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, November 29, 2010

Ty's Adoption Video!

Here is the link to watch it full screen on You Tub@

I did it! I finished Ty's video..which will speak for itself, but I wanted to talk about the music for a second. Last spring I was having a REALLY hard time when we were thinking about bringing Ty home ( I shudder now to think of how hard the decision was) But the one song from JJ Heller "Your Hands" was at the top of my play list and it really spoke to me, for my life and thinking about a little boy a world away..... so I did a search of JJ Heller to hear some of her other songs,,,and the first one that popped up was "LOVE ME" which brought me to puddles of tears.... Right away I knew that these would be the songs I would use for his video, and they played in my head over the next several months.... I love seeing the video done with the music that inspired our journey! Hope you all like it :) You gotta watch it full screen:)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

HAPPY THANKSGIVING & (the only recipe I am making this year)

I LoVe Thanksgiving!  It is one of my favorite holidays.  I love to cook, I love to eat and especially LOVE spending time with my family.  This year I have a dirty little secret though and I kind of feel like a big fat cheater cheater pumpkin eater.... I have ordered my Thanksgiving dinner from here and in the morning the whole crew is packing this party up and heading outta town for a quiet relaxing weekend, with absolutely nothing but board games and roaring fires.  I would normal shudder at the thought of abandoning cooking Thanksgiving dinner.  But things have been quite a whirlwind around here lately.    So I am opting for a stress free holiday.  I'm gonna have to go big for Christmas dinner :) ....

 But there is one, only one recipe that I won't be leaving behind.    Holiday Mimosas!!  Last year I snapped this pic when we made cranberry mimosas...this year I'm kicking it up and making pomegranate ones...  So festive
so all you need is Champagne, O.J. and either cranberry juice or pomegranate juice...  
fill your glass half way with the champagne and then add your juice...
Happy Thanksgiving y'all! 

Monday, November 22, 2010

Why I don't hate laundry anymore....

my disclaimer on this one: i am NOT an organized person,, getting organized is on my new years resolution list every year...organization does not come easy or naturally to me, but i have found a few tricks that make some of the messy things easier...especially with so many twerps 'round here.
notice i don't say that i love doing laundry :) but i have finally found a way that laundry doesn't plague my existence as a mom to such a large crew. i was complaining talking to my hubby about how the most frustrating part of my "job" is that it is never done, there is no payoff of completion. i have even been known to beg to mow the lawn so i could see a job from beginning to end, and see it stay that way for more than a day. anyone out there know where i'm coming from.... the house is never all clean at the same time, my kitchen feels like a short order diner, dishes always dirty, mopped floors are just begging for a spill... i know,,, preachin' to the choir, right?

anyhow so here is my little trick and i love it...
if it's's laundry day... so as soon as i wake up on monday i gather all the dirty clothes and linens and start a load. and just keep poppin' in the laundry room every hour to start a new one and fold the first.... everyone gets a folded pile of pants, jammies (which i don't actually fold) , and sock & undies ( i don't fold these either). i hang all the shirts. So on Monday evening everyone gets a basket and spends 7 minutes putting their own stuff away and and I am off the laundry clock for 6 more days!

i used to try to do a load a day and it just seemed like I always was doing laundry, feeling guilty about the piles in the hamper, or forgetting that i had a load in the dryer, or worse in the washer.. i just could not keep up. now seriously, i don't fret the laundry process. i am just starting this morning, and i am not cringing at the thought of my obscene piles, because i know they will be DONE today!
I would love for y'all to share your easy tips if you would...anything to make things go a little smoother :)

Friday, November 19, 2010

Please excuse this manic post,

 I just have to share these super cute kiddo photos, but I also need some mama opinions... so here i go
 Ty and Mina both had Christmas programs yesterday,  they both love the spotlight so this was right up their alley.  Poor Ty had no idea what was going on as we had to go back to school in the evening, I could tell he was confused when we dropped  him off in his classroom and then he walked into the chapel a few minutes later to a crowd of parents...flash-bulbs going off like the paparazzi!
 He has been singing the song "He's got the Whole World in His Hands" for days,,, in his own little adorable way :)  It didn't take him long to feel like the star of the show and start to "strike a pose" for the crowd.
 Yeah, midsong and my boy is working the camera with his best catwalk moves... oh heck  he is such a character!

