Tuesday, December 25, 2012

More phone pics!!

I don't know what the heck's with blogger. First it will let me post as many pics as I want, then all of sudden it says I have reached my limit, then it lets me post pics again. ??? Whatever, I will enjoy posting pics while I can.
I know you missed seeing Diesel. 'Cause he is so darn cute. I love how cats can curl up somewhere, anywhere, cover their eyes and take a nap! Oh, if I could do that!

And talk about cuteness!! Is she not the cutest thing ever? And if you know her "in person" you know how funny she really is. And how she has so much to say to everyone she meets. She is the greatest cat, but only when she's not trying to attack Diesel for no reason.

Both cats have enjoyed the tree this year and have not turned it over so far. They like getting drinks from the tree too. And sleeping under it.

Gettin' our merry on. I found these Christmas bells where I work. I got a great deal on them considering they are selling on ebay for $40-100. They all work and they play 25 dif songs. The tone is awesome.

Nutter Butter snowmen. These were a big hit.

The "big reveal" for my dad's scout. My brother borrowed it and ended up turning it over and wrecking it quite a bit. He decided to rebuild it into a rock crawler without my dad's knowledge.

Dad said, "That's my scout?! I recognize the tires." He loves it.

Not a sunset, but still a cool sky pic. I love where we live.

With Oreo getting older and having the mass on her neck we decided to try letting the dogs in on really cold nights. They weren't real impressed with the warm house but they did great! Misty is looking at them like, what the heck are you doing in my house!?

Misty loves Christmas and playing in the wrapping paper. This is the "remains of the day".

Well, that's all the pics for now. I don't want to push it since blogger let me post some again.

J did great in his play, as did the rest of them. He's loving his new faux leather jacket he got for Christmas.

A did pass her math class and is thrilled about that. She starts job number 2 tomorrow as job number 1 has slowed down quite a bit for now.

P started his new job and got a pay raise the first day. I guess he's smarter than they thought he was. Yay for him!

R and JT will be coming to visit for a few days in Jan. Can't wait to see them!

Again, Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!!

We have been having fun so far this Christmas. R and JT stayed in CO so they could have a Christmas and anniversary alone together. They've always come here and kind of get lost in the shuffle of everyone's expectations so they are enjoying a white Christmas in CO.

We went to some friends last night, as we've done every Christmas eve for several years now. 14 or 15 years. We had a lot of fun.

This morning we opened some gifts, just the four of us, and then my parents came over for brunch. We are all way too full of really good food.

Now A and P are at his mom's house, T is napping and J is watching a Christmas movie. He's enjoyed quite a few so far this season.

Merry Christmas, happy birthday, Jesus, Feliz Navidad and Joyeux Noel!! However you like to say it we are celebrating God's gift to us today!

Heavens to Mergatroid! Phone pics!

I can't believe blogger let me load some pics. I will have to try again later. After I get some more on the computer and off the phone. Anyway...
First family pic with the new "smart phone". Yes, we are a bunch of dweebs.

J stole my phone at Thanksgiving and took a bunch of pics, which included several self portraits. Here he is with Bampa.

And me.

And we played Quelf. My brother had to pick someone to put makeup on him and he picked P. This is what P did with lipstick and concealer.

My dad got a new saddle for his 50th anniversary. He traded in the heavy one he got for their 25th. This one only weighs 17 pounds.

This years New Years Eve fodder, I mean Christmas tree.

This is fun. I hope blogger lets me load some more pics.

Saturday, December 15, 2012


This has been a weird week. Different work schedule and getting used to those changes. Sadness over the shootings in Connecticut. Such a tragedy. So busy. Parties. Play practices. Work. School.

A is done with this semester. We think she passed math. She probably didn't get a good grade but if she passed it, she will move on.

P graduated from auto/diesel college and starts a new job on Tuesday. We're proud of him.

J's opening night is tonight. He missed a couple lines in the dress rehearsal last night but otherwise did really well. Y'all, this is a kid who didn't really speak the language 3 1/2 years ago. He's doing well!

R and JT are getting used to life together again. They are well.

I finally finished the theology class. Woot! I'm working on my next class already and when I get a chance to work on it, I'm flying through it. I'm just about finished with Christmas shopping. It's always nice to get that done.

