Wednesday, July 28, 2010

haha. In response to Miss Janna :)

Ok so yes Monday was good. ;)

Pool. Nope it's now wonderful :) A friend of ours asked if we had 'shocked the pool' and we were like 'huH??" so when we did it was miraculously clear!!

Azlan's speech went well and perhaps the best part was she told us someone who is very qualified at a public school in our area so he (I'm told) may be able to switch to her for the fall!!

The neighbor thing, I'm hopeful they are thinking...yet everytime I think that they surprise me by a day of 20 minute apart door bell rings. I'm learning too. The other day I said "Not today but check back in a few days" :)

Everything else is going pretty good. I finally set up the other set of bunkbeds (STUPID BUNKBEDS!!) hahaha. so each boy actually has their own bed!! Then what do you know...Zunduka pees in the bed for the first time in weeks. Way to start the morning with a smile! UGH.

Right now they are all playing outside with 7 little puppies...speaking of which I need to take pics.

It's Dean's bday today. They have the cake picked out and all his gifts. HAHA it's quite funny. Especially when Dean is pretty NON CAKE. :)


Thursday, July 22, 2010

Happy Thursday. No really!

We woke up to the absence of Daddy again. Pretty common these days and actually a good sign b/c if he got out at 6am it means he should be home in decent time. I've often been asked how the mornings go and if the kids wake us at all hours...so here's the answer. Nope. :) They know they are allowed to get up quietly at go sit down in the playroom and turn the tv on (which is set to Curious George or something). If they talk out loud or play with toys ... they have to go back to bed. So honestly they are probably up for an hour before me! But all 6 of them sit there quietly until it's really 'morning' LOL :) Mama's morning :)

Then everyone has to get dressed (yes...Papa's fault!) can't deal with kids in jammies in the morning...:) And we head down for breakfast. I'm not a breakfast person and it's not my fave meal of the day to serve ... ;)

Last night I stayed up late and scrubbed downstairs from top to bottom. Ahh ok maybe that's part of the secret to my morning :) Shiny floors, clear windows. mmmmm.

I'm treating the now "STUPID" pool. Yes funny how something can change from fab to stupid real quick. RRRRRR. It's perfectly balanced...yet as cloudy as milk. So after googling it seems I found the answer...a trek around town and 50lb bag of the solution later....we're hoping for good results!!

This morning Azlan's volunteer speech therapist is coming. I just really want to see if she has any tips we could try for the drooling and for some of the speech 'isms that he has. She's not long term as she is going back to school.

I do have a vent. I'm not sure anymore what the correct answer is but my frustration is growing :( Our neighbors...christians...have 2 bio kids. Age 6 and 3. They are adopting a 14 mth old from the foster system. He's got some baggage issues and it's very sad. So....I have 6 kids...I must be totally cool with having another right? Not necessarily untrue :) He (6yr old) knocks on my door...all day. Every 30 minutes to every hour. "Can I come play?" the worse part is mama is standing nearby watching. So I'm feeling like its my responsibility or something.. Ok. It's not. We try to be kind and let him play ever so often but daily. All through the day. I feel like I'm going a bit crazy. Also Chazano still has the tendacy to play solo so we are always trying to get him playing with the others. When the friend comes over...the twins go solo. A while ago I had to have an awkward convo with the mom and after explaining everything she looks at me and says "so what day can he come play?" completely missing everything I just said. So for now I guess I'll keep saying "not right now" when it's inconvenient.

Oh and I'm in a major countdown to Monday. I'm not telling you why but the days can speed up anytime!

Happy Thursday!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Fun weekend!

We had a great weekend...and it was productive! On Saturday we worked hard and Dean put 3 yards of rock in and completed the landscaping in the front (for now). It needs trees but at least we are not the neighborhood eye sore anymore :) We also went swimming...lots and had lots of fun in the sun.

Today we got to meet some people that have prayed for us and C and Z for many months. That was pretty neat. Pastor Dave Bectel had some emotion in his eyes coming to meet the boys for sure. Zambia has a soft spot in his heart as it is, he's been there many times.

