Star War Enforcers! 


Conversations with Jake

I don't post too many of these anymore as Jake's memories and experiences of China are fewer than when he first came home. That's not to say that his conversations are any fewer as he still talks non-stop and to anyone he meets. I started blogging the memories so I could help him remember them as he grew older. My intent is to have them compiled in a Blurb book just for him. I've been working on it forever and hope to get it finished before he has children of his own! 

The kids were sitting down to lunch together and Jake and Grant began talking. Jake was telling Grant that when he was in China, he had to go back to the orphanage to wait for his "new family".  He said he was "really bored because there were no toys and lots of babies there" and that he cried because he was "worried about his new family coming for him".  Grant replied that Jake didn't know that he had a new family coming. Jake immediately reminded Grant that mommy sent him a letter with pictures and toys! And that yes, he DID know we were coming for him. "That's why I cry",  he said. I remember sitting down to write that letter and thought how in the world do I explain to a non-English speaking three year old that I was going to be his new mommy, that he was going have a new family, that he would be leaving China, but everything would be okay. I do you effectively introduce yourself in a letter to your son? I probably did a horrible job especially once it was translated into Chinese. But somehow, the point got across to him that he was going to have a new family whether he wanted one or not. I've said it before, but kids are amazingly resilient. If adults could only have a fraction of the faith of a child!  

Last night, he was looking at his "Chinese family pictures" that he keeps in his room on his dresser neatly stacked. This is really telling in proving how important they are to him considering that Jake is not exactly my neat-freak child. His room pretty much stays a disaster. In fact, a swear a plume of dirt and chaos follows that kid! What's that Peanuts characters name? That's Jake. I think he no longer trusts me with his pictures after my misplacement after the move. Eric and Jake were looking at the pictures prior to bedtime and Eric was saying how small he was while in China and how big he was now. He was pretty proud of that fact since he practically measures his height every morning to see how big he's grown overnight. He has such high hopes of being really tall and tells me every morning that he's sure he grew while sleeping! There is so much to love about that kid! I don't like it when people say how lucky Jake is to be here. We are so blessed to have him in our family! He certainly brings a new level of chaos, commotion, and fun we didn't have before! 

(Just a note: Some of my FB friends may have already read my status, but I wanted to get it into the blog.)


Call it a Day

 Our day started in the dark. I guess that's not saying much considering: 1. it usually does, 2. days are getting shorter. However, I thought since Eric was away overnight, that the boys would sleep a little longer since they wouldn't hear him getting ready in the morning. Instead, they woke up earlier and with A LOT of loud spunk!  

Since we started schooling earlier than usual, Grant was finishing quickly which was good since we had a speech evaluation. I thought the evaluation was for nine in the morning. Actually, it was changed to eleven! So, we blew off school a bit and did some goodwill digging and some outside playing. It was another beautiful day!

The afternoon sun was behind me in this iphone pic so it turned out kind of funny, but the colors are just gorgeous right now! Mom and Dad, hurry up and come before they all fall off!


Wordless Wednesday


Don't Get Your Knickers in a Knot!

Today I had a yearly I.V. done. Nothing big at all. In fact, I had forgotten I was even on that med till my new doc asked me about it. So, it was scheduled for today. This bright, blue, crisp Autumn day. The weather was perfect, and I had to take note of the clear blue sky.

