Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!

Just for's a list of the many strange and funny things said to us this year.

I just kept watching and watching as the kids came rolling out of your car. People in parking lots tell us this as they stare open mouthed.

Are they twins? This was asked a couple of times.

So, you guys do daycare. Said to us by the plumber at our house while watching me feed the kids lunch.

What makes you want to have so many kids? Said to us by the house appraiser looking at our home.

A woman asked Cam if Lydia was Indian and Cam told her no that she was Ethiopian. See, I told you she wasn't black the woman said to her friend. This was at the park and the women were African American...not sure if they were confused on their geography or what?

Are you crazy? No, we aren't crazy...well maybe we are but that has nothing to do with our choice to have 5 children;)

Are you trying to be like Brad and Angelina? Oh, please! The only thing we have in common is adoption...well, and our sex appeal...LOL! Seriously, we don't mind this comment so much. Brangelinas do have a nice family and they care very much about the orphans of this world.

Are they siblings? This is asked about Lydia and Busy Guy...we just respond yes they are now. A few leave it at that and an annoying few try to ask again as if we didn't understand the question.

Your kids were very good at dinner. We were nervous when the hostess sat you next to us. We've heard this many times as we leave a restaurant. The horrible looks we get when walking into the restaurant have made Cam dub us the "Restaurant Lepers".

And the most common comment...

Wow, you've got your hands full! We hear this one regularly...Yes, we have our hands full but also our hearts:)

We have had an amazing year! Full of fun and laughter and yes, hard work too. It will be a year to remember. When we are old and our days are mundane we will look back, reflect, laugh and cherish all the memories from this special year.

Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Birthday Girl

My sweet baby girl turned ONE today! We had a fun and then a party. It was so much fun to have a girl party...not one for just girls but one with pink, pink, pink. I'm so was like my own birthday too;) Sis got lots of pretty gifts...and it was so much fun...for her too. We had pizza and pink sprinkled cupcakes...Mmmmmm.

I'm a little sad that time is going by so fast. She is looking more and more like a toddler every day. She is no longer crawling at all and is speed-walking...soon to be running.

Now, I'm off to play with her new toys...dolls and doll house and pretty clothes...ohhhh!

The song on the that the cutest thing you've ever heard? I'm going to learn it so I can sing it to the kids every day....I love it!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Monday, December 22, 2008

Home Sweet Home

Good thing we love our home...because we can't go anywhere. We had been able to go out in the van up until yesterday. We now have over 15" of snow and the van will not make it up the hill out of our neighborhood any more! Cam walked up to the shops and tried to buy chains but of course nobody has any left. I had my neighbor take me to the grocery store today so we are stocked up now. $300.00 in groceries should last at least until the snow is gone...I hope. Unless we get some chains we won't be leaving...even for Christmas dinner at my MIL's. The temperature isn't getting above freezing and they aren't going to plow our I think we are stuck. Cam has to figure out how to get to work on the 24th. We are lucky though to be home and warm and well fed. I'm feeling bad for all the holiday travellers stuck in airports around the USA...including my SIL in Phoenix...sorry Cinn:( We hope you get here soon.
Our side yard...snow drifts

Updated photo of the backyard

Just because he's so cute!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

The Weather Report

This is who I'm married to:
Friday night when Cam got home from work (after working a long 12 hour shift running his hiney off) he ran in the house and yelled this up the stairs to me..."I'm dying to go sled down the BIG hill... I'll be right back". Cracked me up! He took the new sled and went up to the big hill in our neighborhood and had a really good run...then he tried out a few of the neighbor's driveways too. What a fun man:)

Well, the weather outside is frightful...actually it's beautiful. We've not had this much snow in years and years. And...freezing temps so it's staying around. Church was actually cancelled this morning. We are going to snuggle up and stay warm. Later today we are going to walk over to our neighbor's house for lunch. That should be fun...we might need snow shoes to get there.
Our front porch
Front yard
Back yard

