Ally's Art

Just posting pics of my kid's artwork again!


Conversations with Jake

We were sitting in a restaurant tonight eating dinner when the manager came over to check on us. All three kids immediately asked him for refills on their drinks. With cup in hand, the manager asked Jake, "What is this?".

To which Jake replied, "Empty!"

. Now that's a funny kid.


Bits and Pieces

I know, just about a week has gone by without so much as a hello. Blogging didn't really fit into life this week. We've been enjoying being busy and playing outside too. But, man, I'm exhausted! Hopefully this weekend brings some relaxation since we are expecting some rainy weather. 

Little League tryouts for Grant are this Saturday for two hours. Really? What do 8 year old boys need to be doing for two hours? (Just go ahead and interprete this sentence to mean: Gosh! I hope Eric takes Grant to sit in the rain and watch ball tryouts for two hours!)

I don't think I told you all just how "nice" H & R Block really is, did I? After confirming and reconfirming our bank account number repeatedly (say three times!), our tax professional kindly entered someone else's checking account number for the IRS to deposit our tax refund. So generous of them, isn't it? Needless to say, momma ain't happy and gave them a piece of my mind - I don't have much to spare these days-.  Eric said that after I got done with them, the manager was sooo very happy to talk to him instead! Guess our refund will take a while just like last year with the adoption credit issue. 

That's okay because in 14 days, I'm heading home to see my family.  A while back I had a couple of rough weeks of homesickness. I may have moped....maybe cried.......maybe pouted just a little. We all have our faults, right? Trying to make a happy wife, Eric bought us tickets to see our family! Homesickness vanished and we're looking ahead. 

Totally unrelated, I've followed a blog for a while that I found interesting; not educational or really uplifting, just intriguing.  Evidently the blog author is getting paid quite a bit of money for the ads on her website, and I've noticed over the years that she has frequently had more and more riveting experiences in her life. Then, while perusing the internet, I discovered a whole other site that was dedicated to many naysayers of her calling her out on all the lies she supposedly has told with specific details. I've always known I am a bit on the naive side of life, but I'm finding that both sides of the story put an incredible amount of time and emotion into "exposing the truth".  Someone has to have a nose longer than Pinocchio somewhere! Realizing that bloggers have scandalized people in the past by weighing on people's emotions and eventually money, I just find weighing both sides compelling, but I still don't understand why people work so hard to hate each other either. 


The Big Screen

Eric and I headed out for a date to watch a movie on the big screen, and I do mean big! There is a newer theater called Cinetopia here that boasts the largest screen on the West Coast - bigger than the IMAX screens. They also have living room theaters, and parlor theaters in which waiters serve you dinner and snacks. Some of them even have their own patio/decks! They serve chocolate chip cookies, chocolate cake, espresso, fruit cups, and even have a butter bar for your popcorn that included chocolate truffle butter! 

I seriously enjoyed my time out with Eric! So glad I snapped up that Groupon deal for Cinetopia!


To the Birthday Guy

 To Daddy on his 38th birthday:

We love you for so many reasons we couldn't possibly ever write them all down. You are an amazing dad who is loving and patient, funny and silly, a hard worker, and fiercely loyal to your family to name just a few.

I vote we start going backwards from here on out!


Valentine's Day or "Thanksgiving Day"

Heart-shaped peanut butter n' honey were in order today along with some chocolate for strawberry dipping. My mom used to make me these kinds of lunches growing up! Everything was always pretty and yummy! Of course, I am not my mother, so my kids only got their pretty lunch today. I should do better!
We had a chocolate scavenger hunt today too! good thing they found it before Lola did. I had to bribe her outside with some peanut butter!
Gram and Pop told the kids to look for the FedEx man today, and they were on a mission! Grant saw him right away and they were so excited to receive all the treats from them! Our family movie nights should be planned out for the next several weeks!

Happy Valentines Day! or as Jake calls it, "Happy Thanksgiving Day"!


Boy's Time Vs. Girl's Time

 To say my boys love Star Wars would be an understatement. They love the books, movies, characters, clothes,  and Star Wars Encyclopedia; basically anything Star Wars! Jake is especially fond of Darth Vader. Considering he heads to the "Dark Side" or whatever it is, I should be worried, I think. 

Eric decided to take them to see it on the big screen in 3D and boy, were they hyped! They wore their costumes, masks and brought the Lego Star Wars characters to the movies. Ally didn't want to go, and I can't ever imagine why! 

I dropped them off and Ally and I went out for some girl time (aka shopping and sweets!). Here is our attempt at taking their pic as they were walking in the theater!

Throughout the movie, a couple of characters including Darth himself romped through the theater with their "glow-in-the-dark light saber".  Jake got his pic with his new best friend. 

Now on to all things sweet! Ally picked out a gift for her friend, drank a frappuccino, tried on clothes......
tried on more clothes........... and then we stopped at a cupcake shop for some beautiful, delicious treats.

 And I've discovered that if you take a 12 year old girl shopping, she'll want some caffeine. And if you give her caffeine,  she'll want a cupcake. And if you give her a cupcake, she'll want to go shopping.......

Just in case you're wondering,
Lemon cake with a raspberry center and raspberry chiffon buttercream frosting and a chocolate cake with peanut butter buttercream frosting.  