I sat down,  had my IV started, and started in on a good book. A lady came in for an infusion and sat down next to me, began crocheting,  and started chatting with the staff. Her conversation was heard by all because she didn't really stop to think that none of us in the infusion center wanted to be bothered with her. Her conversation continued on with a "death and dying report".   Mind you, I'm the youngest patient out of what appears to be 70-80 year olds sitting there, and I'm trying hard not to think about that fact on this beautiful day. The woman goes on and on about how her hands "ache" after she crochets for awhile or stitches the baby quilts".  She then proceeds to poignantly ask the staff why I am there and what medication I'm taking and how long it will take for me to get my meds!  She doesn't look my direction, acknowledge that I exist, or ask me.  The staff, remembering their patient privacy laws, avoids answering her direct questioning.  I didn't bother looking her way but kept to my book trying to ignore the annoying voice that wouldn't quiet.  It didn't matter, she kept on, even saying that she thought the doctor would give her a diagnosis of Rheumatoid Arthritis on her next appointment - How generous of him-  and how she was "glad to have that diagnosis".  My blood was boiling at this point. It was hard to concentrate on my book and keep to myself. Would she truly like to know about my twenty years of Rheumatoid experience? I about lost my pleasing personality.  She has no idea what she is saying or how stupid she sounds. 

All I wanted to say was "Foolish woman, Why don't you think before you open your mouth?".  Maybe she should think about someone besides herself! I usually don't get so worked up. Really, I don't. 
 I wouldn't have gotten my panties in a bunch if she hadn't pulled my medical condition and treatment into it. Then, it wouldn't be personal, and it would just be an imprudent, dippy woman. But she did pull me into it, she just didn't realize it. Nor did she realize how irritated I was with her. I really do not want to be reminded by a stranger no less what my medical condition is especially sitting there with an IV in my arm surrounded by people who are in the latter part of their life! 

Her infusion was super quick, and she left within thirty minutes leaving me to the tube in my arm and the thoughts in my head. Sorting out my thoughts, I tried to remember that you just never know what other people are going through. Maybe she wasn't really an obnoxious, nosey, impertinent, full-mouthed, asinine, offensive, cutting, rude, hasty, disrespectful woman. Maybe she came across that way today because of circumstances. Either way, two things helped to clear my head and move on. One, I walked out of the hospital on a clear, blue day with my kids in tow and feeling great. Two, I put pen to paper and trashed the rude, insulting stranger on my blog.  At any rate, my cognitive state feels much better.  Thank you, thank you very much! 
Maybe, I should have just said what my kids say," Shut your lip potato chip!" and then got back to my reading! Yep, I think that would have done it! 


It's all Greek to Me!

Grant finished his assigned work by 10AM today. That included two math lessons. Okay, So he started at 7:30 this morning, but he thought this meant he'd have the rest of the day to play chess. Uhhh.... No, son. It was the perfect time to start the brainetics program my parents bought for my kids. I put the DVD in, handed Grant the head phones, and went back to work with Jake. Forty minutes later, Grant is showing me how to do grids where he fills in a blank grid to solve for a certain number. All the numbers going down, across, or diagonal add up to the number he was given like 300 or 225. Cool stuff, but I don't think I would have figured it out as quickly. He said tomorrow he was going to know how to identify the day of the week of any date that was given to him. I don't doubt it, Grant. I don't doubt it!


She's got talent

The painter's newest piece! Too bad the photographer isn't such a great artist. I didn't close the bathroom door prior to taking the pic!


Up One Way and Down Another! (pic heavy)

 Eric was off today and he planned a drive for us with a few adventures throughout the day. So we headed North. Of course, in Oregon, EVERYTHING has moss covering it.....not just the north side!  

The kids love doing these hikes. This particular one was only 1/2 mile between waterfalls, but you could go on much longer. But it was perfect for what we wanted to enjoy today. 

They were sure this little cave was where a bear was hibernating. But then, if you ask zoologist Grant, they don't technically hibernate. They have a winter lethargy or "sleepiness".  Who's teaching this kid anyway? He explains more to me...well, let's just leave it at that.

Help! I can't stop hitting the "x-large" button on my blog. Guess I'll fork out the $5 bucks for more storage. (smile)

Multnomah Falls, Oregon

I know Grant's eyes are closed. But I love this picture.

For me, this picture is the Great Northwest. Just something about it.

Eric took this looking down from the overlook bridge. Yikes!

