Saturday, January 19, 2013

Where Have I Been

How does so much time pass and I don't even realize it's been so long since I updated my blog?  I don't make New Year's resolutions, but my goal is to be better, to document the year better by writing here.  I guess I can try and catch up month by month since I last posted.  In April we celebrated Easter, I don't think I took any photos.  May brought us Memorial Day and the official start of the summer season for us.  The pool was opened and the waterfall turned back on.  In June we have three birthdays to celebrate, Kyle turned 19, Tyler turned 9 and Chris turned 21.  We also added a new family member in June.  Max arrived from Minnesota and honestly, it was a moment of asking myself "what in the world was I thinking???"  But, within a week things were better and now that he is 9 months old, we are happy he is here.  In July my friend and I made our annual trip to Maine with the kiddies, it was a relaxing, lovely time, until the night before we to leave to come home.  We knew bad weather was expected at home, with tornado watches being posted earlier in the day, and then late in the afternoon we started getting messages that a tornado had indeed hit and things were bad.  We packed up and left early the next morning to get home.  It was unbelievable the amount of damage that had been done.  Thankfully our homes were spared any damage, and the damage that was done in the yard was nothing to worry about, especially considering what some people had to go through at this time, and also less than a year before that, the flood that changed the lives of so many people in our area.  The rest of summer went by, Chris and Kyle started their fourth and second years of college and the littles went back to school. For the first time in many, many years Halloween was spent staying home, watching a movie with the kids, and having a pizza party.  No going out door to door, I was thrilled!  I have always loved taking the kids out to trick or treat, but I am over it and just didn't want to do it again, and thankfully the kids agreed.  Then came Thanksgiving, which I love very much.  Family time spent at home, the beginning of the Christmas season.   Durin the month of December we finally, after six years, were able to get the carpet put in the entire basement.  What a difference that made, and the bathroom has new flooring too. It was  huge job to move everything from room to room, since there are three bedrooms, a playroom and a family room.  There is also a combination bathroom/laundry room that was done, but not such a big deal to move out one washer and dryer!  But, it looks and feels so great, so cozy, we are so thankful to have this done finally.  Christmas was quiet, we enjoyed some time off from work and school and I tried to keep it simple and relaxed, giving us time to remember WHY we celebrate Christmas.  The new year was quietly ushered in, and the second week of January Tom and I went on a vacation to Florida together, we flew there, rented a car, and did absolutely nothing.  It was so nice, but we missed the kids.  We had not had a vacation alone since 2003, and I can tell you we won't have another one until they are all in college.
The kids are all doing really well.  Richie is happy happy happy, loving his life.  The same is true for Ashley.  I'm so happy for them and proud of them.  Chris is excited to be finishing up his four years at Elmira College.  He is looking forward to his upcoming third term trip to Brazil, then on to graduate school.  Kyle has decided to stay in college another two years, adding a degree in golf course management to his landscape design degree.  Meisi loves school, as always she does so well.  She has joined the band and does very well with the clarinet.  Ethan is doing better than ever in school, it has been a long, tough road for him, but little by little he makes progress.  He also started playing an instrument this year, but his band teacher agreed with us that he really wasn't that interested, so no more trumpet at this point in his life.  Mia is loving her teacher, and she has a new found interest in Science!  To say she is a smart girl is an understatement.  And Tyler, he is still my little lovebug.  He loves school and always always does his best.  He does well and as long as he is doing his best, we can't ask for more.  Last month he had ANOTHER set of tubes put in his ears!  They are trying a new type, so we are hopeful that they will last more than a few months.  The grandkids are all doing really well, but we are missing Tate and Jordon now that they are living away from us, hopefully they can spend some time with their dad this summer at his house so we can catch up with them.
As I sit here typing this blog entry, Tom is working hard on getting our kitchen, dining room and living room ready for new paint. We spent last week removing the last of the wallpaper in our house, we are excited to see it completely finished. 
I guess that is all for now, except to add a few photos!

The kids in Maine in July                       The courtyard of the hotel we stayed in last month reminded me of China!

