Thursday, April 30, 2009

A Mom's Week in Review

Thank goodness tomorrow is Friday! Here is just a small glimpse into the past 4 days of my life, in no particular order mind you...

  • 3 Speech Therapy sessions
  • Purchased turkey for first Friday, delivered to Mom's house
  • Tracked down renters to collect late rent
  • 3 kids haircuts
  • 1 ice cream trip to Bruster's with friends
  • 3 kids to gymnastics
  • Email to Travis' teacher checking on his bad behavior
  • Email to Caleb's teacher to clarify class project instructions
  • Scheduled Shelby's Cleft Clinic appointment
  • Cancelled one of Shelby's speech appointment so she can do above appointment
  • Scheduled Faith's ENT appointment
  • Paid multiple medical bills along with other household bills
  • Re-scheduled Faith's 6 month post placement home study appt
  • Dinner at Joe's Crab Shack with friends
  • Pulled together blog lists for first Friday
  • Called Rosa for cleaning on first Friday day
  • Put together demonstration for first Friday
  • Terminated 2 employees
  • Absorbed their positions into my schedule
  • Took big paycut along with everyone else at work
  • Was home alone 2 nights since CJ was working out of town this week
  • Weight Watchers and lunch with a friend
  • Counseled/prayed for a friend in marital crisis
  • Made calls to adoption friends waiting to travel to head off hysteria from CCAA post today
  • Church on Wednesday for dinner and puppet show with the kids
  • Grocery shopping twice since I buy hot stuff at lunch to leave in car- cold stuff night to take home quickly
  • Dishes 3 times
  • Bathed each child at least once (I think;)
  • I even got a shower a couple of times
  • Woke up approximately 3 times every night to comfort Faith back to sleep
  • Fed stupid guinea pigs 3 times
  • Fed my children multiple times
  • Signed multiple papers for school
  • Put more lunch money on boy's accounts online
  • Got up and reminded the tooth fairy at 2AM to not forget about Travis' tooth under his pillow
  • Worked approximately 7.5 hours everyday (not at home)
  • Blogged daily :)

I am sure I have forgotten a few things. These are just the ones I happen to have time to post about. I hope your life is as blessed and full as mine :) Never a dull moment that is for sure!

The Good and The Bad

Well of course let's start with the good....CJ HAS A JOB!! Yes, he was offered one of the positions that is available at the Norcross branch of Averitt. The commute will stink, but the job is good!! (See I told you to never underestimate the power of a praying woman ;)

Ok, the bad is that I received a 15% paycut the same day we originally found out about CJ's office closing. Oh well, times are tough, but I still have a job and a paycheck and a good job at that :)

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


Quick updates for everyone:

  • Faith is feeling better, no more breathing treatments for now
  • Shelby has a new cough
  • CJ won't know anything about if he will be offered a job at another office until early next week
  • Caleb's end of the year project has to be on a country. Guess which one he picked?!
  • Travis got all smiley stickers yesterday for his behavior-yeah! Seems he is already have "girl trouble" and he is only in Kindergarten...sigh....
  • I am looking forward to hosting our first Friday meeting this week!

Monday, April 27, 2009

What A Ride

13 years ago today I was walking down the aisle with my sweetie! Yes, today is our anniversary of 13 years of marriage. I can't imagine my life without having CJ in it. He makes me happy and even puts up with me on a daily basis! As they say he completes me! (I know pretty cheesy, but true ;)

I tried to find some old pics on my computer from loonnggg ago when we first got married. But this one from 2001 was the oldest one I could find. I really thought the ones on top were a better way to describe our marriage...Just Hang on for the Ride of Your Life! What a wild ride it has been and I wouldn't trade it for the world. Happy Anniversary Sweetie!!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Shelby's Song

I don't know about all of you, but certain songs remind me of certain times in my life. Since this blog is for my kids, I wanted to post this to remind me and them of their "special song" that I had the whole time I waited for them in China. Shelby's was East to West, appropriate for sure. Everytime I heard this song during my wait, I was moved to tears. I just always felt that God placed this song in my life at that time to just get me "through the wait." It is still special to me and brings a smile to face every time I hear it. This was Shelby's song:

Friday, April 24, 2009

Cool Movie Tomorrow

This is where I get to go tomorrow morning. Let me know if you will be there too!
Event: Long Wait for Home with Dr. Changfu Chang
Date: Saturday, April 25, 2009 from 9:30 AM - 12:30 PM
Location: University of Georgia-Gwinnett
2530 Sever Road, Lawrenceville, GA 30043
The FILM…International adoption has increasingly become a national phenomenon in the United States. Despite a surge in media coverage of adoptions from China, there are many unanswered questions: Who are the birth parents and under what circumstances do they decide to give away their babies? How do children end up in orphanages and what kinds of lives do they live there? Moreover, with so many “foreigners” going to China to pick up these Chinese babies, what do the average Chinese people feel and think about Americans and international adoption? To answer these questions, Dr. Changfu Chang presents this widely acclaimed documentary, a work of five dedicated years, Long Wait For Home. For the first time, we sit face to face with birth parents who share with us the hard decisions they have made and the emotional toll they have suffered; we go to orphanages and take an intimate look at the living conditions of children usually inaccessible to film crews; we converse with ordinary Chinese citizens and scholars on the subject of international adoption.

