Sometimes I'd like to ask God why He allows poverty, famine and injustice when He could do something about it. But I'm afraid God might ask me the same question.

Monday, May 31, 2010

The kids had their first swim meet of the season this weekend. A very time consuming, but fun activity.
Here's my goosebumped heat winner, swimming is the one sport so far that doesn't come naturally to our boy... he was waay excited about this...they pass out tattoos to the "heat winner" as soon as they finish their race.
Mama 2.o watching the heat sheets to make sure her and her baby bro don't miss their events.
My little girl, her coach dubbed her "Ko-beast" , it so doesn't fit her persona, girl is in a hurry for nothing. but oh so cute.

The next 4 pictures were taken in about 2 seconds,,, they tell a story that cracks me up.

If looks could kill
Hey, get your own apple chica!
Mina, just a little pleased with herself for sneakin' a bite and annoying her baby sis.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

I love paint, and regrets about last night

I love paint, it gives me hope. When in doubt paint it!
When we first looked at our new house a few months ago, it was quite evident that it was built in the 80's.
We have a mirrored glass shelved wet bar in our living room for goodness sakes... I knew it was nothing several gallons of primer and paint couldn't conquer.
At first we called a few professional painters out to take care of the overwhelming amount of wood trim, which needed to be sanded down then primed, then painted...3 coats of paint to cover that trim no less...
Needless to say we were in sticker shock over the estimates, and we know we are pretty good at menial labor, so we decided to jump right in ourselves. I am stumped by the brick fireplace and mantel, I'm sure the mantel will get replaced, I'm just debating wether or not to paint the brick????

We are also not above letting our small and capable child stay up past her bedtime to help us paint, that's good parenting, right?
But look at the difference some white paint can make. So onto my regrets about last night. First off, last night was FANTASTIC! We had a get together at my house for our Bloom team, over 20 beautiful and passionate women showed up to join our forces.
We ate, talked, laughed and inspired each other and I felt so overwhelmingly blessed to be a part of what we are going to do. BUT,,, I left my camera sitting on the table, I was so caught up in the moment that I didn't capture it, I am bummed this morning that I don't have much photographic evidence of our first Team meeting. I did pick my camera up for about 2 seconds and snapped these two photos as the night was beginning,

with full intentions of taking more photos... then I got caught up in the moment and all intentions were lost. I am so grateful to everyone who showed up and everyone that wants to help out. We are going to do great things together.

I am so excited!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

vent, rant, scream, spit

**** just a disclaimer...this post is only meant to make sense to other adoptive Mama's, If you have no idea what I am talking about you most likely haven't adopted......yet (whatcha waiting for :) )

I dislike this new H@gue Plague paperwork process very much, it is not my very favorite thing, not at all. I narrowly escaped it the last two times around and now I feel like paperwork karma is biting me in the rear. It makes me sweat, it makes my skin crawl, it makes my brain hurt, it makes me not the nicest person to be around. In all this waiting we do it is hard to believe that it is our government that makes the red-tape adoption process so unbearable. Seriously if you happen to have any family situation out of the norm (like a 17 yr old son living abroad, soon to be an adult male living in our home) all of the sudden no one knows how to handle your paperwork. I have asked 3 government officers the same question and received 3 different answers about how to proceed. I have a feeling I am going to have to settle into this confusion real early on... it aint gonna be purdy :) I am vowing now not to stress the waiting this time around, I've got a few things going on to keep me busy... Anyone want to sign up to remind me of this in a few months?

Saturday, May 22, 2010


It's no secret I love a good deal, even better a good deal and a project :). I bought this junky chair the other day for $20, I probably overpaid the guy, I need to learn to haggle, but I'm real excited how we spruced it up
My assistant and I painted it a gray blue and recovered it in white cotton.
This is my assistant, don't let her size fool you this girl can work...her favorite show is Color Splash on HGTV, she's seen every episode a dozen times. She is going to have her own design business by the time she's 12, I can feel it. It's a great way for her and I to spend $20, we have so much fun. She's my bud...