Today at our sunday school picnic we had some pretty big lessons learned....not so fun for some :) Our babysitter, Breanna took Zunduka and Tirzah to get balloons made....well..they were gone for hours. Seriously..the line was that long. So meanwhile Zion, Azlan and Chazano got to go to the river with Uncle Russ (that's a real treat!) and eat more dessert etc. So as we were leaving we see poor Breanna, Tirzah and Duka still in line. I couldn't believe it!! Of course, the other kids jump in line with them. However when it came time to get some balloons done we said the other kids could get a tiny fish made as it wasn't fair to all the kids in line that they come in and get a full hat made. Oh...we saw all different displays of attitude. Zion had immediate tears. No cry came ... b/c he knew the consequence of that. Chazano...absolutely refused to touch the fish. Azlan had instant tears, again no sob or fit.

So we talked to all of them and explained how all while they were playing ... Breanna, Tirzah and Duka were standing in line for HOURS. They get the full hats...but not the other 4. Chazano still would not look at me ... nor the fish. Zion and Azlan were told they had a matter of seconds to made a decision to be thankful (we talk a lot about thankfulness)...and turn their faces happy. Chazano ... he needed a bit more work. I bent down and told him again the whole story. He stared. I told him to open his hand and hold the fish and then to look nicely in Mama's eyes and say thank you. It took a second order. He did. But he was holding the fish as this dirty rag...so again...he was told the consequences of a bad attitude and for being unthankful and we told him he had to change this and fast. Yes Zunduka got the coolest hat ever...but he didn't get the food and the fun at the river. He finally made a choice and that was it.

Important lesson learned.

:)

We took all the puppies out the grass and oh my goodness...CUTE!!! They walk on all 4's now and some are wobbly but still super cute!! The one male puppy is the only SOLID black one. All others have a white chest...one has 4 white paws and a white nose! I think she's cute! It's Zion's fave. Then there's Tirzah's "little Piper". :) beautiful puppy looks just like piper did. No curl. Brown and blond. Super cute! They are getting louddeerrrrr and we are going to be having lots of fun here soon :)

Oh want to know something pathetic?? Here it is. I have a very black thumb. I mean, I already knew that. I kill 2-3 live christmas trees each year. Pathetic. But this tops all. We planted this massive beautiful garden. EVERYTHING IS DEAD. All our neighbors and bringing fresh veggies out daily ... not us. Withered dried up plants. I think our garden is in way too direct sunlight. I've been watering daily and I'm done. Fine. I'll do better next year. Yes. Go ahead laugh. What's wrong with me anyway? See I'd rather just buy it at the market! Ok so it was kinda fun and the kids were loving seeing their seeds grow. Sad.

Again please visit http://prayfordaisy.com and pray for this little girl and this family. What if this was my child? This family is feeling this is all a bad dream too...it always happens to someone else right? Someone else's child...? Not this time. Please pray for them in every way.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Loving Summer!!

So yesterday we went and hung out with Dean at the family's pool I mentioned. Gorgeous new pool. BEYOND FRIGID!!! No way...most of us were in for quite a bit...not Chazano and Zunduka. Very little body fat :) They just laid on the concrete. When we got home they were so excited for our "warm pool"!!

This morning we started out the day after breakfast at the children's museum. They love it. It's super cute like an ultimate play place. The favorite is the pizza train car. I got served a menu (with Azahria Peace) and had our fill of plastic pizza :) We stayed there for 2.5 hours then went home for lunch...the usual...out on the grass. Then put Azahria to bed and we all went swimming. For hours! Had a ton of fun...Azlan has been pretty cute. He is quite attached to me. He would swim around just holding my feet as I laid on my float. He said "I want to sing you a song" I was like "awesome, let's hear it!" so he starts...."you ... are my best friend...." :) I said "ME??" he said "yes." I said "why me, Azlan?" smiling he looks at me and shrugs "because I like you mama!" :)

Zunduka still has to get out of the pool several times and heat up on the grass...he just chatters away. It's kinda funny b/c the water is not even remotely chilly but he's just plain skinny!

