Sunday, February 17, 2008


A couple hours ago Grace went down for her nap, Will headed off to the grocery store and Tyler was busy with some chores he owed his Dad. Justin was hypnotized by the TV in the family room, so that left Kayla, Daniel and I with nothing but time on our hands. Daniel asked if I wanted to play cards, and since the laundry wasn't due to be switched for another 45 minutes it seemed like a good plan. First, he and I played a game of War, which I WON!!! Then we moved on to Crazy 8's. At that point Kayla joined in on the fun. Daniel did a fine job of whooping us game after game, so when it was Kayla's turn to deal, she declared that we were switching to Go Fish. It was close, but I was victorious in the end!! Yippee! At this point, we were all ready for a different game. We brainstormed for a couple minutes, and were not coming up with anything.

Finally, I asked them if they knew how to play Blackjack. They didn't, so I thought it would be fun to teach them. The only trouble with that was that I have a VERY minimal knowledge of the game. I can't stand all the cigarette smoke in the casinos, and gambling for money practically gives me an anxiety attack. I figure that all those fancy hotels were not built because most people win, and I have a major issue with putting our hard earned money in the proverbial trash can; but I digress. I knew enough about playing to know that we each started out with two cards, and wanted to get as close to 21 as we could without going over. That was good enough to get us started, but we would need to employ Will's Blackjack knowledge upon his return if any of us were going to really learn something.

So, Will came home and the kids went outside to help carry in the groceries. As they were putting them away, I asked Will if he would do me a favor and deal through the deck one time so we could all learn a few things. After looking at me kind of funny (he knows how I feel about gambling), he happily agreed. So Kayla, Daniel, Will and I gathered around the table for our Blackjack lesson. All was going well for the first couple hands, but then Justin announced that he had a nose bleed. Now, lest you think we are horrible parents, this is a VERY common occurrence at our house. Justin was already in the bathroom with tissue pinched on his nose, and was in no jeopardy. With that in mind, Will told him that he would be there is just a minute.

A moment later, Justin yelled from the bathroom, "I'm in mid-nosebleed here!!!" Will encouraged him to keep the tissue stuffed under his nose, and assured him that he would REALLY be there in a minute. After all, we were having a serious Blackjack lesson and we had to finish getting through the deck.

Finally, no longer able to be patient, and with much indignance Justin shouted, "It's not funny to joke about coming to help someone!!!!"

Needless to say, that was the end of our lesson. ((blush))


So, today is our 7th Anniversary. It would be great if I could say that we had some fancy special plan to celebrate, but the reality is that we pretty much layed around like slugs all day. We enjoyed it thoroughly. We'll probably go take a dip in the jacuzzi after the kids go to bed, and cap the night off with a little cheese, cracker and sausage snack.

The fun thing about today is that neither of us has ever had a 7th Anniversary. We made it!! If the next 7 years are as great as the first, I can hardly wait. 8^)

Thursday, February 14, 2008

The Little Things

Valentine's Day is usually a big day at our house. It is one of my favorite holidays. However, this year finances have dictated a smaller celebration. At first I felt a little sad about that, but then something great happened. I started noticing the little things. I watched Justin carefully preparing his valentines for his classmates for the very first time. He wrote his name on each one in his neatest penmanship. He told me that since his name has a J - U - S - T - I and an N in it, he is the MASTER at writing those letters. After perusing his efforts, I would have to agree.

Then, this morning, I poured myself a glass of juice. That wouldn't usually be anything noteworthy, but the little air bubbles that sometimes make a little foam on top of a drink formed a heart right on top of my juice. What a sweet, random valentine. My picture isn't the greatest, but I had to share it with you.

Finally, just because she saw that I had the camera out, I had to take Grace's picture. Her hair is not combed, and I had to make sure to focus on the top half of her because she soaked through her pants a few minutes ago and is wearing just a diaper, but she is as cute and sweet as ever. I love this girl, and all the rest of my family too. I am one blessed lady, and have no more time for sadness on this day.

Happy Love Day Everyone!! Enjoy it!!!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

One of the Important Questions in Life

Why is it that the drawstring on my sweat pants only gets a knot in it when I have to pee REALLY bad?

Sunday, February 10, 2008

The Crud!!!

Last week it was a stomach virus, and this week seems to be the cold with cough virus. I participated fully last week, but plan to abstain this time. Really, Mom being sick two weeks in a row does not bode well for the smooth operation of our household. Will tries VERY hard, but he just can not be a Mom and a Dad. Plus, we have a most anticipated event planned for this upcoming Saturday. We will be reuniting 5 babies that were all at Wanna/Layla House (AAI's orphanage in Ethiopia) at the same time. We have all stayed in contact by blog and emails for the last two years, and will be getting together for the first time this weekend. I can hardly wait to see everyone, and plan to be totally healthy when I do. (Yes, I did just knock on some wood!!) Wish us well. 8^)

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Democracy (w/ disclaimer)

Disclaimer: I have participated in every election that I was eligible to participate in since I turned 18. My increased interest in this year's proceedings is just rather significant, and I thought I'd note it here. I couldn't stand the idea that I had represented myself as someone that just now decided to care about democracy and freedom at the age of 32. I was raised by passionate, educated parents; one of which was a Vietnam veteran. I could never have gotten away with apathy. A big thanks to my Moms and Dads!!

