Monday, December 8, 2008

Jinger Bell, Jinger Bell





I just had to take a video of Benjamin singing jingle bells (or jinger bells). Everyone should consider older child adoption - it is so entertaining! We have had big week with the annual Christmas parade. Claire helped me make a pumpkin roll and then she proceeded to make one of the largest messes I have ever seen with a lot of flour. I wasn't very happy - but I did have to take a picture of it.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Christmas Shopping




I like Christmastime. I mean what could be better than celebrating Jesus' birthday. The only problem is all the strings that are attached - such as buying presents! I like to put up the tree, make Christmas candy, get the kids a few gifts - that is fun. I do not like the rest of the shopping - Kendell and I don't get each other much - usually he will get some gloves or something for me that the kids can give me and I will get him some new paperbacks from Walmart. The kids are easy - They want anything - they are just happy to get a present/toy they don't have to buy for themselves (they have been a victim of Dave Ramsey). I just hate having to buy for 20 other people (we have a lot of neices and nephews!)- I admit - because I don't like shopping most of them will get a gift card or cash. I really wish my husband's family would give up their love of exchanging gifts! I am pretty sure that Jesus didn't have to buy gifts for everybody! For your viewing pleasure I added a couple of house photos and a Thanksgiving photo of all the kids nicely doing a craft with clay - Don't worry the situation eventually deteriorated and there was some crying, lots of water and paint, gnashing of teeth, and a giganto mess - I love the holidays!!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Interesting Story

I found a link to this video on another site - It is a little long - but if you have the time it is an amazing story about an amerasian child in Korea.

Here is info about the man telling the story:

Rick Smolan is the co-founder of the America 24/7 and Day in the Life photography series -- and a natural storyteller in many media. His latest books are America at Home and Blue Planet Run.

Click HERE for the video. (It is about 25 minutes long)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Playing School






There was no school here on Monday - when I got home from work the kids were in my bedroom playing school - Jessie had put Claire down for her kindergarten nap. Claire was actually laying there. The other kids were in my bathroom doing their "homework". I don't know why they were in the bathroom - I think they are just weird.
The other pictures are of the new house - I included a picture of the spray foam insulation in the garage - This along with the ICF walls in the rest of the house should make the house very efficient (or at least it better!!). The landscapers started on the retaining walls in the back of the house. This week the drywall is finished in the garage and is going up in the rest of the house.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

House Update #103






Here is another house update - They have started installed the cement siding and PVC trim. The rock is going up around the porch. They put the gas fireplace in this week and are starting to sheetrock. Next week the spray in foam insulation is going into the garage, the rooms that need soundproofing and in the 2 exterior walls of the house which are not concrete. It is really starting to look like it may eventually be done. I love the red siding - As long as it doesn't look like a barn when it is done I will be very happy. Don't be frightened by the children in costumes - they will only hurt you a little if you don't give them candy. Since Halloween they have eaten about 6 pounds of candy and I am fairly sure that they have 12 pounds left. They have been trick or treating amongst themselves almost daily since last week - who says Halloween can't last all year.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Language Barriers


I love listening to Benjamin learn English - actually I love to hear him for a while and then some peace and quiet would be good. His favorite thing to talk about right now are "Superzeroes" and "Ninja Turters" - Every time he says it I say "You like superheroes and Ninja Turtles". He just continues to say it the same way - It is so fun! I would like to mention - that I am sure that when I try to speak Chinese - It is laughable also!

Kendell and I saw Fireproof today - It was excellent - I would highly reccomend it - It is a great movie for couples to see together - I give it 2 thumbs up and 4 stars - If you haven't seen it yet - you need to go!!!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Reflections from Karate

Last night at karate - Jessie was trying to do her forms. She didn't know the whole form. The teacher asked if she was practicing. Jessie told her "I don't have time." The teacher said, "You are six years old how could you be to busy." Jessie said, "I have to play." If only my life were as busy as Jessie's!!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

A Visit to the Keeter Center





We spent the weekend in Branson at a meeting. The kids stayed at the hotel with a friend while we sat in the conference. After the meeting we went to a pumpkin patch. The kids had a great time running around the top of the hay maze. (Sorry, I don't know why the photo uploaded sideways) I am fairly sure they were not using the maze in the spirit in which it was made - but since no one was watching - whatever! I have added an updated house photo - They are building the front porch this week. I love my porch!
Today I am going to make a to do list for the week:
1: Wait for the repairman to come and fix my brand new Kenmore frontloading HE washing machine. I can't believe it lasted almost a month! Well worth the $1500 I paid for it (or not!). Keep in mind this was an emergency purchase after my previous frontloader broke after one year of use - I am sensing a trend and I am not happy. A mom with 4 kids should never be without a washing machine!
2: I am going to start saving money so I can pay 50% of my income in taxes - Who cares about giving to charity and supporting my own community - I trust that the federal government will do a better job spreading the wealth (or not!) than I would if they let me keep my money I earned for working hard.
3: I finished my master gardener class this week - I am going to spray dangerous chemicals on part of my field so I can try an create a wildflower prairie - seems wrong that I have to use chemical for this - whatever - by the way I can't use my master gardener certification to improve my business - So I can't advertise Laurie, MD, master gardener - I am sure my patients would be super impressed by this - They could come in for their sore throats and ask for advice on their leaky tree.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Cub Scout Fishing