Tonight Dean went and bought seasoned carne asada at the hispanic meat store and it's our favorite!! The kids LOVE it! Then we all got in the suburban and went down to the river for a walk. It was all shade and gorgeous. Tons and TONS of boats out tonight and lots of water skiing. Azlan was flagging down the boats b/c welll...he wanted a ride! haha.

On the way home I turned on their song "Sheltering Trees"...full blast...cutest thing ever to hear all 6 belting out (guessing many words) just b/c they are all so proud it's THEIR song :)

Bedtime is getting quicker and quicker :) This is a GOOD thing. They all go to bed with zero problems it's just...that...there's 6. Very young kids. So...they line up and Daddy does all the teeth brushing...I put their clothes away and tuck them in. Not a sound after that. And days with hours in the pool I don't know if they even remember seeing their pillow at night they are so tired.

Tomorrow a lady we knew a few years ago is coming by in the morning to visit. She has been going through Chemo for colon cancer and really wants to see the kids. Guess I'll stay up late and do a full thorough (sorta ) down stairs scrub. ugh. :)

Good night.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

You need a re-focus...?

Here it is. Check out this site. Heartwrenching very real journey of a pastor's little girl, Daisy...6 years old that after 7 months of chemo...the cancer is back and inoperable. http://PrayForDaisy.com check it out...along with the video down the page to see her journey. If that would bring you to your knees and make everything in your life suddenly right...what would?

Our pictures.






Updates.

Summer has finally fully arrived in TriCities and we are having so much fun. Seriously the best $199 we spent all year seems to be on one of those Intex pools from Walmart!! Its 16' diameter and 3'ish feet deep and we spend hours in there. The kids all have rings or floats and we just hang out most of the day! The twins can dive under water and really...just entertain the rest of the kids that are so amazed they can really swim! It's been HUGE for getting Tirzah and Zion comfy in the water. Tirzah now plugs her nose and sits on the bottom of the pool. Umm...she's the child that if water splashes in her face she panics. Zion now puts his head under water and swims along in his armies. He brings his head up and does these cute labored breaths so he won't panic. I'm not sure who taught him that but it's cute :)

Over the weekend we finally had family pictures done. It was pretty fun actually! We had them done at 7:30am Sunday morning. Yes that's crazy especially when that's when our kids normally wake up...however it's soooooo hot here all day especially in the evening so the only option was mornings. A friend of ours is starting her new photography business and in building her portfolio (we thought a family of 8 would do that ;)...she only is charging $90 for session fee and full CD of all the portraits. We can't get pics at Sears for that!! We only had exactly one hour before we had to be back home but we got quite a bit done in that hour and the kids had a blast...constantly saying "we are in the jungle!!" it was quite beautiful where we were....and we had no idea the place existed!

We had a few days of cooler weather and are now back to the reliable heat of the TriCities :) It's hot and dry...and since living here neither of us can deal with the humidity when we travel to other places! ugh. Florida last August....ewww. :)

For the first time in my life I've been going to the chiropractor. I'm quite terrified every time I go...I tense up and make it quite difficult for him to do his job. In my 8th month of pregnancy with Azahria I pulled something out of my back while getting into the shower...yes she is over 2 years old and I've barely spoken about it. A)I hate telling people when I have pain. B)I didn't want to go to a chiropractor. Brilliant right? So why am I going now...well b/c I could hardly sit! So I went and he said "have you been in an accident?" Nice. me: "ummm no...." he said my hip is way out and one leg significantly shorter than the other. He adjusts me and I was aligned. Of course it's taken more work than that though. I am getting better and have another appt tomorrow with massage...b/c he said the muscles are so tight he can't adjust me. Fantastic. I'm also doing the back exercises to try to get the muscles stronger. Seriously proud of my brilliancy for letting this going on for 2 years. Not my brightest moment.

