house about taxes as of lately. This has actually been good conversation about how things work. How do we get those nice streets we drive on? Who pays for public schools (even though we pay and don't use) etc. etc. Jameson didn't get it. So I tried to explain that for every dollar we make, we have to give a part of it to the governent. We are taxed. In that typical saucey style only Jameson could muster up, she put her hand on her hip and said:
"Who are they to attack us?" (Get it? A Tax us?)
God Love Her!

Monday, February 09, 2009

Totally black

I'm trying to allow my children more responsibility and let them do some grown up things. Jaiden took a phone message for me today. When she was relaying the message... she stopped, stuttered, and said, "I just went totally black." Oh boy!

Not Me! Monday

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

I most certainly did not attempt to stop the leaking of a broken water baby with a bandaid. And it most certainly did not make a certain 6 year old stop crying.

I did not find my cat on the top of my open garage door.
And I did not even think about hitting the button just to see what would happen. That's just cruel and it would NEVER happen at my house. I also did not make fun of Jordan for being too afraid to lift the big fellow. Therefore, I did not climb up there myself.
I did not spend many mind numbing hours stategizing and attempting to take over the world while playing Risk with my children. And I did not laugh hysterically to myself like a 5 year old when my soldiers just happened to end up looking like they were carrying one of my dead men. And my children did not beat me at this stinking game every time we played.
I did not laugh at my son and ask if he had made a dunce cap at school. And he did not indignantly tell me as if I were an idiot that it was a French Revolution hat.

My husband and kids did not make this ultra cool ice house out of the broken ice from the driveway.
They did not wake me up after working all night to tell me they were doing it, and they most certainly did not wake me up thirty minutes later to show me this cute picture!
I did not allow my daughter to go out in public... all day... dressed like this.
And I did not giggle continuously, thinking she looked a lot like this....
I did not sneak Madagascar 2 into my cart at WalMart because it was on sale even though my kids are banned from television watching for a month.
And the check out lady obviously did not observe my eye winking and stealth-like movements to indicate that the 5 children with me did not know about the movie when she held it up for all to see and said, "You lucky kids. I LOVE this movie." (Imagine this with a very loud, kinda hickish twang)

My kids did not look at me anticipating an end to their month long television hiatus and then look at the check out lady realizing the cruelty of the moment and say, "Yeah, lucky... right."
I also did not tell her thank you for ruining a surprise for my kids.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

To think...

... I was worried Josh and Jameson couldn't use their imaginations...

Today all the kids were playing "kitchen" with the little kitchen. They were taking orders, making dinners, cooking, and paying for their food.... you know typical play kitchen stuff.

In comes Josh.
With a gun.
He held up the kitchen, stole the money, took some food, and shot Jack.

Let's hope it's not a career choice.
But it is great that in a year they have totally and completely learned how to use their imaginations.

Human Barometer

Pack your umbrellas people. Seriously I can predict that rain is coming tomorrow... from this horrific pressure in my head. That or I have an ice pick in my eye... I'll let you know tomorrow.