Wednesday, March 04, 2009
Out of trouble!
Well, I have been gotten onto by several people now. They all say they are tired of 5 months of Disney pictures with no updates! Shame on me, right?

Well, today is the day. It won't be long, and it won't be cute or witty or anything of the sort, but it will be an update and get those Disney pictures off the top of my blog.

Aralyn has been really clingy lately. She is huggy and hangs onto us a lot lately. I think she knows that there is a big change coming our way with Axtan's arrival, but of course she isn't quite sure of all the changes that will bring. She is really excited about him coming, though. She talks to my tummy often and just says "I love you, Axtan!" as loud as she can. "I love you" might be her favorite thing to say. She will call my name and really need my attention and that will be all she has to say to me. The other day she called and called and called me and when I was able to give her my attention, she said..."Oh, I don't really have anything to say."

Today we got out the Disney Bella Dancerella set that Alora got last Christmas. She was too young for it last year and Alora wasn't interested, but today they both were interested. Alora danced and paid very close attention through half of the video. Aralyn just stood and looked confused. She wanted to watch it again, so she did and that time she did some of the moves. She figured out how to work the DVD player and so she kept pushing play and was able to watch it several more times while Adam and I were busy with lunch preparations. She was really getting into it and now she has a cute little curtsy and several little dance moves that are really sweet.

Alora is loving school. She adores drawing and her reading has really taken off. She is sounding out words and even writing simple things that she spells out. At Christmas we had a million envelopes with scribbled pieces of paper (letters) and drawings sealed inside that said "To: Stu" (Stu was how she had sounded out Santa).

She is still very much into cutting paper. She makes the sweetest things with paper and scissors and a glue stick. She will cut out little body parts and glue them together and then make tiny clothing that fits. She will fold and cut paper to make little bows for "presents" and decorations. She will cut paper and color it to make shirts and hats and skirts for her stuffed animals. She will fold paper and draw on one half and then cut out a picture...usually a person or animal. These are all usually gifts for someone or very important keepsakes that must be mailed or saved or preserved in some form or fashion. Adam and I have a hard time cleaning up after her when she isn't around so we can weed some of it to the trash can.

She is very interested in babies right now. Our neighbors have an infant daughter and she is always right next to. She is always wanting to hold her and cuddle her. She bounces her and moves her around. Being so small herself, she makes us nervous and we figure if their daughter survives Alora, then Axtan will be prepared for her.

Aidan is loving his new school curriculum too. It is done on the lap top so that he can do it anywhere and we don't have to lug everything with us. It plans out his lessons and when they are due and I can go and edit things as I need to. I can make lots of decisions about how he does things and even go back and have him rework problems. The other day I needed to do that. He had been pretty sick and was feeling poorly. I didn't quite realize how bad he really felt until I went to look at his grades for the lessons he had done. He made Cs and Ds on everything he did. He spelled KNOW: wnow. I knew that was just not right, so I had him rework the problems he had done before and he got all As.

He is really anxious about Axtan's arrival. He asks me daily it seems how early Axtan could come and not be sick or have to be in the hospital. He tries to figure out how many more days are in this month and add the days to figure out how much longer. He is loving to feel Axtan move and see my belly move when he does. Aidan is really sweet about wanting to know what I think Axtan might like to play with or do when he is born. He is very cute when we are at a store that has baby clothing. He always wants to get something for him. The other day at Wal-mart we saw a little onesie that had a screen-printed striped neck tie on it. It really was cute. The kids were looking at it and Aidan said that Axtan could have that shirt for the first time he went to church. Alora says, "Yeah, all the little girls at church will think he is so cute!" It was so funny!

Adam and I have been very busy with the boys in the house lately. They all seem to have issues right now with their families or situations that are out of their control and that always seems to create extra stress. So many with so much extra stress just means that they are much more likely to cause problems for each other and for them selves. Sadly, that usually just makes things worse all the way around, so we have been trying to stay on top of things. It can be hard to keep all the issues in mind when dealing with them and dealing with consequences. It does help usually for us to keep those things in mind when we are communicating with them, but that isn't to say that it is always easy to do. It is a daily struggle and one that does tend to make us tired.

We are already trying to plan some things for the summer as a house and it is looking like a pretty busy time. I hope that a new addition doesn't make some of those plans too hard to pull off. Some things would definitely be interesting with an infant along, but we are always up for it.