Today Dean is fencing the Sheriff's property and they have a new in ground pool with slide etc. They seem quite fascinated by us having 6 kids age 6.5 and under and have been inviting us over. Today they are going out of town for the wknd and so they told Dean to please have his wife and kids come hang out at the pool while they are gone. Ok...so we will :) the kids are super excited! We are headed over there in a bit.

Today we got to see Auntie Jo and 4 gorgeous boys on iChat ! That was awesome. Actually her kids woke my kids up over the iChat ;) Tirzah is ALWAYS asking about cousins and to see a bunch in the same age group was pretty exciting for them.

Zion's birthday was celebrated Sunday evening with some friends at Chuck E Cheese's. That place is this couple's worse nightmare! We hate going there LOL. BUT we were pleasantly surprised that they totally renovated it and made it twice the size!! It was Zion's wish and moreso his wish was to have his friend "VAN" come. A super sweet family with a 12 year old boy (I think) that is named VANCE. Zion is convinced it's VAN and that "VANS" is the plural form haha. It's cute. He is completely Zion's hero and he's a good kid. He is always making paper airplanes for Zion etc. He gave Zion several "hand made by Van" paper airplanes and it didn't seem to matter that Zion got the "camote control truck" he wanted...he got paper airplanes hand made by VAN!!!! :) He even invited Zion for his first sleepover!! My boy is growing up! 5 years old.

We are already starting to think ahead to the twins' bday in August. They have never had their birthday celebrated so we are excited to start a new tradition. We are learning it's more fun and with more memories to do something fun as a family instead of the big traditional party...the cost is always the same. SOooooo...we have a pretty fun idea for C and Z!! We found out you can drive about 2 hours away from here and literally go on a pirate ship!! For a 90 minute sail and dress up as pirates etc!! We think that would be quite the memory for them so that's our plan. We are working on Nana and Papa to join us ... ;)

Daily we hear 7 'starting to bark' puppies in the garage! 6 are going to have curly fur (like papa who is a poodle...long story but let's suffice it to say this was NOT a planned pregnancy!! :)...and 1 seems to be just like Piper!! We are looking forward to selling all 7 much to Tirzah's disappointment. Seriously...6 children is one thing...8 dogs...? That's another thing!! No. Way.!

It's always quite a trip to go to the story with the family. Always while Dean is at work of course. :) It's not really a "trip" b/c it's such a big effort...it's a trip b/c of people's reaction/comments/expressions. Get yourself in a good mood before you go! ahhhh. So 95% of the time I go out the comment is "is this your day care outing?" ahhh. Not so much. ;)

The other day I was in Walmart all 6 kids were in 2's ... they have to pick someone's hand to hold and there are pretty specific rules. No dancing (nothing quite like shopping with 6 dancing kids all around you!!) no touching (that one is big!), No asking for things (it's a sure way to get n.o.t.h.i.n.g). They are not always rewarded with a treat but often. This guy walks towards me and stops and goes...."ummm...God. Bless. YOU!" with a huge smile. He was a sharp looking business man. I smiled almost stunned. Was that a positive comment? :) I assured him that He has. He was still staring as we all walked by.

The routine is going great. The kids now know (thanks Dad...) that when you get up you immediately get jammies off and get clothes on. I always said I would NOT be that mother...that didn't let their kids hang out in jammies all day. Like ... seriously. What's wrong with that (when you are 12 imagining yourself as a parent...) :) Nope. I can't stand it. It gives me a lazy grubby feel and jammies are for bed in this family. It's funny. This morning they were all up and dresses right away and got high fives for it.

The kids heard me listening to a song by NewSong called Sheltering Trees. They had lots of questions about the song...which is referring to friends ... real friends...as sheltering trees. So they all wanted to learn the chorus. Cutest thing ever despite us having a very slim chance of ever having kids that can sing. Nope not even C and Z ... no African's Children's Choir here!! :) But they are all adorable as they try.

I'll try to post some of our pics here ... maybe in the next post!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Gone private

Just wanted to let you know that my blog will now be password protected. I didn't want to do this...but it's ok. :)


Friday, July 9, 2010

Always.

