Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Is laundry the center of your world?

Or the laundry room the center of your happiness? I have been a real bear lately toward the kids. Now, to be fair they have earned a lot of my wrath - just not to quite the degree they've gotten it! I've not slept well for several nights and gotten next to nothing done during the day.

This afternoon I decided to clean the laundry room. My kitchen sink was overflowing, you can not walk through our bedroom without stepping over dirty clothes and the bathrooms are in desperate need of attention (we won't even mention the flags I'm supposed to be sewing!)- but for some reason I gravitated to the laundry room. As I vacuumed behind the dryer (finding 3 pair of socks, one pair of underpants and some soccer shin-guards), bleached the floor and cleaned all the cat stuff I was able to spend a lot of time in thought. I've come to the conclusion that a messy laundry room = a messy house. See, when the rug in the laundry room is too dirty to sit on, the washer and dryer piled so high you're now carefully balancing stuff you add to the stack and the sink is filled to the brim with dirty clothes, you tend to not want to be in there! If the dryer is full and so are all the laundry baskets and the top of the dryer is piled to it's tipping point well, then where are you going to put the stuff from the dryer? So what sits in the washer will just have to stay there a little longer too. If you decide to start another load you can't because the one in there has been sitting too long and must be rewashed first. With the sink full and the floor a mess it is hardly a good idea to bring more laundry down the stairs. So the clothes pile up in bedrooms and bathrooms and hallways. In order to dress in the morning the laundry baskets must be dug through by each family member thus creating a bigger mess. Naturally, with the floors a mess it is hardly motivating to clean the room! And with no where to put the dirty stuff, the mess just keeps growing! It becomes a vicious cycle with no seeming end in sight (laundry multiplies overnight you know).

So, my bottom line is that if your laundry room is a mess, it might explain why you're in a grumpy mood. And if your laundry room is a mess and you're not in a grumpy mood well, then I don't know what's wrong with you!

Now, go clean the laundry room and see if you don't feel better!

Monday, April 26, 2010

And life just keeps plugging along...

We had another busy weekend around here! Saturday morning we spent freezing to death at two soccer games. (And I spent some time being depressed about my first team never winning a game!) Then Trace and Nana and I went to a huge bookstore - the biggest one I've ever heard of! Trace and I love to go there and wander for hours. After that we raced home to get Caden to a birthday party at Chuck-E- He _ _ Cheese. Trace and Paige and I went to a much quieter pizza place and met up with Aunt Kim and Grandma before going back for Caden.

On Sunday morning we went to early church in order to get to a birthday party at 11. It turned out to be a beautiful day and the kids had a blast at the party. It is amazing how something so simple as a morning at a park can be so much fun. I think the coup-de-gras was finding the huge cow bones in the forest (the park was built in part of an old cow pasture)!

Sunday afternoon we finally finished up Aunt Kim's yard. Now it is on to our yard next! Rick met up with Kim's husband in So.Cal. and together they have been driving up. I'm expecting them to arrive literally any minute now.

Two more soccer games for each of the boys and hopefully a trip to Hawaii for Rick and I - that's what's coming up. Other than that - it's life as usual around here!

Watching the gift unwrapping! Look how long her hair is!
I just love the views around here!

Spinning himself crazy!

"Um, is this God?"

"Cause, does God wear a crown? I don't think so!"

Sunday, April 18, 2010

The Truth About International Adoption

The following is NOT my own work. It is copied with permission from CW at www.pullthisblogover.blogspot.com She has put this into words in a way I never could. I am thankful for her work and her willingness to share...

Recently there have been many stories in the news regarding international adoption. Stories about corruption and trafficking, about unethical agencies and uncaring parents, about abuse and about neglect, about unprepared families and uninvolved agencies, but are those stories really the truth about what international adoption is? In the face of these stories, the Joint Council on International Children's Services has asked that all adoptive families speak out about the truth of international adoption.

But what is the truth of international adoption?

The truth is international adoption is not for the ill-prepared or the uncommitted- but then that is true of parenting- PERIOD

The truth is your child comes to you with a history that you not only were not a part of, but that you might never ever know. Some of that history may involve their first families or foster families and you will realize that these people have become part of your lives, regardless of whether or not you have ever met them or even know what they look like.

The truth is smiles and hugs, tears and tantrums, joys and sorrow

The truth is that you will always cringe when people ask you if you have children “of your own” because you understand how totally and completely your child is yours even while others can’t understand how that can be so

The truth is that your child's story becomes part OF you yet it doesn't belong TO you. It is neither yours to tell or to interpret

The truth is that love is not enough

The truth is that you occasionally feel that you have to explain or defend your family to others and this includes the seemingly positive statement that you “saved” your child. No matter how bad a situation they might have been in, what happens after an adoption is parenting, not saving.

The truth is you need to think about things you may never have ever considered before and things that maybe you would rather not consider- things like racism, classism, privilege, power and entitlement.

