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you're as old as I am if....

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Tomorrow is the day....
The day I inch just a little bit closer to the big 4-0.
While I still have three years and one day to go, for some reason I'm really 'feeling' this birthday. It feels like some sort of milestone...I'm not exactly sure why.
In honor of this momentous occasion, I thought I would share with you this awesome list that I found on another blogger's website. (Sorry I've looked and looked and can't figure out where I swiped it from...if it was you, PLEASE let me know! :)

YOU'RE AS OLD AS I AM IF....

1. You’ve ever ended a sentence with the word “PSYCHE.”
2. You can sing the rap to the “Fresh Prince of Belair.”
3. You wore biker shorts under your skirts and felt stylish.
4. You ever watched “Fraggle Rock.”
5. You had plastic streamers on your handle bars.
6. You wore a pony tail on the side of your head.
7. You played the game “M.A.S.H.” (Mansion, Apartment, Shelter, House) with friends at school.
8. You know the profound meaning of “WAX ON, WAX OFF.”
9. You can remember what Michael Jackson looked like before his nose fell off.
10. You thought Thriller was the most awesome song (and video!) ever.
11. You have ever pondered why Smurfette was the only female smurf.
12. You remember the CRAZE - then the BANNING - of slap bracelets.
13. You still get the urge to say “NOT” after every sentence.
14. You believed the “By the power of Greyskull,” you had the power.
15. After you saw “Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure,” you kept saying “I know you are, but what am I?”
16. You wore, like, EIGHT pairs of socks over tights with high-top Reeboks.
17. You owned a bicyle with a banana seat and a basket.
18. Your roller skates had metal wheels.
19. You begged Santa for the electronic game Simon.
20. You had homemade ribbon barrettes in every imaginable color.
21. You wore the Little House on the Prairie inspired high neck, ruffled, plaid shirt in at least one school picture.
22. You can sing at least one song from “Annie” by heart.
23. You would tape songs off the radio by holding your portable tape player up to the speaker.
24. You wore friendship pins on your tennis shoes.
25. You had the shoelaces with the rainbow or heart designs.
26. You wore a banana clip at some point in your youth.
27. You know who Max Headroom is.
28. You ever wore fluorescent or neon clothing.
29. You could breakdance or wished you could.
30. When somone mentions two consecutive days of the week, the Happy Days theme is stuck in your head for hours on end.
31. Partying “like it was 1999″ seemed sooo far away.
32. You thought that Transformers were more than meets the eye.
33. You wanted to be on Star Search.
34. Your first Walkman weighed about as much as a brick.
35. You HAD to have your MTV.
36. You know where to go if you “wanna go where everybody knows your name.”
37. You actually thought “Dirty Dancing” was a REALLY good movie.
38. You got a Little Professor calculator for Christmas.
39. You remember when ATARI was a state of the art video game.
40. You own any cassettes or records.
41. You thought by the year 2000 we’d all be living on the moon.
42. You ever had a Swatch Watch, and a Swatch Guard for it.
43. You had to stay after class to scrub your desk because your silver Outliner pen leaked through.
44. You ever rang someone’s doorbell and said, “Landshark.”
45. You thought eating Reeses Pieces would attract your own alien.
46. You have ever called 867-5309.
47. You held the top score on PacMan.
48. You owned a T-shirt that said, “I shot J. R. ” or know someone who did.
49. You ever said “I pity the fool”.
50. Your dream car was either: the A-team van, KITT or The General Lee.
51. You were sad when the “Where’s the Beef” lady died.
52. You remember when Ricky Martin was a member of Menudo.
53. You remember when cellular phones weighed 15 lbs. and had to be carried over your shoulder.
54. You still know the Big Mac song. “Two all beef patties, special sauce…”
55. You owned a real Rubik’s Cube
56. You used to own a Snoopy Sno Cone Machine.
57. You have a tendency to turn the collar up on your Polo shirts.
58. You remember exactly where you were when you heard the space shuttle Challenger had exploded.
59. You know all of the words to at least one of the Schoolhouse Rock songs.
60. Your first computer was a Commodore 64 or an Atari 800.
61. You thought being a latch key kid was completely normal.
62. There were days that the homework just had to wait until the ABC Afterschool Special was over.
63. You know what movie the phrase, “Number 5 is alive!” is from.
64. You remember when Molly Ringwald was on Facts of Life.
65. You wore the little bootie socks with the colored balls on the back.
66. You just had to have a Trapper Keeper to stay organized at school.
67. You remember when McDonald’s served their burgers in styrofoam boxes.
68. You were afraid of the Sleestacks on Land of The Lost.
69. You never thought they’d be able to top the special effects in TRON.
70. You played with Lego’s when they were just blocks of various sizes, not any of the special little parts.
71. You made shrinky dinks in your oven.
72. Pierce Brosnon will always be Remington Steele, not James Bond.
73. You owned at least one Choose Your Own Adventure book.
74. You watched Mary Lou Retton win the gold.
75. The Dark Crystal is still one of your favorite movies.
76. In many of your childhood photos you are wearing something plaid.
77. You still love to play Pong!
78. Two words: The Clapper.
79. Six words: “This is your brain on drugs.”
80. You can sing all the words to “One Night in Bangkok” by Murray Head, and now you understand that it is about chess.
81. You had an entire wardrobe of Esprit clothing (or coveted one.)
82. Your bangs were teased perfectly to 7 inches above the rest of your hair.
83. You had multi-colored earrings that touch your shoulders.
84. You’re still bitter that WHAM broke up
85. You can feel St. Elmo’s fire burnin’ in you.
86. You still can’t believe that Milli Vanilli was deceiving you all that time
87. Every now and then, you blurt out: “Ooh noo, Mr. Bill!!!”
88. You used to watch things on Beta tapes
89. You know who Martha Quinn is.
90. You carried your boom box on your shoulder
91. You remember Bruce Willis from Moonlighting, not Die Hard
92. You had ringside seats for Luke and Laura’s wedding
93. War Games had you wondering if you could really start Armageddon using your crummy TRS-80.
94. You can name at least three members of the Brat Pack
95. You wore a “Members Only” jacket.
96. You ever used Lee Press-On Nails
97. You believed drinking soda and eating Pop Rocks would make your stomach explode
98. You still argue over who was better: Tiffany or Debbie Gibson
99. Every time you hear the “OH YEAH…” song you think of “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”
100. You know how to use a rotary phone.

