Grown in My Heart

I'm taking a cue from Ann over at Cornbread and Chopsticks and doing my own adoption carnival from Grown in My Heart. I don't know why these pics showed up so grainy on blogger because they typically don't. Sorry!

First day with Grant. That was one of the hardest and happiest days! I've never seen a child so young be so scared.

Hanging on for dear life

Still wondering why these people keep coming back every day to visit. Then again, maybe he is wondering, "Seriously, all the parents in the world, and I get these goofs!".

The flat affect hung around for three weeks! He would just stare.

Hanging on again with a lot of worry

Hoping for the best

How do you spell relief? S-M-I-L-E
This picture was taken the day after I brought him to the apartment. Eric had returned home to the States, and I discovered that he liked "hide-and-seek". I can't even begin to tell you the relief I felt when he finally played, moved around, and smiled. He had so much personality. For the three weeks that we visited him in the orphanage, he just stared. It is nothing short of amazing how these kids change.


Swine Flu Vaccinations

We have been vaccinated for the seasonal flu around here. However, getting the H1N1 Vaccine has been troublesome. I may not even worry about it considering how new it is, but my Rheumatoid Arthritis has put me in the high risk category. I CAN 'T GET THE SWINE FLU! My immune system is not great. I had a lung infection once that took me 20 months of antibiotic therapy to get rid of not to mention the lung surgery. However, my state has only given it to health care workers, and the state health department has no idea when they will begin to vaccinate the young children and high risk group. To make things that more irritating, the school district where I live sent out permissions forms for parents to sign if they wanted their children to have the vaccination. Because my children go to the local private school, they are not eligible......yet. I have called our senator and representatives offices to try to straighten things out. If the vaccine will be made available to the public school kiddos, then it should be made available to my kids too. I know, complain, complain, complain! It is frustrating that my own state cannot give me any direction at all as to when they will start vaccinating people, nor will they tell me or my doctors' offices when they will release the vaccine to the doctors.

On another complaining note, my Rheumatologist said that depending on the status of the pandemic in the spring, he may strongly suggest that I not travel to China. I told him that was like not being in the delivery room when your child is born. I'm trying to not worry about it and will continue planning as if I am going. It isn't in my hands anyway. We travel when China says we do, which could be sooner or later. Not on my time, only God's time, right?


Funny thing happened........

Yesterday, I called to get an appointment for my kids' seasonal flu shots. I had to call the state health department since that was the only place that had them. There is a shortage on the shots. She asked me my name and ages of my children. She then asked me to bring an ID and was I the children's birthmother. I immediately said, "Yes, and can you give me directions how to get there?". After she gave me directions, I remembered that I wasn't actually Grant's birthmom. I felt stupid saying, "Oh, BTW, I'm not my son's birthmom. I forgot". Too funny that I forgot. He is definitely ALL MINE!


Ally's tournament went GRrrr-EAT! The neon green hair and socks must have worked because they won ALL of their games. Even the referee and other coaches commented on how well they played together. Great teamwork, ladies. That coach must have been excellent! (It's my husband...Heehee)

The mascot ninga.

FIRST place trophy! Cool! She scored two goals and several assists. Awesome job, Ally!

Here's their tournament cheer. Silly girls


It's Here!

I realize blogging about fundraisers is a bit taboo. No, I'm NOT asking for money. I am, however, excited to let family and friends know that we are starting a new fundraiser with and John and Tammi Ambrose. This wonderful family has adopted in the past and has a store of super cool t-shirts. They have so generously decided to help other adoptive families with fundraising. They set up an on-line store for the t-shirts that I picked out. Now, friends and family can go directly to our store and purchase T's. Tammi handles the ordering and shipping, and we get a percentage to help with our adoption costs! The proceeds of this fund raiser are going to the cost of the orphanage donation that we give while in China. So excited! Please check it out:
Tell me what you think. I think they are adorable!


Our Daily Weather Report

Allyson to Grant yesterday morning: "Grant, what's the weather like today?"
Grant: "18 degrees C"
Allyson: "I guess I'll wear my socks"
Grant: "It's 65 degrees"

Maybe meteorology is in his future. He checks the Wii every morning for the weather report and listens to the news for the weather. He also carries a chess board and pieces in his bookbag. Anyone else think this solidifies him as a geek? Cute. I saw him pull it out after school and try teaching another first grader how to play. That kid cracks me up.