Friday, May 21, 2010

I never post this stuff, but this is so stinkin' funny. Love it....

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Party at my house!

Hey all, this coming Wednesday, May 26th @ 7:00 we are having a party at my place. We are so excited to talk about our vision for our non-profit The Bloom Project , and to start planning this years golf tournament which will be in October, it is sure to be a fun time and we would love for you to get involved with us! If you live in my area, we would love to have you. Plan on eating dinner here, we are going to cook it up! Leave a comment with your email address if you need directions to my place! And you all are more than welcome, even you lurkers that live close by, (but not you freaky internet weirdos that just may have happened across my little ol' blog,,,not you, you can't come)

Monday, May 17, 2010

Summer fun

We are counting down the days until summertime.

I have to admit the few weeks before summer hits, I feel a sort of Mommy panic,

and the voice in my head sounds something like this, "what the heck am I gonna do for 10 hours a day for 3 full months to entertain 4 kiddos of varying ages"

Here is what I have up my sleeve so far... see this it is a play house in our back yard,

it actually looks more like a haunted house. The kids don't really play in it and it is not really inviting,, it really just seems creepy. So a big part of " Kamp Kiddo" is going to redoing this play house, here is my inspiration picture.

(i found this image here )

I am already scoping out cr@igslist for a bunch of cheap pavers so we can do a patio all around the play house. I think I can score an aluminum roof from L@wes too. It is pretty roomy inside and has a built in wood play kitchen which will surely get an overhaul..and a kids table. Kobi, my mini me, has come up with the idea of tye-dying curtains for the inside, to which I responded, "i love you kobi". I even found some mini-shutters at a flea market so this will keep us busy for quite a while! I am psyched.

Also check this out... there goes the 'hood , the question is, are my neighbors going to think the clampetts (ya' know, as in the hillbilly's) moved in if we set this puppy up in our back yard just for the summer?

It would be soooo easy not to have to take daily trips to the community pool and lets face it.. putting in a real pool just isn't in the cards these days. I would love your opinion.

Right now this Mama is bustin' her tail on some paperwork so we can go get our little man sometime before the end of the year,

hopefully all of my China paperwork will be done really soon so I know he is not waiting on me(this is one of his younger photos, just too cute)!

Got any more ideas for Kamp Kiddo, I need all the help I can get! Thanks

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

the beans...part deux

I left off yesterday with my phone ringing...
So I picked up the phone and the conversation went something like this ( of course I was twirling my hair and acting completely nonchalant)

Me: Hey
Him: Hey
Me: So, uh, did you get my email
Him: Yeah
Me: Isn't he just stinkin' precious
Him: Yeah, he's really cute
Me: Can I ask to see his file, you know just to see, maybe I could advocate for him...
Him: NO!
Me: But I just want to look at it, he's been waiting for a really long time, doesn't he look so much like Finn?
Him: Aren't you the same woman that made me PROMISE that if you ever asked me to adopt again that I would have to say, "NO"
Me: Yeah, but doesn't he look just like Finn? And I only made you promise when I was jet-lagged that doesn't count.
Him: No, you made me promise you..more than once.
Me: I just want to see his file, can I ask to see his file. Isn't he just so adorable, he looks like Finn.
Him: Fine you can see his file but we are NOT adopting again, besides we just moved into this house like 3 weeks ago...
Me: Bye honey darling love
Him: hello, hello, is anyone there.......

So I don't think I took a breath before I was calling to get his file... and because my agency coordinator ROCKS, I had it in my hot little hands within minutes.... His file is over 2 years old, it has been on different agency lists but by this point it is on the shared list. At first it only came across with the Chinese file,, there is no English translation, which makes me pretty sure that no one has even ever requested to see the file since it has been on the shared list. I just can't fathom. So I try to play really cool with Marc once he comes home, try not to sound as over the top and freaked out as I am. Because on one hand this little guy is precious, we would be blessed to call him our son, but on the other hand, no lie, it get's pretty nutty around here sometimes. I have doubts that I will be able to show up for everyone that needs me...

