Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Surprise Destinations

We've been planning a big trip for awhile now.  Here's Vu and Patrick getting passport photos:




Paul's passport is still current from when I freaked out, right before leaving for three weeks when we traveled to bring Vu home.  (Note:  This is not Paul's passport photo.  But it is the photo he wishes could be on his passport.  And yes.  Paul caught that big fish all by himself!)




In 2007, the reason I wanted all my kids to have passports was in case we decided to bring the whole family to pick up Vu. 

Apparently Hubby was able to talk some financial sense into me, because we only ended up bringing the girls (which was our original plan for many reasons), but I still feel sad when I think about how long we had to leave our little ones. 

Anyhoo, I digress.  So, we've been planning a trip back to Vietnam!  We wanted to take Vu back to his orphanage where he still has many friends and to see his nannies, who raised him for nearly six years.  We wanted to return with "the one who laughs much," to bring much laughter to those who first loved him.

THEN, we decided that as long as we were going to Vietnam, we should also stop in Korea, so Paul could see his birth country.  We decided that since the girls went last time, we would take the three little boys this time.



THEN, we decided to add another country onto the trip.

Do you like surprises?  Would you like to know the other country we will be traveling to?  And when?  And why?

I do not like surprises.  I like to plan things out.  But, this is definitely a surprise.  A very big, very wonderful surprise.

Any guesses???  (No guessing if you already know :-)

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Dear Belly Fat . . .

Dear To Belly Fat,

I do not like you.  And I do not like your recent addition to my body, NOR the way you just slipped right on, no doubt when I was too busy with term papers to notice.  That was LAME to hit someone when they are so busy working hard, that they have to call a jelly doughnut from the office "lunch."  Seriously, I am so irritated I feel like just going down to one of those fat-sucker places and putting you where you belong--in a, in a, well . . . I don't even know WHERE that fat goes!  In a fat vacuum! 

Instead, because I am too cheap to pay for fat vacuuming, I am forced to have to d . . . , di . . , seriously, it is so painful to my inner self I can hardly say the word.  DIET--OKAY!  THERE!  Are you happy?  Yes, I am now on a diet, in a quest to rid fat cells from my waistline.  A waistline that was at one time, SIZE THREE!

Instead of scrumptious blueberry scones from Starbucks in the early hours, I am forced to be satisfied with a  fiber-filled bowl of oatmeal.  (And actually, I am finding it to be quite delicious--so there!)   Instead of grabbing a banana and crackers for a 3 o'clock lunch, I am dining on fruit, veggies, salads, and protein rich foods.  I miss my life of grab-and-go carbs!  At the same time tho, I'm feeling better than I have in a long time!  So THERE! 

Still, I'm mad at you.  My clothes do not fit.  You are not getting a Christmas card.  Worst of all . . . YOU ARE NOT INVITED TO MY BIRTHDAY PARTY!  Patooey!


Friday, June 25, 2010

The Problem with Pets . . .

I am enjoying summer time and catching up on special blogs.  If you need a good laugh, read my friend Debbie's recent pet adventure.  Especially if you are considering getting a new pet! 

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Summer Plans on the Cheap

I can't tell you how many times I've overheard someone from out-of-town talking about a local attraction, only to realize we still haven't seen it ourselves (and we've lived here for 15 years!).  We've seen sites around the world, yet neglected some of those closest to home.

Sooo . . . our summer plans this year are to vacation at home!  Not only do we hope to be tourists in our own state, we hope to take in free events that we never seem to have time for (concerts in the park, library entertainment, movies, museum days).  In fact, I'm hoping to keep most of our summer plans in the "free" category.  It will be fun to see how much fun we can have this summer--for free!  And, I will even blog about it so you can follow along--for free of course!  I also have some fun art projects to share.

I look forward to some R&R this summer and saving oodles of money!

Next year?  We have a BIG trip planned.  VERY big!  And we will definitely need all the money we save this year!  (More on that later.)

In the meantime, my boys are finding some free fun.  They made a fort under the pool table and are sleeping in it as I write:

Take a closer look at Vu.  He is crammed between the two supports underneath, yet has slept there all night, snug as a bug in a rug:


HAPPY SUMMER!!!!!!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Father I Adore You

Happy Father's Day to all the wonderful dads out there, including my own dads and my kid's dad!





The music video below seemed especially perfect for today. God sent me this song in a dream recently, when I was trying to make a very big life decision.  My life had been so busy I had neglected my time with God and had been trying to make the decision based on my own human thinking. 