Well, that is that for now. I have pictures on my camera that I will try to get posted on here soon. I lost my camera for a while, so there were a few months when nothing got photo-ed. So sad, I know.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

We had the BEST time! We could have stayed so much longer and still not have had our fill of the parks and the food and the fun.

We drove down on Saturday morning as soon as we could get out of the house. It was close to 11 am before we could leave though since we had to wait until relief could come in for the boys and we could make sure we passed on all pertinent information to them.

It took us close to 10 hours to get there since we stopped several times for extended potty breaks and for eating lunch. We looked around the hotel gift shop and picked up a few things there and then decided we had better eat. It took us a little while to figure out the meal plan, but once we did, it was wonderful! We all had plenty to eat and headed back to our room to make sure we were rested up for the next day. We had only grabbed a few bags when we first went to our rooms, so we decided to get a bag cart to roll back to the car to grab the rest of our things. We made the kids sit on it to get back to the room faster, and it started raining...hard! We were running back the room with the kids getting soaked. I stripped them all out of their wet things and got them ready for bed, while Adam took advantage of a lull in the rain to get the rest of our things. It rained a good bit that night, so we weren't too sure what the next day would look like.

We woke up early enough to make it to the Magic Kingdom by opening. We ate in the room, and then headed for a bus to take us there. It was a great morning. We saw Jimminy Cricket first thing. Then we walked down Main Street to see the castle. While walking around the castle we saw the step mother and ugly step sisters, but no one wanted to see them, because "they are mean". We then ran into Alice and the Mad Hatter right before we went on the tea cups. We didn't have to wait more than 5 or 10 minutes to get autographs or photos with any of them. It was great!

We did some rides there in Fantasy Land, and then we saw the sword in the stone. Adam talked Aidan into trying to pull it out and I told him to really try while I took a picture....and low and behold, it came up! There was a lady there that presented him with a special certificate and some fast passes, as well as a priority pass which was good for anything that day. He also got an honorary Prince of the day sticker to put on his shirt...several people asked him about it, so he got to share his pride at pulling the sword out of the stone. He was so happy!

We then went and did the rides that he had earned fast passes for, and then headed over to Hollywood Studios for our lunch at the 50s Prime Time Cafe.

Aidan, Adam and Alora did a few rides that Aralyn was too short for and we walked around until they were finished. We made sure to make a stop in the Tatooine gift shop. Aidan was able to design a double ended light saber and then went to check out. When he was checking out the lady asked him if he was a Sith or a Jedi...he said Sith (because he thought she was asking him if his light saber was for a Sith or a Jedi). So she gave him a Sith trading pin. He got lots of compliments on it.

We headed back to our hotel for a long nap. We had found out that morning on the bus that the Magic Kingdom would be open until 3 am, so we decided to make the most of an emptier park and head back out after a good long nap and stay up until 3, since we didn't have anything other than dinner plans the next day. We had the best time that was a super long day that seemed like more than one day of fun. We rode lots of things in the dark in Tommorow Land... and that was cool, since it was more interesting in the dark. We saw some fireworks and watched the castle change colors. We headed back when the park closed...didn't get to our room until after 4 am and then slept in until 11:30 am.

More to come later...I am super tired and sick to boot! Never fun to come home from vacation sick!

Friday, August 22, 2008
We have been anxiously awaiting our trip at the end of the month to Disney World. The girls are super excited to be going and Aidan is excited about rides and the Star Wars and Indiana Jones things. I think that he will be happy about more than just that part, but so far that is what he keeps looking at on the maps that I ordered.
I was able to find a good deal on some lanyards and pins on Ebay and ordered those for the kids. We also took a trip down to the Disney warehouse thing in Jonesville. I was hoping to find some pins there, or some cute little toys or something to hand out on the trip down there. I was only able to find a tee shirt for each of us and a swimsuit for each of the girls. Oh well, now we know what there is there. There will be lots of pictures to post and talk about when we get back...

Alora went to the eye doctor a week ago and she was found to be far sighted. This wouldn't be that big a deal, but her eyes aren't even. Her left eye is twice as bad as her right. She will need to wear her new glasses most of the time, in hopes that her left eye will get stronger and correct itself. She is happy to have them and is looking forward to her new ones that we ordered (we thought it would be best to have a back up and a spare!)

The kids have re-discovered Wikki Sticks after a recent trip to Zaxby's . Alora is loving to make little figures out of them. Here is Nikki and Mikki. Aren't they a cute couple?

