Thursday, April 30, 2009

Conversations with My Girls

Last night as I was brushing Jonalyn's teeth, we had the following conversation.
J: Bug in cup. (Preposition - hooray!)
L: (looking in cup) No, there's no bug in your cup.
J: NO! Bug in cup.
L: That's a fuzzy. Mommy will take it out.
J: NO! Bug in cup.

Just as I was typing this.
J: Where eggs? (her big thing since Easter!)
L: I don't know.
J: 'Lyssa say hot eggs.
L: You're going to have hot eggs?
J: I don't know. 'Lyssa put the eggs. I put eggs down.

I don't know what that meant, but that was our conversation.

Alyssa said this to me yesterday. She has been invited to a birthday party and told to bring a fishing pole. FYI, she hates to eat fish. It took her almost an hour last night to finish a small piece for dinner. (Cold fish - GROSS!) Note: Read with a whiny voice.
A: Mooooom, I just know we're going to catch fish at the party and they're going to make me eat them for dinner. I just KNOW it.

Ah, never a dull moment!!

Monday, April 27, 2009

A Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY April 27, 2009
Outside my window...A few flowers on my star magnolia have opened. My late daffodils and early tulips are about to bloom. Any day now the leaves will be out on the trees. On Friday, it was in the 80's. Spring might just be here!
I am thinking...about how I can't wait to be done with school so I can concentrate on my writing and find some time to work in my yard.
I am thankful for...Jonalyn's attachment. Last night she bumped her head on the corner of the wall. Nothing major, but she looked stunned. I tried to comfort her, but with my bad back, I can't pick her up. Doug did and she clung to him and cried and cried. Those outside of adoption circles might think we're crazy rejoicing over our daughter's tears. But she finally feels at ease enough with us to let us comfort her and to show us her tears.
From the learning rooms...Alyssa will finish science today. She's nearly done with math and literature as well. Next week she'll have her Bible exam and her last spelling lesson. Brian begins a study of World War I today. He'll have his Bible final exam later this week and a unit test in pre-algebra.
From the kitchen...Yesterday we had lemon meringue pie for dessert. A dear family friend(almost like a 2nd mother) came. She's a widow and comes quite often for Sunday dinner. The other week she mentioned a craving for lemon pie, so I was happy to oblige. I gave her the last piece to take home and she commented in church last night how she was looking forward to having it for a snack.
I am wearing...A ribbed turtleneck under a sweatshirt. And my fuzzy blue slippers. I'm dreading going to the cold basement.
I am creating...well, helping Alyssa create some scrapbook pages for Doug's Father's Day scrapbook.
I am going...to piano and to scrapbook. Not very exciting day, I'm afraid.
I am reading...nothing right now. I'm going to order some books to take with me on vacation later in May. That's about the only time I get to read!
I am hoping...that we have a good last couple of weeks in school.
I am praying...for a private request right now.
Around the house...it's quiet as Alyssa settles down to study her memory verse and Brian goes to brush his teeth. I think the dog went back to bed! Lucky dog :)
I am hearing...Brian crunching the packaging from the Ramen noodles. He loves to have them for breakfast. We had them for breakfast in Vietnam. They can taste good first thing in the morning. And I figure they must be better than sugary cereal.
One of my favorite things...My porch swing. What a wonderful place to relax and unwind and generally loaf!
A few plans for the rest of the week: Scrapbook tonight. Dog training graduation tomorrow night. I don't think Kylie will graduate with honors, but she should graduate. Maybe going out to dinner with my girls this weekend and perhaps a scrapbook marathon to finish up Doug's book.
Here is picture thought I am sharing...

Imagine me sitting here with a good novel and a glass of iced tea. A small piece of heaven on earth!

To read other daybooks, go to the Simple Woman's Daybook.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Foto Friday - Book Cover


Here it is! How cool is that. I know my name isn't on the front cover (yet) but to know that two of my stories will be in a book on store and library shelves for people to pick up and read is a dream come true.