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changing the game plan

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

What day is it?
I can't remember...
Are we on day nine, 10 or 11?
I'm a little confused by this adoption process and I'm really bad at math...so I'm relying on the help of others.
Our paperwork was submitted on Aug. 13...
I know there was a national holiday last Friday...
So which day is it?
I'm going to take a guess and say we're on day nine? (That way if it's 10 or 11, I'll be pleasantly surprised! :)
The great news is either way, we're half-way there!
I'm excited.
But I'm also a little scared.
I guess the reality is starting to set in.
I go through this each and every time.
I imagine it's kind of like a pregnancy.
You plan for the child, you want the child, but once you get paper pregnant, there's no going back.
And then the self-doubt starts setting in.
What am I getting myself into?
How will this change our family?
How are the kids going to react?
We got a taste of the new reality this weekend.
We took our son's friend with us to town on Saturday. We went out to eat, stopped by Menards and got some groceries, at a very packed W*lmart. Everywhere we went, I felt that extra person.
It was one extra head to keep track of...
One extra person to steer through the crowds...
One more child to keep in line...

And it didn't help that Wally-World was CROWDED. It's was a nuthouse. I don't know why everyone and their brother was there, but it was bumper to bumper in the parking lot, aisles and check out lanes!
So having another child in tow was...I don't know...
It wasn't bad...
It just didn't feel natural.
I guess we have reached a point where it is pretty easy to keep track of the kids. And adding the extra person messes with our game plan.
When Q-ball was our only child, we played 2 on 1...
When we brought Punky and JacJac home it was a HUGE transition...we had to play zone defense.
I don't know how we'll manage 2 on 4!
Sigh.
I know in my head that we'll be fine.
We want to bring Maddie home...we REALLY do!
It's just going to take an adjustment to our play book.
Seeeeee...this is what happens when I have too much time to think about things!
This is why I have said over and over and over...
I can't stand waiting!
What day are we on, again?!

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back from the outback

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Sorry I've been away so long.
I have to admit....I've been playing hookie! :)
Here's what I've been up to...














And some of this...




















Some more of this...
















I even tried a little of this...














As soon as I get all the stuff put away, the laundry gets caught up, the kids are bathed and I find my sanity...
I'll fill you in! :)

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what do you think?