A while ago we went to the movies on our night off and look who we found in the lobby when we came out. Aralyn was fascinated with the Stormtrooper, as he was little. He was the cutest thing in his little costume, although we were lucky to get a picture with his helmet on, since he kept removing it because of how hot it was. He was so adorable...that is his mom behind them. Neat huh?

Wednesday, May 21, 2008
What else?
We have been waiting and waiting for our leaser to buy our house. Patiently or not so patiently. He has until October to do so, so we might have the pleasure of waiting for quite a while longer.

We got a call from our realtor yesterday saying that we needed to pay about $200 for a plumber to come out and look at the house, cause there was a leak. Not real sure about where or what or whatever, but we told her to go ahead and send in the clowns....I mean plumbers.

So, then we get a call saying that it doesn't look too bad, the carpet wasn't too wet. Blah, blah, blah.

Well, today we get another call from her, wanting us to give her our insurance information cause it looks like there might be some damage to the subfloor. Uggghhh!

It has been really hard not to let it get us really depressed. Just seems like there is always something.

Also, several of the boys are having a really hard time with school being close to out. Usually this would be a time of rejoicing, and they are for the most part glad to be out soon, and heading to the beach and camp, but they are also thinking about other things. Most of them were hoping against all odds that they would be able to head home or to a foster home this summer, and many of them have had no news or plans for any changes as of yet. It makes them frustrated to know that they won't be heading home and that they more than likely will be looking at at least another year in placement. Emotions are on the edge and just waiting to spill out. It makes for some added stress around here.

There are lots of changes about to occur and they are all just really on edge. Makes my heart break for them sometimes. Some of them are waiting on parents who are unlikely to make changes that they should, others are waiting on red tape....and we all know how that can be.

May the Lord grant us some calm and peace and assurance.

Monday, April 28, 2008
He said, she said

Adam asking about a friend of Aralyn's: "When will she be 3?"

Alora: "On her birthday!"


While waking Arlayn for church on Sunday morning: "Aralyn, time to wake up and go to bible class."

Aralyn : "Bible class?! YES!" (with fists in the air)


Aidan "We work at a children's home...well, actually, my parents do most of the work, we just help."


While crying and tears running down her face...
Aralyn "Momma, Alora said I was not happy, but I am happy!"
more tears and crying


Alora, while crying because her hair was tangled and I was trying to get her hair fixed: "Aralyn, you have hair that is always fixed and I don't, so your hair never hurts, but mine does."


After Aidan's school work today, I wanted him to read. I asked him to read one chapter of a new book from the library. He fussed and said: "Ah, man, I wanted to finish reading in my bible in Matthew where I left off."
(In order to keep him from his relationship with the Word, I conceded and let him read his bible instead.) :-)


While Aidan was reading his bible the girls went to see if he would read aloud to them. They sat for a few minutes while he read aloud and then went on to other things. He came to me with his bible: "Momma, the girls are good girls, but they could be better girls, but they won't learn to be better girls if they don't read the bible. I was trying to read to them but they won't stay and read, so I don't know if they will be better girls, but I think they should."

Wednesday, March 05, 2008
Are you happy?
Aralyn has not been sleeping well the past little while. Not that I am surprised. She and Alora have been wanting to sleep together lately, and Alora's legs aren't the most comfortable thing to have thrown over your body!

In the middle of the night Aralyn will grab how ever many toys she happened to go to bed with, sometimes it is one stuffed toy, sometimes a whole arm full, plus her sippy cup of water and come traipsing into our room to crawl up in bed with us. We are too tired to take her back to bed and lay beside her to make sure she drifts back to sleep without ending up sleeping with her as well, so we just let her cuddle in the bed with us. The other day after having slept the last few hours of the morning in bed with us, she woke without opening her eyes and smiled and said, "I am so happy!" It was the sweetest thing! To be followed up with, "Are you happy, Momma?" and crawling up on me to look in my face and wait for the answer. Oh course, I answered, "Yes!"


We went to Winterfest a few weeks ago and it was so great! We left our 3 with the grandparents to make it easier to travel and to walk around and keep up with our kids. It was great to be there with the youth group from church because we haven't had a good opportunity to get to know them all well yet. There are still some that I am not quite sure of names, but some of them I do know now and that is helpful. One of the drawbacks of having a large church is learning every one's names.