Three kids in a tree? How can that be?  (Thank you Dr. Seuss, thank you)

Okay, I'm gonna be real honest here. I found these spawning salmon fascinating. I'm weird, maybe. Okay. Probably. But I've never seen anything like this. It was really hard to get a good shot of them because of the glare on the water. These things were huge!

These were the third falls we hit today all before 11 AM. 

Then we headed over the Bridge of the Gods. I don't know why they call it that. The view was pretty but..... not really while driving! 

We headed in Washington to come back down the other side of the Columbia River

Home again, home again, jiggety jig!

Okay, one more set of monkeys:



Read more... movie night



Yesterday started out in the dark with Jake saying, "Hey, Dad! I want to talk to you about something!".  I knew it would probably be a looong day.  Jake went to bed the previous night telling me about every Star War character there is; who wears what, who killed who, who went to the "dark side".  In every way, he's like a little old man who tells the same stories over and over again. So, that night, I actually left his room while he was talking. After all, he had been talking all day and my ears were tired. 

So yesterday while dark out, he felt it was pertinent to let Eric know that he was no longer afraid of the dark because that was when he was "little age 5".  I guess that would be different from the "big age of 5" that he is now. 

I took some pics around the house (off my iphone) but they came out so blurry that I'm embarrassed to show them. I'll try again another day. However, I did finally receive my kitchen table and two side chairs. The other four chairs are incognito somewhere between Florida and Washington or may be still at the manufacturers. At least thats what customer service told me yesterday. So glad they narrowed it down to the U.S.! 

The week prior was a wet one. I think you could probably stand there and watch the rose bushes grow. It was crazy fast. They since have been trimmed, pruned, whatever it is you do to them. 

Aww.... heck, blurry pics....whatever. Had to throw a pick of the monkeys in!

And this blurry pic. Because if you look closely, there is a ridiculously large Ramen noodle box on the counter. Mom, this should worry you. My kitchen is calling your name and looking forward to your visit! 


The Artist's Masterpiece

 The artist's tools.....

 The artist's masterpiece!

And now she needs more canvas!

BTW, I re-read my post about my flu bug. So sorry, folks, for the multitude of grammatical errors! It pained me to even read it, and my mother, I'm sure, was questioning my ability to cognitively function! OUCH! I'm still getting over it, but on the mend. All that means is that my house is a disaster of magnificent proportions, there is laundry everywhere, and I can't find the bottom of the sink. I have someone come help with the cleaning (not the laundry) and I feel badly paying her the regular price. You know I'm cheap so the house MUST be bad! Maybe I'll have the munchkins at least help by picking up the clothes and toys off the floor and help with the laundry.  


Good Wishes and more moving "fun"

I forgot to post my "get well soon" sign that the kids made me. I'm so happy they decided not to nail them to the walls! 

I've been emailing and on the phone now for quite awhile trying to get the money back from ATLAS VAN LINES that they said they would send. Thirteen emails and three phone calls later and I haven't made much progress. I did give one person the phone number and name of the president of the company since he said they would pay everything too. This isn't what I really feel like doing on a Friday afternoon. So, I'm heading to bed to try to rest. I'm sooo tired right now that it's hard to think and my eyes keep buzzing all around so it's hard to read. I'll be glad when I'm completely back to my normal!


Down for the Count

I wore blue; Did you? My blue was in the form of a superman banket, but mostly I was green. My face, that is. I ended up with some weird flu bug that causes so much pain in your bones and muscles that you feel you at the end of life. Extreme, yes. But oh how badly this hurt! I was crying and moaning all night Tuesday night. I didn't  get out of bed Wednesday.  Thursday, I started out in the chair in my room to help the kids with school, but by 10 AM, I knew I had to get back in bed. My head was spinning and I wasn't seeing to clearly. I slept another five hours and am feeling better. This is the second time I've had this exact thing. If it happens a third time, I'm not playing tough girl and waiting it out, I'm going to the walk in or ER. It officially has me beat!