Now here is the point where I would love some Mommy opinions... I am being super sensitive???  Kobi and Jack had school spirit day today... The theme...NERD DAY.  I was kinda surprised that an Elementary school would go for this theme.  Couldn't it be super silly day, backwards day, mismatch day.  I hate stereotypes.  But you know what this hardcore Mama did,  N.O.T.H.I.N.G.!  I just joined in and didn't say a peep. Way to stick it to the system.  
 Collin helped Jack with his "nerd hair".  Since he is the KING of dressing up for spirit days as seen HERE, and HERE.  I really hated the conversations that came out of their mouths as we were picking out their silly outfits...  "Mommy, I think I am going to be smarter when I dress like this" and "Mommy can I wear glasses"  Ugggghhhh,  turn the knife in my chest.  "No honey, you are always smart no matter what you wear"  "No baby we don't have any glasses, not yet at least, I am sure one of you will need glasses at some point, glasses are cool, I wish I could pick out some cool glasses"  I mean seriously what is more adorable than a kid, or an adult with a pair of super slick glasses?
so here are my super cute goober kids,  I just feel like they are a little too young for this stereotype...  for some reason i think it is cute if teenagers embrace it... but I was a little disappointed.  But obviously didn't have the heart to tell them they couldn't participate.  What would you have done???  Am I too sensitive or would you have taken a stand?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

a few of the fun things about having a big 'ol family

When I sit back and really think about it, I feel like the luckiest girl in the world to have been entrusted with these lives, and to be walking through this journey with my husband.  There is never a dull moment around here with this size crew, and the ones who love that the most are the twerps.  I very rarely hear the dreaded phrase, "Mom, I'm bored" of course that may be two fold.  One they always have a playmate,   or they are just scared that I will find something for them to do which probably involves vacuuming out my car :)  Seriously though, having a large brood in SOME ways seems easier than having one or two kids.  If you turn the radio up... you have an instant dance party.  If you sit outside around a bon instantly have games of flashlight tag, hide & seek, catch, monkey in the middle etc.  And most of the time mom and pops can hang by the fire...most of the time. I am pretty sure I have logged less than 20 minutes playing polly pockets, or transformers.  One of my least favorite things is making up imaginary voices for barbies and gi joes...  and no one is asking me too!!!  I do love to play with the kids outside, throwing footballs and frisbees, kicking soccer balls and the like.  And don't get me started on the number of projects I get myself wrapped up in with these little hooligans. :)  
 I remember being a young kid and having these special occasions when we would have cousins around and all of the kids would just be running themselves silly, playing, laughing and having a ball.  I was never happier.  I get to see that joy in my kids face almost daily, and it makes all of the tedious stuff melt away.   I see the compassion they have for each other when they help each other out without even turning to me.  When one is upset and another runs to them with worry.  When Ty is having a hard time with something and Jack turns off his video game to help him out.  How Kobi wakes up on the weekends and makes breakfast for all the kids.  I don't know how or why, but they are all so stinkin' sweet to us and each other.  

Sure sometimes it is overwhelming being the mom of so many kiddos, I can make myself nutty when I start thinking about it too much.  All the responsibility, all the laundry, the amount of times I hear the word "Mommy" in a given day is enough to put you into the cold sweats.  I will admit that I have on occasion crashed into bed and wept with the enormity of my to do list...but when I think of these precious kids, individually, I would crawl through hot coals for every one of them.   Individually they each add so much more to my life and love than I could ever imagine.  I wouldn't trade the chaos for anything.   

I do have this little fantasy about all my kids growing up... some live close by and we are the coolest grandparents ever.  Some live far away and it breaks my heart.  But I envision our family get togethers... tables lined end to end, some of them helping me in the kitchen, some in the other room watching football or reading.   We sit down to the table ,our family of 8,, now bursting at the seems with spouses and grandchildren.   Everyone is busting a gut laughing at the retelling of horror stories about their crazy mom and then they go on and on about all the things they pulled over on us when they were teenagers.  We are all  there for each other through the good and the bad throughout the years, bonded by the little things that we are doing now, every day.  The things that seem so simple, mundane, tedious, and unimportant, those are the things that build a family. 

