Sunday, November 30, 2008

This and That

Well, things have been crazy over here, to say the least. We did celebrate Thanksgiving with my parents before we headed for the camp. We are actually trying to sell the camp, so that might be the last family trip we take there. I tried to keep a good attitude, but the whole lice thing was/is extremely overwhelming. I can't even tell you the whole story because it's just too awful!! Just know, that I think we might be bug free, but I am a maniac checking everyone's heads all the time. I think I might resemble a monkey from time to time. I have spent hours upon hours treating everyone's heads and nit picking every strand of hair. Hours that would have been well spent doing a million other things that still have to be done before the party Friday night.

Here are a few pictures on Thanksgiving. It was really warm here, so I told the boys they had to wear shorts that buttoned (as opposed to athletic shorts). Instead, they came down dressed like this. They looked so cute.

Braden was starving, and made it to the table first. He said our blessing and asked for the food to taste good. So cute.

I am making progress on the house, but I feel like I take one step forward and two steps back. I finally finished the tree only to find today that it is dead! We had the neighbor come water it while we were gone, but the water level hasn't gone down at all, and the needles are already starting to fall off. As you can see, it's not a small tree. It took forever just to hang all the lights. I called the nursery and they're more than happy to replace it, but that means I have to take everything down and do it all over!!!!! I think I'm leaving it for the weekend and then we'll have to deal with that next week. Perfect!!

This morning, I was trying to clean up the kitchen before I started on my to-do list. I started hearing water hit the floor. I looked down and there was water pouring out of the cabinets under the sink! I had to pull everything out of the cabinets and dry it all. Thankfully, I was able to call the builder (because, of course, Richard isn't here) and he came and fixed it.
One big thing I was able to take care of today was our Christmas card. I took the pictures and ordered them, all in about 1 hour! Here's a silly preview (of course, it's not the "chosen" one):

The boys go back to school tomorrow, so I'm going to hit the road running! I don't start working until next week, so I need to enjoy my "freedom" this week!! I'm hoping to squeeze a pedicure in somewhere, but we'll have to see about that. I haven't been able to check on all your blogs, but hope to do that later tonight! Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving!!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Well, it happened....we had our first case of lice in this house!! To say I am grossed out is a great understatement. I was all ready to take a bath and wind down last night when Braden came in saying his head was itching. Well, you know the rest of the story...I ran to the drug store and spent the next two hours washing and nit-picking his hair. GROSS!!! Is your head itching just reading this? Mine is as I type. I'm just thankful he's a boy and doesn't have a ton of hair. I don't know what you do with a girl with long hair! I'm just praying we got it taken care of. I told him if we had already taken our Christmas card photo, I might just give him a crew cut. Lucky for him, I'm a procrastinator!!

Otherwise, we have still been super busy. Richard and I went to New Orleans yesterday morning for our fingerprint appointment. No one has asked for money yet so I'm praying we get through!

My SIL came over yesterday and we started decorating the house. It is looking really cute! We're supposed to get our tree today, so that should be alot of fun! I only have a few more Christmas presents to buy and I'll be completely done. The "big brown truck" (as my boys call it) should know my house well for the next couple of weeks. Isn't it so exciting to see that truck pull up at your house?!?!'s the simple things!!

We will be going to my parents house tomorrow for Thanksgiving. It will be quiet, but still alot of fun. We have so much to be thankful for. Among many things, I am thankful for all of you fellow bloggers who I have met on this crazy adoption journey. You have been a special blessing of encouragement every step of the way. Thank you!!!!

I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving!!!!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

What Makes Cade, Cade

He's the clown of the family.

He keeps everyone laughing always.

He always wants to be the center of attention.

He is non-stop. He is in constant motion until his head hits the pillow, and when it does, he's out. By 7:30 every night, he's done, but he's ready to go the next morning.

When I wake him up in the mornings, he lifts his arms and grabs my neck tight before he opens his eyes.

He loves to draw and is very creative.

He loves to make home-made gifts.

