Thursday, July 28, 2011

Our Day in Court

On Tuesday we journeyed to court with A.  This was the first of many court appointments he will have in order to reside here in the United States.  Our next court appointment in our city will be in January and he will have additional ones that take place in Detroit as well.  (I am hoping that these kind of court appearances will the the only kind we will ever have to make with the kids!)

We arrived early and we sat and watched the names scroll by for all of the court cases scheduled.  Wow there were a lot of divorce cases on the docket!  We are assuming that they were divorce cases because of the court we were in and two people's names were listed -one male and one female with the same last name for the same court room.  I found myself trying to guess what the people were actually going into court for and which ones were the lawyers.  It was actually very interesting - it amused me anyways!

Back to our time in court...  Of course we had prep A for the event.  This was a big deal.  The judge could decide that he could be sent back to Guatemala or could make it difficult for him to stay here.  Try explaining to a 16 year old about court and legal issues when he has never heard of such things in his own language!  Try explaining that he has to present himself in such a manner that a grown-up will like him.  He is first and foremost a teenager and what teenager is ready and willing to conform for adults they don't know!  This means dress pants and shirt, nice shoes, no gum, sitting up straight, no mumbling, and eye contact!  We explained this to him in English and in Spanish more times then I would like to admit! 

I think he understood the gravity of it all though because I was never more proud of him then when the judge spoke directly to him and A looked him in the eye as he sat up straight and tall!  (he also spit his gum out before he stepped foot into the building!)  He was very attentive during the entire proceeding and did a fantastic job!  I think Ryan knew I was silently praying he would do well because he grabbed my hand while the judge spoke directly to A.

I was impressed by this judge and I hope that A listened attentively to him and takes his words with him.  I wish I could have his speech written down word for word.  He first welcomed him to the United States and explained that we were a country of great opportunity.  He said that A needed to take advantage of these opportunities because then he would be able to do almost anything he wanted to in life.  He asked that A abide by the rules of this country and work hard to be the best that he could be in his life in order to be a productive member of society.  He said much more and better then I am saying it here, but I was happy that A was hearing it from someone in such authority.  Hello!  I have said the exact same thing, but I am just the Mom!  So now at least I can whip out the "Do you remember what the judge said?" (I think some of it did sink in right now anyways because when we arrived home A changed and go right on the computer to work on his Rosetta Stone to learn English!)

The proceedings determined whether A would become a temporary ward of the court.  The judge granted this after hearing about A's care now and where he came from.  I know A's history so it wasn't of any surprise to me, but I wondered how he felt hearing it so bluntly spoken in such strong words that we had never used to describe his situation in Guatemala.  We wanted the judge to make him a temporary ward of the court so we are now one small step closer!

I was a bit surprised by the formality of everything and all of the legalese that had to be announced in court so that it could be documented.  It's fortunate it was such a cut and dry case because it took only 30 minutes!  I told A that the only thing I was disappointed in was that when the judge asked him if he wanted to say anything he didn't tell him that I was the most most awesome foster Mom ever!  Oh well, there is always next time! ;)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

It Works! Wednesday! - Last Week to Get Paid to Be a Part of Something Huge!

This is it!  This is the VERY LAST week to take advantage of the discounted distributor kit for It Works!  You can get healthy, lose inches, and make money!  How can you beat that?  Sign up and turn $99 into $494 in a blink of an eye! I did it and you can too!! :):) If you know at least 4 people who want to tighten tone and firm up an area on their body, lose weight, get healthier, or just feel better about fitting into that swim suit this season you have nothing to lose!!!!

The rewards keep on coming and so do the health benefits!  I have fun and make money!  So you have until July 31st to sign up at the discounted rate!  You get everything you would get at the full price so you make back your investment plus $100!  What other home business pays you to sign up!  You don't have to carry inventory and you don't just have to do home parties!  Chiropractors, massage therapists, nail salons, spas, and even tanners can sell these products!  The sky is the limit!  To find out more about the products just check out my It Works page.  Contact me today if you are interested in being on my team or just trying out a wrap!  I love to travel!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Gotcha!!

Today is what we adoptive parents fondly refer to as "Gotcha Day!"  Four years ago today we brought our gorgeous daughter home from Guatemala to be with her forever family!

That day was such a monumental time I can't even begin to describe it!  Going through the adoption process was actually like being pregnant, but without the big belly and morning sickness!

We had to go through training and filled in mountains of paperwork which took from August to October.  In the scheme of things and compared to other folks we completed this part of the process rather quickly!  I was super motivated so I kept at it! (Ryan says I completed it in "Amy Time" which in my mind is how all time should be handled - very quickly!)

