Thursday, December 31, 2009

Why do children have to die?

Please say a prayer for Leah's mom and dad. They lost her today to a horrible disease, EB. She was just a baby and doing so well after surgery yesterday! (If you want more info go to the Williams Family blog down on my side bar.)

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

It's official

We are the worst parents in the world. Tonight we made the decision to limit the amount of time the boys get on the computer by setting hour limits on the computer itself. OH. MY. GOSH. You would think we just gave away Trace's favorite pet! He was nearly hysterical and sobbed for over an hour. Then he asked us to return all his gift cards for online games since he'll never be able to play them again. And he just got all his friends playing and now he can't even send them notes to tell them he can't play anymore. (Apparently telephones don't work for communicating anymore.) Holy cow! The world is coming to an end. We are horrible! I do feel badly that he is so upset, but it really just convinces me that we are making the right decision. It has gotten to the point that they rush out of bed in the morning and go straight to the computer then get upset at us for making them get off it to eat and get dressed two hours later! They can't wait to get home from anywhere we go just so they can play on the computer. I know I have helped perpetuate the problem though. When they are on the computer = they aren't fighting = more peaceful for me. I guess a lot of changes will be happening around here!

Oh! And I'm voluntarily having Rick set time limits for myself: 7-8 am (so I can check news) and 7-10 pm (which is mostly after the kids are in bed). I expect to go through some major withdrawl but I'll bet this house stays a lot cleaner and I have more time for the kids! Hopefully the boys (Trace especially) will start to see the benefits of not staring at a screen all the time!

Snow Days

We promised the boys a trip into the mountains to go sledding over Christmas Vacation. So yesterday was the day! Everything but the kitchen sink was loaded and we finally hit the road around 9:30 in the morning. We arrived to find about a foot of snow that was apparently a few days old. It was rather icy and bumpy with lots of grass tufts and yearling trees poking through. That doesn't bother kids who've been waiting anxiously to go sledding though! So off they went bumping down the hill time after time. It felt a bit like sledding down moguls to me but it only added to the fun for them!
We spent a few hours, had some lunch and built a fire before everyone was cold and ready to head for home. Unbeknownst to us, we didn't leave a minute too soon. Back home, a rare Northwest snow was beginning to fall. And fall. By the time we reached the metro area the freeways were starting to bottleneck (within an hour they would be at a standstill with some closing completely.)

We arrived at Rick's parent's house as his mom's gathering was ending with several women now stranded. So, Rick played Suburban taxi driver and escorted a few safely home. He then ventured downtown to pick up his sister and nephew and bring them back home. What normally would have taken about an hour took him nearly three! You'd think we were native Californians the way people around here panic at the site of snow! To be fair though, it was pretty slick and if a hill was involved then there was bound to be cars piling up at the bottom.

Paige stayed with grandparents while we were gone all day and was asleep during much of the snow. Once she was fully awake though, she started to get excited about catching snow on her tongue. So we took her out for a few minutes and she loved it! Unlike the boys, she didn't have any snow gear though.

All in all it turned out to be a fun day. The irony though was that we had better sledding here at home than up in the mountains! Who knew? (Apparently the weather men didn't!) Now I'm off to find Paige some boots and send her out before it all melts...

Sunday, December 27, 2009

finally a decent family photo!

We took this on Christmas Eve and I've been "playing" with it in photo editing since yesterday. Please point out anything that looks obviously "off." I won't mind! I've just been looking at it for so long that I'm starting to see things that no one else will probably ever notice and, conversly, I'm probably missing the obvious! All in all it's not too bad though.
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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Thursday, December 17, 2009

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

I loved this! He is playing with an ornament that was on my tree every year as a child. I used to love to turn the little boy and ring the bell too. It's fun to watch life circle around.

I couldn't get a picture to do this justice! The boys did pretty good with arranging ornaments all over but Paige stuck with one spot and preferred the tips of the branches! You could definitely tell where where she had decorated!