He is with us always. Letting that sink in changes things. We are living in a hurting world. People are more than just people. You meet the face...behind the face is a lifetime of pain, struggles, joys, loss, gain. This feels odd to be posting this...but God just gave it to me...and I've learned to trust Him.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Refound grief.

Tonight I relived losing our baby in Africa. Yes 'in Africa' has a lot to do with it. Amazing amazing place...but so far away from my husband and children...to lose a child. I really thought (and still do) that I completely did grieve ... but tonight I allowed myself to feel it all again. I cried so deep it reminded me of hushing my cries in the bathroom of our hotel in Zambia.

A very sweet friend wrote me a note since I got home that was just in sympathy of our loss. She talked about how sweet our reunion was at the SeaTac airport with the twins and all of us reuniting...and drew the picture of what Heaven will be like reuniting with 3 children we've never met.

Grief is such a hard thing to understand. It comes from deep within and the moment I feel so empty and broken...I also feel so whole. It's strange...yet serene. Searing loss. That's the only words that kept coming to mind tonight. It felt like hope....yet taken away. I still remember my sister (Joanne)'s little quote in her yearbook when she graduated from highschool...."Never deprive someone of hope...it may be all they have". Hope. It's what keeps so many of us going, isn't it? Hope for something better. Hope for a fresh start. Hope of light at the end of the tunnel. "without vision...the people perish"....without hope...

So tonight I go to bed...with a heart ... cried out...but whole. I wish you were here. I wish you were mine to hold. Someday you will be.

...Though the world sees and soon forgets...we will not forget who You are and what You've done for us...

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

4th of July

We had a great weekend! We started with a date night which the kids LOVE b/c they LOVE their babysitters (BONUS! :). Saturday afternoon we loaded up and headed to Seattle for the night. The kids all coming marching down the stairs with packed backpacks...it was quite funny to see what was in each one. Zion had my paints and brushes "just in case I needed to paint in the new city" ;) I had a few appointments in Lakewood so Dean brought the kids to a fabulous playground and then the all came and picked me up. We headed to our hotel... which by the time we got there...it was late enough about 9ish that all kids zonked right away.

Sunday morning we met up with our friends and went to church with them. This is the real deal...black church. We loved it! Our friend Charlene was in the choir...no one really needed mics in the place ;) Then we went with them to their fourth of July sunday school picnic. That was fun too. Great playground...some sports...lots of food and lots of people. I told Duka that Mama, Daddy, T, Z, A and AP would likely be the only white people there and I'm pretty sure we were. They were in their zone...yet...funny enough our bio kids noticed it more than they did :)

The kids did races and complete shock of all shocks ... Zion and Azlan won the three legged race for their age group!! Ok Azlan is NOT mr.coordination so I was prepping them that when you fall it's funny..just get up and keep going ( b/c Zion is competitive)...completely shocked that they never fell and were way ahead of everyone else. They've never done it before either. So that was cute. However....Chazano quickly yelled out "Duka kept falling and pulling me down!" said with great attitude. I knew it was going to embarrass Duka...he ran to me and sobbed. And sobbed into my shoulder. I asked how many times they fell he said twice...I said that was so amazing because Mama used to fall like 10 times! Duka just lit up with that...and Zano apologized for not being very nice.

The saddest part of the day is that we ended it with the hopes of making it home for the fireworks which is a massive annual highlight in this family. Like the kids ask about it all June...

well on the way home we did have to quickly run by Ikea (where only Dean ran in) to grab 2 mattresses for the boy's room but we think the biggest thing was we were off on our time of when fireworks started :( We did get to see them alllll the way home over the sky in every town but that's not the same. No joke...Tirzah and Zion were praying in the backseat that we would make it home in time....and we arrived to see literally the smoke of the grand finale. We stopped the car and I got out and Tirzah just sobbed on my shoulder. She is not a crier. :( I cried too. I think Daddy was almost crying. We were feeling horrible. So we came home for ice cream at 10:45pm...yes that is way out of the norm for us. We promised next year we'll all be there with our snacks and blankets and we'll have a great time.

