Friday, January 30, 2009

I'd Like To Thank . . .

. . . My parents, grandparents, sisters, husband, children, friends, enemies, kindergarten teacher, appliance delivery man, President, et al.--the fodder for my blogs. I would like to especially thank my wonderful, super amazing friend April at Party of Seven for giving me my first blog award!

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Now here are the rules for this award:
1. Pass it on to 5 fabulous blogs, and include the one that gave it to you (and Link them) 2. List 5 of your fabulous addictions.

I created more rules for myself in choosing five fabulous blogs. No friends, family or freaks with the added rule that we must "know each other" through our blogs.

(Drum roll please . . . appearing in the order they entered my life . . . )

1. Ordinary Time
2. Bunny's Mom
3. With Honour
4. A Bushel and a Peck
5. Bryson Makes Eight

I can't wait until I get my new blog look (a Christmas gift from April) where I will list all my friends, sisters, and other blogs I love.

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Now, for my five fabulous addictions (again I made rules they can't be addictions everyone already knows about like adoption, blogging, coffee, skinny dipping etc.)
1. Anything medical--I always thought I'd be a doctor when I grew up and still have a fascination with any TV show, news article, or study, regarding the field of medicine.
2.) People watching--I could sit for hours just watching their interactions--the sociological aspect is addicting.
3.) Reading--okay, so you already know I love to read, but I am truly addicted! I even caught myself reading the "Toxic Shock" information from the tampon box--AGAIN--which means I've gone beyond normal. I also love to read an incredibly wide variety of material--yes, including tampon box inserts.
4.) Adventure--anything new--ideas, food, travel, museums, experiences.
5.) Children. You already knew that? Did you know I have an amazing collection? You did? Well, did you know that when I first read the Guinness Book of World Records and discovered a girl had a baby at the age of nine I started praying I'd be next? (I was eight). This is truly my biggest (and most expensive) addiction. My bookcase is stuffed full of books on parenting and adoption. I have loved babies since I was a baby myself and spent my childhood cutting out kids pictures from the Sears catalog, naming them and drawing pictures of my future house! I would love to have twelve! Every age is fun--except the moving out stage, which Will is about to embark on--more blog fodder.

Thank you. Thank you very much! (You can't see me, but I'm bowing)

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Dreams

Today I was sitting in the living room pondering paint color. I just finished painting the entry which started off the snowball effect of me thinking I now need to repaint the entire interior.

See Mommy. See Mommy paint. See Mommy paint and paint and paint. (Perhaps she likes smelling paint fumes?)
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See Lizzy. See Lizzy paint. See Lizzy paint and paint and paint. (Perhaps she's trying to earn Brownie points so Mommy will convince Daddy that all girls' college would not be a good thing.)
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Anyhoo, as I sat there (pondering paint) Kim ran in, rushed past, then stopped dead in her tracks and retreated. She stood there just looking at me in the most quizzical manner. After a long pause she finally asked, with complete sincerity, "Mommy, are you on time-out?"

I busted out laughing realizing I was sitting in our oft used time-out chair appearing to be doing nothing--except sitting--which is rare.

It got me thinking. I wish I DID have a mother who would put me on time-outs. Ahhh, just to sit and think and sit and ponder and sit. And while I'm dreaming, I wish my mother would force me to take naps. And to go to bed early. I would be very, very naughty. I would need a lot of time-outs and a lot of naps.

The dreams of a mother of many.

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Everything comes in bulk in our house--even time-out chairs! Anyone want to come and join me for a time-out session? You bring the Starbuck's I'll provide the chairs!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Our Little Girl Is Growing Up

We've been letting her go on group dates but I think after tonight we're going to change our dating rules.

We had some neighbors over when Lizzy was getting ready for Winter Formal. When she walked down the stairs and out of the house ALL the neighbors agreed we are in BIG trouble!

Instead of allowing her to date when she is 16, just weeks away, we have decided she can date AFTER she gets married. And she can't get married until she is 30! An arranged marriage of course!

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As much as we are not ready for Lizzy to grow up, we really like her friend--G4.
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Lizzy's friend won the limo in a drawing and invited Lizzy and G4 along. Fun!
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Having a girl after three boys is a completely different experience. Ever since the dance, Lizzy's father has been spending large amounts of time on the computer Google searching "all womens' colleges," "all womens' colleges on deserted islands," and "nunneries."

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

A Dictionary For The President Please

Remember my post about Patrick becoming President? Well, I think I still need to teach him a thing or two before his election.

As we watched the inauguration yesterday I marveled at how sweet and mannerly Obama's two little girls were. I wondered how well my own two little boys would do in that situation.

