Sunday, February 28, 2010

6 months

J flew into the states on Aug. 29th and we drove home on the 30th. Since Feb. doesn't have a 29th except for every 4 years or a 30th, today is his 6 months home day. We went to a hibachi grill place after church, not necessarily to celebrate but just to spend time together. It was the four of us plus A's friend, E, my parents, my brother's family and nephew's fiance. So, twelve of us. Boy was that fun. J and T are already planning what they are going to make for supper and how they will cook it. Too funny.

We sent J's 6 month update to his O. It got me thinking of all the things he's experienced in the last 6 months. Wow. We may not have been there for his first words or his first steps but we were there for his first hibachi grill experience, happy meal, beach, camping, indoor pool, being a ring bearer at his sister's wedding, elevators, escalators, self-flushing toilets (still pronounced "twa-let") sinks that turn on by themselves, doors that open by themselves, movies on the big screen, drive-in movie, a birthday, Christmas, snow days, snowmen, "red-neck open sleighing" (horses pulling the sled), sledding at uncle C's and aunt S's, helium balloon (oh my word, was he excited about that) school, jump houses, trampolines, being on a basketball team, going to an army graduation and getting his pic made with "de captains", his own pet (a betta fish), cooking his own food (he loves to "cook" and has come up with some pretty interesting things-almost all of which he has eaten-he loves salsa or cajun seasoning on everything). I'm sure there are more things but I can't think of all of them. See, adopting an older child still has a full set of "firsts".

Even though he came home speaking fairly good English he still regularly cracks us up with those things that just get lost in translation. Just this morning he had his box of candy that he's selling for school and he said it looked like his suitcase. I said it looked more like a briefcase and he said, "You have a case for your breaf (breath)??"

He continues to love, love, love tv and gum. If we need him to "earn" something, it's gum. If we need to take something away, it's tv. I don't know how long it will last but it's working right now. He still asks now and then if we will send him back to Haiti. T always tells him that we won't send him back but we might send his dirty underwear back. He thinks that's funny and it reassures him at the same time. It must be horrible for the kid to have those thoughts in the back of his mind.

He's doing much better with all of his fears now that he can recite 2 Tim. 1:7.

He bothers his sister on a regular basis so I guess they are pretty normal as far as that goes.

Happy 6 months anniversary, J.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

I love you

I got an "I love you" from J this morning when I dropped him off for school. There have been lots of "I love you too's" from him after we've said I love you to him, but not many volunteered "I love you's". I love you too, son.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

A few pics

Well, you know I've mentioned that we've had a cold snowy winter. I've also mentioned how tired we are of it. Even J says he is ready for warm weather and to go in the pool. The kid loves to swim. We had a few very nice days in a row but it's supposed to be cold with snow showers tonight and tomorrow. Sigh...I hope the kids can still go to school. It's been 10 weeks since they've gone to school for a full 5 days.

We think our cats are pretty smart, as cats go. But sometimes we catch them doing really silly stuff. Here is a pic of Misty watching snowflakes fall, or so we thought. Turns out she was watching a bird. Who's the silly one, now?
J is loving having his bedroom downstairs. The movers picked up R's stuff last week during one of our snow days but we still don't know when it will be delivered. Anyway, here are "the boys" bringing J's stuff downstairs. These guys are his best friends and he goes to their house on Mondays and Thursdays after school while I work.

The sun finally came out, thank God, and the cats were found sunning themselves on T's jeep, Tonka. Misty had a little hammock thing going.

Basketball is over for the season. J played well, improved his skills, and really "got" the game. His team only lost three games, one of which was the championship game. But they still get to have a party at the coach's house on Sat. and J kept a good attitude about it. Here is J in action.

And here he is with his team. He's number 5.

I'll post pics of J's room soon.

Friday, February 19, 2010

It's official...

...I am a college student. Yes, at 42 years of age, 25 years after graduating from high school, I have enrolled in some online worship leading classes through West Coast Bible College. I'll let you know how it goes. Pray for me.