We had 42 cub scouts at our pond today, in addition to many leaders, parents, and grandparents. The kids had a great time. They caught lots of fish - and no fish were severely injured in the process! I thought about what a great program the scouts are - This morning I probably would have been doing laundry or cleaning the house (or blogging) - Instead an event like this makes you spend time with the kids - when you can think of a million other things that you could do. Thanks to everyone who came and helped and brought kids, and thanks to the Dept. of Conservation for the service they provide - It was a huge success! I also included some house update photos - The electric, plumbing, heating/cooling - geothermal - are going in this week.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Fireproof

This is my plug for the new movie "Fireproof". This movie was made by Sherwood Baptist Church. They are the makers of "Facing the Giants" - which if you have not seen, you should. They have an amazing movie ministry. I listened to an interview on Focus on the Family the other night with Kirk Cameron (who stars in the movies - if you grew up in the 80's - he was so cool! - Now an outspoken Christian who uses his acting talents to make great movies.) I am sure this movie will not win an Oscar - but will have a longlasting impact on many lives. God is really working through this church to make a difference in the world.

Check out the movie trailer at http://www.fireproofthemovie.com/
Check out the focus on the family broadcast about the movie here (It is a 2 part series):
http://listen.family.org/daily/A000001512.cfm

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The House and a First Birthday



The house is looking good - the windows and doors are going in. The roof is going on. I had a great video of Benjamin's early birthday with part of the family. I have never seen such happiness on a child's face. I had a great little video of it - I am pretty sure Claire then managed to erase it from the camera - so much for Benjamin's first birthday video. This was the first time he has ever had a birthday party or a birthday present. Can you imagine having 5 birthdays that no one ever mentions - Hopefully he will feel really special this year!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Autumn Moon Festival






Friday night we had our annual Northern ____ County Autumn Moon Festival Extravaganza for Families with Kids from Asia and Elsewhere - I think the name of the event is kind of catchy! We had some chinese food and the kids chased each other for about 3 hours straight and everyone had a good time. Our house is making progress the roof trusses are up and the roof should go on in the next week or so. We also made a family trip to Mammoth Springs last week. We toured the little train museum and ate at the Riverview Restaurant - outside on the deck with the bee and flies - The kids had fun and we were all worn out when we got home! Last night Hurricaine Ike hit here - we were out of power for a few hours - I had to go to church without blow-drying my hair! Can you imagine the horror!!! Numerous trees were uprooted - but we were a little to north to have to worry about the tidal surge.

Friday, September 5, 2008

A Farm Visit






We went to Kansas City a few weeks ago to visit. We went to the Deanna Rose Farmstead in Overland Park. The kids had so much fun. There is no admission fee and the kids had a great time - We were there for about 2-3 hours and there was no whining - Can you imagine? (I know I can't!) The link to the website for information is http://www.opkansas.org/_Vis/Farmstead/index.cfm The kids especially liked petting the goats and bunnies. They also liked panning for pretty rocks and checking out the Indian tepees. Now that I have 4 kids - all of whom are generally old enough to pay admission on I really appreciate a donation only kind of trip. So - for a small optional donation we had a morning of fun - I doubt we would have had such a good time anywhere else!

I have included a few photos of all the fun things we saw. I tried to take photos of our new house today - but I forgot the camera battery and I was to lazy to walk back up there after we went home.

Monday, August 25, 2008

House Update




The house continues to get taller - I think that is a good sign. The main floor ICF walls have been poured. They are framing all the walls on the main level this week and putting the second floor - floor trusses up this week - They may pour the second floor ICF walls on Friday. I - who does not love to shop - (and Kendell) have to pick out all the plumbing fixtures, tubs, and lighting in the next week or two - so that should be painful. I would say things are going well since Kendell and I have not been fighting about anything yet (not like when we put in the laminate floor in the house - it is best just not to talk to each other for a couple of days when you are doing a project like that!). I also included a photo of my mother-in-laws zinna's - they are beautiful and full of butterflies - you realize I just can't resist a good flower picture.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

First Day of School




Everyone started school this week. Wesley is in 3rd grade, Jessie is in 1st grade, and Benjamin is in Kindergarten. They were all very excited to start, except Benjamin. He said, "I don't like school." So I said, "Yes you do - school is fun!." After brainwashing him with this the entire weekend, he now says "Yes" when I ask him if he likes school. I think my brainwashing program is going very well - wouldn't you agree - It goes something like this, "Benjamin, school is fun, you like school, you are going to have lots of friends at school, you will get to color at school, you will stay in school for the next 17 years, you like school." I guess you get the picture. Living in a small town where the rate of college attendance is less than impressive I feel the need to encourage from the start! By the way - He really does like school - he just likes to say he doesn't!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Real Brothers