For more information click here: Long Wait for Home with Dr. Changfu Chang

Got Gold?

I finally got a chance to attend one of these "Gold Parties" you hear everyone talking about. My sister co-hosted one the other night and it was fabulous. It is kind of like a Tupperware party in reverse. You don't spend money at this party, you GET money!

The deal is that you dig through your own jewelry boxes and find all of that broken and old gold jewelry that you have been collecting throughout the years. You know all that Herringbone stuff we all bought in the 80's. You put it in a ziplock bag and you bring it to the party to sell.

Now here is the crazy thing, they pay you a ridiculous amount of money for your old broken jewelry. I made $240 from my small amount, and CJ made $140 from his-that's $380 folks!! $380 for stuff that was just sitting around in the bottom of a box isn't too shabby if you ask me.

What makes this even better is that you get to do this at a party mingling with friends. Each person takes their own little "private time" with the jeweler that is offering you the cash for your jewelry. You don't have to sell your stuff if you don't want to or don't like the offer. No big deal, but it is certainly interesting to see how much money you can get for selling back your old gold.

Oh and to top it off, at the end of the party the jeweler will make a nice size additional contribution to the charity of your choice-sweet! So yes, I will be hosting my own party soon. Stay tuned for your invitation :)

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Didn't Kick the Habit

Unfortunately, Faith is back to smoking again-ugh :(

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Big 70

That's right, my daddy is 70 years old today! Happy Birthday to the best dad ever :) My dad has taught me a LOT throughout my lifetime. Everything from how to change my oil, change a tire, change a light bulb, to how to work hard at everything I do, not to be lazy, and definitely how to be frugal! Some of my dad's most frequent lessons are really helping right now in our current situation:

You can never borrow your way out of debt! and of course... If you watch your pennies, your dollars will take care of themselves ;)
Now of course my dad certainly isn't the easiest going, soft spoken, keep your mouth shut kind of guy. And on several occasions, I have been "accused" of being just like my father. Well thank you very much, I will have to personally take that as a compliment ;)

Happy birthday Daddy! I love you with all my being!!

She Eats

Faith has finally started to eat more variety in her diet-yeah! This is a big deal for us since she had really only been bottle fed the first 16 months of her life. She just started eating fruit this week and she likes bananas and grapes. She is so stinkin cute!
Thanks for all the well wishes and prayers yesterday for CJ's job. Losing your job is never easy, and I think it is probably harder for men than women (being the bread winner and all that protector man stuff). I have no doubts that CJ will find another job in good time. Fortunately for us, we don't live beyond our means and I work outside the home. We will be just fine as long as we keep remembering who is ultimately in control!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

New Chapter

Unfortunately CJ received the bad news this morning that his office (the Kennesaw terminal) is closing its doors on May 15. Alot of people will be out of a job and CJ is possibly one of them :(
His company will have a few jobs available at other terminals; however, we have no idea if CJ will be lucky enough to be offered one of them. Even though it will mean an hour and a half commute one way to Chattanooga or South Atlanta, it will still be a job.
Please pray with me today that CJ will find the right job that God has planned for him and our family :)

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Babies Can't Wait

Faith had her second eval with Babies Can't Wait on Friday. There was an occupational, speech, and physical therapist who came to the house yesterday to check her out. The final conclusion is that Faith is making great strides since she has come home. Considering her background and the fact that she has only had 4 months of love and attention in her whole life, she is doing great!
They feel just like I do that Faith will "catch up" to her peers completely within another 6-12 months. She just needs more time to get caught up and maybe a little extra help.

They concluded that even though Faith is now 21 months old, she is only developmentally about a 13 month old. None of this is a big shock to me as it was completely expected thanks to all of my adoption research before the adoption. Faith came into our lives ALOT more smoothly than I could have ever of hoped for and she fits perfectly in our family. It is like she has always been a Straight!