I took Oreo to the vet this week and found out she has a mass in her neck. It's probably cancer, probably what caused her drooping eye and drooping ear, and what's been causing her to gag occasionally like she needs to clear her throat. We are not doing anything invasive, just trying a round of antibiotics to determine if it's an abcess. Otherwise, we will keep her happy until she has difficulty breathing or stops eating/drinking. She's 11.

T is working on the scout again today. Tonight is play number one for J and tomorrow morning is number 2. Then we go out to eat to celebrate P's graduation/birthday/J's play, have "the reveal" for dad's scout in the afternoon and celebrate dad's birthday in the evening. See? Busy!

I'm still deciding about the pic thing. There will be a huge post of pics if I ever decide what to do!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012


....I was going to post some pics but google informed me that I'm out of free storage. Hmm. May be time to end this blog and start a new one. 'Cause having to buy pic storage stinks. What's the use of a free blog without pics?

We've been very busy. Had trouble finding time to cut a tree down, haul it in and decorate it but we did finally manage to do that and I was going to share a pic but blogger poo-pooed that. Stupid blogger. Any ideas? Besides the paid storage?

I was going to show you pics from my new smart phone. Yes, I finally got one. Much to my children's delight. The old one was easier to use but there are some features that I like on the smart phone. Like GPS. And a camera that zooms in.

I'm still stuck in the theology class. I hope to finish it this week. I'll be so glad when it's done. It's driving me bonkers.

I've pretty much decided to wait on any kind of surgery on my wrist, even if the deductible goes up next year. And even though this year's is paid. I don't think that's a good reason to do surgery when we're not real sure of the outcome. I've had some improvement with the kenelog shot and chiropractic adjustments but not as much as I'd hoped.

I got bifocal contacts the other day. I didn't even know they had such things. They've only been out for a year or two. They correct far vision in the center and close vision on the edges with the hope that when you look down to read something your lid pushes the contact up so you're looking through the edge. I'm not sure how I feel about them yet. I can see fine far away but up close still takes some getting used to. It's like you have to find the "sweet spot" again every time you blink. Better than glasses though.

T has been working on a Scout overhaul for my dad. My brother does a tv show, 4x4 Nation, and they used my dad's old scout in a silly segment and it rolled over smashing the windshield and other things. They decided to fix it up and T and P have been working on it with several others. The big reveal is in a couple of weeks but it has consumed much of T's time. He's enjoying it though.

J is still practicing for his Christmas play at church. He's doing well with it. He's doing ok in school too.

A is looking for a second job to supplement her other one. She's doing finals right now and then has about a month off. We're still praying that she passes her math class. P is graduating from Nashville Auto Diesel College next week and he's job hunting too.

R and JT are doing fine. R has a 4.0 and is on the President's list at college. JT is getting adjusted back to life in the states.

Well, I have a very messy house, laundry and schoolwork to take care of. Will be working on the pic situation. If I figure anything out I will let you know. If you have any ideas, please share.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

November, adoption awareness month

November is adoption awareness month and adoption is something that we care deeply about. A couple months ago I wrote an email to the family who is adopting J's bio cousin along with 2 other older boys. Pray for them! What an undertaking. We spent 4 years "in process" with J and he's only been home for 3 years. It grieves my heart when I think about that and how different things might have been if he'd gotten home sooner but I have to choose not to dwell on that. For whatever reason(s), it took four years and he came home when he did. And if we choose to let Him, God will work it for good. I really believe that.

Anyway, I was thinking about all the things I wrote in this email and how much J has changed and how much all of our family has changed since J came home. There is still this undercurrent of sibling rivalry for lack of a better term between J and A. I have some theories about that but am choosing not to share publicly at this point. R got married about 4 months after J came home so they never spent much time together, although R was with me in Haiti the first time we met J. They may share a bond from that. I don't know. T and I have struggled at times in our relationship and in agreeing on how to parent this child, who is absolutely nothing like parenting bio daughters. Hey, I'm just keeping it honest and T and I are in a pretty good place right now. It can really pull at a marriage though.

The one who has changed the most is J. I was telling this mom who is in the process for 3 older boys (I think 2 are teens and one is pre-teen) all the things to be aware of and it made me see how much J has changed. I shared the funny stuff like automatic doors, flushing toilets, faucets, lost in translation, escalators and elevators, to the mundane like having to tell him ahead of time not to push any buttons, switch and switches or turn anything on or off before we walked into a room. If we had a penny for each time we told him to chew with his mouth shut we'd be rich!