Birds in the trees outside the rental home we stayin in last month, it was so peaceful!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Catching Up....

No post since January! Hard to believe. I have started blog posts since then, but I don't get them finished, put them in the drafts and then forget that they are there. We've had a busy time since January, but nothing drastic has been going on. Ethan celebrated his tenth birthday in January, we had a quiet time at home for that. Ethan has been doing very well at school this year, we see such progress all the time, I know that he will catch up and be right on track very soon. He still needs a little more work on putting those small words in his sentences, but overall, he is doing quite well. Tyler had another set of tubes put in his ears in February, hopefully his body will not reject them so quickly this time, this was his fourth set! Earlier this month we left for a vacation to Florida with a stop in South Carolina to visit family. We had such a wonderful time on vacation, the kids did school work to try and keep up, and that went well, for the most part. There was an issue with one of the teachers thinking that we are just awful for taking our kids out of school for a family vacation, and the day after we returned he called me and really blasted me, but others at the school are very supportive and after speaking with them, I let it go and just hope to get through this year and no longer deal with that particular teacher. The thing I love about our vacations so much time we can spend together as a family. The other thing is the opportunity for our kids to make memories that will last them a lifetime. They get to meet other children and play with them, and I can see them taking about it for years to come, remembering with each other the times they met new friends.
The other adoptive mom I connected with was this past week at a conference that I needed to go out of town for. This particular mom worked for the same company I do quite a few years ago, but due to having a baby, she resigned to stay home with her new child. Two years ago she and her husband adopted a little girl from China, so it was really niced to share stories with her about our experiences.
All of our older kids are doing really well. Kyle and Chris both have jobs for summer now, Kyle's is at a local landscaping company, so it serves as his required internship and a way to earn money. Chris is also doing the remainder of his internship hours at an agency that deals with drug and alcohol addiction, and he will work for the Building and Grounds dept. at Elmira College. Hard to believe that they will both graduate from college in approximately one year! Chris plans to continue on to earn his Master's Degree, and I'm sure that Kyle's plan is to be happy with a two year degree and get started on his work in landscaping and landscape design.
Happy Summer!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Welcome 2012!!!

Facelift, anyone????

Lucy, she's a beauty

The whole gang

Mia, playing Mary

Tyler, our little shephard

Ethan, our other shephard

Meisi, she played and angel, and she is one too!

Our Christmas tree.

A good blogger, I am not. Life just goes by and before I know it, it's been two months since my last post. Let's see, November was a nice month with Thanksgiving, both Chris and Kyle were home from college. Richie and Sandy came for dinner, but Ashley and Roberta went to her parent's house for dinner. December came and the kids started practicing for the Christmas Pageant at church. Mia played the part of Mary, she had the entire program memorized by the second Sunday school class, she never ceases to amaze us. Meisi played the Angel, and Ethan and Tyler were shephards. They had two performances, they all did so well, we were so proud! All the kids in the program did very well! Christmas Day came, it was a very peaceful time. The little ones were all very excited about Christmas, but prior to the holiday season we had talked to them about the Christmas gifts being much less this year (we've not gone overboard in previous years, but they needed even less this year). They were all fine with that, part of their Christmas is that we are going to help a child go to summer camp this summer where Meisi goes, with so many families suffering from loss due to the September flood, the ranch really needs help with scholarship money. Chris and Kyle both came home for the holiday season on December 16th, Chris went back to college today, and Kyle will go back on the 22nd. Big difference between Elmira College and a SUNY school in schedules. They both did very well their first semester, Chris had a 4.0 gpa, and while Kyle's is not that high, he still did well. The little ones have all been sick here and there, first Tyler, then the girls, and now Ethan is sick. Hopefully the antibiotic will kick in soon so he'll feel better.
We're looking forward to Chinese New Year at the end of the month, then our annual vacation in Florida in March. The weather has been so strange, quite warm, so maybe it will be a mild winter and we won't be that anxious for March to get here.
Hope all is well with everyone, Happy New Year!