So I wait until the kiddos are asleep and I show him the file. I tell him, "You can say no, I will totally understand, but I'm just asking you to pray about it first. I also want to make sure that if you do consider it- that you are totally on board. I really need you to want to come home to me and this chaos every night, so I totally respect if this is a solid no. But it has to be solid. I truly am too emotional to make rational decisions."

So a week goes by and we don't talk about it too much, until we take some time out at night to pray together, and my husband, (a.k.a. the best thing that ever happened to me) prays for this beautiful boy, and for God's direction as to whether we should add him to our family. The day before I leave for the orphan summit, I ask him if I should print out some of his info to try to advocate for him. (It seems like a logical place to advocate, if I had to hunt Steven Curtis Ch@pm@n himself down I would have.) He tells me to just wait, wait until I get home.

What does that mean, holy cow he must really be considering this. So instead of being totally excited I start to feel all my iniquities as a Mommy. It really does a number on your head, I'll tell you. One minute I am planning how we will rearrange the sleeping situation in the house and getting all excited. The next moment I am thinking of having 5 teenagers in my house at one time and start to have panic attacks. The next moment I am fantasizing about how great it could be to see all my kiddos play in the back yard, or the trip to China, and even what song I'm gonna use for the adoption video... Then I think about all the scary attachment stuff that can possibly come with adopting a 5 yr old who has been in an orphanage his entire life. So basically I am a wreck. If the decision was all mine I would have no idea what to do.

While I am at the Orphan Summit I call Marc and tell him I am going to advocate for this little guy. He tells me, "No, I think we should do this". Then I start to panic. That night I go back to my hotel and my agency coordinator who ROCKS, has asked for an entirely new file for this little guy. So I have new photos, personality, and medicals...dated within days. We continued to go back and forth, mostly me just flipping out about all the "what-if's" , and Marc finally just tells me to do it. stop worrying. once we start the process we can just stop thinking of all the negative stuff and move forward. He kept repeating himself for the whole next week. We both did a little wavering a little each way... but we finally came to the conclusion that we couldn't possibly say no...and once I called my agency coordinator who ROCKS, and told her to lock his file all. the. fear. left. , and I started to get just crazy excited. I may have even gone shopping within the hour for goodies for his first care package :) So we are now over the moon happy to show off our newest addition.... I hope and pray that he loves being part of our family as much as I know we will love him. And since I know y'all already just scrolled to the bottom to see these precious pics...

Seriously, doesn't he look like Finn? This is the first photo I saw.

Now he has grown in the 2 years since his file was released,, here is a newer photo. He has changed so much and lost those baby cheeks, but he is still as adorable as ever.

Spilling the beans...

so I can't believe you all... seriously I thought I was being so sly and subtle... obviously not. I thought I was going to have a few days to put together a nice thoughtful post :) Y'all seem less surprised than I am. Honestly if you were to have asked us last month if we were going to adopt again, our answers would have been, " NO". We have commented to each other over the past few months that our lives felt blissfully complete. We have the perfect mix of fun and chaos. I had long wondered if I was ever going to be one of those people who just know for sure that their family is complete,,, I admit I have a bit of envy for people that are living their plan. We felt that way for the last few months and I appreciated it.

Fast forward a few weeks.... Many of you know that I have a passion for these kids who wait for their families... I LOVE to help families find their children or help people get started on the adoption path. Well, I have been purposely trying to step away from looking at all the sweet faced photos of the waiting kids. It breaks my heart so, and I felt like I needed to move on a bit. Besides, I just went through our big move and I am having fun making our new house a home... and even bigger projects like growing our non-profit which I am sooo stinkin' excited about.

