Friday, September 30, 2011

Celebrating J!

Fibro kicked my butt yesterday, like it hasn't in a long time. So I didn't even get up with my birthday boy this morning. I did leave him a birthday card and T reported that J loved what was in the card. He claims he's saving for a go cart but his money "burns a hole in his pants" and he usually spends it. Plus, we expect you to, gasp, work for your money around here and he's not overly inclined to work. So he was thrilled to find a birthday card full of money.

According to his birth certificate, J is 14 today. Of course, Haiti's book keeping system being what it is, who really knows how old he is. He acts like 10, on a good day.

He's come so far. He has been doing basketball conditioning twice a week for the last 3 weeks or so. He's doing grade level math, ESL modified science, English, and social studies. And he's reading at grade level 3.2. We didn't have time to read Tuesday evening so I made him read his book twice on Wed. and when he got done he said, "Dis is my worse life ever. My worse life." Instead of engaging him on how good he has it or how having to read the book twice is not the worse thing ever I decided to ask him how many lives he's had, since that was the way he worded it. He looked at me like, duh. And he said, "I had my life in Haiti, which was way worse den any odder life and my life here. Dat's two lives." Isn't it something that he divides his life up like that? Maybe it's a coping mechanism, dividing it like that. Maybe that's why he wants nothing to do with Haiti or anything Haitian. I don't know.

He still continually cracks us up. All the time. He watched the movie "Baby's Day Out" the other day. The girls went through a period of time where they watched that movie all. the. time. It was so funny to listen to J watch it and know what part he was at. There is one part where one of the bad guys sets his crotch on fire and T thought J was going to fall off the couch. J said, "Roasted bratwurst. Hahahaha!" Think about that. A kid from Haiti, watching an American movie and making a joke about German sausage. How funny is that? And he still doesn't say his "r's" that well so it sounded more like, "Woasted bwatwust." Too funny.

He wants to do well and make good decisions but he doesn't want to work very hard at it. He still shows a lot of empathy for other people. He still loves, loves, loves to eat and is willing to try just about anything, especially meat of any kind. He still wants to babied occasionally and definitely wants to be prayed with before he goes to bed. He has recently started sleeping with his bedroom door open. We can't figure out what that's about because he was always adamant that his door be closed until about a month ago.

He's still not good about "changing gears". If something doesn't go the way he thinks it should or if a curve ball gets thrown his way he can easily come unglued. He definitely prefers a schedule and sticking to it. I tell people if you told him that you were going to bite his head off at 4:00 on Sunday he'd be okay with it because he'd know it was coming and when, but don't tell him he can't wear the red shirt he planned on wearing or that we have to leave 5 minutes early or someone is going to be 15 minutes late. He can't handle it. And for heaven's sake, don't give him a homework assignment right before the bell rings. His world has come to an end.

J, you really are an awesome little character and it's been mostly joyful to be your parents and watch you experience new things. For you, it's all about the experience. Work hard, be good and have some fun. We hope and pray that 14 is an awesome year for you. We love you.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Phone pics

Last week and this week so far have been rather weird. I'd like to ask for prayers for some family and some friends who are experiencing troubling pregnancies. I know of two people who are struggling with this. Thanks for praying.

T has been working diligently on A's car as you'll see later in this post. It's nearly back together but we still don't know if it will fix it's problem or not. He put a new to it transmission on it after spending a few days on an electrical problem. How does he do all that? We are thankful that God has given him the ability to do so because we don't have the money to pay someone to do it.

Speaking of not having the money, our Edisto plans changed a bit. We don't have the gas money to pull our camper there and back so we cancelled our reservations but my parents graciously said we could stay with them in their 5th wheel. It'll be like old times, only with boys instead of girls as J is bringing a friend with him. We are looking forward to it now that the strain has been somewhat lifted.

Okay, phone pics. I know that's what you really want to see. They are sort of chronological going back to the CO trip. This first one is Skylar in the airport. She is so precious and I miss her already.

Playing with her toys in the airport. She was so good.

R went to Petsmart that first night or next morning and we saw this huge dog. I took the pic for A who has a thing for large dogs.

We went to an antique mall and this was a wardrobe with a rather strange pattern in the wood. We know what we saw. What do you see?

This is JT and D cutting a silverware tray down to fit into a drawer.

This was in Old Colorado City. That's where the hemp store was. They had lots of interesting stores with lots of interesting things to look at, including these bottles of hot sauce that "cracked me up". Haahahaha!

Cloud formation outside of Walmart one evening.