On October 31st 2006 I got the call I was waiting for!  The adoption agency called to tell us that we were the only people in line for a baby in Guatemala and there were many babies waiting!  We could choose the region the baby was born in or the baby's gender.  Initially we had said that we would take a boy or a girl - we just wanted a healthy baby.  We had thought that we would get a boy since most people requested a girl and we were happy with that!  When I was told I had a choice I had no idea what to do!

Of course Ryan was not reachable by telephone because he was out of town for business meetings and I was freaking out!  After I called Ryan for the sixth time in 10 minutes our phone rang and it was our pastor!  I have to say that God just works wonders!  She felt the need to call me and say hello and it was exactly what I needed at that point!  We prayed on the phone together and I calmed down enough to not continue to speed dial Ryan!

After Ry and I talked, we decided that we really didn't want to choose a boy or a girl.  We wanted God to make the choice for us.  We called the agency and asked that we have the youngest baby because we knew it could take a long time to get the baby home.  Our baby was 3 weeks old when we received our referral.  I knew her given name, date of birth, place of birth, and the name of her birth mother.  That was it.  I knew she was healthy and I knew she was ours!  I didn't need anything else!  The moment I was told she was mine I felt bonded to her as if I had given birth to her.  I know that is hard to understand as I hadn't even seen a picture of her, but that is how strongly I felt toward her!

It took four long months before we were given the ok to go and meet her in Guatemala.  We had to wait on more paperwork and the DNA test to come back positive between her birth mother and her.  At the end of February we journeyed to the Land of Eternal Spring for the first time to meet our daughter!

We spent a few days touring the country so we could share pictures and experiences about our daughter's birth country with our children.  We loved the country and the people!  On the day we were to meet our daughter for the first time I paced on the balcony of our hotel for hours!  (No one else runs on "Amy Time"!)  We waited with another couple for our daughters to arrive.  We had never seen a picture of her so we had no idea who to be on the look out for!  We expected a tiny little girl with black hair as most people from Guatemala are on the smaller side.

There were a few times that vans arrived and we jumped up flashing picture after picture of strangers only to realize they were guests of the hotel and were not there to bring us our daughter!  Finally the moment arrived and Lorena, our lawyer, took our baby out of the car!  I tear up thinking about it right now.  I just about flew down the stairs to get to them!  She was not the tiny baby we expected, but she was the most beautiful baby we had ever seen!  We sat with the foster mother who cried as she handed us our baby and talked about her habits!

The four days we had Lola in the hotel she was the best baby and so quiet!  She loved her bath and slept with me in my bed so well.  We couldn't leave the hotel with her so we played dress up with her and took lots of pictures of her in different outfits!  There were many other adoptive parents in the hotel as well so we had fun meeting people that didn't live too far away from us in Michigan!

I wasn't prepared for how fast I would fall in love with my daughter.  We came to Guatemala knowing that we would have to leave without her so I thought that it wouldn't be that difficult because I knew what was coming.  I was wrong!  So wrong!  This time I was happy when the lawyer was late to take her back to the foster mom.  I don't remember ever sobbing as hard as I did in front of others as when I turned around and walked away from my sleeping baby!  It was awful!



This time our trip was very short!  We arrived, spent a day at a flea market, got Lola the next day, went to court the third day, picked up documents from court the fourth day, and left on the fifth day!  It was a whirlwind!  The night before we left Guatemala to go home I got very ill!  I must have eaten something that had been washed with tap water because I was singing to the porcelain god all night long and all morning before boarding the plane.  You know you don't feel well when you lay down on the airport floor in Guatemala.  Let's just say I wouldn't set my dog (if I had one) on that floor!  I was so sick I couldn't even hold Lola on my lap on the plane!  We were so blessed to be traveling on the same day as a couple who took their daughter home as well and live very close to us!  They had their mother with them so an extra set of hands was there to help us as well!  I don't know how we could have done it because Lola demanded to be held 24/7 and I was worthless for most of the day!

We arrived in our home airport to a sea of people!  Everyone was so excited to meet our new baby and we were so excited to show her off because frankly she was the most beautiful thing ever!  Jackson couldn't have been more tickled!  He loved her so much and was the only one allowed to feed her her bottle besides Mommy and Daddy!  He took his duty as a big brother very seriously!

