"Anyone can have one kid. But going from one kid to two is like going from owning a dog to running a zoo." - P. J. O'Rourke

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Two Years

Today marks are two year anniversary since we brought Marcus & Zoe home. In some ways it has gone by so fast and in some ways it seems like it has been much longer than two years. They have adjusted so well and have become such a loved part of our family. We are so thankful that God brought them to us!

You might think that after two years that the "bonding" process would be complete, but we are learning that it takes a long time for a four year old to truly attach and trust a new family. As strange as it may seem, a year ago I would have placed us further along the bonding continuum than I would put us now. Not that we have moved backward in the process, I have just become more aware of Marcus's insecurities and fears. The past two years have taught us all a lot :-) This road toward wholeness for him and healthiness for our family is a long road with lots of twists and turns. We see progress, but more frequently we see more that needs to occur. I have no doubt in my mind that when it's all said and done, Marcus will grow up to be a healthy, trusting individual.

I am certainly not despairing. God has been very good to us and He is more than capable of meeting all our needs in this area and every other.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Musical Bunnies

Not only are they adorable, they are talented as well. Well, at least Starburst is. Reeses just wanted to walk on the keys.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

We're Tired Of It

Winter, that is. Everyone I talk to these days is ready for this cold, white season to be over. It was beautiful and fun in November/December, it was tolerable in January. February has been bearable, but enough already! Okay, instead of complaining about the several feet of snow covering every inch of my yard and the plummeting temperatures, I decided to compile a list of 10 reasons why it's a good thing that spring is no where in sight (this is going to be tough, but I think it is necessary for our collective mental health)

10 Reasons Why It's Great That Winter Will Be Here For Another Two Months Or So

1. No mosquitoes
2. I don't have to weed my garden every week.
3. I don't have to worry about getting skin cancer from over exposure to the sun.
4. The extra milk I drink to avoid vitamin D deficiency (due to lack of exposure to the sun) has the added benefit of fighting off osteoporosis.

hmm, this is getting tough...

5. The grass doesn't need to be cut.
6. If I go to bed at 8:00, it's already dark.
7. My clothes are softer drying in the dryer than on the clothes line.
8. I don't wish I was outside enjoying the beautiful day while I am teaching school.
9. I don't have to shave my legs - ever.

Okay, I give up, I just can't do it. Nine is all I could come up with, but if we all meditate on these nine pleasant thoughts I think we can pull through this winter without going crazy (or crazier depending on you're current state of mental health).

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Molly's Happy Place


This is pretty much Molly's favorite place on the planet :-)

So, How Cold Was The Water?





Just A Taste

I can't possibly post the 399 pictures I took on our vacation, so I will have to post just a tiny taste here. For my Facebook friends, I posted an album on my Facebook page. My blog buddies will have to settle for the few select pictures I post here :-(

First, the trip down...

snow in Mississippi :-( Actually, it snowed through all of Iowa, some of Missouri and then the southern part of Mississippi and Alabama within about two hours of our destination :-(But, we finally arrived and there was no snow on the beach, thank goodness!We went to a pre-Mardi Gras parade in Foley, Alabama...
And then the kids went for a swim...much to the amazement of the other snow-birds on the beach. I think we became known as "those crazy people who let their kids swim when it's only 53 degrees out." Check out the coats, etc. that the "observers" are wearing!

I don't think she actually ate it, I think she just stared at it...
More time on the beach...
Uncle Peter begins digging his trademark hole in the sand (great for getting out of the wind).
Raelea, following Uncle Peter's example -
The finished hole -
Then came Girls' Spa Night -
Followed by Fat Tuesday. My first real Mardi Gras parade. My response, "Wow, that was excessive!"


On Wednesday we went to the Wentworth History Museum in Pensacola. It IS my kids favorite place to go when we are down there (aside from the beach of course).

(you have to love the rat on the table!)
Back to the beach....sometimes you have to go swimming in your clothes...

Geocaching was fun (kind-of, actually we only found two out of five caches and it was REALLY muddy and swampy) and we went to the candy store afterwards. Uncle Peter - still digging. He pretty much spent the whole vacation with a shovel in his hands. Next year we'll get you a power shovel, Peter.

Walking the beach was a favorite pastime.
Me, being artsy...
Visited the pier in Gulf Shores. The kids saw someone catch a shark. It was thrown back in before I got there :-(

And a bit of mini-golf was on the agenda our last day there.
THere you have it. Gulf Shores 2010 in a nutshell.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Home, Sweet Home

PMS + 23 hours in a van with seven kids = Not the most pleasant experience I've ever had

But that's all behind me now (thank goodness).

We had a wonderful vacation and I look forward to going back next year, but I won't be driving home again without Chris anytime in the near future :-) I am very thankful for very good driving conditions though. The worst thing we encountered was low pressure in one of the van tires about halfway home yesterday. Miraculously, I wasn't even tired during the drive. Thanks, everyone, for all the prayers.

When we arrived home I discovered that my husband had been very busy around here while I was gone. We had a long list of little things that needed to be done around the house, you know, things like finishing the trim in the bathroom and foyer, putting a light in the girls' bedroom, etc. Well, lo and behold, dear hubby finished off everything on our to do list :-) On top of that, he had dinner made for us (chili complete with cornbread muffins) AND today I discovered that he had even cleaned my oven!

