Tour De France and Other Musings

Hadn't planned on posting. However, everyone is asleep and I'm not so......

Just in case anyone is wondering, one of Jake's foster family pics is in a frame in our living room. The others are put away again for now. He looks at it, carries it around a little, but isn't stuck on it. He can move on and play, hug, and be happy. A good sign! He still will do the comparisons thing like "China Baba not buckle me" (i.e. no seatbelts) among others. I think frequently I forget he has only been home for 3 months. We aren't even close to hitting that magical one year mark. It just seems like he has always been with us. Turning the tables around, I can't imagine my state of mind if I was suddenly plucked from my family and placed in a different country permanently with another family in an entirely different culture. Time.....that's all we need.



The kids asked, yes ASKED, to go to bed tonight. Jake said, "I'm-a-tired, Mama!". The others followed including Eric. Evidently, swimming, bike riding, soccer, baseball, birthday partying, eating great Thai twice (okay, that one was me and one doesn't count because it was leftovers) are all tiring!  Eric has taught each of our kids how to catch a ball, how to kick a ball, how to ride a bike, how to swim, how to hold a bat, among a ton of other things. I love that about him. You couldn't find a more involved Dad. He'll try to sneak out of work a little early just to come home and play. And since, the posts seem to be about what Jake is learning lately, I thought I post his progress today on his bike riding. Tour De France! Here he comes!!!! 

In this short video, you can hear him say, "I'm-a-comin, Mommy!" and "I'm-a-stuck!"

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Here is a little better video of Wild Child 3. He tells me he "Got Idea" in this one (He's got the idea is what he meant to say as he's heard Eric say it a hundred times). Warning, I do not have the best video skills to say the least.


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Siblings and Daddy always right there to encourage when the going gets tough!


Success! He is SOOOO proud of himself! Can ya tell? Such a shame the kid doesn't know what to do when I pull the camera out.



Funny thing: As we were walking down the street, we stopped at a neighbors house where her little black dog was out. "Look, Jake. See Mrs. A's puppy! Isn't he cute?", I said. Jake piped up with, "San San like eat dat dog!".  Uhhhh....NO. NOT GONNA HAPPEN! Good thing Mrs. A. didn't hear him! 

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We've Got Another Fish!


We've been working with Jake to learn how to swim back to the pool ladder without his lifevest on just in case he somehow got into the pool without us knowing. He used to HATE to try to swim without his vest, but now he is swimming all over the pool. He's even diving down to the bottom trying to do handstands. He obviously doesn't have the best form, but he can certainly swim all around which leaves me with a bit less to worry about. I love his "look" in his "crackers" as he still calls them. Not bad for his first summer swimming! He must take after his siblings who are great little swimmers themselves. We never even taught Grant how to swim. He was always a fish and could swim all around underwater at 17 months old! 


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Way to go, Jake!

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Urgent Need For a Beautiful Little Girl

If you are blog hopping around the circle of adoption blogs, I'm sure you have come across her. This little girl needs a family and has only till Sunday to find her family. She is listed with our agency Wasatch Int'l who we loved. The agency, I can certainly testify, is great, very caring, treats you like a friend, not a business client, work quickly and efficiently, thorough with dossier checks, and always is there to answer questions.



This little girl was born 3/12/03 (just a month before Grant). She is a healthy little girl with left ear microtia. She is living in an orphanage in China. Did you know this can frequently be surgically corrected? She is certainly a beautiful little girl. One of the blogs trying to help spread the word has the coordinators cell number for seriously interested parents. If this little girl is yours, please contact Wasatch! More pictures of her can be seen at:

Waiting Children Blog
Facebook

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What's Missing?

Last summer around this time actually, my garbage disposal caused some issues requiring my poor dad to crawl under the house while hubby was at work. This summer, my sink is gone for better reasons. But my two week wait waiting for that wonderful reason is going to be tuff. HA! Maybe this is camping?


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Finding Grant

If you'd like to read, Finding Grant is updated again. Going very slow with that story as time permits. 

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Where's My China Picture?

Thank you all for the supportive comments and emails. It is hard to know what the right thing to do is sometimes. Yesterday, Jake woke up before Eric. His first words were, "I love you. Where is my China picture?".  Eric wasn't sure where I put it.  Jake's first words to me that morning were, "Where is my China picture?".  I thought for sure we were going to have a REALLY long day.