Saturday, November 5, 2011


Wow, what a difference a little time will make! I cannot believe the progress Ethan has made in a few weeks, his reading has improved so much, and just today he did an entire four page assignment with very little help! He seems to be remembering better, once something has been explained to him. For example, one spelling word is gentle, I explained to him yesterday that it meant soft, while rubbing his head to show him gentle. Today he had to do the opposite of words. The word was "rough", he knew that the opposite was soft, which meant the spelling word he was looking for was gentle. That is huge progress. And he asked if he could read his Reading book this weekend! I also see progress in his relationship with Mia, and over all behavior. It has been, at times, a long up hill battle, but I feel like we are ready to reach the top!!! And I have to say that it makes for a very deep love and affection for him, to know how hard we have all worked (it takes a village!) to get to this point, two years after bringing Ethan home to his new family.
Halloween was fun, the kids had a great time, but I am happy to be in the Thanksgiving/Christmas season! Chris and Kyle will be home for Thanksgiving, Ashley and Richie are very happy in their homes with their families, I sleep well at night knowing that all is well with all the kids. It seems my entire peace depends on how our kids are doing, when one has troubles, it upsets me, no matter how old they are! And I suppose this is the way all moms feel, maybe dads too. I know that God is watching over all of them.
Meisi and I are watching the Waltons on this peaceful Saturday, all is well :-).
I'm reading a very good book, Kisses from Katie, even though I have cried through most of it so far. It really makes me think that I need to do more to help children that have nothing and nobody on this earth to take care of them, it is heartbreaking. I don't know why some of us have so much, and others in this world have nothing to eat for weeks, not a piece of clothing to wear, and not a roof over their heads, children living in the streets, it's so hard to understand. If I could snap my fingers and give at least one of those children a home and family, I would, but it's just not that easy. But, the thought is in my head and heart, and I just can't help that. I can only pray that it becomes clear to me what I am supposed to do with this information, and these feelings. I have seen prayers answered this week, moms making it home safely from the hospital with their child, a trip that takes an enormous amount of strength to make. A mom making it home safely from Unganda with a baby girl that was in desperate need of a family to care for her, and the promise of another girl that will soon have that same family to care for her.
Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


A teacher I am NOT!! For the love of all that is Holy, I may very well be BALD by the time the school year is over! And it's only just begun, Lord please help me! Mia and problem! Meisi and problem! Tyler and homework, not much of a problem! Ethan and homework.....PROBLEM!!! In the two years he has been here, he has learned in leaps and bounds, BUT, as he goes into higher grades, the work gets so much tougher, and he is not retaining information. He can read a story, and not have a clue about what he just read. He can't understand written directions, he guesses when he really doesn't need to, and he is NOT a good guesser! It is frustrating, but, lucky for me, I forget the frustration about 15 minutes after the work is done, which it takes us about 3 to 4 hours to get his homework done. I have talked to his teacher through a few emails and notes on his agenda, but the communication is not great. On a positive note, his teachers at homework club are wonderful and help a great deal, and are encouraging to me, so we'll get through it, and I'm very sure he will be fine, and do fine, in the long run. I am hearing that he needs to take tests that all third grade students take without any help. Hhhmmm, not so sure that a child that falls under the special education services category is held to the same standards as all other children in third grade that have been in school in the United States since pre K or Kindergarten, but what do I know, I'm just a parent. But, I am a parent that loves this child to pieces, no matter that I have to read the same thing to him twenty times, no matter that we spend hours upon hours doing homework every weeknight and we did homework ALL DAY SATURDAY this past weekend, no lie, from 8:30 to 4:30, we did Ethan's homework. I'll give it a few more weeks, and if things are still the same, then the principle and I will be having a little chat, and I expect things would change, because she is a no-nonsense, do what it takes kind of school administrator, and I have faith!
Thank you for *listening* to my rant.....I feel much better now :-).