In other news, happy birthday to JT! They made him do a push up for each year of his life, "Happy birthday, now drop and give me 20." He is deploying on March 6th or 7th so keep him in your prayers. R and JT are hanging out around town, window shopping and praying that their stuff gets to them before he leaves. Ah, the joys of being newly married and in the army ;)

J was quoting movie lines to his ESL teacher today. While we're happy that he remembers things so well he could have picked a better line. Quoting from "Cheaper By the Dozen" he said to her, "Ah, 12 kids later and we still got the heat!"


J let me cut his hair last night. Hair has been a weird little issue with him. When he had been home for less than a month, I took him to a nice black lady who "cleaned up" his little frizzy hairs around his face because I had heard how other AA people might look down on us for not keeping it "neat". It freaked him out. I still don't know exactly what the trigger was but I do remember that being a bad night. Real bad.

So, I gave up worrying what others might say and decided to do what made him comfortable. We talked some about big hair. We talked a little about braids, twists or locs. It's mostly been long and he has little frizzies aroudn his face but as long as he was happy with his hair, that was fine. He freaked just a little any time we mentioned cutting. He would cover his hair and shake his head and say, "No! I don't want to be bald!"

I always assured him that we wouldn't cut it down to "bald". I didn't pursue it, just assured him. Just before R's wedding he decided that a "bitty, bitty" trim would be okay. This time I took him to a white lady who he had watched cut my hair. She washed it, conditioned it, combed it and then used the comb and scissors to cut whatever stuck up above her fingers. It was exactly what he needed. She got the clipper out to clean up the fuzzies and he got freaked a little about that but she persevered and he was fine.

Wed. night he told me that he had "some hair is sticking out. I need it cut." I told him that I'd wash it, condition it, brush and comb it and then use the clipper with the comb things on it and even it out but not make it bald on Thur. evening. He said ok. Wow! I didn't push it or say anything about it and he reminded me that I was going to cut his hair. I washed it, conditioned it and let him take his bath while I got the clipper ready in my bathroom. He sat on a chair and watched in the mirror. I talked to him about everything, turned the clipper on so he could see how it sounds, showed him the guide combs and how they don't let it "get bald". I asked him who cut his hair in Haiti and he mentioned a few names. He said they always pulled his hair and made it bald and that one person only cut half of it one time and sent him to church so everyone would laugh at him. No wonder the kid has issues. He had to watch I did with it and it's not very short but he trusted me to cut it. That's a huge step. And it only took nearly six months.

Monday, February 15, 2010

A few pics

It snowed again. Did I mention how tired we are of snow? I seem to have gotten J's cold. I'm extremely careful about not touching my face so I'm sure it has something to do with him constantly coughing in my face. Sigh...I don't remember the last time I've had two colds in one season 'til he arrived. Huge sigh...

Here is A with her flowers.
Some of us went out to eat and then more of us came back to our house for cake and ice cream.

This is our world this morning.

It stuck to the sides of the trees.

And to our cars which were under the car port. What's up with that?

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Valentine's Day

We don't celebrate Valentine's day in a big way around here. I don't really know why, we just never have. We did go to a concert tonight and had a young couple come and babysit J. He likes this couple, especially the young man, and was so excited that someone was coming just to spend time with him. He just waved good bye to us and got busy with the video games. He "taught" them to play skip bo so we don't know if they learned correctly. Things can get lost in translation with him and he may tend to slant things his way. He did win. Thank you C and S!

On the way home from church today he announced to us that he had pink coconuts. He was eating a donut. I don't know where your mind went but we laughed at his announcement.

A's boyfriend sent her flowers for her birthday/Valentines day all the way from South Korea. He had left money and instructions with A's friend E when he was here at Christmas time and E was able to keep the secret (which she was very proud of). The funniest part of this story is that T did the same thing for me 24 years ago when he was in Haiti and I was in WI. Only he left the money with his aunt. How cool is that?! You're good men, C and T.