Fortunately for us we were able to be united with her at a young age. We have been able to share alot of "firsts" with her and that has been a great experience. I have no doubts that she will continue to excel and grow and will soon be caught up to her peers her age. I am really actually enjoying all this baby time with her. She is such a happy girl and a joy to be around :) Here are some comparison pics of just how much she has changed in only 4 short months.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Organized Sports

Ok everyone knows that I am not a big organized sports fan for sure. I am not fond of repeating practices, shelling out money all the time, buying more equipment, suffering in non temperature-controlled environments, etc etc....SO I have finally found something for the kids and ME that I can live with...gymnastics!

Caleb started taking a boy's class back before we went to China this last trip, but we just started back last week. But this time around Travis and Shelby signed up as well at Chattooga. Travis and Caleb participate in a boy's class while Shelby is doing a half ballet/half gymnastics class. The best part is that they all do this at the SAME TIME :) Only one hour of my week is dedicated to getting 3 of my children their organized sport fix-YEAH! Yes, I still have to attend the occassional Saturday meet, but that is only once in a while and not every Saturday. So all the kids get really excited now when Thursdays roll around. As they say when mom is happy, everyone else is happy too! or something like that ;)

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Triad Meeting

Last night was great! I attended my first Triad meeting and my friend Chris was able to go with me. She has adopted 3 kids through the foster care system. One might ask what this meeting is. Here is the definition on their website:

Adoption Triad: A term used to describe the three-sided relationship that exists
in an adoption between birth parents, adoptive parents and the adoptee,
each of which is interrelated and inter-dependent on the others.-

So as you can see there were people from all sides of the adoption world at the meeting. There were birth moms and even a birth dad, adoptees, and a few of us adoptive moms in attendance. It was a great meeting and I hope to be able to attend every first Tuesday of the month. I expect to learn alot from the various walks of life that attend.

I think it is great that everyone there is able to relate to others in their same situation. Fortunately for them, they are all able to at least "search" for their birth parents here in the US in one form or another. They may not all like what they find, but they are able to search.

Unfortunately my girls will not have that ability to search for their birth parents. I hope to learn more and more to be able to help them understand how to live their life to the fullest without them being able to "complete the triangle" by finding their birth parents. I also can't wait for my mom to join us at the meeting so she can start to heal some of the pain she has held onto her whole life surrounding the birth of my brother so many years ago. Thanks goes to Denise for reaching out to me and letting me know about this wonderful group!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

New Group Tonight

I am looking forward to finally being able to attend a Triad meeting with Denise tonight. This is an adult meeting that includes birth moms and adult adoptees. I am looking forward to meeting new friends and learning more and more about how to be a better birth-sister and a better mom to my girls (and boys)!

Knowledge is power, and everyone knows how much I like to have the power ;)

Monday, April 13, 2009

Great Weekend Recap

  • Faith's first Easter
  • Lunch at Fuji Hana with Julio-Faith's first time!
  • Easter egg hunts are fun
  • Colored Easter eggs of course
  • Granny got a new baby goat
  • Found our turtle we "released" 2 years ago
  • Kidnapped some crawdads (sp?) from the creek
  • Tortured the kids with family photos
  • Loved seeing my beautiful children all together

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Friday, April 10, 2009

Watch on Sunday 4-12-09

Are you in the mood for a tear-jerker? Grab a box of kleenexes and tune in to Extreme Makeover: Home Edition Sunday night at 8:00 pm EST. Ty and the gang will travel to Tallahassee, Florida to fulfill the dying wish of a father by providing a happy and safe home for his wife and 6 special needs children adopted from China. This episode will run for 2 hours. Here is a quick post about the family when they were chosen.

Mom's Surgery

My mom had to have dental surgery today to remove all of her teeth. YUCK, I know! I took her this morning and she is home now recovering but in pain of course. So just here hanging out with her today and I have the official house appraisal this afternoon. Keep her in your prayers today for a speedy recovery with minimum pain. Hope you all have a terrific Good Friday remembering what this Easter Sunday is all about. Hint: It isn't about the eggs ;)

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Break on a Budget

Well since the kids are out of school this week and mom was almost out of personal days (you know those China trips and hospital stays can wreak havoc on sick time), I could only manage to get one day off to spend with the kids this week. So we made the best of it yesterday.

We started the morning off with a healthy breakfast at Dunkin Donuts, then made a quick trip to Walmart for cheap pool toys and a baby seat. Then we were off to the far away vacation destination spot...Marietta! We checked in to the local Days Inn that had excellent (but cheap of course) accomodations including a heated-indoor swimming pool-YEAH!! The kids swam and swam, we did McDs for lunch, back in the pool, Cumberland Mall for dinner, back in the pool until 10PM...whew. Up by 8am and down for the free all you can eat waffles and donuts and of course cereal. What more could 4 kids ask for?!?!
All that and I was back at work this morning by 9am :) My friend Chris and her crew (4 kids) joined us for the whole event so we had a grand ole time. Lori even made a pool drop in visit too. Big fun and I hope a great memory was made for everyone even though we didn't get to spend a whole week at the beach ;)

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


Anyone care to take a guess at what I found this morning?!?!?