I gave him his picture, and he sat down at the little table and held it. He didn't cry, just stared at it mumbling and pointing. He held it the whole time he was eating his breakfast. But then, he went on with life that day. He played; he gave me kisses and hugs; he was happy.   We had no tears (until he bumped his head later that day). Actually, he was a bit of his "China self" though pinching his brother and sister and being a little stink pot, but at least we weren't bitten! HA!! Brought back a memory for me. When we were in China and Jake was my wild child (he still is, who R we kiddin'), I remember getting a small knot in my stomach if Eric said, "Go see Mama". I was thinking, "Here we go. Which part of me is he going to take a chunk out of this time!".

The kids have been helping me clean the house and have been doing some extra chores for money. It's their "side job" so to speak. Jake is at the age where helping is fun. I asked him to take the shoes that were on the stairs up to the bedrooms where they belong. Okay, so it took a longer explanation than that to help him understand. He was quietly working for some time when he came down and said, "Okay, MOM, here ya go!". I turned around to see an armfull of shoes that he carried downstairs out of our closets! Guess he thought the stairs were the new place to keep all of our shoes!

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Great Summer Day....until I lost My No.1 Mommy Award!

We headed down to the beach today with my parents (Poppy and Grammy-NiNi) who had a day off today. Mom whipped up a yummy picnic lunch and we loaded ALL OF OUR JUNK - I mean toys, towels, drinks, boogie boards, extra clothes, chairs, blanket, well, you get my drift. The kids really do love it though!


The boys were very interested in showing Poppy what they found. 



Ally found this little gem, and we have no idea what it is. Any guesses? She found it in the water and would really appreciate it if any of you knew!




Grant loves to boogie board as does Ally. However, the beach we headed to doesn't really have big waves. In other words, it is a great beach for mommies who don't want to have to stand up the whole time in the water worrying about the sea taking their children. Okay, so that's a little overly dramatic. What you don't see in this picture is Poppy pushing Grant so he could boogie!



My Beach Babe!


Jake, as per his normal, talked our ear off on the way down in the car. He can tell a whopper of story. He told us that in China he had a shirt with a fong-o-jia on it as well as shirts with scooby doo, a dump truck, a firetruck, a chin-chua, and a dong-o-ba (different types of construction vehicles and cranes in Chinese). Really? I don't think so! But, whatever

Right after we ate dinner tonight, he came up with the same story for Eric, but added a few characters like a train, car, and even agreed to a Cinderella t-shirt when Eric asked him if he had that! WOW!   I had the idea to show him his China Baba and China Mama pictures tonight. I really feel like he has a right to those pictures, but don't want to cause him any pain. Eric was hesitant, but went and got them. It started off great. Jake kept saying, "I told you! I told you!" with a big smile on his face. He couldn't look through the pictures fast enough! He was soooo excited. I thought that this was great! He was happy.......for about five minutes.
You can just see how proud of the pictures he is.



But then, it all fell apart. He sat on my lap and started to cry. I told him it was okay to cry and okay to miss them because he loved them and they took such good care of him.  He put his face on the picture of China Baba and I told him he could give him a kiss if he wanted. Jake told me he couldn't "because it picture, not Baba". He seemed almost content crying sitting on my lap with his arms hugging my neck. Of course, with this poor decision of mine, I've scarred my son for life and lost my mother of the year award! We talked about how China parents were taking care of him until we could come get him, and he wouldn't ever have different parents again. Jake talked about going on a plane to China. I'm thinking he thought he was going back? Not sure. We talked quite a bit about him staying here with us forever and that we loved him very much. Gave lots of reassurance and love as well. Trying to divert his attention, I told him to play outside as Eric and Grant were already out there playing soccer. He agreed to play a while outside, but said he really wanted a bath and to go into "mama's bed". 

He perked up after playing, enjoyed his bath, watched tv in my bed, and then went to his bed happily with a few stories and songs. He didn't say anything else about the pictures.  I'm wondering if he'll ask for them tomorrow. I really felt horrible, but at the same time, feel maybe it is good to work through????

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Mommy Refresher Weekend

I had a "Mommy Refresher Weekend" otherwise known as a girl's weekend. Me and and a friend headed down to the beach. Friends of hers offered us their semi-permanently placed camper which was clean and nice. I was a little nervous as I'm not a camper. Okay, that's putting it mildly. Kazakhstan? Fine.  China? Fine. Camping? Not so much. In fact, I made Eric promise that I wouldn't have to camp when we got married. But, this really didn't feel like "camping" so much. Hot water, air conditioning. (we didn't have to do anything with the toilet, thank goodness), separate bedroom and bathroom, and a screened in porch. So we chalked it up to having an experience and went for it.