What Homeschooling Looks Like

(Someone asked where I bought the "letter cookies".  I found them in Albertson's bakery department which is the same company as Acme. I like them because they are small so eating your full name isn't too bad!)


This and That Thursday

 I love a clear day here because Mt. Hood is spectacular. It's huge; it's white; and it stares you in the face. One of these days, I'm going to bring my camera with me just so I can get a clear shot. Ally tried taking some with my iPhone. It doesn't do the day or the mountain justice from the grainy picture. I promise, it was a clear blue day!

Little Mister has been working on getting used to his glasses. They hurt the back of his ears quite a bit so I think we need to have them adjusted. Any advice on trying to fit glasses to Asian faces really well? It has taken a lot of adjustment for Grant to find the right fit. Jake was even more difficult.....still is. He's wearing a small adult frame and using a band on the glasses to keep them from falling off. Hmmm....

We found some shortbread cookies in the shape of letters at the store.  Great way of practicing phonics if the kids don't eat them first!


What I Want My Kids to Understand:

During our Bible time in school we've been using the book Who is God? And How Can I Really Know Him. It is the first book in a series, and I love it. 

One of the questions it helps us answer is why did God create me if he needs nothing? Why am I here? As we have been delving into these questions, I began thinking long term knowing that someday my kids may wonder why they had the beginning to life that they did. Why did God allow it to happen that way? Why adopted? Why born in another country to different birthparents? I pray all three of my kids would really search their hearts to truly understand what purpose God had in placing them in the family He chose for them.  

It hit home even more when I read this poem by Russell Kelfer in a book I've been reading. I'd thought I'd share as it's a good reminder for all of us:  

You are who you are for a reason.
You're part of an intricate plan.
You're a precious and perfect unique design,
Called God's special woman or man.

You look like you look for a reason.
Our God made no mistake.
He knit you together within the womb,
You're just what He wanted to make.

The parents you had were the ones he chose,
And no matter how you may feel,
They were custom-designed with God's plan in mind,
And they bear the Master's seal.

No, that trauma you faced was not easy.
And God wept that it hurt you so;
But it was allowed to shape your heart
So that into his likeness you'd grow.

You are who you are for a reason,
You've been formed by the Master's rod.
You are who you are, beloved,
Because there is a God!


Tuesday's PE



          Sitting in the rock climbing center, I was watching Ally and Grant scramble their way to the top of a huge wall with ease.   They climb in a group of about 8 kids with 2 adults strapped to their gear. I saw one blonde headed little boy out of the corner of my eye. He was off to the side away from the other children and working alone with a trainer on a wall. I think it was the bright blonde hair and a huge smile that made me notice him. He was trying to pull himself up the wall while he was safely hooked to the trainer. Then I noticed his feet and ankles that were turned and looked so stiff. As he pulled up with his skinny little arms, I couldn't help notice his stiff hand curled in. I could see this little guy had cerebral palsy but that was in no way stopping him. His trainer said, "Great job! You're doing better!" to which he replied, "Too slow! I want to be faster. I'm doing it again!".

          Not being in his shoes, I know I couldn't fully comprehend how difficult this was for him. What amazing determination and bravery he showed! I'm not even his mama, and I was proud of him. A lesson in determination played out right in front of me today!


Le Artiste!


Here's Lookin' at You!

 There is an insane number of pictures in this post. Really, insane. But I have an issue with decision making. Someone should seriously form an intervention for me and my issue 'cause this is over the top. 

Little squirt joined the Four Eyes Club today, and I think he looks super smart! 

I am so in love with this kid.

And he is so in love with his froggy boots!

Someone else got something new. At the orthodontist this week, we discovered that Grant's scissor bite has been corrected and progress made on his overbite.  He removed the large glued palate piece from Grant's mouth.  With all that progress, the doctor thought that he might enjoy actually seeing progress so a couple of front braces were put on. Man, he's just darn handsome too! Sorry, gushing mommy here. 

One of my favs

Oh wait, maybe this is my fav. 
See? Indecision is my middle name. 

Had to throw in a pic of my girl just 'cause.
Just because:
1) She's mine.
2) She did most of my grocery shopping for me
3) She's a pro at taking out splinters from little boys' fingers
4) She grows up way too quickly


A Dose of Vitamin D

Who said Oregon was only gray and rainy?  What gorgeous weather! We finished school early, hit the gym, and then headed out. Gotta pack in that Vitamin D when you can around here! 

Some were climbing trees....

Some couldn't quite make it up!

 See? Told you it was beautiful! This park is right by our house and it's a great little walk with a small pond and the Tualatin River. 

Big sis always helps him out and shows him fun things!

Good day for a bike ride. Only problem is this old girl finds it hard to keep up! Speaking of old, Jake told Eric that I wasn't fat but I was old. Eric asked why mommy was old. Jake replied, "Well, 'cause she go 'creak, creak' like this when she walk!" (He was making his fingers walk when he said this to show Eric).  Stinker!

The hill headed back home seems pretty steep when you're tired. When Eric and the kids go running, this is what the kids beat him at! Ally (again) is helping Jake get up the hill on his scooter. Then she headed back down to get her bike and rode back up again! Hmmm.....maybe she could get us both up that hill if I ride on her handlebars.  (wink, wink)


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