He can burp louder than anyone I've ever seen. Grown men are impressed on a regular bases. (Richard constantly makes him do it for them)

He is very proud of this.

He is very much about his image. He's the only one of mine who cares.

His hair has to be perfect before he leaves the house (or he has a cap on).

He thinks he's really cool.

All the kids at school seem to agree with him.

He weighs more than Braden does.

He has always been at least a head taller than the other kids his age (or a year older).

He always plays up a year in sports because of his size. Football is for safety, he would crush the kids his age.

He is a very good athlete.

I think football might be his sport. (makes me very nervous)

(Collin and Cade are best friends. They are in the same class, but Collin is a year older)

When he was 5, he was given the nickname "the Beast" stuck.

He has a high pitched "baby" voice still. (doesn't match his size)

It is hard for him to be affectionate, but he will (if no one is looking).

He is very good in school, but I'm afraid he will struggle more than the others.

He is not shy, he will ask anyone anything.

He is VERY stubborn.

He is very much like me;)

He wants to be surrounded with friends always.

He has grown up much faster than my other boys just because he's the 3rd. He has no trouble keeping up.
He's the roughest boy I have.
He can beat anyone up, but he doesn't.

Bryce has friends who are scared of him :)

He loves that!

Most of the time, he uses his size to protect friends dealing with bullies. He takes up for them.

He is very proud of his muscles. (He has big ones, too!)

He eats anything.

He eats ALOT, much more than me.

He cares very much about what he wears.

He is super sweet, and opens my car door for me often.

He loves Mexican food, just like me.

He used to want everything in its' place always, not so much now.

He sleeps downstairs in Chinababy's room even though he has the most awesome bunkbeds upstairs.

Because it's Chinababy's room, he sleeps on pink ruffled sheets. (I have wanted to take a picture so many times, but he would be SO upset with me so I haven't had the nerve.)

He will watch "baby" shows sometimes and say it's because he has to be ready for when Chinababy comes.

He is loud.

You can still see the baby in his face sometimes.

He is such a joy, I can't imagine our family without him.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Trying To Catch My Breath

Seems like, lately, I haven't even had time to catch my breath around here. Things have been so busy trying to get ready for the parties in a couple of weeks. I also threw another hitch into everything when I decided to go back to work! I took a position at the boys' school. I am up there all the time lately and have been subbing (which I hate) a good bit. I used to teach a LONG time ago, but my certificate has expired, so I am going to be a computer lab teacher. It hardly pays anything, but every little bit helps, right? The principal and I decided that we would see how I like it for the rest of this year and then decide about next year later. I am excited about it, but I'm also nervous. I am very spoiled, and totally control my schedule. I'm not used to waking up early every morning and having to be somewhere for the whole day. I haven't started yet, but will start on 12/8, right after the parties. Now, I'm on a mission to not only have everything ready for the parties, but to have all of Christmas bought as well. Believe it or not, I only have a couple of gifts left to get, and a few more things for the boys. I even wrapped all the teachers' gifts last night! Busy people get more done, right? That's what I keep telling myself!

This week, I took Bryce and his friend, Christian, to Tigerama. They have this at LSU every year, but I never knew about it. The Tiger symphonic band, and the marching band put on a great show. The marching band was SO awesome! There are 350 members of the band, and they are loud! It's a completely different experience hearing them inside a building as opposed to on the football field. Here are a few pictures of our night:

Bryce's favorite was this Indi*na J*nes number. Mike the Tiger was dressed all dressed up, as were the Golden Girls. Bryce said when we got to the car, "I don't know why the Golden Girls hardly have any clothes on." Pretty funny. Give him a couple of years.

I promise Christian was happier than he looks. He must not be used to his mom snapping pictures at inappropriate times ;)

In other news, the boys are off for the whole week for Thanksgiving. My big boys are hunting this weekend, so I'm taking my little guy and a friend to see a movie and have a "Cade" day.

We have our fingerprint appointment Tuesday at 8:00am!!!! Don't they know it's a holiday! The office is in New Orleans, so we will be up bright and early. I am not complaining, though. I was so happy they accepted my paperwork, I would go in the middle of the night if that's what they want!