Today was Paige's first ever Christmas program! We talked a lot last night about whether she was going to sing for us. The verdict? NO. According to Paige she only sings when she is sitting on the floor, "not up on that stage thing." So I asked if she would at least smile and despite telling me she would you can see in the picture that didn't exactly happen. I can't believe how tiny she is next to the other girls! To be fair, I think the one in red might be 5.
We were a little late for school this morning because I really wanted to make her hair look extra cute. I think I succeeded and it really wasn't that hard to do.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Not Me Monday

I amnot laying on the couch with my Nativity on the coffee table burried under books, medicines, Christmas cards (because those would be in the mail), more medicines and a few dishes. Especially since I've been yelling at nicely asking my kids for a week now to quite putting crap their precious things on the Nativity. Nope. Not me. I also would not have Christmas lights literally hanging off the Christmas tree while I lay on said couch. And of course all the laundry is done so my kids most definitely will NOT be wearing dirty clothes to school tomorrow! I'd never allow that around here (I'd at least check for stains).

What a weekend!

Well, we had big plans for a genuine Currier and Ives day on Sunday that all went to "h" "e" double hockey sticks in a hand basket! The rain and freezing temperatures during the night left us iced in and unable to head safely into the mountains. So mid morning we loaded three very disappointed kids into the car and headed over to a family member's tree farm. Despite their disappointment over not going into the mountains for tree hunting and sledding they did seem to have a good time and we now have a beautiful tree!

Later, after Rick had to go to work, the kids and I loaded up and headed to a friends for our annual gingerbread housemaking. Unfortunately a little medical issue I'd been having was suddenly getting worse. After a call to the 24 hour nurse line I decided to go to urgent care. There, the doctor took a 5 second look and informed me I needed immediate "surgery." Something that could be done in the office and something she was very experienced at. Lets just say that several hours and lots of tears later I was finally home. It was a long evening!

However, I do have to say that God had a hand in all that transpired. Had it not been for the ice we would not have gone to the friends for gingerbread houses. That friend happened to live near the after hours clinic where this particular doctor (who had a special interest and lots of experience with this) was working. Where an exceptionally empathetic nurse was on duty. And finally it was all in close proximity to the only 24 hour pharmacy in town! Not fun, but I am very thankful for all the details that fell into place the way they did.

The "official" tree lot greeter! Don't know the kitty's name but it followed us everywhere we went the whole time we were there! The kids loved it.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

What have we been up to?????

I'm sorry if you were thinking that maybe I'd given up blogging! A lot has been going on over the last two weeks. The week before Thanksgiving I had a job interview! Since I'd applied months ago it was quite a surprise. I found out the Monday of Thanksgiving week that I had the job and started the Monday after Thanksgiving (this week). Whew! It is a strange feeling to go from not working for over 11 years to suddenly having a job! I know it is going to be a really good feeling though when I'm able to help pay off the visa card that Christmas is going on! God really is good.
We also all had dental appointments during which we discovered that Paige had a cavity. I was definitely bummed since none of my kids have had any cavities up til now. But it also worries me a little to know that she has several pre-cavity spots on her teeth. We brush them just like the boys! I've been concerned for a long time though about her teeth knowing that she probably had no prenatal care and likely very low nutrients in general both before and after birth. Apparently there is little we will be able to do to combat that! I'm pretty sure this won't be the last but I'll be darned if it's gonna be my fault!!! So today was the big day to have it filled. She did WONDERFUL! The dentist said she was better than a lot of adults he sees. I don't think she moved a muscle or flinched the entire time. It was a much quicker process than I remember too!
Waiting for the numbing cream to work she got to do a puzzle.

I just love how tiny she is in that great big chair!

Once she was numb this was the best smile she could manage!
After Thanksgiving I suddenly got a wild hair and decided to paint our powder room. As if there isn't enough to do this time of year! I just couldn't take the dark red paint and pink lights another day. Don't get me wrong, I like the dark red paint - but NOT in a tiny powder room with pink lights! The bathroom is now a very light greenish color (celery?) with white lights and a cute little outhouse border that I bought several years ago and kept waiting to use! I'm quite happy with the new look.

