Tuesday, November 29, 2011

More November stuff

Busy, busy, busy. That's been our lives lately. I've come down with something, I'm not sure what but it's forcing me to slow down for a day or two. I hate feeling wimpy. Fibromyalgia has been whooping me lately too. Sigh...

We had a bad day with J yesterday. Interesting that it happened as we are finishing up Adoption Awareness Month. We are thankful that J hasn't dealt with attachment issues like Reactive Attachment Disorder. He does deal with abandonment issues. He's kind of in a "perfect storm" situation right now. He's 14 and in 7th grade, he's an older adopted child who spent 5 years in an orphanage, and he is in puberty. Zoiks! He had a meltdown at school and several more at home which all came to a head as a big fit. But after he calmed down from that he was able to engage, think, talk and smile. It was like a big zit that popped all over everything and then he was ok. Weird. Anyway, my adoption links for today are http://www.welcometomybrain.net/ . They are parenting two bio kids and 3 adopted. They have two with RAD. And another adoption blog I have enjoyed reading is  http://johnson-mccormick.com/ Their recent post on "Family Tree" Projects was awesome! They have twin boys adopted from Haiti and one bio daughter.

A told someone she works with that she was going to have her tonsils out and they asked if this was the first time. She said, "They can grow back?!" and he said yes. She believed him and came home and asked me about it. Goofy girl! She may have dyed her hair darker but she has blond roots.

Here is a cute pic of the cute kitty who lives where I work. This is Peaches peeking out over the counter. Too cute.

And I'm loving this pic right now. This is R's horse, Bridget, who is full of herself. She's so funny and has a great personality. I took this pic on my cheap phone and texted it to a bunch of people to see if they knew what it was. A few did. I knew R would know.

And now, a thankful list. I'm thankful for a great support group for J at school. There are a bunch of people who care about him and they help us out everyday with J. I'm thankful for animals. Cats and horses are two of my favs. And today I'm thankful for tylenol and advil.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Empty Arms Hotel, how can I help you!

This is actually a pic of a friend's dog at the counter where I spend most of my working hours. He belongs to the store owners, who are also our friends, and we were having a meeting and he kept popping up now and then and was just too cute! Sometimes just his paws and the tips of his ears and nose were showing. Precious!

A made cheesecake last night. I have sourdough bread rising and will bake it right before we leave so it's still warm when we eat. I'm also making broccoli casserole and sweet potato casserole. A wanted sweet potatoes with crunchy topping and since she won't be able to eat much at Christmas (tonsilectomy) I'm happily complying.

A is working this morning and then we are all heading over to my brother's house.

My adoption awareness blog for today is the Livesays. http://www.livesayhaiti.blogspot.com/ I "met" Tara via email and stayed with them one night on my way back home after spending a month in Haiti with J back in Jan of 09. They are all awesome people and I'm so glad I met them.

Thankful list for today. Let's see, have I mentioned that I'm thankful for dark chocolate? I am. And though I'm thankful every day (or should be) I'm thankful that we live in a country that sets aside a day of the year to think about and be thankful to God for our blessings. We are blessed. Happy Thanksgiving!!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

More of the same (without pics)

I'm sorry it's been a whole week since I posted and that I have no pics to post. We promised not to show the people sticking their tongues out (from the last post) and that's about the only interesting pics in a while.

A had her appointment today and is scheduled to have her tonsils out on Dec. 22nd. Why then? Because her last finals are on the 15th and the doc does surgery on Mondays and Thursdays and the 19th was booked up. She might be groggy for Christmas but she will be ready for school in Jan. And like I told someone, she will get gifts for Christmas but she actually has to "earn" the scholarships and one of the requirements is attendance. He's using a procedure that she won't have stitches. I remember coughing up stitches for a while after having mine out back in the day.

J has been doing pretty well in school lately. I even got a call one day and answered with, "Uh-oh. What'd he do?" and she was calling to say how well he was doing. Woot! We have been letting him earn gum by having 5 days of good attitude at school. There's actually been a bit of emotional growth lately too. And by saying that stuff we are probably setting up for an epic blow up.

He continues to crack us up and do sweet things for people too. He prayed aloud the sweetest prayer for a friend the other day and ended with, "...and help her have a ever happy after." Too cute! Yesterday morning it was raining really heavy and we were amazed at the water on the driveway and in the pasture on the way to school. J said, "It's a good ting we have dat hole!" He was referring to the sink hole on our property where all the rain water runs down but it sure sounded funny.

My adoption awareness link today is http://www.debraparker.blogspot.com/ Debra is an adoptive parent who was also adopted herself. They brought their son home from Haiti after the earthquake. I remember seeing Ronel on Lori and Licia's blog and praying for parents for him. I've never met Debra but there is that bond of surviving Haitian adoption. And I love that she recently had her kids learn to serve each other by making each other's beds and making breakfast for each other. Brilliant idea.