My SIL is coming Monday to help me get these decorations in order. The bad news is that I just don't have enough decorations for this house. It's so much bigger than the last one. Hopefully she can work some magic because I really don't want to spend a ton of money on decorations! I'll post pictures after we're done!

Have a great weekend!! I'm off to get ready for my "Cade" day!!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Denise C, This Is For You!!

Well, this weekend, I bit the bullet and started pulling out Christmas decorations. Granted, none of them are when they should be, but it's a beginning. I've been giving Denise a hard time because her house was decorated before Halloween, so I thought it only fair to show her that there is a little bit of progress at my house. This is the first year I've ever had stuff out before Thanksgiving, but I have big motivation this year. On Dec. 5, we are having a really big Santa party here. I have the most awesome Santa making an appearance to give out presents to all the kids and take pictures. It is going to be GREAT! The next night, we have Richard's office party here. I am happy to be getting them both over in the same weekend, then I will be able to relax and enjoy the season. If you are counting, the party is a little over 2 weeks away! I am a little freaked out, but I got the invitations out today, so I'm making progress! All I need is Denise to come over here and show me where to put all this stuff!

By the way, you are ALL invited to the party, so make your plans!!

I don't even know where to start. We moved in this house a week before Christmas last year, so I have never had all my decorations up in this house.

Monday, November 17, 2008

The Perfect Weekend

I have been trying to get to the computer to spit a post out ALL day!! I think it's just going to be one of those weeks! That's ok, because I had the best weekend EVER! All my boys (the 4 of them) went to the camp this weekend and left me by myself! I don't usually like to be by myself, but I truly enjoyed it this weekend. I helped at an adoption workshop our church put on Saturday morning, and then went out with a friend to eat and do some Christmas shopping. The best part had to be that I slept till 9:45 Sunday morning!!! Can you believe it? I don't think I've slept that late since I was in college!! (never mind that I couldn't fall asleep last night because I had too much sleep ;)

Also thought I'd share that Bryce made a "B" on his big math test last week, so that brought his average up to a "C". At least that's progress. He also made a 100% on a big social studdies test. Hopefully, he got the point that I was not playing around! Braden brings his graded papers home tomorrow, so we'll see how that turns out for him.
I have lots to post, but not alot of time. If I can't sleep tonight, I'll get up and fill you in!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

More of Cade

I just had to share another one of Cade's diary entries. He keeps us all laughing all the time! If you click on it, you can see it better, and remember, he spells alot of words phonetically.
We've been having a pretty busy week. The two older boys both came home with really bad grades, so they are punished big time. I have fussed more this week than I have in a long time. They are punished from the TV this week, and I dared them to bring me another bad grade. Hopefully they'll get it together.
Hope you're all having a great week!

Veteran's Day

Friday, the jr. high had their Veteran's Day program. The band played alot during the program and they did so great. Cade 's program was yesterday. It was really cute. I don't have great pictures of either because those gyms are brutal. My dad was in the army, in fact, I was born in the army hospital in Ft. Knox, KY. I'll bet being honored by his grandchildren at these programs is a perk he never dreamed of.

Bryce and my dad.

2nd grade Veteran's Day program

Cade and a few of his "peeps"
We LOVE our Veterans!!

Monday, November 10, 2008

So Fun

Rachel has been my best friend since high school. We have been through so much together, both good and bad. She has three kids the same ages as mine, but her oldest is a girl. I have posted pictures of all the kids before, but don't have any new ones from yesterday. I can say, that at one point in the day, they were all 6 completely covered in mud: don't ask. I'm just glad I wasn't the one here to deal with it :)

While the sitter was dealing with muddy kids, Rachel and I and the husbands were enjoying the perfect weather and atmosphere at Tiger Stadium. The game didn't end how we would have liked, but that's ok. We had a great day anyway!