Monday, April 20, 2009

A Simple Woman's Daybook


FOR TODAY April 20, 2009

Outside my window...the grass is green! My star magnolia is about to bloom! The leaf buds on the trees are full! That's the good news. The bad news is that our 70 degree weather of the weekend is gone and we are back to rain and winter coats. But I have the hope that spring isn't far away.

I am thinking...about what a nice day it was on Saturday. We ran some errands, but when we got home we ate lunch on our front porch will sitting in our new Adirondack chairs. Then I took a walk and worked outside for a while. The sun sure did my bones some good.

I am thankful for...my beautiful house. I try not to get too attached to things, but I do love my house. It's not huge or fancy, but it's homey. Five years ago we put on a sunroom. It's so nice to sit out there this time of the year and in the summer when the bugs are bad. Two years ago we put on a front porch. It's something I always wanted. Love it. We did some entertaining there last summer. It's a great place to relax.

From the learning rooms...Alyssa is studying the Pauline epistles in Bible while Brian is finishing the Old Testament. Brian is studying light in science and Alyssa is learning about the solar system. Brian is reading "Red Badge of Courage" while Alyssa is working on "Mr. Popper's Penguins". The days are ticking down.

From the kitchen...Probably left-over ham. With the warmer weather on Saturday, we had a "summer" meal - chicken potato salad and homemade breadsticks.

I am wearing...same old, same old. Hey, it's still cold in our basement classroom.

I am creating...almost done with my afghan. Alyssa and I will have a big scrapbook weekend coming up to get Doug's scrapbook pages done for Father's Day. He's already told us which pages he wants this year.

I am going...nowhere today! Piano is pushed back until tomorrow. With the rain, I can't even walk outside, so it will be the treadmill for me today.

I am reading..."Red Badge of Courage" so I can teach it to Brian. I read it in college, but don't remember much anymore!

I am hoping...to get in some good, quality editing time today. I'd like to keep moving ahead in my novel. I also have to work at getting some book signings set up.

I am hearing...Brian and Alyssa arguing. The sound of the heater. Brian stomping upstairs.

Around the house...just a few things that need to be tidied. Otherwise, I'm in good shape (for a few days, anyway!)

One of my favorite things...warm spring days. I hope they come back soon!

A few plans for the rest of the week: My mom is coming to help me spring clean my kitchen tomorrow, plus I have dog training tomorrow night. On Thursday we meet with the OT to set up summer therapy for Jonalyn.

Here is picture thought I am sharing...Doug was playing around with his new camera. Kind of makes you dizzy, doesn't it?!
To read other daybooks, go to the Simple Woman's Daybook.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Miss USA?

Jonalyn and I were home from church tonight. While channel surfing, we landed on the Miss USA pagent. Jonalyn loved it. She watched the girls high-stepping across the stage and spinning around and then she had to copy them. It was too funny! I have to get better at grabbing the camcorder and taping some of these priceless moments. She has the poses down to a T. Maybe that's her calling :)

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Foto Friday - Easter

Here are some pictures from Easter. Better late than never!











Book Release

I am pleased to announce that Cup of Comfort for Adoptive Families is scheduled to be released on June 9, 2009. It includes two short stories by me! They are "The Love of a Mother" and "As American As They Come". I'm so excited. I got my paycheck in the mail last week - my first real money from writing. It wasn't much, but I'm not complaining. It's so cool to finally be a published author. Now I need to get busy setting up book signings. How neat is that?! I'll be sure to let you all know where and when. And when I get more information about where you can get a copy of the book, I'll let you know. I'm going to try to get an advanced copy of the book cover and I'll post that here, too. So keep watching for updates in the next few weeks as we get closer to release. And praise the Lord with me for blessing my writing.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Happy Gottcha Day!

