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merry christmas and while you're at it, can you bring in some firewood

Friday, December 25, 2009

To all our bloggy friends, we want to send out the Merriest of Christmas wishes. We hope you're staying as warm as we are this holiday season!

We had a wonderful Christmas.
Well, except for that whole midwest blizzard thing, but even that wasn't such a bad thing. We just stayed in side...the six of us...opened presents, ate lots of food, watched movies and played with toys. Fun stuff!

We didn't even lose our satellite or electricity so we were able to watch the Bolshoi's performance of the Nutcracker.
Not that the boys were paying attention. They were too busy playing with the remote controlled this and the wall climbing that.
Shad ventured out twice today to get more firewood. We kept the fire going all day...you know...because of that pesky little two-day blizzard. ;) The kids and I kept complaining he was keeping it only a few degrees cooler than an inferno in here...but he didn't want to hear about it...so we're sweltering.
So much for the kids wearing their new pajamas to bed tonight! :)
One nice thing about a massive snow storm...you are guaranteed to have a white Christmas! :) We have a TON of snow...I'd say we're working on 18 inches, give or take a few. We have a lot of pretty deep drifts - you know, because of that whole blizzard thing.
Our trip to Colorado has been called off because most of the roads around us, if they're not already closed - should be. Actually, I'll be surprised if we can just get out of the driveway for church on Sunday. And we have Blue Mama - the 4x4.
The Emerald City's snow plow crew has been working hard at it, but those plows are just no match for the wind. On Shad's two trips to the shed for wood, a half an hour after he shoveled his way to the shed, the path was completely blown shut. The same can be said for the roads. Our neighbor's car is almost completely snowed under.
I'm just hoping we can take advantage of it here pretty soon and do some sledding.
Tomorrow will probably be a bit more of the same...except for maybe some more laundry added in there, just to spice things up a bit.
To all our bloggy friends, we want to send out the Merriest of Christmas wishes. We hope you're staying as warm as we are this holiday season! :)


she gets it

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Any time she saw other homes with lights on them she would say how 'boo-ti-full' they were and how they looked like "Kwisma-tie."

I think Maddie is starting to get the whole Christmas thing.
Of course, you would think an almost 6-year-old would have gotten it a long time ago, but while she did enjoy Christmas last year, I don't think she really understood what the fun was all about.
Emotionally she was still around three years old, the language barrier was huge and when you factor in her limited orphanage exposure to Christmas I have a feeling she may have just thought it was just one big party.
This year is completely different. Emotionally she's growing up (I would say she's maybe only six months to a year behind now), her English is great and she's been asking about Christmas since Halloween.
At first I thought it was because Anya's birthday was right around then and her brothers had told her she had to wait until after Christmas for HER birthday.
But then, she starting asking around Thanksgiving if we could make the house into "Kwisma-tie." Any time she saw other homes with lights on them she would say how 'boo-ti-full' they were and how they looked like "Kwisma-tie." Holiday movie promos on TV would prompt questions about Christmas-time. Everything was "Kwisma-tie."
Finally, a few weeks ago Shad and the kids set up the tree and Maddie was in Heaven. It was all so 'puuu-wittty,' and 'booo-ti-full.'
The girl was in awe...and was totally in the Christmas spirit.
Last night while we were on our annual Christmas light seeing tour, we went through a particularly beautiful display. The big town just a few miles away from the Emerald City has a great display in one of their HUGE parks. The entrance has a tunnel of lights, displays are spread throughout the park and hot chocolate and kettle corn are sold on the side of the road.
Its a feast for the eyes for these Christmas-lovers.
Anyway...as we were going through the park, we were talking about Santa, and about Frosty, and about all of the other characters on display, when I started thinking that I needed to start talking about the real reason for Christmas.

So I asked Maddie... 'Maddie, do you know why we celebrate Christmas?'

'Oh yet (yes) Mama," she said. "It Jesus Birf-day."

That did this mama's heart good.

She gets it.


Erp, swamps, anniversaries, mean people and confessions

Friday, December 18, 2009

Not five minutes into the game, Maddie said she wasn't feeling well...and then immediately erped all over the guy in front of her.

So here's the story...
A band of crazed third-graders terrorists kidnapped me and took me to a shopping mall remote desert island where they tortured me by making me drink large cups of hot chocolate amounts of sleeping pill laced kool-aid which put me into a massive sugar coma.
I finally escaped by buying them lots of Christmas presents secretly building a raft and, in pure MacGyver style, snuck out in the middle of the night, blowing up the entire camp using just a shoe string and 10-year-old piece of bubble gum.
WHAT?! You don't believe that? Comon'! Every last word of it is not true.
Fine. Maybe you'll believe this...