I had never been to Winterfest before and I must admit that it was a bit overwhelming taking in the massive number of people there! It was crazy. I am sure that there were tons of people there that we knew, but with over 13,000 people in one town and two different times for the talks and such, there was no way of seeing everyone. We did run into a couple of people that we knew, and it was good to see them. Some we hadn't seen since before we had children! Crazy huh?

We had one of our boys get baptized after we returned home and two girls too! It was great to have them get baptized and for the youth group to share that with them when we returned to the building.


I have been asked to be the assistant teacher for Alora's bible class on Wed. night. I am not sure how I feel about teaching her class, as she can be a bit clingy, and sometimes it is best to just let them be on their own. However, it is affording me the opportunity to get to know the kids in her class and to get to know some of the parents. I have a hard time placing the kids with their parents, since the kids under kindergarten age can (but don't have to) stay in class during worship. Most of the parent's and their children choose to stay in the class and so if you don't see them dropping off or picking up their children, you don't know who belongs to whom. It is a bit confusing. I also have a hard time matching up most of the couples. There are numerous bible classes to choose from on Sunday morning and the one we attend is only about 30 people or so. Wed. night there was a lady's class and so I recognize most of the women from that, but don't know who their families are. It has been a long time since I have been in a church where I didn't know the ins and outs, the families (both extended and immediate), the pasts. People will mention things sometimes, and it is just church history that we don't know. Hopefully after a while it will start to all come together. It is exciting to learn about new people and seek the friendship of new people.


We are heading "home" for our time off this month. It will be nice to attend church with our friends, go to an Easter Egg Hunt, a birthday party, have some time with family, spend some time alone, spend some time just Adam and me, and all in all, just rest and relax! I am looking forward to it!


Wednesday, January 30, 2008
A break of pictures!
We got a break! We went up to Asheville and got to enjoy the snow without the mess of having to go anywhere. My brother shoveled half of the driveway, so we didn't even have to worry much about ice and slush when we did get out.

We went to see the new Veggie Tales movie, and the kids really liked it! We had free tickets for the kids, so we didn't even have to pay much to see it. We also went to the Brew and View, as the locals call it and saw The Game Plan. We went mostly for the garlic knots and the pizza...Parmesan crust is the best! YUMMMM!

We were able to take the kids to get some pictures taken. They turned out really well. I am happy with them. Aralyn was actually the best one while we were there. She did what the lady asked her to do and nothing more. Aidan was acting embarrassed the whole time and so he didn't look very natural. Alora was trying too hard...the fake smile, the extra hug for Aralyn, which throws off the entire 3 person pose, the moving of her dress or her hair or her feet to a "better, more comfortable or more warm place". We were constantly having to more her back and tell her to stop hugging someone. Despite the fact that it is nearly impossible to get a wonderful picture of 3 kids, we were able to get a few of them together that we liked, and even some of each of them separately that we liked. We still need to mail them off with letters to our family and friends, but they will hopefully be sent soon. (This coming from the gal that still hasn't mailed her friends something that she has had for them since before Christmas....they might get pictures with them now!)

We are going to see the Ringling Bros. and Barnum &Bailey circus on Thursday. I haven't told any of the kids yet. I haven't' been to the circus in a long time. I think Aralyn and Alora are going to love it! Hopefully I won't forget the camera!

We finally finished our Big training. It was 6 long days of nothing but training and while it wasn't exactly boring, it was a drain on us. We have gotten nothing done for that time and it makes it hard to keep the schedule going on track.

We are also planning to go to Winterfest. The kids are all really excited and looking forward to it. Our three are going to be staying with grandparents and so they will be having fun without us. I think Adam's parents are really looking forward to the time with them. I am sure they miss them a lot.

Adam and I have been practicing guitar. Kind of the "teach our self" way. Our fingers are so sore! My hands are not the strongest things to begin with, I don't have rough hands, my fingers are "double jointed", so they "pop" backwards and my left index finger was the one that I cut a while back, so it still isn't as strong as it was. Those things make it pretty hard for me! It takes a lot of finger strength to hold the strings down firmly enough that they don't buzz. Adam's hands are strong, and rougher than mine, but his fingers are bigger, which makes it a little bit hard to get all your fingers on the frets for some of the chords. The only thing I have going for me is my tiny fingers. HEHE But I have always wanted to know how to play an instrument, so I am giving it my best shot. I am sure that Adam will have it down long before I do, but at least I am trying.

Well there is my hodge podge of information for the past month or so!