Sometimes, you just have to dance! Anyone that knows Grant, know he loves to dance. Today, I had trouble getting that little body to sit still and take a penmanship test. Proof of my trouble:

The Robot Dance:

This is the look he usually gets from Allyson:

And, yes, folks, Grant looks like a cult follower in his white dress shirt buttoned all the way up. He hadn't put his tie on yet which he wears on Wednesdays for chapel. Thought I should explain!


The Unexpected

My cousin, Al, passed away unexpectedly. He was a guy with one huge heart. He always remembered to tell people that he loved them too. I'm failing miserably at this post wondering what I could possibly write. However, my thoughts and prayers are with my aunt and cousin (his mother and brother). I love you guys!


House Fairy?

Anybody know of a good house fairy? The kind that automatically come and clean your house for you? I seem to be having a hard time keeping up with everyone's stuff considering they leave it around. I do make them clean it up daily, but it just doesn't ever seem to stay that way for ANY length of time......meaning 5 minutes! It's driving me nuts. Must be in one of those moods. My kids can clean. Ally can do a great job on a bathroom. However, it's the daily dropping of everything and expecting mom to pick up. I've been sticking with the "no t.v., video games, or playing with your friends until it's done" motto, but my house just doesn't stay the way it should. Maybe I'll try making lists again for them. That has worked out well in the past. Any suggestions, besides a housekeeper?


Experiencing Your Faith

A fellow blogger mentioned in an email that she had begun a renewal of faith of sorts, or a re-examination of her faith with the adoption of her daughter. This got me thinking a bit. I totally understand how an adoption can change your views and increase your faith. Adoption is a huge act of faith. So many of us feel that we are called to adopt; to bring our children into our family through adoption. Signing that first adoption contract is saying, "Okay, God, You spoke to my heart to do this. I'm willing, but You have to actually make it happen". So many people today want to experience God in their lives. Some people go to church and feel like they still aren't experiencing Him. As an adoptive parent we know that the day you see your child for the first time, or the day you hold your child for the first time is the day you experience God. I am not saying this is the only way to have a maturity and involvement with Him. I believe we are saved only by grace accepting Christ into our lives believing that He died on the cross and rose again. The experience with God, the maturity and involvement comes from a daily walk with Him. Because adoption is a perfect example of what God has done for us, it is only natural for it to draw us closer and to realize the miracle for what it is. God is with the orphans, the sick, and the needy so it is only natural that that is where we will encounter God.


Jesus Loves the Little Children

I've always sung my kids their own special song before bedtime. Ally's is "Allygirl". Unique, I know.
When Grant came home, he seemed to love "Baa Baa Black Sheep", and I still sing this to him every night. However, I needed to come up with something just as unique as "Allygirl" for him. I started changing the words to "Jesus Loves the Little Children". I know, Mom, I have no imagination. Here is our version:
Jesus loves the little children,
All the children of the world.
Kazakh, yellow, black and white.
They are precious in His sight.
Jesus love the little children of the world.

Grant reminded me tonight that we needed to now sing:
Kazakh, Chinese, black, and white.......
Too cute!


Good Solid Weekend!

Well, this fundraiser is finished! Thanks to all for the help, yard sale donations, and support. We did quite well. I still have some things that I will e*bay off over the next couple of weeks. We still need to sell the hot tub, and I have another fundraiser in the works. I'll let you all know more about it soon.

We had some strange looking characters here!

Seriously, thank you all who helped.


Twas the Night Before the Yard Sale............

Twas' the Night Before Yard Sale and all through the house, every creature was stirring including the spouse!
The stickers were stuck on the items with care,
In hopes that St. Buyer soon would be there;
The children were busy causing chaos while playing,
In hopes that mom would not be all-seeing!
All of a sudden there arose such a clatter,
I sprang to the garage to see what was a matter.
Away to the door I flew like a flash,
Tore open the door and began to dash!
When, what to my wondering eyes would appear,
But mounds and mounds of stuff did appear!
To the top of the porch, to the top of the wall,
Dash away, dash away, dash away all!
Up to the housetop the stuff piled high,
Let's all hope the junk sells before I scream and hogtie!

My yard sale/ fund raiser is tomorrow. Thanks to all of those who donated things for me to sell. I'll keep you all posted by Monday of our progress. Say prayers for big money!