We ate! We ate! and ATE! I have lived around here for many, many years and never tried a "Fractured Prune" donut. They make them fresh while you are standing there and have all kinds of crazy kinds!

  • banana nut bread
  • reeses peanut butter cup
  • lemon
  • blueberry hill
  • black forest
  • creamsicle 
Just to name a few! You can also make your own concoction. Super yummy!

We hit the outlets to shop and the pool and laughed until we had abs.....(okay, we laughed a lot, but I'm still really flabby). It was just one night away from the kids, and I missed them. They did just great, though. Eric said Jake was asking for me a lot today, but did really well. PLUS, he was super excited to see me when I got home. YEAH!!!!

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And What About You???

Oh dear! This blog just turned into one of those non-thinking ones that shows the art work from children. Yup, sorry 'bout that. Jake drew this on the iPAD. I'm just impressed it was an actual circle with eyes and everything. That, my friend, is some serious progress. 

So I thought I'd try to find out more about my readers. If you'd like, answer the questions in the comment section (you can answer anonymously and don't have to have a google acct.) Here are the questions!
  •  Do you use Costco, Bj's, Sam's or any other mega store? If so, do you think you save money or just use it for the convenience? I had a membership but did not renew it. Now, I'm rethinking my decision.
  • Do you cook about every night? order in? or eat out?
  • How many of you make your kids do some type of school work during the summer?
  • Favorite recipe or dinner? 
  • How many of you with children let your kids have ice cream for dinner at least once or twice a year?
  • Best decision you've ever made?
  • How many of you would let your kids dye their hair a crazy color?
  • Favorite book?
  • Favorite place you've traveled to or would like to travel to?
Answer away friends! I'd love to hear from you!

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I hear GQ calling now!

If you have a nice long coffee break today or maybe your kids are taking a nap, pull up a chair and read more of our story of our Kazakh Adventures at Finding Grant. We are updated. 

Can I just say, this kid right here has the patience of a saint. You see, his little brother, albeit adorable, is kind of aaaa.....pain when you are a big brother. Jake will meddle in every game and mess up the pieces, ALWAYS want to play the wii but doesn't really know how, stands in front of the tv, turns the tv off right in the middle of a movie...well, I could go on and on. The point is, Grant, even when he feels like screaming usually is very patient considering who he's working with. I've heard him correct himself by changing his tone of voice when he starts off correcting Jake frantically. Even when Jake knocked over his chess board in the middle of a game one time, he walked away. Yes, he cried, but he didn't yell or haul off and hit. Like I said, patience of a saint.





On another note, I'm cheap. Actually, I like to think of myself as frugal. I like to shop as much as the next gal, trust me. I like buying my kids clothes and dressing them up. But I also like to pinch pennies. So, I'm just going to be perfectly honest here. I usually like to look for school uniforms at the goodwill. We have two in two different towns near us. I've been stopping by here and there to pick up uniform pants for my growing boy. Today, however, Jake was sitting in the cart and looking through shirts as I was looking for pants. He became soooo excited when he found the perfect shirt. It's a  Hawaiian shirt with old cars all over it.  Me being the big spender and all, spent the 2 bucks on it. He dressed himself when we got home (after spilling watermelon juice all over himself as he was drinking from the plastic container it was in).  Thought I'd give you all a fashion show! (He's wearing the shirt inside out and not all the way buttoned. It's much cuter in real life!)


Yeah, if THAT look doesn't say trouble!


Work it....



Wait...Wait for it....



Yup! That's it! You're a stud!





You're ready for GQ now!

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Chenglish Clarity and Confusion

Jake keeps his word book in the car and likes to go through the pages and tell me what the pictures are. If he doesn't know the English word, he'll say, "San San not think what this is". The other day he began pointing to pictures and asking, "Mama, we eat that?".  He pointed to the chicken, the cow, the pig, the frog, the horse (only in Kazakhstan, son), and the dog (uhh....definite no on that one). He was asking what the hen was called. I told him "hen" which he repeated. He then said "mama, hen has egg". Yes! Then he pretended to pull an egg from his own ---uhhhhh----- behind! He even showed me where the egg pops out on the hen's picture!