Thursday, August 23, 2007

I'm considering making some changes.

Big changes.
The kind you don't take too lightly.
I'm thinking about staying home after we bring home Maddie.
There...I said it. (I hope no one from work stumbles upon this blog)
I would really like to be a stay at home mom.
Whether it's working part-time at home or jumping completely out of the workforce doesn't matter to me. What matters is I want to be there for my kids.
But I'm too chicken to take the first step.
(Funny isn't it? I have the guts to travel half-way around the world to adopt children I barely know, but I can't get up the courage to leave my job?! :)
Of course there are all of the typical complications...
- Can we afford it?
- What will we do about health insurance?
- What will this do to my patience level? (I'm not a very patient person - who da thunk?! :) I wouldn't be doing the homeschool thing...I just don't have it in me. But I would be with them a lot more...would all of the little thing get to me?)
I don't have any questions about whether it would be worth it. I know it's what I want to do. I don't care that I would have to give up Dire*TV, high-speed internet and possibly my cell phone. It wouldn't matter that we couldn't eat at McDonald's as much and that I might have to sell my really nice mini-van.
Okay, the last one hurts a little.
But I will give up what I have to, to make it work.
So what's the holdup?
I don't know.
I gues I'm not sure where to begin.
I'd really like to be a full-time SAHM...but I don't think it's economically possible...so I've got to work at least part-time from home.
I've considered free-lance writing - which is still a possibility. I just don't know a whole lot about finding the writing jobs and writing articles can take a lot of time. I know the pay usually stinks and so it would take quite a few articles to make a dent in our budget.
I've thought about substitute teaching...which would mean I could make my own schedule...but then Maddie would have to go to daycare on those days - which
kind of defeats the purpose.
I've applied for one job already...it would be perfect. I'm keeping my fingers crossed and sending up a ton of prayers...but so far I haven't heard a peep.
Sigh.
And it's not all about Maddie.
I feel like I need to be there for the other kids too.
I'd like to be able to go on field trips without wondering if I'll be able to make up the hours so I don't have to take PTO.
I want to be able to be free to stay home with the kids when their sick without having to worry about how I'm going to be able to squeeze in at least four hours of work from home, while they're laying on the couch watching movies.
I want to be there when the kids get home...help them with their homework and make chocolate chips cookies for them for snack.
I want to have the time to make decent dinners so I don't get defensive when the kids tell me the babysitter asks them everyday 'What did you have for supper last night?' (That's a whole other post...don't worry I'll fill you in! UGH!!!)
And they'll need me.
Maddie will need me to help her adjust and grow...
And Q-ball, Punky and JacJac will need help making the transition as well.
But where do I begin?

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the great remote search

Monday, August 20, 2007

My kids are hysterical!

Especially when they've lost something they've deemed vital to their existence.
Like the remote.
Q-ball could not find the DVD remote tonight.
He looked high.
He looked low.
He looked in couch cushions.
He looked under the coffee table.
He looked behind the TV.
He looked behind the couch.
He looked everywhere.
And every so often, he would stop long enough to ask me...'Mom, have you seen the remote?'
'No, honey. I haven't. Don't worry about it. We'll find it later. Why don't you just watch some cartoons?'
'Noooo Moooom! Don't you remember? Never. Give. Up. I can't give up now...I have to fiiiiind iiiiit!'
Why is it that he suddenly remembers something we've taught him when it's useful for him?! Why couldn't he remember the same lesson yesterday when we were working on his homework?! :)
The longer the search went on, the more desperate Q-ball became.
He roped his brother and sister into his mission by promising they could watch the Veggietale of their choice. (Of course, he would renege later.)
In desperation the three of them tore the living room apart. They took cushions off of the couch, picked up blankets and tossed pillows.
Each minute that ticked by, they got more desperate...they knew it was getting closer to the witching hour - 8 o'clock - when they'd have to go to bed.
Time was running out.
I just sat back and watched the drama that was unfolding.
Finally...success.
Q-ball found the treasured remote stuffed in between a cushion and back of the couch. Right in a place he had looked three times before! :)
You would have thought they had won the Super B*wl!
Kids were jumping around, giving each other high-fives and doing chest bumps...
All over a little remote...
That they really didn't need, to watch the movie anyway! :) (See morning with my little man post)

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big man on campus

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Well...it's official.
JacJac is a Kindergartner.
I didn't cry...I was pretty proud of myself.
I was absolutely convinced I was going to bawl like a baby...but I didn't.
I didn't have time.