Saturday, November 13, 2010

beautiful day

We had a great time a couple days ago hiking up a nearby mountain. Here's the crew before we started up to the pinnacle in the distance.
We weren't sure how it was going to go, we had hiked it a while back with 2 less kiddos and we had we gave it a go. 
Of course this wasn't too reassuring with all the littles in tow....mostly the part about the difficulty level...

but they made us proud!  We made it to the top with little to no whining (shocker).  And once at the top the view and the chocolate chip muffins that the girls made earlier that morning were worth ever step! 

!I love the fall.. so beautiful 

I have all these heartfelt post that I think of everyday that I want to put on the ol' blog here.  and then the day and the inspiration gets sapped outta me after we tuck all the kiddos in.  But I swear, as I'm driving around town in my uber cool mama van, here are some of the things I want to share with y'all...
  • the best part of adopting a 5 1/2 year old
  • the hardest part of adopting a 5 1/2 year old
  • how Ty has my heart wrapped around his finger
  • i love having a big 'ol family
  • i'm not cut out for having a big 'ol family
  • Christmas card photo out takes, thanks to Finnley
  • my best organization tips that work for me (a.k.a..the most unorganized woman on the planet)
  • lots of recipes
  • lots of fun craft ideas
  • what i want to be when i grow up
  • my husband is a saint
  • my new hobby that i hate
  • ty's adoption video that just needs a few tweeks, cause i can't wait to make y'all cry
  • why adoption is my heart
  • why adoption doesn't have to be hard, and how it can be too easy if you so choose. 
  • how adoption is NOT expensive 
  • all the crazy house projects going on around here
  • all the crazy house projects that go on in my head, and need to know if I should tear into them or not..

So yeah these are just a few of the  topics that float around in my head....let me know if there is one you really want me to share.  

Friday, November 5, 2010

family halloween pic

thankfully my girlfriend jane has her stuff together and sent me this pic from when we crashed her house for halloween.  i had even swiped a neighbor kid to take our family photo and then i couldn't find it.  so here we are, our motley crew, missing only collin, who has adult responsibilities on weekend nights (a.k.a. his job)  but he is well represented in the fact that marc and i risked life and limb by digging through his closet to make up our pathetic costumes.  i'm an armyish person, made up of his old paintball fatigues. and marc is some kind of lame hip hop ghetto guy, made up of a bad impulse purchase of collin's... i get such a kick out of that horrifying sweatshirt,which he wore all of 2 times. i love my peeps.  have a great weekend y'all!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

school, candy & fun project

So he did it.. actually they both did.  Ty and Mina started preschool yesterday.  Ty for his first day and Mina her first day at a new school. ( I moved her to a school where they had an opening for both kiddos)  I was really worried about how he would handle it.  I know I never talked too much of it, but while we were in China Ty really tested us.  I was nervous that this was just his personality, so I didn't feel to great about talking about it too much.  I was still trying to figure it all out.  I will say that he rarely if ever has any issues with it anymore.  Seems he wanted to make sure that I was in control and now that he knows I have that covered he is more than happy to take a back seat to me being the leader.  So I was worried that he would test the preschool teacher...and he did.  Not sure to what degree as she seemed to be sugar coating things for me a bit.   

 I made sure I told her that he really needs to have clear concise, black and white rules and things should go smoothly in no time.  Hopefully he will allow her to set the rules without testing too much.  He does really want to be there and was so excited to see me when I picked him up ,and show off his artwork.  The true test will be when I take him back tomorrow morning... will he go without any struggle???  Hopefully all goes well.

We did have a fun time celebrating Halloween this weekend.. I am severely lacking in my photos.. I can't seem to find the one of our entire family dressed up on our way to a party..  so much fun (thanks H family!)  and then we went trick or treating the next night.  

Ty must think we are nutso...His favorite word right now is pumpkin, I think he thinks we Americans have some strange fascination with pumpkins, because they are everywhere.  
Our little chickenhead

All the kids had the day off school today, and I found this fun little project on a super creative mom's blog HERE, she has all the instructions posted so you can check it out over there -if you want in on this fun activity.  

We went hiking in the woods behind our house to find the PERFECT..I mean ANY leaf that caught their eye.. And then "waxed" them and hung them like garland in our living room and our kitchen.  
 It was actually way easier than I thought it was going to be and we had a fun time..especially since I let them all stuff their pockets with halloween candy for our hike.  Great way to spend a few hours on a beautiful day with the kiddos.