And I shared how J would rage and cry and tantrum and you just knew that it was so much deeper than anything that was going on in the here and now. How I would hold him, pray over him, speak scripture over him while he raged. How I would dread getting calls from school (who have done a phenomenal job with him!) to find out what he'd done this time. And how J would trust us on a new level after one of those episodes and shed a little light on something from his past.

I shared with her how their maturity level is so far below their chronological age and how they have no concept of personal space and how J had a strong entitlement issue. He seemed to think, here I am, you waited four years for me, now I'm in America where everything is free so give me what I want while I kick back and watch tv. It still seems like ownership is way more important to J than doing something with what he owns. In other words, he likes owning toys, electronics, clothes, etc. but the owning of those things is more important to him than playing with the toys or wearing all the clothes. He never learned to play as a young child and though he occasionally played with toys it grieves me that he doesn't know how to truly play. Not at all the way our girls did. They played imaginatively over and over with their toys. They had favs that they carried with them. The same toys could be a totally new scenario the next day. Not so with J. Once in a while he would play with a toy and then never touch it again. I asked him about that a time or two and he would say, "I already played with that." So sad.

I talked to her about intense fears and how a lot of the negative behavior stems from irrational fear. I told her about his lying and what we did to get past it.

And now J is 15, doing ok in 8th grade with some ESL modifications, is a nice guy and pretty well-liked by everyone who meets him. He's going to be in a Christmas play at church. It's about a 30-40 minute play and it's just him and 3 others so he has a pretty big part. He is getting tired of the practices but doing really well with his part. I can't wait to see it.

I think adoption has a lot of hurts, lost expectations, and strain but it is also very rewarding. It's been so much fun to see the world through J's eyes these last three years. Everything is new and fresh. He's blossoming and doing well. I have no idea what the future will hold for him but for right now it's wide open. And after all, we are all adopted into God's family when we make a decision to follow Him.

And now, a thankful list. I'm thankful for God, family and friends. I'm thankful for generally good health, as my mom likes to say, we're in pretty good shape for the shape we're in. I'm thankful for modern conveniences and the multitude of ways to stay in touch with those you love. And chocolate. And the seat warmers in my van!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

He's baaaaaack!!!

JT made it home yesterday after several months in Afghanistan. Thanks for all the prayers for safety and healing for him and for R as she held down the fort at home. So much has changed for them. R is back in school, she moved her horse, Bridget, out by her, she can drive a standard now ;-) , JT is a sergeant and yet their love is the same and God is still God. JT, we are so proud of you!! And of you, R, for keeping it together while your hubby was deployed! Continued prayers, please, as they readjust to life together, that God would heal JT of any emotional scars he carries and that they would prosper together. Thanks! Welcome home!!

Saturday, November 10, 2012


What a week it's been. Both of the kids have nasty colds. T is getting over a nasty stomach bug. I alone have remained unscathed. So far anyway. I figured I might as well lay in the bed and wait for something to hit. But so far, so good.

J is over 5'7" now. I thought he looked taller again. I have to keep buying longer jeans. He doesn't get any bigger around though.

Time seems to be absolutely flying by right now. I have a hard time keeping up.

I'm taking a theology class right now. It's kicking my butt. Too many big words and long sentences.

I have a doc appointment this next week to determine for sure about doing surgery on the wrist again. Sigh...

That's about it for now. Lots of stuff going on but not that much to share. Just a lot of busyness.

Maybe I should do a thankful list. Let's see. I'm thankful for access to medical care. I'm thankful for lysol. I'm thankful for the beautiful sun that's shining here today and the promise of warmth that it brings. I'm thankful for the chance to go to school. I'm thankful for God, family and friends. And seat warmers in my van. And I'd be thankful if I had some chocolate. I don't have any right now but I'd be thankful for it if I did.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Did you find it?

Did you find the change? I know a couple of people did. JT made sergeant! He went from specialist to sergeant in the "who's who?" list. We are so proud of him!! He passed the board a while back but had to wait for his official cermony to where his stripes, or his "3 mosquito wings". Now, we just have to get him home safe and sound. Keep praying!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Something's changed...

...can you find it? Something on the blog has changed. Over there on the sidebar. Can you see it? Let me know if you noticed what changed. The answer in a few....

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Too funny!