Each year on Lola's Gotcha Day we get out her book and go through it and talk about her story.  (we get the book out when she wants to look at it as well, but we always are sure to look at it on her Gotcha Day) She likes to hear how Jackson made her a special teddy bear and how she screamed each time we set her down so Daddy had to take a shower with her.  She likes to look at the pictures we took and smiles big when we tell her about her adventures!  We have had a party for her in the past, but this year we are just going to celebrate with cake and ice cream because that was her request!

Tikal - which we saw on our visit trip

Our sweet baby!  This is the first day we met her!

Look at those cheeks!


Two other families we met in Guatemala who were adopting girls!  They all live near us and one of the girls has the same Gotcha Day as Lola!
I can't express to you how blessed we feel to have such a special daughter in our lives!  She was the most perfect baby picked out for our family!  Adoption is a wonderful thing!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Nervous But Excited!!!

Three years ago Ryan and I moved into our home.  This is the third home we have lived in and by far it is the newest and nicest and most importantly it has the best neighborhood with the most spectacular neighbors ever!

Since we have moved in we have had meet and greets, random get togethers with and without kids, hang out time around firepits, parties, a progressive dinner party, a murder mystery dinner, and even a girls only wine tasting road trip!  (I'm sure I've missed a few events in there!) If we were unable to leave our home and neighborhood we would definitely have enough social interaction here!  The money we have saved on babysitters alone has been awesome!

This past weekend we had yet another spectacular neighborhood get together!  Two of our neighbors arranged to have a "Second Annual Backyard Concert".  (Thank you guys!!  It was sooo awesome!!)They provided food, drinks, and a stage with a live band!  Neighbors and friends gathered to listen to music and chat.

The band was Nervous But Excited.  They are awesome!  The way their voices mix together is amazing!  I love their songs and sound!  What makes them even greater though are their personalities!  They put up with a bunch of crazies playing on their equipment- one of which was my husband who seemed to have control of the microphone for hours and was belting out tunes!  I think I saw him briefly give the mic away a handful of times only to take it back again and again and again!  After 13 years of marriage I had no idea he wanted to be a singer on stage!  After the crowd cleared out (which I hope wasn't due to Ry's renditions or my dancing) the girls gathered around the fire with their guitar.  They took requests and played some of their own stuff.  What other group would hang out with a bunch of crazies and and not roll around on the ground with our attempts at harmonizing!  It was super fun!!

Go check out Nervous But Excited!  They have great music and are great people!  You may even want to get them to come and do your backyard concert!  I'm sure you all would like to see Ry's performances as well, but I have a feeling that was a one night only treat!
Nervous But Excited


The pose the do at every event and get together!!

One of the rare times Ryan wasn't on the mic!

Super fun with the band!!

video
The video is an extra special treat!  We add all kinds of entertainment!  It's almost like you're in Vegas!!

Friday, July 22, 2011

How Dating Teenagers and Toddlers are Alike

That's right we have moved into the dating realm.  A has been talking with a young lady for awhile now and had her over for the first time last night!

She is super sweet and we had a nice dinner with her.  The younger children actually stole all of her attention during the time they were up which was fine with me!

As I contemplated what was appropriate boundaries for the teenagers I came to the conclusion that dating teenagers are very similar to toddlers!

  1. You must walk into the room they are in at different intervals to see what trouble they are getting into.
  2. Structured activities are the best way to go!
  3. Stay strong with curfews and bedtimes!  They need them!
  4. You can not leave them alone for too long.
  5. If there is quiet, there is trouble!
We have just begun our journey!  What advice do you have for us?  We're going to need it!  We didn't ease into this teenage thing but went from diapers to shaving kits over night!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Bottom, Buns, Butt, Booty, Bum - oh my!!!

Today I am wondering if it is better to teach your children the correct anatomical names for body parts or to call them something different.

My children know their body parts by their correct textbook names.  I should clarify and say they know their "private parts".  We have always called a penis a penis and a vulva a vulva.  The only name we didn't use was glutenous maximus.  We say hynie.  I just thought it was a good idea for them to know the real names of their parts because I really didn't until I was a lot older.  Plus they are more likely to learn the slang from others before they learn the textbook names on the playground.

Lately, I am wondering if this was the right choice, however.  It has never really come up as a problem or even a little bit of an issue until our youngest came around.  He is very talkative and can be very loud everywhere he is!  The other day he insisted on being carried out of the grocery store.  I had my purse and two bags of groceries around my one wrist and had to hike him onto my other hip.  As I hiked him up on my hip he yelled out, "Mom, you are hurting my penis!"  When I say yelled- I mean yelled!  It wasn't just once either!  Many heads turned our way!  The other night at dinner he announced that he had a hurt penis.  This began the talk between him and Lola about their "private parts".  At that moment I was thankful for A's lack of English and I prayed he didn't understand penis and vulva because I know he understands the word sex!