Human thinking is when I try to make a decision based only on logic--common sense.  God thinking is when I trust God with the plan He has set before me, and make the decision with my mind AND my heart--based in God's eternal truths.

I adore my fathers--those on Earth and the One in Heaven!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Got Siblings?

One of the best parts of being a Mom to Many is witnessing the relationships between my children. 



I will be the first to admit that my children do not get as much individual parent time as they would in a two-child family--but I also know that the love they get from each other more than makes up for it. 






(I can't remember what Vu was sad about, but Patrick was trying to cheer him up.)



Got siblings?

Friday, June 18, 2010

Update #2--Lizzy's First Job

My little girl has her first real job! 

Would you like fries with that? 

Working in the snack shack at the local bowling alley.  Strike!



And she gets to help with all the crazy bowling parties too.  Uh-huh!  If that doesn't cement in her mind the idea that a college education is a good idea, I don't know what will!  LOL! 

On another note, I got a HUGE dose of Mommy guilt today when I realized we never scheduled Lizzy's friend birthday party.  Her birthday was in February.  Is it too late?  Maybe we can  do a bowling party???

She did get a pretty cool little car to buzz to and from work--surely that makes up for the tardiness?



I love you Lizzy!  Congrats on your first real job!

SO MUCH more to catch up on . . . stay tuned.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Catching Up--GI Joe

I have so much to catch up on around here--you cannot even begin to imagine!  I need to reorganize my house, clean my car (when my 8-year-old notices I need to vacuum the car, it's serious!), pay bills, do some paperwork--but mostly, I need to blog!

It's summertime!  Woo-hoo!  More time for blogging!

So, where to begin peoples?  Where to begin . . . ?  By the time I finish catching everyone up, you might will be as surprised as I am on how much has happened these past few months.

First, I'll start with the fact that Will joined the Army.  He left three weeks ago.  I know he felt that was what he was meant to do--and I agree because from the time he was a little boy he was my little GI Joe/CIA/Secret Agent guy--but it doesn't make it any easier.  I miss him.  We all do.  He's in HOT Georgia in Basic Training for the Special Forces.  So far, he says he's in his element--despite the heat!

Send out a shout and prayers for my GI Joe!  (He even got a free t-shirt out of the deal!)


We love you Will!  Be safe!

Monday, June 14, 2010

The Happiest Graduate

I was the happiest graduate ever! 



The modern technology of cell phones as everyone tries to figure out where their loved ones are sitting.  Do I look like the happiest one?


 
When I walked into the ceremony, it was like having my college life flash before my eyes--I immediately thought of all the late nights, the early mornings, the term papers, the massive reading, and the time spent in the library because I was too cheap to pay for overpriced textbooks (this was only an option if I had time between classes, because I never wanted to miss a single extra second with my kids).  I also thought of the schedule arranging, the babysitters, and rushing home from evening classes to tuck in my kids.  I gave thanks to God for my parents, my husband, my big kids, my little kids, my extended family, friends and neighbors--they all helped make this miracle happen!

And so, when I walked into the ceremony, I cried.  Happy tears.



After that, I only smiled. 














And smiled.



And smiled.



And then I smiled some more . . .



"Go confidently in the direction of your dreams . . .
live the life you have imagined."
Henry David Thoreau

Sunday, June 6, 2010

I Will Run To You

These words are running through my mind and heart today! 

Thought you would like to sing along with me--and Hillsong!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Some pictures

Us kids passed around the camera this weekend and got some great shots in our backyard. Thought I'd share them with you all. :]


Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Actually, her mom was just unavailable!

I'm now back with wonderful wedding memories of a dear friend's daughter.  Fun!  Amazing food!  Memorable!  Meaningful and beautiful!  And my first time to be able to yell out, "Mazel Tov!" 

I do have to say, I'm a little surprised that all my lectures to my kids have apparently fallen on deaf ears--my mom is out of town for a wedding--no she was just "unavailable."  So, no, this is not a good day to come over a rob our house or steal our children because my mom is HERE and she will kick your booty if you try anything and we have a HUGE Golden Retriever who will lick you to death!  LOL!

Funny story tho, we went to LA for the wedding and guess who sat right next to us for lunch?  The Governor--yes Arnold himself!  And this was not a fancy place, just a very small, quaint, inexpensive lunch spot.  I'm not usually into stars but I do have to say it was pretty cool.  He even said hello to me--he probably thought I was Reba McEntire. 

But I'm okay with that. 

Finals are next week.  THEN you get to hear lots of catch up!  Including some pictures.

Mazel Tov!