Today is Alyssa's gottcha day. I can't believe that she came to us nine years ago. We met her at the Detroit airport. We'd spent the night in western Michigan - just too far for us to get to Detroit in one day. We got a late start, but arrived at the airport in plenty of time. Met the rest of our group. In those days, we were allowed to go up to the gate to watch the plane land. As I watched it taxi to the gate, I could hardly believe my daughter was on there. We had to leave before they deplaned and wait outside of immigration & customs. It seemed like forever until our group of babies came through the door. We recognized her immediately - the one with all the hair sticking straight up! She was beautiful. She didn't make much of a fuss when they handed her to us. She didn't have much response at all. Poor thing, it was the middle of the night for her! We had some difficulty communicating with her escort - he only spoke Korean, but then his daughter came and helped us out. I'm sorry I never got his name. We took some pictures and completed some paperwork, then we were off. She was dressed in a pair of long-sleeved pajamas under sweatpants, a long-sleeved shirt and a sweatshirt. It was one of those beautiful April days in the 70's and she was sweating. While Doug got the car, I changed her. Then she started to howl. I had a difficult time calming her, but we eventually got her into her car seat and she fell asleep. About an hour from Detroit she woke up screaming. I can only imagine how upsetting everything was - a car seat, new people, new smells, etc. We had to pull over and pick her up before she settled down. We decided to spend a few quiet days in a hotel getting to know her before we headed home to her adoring public. That first night she didn't sleep well. It was the middle of the day and she wanted to play! She didn't cry, but she didn't sleep, either, and neither did I. She bonded right away with Doug and Brian, but didn't want anything to do with me. Her foster mother had been her sole caretaker, and I was trying to take her place. This very, very ticklish girl would laugh at Doug and Brian when they played with her. I would tickle her and she wouln't crack a smile. It took a few weeks. I remember crying with joy when she first smiled at me. I'm happy to report that nine years later she is well adjusted, bright, intelligent and the light of our lives. Thank you, Lord, for this special gift to us.

Our first glimpse of her.

Alyssa with her daddy and her brother - minutes after meeting them.

Monday, April 13, 2009

A Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY April 13, 2009
Outside my window...this weekend was beautiful looking with blue skies, but the wind was very chilly. Today, it is cloudy again, with some rain, sleet or (gulp) snow possible. Yuck, yuck, yuck.
I am thinking...
I am thankful for...a nice, hot cup of Earl Grey tea. Good, quality tea. Sounds wonderful about now.
From the learning rooms...no spring break for us. Just four weeks of school left for Alyssa, a few more for Brian. We like to just push through and get finished early. That's the kind of person I am. I have a hard time leaving projects unfinished.
From the kitchen...We don't need anything big or filling. My mom and Alyssa made hot cross buns on Friday. Yesterday we feasted on ham, homemade applesauce (can't eat the stuff from a jar), homemade dinner rolls, carrots, peas, mashed potatoes and a terrific lemon cheesecake that was my mother-in-law's recipe. It's very light (not calorie or fat-wise, but in a not-filling kind of way) and super yummy. Since she's not here to make it anymore, we have it every Easter.
I am wearing...well, you should have seen me yesterday. Off white skirt, blue silk blouse, off white sandals. Last night I wore a new outfit to church - dark brown pants with a dark brown and bright blue blouse. Today, well, you don't want to know.
I am creating...only got one scrapbook page done for Alyssa's gottcha day. I'd like to get at least one more finished, but I doubt that will happen.
I am going...to piano and the library. Nothing interesting. (Yep, same as last week. Didn't even have to retype that!)
I am reading...lots of other daybooks. It's my guilt pleasure on Mondays.
I am hoping...to be able to squeeze in a walk today. With the business of the holiday, I haven't walked since Thursday. Need to get out there. Easter wasn't kind to my waistline.
I am hearing...the hum of the computer and nothing else. I hope this means that the kids have settled down to their work.
Around the house...there is Easter grass everywhere from the Easter baskets. How does that stuff manage to fly out of the baskets? I'll be finding it in the oddest places for weeks.
One of my favorite things...peace and quiet. It doesn't happen often, but I love it when it does.
A few plans for the rest of the week: nothing out of the ordinary. School, housecleaning, dog training, Brian gets his retainers, work on Friday, piano lessons. After this week, things will get busier well into the summer, so I guess we should enjoy it.
Here is picture thought I am sharing...Brian turkey hunting on Saturday. He didn't get one, though he saw one. It was flying, so he didn't take a shot. Better luck in two weeks!
To read other daybooks, go to the Simple Woman's Daybook.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Coloring Easter Eggs

Here are the girls coloring Easter eggs. Jonalyn really enjoyed it and did a good job. Will have more pictures of everyone dressed up later in the week. Hope you all had a blessed Easter.