I guess now I just have to do a better job of explaining to the kids that it isn't ok to just yell out "private part" names and it probably isn't appropriate dinner conversation.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

It Works! Wednesday - Hope and Help for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

I have run into many people who suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome or IBS.  Irritable bowel syndrome refers to a disorder that involves abdominal pain and cramping, as well as changes in bowel movements.  There are many possible causes of IBS. For example, there may be a problem with muscles in the intestine, or the intestine may be more sensitive to stretching or movement. There is no problem with the structure of the intestine. It is not clear why patients develop IBS, but in some instances, it occurs after an intestinal infection. This is called postinfectious IBS. There may also be other triggers. Stress can worsen IBS. The colon is connected to the brain through nerves of the autonomic nervous system. These nerves become more active during times of stress, and can cause the intestines to squeeze or contract more. People with IBS may have a colon that is over-responsive to these nerves. IBS can occur at any age, but it often begins in adolescence or early adulthood. It is more common in women. About 1 in 6 people in the U.S. have symptoms of IBS. Symptoms range from mild to severe. Most people have mild symptoms. Symptoms vary from person to person. Abdominal pain, fullness, gas, and bloating that have been present for at least 6 months are the main symptoms of IBS. The pain and other symptoms will often:
  • Occur after meals
  • Come and go
  • Be reduced or go away after a bowel movement
People with IBS may switch between constipation and diarrhea, or mostly have one or the other.
  • People with diarrhea will have frequent, loose, watery stools. They will often have an urgent need to have a bowel movement, which is difficult to control.
  • Those with constipation will have difficulty passing stool, as well as less frequent bowel movements. They will often need to strain and will feel cramping with a bowel movement. Often, they do not eliminate any stool, or only a small amount.
For some people, the symptoms may get worse for a few weeks or a month, and then decrease for a while. For other people, symptoms are present most of the time and may even slowly increase.


There was a time in my own life that I suffered from IBS.  I can tell you it was the worst!  I remember going out to dinner and having a salad only to have to run home while I suffered from terrible lower abdominal pains and having diarrhea for a long time!  I was not a fun date!  My doctor told me to stay away from raw vegetables which seemed so odd to me since they are so good for your body and what you need!  My tummy just couldn't handle many foods!

Now that I have so many good supplements at my fingertips I know I will never have to worry about IBS again!  Clients have told me that the Greens, Regular, and Fat Fighters are freeing them from IBS!  Some clients use all of these supplements while others may use just one or a combination!  To start if you are a sufferer of IBS I would recommend the Greens.  Get yourself a good base and go from there!  Below are some testimonies from people on supplements with IBS!




I just had to share this.  Some of you have heard me talk about how bad my IBS-C is and how I love the fat fighter for keeping it under control.  Well I love it even more now!

I quit taking fat fighter about a month ago.  Honestly just kinda got off routine.  Well my IBS has been soooooooooo bad over the past few weeks.  Literally EVERYDAY my stomach hurt, felt bloated or had a major burny sensation, again EVERYDAY and ALL DAY!   Pretty much miserable.  Well 2 days ago I started taking the fat fighter again.  I take 2 about 15-30 min after lunch and dinner.

This morning I woke up and my stomach has NO burny sensation, NO bloating and feels totally normal!  In just 2 days Fat Fighter got my IBS under control!  I just reconfirmed my love for the fat fighter!!!  My stomach has not felt like this since I quit taking the fat fighters over a month ago. 

I have literally tried everything under the sun to take away the irritation of IBS-C and NOTHING works like Fat Fighter.  I've even had prescriptions from the doctor to try to help and NOTHING makes me feel normal in my stomach but the fat fighter.

Feeling good with a happy tummy :)
Judy
Fat fighters. He eats a lot of Mexican food and loves his deserts.
He chose to get off the Lipitor and do the fat fighters without
changing his eating habits. The doctor told him in March last year,
after 6-7 months of fat fighter use, lunch and dinner, that he was
down 60 points
.