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


Lucy's little brother...sort of......
From time to time there is conversation about having another little girl in our family. We all know that I, Mommy, is the one that would bring another little girl home if I could, and we all know that Daddy thinks two little girls in our family is just perfect, no need to add to that.
And lately we found out that our furry girl Lucy has a little brother that was born about 7 weeks ago, not a puppy from the same litter as Lucy, but the litter before her, one of those puppies is now a mommy! And I have pictures of this cute puppy and think maybe Lucy would like a playmate! But there is a certain person in our house that thinks having Lucy is just perfect, no need to add to that.
So, this morning the conversation of the puppy came up at breakfast, and Mia said to her dad, "We can't have another little child in our family, and we can't have a puppy either." Now, we all know that having a child is a huge decision, and certainly not the same as adding a puppy to the family, getting a puppy is not such a huge decision, but a commitment none the less. So, her dad said to her "Mia, when you are grown up and have your own house, you can have as many children and as many puppies as you want." To which Mia quickly replied, without skipping a beat "Mommy is a grown up and SHE can't have as many children or puppies as she wants." OH MY GOODNESS!!! My husband had better hope that nothing happens to me, because at 8 years old, this child is already one step ahead of us, what will it be like when she is 14 or 16??? We will have our hands full, and he alone would be no match for this baby girl!!! Despite the fact that he has set some boundaries for our family, he is still a softie and when it comes to his kids, his girls especially, he will not stand a chance!!
And that's how it is today at our house today :-). Hope you all are enjoying this "lovely" fall weather.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Summer 2011

Has drawn to an end. We were extremely busy this summer. The kids and I went to Maine for a week, which was so much fun. We were very lucky to have our friend, Miss Dale, along with us for the trip. We rented a lovely little house in Camden, we loved the house and the town as well. It was so nice to be able to walk down to the harbor, shop in all the little shops, and sit in the yard and relax. The house was an old house that reminded me of my Grandmother's house, it was so nice and neat and furnished so comfortably. August came and flew by, it was soon time for Kyle to leave for college, it's hard to believe that we have two boys in college, both doing SO WELL!!! Kyle loves college and all his classes, well, maybe not math and english, but all the other classes he really likes a lot. He has made a lot of new friends and seems to be having fun, but not TOO much fun ;-). Chris had a great summer, doing his internship at Trinity, working on campus and staying on campus for the entire summer. My mom and I went on our little adventure, taking a little cruise to the Bahamas, of course, we had our little friend Irene to contend with, but she didn't bother us too much. We had a small change in our itinerary, but not enough to make much of a difference. We have lots of other stuff going on with work and rentals and all that boring stuff, so that has kept us really busy as well. It seems different with Kyle gone now, but we welcome the change that means our boys are on their way to making their own life doing the things they want to do.
I wrote the above part of this post more than a week ago, I cannot even find time to finish a blog post!!! School started one week ago from today, the kids went the first day, then they did not have school for the last two days of the week due to the flooding in our area. Our hearts go out to the many people in our area that lost their homes, or their homes are ruined by mud, their possessions are either gone or ruined, it is so sad. It makes our troubles seem small, but sometimes it's hard to remember how blessed we really are.
Ethan has been home with us for more than two years now, that's so hard to believe. He is a happy, talkative, funny little boy that can drive us all a little crazy from time to time. He has been, by far, the most challenging of the four little ones, but when we see progress, it is so rewarding. And we do see progress. Some days his schoolwork is frustrating for him, but he's very bright and I know he will keep catching up and will exceed in leaps and bounds. So far, everyone else seems to be having an easy year, however, they've only been in school for a few weeks, so maybe I'm living in fantasy land :-).
I read the blogs of many adoptive families. I see them post about the celebration of "gotcha" days, which is what we call the day we met our child in China. I am just terrible at that stuff. I always remember the day, and I celebrate it in my mind, but we live life daily, with our routine as a family. Maybe next year at the first of the year I will mark each gotcha day on the calendar and have a little celebration, or maybe not...some times I feel fortunate that I can pull off a small birthday celebration for each child!!! I hope that my children know that I love them endlessly. I talk often about our time with each of them in China, so hopefully they won't some day wonder why we didn't make a bigger deal out of each significant date that made us a family.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