Monday, April 6, 2009

A Simple Woman's Daybook


FOR TODAY April 6, 2009
Outside my window...The sky is covered with clouds. The ground is still bare and brown. If you look really, really, really hard, you can see a few sprouts of green grass poking through. I noticed some buds on the trees while I walked this weekend.

I am thinking...that I'm going to try to be more organized and efficient this week.

I am thankful for...my new followers. Welcome to you all. May you be blessed by your time here. And a shout out to my private followers. I know of at least one. Hi there!

From the learning rooms...Brian has testing at school this week. Otherwise, we continue to surge forward, heading toward the end of the year. Just a few weeks left!

From the kitchen...This is always the question that gets me. I never think very far ahead when it comes to meals. I think tonight will be pork chops in some kind of incarnation.

I am wearing...same old, same old. Hey, you can't blame a girl for wanting to be comfortable.

I am creating...still working on that water park scrapbook page and the afghan. I'll finish them. I promise. Alyssa wants a couple of pages for her baby book for her "gottcha day" next week. I'll be busy this weekend.

I am going...to piano and the library. Nothing interesting.

I am reading...the novel I wrote last summer. It's time for heavy duty edits. I should get it off to my agent in the next couple of months so I can start on the next one.
I am hoping...to have a productive week.

I am hearing...Jonalyn playing with her blocks, the dishwasher emptying, the radio tuned to the news.

Around the house...Brian is still eating breakfast. Alyssa is making her bed. Time to get everyone ready for school.

A few plans for the rest of the week: With Easter on Sunday, I need to get the house clean. (My parents will be here for the holiday). I need to get a few things for the kids' Easter baskets. We don't make a big deal out of the secular part of the holiday, but candy and Easter egg hunting are fun! The girls & I will color eggs and I need to make muffins for the Easter breakfast at church. On Saturday night we will have kielbasa, fresh homemade bread and Easter eggs. This is a tradition in our family. My mother grew up in an Easter European neighborhood. The women would make this meal the night before Easter and bring it to the Russian Orthodox priest to bless. We don't bring it to the priest, but it is now a tradition in our home.

Here is picture thought I am sharing...

Easter last year at Great-grandma's house.

To read other daybooks, go to the Simple Woman's Daybook.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Foto Friday - Brian's Braces

Brian before braces:

Brian with braces:
No pictures yet of him without braces. It's hard to get a picture of him these days. I'll work on it. By the way, he looks great!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Update on the Kiddos

I'm waaay behind on my posts, but my class is finished and I'm recovering from my cold, so now I'm playing catch up. Jonalyn had her appointment with the CP doctor least week. Let's just say she passed with flying colors!! They wanted to see her walk. She ran, galloped, jumped, kicked. They were so impressed. Bottom line - her intoeing isn't a major problem and isn't related to the CP. In all likelihood, she will outgrow it. Woo hoo! And they agree that she doesn't need physical therapy for now. She is caught up with her peers. They suggested we use our insurance for private therapy this summer to work on things the school doesn't concentrate on. So that's something else I'll need to get done.

While we were in the waiting room, I got an Altoid from my purse. She saw me and asked, "May I have, please?" It wasn't very clear, but I'm pretty sure that's what she asked. Yeah!! Very, very, very slowly she is speaking using more real words and less babble.

Brian spent one morning last week at his school for the fall. He was so nervous going in, but by the time I picked him up, he wanted to stay for the rest of the day. He goes back next Wednesday for testing, to find out if there is anything we need to work on during the summer. He told us that in math, grammar and writing they are doing things he's already done, so that was great news!! I'm so thankful they let him come for that time. Imagine if he hadn't, he would have been nervous all summer long. He's even talking about going out for soccer next fall. I think that would be great for him. Today he gets his braces off. He took great care of his teeth while he had them on and listened to the orthodondist. I'm proud of him because he is getting them off several months ahead of schedule. I think I'll save my pictures of him for Foto Friday.

Thank you all for your prayers for our family. We can feel them. Keep them up!