I have IBS and the Regular helps me with that.  Since taking the Regular, I no longer take anything else.  It has been a great help to me.  Wendy
I have a friend with the same issue and all of the products seem to help her but the greens helped the most (for her) she takes them all except its regular and the relief. She said if she could only afford one it would be the greens though.
I also have IBS from my Fibromyalgia and I find the Regular along with the Green and Fat Fighters help tremendously.
I can tell when I don't take any supplements even for a day. I feel awful! The next morning I take at least 3 scoops of the Green right away and by the afternoon I feel so good again.
Carol

I hope this information can help some of you out there that suffer from IBS!  If you have questions feel free to contact me!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Truth about Grocery Stores~

These are the secrets about grocery stores and shopping in them that you will also discover if you bring your children with you!

  • If you want it to storm you need to plan the day before to go grocery shopping.  It is like washing the car!  You will be sure to get drenched and all of the wonderful food you have purchased will also be dripping as you bring it in the house!

  • Grocery stores are haunted!  The sweetest little children at home and who all excited to go "help" mom, dramatically transform in the store!  I have seen this transformation as we walk past the gumball machines!  Some entity must take over their little minds and bodies and turn them into raving crazy things!  Often we aren't even in the actual store yet and already I feel like turning on my heel and heading out the door! 

  • This haunting also causes the children to develop the loudest screaming voice known to man.  Outside of the grocery store you may have never heard this voice before, but EVERYONE in the store will hear it!

  • In addition to the raving crazy thing and screech owl you now have in your cart, suddenly the children become superb debaters! They can argue any point about nutrition and how I am the meanest mom in the world in one breath!  It may not make sense to the average adult, but it is truth!  This debate may continue throughout the entire trip with bits of repetition throughout.
"Mom, can I have that?"
"Not today."
"Can I have that?"
"Maybe later."
"Can we buy that?"
"What did I just say?"
"But I want that!  Can we have it puuullllezzzz???"
"NO!  Don't ask again!  I am not changing my mind!"
"Can we have this?"
(at this point the screech owl may show itself along with the raving crazy thing!)
  • Every person in the grocery store is really there to analyze you as a parent.  If your baby does not have shoes on in the winter a "parenting expert" (most likely the one who is 80 and has never had children) will approach you and either tell you that the baby needs shoes or it will die or will make a comment to the baby like, "You poor thing!  Your feet must really be cold!  I hope you don't get pneumonia!"

  • Your children will be on their worst behavior, you will look like you just woke up and have peanut butter on your face from breakfast and you will run into either a person you went to high school with and haven't seen in 10 years or an ex-boyfriend.  You will not be able to hide.  They will track you down and delight (on the inside) in your misfortune!  How it is they recognize you in this state is nothing less of a miracle!

  • You will become extremely hungry and thirsty while shopping!  Things you do not need and do not like will actually look delicious and you won't be able to leave the store without them!  Be warned!  You will not like that boxed meal just because you are hungry now!
  • Things on sale will jump into your cart!  You will get home and find 10 extra items that were not on your list, but were on sale that you now own.  (This just happens and is NOT your fault - the grocery store is haunted!)

  • Your cart will start out nice and neat and end up with things piled high and squished!  Then when you get to the checkout, you will pick the slowest lane with the cashier who wants to tell you their life story.  This is especially true if you are in a hurry!  In addition, there is no easy or right way to load the conveyor belt!  Your bread will most likely get squished because the kids take up the only safe seat!

  • The truth of the matter is, if you can go grocery shopping by yourself it can be a very calm enjoyable experience.  Most likely the only one I will have all day.  During which you can have a few adult conversations over the produce selections and at the checkout.  You may not even mind hearing about your cashiers skin conditions!  Go shopping without the children!  It is still a haunted place, but it will be less stressful in the long run!
I know you all have awesome stories about grocery shopping!  What are they?  Share in the comment section on this page so I know I am not the only one!!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Privacy!

It only took me 8 1/2 years to figure this out, but I am sooo happy I finally did!

Since my first child was born I can count how many times I have had complete privacy and uninterrupted bathroom time!  When Jackson was a baby there were times I actually had to take him and hold him on my lap while going to the bathroom!  Try pulling up your pants while holding onto a baby!  When Lola came home it was even worse because we went through a time that I couldn't put her down.  She would scream bloody murder and since we were in the process of trying to attach after the adoption, well let's just say the two of us were attached no matter what was going on!  I was 8 months pregnant at the time so imagine how many times I had a 4 year old on my leg and a baby in my arms while trying to pee!

Yes, I have locked the door, but the pounding on it and the screams behind it do not mean privacy and uninterrupted time!  Today I actually had silence!  And yes, the children were home and on my heals!  This is all it took;
"I'm going potty right now.  Are you coming in or staying out." - me
"Are you pooping." - Tyce
Took a minute to think... "Maybe..." - me
"Then I'm staying out!  You need privacy!" - Tyce with a disgusted look on his face!