I looked over at them, cuddled up on the couch with sweet smiles. I realized they would probably behave very well. I would have threatened them with their very lives while simultaneously bribing them with goods--the promise of a spending spree at Toys R Us, Cinnabon and Game Stop.

As we continued to watch the inauguration I could completely imagine my two little angels on TV. They were even being quiet in real life, mesmerized by all that was happening on the momentous, historical occasion. I looked up at the TV, and instead of seeing the new First Lady I imagined myself, sitting between my two, quiet, well behaved little darlings. I felt like the perfect mom.

The orchestra members were being introduced . . . and . . .
and my reverie ended.

Patrick cackled with laughter and squealed with glee! He began shouting, "Did you hear that!!!! Did you hear THAT?? He just called that lady a penis! A PENIS!!!"

That's pianist son. Pianist.

I guess we still have a few things to teach him before his own inauguration day.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Happy Birthday Vu!

Vu is seven! It seems impossible that he has only been with us 1/7 of his life--his joy, exuberance and love fill our lives to overflowing. When I realize what a small part of his life we have been able to experience I feel the loss deeply. I am so grateful for the pictures and updates we do have, from the time he was a tiny baby.

He was SO excited for his birthday. He woke up at 6, asked me if it was his birthday, then went flying downstairs. I think he was confusing his birthday with Christmas! There was no disappointment however, he had a full, wonderful day.

Luke Skywalker starts the day with a new light-up Mickey lightsaber:
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Lunch at a new pho restaurant and no, he did not eat the whole bowl!
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Fun at Chuckies--I just hope this isn't an indicator of how he will drive as a teen:
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Grandma and Grandad joined us and gave Vu these cool animals called "zoomorphs" that he liked so much he didn't even want to play video games anymore! All the kids enjoy putting them together and making various creations. It takes a lot for me to think a toy is cool--these get two thumbs up!
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Pinata:
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Anticipation:
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New scooter!
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Daddy the baker comes through with another awesome cake complete with Vu's American name:
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I wonder what he wished for?
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Happy Birthday Luke Minh Vu! You came to us so innocent, brave soul that you are, full of laughter and joy, temper tantrums and tears, teasing, laugher, love, boy-energy and smiles. You light up our lives and those all around.

May all your dreams come true.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Does He Speak English?

Years before we adopted Vu our son Will (now 19) would advocate for us to adopt another child. He would actually get on Holt's website, find a waiting child he thought was a good match, and download the picture as our screensaver!

Believe me, I would have said "yes" to all of those kids but I have a husband who has a top priority of keeping his wife sane. (Or, maybe he just wants to make sure he still has money for necessities--food, water, shelter, golf.)

Anyhoo, I thought Will would be thrilled when I finally coerced Eric into adopting again. (Did I just say that out loud? Of course I didn't mean coerced, I meant to say when we both decided our lives wouldn't be complete without another child). Will was thrilled--until we told him we weren't adopting a baby. That was when he decided it was not a good idea for us to adopt again, not a good idea at all! In fact, he was very opposed!

Why? He thought it was going to be too frustrating and overwhelming to adopt a child who was older, who couldn't speak English, who couldn't communicate.

Well, suffice it to say that teaching this kid English has been a breeze. I really can't even say "teaching" because he seems to just absorb it like teenagers sponge the 20 bucks we just got at the bank!

I was driving in the car yesterday and reminded of Will's fears--I can't believe how far Vu has come in just one year. He was talking to Patrick about a book:

"Is this the main character?"
"This story is actually very complicated!"
"I think that kid is just over-reacting!"

Yea. I think the kid speaks English--which isn't to say everything is coming easily for him (he's still about three years behind in small motor skills) but it just goes to show that sometimes the things we fear most about adopting internationally can end up being the easiest.

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Oh, and for the record, the minute Vu stepped off that plane, Will became his biggest fan!

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Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Older And Wiser

A friend sent me the following funny on my birthday:


THREE WOMEN, TWO YOUNGER, AND ONE SENIOR CITIZEN, WERE SITTING NAKED IN A SAUNA.

SUDDENLY THERE WAS A BEEPING SOUND. THE YOUNG WOMAN PRESSED HER FOREARM AND
THE BEEP STOPPED. THE OTHERS LOOKED AT HER QUESTIONINGLY. 'THAT WAS MY PAGER,' SHE SAID. I HAVE A MICROCHIP UNDER THE SKIN OF MY ARM.

A FEW MINUTES LATER, A PHONE RANG. THE SECOND YOUNG WOMAN LIFTED HER PALM TO HER EAR. WHEN SHE FINISHED, SHE EXPLAINED, 'THAT WAS MY MOBILE PHONE. I HAVE A MICROCHIP IN MY HAND.'