How do you like my "grizzly" husband? He was hunting in Kansas all last week, so he wanted to look the part. He shaved it this morning because I couldn't stand it ;)

The stadium was packed until the last minute. Can I tell you that we RAN out of there the second the game was over! We were out of breath when we got all the way to the car, but it was well worth it. We were home 30 minutes after the game ended. I am quite sure there were people who sat in traffic for longer than an hour trying to get out of there.

The band honored our veterans with their half-time show. It was awesome!

Bryce's jr. high had a Veteran's day program Friday. The band plays during the program. They did awesome! I took pictures, but they're awful. Any tips from anyone about taking pictures in a gym?

Cade is in a Veteran's Day program Tuesday. I can't wait!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

So Overdue

Baseballs and Tutu's gave me this awesome award a while back, and I have been a bad blogger and procrastinated (imagine that!). Thank you so much for this award.

The rules say for me to post it on my blog,thank the person who gave it to me and pass it onto 7 people. I am passing this on to:

Diana - Ruby's adoption blog was one of the first journeys to China I ever followed. I was, and still am, enamored with that gorgeous little girl (and her big sister too).

Denise - I don't even remember how I got to know Denise and her beautiful Chelsea. She is always so sweet, and I love to tease her about decorating for Christmas before Halloween even gets here! She's crazy!!

Keisha - Keisha is such a hoot, and because she's in GA, there's a little SEC rivalry going on there.

Kim - Kim is so awesome. We are in the long line to China together. She always has her hand in something, and her future Chinababy, Isabella, has the most wonderful wardrobe already waiting on her. I can't wait to see Kim with her precious daughter.

Denise - Denise and I met on a AWAA yahoo group. We logged in right at the same time, and immediately connected. Denise has four boys, so I can relate very well to her. I love to see her Maggie with her brothers because it helps me keep my eye on the prize!

Kim - Kim and her peanuts seem to be on the top of everyone's list. That must be because they are so stinkin' cute and Kim is such an awesome mom. I was blessed to meet her family a few months ago, and hope to be able to see them again soon.

Christy - Christy is such a hoot! She goes to Disneyland about every other week, and always has the funniest stories. I love to visit Christy and see what Miss Mia has been up to and her cutie pie brothers too!

Of course, I could go on and on because I love every single blog I frequent. I love this blogging community I have become a part of!!

I also received a gift from my Secret Pal, and I am late posting it. She sent me this adorable little Halloween dress and this awesome board book. Thank you so much Secret Pal, sorry to be so late!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Guess Where I'll Be Tomorrow...

Yes, it's no surprise that Richard and I will be at Tiger Stadium tomorrow to cheer our Tigers on to victory (hopefully)! My best friend and her husband are going to the game with us, and we are leaving all 6 (yes 6) kids here with a sitter (They live about an hour away). These kids adore each other and would have been extremely upset if they hadn't been able to hang out while their moms were. I'm sure I will have lots of cute pics.

So, since I've been getting some smack about the game from some of my favorite Alabama moms, let me just say:

Be sure and look for me on tv! I'll be wearing a really cute new LSU sweatshirt ;)

Thursday, November 6, 2008


I just checked the mail, and guess what came!! Our appointments for fingerprints! I saw the envelope and my heart sank because I thought there was no way good news would have gotten here so quickly. I am assuming that everything is fine since I received this appointment notice. If someone knows that for sure, could they let me know? I'm doing a happy dance over here.
Thanks for all the prayers and kind comments when I posted about my big screw-up!

That Boy Can EAT!!

Cade has always been a big eater. He is the child that will try anything. He's my only one. Braden eats so slowly, taking baby nibbles, it will drive you insane. I have to set the timer to get him to finish. That might have a little to do with why he's so skinny and Cade is so thick - ya think?

Sunday, after church, there was a family fun day. There were some little carnival games set up and spacewalks. There were also hundreds of hot dogs. They announced that there was going to be a contest to see which man could eat a hot dog the fastest. All of a sudden, I see Cade run up to the guy and ask (very insistently) if he could do it. They wouldn't let him do it because they wanted it to be men. As soon as the men were done, Cade ran back up to the guy and said, "OK, it's our turn now". The guy ended up letting the little boys participate in their own race.

