Monday, July 29, 2013

Korea camp wrap up

We had so much fun.  The boys really really enjoyed Korea Camp.  I was completely worn out by the end of the day and didn't get to visit much with other moms (bummer, because I love me some sweet Dillon Int. Mommas!).  Here are some pics of language class, Tae Kwon Do, traditional drumming and just plain fun with friends

Thank you Dillon International for being a professional and Christ-honoring adoption agency, and also, for being our extended family!  We love you guys and appreciate all you do for children needing forever families and for the families who love those children!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Korean Heritage Camp '13

The 2 little boys and I are in Tulsa at Korea Camp.  Abby and Carter were not really interested in accompanying us this year and Mike has an admin team retreat. I'm an assistant teacher in one of the 5 yr old classes.  Hudson is with me in the class.  Dillon is doing great.  He went to class alone and seemed just fine.
A sweet and super shy little girl barfed on my 3 times during the opening ceremonies.  Seems she was nervous! Good thing I'm used to being barfed, peed, and bled upon at work-nothing grosses me out.
  In a class of 9, we had 3 children with special needs and all the children were beautiful and funny.  One boy was fascinating and brilliant.  He wrote the entire Star Spangled Banner out on some paper.  Writing letters and spelling is his interaction is not :)   We had a fun time with this class.  Today they made a counting book to learn to count in Korean.  They also made traditional Korean kites and attended Tae Kwon Do class.  My camera cord is at home so pics will follow. Hudson rather enjoyed the yelling and kicking in Tae Kwon Do. He poured his whole being into being fierce.  They attended a class about how to deal with mean kids. Tomorrow they learn Korean cooking, drumming, and more language. It is soooooo awesome to see lots of adoptive families come together.  There are 79 teen counselors helping.  What a sweet relationship the older adoptees have with the younger children. A real sense of unity and "getting it." This is the only place all the other kids feel similar and parents don't get the questions "So, do you know their real parents?"  I'm so proud that we used Dillon International as our agency.  They are top-notch and truly care for the child through the whole life span.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

She's enjoying Jesus and the ones gone on before

Grandmother died Friday night.  As I was leaving work that evening, I had a feeling I needed to go to the nursing home.  It was clear the time was quickly approaching.  She peacefully and quietly slipped away with family at the bedside.  97yrs old!  WOW.  I can't really grieve that she is gone.  Monday it was heartbreaking to see her all gnarled up in a ball and unresponsive...that was the time to grieve, that was not the way a dignified and vibrant person should live.  Today she is with Grandad, a baby cousin I never met, and several great-grandbabies that my sisters and I have miscarried and never met.  She is walking upright and no doubt giving the angels a run for their money.  My grandmother grew up in the hills of Arkansas on a farm.  She worked hard and played hard.  When she greeted you, she'd nearly pat your back so hard that your insides came out.  Grandmother would sit with us at the table in her little white frame house eating Fritos and looking at the J.C. Penney catalog, saying "How Cuuuuute". She could sew and crochet like nobody's business!  She taught Sunday School for a zillion years. She never judged her grandkids for stupid decisions, but supported us. What a precious gift the Lord gave me in my grandparents living so long.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

You can't take it with you

And so, we started our week off tip top.  Monday morning I walked out to the van at 6:15 to leave for a class I had to teach at the hospital.  When I opened the door, I saw a gaping hole with wires sticking out.  We'd been robbed.  Carter's car had a nice new stereo with Bluetooth so his phone calls actually go through the stereo and he talks in a mounted microphone--handsfree so it is safer as he drives. Gone! My minivan had a new stereo with an iPod/phone hook up.  Gone.  Our glove boxes were open and all contents strewn about.  In case you're keeping count, that is 2 times in the past 6 months I've been robbed.
Mike's truck had been rifled through, but nothing removed.  Our cars were unlocked.  Stupid..yes. Seriously, our stuff is crap.  Carter's car is a 1998 Accord with 200,000 miles.  My minivan is 10 years old with 217,000 miles.  WHO I ask you, WHO on God's green earth would drive by our home and see those cars and think "Oooh, I need to steal their stuff." No lie...cop pulls up, gets out of the car and says to Mike and I "I heard the address and name on the scanner and thought, they just moved to that house!"  You see, it was the same cop that worked Carter's bicycle accident 2 days after we moved in to this house.  HaHa.  Sweet guy has been cruising our home every evening and morning (he works night shift). At first, my air conditioner wasn't working.  I figured out how to plug it back in and mount the dash.  My AC works.  No radio.  Today the little boys sang a combo of Jingle Bells and Old MacDonald while driving. Mike did install a big motion detector light over the driveway. It is amazing how creepy it is to think of a stranger in your beloved family car and looking at your glove box contents.

Next day, my sweet and vivacious 97 year old grandmother was placed in hospice care.  She's curled up in a fetal position and unresponsive, lying in a nursing home bed.  Cruel cruel way to spend your last few days.  She was hilarious and smart.  She used to say she was living on borrowed time because she was supposed to die in March when she was 83 years old.  The pic below was taken just 2 years ago.  It has been a hard 2 years.  Sweet Jesus take her home to full healing and let her sit in a rocker opposite Grandad and listen to the Gaither's sing

Here's my motto right now.  My dad made me this little sign 16 years ago.  I hung it up in my bathroom this week.