Updated: THis is an actual GRAY hair from MY head-OMG!!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Recap from Friday Night

We had yet another wonderful first Friday group gathering on Friday. Lots of people showed up but unfortunately my camera was not up to speed so I only took a few pics. We had people who just came home from China, people who have already been home for a while, and families who are still waiting for their new additions to come home. It was a great mix of folks and a good time. Until you have experienced adoption, you have no idea what a meeting like this does for your spirit. I still leave each meeting with an extra skip in my step and a bright smile on my face :)
One of the best parts of our Adoption Option meeting is the chance to do some official baby squeezing and swapping. Hope you join us soon to get your hands on one of these adorable babies!

PS- this is how the girls looked as I was backing out of the driveway leaving the meeting. Think they had a good time?!

Cleft Repair Mission Trip

Love Without Boundaries is at it again helping those babies in need. Click here to read about their first day in China on their latest trip. A bunch of doctors and volunteers are there to do life changing cleft repair surgeries on orphans who would never be able to pay for the surgery themselves.
Even though I will not be returning to China to adopt again, I would so LOVE to be a part of one of these mission trips one day!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Chinese Holiday Today

Qingming, Tomb Sweeping Day for the Chinese traditionally falls on the fifth day of April, but this year is the fourth of April due to Chinese leap year. While celebrated culturally by Chinese for centuries, Qingming returned as a nationally mandated holiday in China last year (2008) for the first time since 1949.
Qingming marks the time Chinese are supposed to honor and remember their ancestors at their grave sites. The Qingming Festival itself was created by Tang Emperor Xuanzong in 732. Emperor Xuanzong declared that respects could be formally paid at ancestor’s graves only on Qingming to reduce the amount of money spent throughout the year by the wealthy to honor the deceased.
During Qingming many Chinese follow a custom of burning paper money (joss paper) and other necessary items made of paper for the deceased to have in the afterlife. Traditionally this could have been paper cars, houses, and clothes. More recently this has been expanded to include luxury items such as the paper treadmill depicted here, as well as elaborate paper evening gowns and other new hits like paper dentures.
So if you’ve lost someone think about honoring a Chinese tradition. Spend some time today, at the graveside if you can, but if not, at least find some time to have a moment during your day to honor your loved one.

Friday, April 3, 2009

First Friday Again

Can you believe it is already time for our first Friday of the month Adoption Option gathering?! Man time flies when you are having fun. Looking forward to seeing everyone tonight.
Here are some memory lane pics of when Shelby first met some of her First Friday friends! Everyone in our group had prayed Shelby home safe and sound. What a wonderful gift it is to have such an awesome support group of friends. If you are anywhere near the Atlanta area, please join us.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Two Newest Additions

Well no not kids this time ;) I would like to introduce you to the 2 newest additions into the family: Thrasher and Poofy. 2 baby guinea pigs now reside in my home. I know you never thought you would see the day that I allow an actual animal with hair in my house, but the things you do for your kids!

The boys saved and saved their money for about a month or so now and finally had enough money to go buy the "stuff" for the guinea pigs, like a cage, food, etc. Now I knew that their $50 wasn't really going to get them very far in a pet store, so I figured I had at least another month or so to be petless. But noooooo, their good friend Mrs. Kim came to the rescue and gave the boys a cage to borrow for FREE. So now the boys did have enough money and they bought all the other stuff and now they had a cage. So now all they needed was to save for the pigs.
But nooooo, my thrifty son (wonder where he got that from) decided that he might be able to find a FREE guinea pig on craigslist! Well sure enough on Sunday we found TWO free guinea pigs posted and they were right around the corner from our house. So as you can see we are now a family of 8 ;)

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

The Big Reveal

Kim wins the prize! I just like teasing you people. We wouldn't be able to qualify to adopt again right now (even if we wanted to) considering that we are completely out of space!

We live in a small 3 bedroom house that is obviously quite packed at the moment. Knowing that as the kids grow, so does there stuff ;) So we have decided to add a master bedroom and bath to the other end of the house for just us! We will then turn our bedroom into a playroom or media room for all the kids. They will still have to share their sleeping quarters, but at least there will be a place for all their "stuff" in one big room.
Oh and just in case we get the adoption bug again we will at least now have a spare bedroom ;) My mom and dad will love this comment!