You see, Meshack and I managed to accomplish something absolutely classic last Thursday.
We gave our son a case of Middle Child Syndrome.
We started out great. Both of us made sure we told our bosses we would be in late - since it was his first day of school. We took the obligatory picture in front of the fireplace before we walked out the door. And we walked him to his classroom like the proud parents we were.
But as we got there I saw one of the other Mom's I know crying, so I went over to comfort her. Meshack in his guy-like way lost track of the older two kids who took off running for their classrooms. (I'm glad they're excited about school and everything...but I would really have liked to have had one last hug!)
I finally was able to detach from the crying mother in time to turn around and see JacJac walk into his classroom. I dashed down the hall...being sure not to set a bad example by running...and ducked into the classroom just in time to see him start digging into the toy box.
Where was my goodbye hug?
Where was the hesitancy?
The least he could do would be to make me feel like he would miss me?!
Sigh.
I turned to go and realized we hadn't gotten his first day of kindergarten picture in the classroom. I turned to Meshack (who had been taking pictures this morning while I was getting ready) and absently asked him for the camera.
'What camera,' he asked.
'The camera we need to take his first day of kindergarten picture in the classroom,' I calmly replied.
'Oh, I didn't bring the camera. We already took his picture at home!'
UGH!!!!
We try so hard to make sure we don't short-change JacJac...and many times we end up doing it inadvertently. The baby books or lack thereof, the 2-year-old portraits taken 8 months too late and the birthday dinner fiasco (that I still haven't blogged about...sorry, it's in the queue)
And here we go again!
Meshack digs out his camera phone, because of course I have forgotten my purse, phone and everything else at home
(including the dental card that we had made the emergency appointment for on Wednesday!) - AGAIN! (When am I going to learn?)
Shad's phone is full.
He quickly tries to erase some of the other pictures, but it's not working.
Meanwhile, other parents are trying to squeeze past us to get their kids all settled in. We're blocking the doorway, the phone is not working and my baby is so thrilled to be in Kindergarten he's off playing in the corner. He didn't even turn around to say goodbye!
Sniff...sniff.
Finally, after a lot of mumbling under his breath and after all of the other parents have left and the second bell has rung, Meshack got the camera phone to work.
We take the picture (top). Not great - but it will do. (I'm too embarrassed to ask for another one. We're already holding up their first day of school!) We hug JacJac goodbye and walk out the door.
If it weren't for the fact we're adopting from Ukraine in a few months, that would be my youngest going off to school!
Sniff...sniff.
After supper Thursday night, as I was typing up the blog, 'pinch me,' I checked the email. There in the inbox was an email from JacJac's teacher. Attached was a picture of JacJac on his first day of school (below).
So sweet.
And all of that agony for nothing!
Sigh. Sniff...sniff.

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what's next?

Saturday, August 18, 2007

A lot of people have asked me lately...'What's next?'