No pounding, no yelling, nothing!!

So now if you hear me say I am pooping all of the time, but find I am on my deck, on the couch, or in my bedroom, don't be alarmed.  I am just having a little bit of silence and privacy!  You may want to try it!

Friday, July 15, 2011

My Day Started in the Toilet....

Seriously - it actually started off in the toilet!

My youngest dropped a toy in the pee filled toilet and I had to grab it out of there trying to avoid getting the toilet paper stuck on my hand!  Sooo gross!

I've also had to take water balloons out of the toilet, carrots, and shoes!

Why are kids so fasinated with toilets?  I try to only go to them when I have to actually go to the bathroom.  I don't like to hang out by the toilet, jump on the toilet, or play with the water in the toilet!  I don't even like to throw up in the toilet! (just the thought of my face so close to .... well you know... makes me want to puke right now!)  But kids, they love them!  I'm surprised they haven't come out with actual play toilets to put on the playground or something.  They would be the most popular toy of all! Until some drunk guy came along and peed into it.

Honestly, I am done with the fasination with toilets and all things related to them!  My days should not revolve around toilets! 

STAY OUT!!

On a side note, one of the worst things ever is when I have gotten up in the middle of the night and Ry has left the toilet seat up.  I am half asleep so I actually fall into the toilet!  That will wake you up fast!  Or have you ever gone into the public restroom and shifted your weight a little to only have it automatically flush on you and your rear end gets all wet!  So disgusting! 
I really don't like toilets!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Singing the Blues....

Yesterday was a blue day.  Not a sad blue day, but an everything seemed to be blue day!
The sky was blue, we all wore blue, and even the kids' mouths turned blue!

We started the day by going to VBS (vacation Bible school).  Jackson and Lola are loving it and it gives Tyce and I some quiet time together.  Ironically, their offering is going toward a mission trip they are taking to Guatemala next month! - very cool!

At VBS they had a fire truck come and spray the kids!  Before the spraying of the children, they all enjoyed snowcones!  -blue snowcones!  Jackson was sooo loving his snowcone that he didn't even move when the water sprayed over his head!

Notice the boy running away from the water and Jackson just enjoying his treat!

A blue mouth!

A blue tongue!
In keeping with the blue theme, we decided to go pick blueberries!  The humidity was down and the sun drifted behind the clouds every once in awhile making it a perfect picking day!  One of the fabulous things about living in Michigan is that whenever we want fresh berries in the summer we can go find a farm and pick them!

We found a fabulous blueberry farm in Holland, MI.  The owners were so sweet!  They got us all situated with our buckets and showed us the best rows to find the most berries!  They told the kids the rules for picking berries; One berry for your mouth and one berry for your bucket!   The bushes were plentiful with nice juicy berries!  I loved that they were short bushes as well.  The kids could reach most of the branches and I could see over them to know where the kids were! 

I gave the kids instructions to pick the berries that were blue.  Tyce spent the first 5 minutes announcing every time he found a berry that was blue.  This was a constant stream of chatter on his part since there were so many berries everywhere!  We spent an hour picking berries.  Even with the blueberry picking rule, we picked 24 lbs of berries!  It's a good thing they didn't weigh the kids beforehand!  Tyce bypassed the rule and I was afraid I would have to roll him out of the fields!  Despite all of the berries he picked, his bucket was completely empty!



"I did put them in the bucket, but now I ate them!"


We had a ton of fun picking berries!  Now to find some yummy recipes to use them in!  If you are in the Holland area and want to pick berries, I highly recommend going to Wa-Hu Blueberry Farm!  They are on 15411 Greenly in Holland Michigan.  You can call for their hours 616.218.3691.  It is well worth the time and the trip!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

It Works Wednesday - Pulling my Hair Out??

Gimme head with hair
Long beautiful hair
Shining, gleaming,
Streaming, flaxen, waxen

Give me down to there hair
Shoulder length or longer
Here baby, there mama
Everywhere daddy daddy

Hair, hair, hair, hair, hair, hair, hair
Flow it, show it
Long as God can grow it
My hair

The above are lyrics from the Musical Hair.  I saw this musical with my mom when I was in high school.  Before we left the theatre she told me that maybe it was a good idea to not tell my dad that there were nude people thrusting themselves on the audience! (She never thought in a million years that in our conservative city they would actually stick with the original score and script - wow was she wrong and we had front row seats!)
Hair is on my mind today.  -and on the floor in my bathroom.  I have been losing my hair little by little.  It is getting so that I am worried about brushing my hair.  Even running my fingers through it I get a hand full of long strands!  I did the same thing after I gave birth, but that hasn't happened in quite awhile!  Since I am very healthy, the only explanation is that I am under a fair amount of stress.  Really??  How did that happen?  LOL!