So yesterday was amazing...weather wise. Absolutely gorgeous....which means we really need to work on setting up our pool. Its one of those 16' diameter...3.5 feet deep (something like that)and honestly will be well used. We just have to flatten the ground a bit and put some weed barrier etc. It's going in the place that eventually our playground will go but the kids seem more excited about a pool this year...so that's fabulous. $800 cheaper too ;)

Zion's 5th birthday is coming up on the 9th. I gave him some options this morning and he's hoping to do a small pool party. We'll see what we can work out.

It was sweet the other day ... Zunduka asked why I came to Africa to bring them home. :) I told him because we always wanted to adopt children from Africa and God told us it was to be Jacob and Meleki! They just LIT up into giggles. :)


Thursday, July 1, 2010

Life.

It's our life and we are loving it. In all of our craziness...we end up having a lot of fun too.

This past week I decided to switch the girls' bedroom around. We were able to give their very cool twin bed to a friend that could really use it...it was kinda neat..it was like a smaller crib almost if you put it against a wall. A great 'transition' bed. Well we moved the double bed from the spare room in...took apart the 'convertible crib' and made it into their headboard and went shopping. Two bedding sets from Walmart...one from Target... later....we made the decision. For less than half the price of the adorable Target set we got the Walmart one and it's super cute. We are having fun decorating. Who is 'we'? Good question. Ok "I" am having fun ;) We got a little mini papasan chair from Walmart with a very cool light fixture. Put their dresser (eye sore) in the massive walk in closet...loving it. Went and got a bed rail for Azahria and today painted. I'll post pictures soon but it's looking pretty adorable!

We got great news on Sunday...literally someone walks up to us at church and then comes back and voices her concern of being offensive (not at all!) and says she can help our "blond son". Ok...she happens to have her masters in something (that counted for us...I just forget)...specializing in deafness...and was able to look at him and tell me his diagnosis. Um...it took us about 2 years at Seattle Children's to get a diagnosis!!! Want to know the amazing news? She offered free therapy for him 2x a wk all summer...'just to help'. I could have cried.

So we have had to work with Zunduka's relationship with Azlan. He is frequently just plain annoyed with him and telling him to 'stop drooling'. Yes, it's a soft spot. ahhhh. So because of this I pair him up with Azlan to help him learn how to nicely tolerate others and also attempt to understand Azlan. They have been doing so great that Zunduka asked yesterday if he could sit with Azlan in the car. WOW!

Chazano is funny. Seriously funny. Zion adores him and is constantly telling me "I'm no longer the funniest guy in the family...Chazano is!" which is a very high compliment coming from Zion. Tonight I put Zano to bed and I gave him his vitamins. he looks at me and goes "mmmmmm popcorn!" makes a crazy face and pops them in his mouth. Duka and Zion were instantly in fits of laughter! :)

We are getting the other side of our fence done this week / next...and then putting up our 16' diameter, 3feet deep swimming pool in the 'playground' corner of our yard. We'll postpone the playground til next spring for now. The kids are sooooo excited about the playground!!

Piper had 7 puppies...6 black ones, one brown. 6 girls, 1 boy :) (no the brown one..is a girl). The kids adore them and think it's pretty cool they all get one each and then some. NO we are not keeping them (does anyone really keep 8 dogs...?) at 7 weeks or so we'll sell them.

Lots of sweet stories this week. Zunduka recounting the entire trip home from Africa several times now...pretty incredible. Not only the fact that it was in English...but the fact that he remembers it. Many kids post adoption kinda block out the 'previous life' pretty quickly. He is really cute.

The afros are growing you'll be glad to know. Totally a ball of velcro on their heads...everything imaginable sticks to it! :) However soon we'll be doing dreadlocks and I can't wait. :) Duka thinks that sounds cool but Zano definitely needs some convincing. Yes these nicknames seem to be sticking better as Azahria and Azlan already call them Duka and Zano. :)