So that is a little of what we've been up to around here. Of course you have to add in Caden's basketball and Trace's unicycle to make a more complete picture of the chaos! If I'm not checking in often enough for you the next few weeks just let me know.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

1st Band Concert

Trace had his first ever band concert Thursday night. I was very pleasantly surprised! It is required that all 5th graders take band therefore the 5th grade band is pretty big. Despite that I didn't hear any squeaking or honking as I'd expected! Trace thought it was pretty fun but also kinda boring. He certainly looked nice all dressed up! This is a picture of him and his best friend Seth just before it started.

p.s. I made it black and white because the lighting in the gym made their hair look green and I couldn't fix it! They were wearing black and white so it doesn't change much.
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Monday, November 16, 2009

End of the season...

Caden's football team played in the Championship game this year. They were undefeated all season however due to several factors they did not win the championship title. The boys were so pumped up and excited that they didn't hear their parents telling them that, "someone has to loose." Caden held it together until we got in the car then the tears started flowing. I felt so bad for him. It's tough to be so disappointed when you're a kid. He did decide that lunch at Sonic might make him feel better though. After the game trophies were given to the coaches and ALL the boys got a medal and a league t-shirt which I thought was nice. Those boys had only each lost to the other so they all deserved to be rewarded! Caden has mentioned next year a couple of times so we'll see how he feels next spring at sign up time!

Major Defense. That's what Trace's coach called him when it was his turn to get his trophy. 9 times out of 10, if Trace was on the field, that ball was getting stopped. I was so proud of him as the coach talked about his playing and the season he had. I understood what it feels like to literally have your heart swell with pride. He improved so much this year and even scored one goal! That's hard to do when you always play defense! His whole team started out really struggling but by the end they had pulled it together and were really playing well. Three of the boys were even invited to try out for the select team next year. I'm hoping they don't because we need them! There was a potluck at one of the boy's houses last night and everyone had a great time. It was a nice end for the season.

Family Day

We celebrate the day our family was complete each year a little differently. It is a little challenging since we have just finished so many birthdays and are caked out. This year Paige and Rick opted for Chinese food. When we asked Paige and Caden if they wanted Chinese food she nodded yes as furiously as he shook his head no - it was pretty funny! So Caden had leftover pizza instead (Trace was at Nana and Papa's for the night). When she saw Daddy using chopsticks Paige had to have some too. She actually ate everything but the rice with them! After dinner Paige got to choose a movie to watch before bed. Her choice was Rack, Shack and Benny (Veggie Tales).

Many families refer to the day they received their child as "Gotcha Day." We've opted for "Family Day" for a couple of reasons. First, it is the day our family was completed. Second, Each child has a birthday so rather than have another day that celebrates just Paige we wanted it to be a day for everyone. I'm glad that we've opted to keep it low key instead of making a big deal. In many ways it is more like Paige's birthday than her actual one. I get to tell her HER story of joining the family and remember all the wonderfulness of it. But we have had a cake, gone out to eat and had Chinese food. It's flexible. It's special. The kids enjoy the fact that we have our own special day for our family (they probably think everyone has one). Happy Family Day to all of us!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Three years ago today...

I'll never forget that day. I'll never forget trying so hard to memorize every second of it. Willing my mind to never forget a single moment.

We got up really early to have our luggage outside our door then headed down to breakfast. After that we sat around in the hotel lobby, in Beijing, waiting until it was time to go to the airport (9 or 9:30 if I remember right). It seemed like forever. Once we were checked in at the airport we sat around for what seemed like hours. Oh wait, it was hours! There wasn't anywhere to sit or anything to eat and we were all just anxious to get on our way.

I remember leaving the airport in Jiangxi and walking across to the bus. Then the ride across town to the hotel. There was the bridge we crossed into the city, the rice paddies, the green hills. At the hotel we were told to wait in our rooms for our luggage, get ourselves organized and meet in the conference room at 4:30. The excitement was so hard to contain! The maids were busy delivering cribs to all of our rooms where we also found a baby bath and a stroller waiting. It was starting to feel very real. It was finally going to happen. Finally our turn after so many years!