One Month

Has it really been one whole month since I last posted??? Summer has been going by quickly, it's been hot, but once it stopped raining, it seemed like we were in the full swing of summer. Meisi is at camp this week, she absolutely loves it, especially the horseback riding part of it all. We miss her so much, but Friday is only two days away, and she'll be back home. The week after next the kids and I, along with my VGF, are heading to Maine for our 2nd annual Thelma and Louise Maine vacation. It's such a fun time, one whole week with the kids, and we get to catch up and relax and read and relax and drink Starbucks Frappies! Going backward to June, it was a very busy month. After Tyler's birthday, we had Father's Day, and Kyle's graduation, and the day after that it was time to celebrate Chris' birthday! We're looking forward to the rest of the summer, hopefully it will not go by so quickly that we feel like we mised it! At the end of August we have Chris starting his junior year of college. He has been on campus this summer doing his internship, working, and taking two classes. Kyle will be heading to college at the end of August, and my mom and I are going on a little cruise, which I am so excited about! Can't wait for that! Hope everyone is having a great summer!

Our lovely Meisi girl, she is growing up before our very eyes.

Oh the joy of giving Father's Day gifts made with loving little hands!

No words needed... Ethan is almost always happy (see photo below)

Mia at Kyle's Senior Banquet Kyle, the graduate :-)

Meisi and Grammie B. The cake for the senior banquet, made by the best baker in town, Kyle's Grammie K!

We are SO PROUD of Kyle!!!

Graduation!!! Kyle's cake

Mia's book she chose from the library

Remember how I said Ethan is almost always happy?? Well, this is when he is not happy, when he is made to sit close to or give a hug to his sister, Mia. We are not sure how to change this situation, or if we should even try. For some reason, and I have my theory about this, he is not so fond of Mia. He says he likes and loves her, but actions speak louder than words, so we have our doubts. Jealousy???? Maybe...The fact that Mia will speak loud and clear if Ethan is doing something she thinks he shouldn't be doing could have something to do with it. I'm sure when they are grown this will be changed, at least I hope so. I have a few things that I'm going to try to see if I can promote a little more closeness for them, I hope it works.

Nice big smiles, but notice the hand on the right, no way will be put his hand on her shoulder....

Monday, June 13, 2011

Tyler is 8 today!!!

The card Tyler made for Daddy, hoping he feels better soon, because, after all, his birthday is soon!

I know Meisi's head is not in the picture, but loved this anyways.

My four littles, LOVE THEM!!! Why is there space on the left of them????? I ask you!!!!!

Mia loves her brother, they are very close.

And Ethan loves his sister, and she loves him too.

Have you ever seen two more beautiful smiles???

Meisi Faith.

The Birthday Boy.

Oh my. And that's all I've got to say about that.

Another Oh My.

This is perhaps, the happies little boy on earth when it's his birthday. He's my little sweetie boy.

Mia Linay.

Grandson Tate.

Grandson Jordon.

Happy Birthday to our sweet boy! Yesterday we had lunch at home, he got to choose anything he wanted to have us make to honor his birthday. This boy LOVES his food, more than any child I've ever known. His request was...steamed clams, salt potatos, and spinach. So, that is just what we had, along with pasta salad, baked beans and chicken for the non-clam eaters. All of our kids like clams, all eight of them! The weather was rainy in the morning, but turned out nice later so we could be outside and the kids were swimming most of the day. After showers and jammies were on we did the other thing that was Tyler's request..a pinata. That was a first, and it was so fun to watch all four of them get blindfolded and one by one try to bust open the pinata. It was a lovely day. Today is Tyler's actual birthday, so we'll have cake and ice cream and give him a few gifts, he is one that will enjoy this prolonged celebration! I'm putting pictures here of the card that Tyler made for Tom on Saturday night. Tom has not been feeling well, he has had a cold the last few days. He's actually not been feeling well since January, with different health issues. Yesterday I told him he was really pushing this "in sickness and in health" thing :-).

We have one more birthday this month, Chris will be turning 20, and the day before that is Kyle's graduation. It is a busy month, and July is looking to be busy as well. We'll have two in college this fall, but nine years to go before we have to think about graduation or going off to college again.

Hope everyone has a happy, healthy, peaceful summer!!!