Later that same day, he was going to the bathroom and complained of pain where his hernia is. Without getting too graphic, I'll tell you that he hadn't quite gotten his pants back up yet when he told me that baba was going to cut him pointing to his "plumbing"! NO! I said. Evidently he misunderstood Eric when he was explaining that we were going to have the doctor fix his hernia! Either that or Eric has been going to med school on the side!

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Sometime?

Last night, I headed over to a friends to babysit her kids. I took Allyson and Grant with me, but kept Jake with my husband as he had been tired and fussy. Jake, that is, not Eric! LOL I told him I'd be back in a little while and that he was going to have fun playing with Daddy.

While babysitting, I called Eric and he told me that Jake had been non stop crying, sucking on his finger, and have a melt down for every little thing. He had stopped by the time we were talking and Eric thought maybe hearing my voice would reassure him. Before I could say, "maybe that's a bad idea", Jake was on the other end of the phone. I asked him how he was doing and all he got out was "okay" before the tears started coming again. I told Eric to break out the big guns (aka a bowl of ice cream) and I'd be home soon.

By the time that I got home, Jake (and Eric) were enjoying a game on the iPAD and he was content and pleasant.

Eric then told me of what Jake said while I was gone. As Jake was sobbing, Eric said something to the effect of "Mama is just gone a little while".  Before he had a chance to explain any further, Jake said, "Mama gone. Mama come back.....sometime?".  Boy, that will stick a dagger in your heart! He obviously still has some insecurities which is only expected.

I have tried before to explain (and we did again last night) that we will be his parents forever. But then again, Jake doesn't really understand "forever". So I've told him that he doesn't have to change parents again. That he doesn't need new parents anymore. We will always be his parents. No more exchanges. That seemed to be the best way to explain it at this point. Guess we need to keep reinforcing that fact! I never thought I'd ever be telling one of my children that they do not have to change parents anymore. Then again, I never thought I'd say "Don't run with chopsticks in your mouth" either.

On Sunday, I noticed Jake ran up to a nursery worker that isn't his teacher or anything. He showered her with huge hugs, kisses, and held onto her leg. He doesn't even know her that well! From reading a lot about adoption bonding and attachment and taking a bazillion hours of courses over two adoptions, I know this is a behavior that I don't want to see. I've seen it sprout up here and there with Jake. So, even though I feel comfortable with our attachment, it looks like we still have some progress to make and work to do!

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Welcome Home Party

We have some very caring, dear, generous, thoughtful friends in our life! Friends of ours asked us if they could throw a welcome home shower for Jake and our family. At first, I told her that this was number three and that I didn't expect anyone to do anything. My friend then told me that she had three babies and had a baby shower for all three and that she felt special for all three. She mentioned that I should feel special too as it doesn't matter how they come! So today, they gave us a shower for Jake complete with friends, balloons, decorations, a Toy Story cake, and presents. I certainly did feel very very special as did Jake. I told him that it wasn't his birthday, but just because our friends are so happy he is here! What a special thing for Jake to feel the love of friends.

This pic is blurry, but his facial expressions crack me up. Had to show you all.




Jake is certainly telling Poppy about his new truck. It was a BIG hit with him.



Buzz and Woody......his fav!


He really enjoyed opening presents and little Michael was even kind enough to loan him his Buzz Lightyear dress up costume to play with for awhile! Jake has been loving it. Check this thing out! Way cool with Buzz's wings to fly with AND it talks!
Again, check the cheesy expression. 




He is POSITIVE that if he lifts his arms up, he is going somewhere!


Since Grant still has a hard time getting used to having a little brother, and I knew Jake would be getting attention today, mom took him last night for some fun and then this morning we (again) talked about how he had a welcome home party as did Ally (okay, so she was still in utero!), and now it is Jake's turn. We looked at Grant's welcome home party pictures. Actually, we looked through his whole book. The scrapbook I made for him is quite large and was fun going through it with him again.  I think it helped a ton as he did very well just playing with all the other kids. Didn't see any jealousy creeping up today anyway! Plus, he gets to play with his brother's new toys. Not a bad deal at all. We didn't see much of Allyson today as her friends were there. Ten and eleven year old girls sure do have fun hanging out and being silly!
More (and better) pics to come as I didn't take many pictures, but am getting some from a friend.
Thank you Cindy and Mike! You guys are so generous and thoughtful. We appreciate it so very much!!!

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Ally's Date Night!