So here you go...the Tami-fied version of a Ukrainian adoption (I know a lot of you out there are smarter and more able to explain this than I am, so please chime in if I royally mess something up! :)
To review...
- We assembled the dossier. The dossier is an official, notorized stack of papers which includes, but is not limited to, a homestudy, proof of home-ownership, health statements, marriage certificate, KBI clearance, etc. (Complete list at left)
- Dossier was apostilled (by the Kansas Secretary of State's office)...this is essentially a document (on each piece of our dossier) which tells the Ukrainian government that the notary is really a notary and is registered with the State of Kansas.
- Sent dossier to Ukraine in June.
- Dossier was translated, by some person a lot smarter than me, into Ukrainian.
- Dossier was assigned to a facilitator. We're not sure of the person's name yet. I imagine as we get closer to our travel date, they'll let us know their name. However, I'm thinking about asking. We'd really like to be praying for this person who is going to be doing so much for our family.
- The facilitator began waiting in line with our dossier at the SDA (State Department of Adoption and Children's Rights). He/she doesn't have to physically wait in line - it's more of a take a number, show up on Mondays and eventually you can submit your dossier. The SDA is the state department in charge of adoptions.
- The facilitator got the the front of the line and submitted our dossier last Monday. Yippee!!
What's next?
- The SDA has 20 business days to look over our dossier and either accept or reject it. They have been known to reject it for very mundane reasons, so we are by no means out of the woods. Hopefully, they won't find anything and will approve us. Also, those 20 days seem to be, for the most part, non-binding. At one point it was running a lot longer than 20 business days. I'm not sure where it is right now, but we can be assured it will be at least four weeks before we'll have a chance of hearing anything.
- If we are approved, the SDA will give us an appointment. The appointment is usually set for at least two to three months in advance, which means if hear from the SDA in mid-September we're probably looking at a appointment date in mid-November or December. The timing isn't stellar. I really don't want to be gone during the holidays...but we're relying on the Lord to work out the timing.
- When we have our appointment, we'll travel to Kyiv (pronouned Keev - according to Meshack's native teachers in his Ukraine class) to meet with the SDA. We will be on our own for this appointment. Our translator will have to remain outside. This part is a little nerve-wracking for me, but I have been assured they will prepare us for this meeting and I think our experience in Russia has prepared us, at least in part, for this appointment. We will be shown a few files (it varies...some people are shown only a couple, while others are shown six to eight or more)...and then we will be given a short amount of time to decide if we want to meet with one of the children.
- If we decide to meet one of the children we will be given a piece of paper giving us permission from the Ukrainian government to meet with them. If we decide that none of the children are meant to be in our family, then we could possibly wait for another appointment.
- Assuming we go to meet a child and feel that she is the one God has chosen for us, then we will start the adoption process. The timing varies a great deal at this point and is largely dependent on the region we travel to. Essentially, we have to send some papers back to the SDA to let them know of our intentions, once they send the approval back, we can set up a court date. After court we have to wait 10-days for it to take affect, then another 10 days for the child's passport and then a few more days for her American visa. We're trying to figure out, and probably won't be able to do so until we're closer to travel, whether we'll make it a one or two trip process. There is the possibility that we'll come home and then I'll go back to bring our little girl home.
So there you have it...the timeline to the best of my knowledge. Honestly, I'm not too sure what we're going to be doing with the kids yet. Leaving them with family is a possibility. They will all be in school, and our family is all out in Colorado, so this will cause some hardships. We've thought about trying to take them with us, but we did that last time when we adopted Punky and JacJac and while it was priceless, it wasn't a lot of fun! :) Imagine two new children, ages 12 months and 20 months along with a four year old who was incredibly jealous of the 20 month old Punky. Oh! Fun times, let me tell you!!! I swore I would never do it again!
At this point, I'm considering having both family, church members and maybe a hired babysitter stay with the kids. I don't want to pull them out of school and don't want to put them through the stress of travel. I'd like to try to keep their routine as routine as possible while we're gone...but we'll see.
Maybe you all could be praying on that one for us? :>

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somebody pinch me!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

I was going to write tonight about JacJac's first day of Kindergarten, but that post is going to have to wait because...
WE'RE SUBMITTED!!!!!!!
I can't believe it. Honestly, we had heard horror stories about how long the wait was, so we had decided since we hadn't heard back from the agency we were not to even going to ask about it for a few more weeks at least. But we got a call from the agency today and the dossier was submitted on Monday.
I think I'm still in a state of shock.
Can you believe it? We're already through the first three (or is it four?) days of our (at least) 20 day wait...and we didn't even know it! :)
I haven't even had the chance to complain about the waiting yet...and four days have already gone by! :)
Somebody pinch me!

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morning with my little man

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

This morning JacJac and I got to spend some extra time together one-on-one. And while the cause (dentist appt.) wasn't that special...the moments were priceless.
Here are a few JacJac'isms for your entertainment pleasure. :)
---------------------
Meshack carted the other two kids off to the babysitter early this morning, so JacJac was a bit lost. He didn't have anyone to play with and he just wasn't interested in the T.V., so he joined me in the bathroom as I was finishing my morning routine.

JacJac - 'Mommm'
Me - 'Yes, honey?'
JacJac - 'What ya doin'?'
Me - 'I'm putting on my makeup.'
JacJac - 'What's it for?'
Me - 'It's supposed to make me look pretty.'
JacJac - 'Ohhhhh.'
Me - 'Is it working?'
JacJac - (Squinting his eyes, tilting his head and taking a real close look.) 'I don't know.'
----------------------
Bored with my seemingly fruitless attempts at self-beautification, JacJac ran off to the living room to see what he can find on T.V.