Well, it looks like we're in for more snow tonight. Even J has said he doesn't want any more snow because it's too cold. Sigh...this is the winter that never ends. At least the kids were already off tomorrow anyway. I hope it's gone by Tuesday morning. I'll keep you posted.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Happy Birthday A!

A turns 17 today. Her birth was easy but difficult at the same time. Both of my babies came pretty fast from the time labor started to the time they were born (4 hours and 3 hours). But A was an occipital posterior presentation (face up) and she was a half an inch shorter and a pound and a half heavier than R was. Plus her head was stuck on my pelvis, which was torn during birth, and she arrived with a blue tinge to her and a big bump on her head. That was after a difficult pregnancy. Anyway, I'm glad she's here and love her very much.

She is quite funny even though she's moody sometimes. She's making some plans for her future and seems to have her head on straight. She loves to have fun. She loves theater, fashion, and art. She is an amazing artist. She's still looking for a job. She drives a little car we call Elvis and she doesn't even know what kind of car it is. It's just Elvis, who shakes, rattles and rolls.

The bump on her head that she was born with, that they told me would go away, is still there. God blessed her with a head full of thick hair that covers it nicely. I always thought of her hair as "golden silk". She has about three times as much hair as I do. Her daddy's bald so it must come from a little further down the line :) Something people always noticed about her as a newborn was her hair. It was thick and dark and stood straight up. She always had really long hair as a little girl but gave a foot or more to "Locks of Love" when she was in second grade. She has a pretty generous heart.

When she was three and talked all the time and we didn't understand anything, we decided to get some help. She took a couple years of speech therapy and it must have worked because she's never had problems getting parts in plays. A couple of my favorite stories of her speech therapy days are when the teacher was so proud and said they had worked on a word until she got it down and it was a compound word. She told A to say her word and A said, "Dafbub," which translates to bathtub. Another favorite is when T was on a business trip and my SIL and I left the 5 girls with T's brother so we could go to a line dancing class. When we got back to their house A was upset. She said, "'Im not my pend no mo. Un o Ta. 'Im not di me an'pin'! " Which all translated to "Him not my friend no more. Uncle Todd. Him not give me anything!" Yeah, that's why she was in speech class. And we still say dafbub, 'im not di me an'pin' (with the accompanying hand motions that she used for emphasis) and Mark, Luke and King Junior Day for MLK Day.

A, I hope you have a great day and a blessed year. We love you lots!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Another snow day

Hmm, I seem to manage to update on Sundays and Wednesdays. I have no idea why.

Today is another snow day. Our kids have not been to school for a full week in over two months. Sigh...I guess we have ice under our snow. It's very pretty but I really miss the routine. T and I laid in bed this morning and tried to figure out what day it is. This is Wed. right?

R and JT are finalizing some of their apartment stuff today and trying to figure out when the army will move their stuff. They don't have a lot but it is here and it's taking up space and they would like it there and we would like the space.

A turns 17 this week. Zoiks! Where has all the time gone?

Please pray for the Livesays as they seek out God. Also pray for the many families who recently brought children home from Haiti. It's a BIG adjustment. We still have not heard from J's birthmom if you could keep that in your prayers too. Thanks!

Sunday, February 7, 2010


Well, I had no idea it had been so long since I updated this. The kids went to school on Thursday and Friday, thank God. I talked to J's ESL teacher and she said he had gotten five spelling words wrong and she asked him if he wanted to change anything. He said he did and she didn't tell him which ones were wrong or anything. He looked at each word and changed some things until he was satisfied with it and he got them all right.

His basketball team won their game again yesterday. That puts them at 1 and 6 or 7. They have two make up games next Saturday and then the play offs. He asked me if they would get a trophy if they won and who would keep it. I have no idea what will happen or how it will work. I'll keep you posted.