For the first time in my life I find the election process in our country truly fascinating. Perhaps I should feel a bit ashamed about my indifference to our democratic process in the past, but frankly, it can be horribly tedious and confusing. I just never felt the need to agonize for a year (or even two), over the 10+ people that might eventually be mudslinging, lying and grappling for my vote come November of the big election year. The ones that would force me to choose the lesser of two evils. I try to live a life of honest dealings and Godly principles. Not much about politics ever seemed to include those things.

So, what could possibly spark my interest now? Well, it's the historical significance of the moment. Even if neither Hillary nor Barack make it to the White House, this is the closest that a woman or minority has ever been to the ultimate position in our country. That is huge, and I'm thrilled to have the opportunity to be a part of it. I am truly excited to be able to talk to my older children now, and discuss with my younger children later, about how there is nothing out of their reach. Everyone of them could EVEN reach high enough to become the President of this great nation. That sends my spirit soaring with hope for their future.

I am proud to be an American. There have been a lot of things that happened over the past couple decades that made me want to hide my head in shame, but we still live in a country like no other. We live in a place that more people want to come to than those that want to leave. We live in a country that is often misunderstood by foreigners, but still helps more people around the globe than any other nation. I was embarrassed when the Ethiopian people discussed the follies of our president, but thrilled to hear they wanted nothing more than to win the "lottery" that would allow them to come to the US. They truly saw it as their one ticket out of the tragedy they live in everyday. I only hope that those we met while there will have the opportunity to come here one day. We would love to share the opportunity with them that we so take for granted. They have earned it, and would definitely appreciate it.

So with that, I will return to my daily fascination with our electoral process. I will continue to wonder why some states use primaries, while others employ the caucus as their method of choice. I will surely keep struggling to explain to my children why the Republicans award their delegates one way, while the Democrats use another. All of that is OK though. Those are the very signs that prove that we live in a democracy. The fact that we come to a decision, that is somehow accepted by all, is the very proof that shows the power of the freedom that is enjoyed by all in this country. God bless the democratic process, and God Bless the USA!

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Monday, February 04, 2008

Need a Good Laugh?

I tried to hold myself back. Really I did. I just can't help it. This made me laugh so hard that I had to call Will at work and play it over the phone. I will warn you in advance that it is not exactly politically correct, and has a few uses of the "A" word included. So, if that might offend you, please don't watch. Otherwise, watch away. Just make sure you go potty first. We don't want any accidents, now do we?


Justin made it to the much anticipated "100th Day of Kindergarten" today. They made these lovely hats, and even got to make necklaces with 100 Fruit Loops on them. Then they got to eat them. Justin reports that this was his FAVORITE part!

Just in case you're wondering...Yes, Justin is pretty much always as goofy as he looks in this picture. That must be part of his charm though, because we sure love him!!

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Fevers Suck!!!

We were invited to a super fun Superbowl party today. We would be hanging out with some great old college friends of Will's. Our kids like to play together, and us adults enjoy each other's company even more. Will and the kids had a ball at the party, but I had to stay home. Because of the Eli Manning/Chargers scandal a few years ago, Will, the kids and the hosting family were all rooting for the Patriots. They even had Gracie going against the Giants. Unfortunately, I woke up with a temperature of 101 degrees today. My whole body hurt, and I was freezing. I felt like I was going to die!!! The worst part is that I wasn't there to help support Ramee and the Giants. I'll be the first to admit that I do not like Eli Manning, but I like the cheating Patriots even less! The Giants are the NFL Champions, and I wish them the best. Here's to next season, and an amazing Charger team!!!

Friday, February 01, 2008

Moving Right Along

That is a picture of my younger sister's belly. She is the one that got married last December, and has kept us on our toes ever since. The great news is that she is married to an absolutely wonderful guy, and they are expecting their first child together in April. They already have two girls (11 and 4, his from previous relationships) that they (and we) love dearly, but this will be the first time that I will become an aunt in the "blood" sense of the word. Mostly it doesn't matter, but there is a little part of me that is enjoying the anticipation of a pregnancy. So far in my family, I have always been the one getting pregnant or adopting. This is a first for me, and I'm LOVING it!!!!! Shannon (my Sis) actually sent me a more recent photo (almost 30 weeks), but due to my cell phone's stupid malfunctions, I can not get it transfered over here. Bummer, but this pic will do the trick for now.

It's fun to get to see my sister with a "baby bump". She has never worn any size over 5 until now, and she is feeling like a HOUSE. The rest of us all think she looks adorable! BTW, she and Joe did decide to find out the gender of their impending arrival. Honestly, they were really hoping for a boy since they already have two girls; but no such luck. They felt a tiny bit of disappointment, but soon realized that they were still super excited. All babies are miracles, after all. They struggled a bit to figure out a name, but alas, have made a choice. This new little person will be a beautiful baby girl, named Riley Ray.