JacJac - Yelling from the living room - 'Mom, I can't find the remote!'
Me - Yelling from the bathroom - 'Honey, you can turn the T.V. on without it,'
JacJac - Yelling from the living room - 'Nuh..uuuuuh.'
Me - 'Yelling from the bathroom - Yes you can!'
JacJac - Yelling from the living room - 'Nuh. Uuuuuh!'
Me - I walk from the bathroom to the living room, 'JacJac you CAN turn the T.V. on without the remote...and you can change the channels too.'
I push the buttons.
JacJac - 'Wow! I've got to show Q-ball!"

Okay, now he has not only insulted my makeup skills...he's making me feel old! :) What has the world come to that my child can run the T.V., VCR, DVD player and DVR like a champ and not realize you can turn the channels without a remote?!
--------------------------
As we were walking out the door on the way to the dentist, JacJac grabbed the bag of chocolate animal crackers to take to the babysitter's house to share with the other kids. The bag was already opened (it was left over from Q-ball's swim party)...so it was an accident waiting to happen.

Me - JacJac, let me carry that for you.
JacJac - No, Mom! I can get it.
Me - Are you sure sweetie...you've got to be careful, or your going to spill it?
JacJac - I've got it Mom. (With a sigh and the roll of the eyes. - I'm telling you right now this kid is going to push me to the limit as a teenager! :)
Me - Alright JacJac...just be careful.

I grab the dog's leash and bring her in, while JacJac goes to talk to the cat while he's waiting. I am gone less than a minute! As I go out the door I see him bent over, picking something out of the grass and putting it in the bag.
Yep...he had dumped half the bag of cookies in the grass! And was trying to salvage them!
UGH!
---------------------
We went to the dentist, where he got a clean bill of health. Thank goodness! Afterwards, we went to Wally*World to pick up a few supplies. As we were walking across the parking lot, he grabbed my hand, looked up at me and said, 'Mommy, I looooove you.'
Sigh.
It doesn't get any better than that!
**********************
Above: JacJac models the shades as he prepares for his dental cleaning. The dentist and hygienist gave him a clean bill of health. Sorry for the photo quality. I'm really bad at taking picture with my cell phone, but he was just too cute to pass up! :)

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sweet dreams

Monday, August 13, 2007

I have figured it out!
Finally, after eight long years I have cracked the code...
I've found the holy grail...
I've discovered...
The clock radio.
I know what you're thinking, "What's so special about an alarm clock. I've had one beside my bed for years and all it does it scream at me in the morning, blink when the electricity goes off and generally make me one cranky diva."
Aaaaah, but you haven't discovered..."Raaaaadio Theeeeeatrrrrrre." :)
I have struggled...and I mean struggled to get the kids to go to bed on time. I've tried everything from nagging to bribery to rewards to discipline. Nothing has worked.
That is, until I found 'Adventures in Odyssey.'
Oh, the blessed joy!
Actually, I've known about Odyssey for awhile. The kids like listening to it in the van, but we rarely catch it live. We have a few CDs, but the kids have heard the same stories over and over.
I thought it had lost it's charm.
Then, one day last week as we were on our way to town, I was contemplating how I was going to get the kids back onto their school schedule, when the kids asked me if they could listen to Odyssey.
And then it came to me!
Why not let them listen to it *live* as they fall asleep?!
It's pure genius, I tell you!
For the last week I've been hyping it. Egging them on, telling them how awesome it will be to listen to the half-hour program as they drift off to sleep. We even went to Wally-world and picked up $5 alarm clock radios in preparation.
They were ecstatic...
thrilled...
overjoyed!
I'm so good!
Tonight was the first night.
Wouldn't you know it, as soon as I told them it was time for bed, they all scrambled to get ready. They got dressed, brushed their teeth and scampered up the stairs without so much as a peep.
Every last one of them jumped into bed, got under the covers and waited patiently while I prayed with them and then dialed in Odyssey.
I haven't heard a peep out of them since.
I'd be willing to bet they fell asleep before the story was over.
This works way better than reading.
Don't worry, I won't quit the reading...but I'm going to enjoy what will surely be my short-lived victory! :)
I'm not delusional.
I realize it won't last forever.
I'm hoping to get a week out of it.
But in the meantime I'm going to enjoy not having to fight, nag and all around drive them insane in trying to get them to bed on time.
And who knows, I may even give it a try.
Sweet dreams!