Wow! I bet that title got your attention! Did you REALLY think I'd let my 10 year old out on a date??? Okay, only with one guy! Her DAD! Eric took her out to dinner and a movie.  I have to say, Eric is good about taking one child out at a time. Not necessarily Jake at this point, because, well, Jake has a way of demanding attention as the "baby" and enjoys just playing ball in the backyard with Dad. Last week, Eric spent some one on one with Grant and took him to get his mohawk that he's been wanting. And tonight, Grant is getting some one on one with Grammy as he is spending the night for "Farkle Friday" complete with a trip to McD's. I think Allyson would go anywhere with Eric. She's just like him and so totally not a homebody like Grant and I are. She loves going fishing with him on the bass boat. What a cool kid. 

She enjoyed soccer camp very much and is REALLY very tired and sore from the running and exercising. None the less, she tramped over to the car with new friends asking for my phone so she could put their numbers in! Now there are girls in my phone that I have no idea who they are!





I got pretty lousy photos as I was trying to take them from some distance away (okay, on the sly) because I didn't want to embarrass  her in front of friends! Shhhhh....don't tell!

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Conversations with Jake

I had a conversation in the car with Jake yesterday:

Jake: San San hungry, Mama.
Me:  Okay, We'll get something when we get home.
Jake: San San wants apple drink (meaning he wants apples in the blender with ice. weird, I know)
Me: I don't think we'll do that but you can have an apple or a banana.
Jake: Hmmmmm........How 'bout dis, Mommy. Milk and banana.

Okay, so maybe you had to be there, but just picture Jake with the finger going and saying "Hmmmm.... How 'bout dis" with a Chinese accent. Cracks me up.

Other Jakeisms include:  "You're not the boss!"   "Get off of ME!"  "Nanny nanny boo boo!"  and "Mama said you no!" "You in BIG TROUBLE"  "I'm-a-sorry"

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#@*%@#!!!!!!!!!


Why is the F-bomb becoming so used today in normal conversation? It irritates the heck out of me! Growing up I heard the usually cuss words here and there (not from my parents), but never really the F word. Today at the grocery store, I was checking out and the cashier was in conversation with a friend who was not an employee. He was standing at the end of the lane right behind her near where you bag your groceries. My boys were helping put the milk up standing right next to me. Within 30 seconds, the guy had dropped the F-bomb at least 4 times. I kid you not!

I paid, bagged my groceries, grabbed the receipt and started to walk out. I'm not really a loud, confrontational type. I pushed my cart a few yards away and told the boys to stand there.
And then?

Walker right over to mister overly tattooed potty mouth and told him I didn't appreciate the foul language he was putting in my kids' ears!  "Oh!", he said, "I'm sorry! Sorry!".

Yeah. And don't let it happen again or I'm putting soap in your mouth!

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Soccer camp for Girls!

UPDATED: I'm working on getting Grant's adoption story down on "paper" in the form of a blog. I had a webpage in 2004 when we returned from Kazakhstan as the whole blogging rage was just beginning. I have a few posts down now.  It's really more for me to finally get all the things about Kazakhstan that are rattling around in my head.....out! If you would like to read it, start from the first post (there are only a few right now) to get a better picture of our adventure. You can find it at "Finding Grant"


Allygirl had her first day at soccer camp run by a local college's girls soccer team. Since she got home this afternoon, all she has done is eat and eat and eat and complain of being tired. She did manage to play with her American girl dolls for a little while, but is back to eating again. It just may be a very long week! She is moving up a level in recreational soccer and if you are familiar with it, you'll know the girls are more competitive and skilled as they get older. Allyson is a good soccer player, but sometimes doesn't have that competitive drive like her dad. She must have gotten the lack of competitive drive trait from me. I could care less if I win a game of checkers or whatever it is. I just enjoy the game. Lame, I know. Hopefully this camp will allow her to feel comfortable with the girls on her new team and improve her skills......all the while, allowing her to still enjoy it! 

I have to say, she looks darn cute in this picture. You see, I was one of those annoying moms. When confronted by a stranger in the mall when Ally was a baby, the stranger would remark, "Oh, she is so cute!" or "What a beautiful baby!", I wouldn't choke up a thank you but an "I know! She is soooo pretty!". I guess I was in amazement by her and everything she did.