Pike's Peak from Garden of the Gods (from R's back seat with my phone in K's face).

Another one of Pike's Peak from Garden of the Gods.

Garden of the Gods.

This is the table and chairs set we found for R and JT. Hopefully the cats won't scratch them and people wont break them. There are 4 chairs, one is not in the pic. Obviously.

This is the view from R's back yard. Isn't it gorgeous?

Last view of Pike's Peak from the airport. It's the snow-capped one. Man, look at that blue sky!

Diesel has been helping T with A's car. Could be why it's not running yet?

This is pretty much how we've spent our time the last week or so. He is under the car and I hand him things.

Diesel thinks the car is his own personal apartment. He will be sad if we actually get it running again.

Ahhh!! The car tried to eat T! Someone asked if he was praying for it or giving it CPR. I said, both!

I took a pic of this spider web on the fence this morning. It was covered in dew. I have a better pic on the camera but I will post it later. I think it's pretty, kind of like lace.

That's our last couple of weeks on phone pics.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

We're baaaaack. CO part 1

Well, we had a great trip. R finally named the puppy Skylar and Skylar did great on the plane and in the airports. Every where we went with her people had to stop and admire her and pet her. She is absolutely precious. I have some phone pics to upload but that will be at a different time.

The first day we were there we went to the base and began our shopping excursions. R had to work in the afternoons but JT just happened to be off in the afternoons. He willingly drove us around and took us anywhere we wanted to go. It was a wild and crazy ride but he didn't complain. In fact, he laughed at our shrieks and our OMG's. Maybe he was trying to get us to not ask him to take us anywhere anymore?

On Friday we finally got to go to the top of Pike's Peak. I got a nice magnet up there that says, "I like it on top." This was my third time on the Cog railway but my first time to the top. It was cloudy but gorgeous. They said the temp on top when we arrived was 39 degrees but 45 min. later it was only 31 and snowing. I had envisioned it being a spectacular, near spiritual experience but the lack of oxygen made us a bit loopy and everthing was funny. Even when K dropped her $3 bottle of water into the toilet.

On Sat. we went to Old Colorado City, Garden of the Gods, we stopped briefly at a craft show and then to a huge antique mall. I have some pics from there on my phone but those will be later. We managed to find R and JT a table and chairs set for a reasonable price.

Sun. morning K and D decided that there was no way they were getting all their stuff back to TN in the bags they had brought so D went out with R and got 2 more bags. We all checked a bag and had 2 carry-ons each. Thankfully all our flights and check-ins were uneventful.

So, enough with the words. I know it's the pics you are really here for. This is in Manitou Springs at the base of Pike's Peak where you get on the Cog Railway Train. Manitou is such a cute little town.

This is why they call them the Rocky Mountains.

Someone put large plastic Easter eggs in a tree.

I love how the trees grow at an angle. You can tell it's quite an incline.

Apparently that's Kansas in the distance. They said on a clear day you could see 5 states from the top of Pike's Peak.

Above the tree line. That always amazes me.

Can you imagine living here in the early 1900's?

Like the Haitian proverb, Beyond the mountains, more mountains.

See all the birds perched up there?

This is a plaque about Katharine Lee Bates writing "America the Beautiful" after seeing the top of Pike's Peak.

I love this. Clouds above and clouds below.

Woot! We did it! (you'd think we hiked it)

There was a rainbow on the way back down.

My partners in crime, K and D.

CO part 2

JT was driving us home one evening and K said, "Look at that deer." It was a mule deer but K had called them "moose deer" at some point and it just stuck. JT, being the crazy driver he is, slammed on the brakes and backed up so we could see the moose deer.

"Medicinal marijuana" is legal in CO. To bad they were closed.

They had everything in there. Seeds, hemp bars, hemp shakes, dog treats and Dope on a Rope.

Then JT took Skylar home and us ladies bummed around Garden of the Gods. It's called that because the native americans used to gather there and pray.

Us 3 holding up "the rock."

Rugged beauty.

This is part of the Kissing Camels formation.

I had no idea when I took this pic that it would be one of my favorites. I don't know exactly why but I'm loving it.

The rock formations seem to be on their sides and diagonal.

See that car parked at the bottom of this formation? That shows how big the rock formation is.

Love the contrast in colors here.

And here.

This was our last shot of Pike's Peak from the airport.

And now we're back in TN. It was so nice to get away and CO is beautiful but TN is pretty too. Reality kind of stinks sometimes. A's car is broken down and life is not all roses but, there's no place like home.