Once our stuff was ready we headed down to Tom and Diana's room for a quick refresher course on making formula, last minute camera checks and gift wrapping. By four o'clock we couldn't stand it any more and decided to head down to the conference room where we discovered we were not alone in our inability to wait!

We stood in that hallway and later in the conference room listening to the sounds of babies and wondering if ours was there yet. Wondering what she would look like, how she would react to us and WHAT WERE WE THINKING!? A baby. Wow!

Before I knew it they were calling our name. I was shaking so hard that I could hardly walk and tripped over a chair in my haste.

Then we walked around that corner and there she was.

Our lives changed forever that day. Not only did we now have a daughter but we experienced the indescribable feelings of traveling along the path to adoption and seeing it come to completion. There just aren't the right words. We will never be the same.

We love you Paige, with all our hearts. We loved you before you ever were and we will love you forever more. God chose us for each other and He couldn't have chosen more perfectly!

Happy Family Day!
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Thursday, November 12, 2009

Conversation with a three year old...

"Mommy, what does the tooth fairy look like?"

"I'm not sure. Why?"

"Well, have you ever seen her?"

"Um, no. Why?" (We strongly believe in telling our children the truth about everything! Ahem.)

"Well, I think she's a hippopotamus."

"Oh, really? What makes you think that?"

"Because I'm smart."

"I see." (Not really)

Monday, November 09, 2009

At the pumpkin patch

Just playing around with the computer.
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Sunday, November 08, 2009

My Kids

On loan from God.
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Sensitive, Selfless, Kind, Smart, Onery, Fun to be with
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Cute, Smart, Giggly, Strong Willed, Clever, Daddy's Girl
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Fun loving, Goofy, Snuggly, Smiley, Smart, Photogenic

Friday, November 06, 2009

The Cat in the Hat

"Does he have a mommy?"


I am SO rich!

I have a nice, warm home to live in.
I have an electric blanket AND a down comforter.
My kids each have a nice cozy bed with piles of blankets.
As of today I have three very healthy children.
I have a husband who loves me the way I am. (At least he says he does!)
We own two reliable cars.
My husband has a job.
We have loving family nearby.
We have great friends.
My boys are good students.
Generally speaking, I have three well behaved kids.
I own a sewing machine.
I have a bicycle.
I get to be home with my kids.
We have more than one computer.
We have two loving kitties.
I get to hear my children giggle.
I get to feel their hugs.
I get to watch them grow.

Sometimes life gets tough. Sometimes we get overwhelmed. But always I am thankful for the many blessings God has given me. Just little 'ol me. I have so much!

Mother of the year I am NOT

I did not put candles in a hot birthday cake only to have them MELT. I also never would have forgotten to be home when one of my boys got off the bus - let alone be 30 minutes away shopping. And if I had (which, of course, I didn't) that same poor child would not have been left sitting on the front porch alone. I would not have eaten enough Halloween candy to make myself sick - especially after telling the kids they'd had too much! And I most definitely did not loose my mother-of-the-year award three times in one day!

Some days are rough. Some weeks are rough. Then there are the months that just don't seem to go too well! As someone recently said, "there was no full disclosure on this parenting thing."

Tuesday, November 03, 2009


Caden's team managed to pull off a win in the last two minutes of Saturday's game! They played to only other undefeated team and they will play that same team again in a week and a half at the Championships.
Trace's team pulled off another win also, bringing their team to five wins in a row! He has two games left in his season then advanced unicycle club will be starting up!
Way to go boys!

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Wrapping up October...

The plan was to carve our pumpkins with cousins but thanks to the piggy flu that wasn't to be. So while Trace was drugged up on motrin and feeling pretty good we hauled them all inside and started cutting.

Decisions, decisions, trying to decide what they want.

Digging in. Paige prefered the one-seed-at-a-time method.
(this picture is for those who think Paige's hair is always perfect)

The finished products. Doesn't Trace look great? That's the
piggy flu on motrin!

Caden (a pirate), Paige (Grumpy the Carebear), cousin Carson (a chick) and Trace (Harry Potter) ready to go last night.