I had my Pulmonary Function Tests done today. It has been two years since the last set, and I'm glad. I hate them just about as badly as I hate "the yearly" we women have to have. I hate breathing into a small tube while sitting in an enclosed "phone booth" having my air sucked out and not allowed to take a breath until someone says so. My rheumatoid lungs are followed by a pulmonologist just to make sure everything is going well and no infections are creeping up on me. I had a doozy of an infection several years ago that required a long hospital stay and some lung surgery. I had to take antibiotics twice daily for 19 months to rid myself of that nastiness. We kind of watch carefully that it doesn't creep up again. Everything seemed okay today, but I still hate getting them done and feeling like a fish out of water coughing and wanting to breath normally. God must have given me a joint problem because He knew I wasn't tough enough for a lung problem! HA!


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What Are YOU Reading This Summer????

Well, I've ordered a bunch of books on-line from our library. Actually, it is our state's library catalog because we live in a small town with a small library and they don't have much. This is one of the books I am reading. 


I've read most of Dobson's books including Bringing up Boys which I find very insightful. This new book about girls seemed to take forever and an age to come out! Frankly, the emotional issues with girls freaks me out a bit. I want Allyson to be one of those confident teenagers who knows her beliefs, has a strong, real relationship with Christ, has decided what her standards are and sticks by them, and knows exactly what she wants in a guy (among many other traits). Lofty goals, right? I'm only on the fourth or fifth chapter of this book and so far have only gotten through Dr. Dobson telling me girls are emotional creatures and Dad's influence is all important. Can't he tell me exactly how to get rid of the attitude and her emotional roller coaster? Wow! Is she ever a girl! She can swing from sweet, kind, and funny to grumpy, mad, and fussy in a matter of seconds! Bringing Up Girls should be interesting reading anyway. 

I purchased Pearl S. Buck in China by Hilary Spurling for my iPAD. I haven't gotten very far only because my husband found an addictive strategy war game on an app. HE HAS REALLY BEEN ENJOYING MY iPAD!!!!!   I really enjoy Pearl S. buck. One of my all time favorite books is The Good Earth. Her childhood is extremely interesting. It is hard to picture a blonde curled, blue eyed five year old sitting in the graveyard speaking Chinese to the locals at their funerals. She says she remembers the days of her youth when they lived next to the graveyard and she would find the dismembered parts of babies (the dogs had dug the bodies up), and she would re-bury them as if something like that is normal. She frankly speaks of the difficulties her parents had in their marriage as well. She tells of how her mother would always make their house a home no matter how awful their surroundings where. She kept pretty curtains on the window and would leave it open to air and shut the curtains whenever the visual outside could harm her children. I could go on and on!




Did any of you know that Pearl S. Buck wrote a Chinese cookbook? If anyone knows Chinese cooking, she'd be the one! I've never looked at it, but would be interested to see what it had in it. 

I have several other books lined up as well. I love to read, but don't get a ton of time to devote to it. So, what are YOU reading this summer?





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Only 3 months, but seems like forever



July 10---- Jake has officially been home in the States for three months.
And what a difference 3 months makes. Jake understands almost everything we say now. Sometimes, I'll ask him to do something, and he will understand part of what I ask and need some clarification otherwise. His latest thing to say besides, "What-r-u-doing?" is, "I not think that is .........". He loves to say, "Awesome!" and "Whats-a-that?" He is still really bad with identifying colors. There's an eye doc appt in his future. But he can identify a tractor, school bus, ambulance, fire engine, police car, motorcycle,  big mac truck, dump truck, a flat bed truck, and on and on! He is putting complete sentences together with verbs and articles, adjectives and adverbs. He still tells big stories, and he can still "drive anything". He frequently uses his nickname "San San" in place of "I". ( "San San like that!"   "San San hurt foot" "San San not tired")  If you ask him his name, he will tell you, "San San  XXXX". We still go back and forth between Jake and San San at home and probably always will. I don't notice improvements in language daily, but definitely notice improvements weekly. He says "turn it out" for "turn it up" and "turn it out" for "turn it around". I hear  "Mama, What's that?" and "What-a-r-those?" a least a hundred times a day. The boy wants to know the English word for everything.  Funny thing is, sometimes when I tell him the English word, he says, "Not (car, ice cream, or whatever it is)....." and tells me the Chinese word for the object. He then, of course, acts exasperated at me and corrects my lame attempt at repeating the Chinese word! He gets the word for goggles and crackers mixed up. Trust me, I spent an afternoon looking for "crackers" in the pool all the while wondering how I missed Jake bringing crackers in there! That is, until he found the goggles himself and said, "Here they are!".  If you would like to spend 5 minutes with Jake, please click HERE. 