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i'm still here

Yep...I'm still here.
I've started about five posts since I last blogged, but I either sound whiney, whiney or...
WHINEY!
So, instead of posting them I'm waiting.
Maybe inspiration will strike.
I may be waiting awhile.
In the meantime, life around here goes on...it's just been...non-writable. (Is that a word?)
Here's the lowdown...
Q-ball had his swim party tonight for his summer baseball league. I was pretty happy to get a lead on a flag football team for him for this fall. He says he would rather be playing tackle.
Sigh.
Punky cleaned her room top to bottom this weekend...all by herself. Without asking. Scary.
JacJac helped his dad trash his room clean out his closet this weekend.
That was fun. (I can't complain too much - they cleaned most of it up again...I just had to do some follow-up)
Meshack mowed the lawn today in the 100 degree heat.
I think he's crazy.
He says he's a hard worker.
You decide.
I cleaned most of the house this weekend and then took a nap today on the living room couch.
See? Aren't we an interesting, bloggable bunch?
Yea...I thought so.
I'll keep working on the five blogs sitting in the queue.
In the meantime, keep praying for inspiration to strike.

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hot, hot, HOT!

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Ugh! It's hot!
Have I mentioned that I can't stand summer?

I don't know why, but the heat really gets to me.
I get irritated, short-tempered and just plain cranky.
And Meshack is rubbing it in.
He just called and said it's 71 degrees right now in our favorite camping spot in Northern Minnesota.
It's 99 here!
Ugh!
I don't like to wish away my days, but I'm telling you right now I WISH it was September!
Of course if it was September we wouldn't have been able to do what we did last night.
We took the kids to the Royals baseball game last night. And yes, it was hot! But in spite of my profuse perspiring, it was also a lot of fun! Q-ball enjoyed it the most. He spent a lot of time watching the players, learning who they were and trying to figure out if they were a good player or not. (In most cases, with the Royals, they are not. ;)
JacJac didn't really care for the whole thing. He was much more interested in the hot dogs, peanuts, frosties and small Sprites he ingested. He gets so little junk food at home he thought he was in Heaven!
For Punky it was all about socializing. She was much more interested in people-watching than game-watching. She'd comment on 'that girl's cute hat', or 'those pretty sandals.' Then, every once in awhile, she'd lean over and ask me who was winning...say a few appropriate words about how awful it was that 'our team' wasn't winning and then go back to taking in the sights.
Despite the mixed reactions, I think overall it was a success. The kids got to eat a ton of junk food, the guys got to enjoy some sports, Punky enjoyed her people watching and I survived the ferocious heat and got some cute pics of the kids!
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BTW - Why do husbands do the opposite of what you want them to do, just to irritate the dickens out of you? I just don't get it! Last night as we were pulling out of the parking lot, Meshack was trying to merge into the next lane (of creeping traffic), but no one would let us in. He wouldn't turn his turn signal on! I strongly hinted no one was going to KNOW we wanted in, unless he turned it ON! He just silently kept trying to turn the nose of the van into the lane...with a big old grin all over his face! UGH!!! The man is so frustrating!
Of course maybe I'm was just suffering from heat stress! ;)

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complete and utter exhaustion

Monday, August 6, 2007

I am wiped out!

We had a weekend like we haven't had in a VERY long time.
Actually it was more like a week.
One very looooong week!
It all started the weekend before last when my parents came to town for JacJac's birthday. We tried to do the birthday thing (which I still haven't blogged about..sorry about that!), then went to a class on Ukraine (which , again, I haven't blogged about yet...sorry!).
Mom and Dad went home Monday morning...the kids started a week of VBS Monday night.
In the meantime, Meshack and I were scrambling...trying to get ready for a garage sale last Saturday.
It wasn't pretty.
We haven't had a garage sale since right before we went to get Q-ball. That's eight years worth of junk. And we're really good at accumulating junk!
So Monday and Tuesday we brought boxes up from the basement...went through them (some of which had been packed away since Meshack graduated from veterinary school seven years ago!)...and then priced everything.
We took a bit of a break on Wednesday for JacJac's birthday. The problem was, it wasn't a break. We had to drive over an hour each way to go to Chuck *E* Cheese for dinner to make up for Saturday. (I promise to tell you about it...someday. ;)
Thursday while the kids were at VBS and Meshack was at a meeting, I climbed the basement stairs with MORE junk!
Then Friday, while the kids were at VBS, Meshack and I hauled everything over to our friend's house and set up.
The next day the kids and I were up at the crack of dawn and headed over to the garage sale where we spent the next six sweltering hours in a stuffy garage while no one came to pick through our stuff!
Seriously...all of that work for $60. NEVER AGAIN!
We came home and I took a little nap while Meshack and the kids starting taking all that junk back down our narrow stairs into the basement. UGH!!!
A couple of hours later we headed to a friends house for a BBQ.
On Sunday mornings we usually go to the early service (8 a.m. - UGH!!! Not MY idea!) so got up early for that. Afterwards we headed took off for town, hoping to escape the crowds (yeah, right!) for the tax-free weekend. Three hours later (2 p.m.) we came home with way too many school supplies.
BTW - Why does it cost so much for three children to go to what is supposed to be a free public education?!!!!
But I digress...
Then at 6 p.m. we went back to church for the kids VBS program.
Whew!
Tonight we have nothing.
Aaaaaah...peace and quiet.
Well...except for the sound of the vacuum cleaner, washer, dryer and mower all trying to catch up with all the work we haven't done in the last two weeks.
Oh well.