I mentioned earlier that J said fewer and fewer "lost in translation" things as he masters using the English language. But the last couple of weeks he has had quite a few funnies. Maybe his vocabulary is expanding? I don't know but last night he was telling me all about this new school fund-raiser he's supposed to be involved in. I hate school fund-raisers. And I don't have any extra money at the moment but he was trying to get me to buy a candle. He said, "Look at dese candles. Smell dem. Dey have scratch and sniff, here, smell dis one. You want to buy it? You can write a check." I declined and he mused whether or not to ask nanny or aunt S... He kind of gave it up for a while and then out of the blue he said, "I need to take dose roman candles to church." I asked him what the heck he was talking about and he said, "You know. Dose tings I am selling." I said, "Honey, those are Yankee Candles, not roman candles. Roman candles are fireworks." He said, "Whatever." Bahahaha!! Yankee candles/roman candles. So close!

Sunday evening, for some unknow reason, we were talking about thong underwear and A quipped, "There oughta be a weight limit on those things." I thought that was funny and texted R and she texted back that her friend said, "that would be worse bc then they wear spandex type pants and the cover the butt type underwear cuts the butt in half, creating four butt cheeks instead of two." Only she hit the wrong letter on one very important word and it said, "creating four nutt cheeks instead of two." Nutt cheeks. Bahahaha!!! We had fun with that one! A said, "If that creates four nutt cheeks you have bigger problems than spandex and thongs!" J said, "Dat makes me uncomfortable to tink about." Life is funny!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Times are a changing

Wow, it was like upper 70's and low 80's and sunny all week and then Sat was c-c-c-cold and dreary. And there was some wind. And all the leaves fell off the trees. And I'm thinking about the flannel sheets. And we've had two fires in the fireplace in two days. And....J untwisted his hair! He has very. big. hair. And all the girls at school like to touch it. And that's the way he likes it.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

A couple of J-isms

As J gets better and better at using the English language the "lost in translation" stuff he says gets less and less. There are still those times though...

You know that slightly sarcastic way we have of saying "obviously" when someone says something which is very obvious? J was going for that one day only he said "eventually" instead. In that sarcastic way. It was too funny. We now use eventually in place of obviously. Captain Obvious has become Captain Eventually at our house.

Last night J decided to untwist all his hair. He now has really. big. hair. It's fine with me as long as he keeps it picked out. On the way to school he said, "Dude, if I fell on my head I don't even tink I would feel it!" Ha! I suggested not trying out that theory though. Funny kid.

He's going to be in a Christmas play at church. He was very monotone and struggling over the words at first but he's really getting it now. It's sounding good. I will keep you posted.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Trip pics!

Oh, it's a gorgeous day here in TN! The sun is out and the temps are just right. We had an awesome trip and saw and experienced lots of really neat things but it sure is good to be home again. I mean, look at this sky from a couple weeks ago. How awesome is that?

Or this?

I put more food in the tin before I left. Diesel has discovered the joy of eating right out of the tin.

We started out near Mobile, AL close to T's sister's place. This is nephew's redneck boombox.

We went to Lambert's Cafe, home of the throwed rolls. Obviously, there's a lot to see there.

He caught a roll! They startled us with pretending to squirt mustard on us and pretending to spill a pitcher of tea on us. It was a big party atmosphere here and we all enjoyed it.

Nephew and his fiance.

From Mobile, we headed towards Louisiana and went on a swamp tour.

Click on this pic to blow it up. There's a big gator sunning himself.

Some damage from Isaac.

The swamp. We learned that a swamp is a flooded forest and a bayou is a waterway.

This was at the state park we stayed at. You can see the boardwalk in the back of the pic. They have over a mile of boardwalk which shows all the different eco systems in LA.

Tickfaw state park.

Turns out those little stumps are "breathers" for the cypress trees.

Me and my young guy.

Me and my older guy.

We were fascinated by the swamps.

This is the fishing pond at the campground/state park. There was a small gator in it.

The pyromaniacs.

We made it to the French Quarter in New Orleans. It sure reminded us of Haiti.

Only cleaner.

Two redneck goobers with their hands in the fountain.

Jackson Square.

They wanted their teacher to know they saw the Mississippi river.

Street performers.

The boys got picked to be part of the performance.

One of the guys jumped over the whole group. And since I have a dumb phone and not a smart phone, I missed the pic.

We played a lot of cards and T and I shuffled a LOT of cards because these two couldn't shuffle to save their souls.

Our last view of the Louisiana swamp.