He still knows how to work it. When he wants something, he will crawl onto your lap and rub your ears while whispering to you what it is he wants. He can give the most pathetic faces. He is our little prayer warrior. I teased Eric saying, "Boy! Do we know how to convert a Muslim!". Warped sense of humor? Yes. He is the FIRST person to put his little hands together at the table before any morsel of food is devoured. He prays, "Dear Jesus, thank you for my food. Thank you for my family. Amen." Too sweet!


I wish I could show the video of his first bath while we were in China. (A little too much nudity for the internet!) It's when I called Eric in to show him how skinny Jake was. Honestly, it was a bit frightening and scary. I don't think you could picture it until you see it. I showed my mom the video the other day, and she was surprised. It took my breath away. He was 27 lbs when we reached Guangzhou, and by then, he had had a week to gain weight already. Today, he is 36 lbs and counting! NINE pounds in THREE months! He has grown taller, but I'm not sure how many inches he has grown.

Eric is still his favorite, but he is turning into a "Mama's boy" especially when he is tired. He will cry for me and be content for me to hold him and kiss him. He asks for me to lie down with him so he can rub my ears and hold my face. He isn't the "wild boy" anymore. He has lost some of his impulsiveness. He is a different child than he was in China, but has kept the same lively, adorable personality. He is loving,  helpful, playful, energetic, sweet, talkative (still talks non stop), and friendly. I thought for sure he was going to be completely and utterly difficult with discipline required all the time. I remember wondering what we had gotten ourselves into! I had visions of a little pyromaniac in my head! He is so the opposite. You would never have any idea of the kind of child he was while in China. I'm sure he still has adjustments to make and fears to overcome, but it is nothing short of amazing how he has adjusted to his new life, new culture, new family, new religion, new food, new house, new clothes, and on and on.


I'm still not sure when the best time is to give him pictures of his foster family. I am really torn about that. I'd love to show him now, but really don't want to cause him pain. Shouldn't that be in a manual or something? You know, after you have been home for 92 days, 10 hours, and 23 min., you should show your child his foster parents pictures.  Hate it when kids don't come with manuals. It means I might make the wrong decision and scar him for life~


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More Summer Fun!

All the kids loved the water park yesterday. We hung out with my friend and her 3 kiddos! Yes, that's six kids in one car. Oh My Goodness!





Jake enjoyed the slides, but was pretty cautious at first. He didn't ride the big slides, but maybe next time~



This kid, however, rode the big slides all day long!



My friend Rachel drove down and Jake sat behind her. He complained about her driving skills the whole time. We would hear, "RRRR-AAAAA-CHELLLL!!!!  Drive fast!" or "RRRAACHELLL! What-r-you-doingggg???", and better yet, "Rachel crash two cars, mommy!" (she didn't). So funny!


This bathing beauty pretty much rode the slides the whole day too!



Yes, he's asleep. And slept for at least an hour at the park!




So, for some unknown reason, Jake didn't make it in the paper the other day. I looked at it in the store and noticed he wasn't in it so I didn't even buy it! What a nice story it would have been for a small town newspaper. HA! Maybe the reporter didn't like the pushy mom! 

My iPAD is fun! I have a couple books downloaded and Eric added some things as well. He was watching a movie on it last night and put chess on there for Grant. Eric said he was sooooo glad he bought this for me for my birthday. So glad he can enjoy my birthday present too~~~

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Sleepover Results!

Posting from my iPAD here! Really cool, but not seeing some of the regular blogger things like centering the page and font size, Have to figure that out later. Grant did just fine although he did not sleep! My friend said she stayed up until 12:30 with him and even tried rubbing his head to get him to sleep! She finally went to bed and got up at 3:30 to let her dogs out and found Grant fully dressed with shoes on sitting at the top of the stairs! We went to the water park today and he played all day long. He loves those water slides so much. I know he has to be tired.

It's kind of funny that he actually wanted to go in the first place considering he is such a homebody. My parents took Ally on a big trip to celebrate her 10th birthday last year. When mom asked Grant where he wanted to go for his 10th birthday, he said he wanted to camp out in the backyard.

The boys share a room, and Jake is not used to sleeping by himself so we had Ally sleep in there with him last night. However, Jake could not settle down and kept asking about Grant. He cried over fake boo boos and wanted me to sleep with him. He was still up at 11:30. He finally fell asleep rubbing my ears. Guess the boys are used to having each other.

Posting pics of the waterpark later!