I'm going gray!  I bought this stuff a year ago and never used it.  Don't sweat the small stuff right?  Lord knows I've earned this gray

And these 2, boy oh boy, what can I say?  They are adorable and loving and maddening all in the same day. They argue and scheme mischief and mess. By 8pm each night, I cannot wait for them to go to sleep so I can have some silence.
  This picture cracks me up!  Dillon takes bb gun practice very seriously.  This morning he was telling me he shot a snake "it was looking at me" (SNL Brian Fellows anyone??).  And look at Hudson in the background.  PJ pants, swim shirt, and rubber fireman boots.  He's got his protective eyewear on.  I really am trying to force myself to put my schoolwork aside and enjoy these summer days of little boys (Abby and Carter are never home anymore).  They'll be gone in a moment

Friday, July 12, 2013

Mike's vacation days

Mike has had a few weeks off(well, he still answers lots of texts, phone calls, and emails regarding school business, but technically, he's been off work a few weeks).  This man has been so hard at work.  He is loving piddling around our house and fixing things up(and there is a lot to fix up!). Funny thing is, he has more of an eye for detail and placement and such.  Me, I truly couldn't care less.  I just hate clutter and mess.  Decorating, not a fan.  If left up to me, our walls would all be light tan(Nacho Libre anyone??) and we'd have sparse furniture and wall decor.  A huge project that we needed to do was the front porch and yard.  The previous owners let it grow wild and weedy.  It was a huge undertaking and mess.  He pulled up all the weeds, laid an area of flagstone for our beloved swing, planted drought resistant plants and laid a ton of mulch.  So nice!

Yesterday he painted the hall bath.  It was a dingy, pinkish cream color.  He gave it a fresh and clean off white.  It looks so nice and bright.

Last night he hung up the boys' letters.  They'd been sitting on the shelf since we moved in, as if they'd hang themselves up.  I've not been full of energy.  I think my schoolwork hanging over my head has sapped all extra oomph out of me.

One of my big to do's when the kids start school is to make a mini-mud room.  I've seen lots of these on Pinterest(oh Pinterest, I detest you because you are a contentment-robber, and yet I love you because any good idea I have is from you!).  I'm going to put some hooks for backpacks, some low shelves with bins for school stuff, and a lovely color-coded calender with the kids' school dates---Okay, that last one is likely never ever going to happen.

A random shout out to my Mother-in-law, Kathy---HAPPY BIRTHDAY(yesterday)!  We love you Nana, soooooooo much.  Truly, I don't know that I'd have survived the last 17 years as a working mama without you.
Okay, my Research and Stats book is looking at me and making me feel guilty for wasting to read.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Annual lakehouse trip

Last week was my side of the family's annual lakehouse adventure.  My mom and dad(aka Poppa and Mom) always rent a lakehouse for several days and our large family piles in for swimming, fishing, playing games, and eating.  This year was particularly redneck.  Problem...due to years of near drought, there is hardly any water in most Texas lakes.  So, the boat ramp was actually dried up and dangerous.  Mom and Poppa have 2 old jet skis and the kids loved riding with adults.  Dillon actually enjoyed riding with Mike.  This is a big accomplishment!  The only negative of the trip was the fact that my sister Emily and her fam couldn't come.  Maddie, my niece was sick so they sent their 8yr old daughter with us but the rest of their family missed out. 
Below, I am holding the newest blessing...Katy and Kyle's 2 months old daughter, Nora.  

The house had a hot tub on the back porch and this served as a shaded pool for the youngers.  Below are my niece, Aspen, and our 2 little boys.

Here are Hudson and my niece, Lexi, sitting on the banks of a very suspicious looking "pond".  This pond behind the house was super low in water and had marshy areas.  Know what lived in there??  Lots of snakes.  Carter, Abby, and Mike had a blast shooting the snakes swimming on the water with a BB gun. The little ones also fished a couple of catfish.

Mom and Poppa have a canoe.  Here is Mom pulling Lexi and Dillon in the lake

The house was part of a really nice gated community.  We had use of the community pool-which was fabulous!  Trouble was, my mother found out that the dude she rented the house from was breaking the HOA rules by renting out.  He wanted us to tell people we were "guests" of them.  I dare say that 8 adults and 9children showing up at the pool, armed with pool toys, snacks, drinks, umbrellas(for my easy to burn skin) and baby paraphenalia looked rather obvious.  OH yeah, we didn't have the key to open the community pool and clubhouse area.  Didn't stop us...we used small children to climb over the fence :)
Below is my dad swimming with the grandkids and Mike playing volleyball with Abby.

We had a fun time.  We ate healthier than ever before(no red meat, lots of veggies, and such).  Carter was able to come for 2 days, an unusual treat with his job and church activities.  These children are so blessed.  Fun family memories are made every year.  I dare say that when they are grown and gone out on their own, they will sit around at holidays telling stories of fishing and playing with cousins, aunts and uncles, and grandparents..