My thankful list for today is, I'm thankful for access to good medical care. I'm thankful for a dry house, good food to eat, vehicles that run and money for gas. I'm thankful for my church family.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

November thankfulness and awareness, cont.

When we started the adoption process we had no idea how we were going to pay for it but we weren't the least bit worried about it either. We applied for adoption grants, did fundraisers and I baked and sold a lot of cookies. I'd like to highlight a couple organizations who are helping families raise the money needed for adoption expenses. One is http://www.olivetreepromise.com/ It was started by some more adoption group friends who have a son from Ethiopia and are waiting on a daughter. And also http://www.showhope.org/ founded by the Chapmans. These are two great resources if you're considering adoption or would like to help those who are.

J informed us the other day that we kiss weird because he can't see the spark when we kiss. Too much tv?

A discussion last night during a game of phase 10 about the benefits of drinking baking soda water if your stomach is upset vs. the horrid taste turned into a discussion of what would happen if you swallowed peroxide. That discussion turned into comparing tongue sizes (don't ask-we don't know why). And some of the people in the discussion weren't even there with us. It was by text, which required pics of people sticking their tongues out. It was decided that A's tongue is the most versatile as she can touch her nose with it, curl and uncurl it and turn it over both ways without pulling it in. It was also decided that R, A and I have small/skinny tongues, J's is on the smaller side, and friend K, T and A's bf, P, have big/fat tongues. And we have no idea what JT's tongue is like. Got that all? And why is that important? We have no idea why. And A was questioning whether or not we are normal. Normal is just a setting on the dryer. And one of the people with a big tongue said they are better for tasting food. Whatever. There was a short discussion of dominant characteristics too, which stemmed from being able to curl your tongue or not. I know you just stuck your tongue out to see if you could curl it.

And now a thankful list. Let's see. I'm thankful again for family and friends and time spent together. It's a gift. I'm thankful for our jobs. I'm thankful for our home. I'm thankful for the little things in life that mean so much.

And, some random pics. K sent a pic to me of her holding this huge cat. It looks like she can barely hang on to him and snap the pic. The cat reminds me of Misty, only bigger. So I took one of Misty and I together and sent it to her. This is Misty and I. Misty is thinking, why are you doing this to me? and I'm thinking, look at us Misty, we are so cute (and snap the pic already you stupid phone). Or something like that.

And this is K and Hillis. Look at his face! Look at her face! Hillis is thinking, why are you doing this to me? and K is thinking, omg, I'm going to drop your furry lead butt (and snap the pic already you stupid phone). Or something like that.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

More November thanksgiving, awareness and reminiscing

Ok, today I'm going to start with a thankful list. I'm thankful for the bright sun that's out today. I'm thankful for memories, family and friends. I'm thankful for the colors of fall. I'm thankful for music and the way it moves my heart and soul.

My adoption awareness link for today is some friends that we met at an adoption support group. They have two precious "special needs" (which didn't turn out to be anything at all) boys from South Korea. They blog at http://www.someshadesofbrown.blogspot.com/ .

And now, the reminiscing. My parents have been in the process of changing all their old slides into CDs. My dad emailed this pic the other day with no explanation. When I opened it I thought it was A. But the bib wasn't right, the high chair wasn't right and the background wasn't right either. Turns out it was me with Lord knows what all over my face.

And it so reminded me of pics of A when she was that age. Sorry for the blurriness of these pics. Most of them are pics of pics.

We could have been twins.

I started going through old pics yesterday. I have them in an old washtub by the base of the steps and I was going to move them upstairs. I had such a great time going through them that I might just clean them up and leave them downstairs. I haven't decided yet.

I found T's baby book and a bunch of old pics of him. Love this one. He still has the same grin.

When I found this one I said, omg! What a couple of dweebs!!

This is from one of those photo booths. Same time frame as the above pic.

One of my fav baby pics of R. The cat's tail is over her head and it looks like an orange mohawk.

The girls when they were about 5 and 2.

 I have no idea why this is in here sideways (thank you, blogger) but this was Christmas of 96. T's parents with all the grandkids except J.

R jumping into T's hands at some kind of ball pit place. I love her complete trust that he's going to catch her. That's A down in the balls.

Our biggest snowmen ever in TN. T could barely reach the top.

About that same time the girls were an elf and an orc in "The Hobbit".

We've been having "theme parties" for several years now and this was the year of the luau. I had a "coconut top" on over my swimsuit but under that shirt and I would "flash" people right when my dad took a pic. There were lots of smiles in those pics!

T's was one of the biggest smiles.

This is JT on the day he was sworn into the army.

I came across this wonderful pic of Haitian ingenuity. Notice the cement wall broken down for easier access to the balcony from the spiral stairs.

I compared it to our spiral staircase and shuddered at the thought of climbing the Haitian one.

Where Diesel loves to play.