The only real solution to this is to go on a nice tropical vacation!  I would need a few cabana boys to cater to my every need and I think I would de-stress in no time!  Seeing that THAT isn't going to happen any time soon I may have to find a different solution....

For now I will start being more faithful taking my vitamins (It's Vital) and my Greens (both of those will make my hair grow faster and stronger) and add in some Confianza.  Today I added in two Confianza and it really did make a world of difference with my stress!  I had three crabby children after the holiday weekend and I didn't drop kick even one of them!  I heard whiny voices, squabbles, and cries all day long and yet I was still able to keep my cool and deal with them in a manner that actually made me proud of myself!  Gotta LOVE that!!!  Now let's hope my hair stops partying on my floor and in my sink and comes along with me on my head!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Beach Day - Puke in my Mouth!

Over the weekend we went to the beach.  This is a beach I have frequented since I was knee high to a grasshopper, but I see it with much different eyes now!  I am not even going to apologize if I offend anyone because if you think I am talking about you - you have a problem!

These are my observations of the patrons of the beach:

Before you go please be sure to shave!  Seriously, women need to check if they have sprouted anything in any location since the last time they went to the beach.  (or they saw sunlight) It is not that difficult!  If you are a man, there is nothing wrong with Nairing your back!  Why in the world you would want to have that jungle following you around I have no idea!

Please wear a suit that fits!  How difficult is it to tell if you are falling out of your suit?  Really?  You don't know that your boob is hanging out or that your trunks are past your bum?  It does not make you look sexier by squeezing into something two sizes too small!


Wear sunscreen!  You all know the dangers of the sun, but honestly do you really want to be in pain?  So what if burn turns into tan?  It also turns into peeling after being painful and you not being able to move!

If you can't see over your own belly or can not find your straps in your rolls you should reconsider putting on that speedo or bikini!  Enough said!

On second thought - Just leave the speedo at home for "private parties"! (and no I don't want to be invited!)

Do you really have to smoke and flick your ashes in the sand my kids are using to build a castle?  Show some respect for those around you and go smoke somewhere else!

 This is a little too late for some of you, but your entire body covered in tattoos may have looked hot when you were 20 and ripped, but when you are older and are chasing kids around and have a beer belly it just looks sad!

Keep your jewelry at home.  You are at a sandy beach for crying out loud!  You will get sandy and wet!  You don't need that bling!
Along the same lines - don't bring your make-up to the beach!  It will just melt right off and smudge!  Wait until you are done being by the sand and surf before you reapply!

There you have it!  Some of the many observations I made while at the beach with my family!  Although I didn't take all of these fabulous photos, I did witness these infringements at our home town  beach!  And I do have to admit they made me feel really good about myself and boosted my own self esteem!

Just promise me if I ever dare to join one of these groups you kick me in the head! point out my not so perfect choice before I head to the beach!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Just Can't Get Away from those Piercings!!

Early last week Lola informed me that she was ready to get her ears pierced.  I was taken a bit off guard because this straight forward statement came out of the blue.

Back in December a few of our neighbor girls who are around Lola's age got their ears pierced.  Lola was all gung-ho about getting hers done as well.  That is until I showed her the video of our neighbor getting her ears pierced.  Our neighbor was so excited to get it done and then screamed bloody murder!  I showed Lola a few other videos of other girls having it done and it turned her off pretty quickly.

This of course was my plan because frankly I wasn't ready to have my little girl take such a big girl step.  Ironically, most of the baby girls in Guatemala come out of the hospital with their ears already pierced so I guess technically she is behind when it comes to piercings.

I told Lola that when she was ready to have her ears pierced she could have it done.  I thought that this meant when she was in her pre-teens or at least a few years away.  Seeing kids scream while getting their ears pierced was supposed to stick with her for a bit. (she has a memory like a steel trap) 

Apparently, she got over the videos because early last week she declared she was ready.  She said that she knew it might hurt, but she was brave with her shots and could be with this too.  She did want to know if it was ok to cry if it hurt. 

I thought if I didn't bring it up again and told her that we had to wait until the end of the week when Daddy was home that it would be forgotten or at least thought better of.  I was wrong.  Saturday came around and she was ready to go!