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losing my identity

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Five years ago today, Meshack and I, for the first time, helped one of our children celebrate their first birthday! :) We'd never had that honor before...and we definitely got into the spirit of the occasion. We hauled a cake and frosting mix all the way to Russia so we could celebrate in style.
Five years later, it's no different. We're still celebrating in style. In fact that's what we've done tonight. So, in lieu of writing an original blog and in honor of JacJac's 6th birthday, I thought I'd repost a blog (that I wrote on a different site) to give you some insight into my little guy's personality. Enjoy!
Happy Birthday JacJac!
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Hey JacJac's mom!
That's JacJac's mom.
Where's JacJac's mom?
That's how I'm known in my son's circle of friends. Not by Tami, not by Mrs. C., not by 'Hey you!' I'm JacJac's mom....and I love it.
It started a little over two years ago. JacJac started preschool at our local elementary school. He was getting some extra speech help and his teacher thought it would be a good idea to have him join the preschool class to help boost his language skills. Sure he was a little young...he had just turned 3...but he was bright and should be just fine.
In just a matter of a few weeks we noticed kids were saying 'Hi!' to JacJac as we passed them on the street, at the grocery store and at football games. And it wasn't just the preschool kids. It was the older elementary school kids, the junior high kids and even some high schoolers. People we didn't even know were saying 'Hi!' to him.
At first Meshack and I thought kids were just being nice to Q-ball's younger brother. I mean, how could a preschooler have made all these friends? But it soon became apparent they were saying 'Hi!' to JacJac for JacJac's sake. They wanted to play with him, sit by him and be his friend.
Then we started hearing stories.
It seems JacJac had become somewhat of a cult hero at school. Evidentally he was a rebel in the lunchroom...a rebel with a cause. He had figured out his big brother had lunch at the same time as his class and he wanted to sit by Q, eat lunch with him and hang out. Unfortunately his teachers had other ideas.
We soon learned JacJac had a habit of running around the lunch room with his preschool teachers chasing after him. They wanted him to sit with the rest of his class....imagine that! Of course, the kids loved it and cheered him on, which of course made him run faster. A very vicious circle.
The result was JacJac becoming something of a school mascot. A hero. An every kids, kid. The school counselor, who unfortunately had become very familiar with JacJac, told us the kids saw him as someone they knew they couldn't be. He could do the things they wanted to do...and get away with it...because he was only three!
Eventually a truce was reached. If JacJac would sit with his class during lunch, the preschool teachers would let him talk to Q-ball as he left the lunchroom (with a teacher firmly at his side).
Things finally quieted down.
Thankfully, JacJac has left his lunchroom lap days behind him. He's a much more mature 5-year- old. His speech has gotten much better...his academics are great and he now sits with his class and just says 'Hi!' to Q on the playground. He does much better at listening to his teachers and following the rules. But it hasn't quelled his popularity. Kids still say 'Hi!' to him on the street...people we don't know will wave at him.
JacJac has always had a presence. There's just something about him that draws people in. It may be his quick smile, his unending energy or perhaps it's his red hair. I don't know exactly what it is...but I love the fact that he is so gregarious, so extroverted and so positive. He's a great kid...so I'm alright with losing my identity...and being known as JacJac's mom.

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