This is Bridget when she was a baby. I like the way this pic looks like a painting. It was foggy.

Omg! This is T and his twin when they took the furnace and water heater apart when they were 2. One of the things the repairman couldn't even put back together and they had to get a new one, but I don't know which one it was. T is on the left in the white Jetsons shirt. Look at their feet. They were barefoot. It was a coal furnace so they were black. Their hands, their faces, their clothes! Love this pic.

And this is T and his older brother acting like they are racing golf carts. T is on the left.

Oh, I found these pretty pics of R. She was 17 and this was one of her senior pics.

 These pics were on my phone. Diesel is still trying to catch the water that falls from the faucet. He doesn't seem to tire of this game.

And he often gets a drink too.

Our house with it's fall colors all around us.

J got into A's theatrical make-up (with permission) and painted himself up. A's making a funny face behind him.

Speaking of funny faces, this is J blowing on a harmonica.

And this is one of my fav pics ever. A fell asleep leaned against the couch. Her knees buckled but she didn't fall because the couch was in her way. She was 2-3 at the time. Too cute!!

And that's all the reminiscing for now because I have to go decide what to do with all these old pics.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Adoption awareness and some randomness

Randomness. Is that a word? It is today. So far today I have found a cap gun and a wrench in the pile of laundry I'm working on. Doesn't everyone have cap guns and wrenches in their laundry? Speaking of laundry, I followed my cousin's example (blogging cousin under "blogs I read") and made my own laundry soap. It smells good. Is very economical. Is natural. But it doesn't suds. At all. The clothes seem clean and I will keep using it but it's sort of weird that there are no suds. Maybe it's just a mind block for me and I might end up making more and mixing it with some gain. I don't know. I will keep you posted.

Yesterday in the car on the way to school J was putting lotion on. He squirted some on his finger and said it looked like mayonaise. I told him to taste it. He smiled and shook his head. Then he said, "I tasted glue once. It smelled like candy so I tasted it to see what it tasted like. It was nasty!" That boy cracks me up. I told him Nanny used to say the boys at school ate the paste. Do you remember paste? Or how about rubber cement? Now I'm showing my age.

R sent this pic of Skylar watching Animal Planet. Is this not the cutest thing ever? At least as far as grand critters go? She is seriously watching the tv.

I'm going to do my adoption links and then a whole bunch of pics. http://roomforatleastonemore.wordpress.com/ These are the people we bought Vanna Blue from. They have 2 bio boys, 3 adopted children and are in process for another one, all with special needs. And I have to mention this lady again because she is constantly advocating for adoption awareness http://www.nogreaterjoymom.com/

I hate that our adoption process took 4 years. I hate it for us and I hate it for him. J was in an O for 5 years. Sometimes I wonder what being home just 6 months earlier may have done for him. Maybe he could have gotten enough schooling that he would be in age appropriate grade. The progress he makes in 6 months is astounding. As it is, he will be 19 most of his senior year in school. Will he even want to be in school at that point? Only time will tell. What if he had gotten home 2 years earlier? Oh the things he'd be capable of now if he had. I have to choose not to dwell on those things and just be thankful that he's here. And to be thankful for the people we met because it took so long to get him here (other adoptive parents, Livesays, Clays, McHouls).

Now, the pics. In no particular order. Here is J making brownies at G'ma's house in Jan. of 09. Remember, I spent the month of Jan in Haiti with J at T's parents. I have built off that foundation so many times already and am thankful for it.

The Citadel. This was taken on one of my many journeys between Port and Cap during that month. Love this pic.

J jumping rope at the O in Jan or Feb 09. He was barefoot on concrete and jumped over 125 times in a row.

One of the "official" pics we got through the years.

J and I on the plane in Jan 09.

With the Grandpas.

Playing with Abby.

9th birthday.

First time meeting in person. Pay no attention to the date stamp. It was wrong. This was July of 06.

He was 8 years old, wearing a shark tooth necklace that I had made him and braiding R's hair. R was 15, about to turn 16 at the time. She only lived with us 5 months after J got home and then she was married and gone. I'm thankful for this time she had with him. She wore that braid for several months.

The 3 of us walking down the road. Look how tiny he was! And holding his britches up! Love this pic-thanks J.M. for taking it.

J and his two mommas, July 06.

Christmas of 06 or 07, I'm not even sure.

Showing his balancing prowess.

Calling home on a "skype Sunday". Used to love those.

 At the O, in 07 or 08. Probably 08.

10th birthday.

Omg! Second pic we ever received of him. He was so little! Geeky little kid in his pink shirt, which he loved because he was wearing it when he entered the O. Love this pic too! Thanks to Randy and Angie for taking it.

And now a thankful list. I'm thankful for the way adoption has touched our lives. I'm thankful for the people we've met along the way. I'm thankful for my furry critters and grandcritters and the joy they bring to our lives.