The truth is tiny handprints on the wall, little footprints on the floor, potty training, homework, band-aids, piles of laundry, sloppy kisses, bouquets of dandelions and belly laughs

The truth is that every news story about your child's country of origin now matters to you too

The truth is that great sadness at what was lost can exist in the same space as great joy at what was gained

The truth is that a child can be the bravest person you have ever met

The truth is that international adoption is messy and complicated and hard and amazing and wonderful

Before we began the adoption process we took some adoption classes. On the last night there was a panel of adoptive parents (all of whom had only adopted children) One by one they each told their stories and each said they could not have loved their child more if they had been born to them. And while I understood that academically, I wondered how they could be so sure. I now look at my daughters and know birth is not what makes a parent. I look at my girls and know they are mine- yet at the same time, I also know they are not mine alone. I look and wonder whose eyes do they have, where does their personality come from, how much is nurture and how much is nature. But I do know- with every fiber of my being that parenthood is not based on genetics or birth or sharing a resemblance.

The truth of international adoption is that family isn't determined by the single act of giving birth but by the act of simply BEING a family


Friday, April 16, 2010

I'm kinda busy...

I have a couple of big projects on my plate right now. Both volunteer but only one I'm actually enjoying! I guess that will teach me to be a little more careful about choosing where to volunteer my time! So, I am supposed to be sewing six flags for the middle school marching band. I don't want to though and they are a lot more work than I was led to believe they would be. At this point I have one partially finished and they are due in about two weeks. Thank goodness for a wonderful sister who sews better than I do who was kind enough to offer to take two of them off my hands! My other project is to take pictures of every preschooler at Paige's preschool/my job. I took a couple one day that I shared with the other teachers and they excitedly asked if I'd be willing to do all the kids for their end of the year file. At this point I have about 30 pictures I'm happy with which leaves about 20 more to go. I'm loving it! I am also constantly amazed at how photogenic some kids are and you'd never guess which ones! Some pictures I wasn't sure about can be edited to be totally awesome! Someone told me I'd missed my calling- I don't know about that, but I do know I'm enjoying this. The picture above is the one I took of Paige while I was getting the other kids. I love how it turned out despite not liking it at the time I actually took it! In the meantime, the house is slowly falling apart so I guess I'd better get off the computer and get moving!

Friday, April 09, 2010

Day to day...

Check out the water splashing around him and the mud on the bottom of his cleats!

Thanks for the gloves Aunt Cheryl and Nichole! They helped a ton!

Well we have made it through the first week back to routine! Things are busy as usual with work, school, laundry, soccer, laundry, soccer (oh! did I already mention soccer and laundry?) - I guess you get the point! The rain, hail, snow and sun have wrecked havoc on us this week. We are all ready for Spring but apparently the weather isn't. It snowed twice yesterday! AND IT'S APRIL!!! That is totally unheard of in the NorthWest! Poor Trace keeps getting soccer practice in the rain and mud and somehow Caden hasn't had a rainy practice yet.

Rick is managing to keep busy though not flying as much as we'd like. Being based close to home does make it a little easier and he seems less stressed most of the time. Caden, especially, benefits from having Dad around as much as possible. I seem to be perpetually busy! I love my job but sadly it doesn't look like it will be continuing next school year. Unless they get a new child who needs one on one care - which isn't highly likely. So, I'm on the hunt for something else. Part time would be ideal since Paige still has two years before she is in full day school, but I would happily take full time too. We have enough people around who could help me with Paige that it is a viable option.

Not much else is going on at the moment. Just your average day to day...

Monday, April 05, 2010

I want the day after Easter off!

Why do kids have to go back to school the day after Easter? Seriously, how many families were either traveling late or had company late? Probably a majority! Not to mention all the sugar the kids were jacked up on. By the time Trace and Caden were getting into bed last night they were both exhausted and coming down from sugar highs. I had both of them in tears over things that usually don't bother them! If I didn't have to go to work I probably would have just let them sleep in and go late. Oh-well - better brace for this afternoon!

We had a great Easter though! The kids were up far too early and thrilled with what the bunny had brought them. I think we had enough eggs to make the hunt fun and even a little challenging for Trace. Friends and family joined us for dinner in the afternoon and then a wild game of Nerts! I think I'm done entertaining until September now!

Saturday, April 03, 2010

He is Risen!

Happy Easter to everyone! The kids and I went to church on Saturday night so we'll be hunting eggs and checking out baskets in the morning. Rick will be home in time to enjoy dinner with friends and family. Since I had the kids all dressed up tonight I subjected them to picture torture...

"Mommy, I'm freezing!"

Awww, how sweet.

Not too bad.

If your visiting from the Riggs' blog...

please leave me a note! I'd love to know who's coming by and in turn visit your blog if you have one! Welcome... look around, stay a while and please come back!

Friday, April 02, 2010

Our favorite place...

It has been a while since we've ventured over to our favorite place. Then yesterday we had a brief lull in the non-stop rain we've been having all week. So, we jumped at the chance to get outside and let the kids move! The weather held for us and we were even pealing our jackets off. Rick had never been with us before and the kids had a blast showing him all of our favorite spots. We even found a new favorite spot to explore. The water was really running fast and high which amazed the boys. Everyone threw a few rocks, the kids and Rick played a game of Poohsticks and we even got to throw a ball for a friendly Jack Russell named Bingo! A great afternoon!

Sunshine's bringing up daisies!

Well ok, the rain is bringing up dandelions but let's not split hairs! These are just a couple of cute pictures I had some fun with.