Erp, erp and more erp
I'm home with a sick kid today. Shad took all four kids to a basketball game last night while I was at a meeting (I'll tell you about it in a minute). Not five minutes into the game, Maddie said she wasn't feeling well...and then immediately erped all over the guy in front of her.
And Shad.
And herself.
And the basketball floor.
Fun times.
Glad I wasn't there.
He no sooner got the kids home and she erped again...and again and again. Sorry to be so graphic, but you have to understand this isn't something we deal with much. Thankfully our kids all have stomachs of steel. Not much comes out of them, so erping is greeted with a great deal of consternation (I love that word. ;)
By the time I made it home she was resting comfortably in the middle of the living room floor on a sleeping bag. Sleeping in her bed would require too far of a hike to the bathroom...with Shad camped out on the couch. Reason 2,584 why I married the right guy. He voluntarily slept on the couch to keep an eye on her.
Oh, and 2,585...he cleaned everyone up and did the laundry too!
He's a keeper.
Maddie is doing much better this morning, but rather than risk another episode at school, I'm keeping her home. Besides, its a good excuse for staying home and getting some much needed stuff done. I'll probably end up paying for it this weekend with a Saturday or Sunday work day. Oh well.
Meanwhile, Maddie is devastated. She LOVES school and watching the other three tromp through the school doors this morning carrying presents for their teachers proved to be too much. My even-tempered Maddie cried uncontrollably until we got home and I found her favorite episode of Blue's Clue's on the DVR.
She is now contentedly sitting in Shad's recliner watching Wonder Pets...holding her baby, wrapped in my favorite throw and nursing a large watered-down glass of apple juice.

Swamped, snowed under, up to my gills
Have I mentioned I've been a little swamped at work lately? Oh, that's right! I've been too swamped to write! Sorry about that.
Back in August I had this crazy idea... 'Hey kids! Why don't I take a week off in between Christmas and New Year's Day so we can hang out and have some fun.'
The children rejoiced. I put in my request.
The problem is I forgot that I don't work in a normal profession. In order to take any time off, I have to do all of my work before I leave. That means finding time to write a week's worth of stories prior to Christmas Eve. You wouldn't think that would be so tough, would you? Especially given that I had four months to do it in, but somehow I've managed to make it darn near impossible. In addition to my usual three stories a week, I also have two magazine articles and another two articles that are due right when I come back...and then I have my stories for Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and the weekend as well.
So instead of just a weeks' worth...its more like a week and a half...and then some.
For the last week and a half I've been turning in a story every day. Which, again, doesn't sound like much, but they are three-source stories...and at 20-25 inches a pop requires a great deal of work. It usually takes me at least two days to track down sources, interview them, transcribe the interview and then write my masterpiece.
I haven't been writing any masterpieces lately. ;)
Thankfully, its almost over. I have two stories that I'm going to need to write this weekend...and then two a day for the next three days after that. By Wednesday I'll be a shadow of my former self...but I'll be off work for 10 days. That has to count for something...right?


Two years ago today...
Well, actually it's more like next Tuesday, but by next week I'll be so busy writing I won't have much time for blogging. So...
Two years ago ago next Tuesday, we met Maddie for the first time. I know I say it all the time, but WHERE did the time go?!
Honestly? It seems like she's always been with us. We're almost at the halfway point when it comes to having her with us longer than she was in the orphanage...its a day I need to pinpoint. I'd really like to mark the day in some way. It will probably be around the time she turns eight *sigh* which isn't so far away. Maddie turns six in just a few short weeks.
Speaking of time...I need to give you a Maddie update...maybe even with a video. I'll see if I can find the camera and get something put up this weekend. You NEED to see how far this girl has come in the last two years. She's growing and changing right before our very eyes. I'll give you a more complete update soon, but let me give you a little tidbit by saying in when I talked to her teacher the other night at her music program, Mrs. B said Maddie has made HUGE strides this year. Socially she is doing MUCH better...academically she's doing good...and her behavior is a trillion times better. Okay...the trillion is my word, but you get the idea.
She's still going to need that extra year of Kindergarten. There are still too many holes. For instance...Maddie is able to recognize all of her letters and knows how to make each sound, but for some reason doesn't understand the concept that those letters are used to make anything.
I think we're going to have to double our reading efforts around here.

They're at it again...
Speaking of school...they Emerald City school district is up to their old tricks, again.
Actually its not so much the school as it is the county's education co-op.
In that same conversation with Mrs. B she mentioned Maddie's time with the teacher for the deaf had been cut back to one day a week instead of two.
Ahem...Why hadn't I been informed of this?!
She seemed truly surprised I had heard absolutely nothing...and had certainly not signed OFF on anything.
So. I have a call into Mean, Mean Man to find out what in the world is going on.
Let's see if he calls back, shall we? Anyone want to take any bets?