Friday, December 19, 2008

Santa Visit

This year's Santa visit was as chaotic as the rest. Getting 5 kids dressed in Christmas finery and out the door to meet Santa was a task. Standing in line waiting and anticipating makes for some interesting antics. Mr. P and Busy Guy were excited...with Busy Guy running back and forth in the small confines of the line...Mr. P telling on him and/or directing him. Tuba was a stinker and used the opportunity to run away and try to escape out a nearby door. Sis cranked and cried and didn't want to be in her stroller...or her fancy dress. Baby George sat nicely and watched the chaos ensue. Lucky for us the line wasn't too long...about 20 minutes. Once inside to meet Santa Busy Guy ran right up to him and was all smiles and chatted him up. Mr. P cautiously approached while Tuba got instantly shy and all smiley. Sis took one look and cried...all the more when I placed her on his lap. She wasn't really too afraid of Santa but just wanted me to hold her. Baby George sat happily on Santa's lap.
The end result is a cute and funny photo. Our favorite shots over the years are the funny ones. The look on Busy Guy's face is his "I'm so funny" and not one of fright...although that's what it looks like. Baby George looks huge...well he is huge but it's just so funny to see him next to Sis who is 6 months older than he is. After this year's chaos Cam asked if next year we could take a photo at home and have Santa "Photo Shopped" in? Ummm....NO! This photo has been added to the line of Santa photos put out each year. It brings me so much joy and is what gets me through the experience of having the photo taken.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Snow Princess

Yesterday Sis went outside with the boys while they were sledding with Papa. I looked out the window to make sure she was happy...and what did I see? She was in this backpack on Cam's back and they were flying down the driveway on the sled. Cam would lay on his stomach and go head first down the slope. She loved it!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Tool Time

Busy Guy got his nickname because....well...he's BUSY! He gets into everything. If it's quiet we know something bad is going on. We've Busy Guy proofed the house as best we can but many a day he finds something to get into to. He has boundless energy...just like his Papa.
This week we are having our old wrought iron railing replaced (story on that to come later) with a custom built wooden one. The carpenter, Clary who built our bookcases is back working on the railing. Busy Guy was fascinated. He ran to get his tool belt and tools to assist with the job. He spent 5 hours...yes 5...helping Clary on Monday. We were afraid he was in the way and tried to coax him away. He bawled his eyes out. Clary assured us that he was fine and that he needed his help. Busy Guy sorted through Clary's tool box, touched ALL the tools and had a great time. Clary was so kind and gentle with him....and patient beyond belief! They had snack time together too as Busy Guy would seek double the snacks and then go offer half to Clary. Busy Guy was enraptured with all the tools and the compressor. He sat on the steps playing with nuts and bolts and helping. He never left Clary's side! They have worked together 2 days now and there is one more day's work when the roads clear of snow. This morning Busy Guy wanted to know where Clary was. He's eagerly awaiting his return. Clary is a saint...especially to our Busy Guy.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Sledding Fun

We are having the coldest weather in 10 snow! Usually when it snows here it melts the next day. Not this time. It's frozen solid and more snow is predicted later this week. The boys were begging me to go out and play and initially I said "No...I'm too's too cold...etc". But, then I thought..."life is short...they're only little for such a short time...don't be a whimp". I got all dressed and surprised them outside. Cam, Mr. P, Busy Guy and I went sledding in our driveway. One of us would be the look-out in the road (nobody was out on the road driving but just to be safe) and we took turns sledding. Whhhhheeeeeeeeeeee...It was so much fun. I haven't laughed so much in ages. You can't really tell from the photos but our drive-way is really steep so were really flying. We'd end up across the street in the neighbors yard. Hiking up and down the drive kept us toasty warm too. In case you wondered...babies were napping and Tuba was at school.

Busy Guy flying down the slope.

Papa and Mr. P practicing a new way to ride.

We started out with this little sled and then went up the street to K-Mart and bought a new one. It was faster and so much fun.

Mama and Mr. P getting ready for some fun.

Friday, December 12, 2008

From Here to There

Our first Christmas as parents. Man oh man...Tuba and Baby George sure look alike...except BG is chubbier.

12 years and 4 more kids later. This is at the tree farm getting our Christmas tree. I think we look even must be all those kids keeping us young;)

I had a great b-day week. I even got that back rub!!! We'll be having left over cake tonight...or maybe this afternoon?

Mr. P sang ALL the words and did ALL the hand motions at his Christmas concert...what a change from last year. He's such a little "rule" follower. He kept his eyes right on his teacher and stood tall and still....meanwhile the kid behind him was picking his nose and wiggling all around and the girl next to him got down off the risers and danced in front of the group. You've got to love those pre-school shows!

Tuba's behavior has been better and he's had good days at school. His seizures have been better too. I pray they continue to improve and go away soon.

Sister is walking all over the house. She can turn and walk in a new direction now too. She's going about 10 steps at a time and can also stand up in the middle of the room on her own. The bad thing is she keeps standing up on the stairs and yesterday fell down them. She looked like a gingerbread man cartwheeling down the sounds funny but it scared the heck out of the both of us. She was too scared to cry and just clung to me...poor Sis.

Busy Guy has been singing all the Christmas songs. He picks up a song the first time he hears it...amazing. Yesterday he was singing Away In A Manger and doing the hand motions...rocking the baby, etc. Super cute.