Allyson ran the house with an iron hand. She was my substitute teacher for Grant and Jake making sure Jake worked on his number recognition, his geography, Bible, math. She help Grant with math, gave him his math test and graded it. She also did her work as well. She cooked green eggs and ham for lunch, noodles for dinner, and then I think ham and corn for dinner for Eric. She made sure the boys played outside and did all kinds of activities with them. Today, she put a pot roast in the crock pop for me and fed the boys their breakfast. 

A lot of times I think Allyson is immature compared to the girls she is around. She doesn't know about things she shouldn't, she can't tell you what the latest song is, or the latest fashion trends. But that isn't maturity, is it? Somewhere along the lines, we've forgotten what true maturity is. Allyson has shown what it is by her example of stepping into a position that was needed, by serving others, by taking the lead and doing it well. She is a sweet heart and came in several times to check on me and see what I needed. What a girl! 

Now if I could only keep my head from doing those impromptu swirly-wigs making me dizzy! 


World Arthritis Day Support!

Tomorrow, October 12,  is World Arthritis Day! There are a number of ways to help out to increase Arthritis Awareness. The easiest way to participate is to wear blue, maybe....ALL BLUE? I believe I'll be looking for blue out of my "mommy wardrobe" tomorrow for sure. 

Another great way is to get a massage. Yes, indulging will actually help out the Arthritis foundation. For every Massage Envy massage, they will donate $10 to the Arthritis Foundation! I just found out about this one. A massage sounds really nice right about now considering we've had some wet weather that wasn't expected quite yet! Studies have shown a significant decrease in the level of pain and stiffness in RA and fibromyalgia patients with regular massages. You can click THIS LINK to find out more information about the benefits and where to go locally to find a participating spa for your massage to support the Arthritis Foundation. 

Another supportive way is to get involved in the 24,900 miles around the world campaign and get moving. Studies are clear in showing the benefits of exercise has on arthritis. I know it has kept my joints moving and I have a lot less pain when I keep up with exercising. You can click THIS LINK to read more about it and log into Facebook to keep track of the miles.  It starts now and ends October 31. I think my family and I may do this one. Eric, Ally, and Grant usually go for a jog every evening. It's usually Jake and myself following behind in more of a walking pace! But I'll admit,  I've missed a few of these family jogs as sometimes I take those minutes away from kiddos as my sanity. After all, a few minutes of peace and quiet is good!! This goal though, out to motivate me to get moving with them as well. I'll also be able to count our hikes on the facebook page as well. So, consider it! And help the Arthritis Foundation reach their goal of 24,900 miles! 



I have yet to take my camera to any of Grant's games. Sad, I know. However, the other parents have been doing a great job and posting them to a FB page for us all to follow so I've been riding on their coat-tails. The following pics are borrowed from another mom/dad that took pics of Grant for me. 

This past week, he received the MVP award for his outstanding athleticism and effort. He was sooo excited to finally get that award. It came with a little painted plaque that his coach made. Did I mention that his coach is a woman.....and pretty.....and really, really good at soccer? Those facts alone must keep those boys motivated! 

This is a pic of Grant right after he scored his goal! 

Now, let me tell ya about this one. You see the big kid laying flat on Grant? Well, Grant had the ball and they got a bit tangled up which, well, made him land on Grant. Grant fell pretty hard on his back knocking his glasses off. It kind of startled me and the referee blew the whistle to stop the game thinking Grant was hurt. Grant didn't hear the whistle, got back up, and kept dribbling the ball to the goal. Even the other teams parents were cheering for him at that point! Grant's response after the game?  "Mom! That guy was really heavy!".  That's my boy! 

He may be small, but he plays a very smart game and isn't intimidated by anyone. He sees it as a very fast moving chess game. 

Even other parents have told us how much fun he is to watch play. He is a little powerhouse! 

Looks like we'll be keeping him in soccer. He loves playing and he's fun to watch! 


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