I asked his ESL teacher about his stuttering when he's really excited about something and she thinks it will go away with better language acquisition. He certainly doesn't do it all the time but it's pronounced when he's excited.

R is doing okay, falling into some sort of routine. They should be able to move into their apt. on Friday. I have no idea when the army will show up to move their stuff. She texted us saying JT was using fabric softener to wash his clothes and it's a good thing she got there. Too funny. Such a "guy" thing to do.

A is still job hunting. If she doesn't find something soon she may have to expand her area of hunting. Sigh...

Happy birthday to my older brother today! He looks pretty good for a guy his age.

We are getting ready for J's first Superbowl party. It will be a small affair here with just us and Nanny and Bampa. Unless someone else shows up. I'm rooting for the Saints and T is rooting for the Colts. I hope it's a good game and the thing I really want to see is the Focus on the Family commercial. More power to them.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


Today was a snow day too. J needs to go back to school. He needs the routine and something to do. He would never admit it but even he is getting tired of watching tv. He has had an attitude this afternoon and didn't want to go to basketball practice and was complaining about school and wishing he didn't have to go, blah, blah, blah. He ended up doing really well right at the end of the basketball scrimmage, went with us to a Bible study at my brother's house, got his attitude straightened out and resigned himself to the fact that there will probably be school tomorrow. Thank you, Jesus.

R is getting settled in her hotel, JT is with her at night (thank God), dad is home, and the cat has settled into her temporary home. Still praying for the apt. to open up earlier than they expected. Praying for protection and peace for both of them.

Little J funny. My SIL had a few "goodies" for us at the study. She had some low fat, low sugar muffins and scones. They were really good. J and I liked the scone really well and she sent us home with a little piece. When we were leaving I reminded J to thank her for the scone and he said, "Tank you for de 'spone.'" That was pretty close. When we got home, J decided to give it to A since she didn't have any. I told him to tell her what it was and he said, "It's a wock." A and I looked at each other and I finally figured out that "scone" became "spone" became "stone" which in his head became "rock". Go figure.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

A few J'isms

I've said this before and I'll say it again, this kid cracks us up sometimes. He does wear us out at times but he is so funny. Yesterday he was trying to tell us something about a movie and he just couldn't get it out. He said, "Oh. Oh, it's wight on de middle of my tongue." Cracked us up. He was also trying to tell me about Sponge Bob but it came out "spong bodge car pont".

Today on snow day #3 in a row we went shopping and he was extremely good. I had promised him a doughnut and some gum if he was good. He earned both. On the way home an ambulance passed us and he said, "Oh look. Dere goes a snake truck." You know how ambulances have the pic of a snake on a post on the side of them? Yeah, snake truck.

He regularly says, "What did I did?" He still uses he, she, him and her interchangeably in the same sentence though he is becoming aware of it. He'll ask questions like, "Did dat was you making dat noise?" I wish I could think of all the stuff he says when I sit down to write. Oh well.

R reports seeing her first tumbleweed. She and Bampa should be at their destination by now. The cat is surviving but definitely not happy.

That's all for now.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Snow day #2

It's snow day #2 here. The snow and ice seem to like it here. It's melting some but keeps freezing over again at night and there roads here that never see the light of day and that's why we keep having snow days. Sigh...

R left this morning. Sniff. My dad went with her and they have her cat with them. Sanomae is a bit neurotic and wet herself before R could get her into the crate. She also wet R's vest while she was at it. Now she is just sitting in the crate, staring. Poor thing. I'm so glad my dad went with her. He can't hear well at all so the cat won't bother him, well, unless she stinks the car up. He can smell. I think if T had gone with her it would have broken his heart to leave her there. They are making pretty good time and plan to be there tomorrow night. Dad will fly home on Wed. We're praying that R and JT's apartment will be ready before they thought so they can move in. Otherwise he's staying in barracks and she will be at a hotel until it's ready. I don't think it has totally sunk in for me yet. Sigh...