Updating Last Post and a Night Off

Thanks to everyone who gave me all of the helpful comments. Just wanted to follow up: Grant doesn't eat a lot of cheese, but I slip it in whenever I can. He won't eat yogurt and fairly recently started eating ice cream/frozen yogurt. I give him a couple of cups of Calcium fortified OJ. He won't eat Mac and Cheese (seriously!). Now Mom, whipped cream? I don't think you would have let me do that as a kid. We've tried soy milk and flavored soy milk as well. Thank you Annie. I did indeed try putting the milk in a sippy cup. Didn't work, but I appreciate the suggestion. Now the suggestion of sending him to Grammy's for breakfast............ :-)

Tonight, we are taking the night off and enjoying some homemade cookies. Things have just been extremely hectic. Eric was home early since we had a 2 PM appt. today. We ate leftovers for dinner and no child is going to any activity tonight. We are chillaxing! Desperately needed!


Drama King

You would have thought that I made Grant eats bugs this morning! He has never liked milk, even as a toddler. His "nannies" in Kazakhastan said he drank milk and had no milk allergies. However, I've never had any luck getting him to drink it OR put it in his cereal. I slip it in his oatmeal without his noticing. Shhhh! Anyhoo, I looked over and Grant was eating his typical dry Ch**rios with his hands, no spoon, I might add. It was my final straw. I pulled out a spoon and the milk. Poured just a little bit when the wailing started. Now, you have to understand, when Grant cries, his face disappears. The eyes are gone and the mouth is so large it overtakes the face. The above pic purely his re-enactment and doesn't do the actual event justice. I thought about taking his pic during his crying fit, but thought some might just view that as mean. I'm warped like that.
I'd love for him to drink milk or at least have it in his cereal. Seriously, who does that? I've tried strawberry and chocolate milk, milkshakes....all a "no go". Ugh! Maybe I should just go back to not caring if he eats his cereal dry. It is driving me nuts!


Pumpkins & Househusbands

Eric picked up some carving pumpkins today. He and the kids make jack o lanterns every year.

Here's the pre-cut picture of them.

Here's the real reason we carve the pumpkins. Toasted pumpkin seeds (with butter and salt) from the pumpkin "guts" as the kids call it! Yummm!!!!!
Since Eric took the day off today and the kids and I headed to school today, he was busy.
Planting mums, yard work, fencing in the koi pond to keep the dog from drinking from it, replanting a few plants, folded some laundry, and did his laundry from his trip. He also loaded some things up from a friend's house for our yard sale. Now, maybe HE should be called a domestic engineer. I think he would look like a great househusband!


No June Cleaver Here

Does my house count as clean if I only cleaned the front windows and left the ones on the back of the house, well, um....dirty? I remember when Eric and I were dating in college, and he used to only iron the front of his dress shirt. With a suit jacket on, no one was ever the wiser! Hmmm....efficient or lazy? I prefer efficient domestic engineering goddess. Yeah, that's it.


More Name Game

UPDATE: Should have mentioned that we are keeping his Chinese name San'er as his middle name. We may just call him by that. You never know what will stick. However, we definitely will give him an American name as well. I also realized that as much as I like Cole, there would be a definite conflict with our last name. (Sorry, no last name on my blog to explain any further)

I have no idea why naming this kid is so difficult. I haven't found something that I love AND Eric agrees with. I've been rummaging around on the internet for names....again. Most of my readers (as few and far between as they are!) are thinking, "Why can't she seem to write about something else? She writes about naming the poor guy every other week!". Why, yes! Yes, I do.
Anyway, here goes this weeks finds. (Some are repeats)

Levi (still really like this one)

Soon, I'll have a good post soon. I know that's what you're thinking! LOL


Yes, Another Field Trip!

We headed off to our annual fall trip to the pumpkin patch. Just letting you know now, I did a terrible job taking pics! You may notice that none of the pictures have a pumpkin in them. Ah, yes, my battery died. I forgot to recharge it from Monday's field trip. Oh, and you may also note that there are no pictures of Allyson. Did I mention she is 10 yrs. old and likes to hang out with her friends and not her mom? Considering I followed her everywhere in Philadelphia earlier this week, I let her think I was just leaving her be. He-Hee!

We fed the ducks and geese and visited the turkeys, chickens, and peacocks.

We picked our pumpkins, gourds, and corn, and we picked several strawberry corn to dry out and pop in about a month. Yum!
We finished off our day with lots of playing in the pirate ships, eating cookies, and drinking apple cider.
Now if I could only get my eyes to stop "gooping" up!


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