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First Sleep Over

We have two of our kids home tonight. Usually it is Allyson that is over at a friends or something. BUT, tonight, it is Grant!  He has stayed over at Grammy and Poppy's house before and does just fine. In fact, he asked mom awhile ago to stay over at her house but without his siblings. Guess he wanted some one on one attention! I've been told that when he is completely obnoxious to his other siblings, he is merely expressing the "middle child syndrome" of which I know nothing about considering I'm an only child. 

So, tonight he is over at a friend's house. I usually do not let my kids go to sleepovers. Period. No exceptions. But that has become very difficult. Allyson really is only allowed to stay at one or two houses where I feel I really know the parents and have known them for many years. Grant is staying over at one of those families' houses. He was excited and when told to pack and yelled, "I need help getting my suitcase down!". Huh, So how long did he think he was going for? 
Hope I don't get a call around midnight!

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This and That

(Just Posting so my cousin Susie can have her cup of coffee with my blog. LOL)

At the fireworks the other night, the firefighters let the kids take a tour of the firetruck. Ya know, after they saw Jake examining the tires, kicking the tires, asking what everything was, and looking underneath of it.
I love this pic of my dad and the kids. Grant always looks so "manly" now in his pictures. Growing up so fast!




My friend Rachel kindly offered to come and watch my kids last night so Eric and I could go out to dinner. How sweet! And to think I was going to grill pork chops! Thanks, Rachel.

Jake has a dental appointment. I'm interested to hear what he has to say (the doc that is). Jake has beautiful teeth but has a grinding problem that has ground down his baby teeth. I'm more worried about the halitosis that hasn't gone away like I thought it would. Hmmmmm....... we'll see. 

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Happy Anniversary!

Eighteen years ago, I was walking with a friend to college freshman orientation and met a guy. A good looking, funny guy. He says I kept hanging around for the next four years. I say he kept hanging around my dorm waiting for me to come out. Whatever the case may be, we hung out for the next four years of college and married on July 6, 1996. 


Pardon the hair and the outfit. A travesty, I know. Sometimes, you just have to laugh at yourself. 

During our fourteen years of marriage, there have been ups and downs. He has carried me up and down the stairs after my surgeries too many times to count, waited on me, cared for me, spoiled me, and surprised me. He never sees obstacles as problems. Always thinks in bigger terms than I do. He is laid back, goofy, plays with the kids just like a kid, and loving. He works hard and plays hard. He's smart and a quick thinker. 


I know what you're thinking. We married as mere babes! AND we were both super skinny! Eric constantly tried gaining weight in college. Well, over the years, we've both gained weight and somehow, he ended up looking better with age, and me? Not so much. LOL

So, Happy 14th Anniversary, Eric! I love you!

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Happy......5th or is it Happy Belated 4th?

We live in a small town, a very small town where everyone knows everyone. So when there's a parade, well, you know people. ALL of the politicians far and wide come shake our hands and bribe our children with stickers and candy. Slick, huh? So, for some unknown reason, whenever the 4th falls on a Sunday, they celebrate on a Monday. Weird, right? It would be nice to think that it's because they don't want it to interfere with local church services. Hmmmmm

I shamelessly waved down a reporter today. You see, Grant gets in our local paper frequently as his school sends pictures of events, etc. in. He always seems to get in the advertisement too. But I flagged down the State's newspaper reporter and TOLD him he NEEDED a picture of the newest  naturalized citizen in our town. I think he thought I was kidding. I told him briefly Jake's story that he came home from China in the spring and became a citizen on April 10. THAT is certainly newsworthy on the 4th of July, don't you think? So, guess what, I do believe he will be in the paper because the photographer smiled and took several pictures and took our information down. He told us to make sure to buy the paper tomorrow. You bet I will! I got his press ID number off his tag just in case he doesn't comply with my (ahem) direction. Shameless, I know. But I am a mother after all. 

Love this pic. Cute little boogers, aren't they?


  


            Told you it's a small town!


Jake was ready with his fire engine to show the firefighters. I think they were impressed.

Grant scored big at the parade: candy, a flag, AND a teddy bear!
Bubbles, always a hit!


Hmmm.....Cirque Du Soleil in her future?



Uhhh, Someone here isn't cooperating

We got a lot of "AWESOME" from Jake during the fireworks. He thought they were pretty cool!



So, Happy Birthday America! I'm so thankful to be an American! Thankful my boys are living in a free country. 

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