I only had my phone camera, but I got some pics (whoever thought of putting a camera in your cell phone was a genius):

We were all cheering, and at one point, I was yelling, "Don't you throw up...Don't do it!!". He had stuffed his mouth so full, he could hardly chew. He got it down though and came in 2nd by a hair to an 11 year old. He was pretty proud of himself. That's my Cade!
I haven't forgotten about his post. I've done Bryce and Braden. I've been working on it, so it should be done pretty soon.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election Day

I took all the boys with me to vote today. They have really been into this election, and I wanted them to be a part of it. I snapped this pic in the voting booth (we were a little squished). They were so excited... Now we wait.
Thank you for all of you kind comments on my last post. What a blessing to have such support from all of you. This blogging community is truly amazing.

Monday, November 3, 2008

I Can't Believe I Let This Happen

You won't believe what I have done. You just won't, because I can't even believe I did it! Everyone who is waiting for a referral from China knows that your immigration forms expire in 18 months and if you apply for a renewal before they actually expire, you don't have to pay for the renewal. That is a savings of $640. We also know that if said form does expire, it means that you will now fall under the new Hague requirements which add greatly to your work load and frustration! Well....I started working on my renewal a few months ago. My social worker came for her visit, I was working on the doctor letters. I was too stubborn to schedule appointments, so when my doctor declined my request to just fill out the form (a few very easy questions) without an appointment, I waited for my brother to come to town and sign them for me (yes, he is a doctor).

You have to understand that I am a total procrastinator by nature. I try to overcome this, but it always seems to get the best of me. I started the whole renewal process early, but then got complacent and didn't worry about it because everyone kept saying I had plenty of time. I couldn't even remember what the actual expiration date was (I know, you're gasping...but that's the way I roll) You see, I deal with this adoption a little differently than some of you. I can't put the monthly reminders on my blog because it's just too depressing to me. I do much better to let it slip to the back of my mind and then be surprised at how quickly the time is passing. That just works best for me. So to make a long story longer...I emailed my social worker on Thurs., Oct. 30 to let her know the doctor forms were on the way, and I decided I'd better look to see how much more time I had. I put the date in the email and thought nothing more of it. Guess what the date was! Nov. 2!! It didn't even occur to me that it was only a few days away. I guess I felt secure that it was "next" month. When I looked at the actual form, it is dated Nov. 3, so I'm not sure if the expiration date is the 2nd or the 3rd. Does anyone know that?

My social worker saw the email Thurs. night, and called me saying, "Please tell me you typed that date in wrong." (Thank goodness, I have the most awesome social worker!) Only then, did it hit me what I had done. We brainstormed a little while about what we could do (she lives 5 hours away). She ended up overnighting the homestudy to be delivered to me on Sat. morning. I then immediately took the homestudy and other forms I needed to submit to have it overnighted to my USCIS office for Monday morning. It was delivered this morning Nov. 3., at 9:30am but postmarked Nov. 1.

I am completely distraught about it. I can't believe I could be so careless and stupid. It's a BIG deal. It makes it so much worse that I can't blame anyone but myself! I have been praying all weekend that the person who opened that envelope today would be in a great mood and have mercy on me!!

So what do you think? When will I know whether it is accepted or not? Do you think they will accept it? Am I a total blond for letting this happen? Will you ever be able to visit my blog again after knowing what an air-head I am? Will this adoption wait EVER end? How many times will I have to go through this renewal process?

Between this and the election, I might just have a total breakdown!!!

May the Force be With You

Well, here's the whole crew. We have a jedi, Hans Solo, Obi Wan, Princess Laia, Luke Skywalker, a shadow trooper, and Yoda. Aren't they cute? We had a fun night. Princess Laia decided she wasn't going to dress up this year, but I begged her to for the picture. What would this picture be without her? She was sweet enough to indulge my insanity!

And here they are acting the part:

We all had a fun night. The party back at the house ended up being alot of fun. I'll bet we've started a new tradition.

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