I just thought I would post a little spontaneous moment the kids had the other day. We had just finished feeding the ducks and Wesley and Benjamin were walking home, they had been catching butterflies - they were having a conversation about something, holding hands - I thought it was sweet. I am sure it won't last for long as they both get older and learn to fight more - but for now they get along really well. It is so fun to see the kids learning to like each other! Now if only I could convince Benjamin and Claire that they are friends (and not archenemies) things would be perfect.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

New Walls





Just a little house update tonight. We have some basement walls - The radiant heat was put done prior to pouring the cement. Today the floor joists for the main floor were put into place. We spent 2 hours meeting with the cabinet guy - I hate decorating decisions - It is just not my thing - so this was painful - I don't have much to say right now - since I have a huge load of dishes to get loaded and a bunch of clothes to fold - Sounds fun!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

He Asked for Milk!!!!!


Benjamin was eating lunch today and he asked for milk - It is amazing. I have been trying to force him to like milk for 3 months now and he finally asked for it. A normal beverage conversation would be - Benjamin, Do you want some milk? He says, No, water or kurlur (Coke in Chinese). Then I give him milk anyway - which we make him drink before he is allowed to leave the table. Today he actually wanted milk and drank it without being threatened with the loss of something fun. I am a big proponent of milk as a good source of calcium and protein for my kids - and Benjamin really needs to grow - If he going to be really short when he grows up it will not be my fault for not feeding him properly - then I can just blame it on genetics and be content. I think we are really making some progress around here!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

It Was Nearly a Clean Sweep


My kids had Vacation Bible School last week. The theme was "Power" - (i.e. Jesus has Power). Each day they came they got to enter their name in a drawing for a prize. At the end of VBS they have a program where they sing the songs they learned, eat cookies, and draw for the prizes. In the preschool group - they drew the name and Claire won - a new tricycle. In the kindergarten group - they drew the name and Benjamin won - a new scooter. In the 1-2 grade group they drew the name and Emily won (Jessie's friend who came with her twice during then week). Since Emily was not there - they drew another name and Jessie won - a new MP3 player. I am sad to say that Wesley - shockingly - didn't win the 3-4 grade prize - I don't know what happened there. Anyhoo - I wanted to crawl under the pew - I don't know how they all won - But they got really good prizes - they were overjoyed and I felt like a cheater - there were between 60 - 75 kids at VBS the previous 4 nights - I don't know how it worked out that way - I thought about going and playing the lottery - but I figured I better not press my luck! Next year though - were going for the clean sweep.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

What's Missing?



Jessie lost her first tooth this week. She lost it with a little gentle persuasion from a friend. She then proudly brought it home wrapped in toilet paper. She showed it to her grandma, who was visiting. She then lost it, again. Thus the picture - One is a picture of depressed Jessie - who can't find her tooth and the second is of happy Jessie whose daddy found her tooth on the carpet under her bed. See if you can guess which is which. She was very excited about the tooth fairy - however, as often happens in our home - morning came - but the tooth fairy did not (bad tooth fairy!). I told Jessie that sometimes the tooth fairy comes when she is in the shower - she quickly got in the shower and what do you know - the tooth fairly brought $3.00 while she was gone. Things like that happen at our house - I don't like to get to worked up over special events, birthdays, or holidays - unfortunately that means sometimes I forget. Oops!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Is the Bumblebee Still There?

Jessie and Claire are preparing a picnic on the driveway -
Claire comes inside. Jessie is in the kitchen making popcorn and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Apparently a bee had been visiting there picnic.
Jessie "Is the bumblebee still there?"
Claire "Yes"
Jessie "Just go back outside and make funny faces at it."
Claire "OK"

Claire then went back outside to guard the beachtowel that their picnic was on. Why won't she do things that I ask her so easily?

Minor Progress




We are now a couple months into our home building adventure and I must say it is much cheaper than I expected - perhaps that is because nothing has happened. I have purchased several thousand dollars worth of styrofoam. I would suggest styrofoam manufacturing to anyone looking for a good business - That stuff is expensive! These are the structure for the insulated concrete form foundation/home. When finished this house should be very cool in the summer and warm in the winter. It should also be fairly tornado proof. The rainy season here has lasted much longer than anticipated so they have not been able to pour any concrete - as far as I am concerned this is only delaying my ability to dig holes and plant stuff (I don't like decorating - just landscaping) - that is what I am really waiting for - Today I have also added a couple of Silver Dollar City photos - the kids had a great time there - Benjamin loved his first roller coaster ride. Unfortunately he couldn't ride several things because he is so short - so he has come home and been drinking more milk in an attempt to grow. I think it is working! He is an inch taller than when we measured him in May - so he grew and inch in the first 8 weeks in the US - yeah for protein!!
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