In the past I have done my share of "underground" advocating for kids that touch my heart... and sometimes it works, there is no greater joy than helping put families together. So during the past year I had advocated for the most adorable little boy... His little face always just touched my heart, maybe because his younger photos look so much like our Finnley. Anyhow.. a good six months have passed and I haven't been in the adoption "loop"... Then I decided to sell something on craigslist...and it changed the course of our perfect plan :) The most adorable woman, with southern charisma that would put Paul@ Deen to shame came to my door. Within seconds she spotted photos of our family on the wall and started to tear up. Long super cute story made short, she wanted to adopt and I wanted to help her.

So I started looking at some of the waiting kiddos again... When I pulled up one site I saw his face again.... I had seen his face waiting for at least a year... I couldn't believe it... I felt ill. WHY? WHY? is this perfectly adorable little guy still waiting for his family. I read a 2 sentence short bio and I just didn't get why his family hadn't found him. Heartbroken, and yapping on the phone with one of my best girlfriends about how adorable he is and throwing it around that I should just go get him, I started getting butterflies. So I did the first thing that came to mind... copy and paste his photo into an email to my equally emotional hubby..Subject line- "I'm just saying" then typed up something along the lines of : "Doesn't Jack need a brother? I think he might. What do you think? Poor Jack, I think he needs a little brother. It's only fair. I look at this face and really i'm not kidding, he can call me Mama. "
And then I wait, wait for my man to completely ignore my email and instead the phone rings.

Since my fingers are cramping up and kiddos are biting at my ankle for a snack...I will continue the story tomorrow,,, I may even have a photo of the most adorable little guy to show off too :)

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Life is sweet

Oh how I LOOOVE this time of year... we went to pick strawberries today, one of our very favorite things to do.
We had to team up... Jack & Mina, Kobi & Finn, Mommy & Camera.
Then we had to drive clear to the other side of town to another strawberry farm, because the experience wasn't the same without peach slushies.. Finn kinda liked hers....
Jack too..
A day like this screams for homemade ice scream... strawberry ice cream, with our fresh pick o' the day... It's no Mocha chip,, but it's pretty darn good
The crew lines up quickly to "help" finish off the last bit, what a nice Papa to share :)
I love the simple things.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Furniture redo

I will confess that I love a good project as much as the kiddos. I have a major cheapskate side to me, that along with my DIY attitude and I have been a busy girl this week. I couldn't resist when I saw this blah little china cabinet on craigslist a few weeks ago for $40....

I spent the morning priming and painting and came out with this.....
I really like it and it fits right next to the TV so I can hide all those hideous cable boxes and video game consoles in it... why do I love technology but hate any traces of it to be seen ??? Don't mind the framed photos, I had to swipe the frames from my master-bedroom to fill the cabinet... I will put some family photos in there soon.
I started this little tradition a few years ago...when we go on vacation, I fill a baggie full of sand and bring it home as my souvenir, label them and you have a little collection... oh & it's free!

Please don't tell my pip-squeaks that they are painting the back of a cabinet... they work really hard but I wasn't really in the mood to have drippy paint splotches all down the front of my furniture.. We painted & recovered 4 different pieces in the last few days so they have been busy :) They get so excited when they come home from school and see me immersed in a project...they can't wait to jump right in.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

One year ago today..

We finally held you in our arms, you were scared and solemn. We expected no less.
My heart was nearly ripped out watching your pain, I wish I could take it all on for you.
We had stared at your referral and update photos for months, we had only seen your solemn face and we were fully prepared for a long grieving and healing process.
That little pouty lip... it get's me every time.
You took to your Papa right away.

Especially when he brought out the Cheeri@s
I thank God for Cheeri@s on this very day.

They were salve to your broken heart.
We never expected this...that within hours,, you would start smiling and giggling and quite literally never stop.

Papa and I eyed each other in amazement all evening... we were completely unprepared for the joy that exuded from you.
And today, one year later. You are still the most JOYful little girl we have ever seen.
You are such a blessing our little Miss Finnley JOY Xiaoqiao