Baby George is still a little sweetie. He lights up when he sees me and smiles and smiles. He is making new sounds too. He's a little afraid of Sis and sort of winces as she comes near. He has had his hair pulled a few too many times:0

Cam finished his first quarter of grad school....YEAH! One down and six more to go. I don't know if that sounds good or bad? It did go by least for me anyway. As I watched him write all those papers I just kept thinking, "I'm glad it's not me!".

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The Week

It's my Birthday Week....YEAH! It's actually my Birthday Month...but I get a few eye rolls if I say that too much to my hubby;) We have a fun filled week with lots of Christmas things as well as my BIG day. I'm turning 38!!! Holy cow...I've never felt like this on a birthday...I'm feeling like I'm getting! I guess the fabulous 40 is looming nearer? I told Mr. P that I'm turning 26. He believes me...and so do least until Cam pointed out that I would have been 14 when I had Tuba. It's possible?

Yesterday my friend/God Mother of our kids gave me my birthday present. She came and watched the kids (minus Baby George) while Cam and I went Christmas shopping and out to The Keg for dinner. I ate the biggest steak. Yummy and so relaxing. It's a cinch to go out with two adults and only one child.

Tonight is the pre-school Christmas concert. I wonder if Mr. P will actually sing out loud this year...not just "in his head" like last year. He knows all the songs and sings them at we'll see. We are getting all Christmas dressy and going to the show.

Tomorrow we are going to see Santa (getting Christmas dressy again) and have photos with him. Then...on to my Mom's house for my b-day dinner. Yum:)

Thurs. is my actual b-day and we will go to breakfast and then I'll get an hour long back rub/foot rub from Cam....hint-hint! Then Cam is going to class for his final...I know it...why does he have school on my birthday...whatever! I did order an ice cream cake to have for dinner...oh, I mean dessert. It's chocolate cake with Gold Medal Ribbon ice cream...mmmmmm.

I think the theme of my birthday must be food. Well, it does make me happy:) Cam did buy me a beautiful silver chain to wear my Ethiopian cross on...I'll post a pic later. It's beautiful. Plus, my chair is coming soon.
The photo is of me...awwwwww. I'll try to eat my cake this year a little bibs.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Merry Merry!

We got our tree today. It's kind of small...but once we were at the tree farm and all 7 of us were out of the car...we were not going to go look somewhere else. The boys had a great time running up and down the aisles. We walked around looking for the perfect (really just me) tree. As we ventured about Mr. P kept saying, "were going to get lost". What a hoot...he's so much like somebody I know...hmmmm. I could only use about 1/4 of the ornaments I own but it was fun to put them on (okay, in reality it wasn't fun...I'm a mean mom and I didn't really want little helpers digging in the boxes, touching my glass ornaments, and taking ornaments off the tree and flying them around like rockets, and...I always have a big fight with the lights:). All the while I'm cooking dinner and bouncing Baby George on my hip....AHHHHH. Anyway, now it's done and looks pretty. The kids love to turn off all the lights and look at the tree. The Santa hats came out tonight too. So cute.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

This is what I mean

Click this link and watch this youtube clip...please. It's the message I want to's what I want to remind myself each day this's the message I want my kids to hear.

Advent Giving

It's that time of year....Christmas is coming. Last year I wrote about how this time of year gets me really stressed out. I also wrote that with each passing year I enjoy the holidays more and more. My kids make it so much fun. I plan things well and start early so I don't get too stressed. I keep repeating to myself things like... "keep Christmas Christ centered and let the other things go...nobody needs all that crap (meaning endless amounts of plastic junk made in China)...spend time not's the experience not the presentation...don't lose what's important...etc., etc.".

I want the kids to learn about giving to those less fortunate. We find ways to do this together as a family...the food bank, giving tree, and sponsorship program. Most of all I want my kids to know that Christmas is the birth of Christ. The gifts we receive are an added bonus to the holiday...not the main event. I will be getting my Nativity set out this week and putting it on our mantel. I enjoy having it front and keep me feeling peaceful and remind me what's important. When I start to feel the holiday pressure (I put it on myself) I go sit, drink tea and look at the Nativity.

Tonight after I wrote this post I was getting the boys ready for bed and Mr. P said to me, "Mom, do you know Twinkle, Twinkle, Special Star?". I said I didn't know it so he sang it for me. OH MAN, it moved me to tears. I quickly got out my video recorder and had him sing it again. This is exactly what I want to focus on at Christmas. Don't forget to press the pause button on the song list so you can hear Mr. P singing and not the other music.


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