This is where I admit I may be in over my head
I've been holding out on you.
Sorry about that.
Drumroll, please...
I'm a blog-radio talk show host.
See? I told you I had been holding out on you.
A few months ago I was sitting around with a couple of friends, chatting over a cup of coffee...well, technically I had a glass of water - not being a coffee drinker and all...and we were having such a good time one of us joked that we should have our own talk show.
And then one of us got serious about it.
And for once it wasn't me.
She looked into it and wouldn't you know it? There's a free blog-radio site where we could host a weekly show FOR FREE!
So we took the plunge. Over the past few weeks we've been practicing. And believe me...need the practice. But we're having a ton of fun.
So...here's where you come in.
If you want to join us for all the fun, you can check us out at a few locations...

Blog - The Fresh Cup
Twitter - @thefreshcup
Facebook - The Fresh Cup

Please add us as as friends on Facebook, follow us on Blogger and tweet with us on Twitter.
And we'd love to have you listen to us live on our radio show at BlogTalkRadio.com here. You can even call in and join the show!
Crazy, huh?!
The last few weeks we've actually been broadcasting, but we haven't publicized it at all. I'm letting you in on the secret because we need the feedback and we'd love to actually have an audience and maybe a person or two who will call in.
We're still pretty rough...but practice makes perfect, right? And we're having SO. MUCH. FUN.
The next LIVE broadcast will be on Tuesday at 9:30 p.m. CST. Of course, you don't have to wait until then. You can listen to our archived shows. (If you listen to last night's show, wait a few minutes after you press play...we had some technical difficulties - actually it was more like Tami-has-lost-her-mind-and-can't-remember-anything-technical-she-learned-in-college, difficulties. ;)
So what do you say? Why don't you give us a listen?


bah! humbug!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

If I see another box mummy wrapped in packing tape with five labels written and crossed out in black magic marker in my lifetime, it will be too soon!

That's kind of how I'm feeling this year.
I can't get in the spirit of Christmas at ALL...and I can't seem to get anyone to cooperate in forcing myself to get in the mood.
Usually what helps me, is getting all the holiday stuff put up around the house. You know - wreaths, nutcrackers, thousands of little snowmen, a table runner or two, candles ad naseum and aaaah...yes, the tree.
This year, its not happening.
Shad is on strike. He refuses to bring up the stuff, until I go through the boxes that were still sitting around the living room.
YES!!! Six months after moving BACK to Kansas, I still had boxes sitting in the living room. What of it?! I am using the excuse that since starting my new (old) job, I haven't had the time. But six months after the move, that excuse was getting as stale as a month old donut.
The truth? Moving twice in 10 months burned me out on packing and emptying boxes. If I see another box mummy wrapped in packing tape with five labels written and crossed out in black magic marker in my lifetime, it will be too soon!
I don't WANT to unpack another box. I don't WANT to and you can't make me.
Yep. That pretty much sums up our arguments over the last couple of days. Well...I guess you'd have to include a great deal of whining on my part about how unfair his strike is and him reminding me that he pretty much moved us back from Wyoming himself, because I was too busy feeling sorry for myself. And then him having the audacity to say that all he's asking is that I unpack the 10 boxes in the living room.
He's so unfair! ;>)
Finally, I gave up on Shad. He wasn't going to see things my way, so I had Alek, Anya and Nick help me push the boxes to the dining room - so it would LOOK like I had gone through them, and then took Alek with me down to the basement I lovingly refer to as the 'dungeon'.
Our mission was to get the Christmas stuff out.
I can count on one hand the number of times I have been down in that basement. Its more of a cellar if you ask me, but according to my Facebook friends, its technically a basement because it has a cement floor.
Sooo...Alek and I decended the scary, narrow and way too rickety stairs into the bowels of our 150 year old house.
Yuck! It was not any better than I had imagined.
We quickly found the boxes, got them out of the basement, carried them back up the scary, narrow and way too rickety stairs and plopped them down in the middle of my living room.
And that's where they will stay...until I can find the time to get it all put up.
Which SHOULD happen sometime this week...I think.
Let's see...Monday night I have a hair appointment, and preparing for Ladies' Tea at church. Tuesday night is the Ladies' Tea, which Kedzie and I are both host a table this year - fun stuff. Wednesday night is AWANA - enough said. Thursday is the kids' school Christmas program and the practice for a new project that I need to tell you all about. And then there's Friday...aaaah...maybe Friday.
Yea. Right.


password protected 3

Thursday, December 3, 2009

I have a password protected post published here.
If you don't have the password, be sure to ask.


joy of adoption

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