We loaded up in the car and headed for the mall.  We watched a little girl have her ears pierced before it was our turn.  I was so relieved when that little girl didn't even flinch.  Seriously!  She sat so still and just nodded her head and said ok when they told her she was done!  I was dumb founded!
Lola and Daddy watching the girl before us.

Lola picked out her earrings and climbed onto my lap.  The lady doing the piercings was very good with talking with Lola and telling her how to clean her ears and what to do.  She even explained all that she was doing before she did it.  Lola listened intently and then started to whisper that she was scared to me.

Here it was.  This was going to be my out.  I only had to say ok and walk out with her and no ear piercings that day!  The thing is, I know my daughter.  I know that she is often scared of things that are unknown to her and as soon as she is in the midst of them she is fine and jolly.  I also know that she was working herself up to make things worse then they were.  So we sat in the chair with the lady patiently waiting to do her job.

Lola and I talked about what was going on and how it would feel.  We talked about how the little girl acted before her and if it looked like it hurt her a lot.  We talked about how it was ok to be afraid and it was ok to cry if she was scared.  I didn't really want to talk her into it, but I knew that if we walked out of that store without getting her ears pierced she would be begging me to have it done by the end of the day!

In the end, if you had walked by the store you would have thought I was forcing her to get her ears pierced and was the most evil mother on the planet!  She decided to go through with it and said that she wanted to do it in a little choked up voice.  She cried before they even got her ears cleaned off.  1, 2, 3 and it was over. 


She was so stunned that she cried harder a few minutes after it was done!  I took her out of the store.  She was crying like crazy!  I think she was crying more out of relief and letting all of that anxiety out then pain.  The second I reminded her that they had a sucker waiting for her and a sticker she stopped.  It was an instant transformation!  She was all smiles and super excited to see her ears and strutted around telling people she just got her ears pierced!
So proud in the mall with he sticker and new earrings!

Just give her a sucker and life is awesome!
video
Changing her mind??

video
Here it is! 
What an ordeal!  Now I know some of you are remembering a past post about the two older boys piercing their own ears.  Fohawks, Piercings, and Tattoos - Oh My!  How did I justify letting a four year old get her ears pierced?  She is a girl and sometimes things are different for girls then they are for boys.  That's life!  It is helpful too that babies have their ears pierced when they are born in A's country.  So no worries!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Our Oldest is Moving Out!

Often times you hope and plan and dream, but as much as you do that you are not in control.  We both have hopes, plans, and dreams for the children in our home.  Unfortunately, it is very evident that no matter how much we want something for our children, if they don't want it- it just won't be.

Our oldest foster son is moving out today.  We found this out yesterday!  This is both a sad event and a happy one.  It is sad because we know that we could have provided him with any and every opportunity he could have ever hoped for and he may not get those same opportunities elsewhere.  He is a great young man and will be missed in our home.  It is a happy event because although his plan isn't what we would envision for him, he is moving forward and working to make his own plans happen! 

W has family in California and in conversations with him it became increasingly evident that that is where he would like to be and should be -with his family.  His motivations and ambitions lie with his family.  We can all understand this.  It has to be extremely difficult for a child to spend years of his life without his family around him in a foreign place!

We are happy that we are working with an agency who will listen to the children and help them achieve their hopes, plans, and dreams.  So, although we will miss him, we also know he will be happier in going to live with his family.

We wish him all of the best and hope that we can stay in touch.  We also hope that some of the lessons we tried to instill in him while he was here will come to the surface once in awhile!  We don't know where his own hopes and dreams will take him, but we hope that he will be happy and healthy on his journey!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

My Make-up Secrets Revealed....by my four year old!

Lola and I had a girl's day the other day.  She wanted to do my nails. make-up, and hair.  To let a four year old do your nails, hair, and make-up is a very brave thing to do!  What was I thinking?

After the fabulous job she did we went and got our nails fixed done the next day by professionals because I couldn't get the variety of colors she used on my nails completely off!  We did have a lot of fun first pretending to be in a beauty salon and then being in an actual one together just us girls.  We can become a little overwhelmed with the boys in our house at times!

Now this is the life!  Getting your nails done while watching Dora!

This past weekend Lola decided to play beauty salon again, but this time with her cousin.  They were gorgeous!   Lola was very proud with her work because of course she did her own make-up! 
Lola and her cousin after their "Beauty Adventure"

My sister got a big kick out of Lola's make-up artistry mostly because she reminded me that the last time Lola did such a gorgeous job with her make-up she came out of her bedroom and declared:
"Now I look just like you, Mommy!"