Indeed, I do have the best hubby ever!

I am planning on posting pictures of our trip later today IF I finish the laundry and if I can wrestle the other computer away from the kids.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Geocaching

Some of you were wondering WHAT geocaching is...here is a brief explanation.

A treasure hunt using your GPS system.

That's pretty much it. People hide things, you try to find them. There are caches all over the country - all over the world. Anywhere you go, you can find caches. There are a couple in the park behind our house, there are caches in Ethiopia, in Alabama, you name it, they're everywhere.

It's a great family activity and it takes you to places that you wouldn't otherwise go, even in your own neighborhood. Click on the link to find out more. All you need is a GPS unit and you're ready to go.

Btw, our hunting today took us to many swampy places. Our shoes got very muddy, but we were only successful two out of five tries (you don't always find the cache you're looking for).

Today

Watching dolphins

Watching the kids swim in the water while I looked for shells on the beach

Geocaching

Stopping at the candy store

Relaxing while watching the Olympics

Isn't this the way vacation is supposed to be?

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Well, That Was Excessive

I went to my first Mardi Gras parade today here in Gulf Shores and all I can say is, "Wow, they know how to do parades down here!"

I kid you not, we came home with several pounds of beads, stuffed animals (big ones, plush ones), moon pies, frisbees and various other "things." I have NEVER seen anything like it. It didn't hurt to have so many cute kids in our group. They were like stuffed animal magnets.

Beads, beads, everywhere are beads! Hundreds of them. In every color imaginable. It was a very orderly affair, but, boy, are my kids going to be disappointed going to Minnesota parades next summer!

If I still had my laptop down here I would post pictures, but the computer went home with Chris yesterday. I'll post a bunch when I get home.

Gotta go walk the beach now....see you later.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Don't Feel Too Bad For Us

For those of you that feel badly about our "cold" weather here, I thought I would post a few pictures that will take away all those bad feelings :-)



When In The South

You need to do as the Southerners do. For us that meant -

Going to a Mardi Gras Parade (yes, they celebrate Mardi Gras for about a month down here)
eating boiled crayfish (yes, my children do eat these things - not me though),
and eating King's Cake (another Mardi Gras tradition. The person who finds the baby in the cake has to host the party next time - that means Rachel and Molly will be holding next year's party).
But then, of course, we did do a few things that Southerners DON'T do...


Even the snowbirds down here thought our kids were crazy :-)

Friday, February 12, 2010

This Is So NOT Funny!!

So, here we are in the car, where we've been for the last 17 1/2 hours, trying to reach the sunny beaches of Alabama. Now, what do you think we see outside our windows? SNOW! It's snowing here in southern Mississippi. It's lovely sticking to all the trees. Looks like a painting......of MINNESOTA!

I am not amused!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

He's Got A Job!

After seven weeks at home, dear hubby will be starting to work again next Tuesday. This is good, but sad. It's good because we are not independently wealthy. It's bad because the kids and I have gotten used to having him around the house and helping with school, etc.

Ironically, he is going back to the same company (Thomson Rueters) that he was working for last year.

We're going to miss having him around!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Dance Lessons

For some inexplicable reason, my older children decided to learn how to waltz last night. Not quite sure why they were doing it, but I was happy to see it nonetheless.

Things didn't start off on the right foot (quite literally).And I think they spent more time talking and laughing than dancing.
At times, it looked more like aerobics than waltzing, but that could be because they were dancing to a bagpipe waltz (who knew there was even such a thing as a bagpipe waltz).
All-in-all, I think it was a valiant attempt by my girls to avoid bedtime. It worked, until Chris told us we were being too loud :-( He tells us that a lot. My poor husband really likes quiet, something he gets precious little of around here.

They're Kidding, Right?

I went to the doctor today for a physical. At the door I was greeted with the following sign -

Please do NOT visit us if you have a cough or fever.

Huh?? Last time I checked the doctor's office is where you SHOULD visit if you are ill. Apparently times have changed and you can only go see the doctor if you are healthy.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Bedtime Prayer

Here is Raelea's bedtime prayer from last night -

Dear God,
I don't want to pray right now. Good-bye.

I had to laugh. This is my little girl who will pray on and on and on when she feels so moved. Apparently she wasn't so moved last night :-)

And as long as we're on the topic of bedtime prayers, I HAVE to include my favorite Tim Hawkins video on the subject...

Thursday, February 4, 2010

She's An Apple Girl

It is her destiny, growing up in this house, to be an Apple Girl.

First she wanted an iPod...
A piece of cardboard and some tape later, presto, she has an iPod. I only wish mine was so inexpensive.

Then she waited ever so patiently for another piece of cardboard to make her laptop computer (isn't Dad great)...Now, not just any laptop would do, no, it had to be a Mac...And now she spends her room-time syncing her iPod with her computer...You've got to love the technology that kids grow up with today :-)

Just to keep things fair, Marcus & Zoe both got iPods as well :-). They haven't asked for laptops...yet.