THE OLDER WOMAN FELT VERY LOW -TECH. NOT TO BE OUT DONE, SHE DECIDED SHE HAD TO DO SOMETHING JUST AS IMPRESSIVE. SHE STEPPED OUT OF THE SAUNA AND WENT TO
THE BATHROOM. SHE RETURNED WITH A PIECE OF TOILET PAPER HANGING FROM HER REAR END.
THE OTHERS RAISED THEIR EYEBROWS AND STARED AT HER.

THE OLDER WOMAN FINALLY SAID.........WELL, WILL YOU LOOK AT THAT....I'M GETTING A FAX!!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

2009 Rocks

My (borrowed) New Years' Resolution idea has taken hold. I've struggled with which rocks should be the big ones--so many necessary big rocks and so little space in the jar.

I am not a collector but I do have a handful of meaningful rocks--picked up over the years even including a few marbles from my grandmother. They now have a new residence by my kitchen window.

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It bothered me the jar is so full--I like the idea of having room to breathe. I tried to pare down, but each rock is special and in the end I decided the full jar replicates my life.

My biggest rocks this year:
1.) Getting up early--spending time with God and mentally preparing for my day
2.) Health--for the entire family
3.) Education--if for no other reason than the amount of time, energy and money being spent on it--I want to keep the priority high

What are your "big rocks" this year?

Friday, January 9, 2009

YOU CAN'T MAKE ME!

Replay of conversation Sunday evening:

"Look! It's starting to snow! Maybe school will be cancelled AGAIN!"

"What??? It's snowing again? No! I WANT school to start tomorrow! Three weeks stuck at home is too long! Please stop snowing, please stop snowing! If school is cancelled tomorrow I'm going to go crazy!"

"But I don't want school to start! Keep snowing! Pleeeease!"

"Oh, c'mon! School is fun!"

The whine becomes whinnier--"But I love vacation! I love sleeping in, staying up late, movies, books, hot chocolate, lounging around all day in my pajamas! School is too much work! I don't want to go back to school! No, no! I don't want to be on a tight schedule with every second of every day planned! (the brow furrows, the foot stomps) I won't do it! I WON'T AND YOU CAN'T MAKE ME!!!"

Stunned silence

My children look at me in shock and Kim finally says, "But Mom, school is good for you."

Yes, my kids were ready to start back to school and I was the one hissing and shooting spitballs at the calendar. Unlike most of my friends who were partying Monday morning, I was pulling out the homeschool books and starting my own classes that very evening. Truthfully, I have a love/hate relationship with school.
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I love homeschooling Vu and Patrick and I'm excited to finally be entering my senior year of college but there's no down time and after being a slug for three weeks it's really hard to get back in gear. Sigh! The lack of a blog for a week says it all. I think I would make a really great bag-lady--as long as I had books, money for Starbucks and a computer.
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A few more snow days would be just fine with me!

Friday, January 2, 2009

A Lazy Way To New Years' Resolutions

Borrow them from someone else! And not your husband--I started with that last year, remember? LOL!

I'm stealing mine from one of my favorite blogs-- Holy Experience (Jan 2 entry). I especially love how Voskamp says we start each day with a new jar.

Enjoy filling your jars in 2009--make sure you get the big rocks in first.

Where Is God?

In regards to my last post, it really did have something to do with my children's birth mothers but it was near the end of that long post. Writing is therapeutic so I sometimes don't get to the point until I'm through with my therapy session! Thanks for providing the role of therapist--feel free to bill me!

As to Lori's question, I have read The Shack! I highly recommend it and would put it in my "Top 50 Favorites". It was especially helpful because Joe suffered so much through cancer and he was also in a relationship that wasn't the best--someone who hurt him a lot and hurt us a lot. Maybe someday I'll be able to talk/blog about it. Stick around for another ten years--then you'll REALLY be able to bill me!

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The Shack (Wm Young) gave me an entirely new perspective on God's love for each of His children--even those who have done horrendous things. And indeed, the book starts out with every parent's nightmare--an abducted child. I wouldn't have been able to keep reading but Eric encouraged me to keep going. I'm glad I did. It put me on the road to healing.

I really can't put the book into words. I will say it does help answer the question, "Where is God in a world so filled with unspeakable pain?" It's a fiction book but I now think of God, heaven, forgiveness and unconditional love in new ways.

Put it on your New Years' Reading List. I hope you are all enjoying the last days of Christmas--I'm sad to see it end. We've had way too much fun and relaxation so it will be hard to get back into the swing of school! I might need more therapy soon!