Thursday, October 30, 2008
I had to re post this. Thanks Buddy!
Apology in advance for all of you that I am offending by posting this. I am afraid- very afraid reading about the budget cuts that are REAL and HAPPENING NOW. They will affect MY family and MY CHILDREN and countless numbers of children and social services program, non-profit organizations... please people KEEP INFORMED:
Please read page 29. This funding is set to be cut IN FULL. This funding helps cover programs in YOUR state like Child Protective Services, Foster Care, Adoption Support Services, Housing for adults who need assisted living services, child care for low income families, basically all TITLE XX programs will lose ALL their federal funding. If its left up to individual states to pay for these services- THEY WILL EVENTUALLY CEASE TO EXIST!
I know that these may not be your views- but you have no excuse to be uneducated on ALL the issues facing our country. All that seperates YOU and YOUR FAMILY from needing these programs and services is ONE CIRCUMSTANCE!
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
I Apologize in Advance - Only 6 Days to Go
I am almost at my limit. I spent years as an apathetic, self-proclaimed Democrat. I liked Bill Clinton better. I liked Al Gore better. Mostly, I just like them better than Republicans. I didn't pay much attention to politics because my world was no larger than my 900 square foot apartment near Kent State University or my teeny-tiny '91 Plymouth Colt with vinyl seats, a cassette deck, power nothing, and no a/c. I had cats, Camel Special Lights, and a boyfriend that liked getting lost in television and movies as much as I did.
My world exploded with the birth of my first child. It blew open a bit more with the birth of my second. After a divorce, a degree, exhausting but invaluable experience working with children and adults battling severe mental illness, and graduate education, my world seems endless. I'm like that lady at Hometown Buffet on Rib Night that tries desperately to put everything on her plate at once. I know I need to pick my battles and I know change begins with me and by doing little things that may add up. But dammit!!! This election is antagonizing me and making it really hard for me to sit still and be a good girl.
I want to SCREAM at people who say that all a 13 year-old girl who terminated a pregnancy that resulted from incestuous rape needed was Jesus. I feel my adrenalin surge when someone tells me that we need more God in our government and in our schools and that people on welfare are lazy. I am sickened by the hypocrisy! Are you telling me that there aren't CEOs and executives that don't collect salaries for doing nothing? There aren't security guards that sleep when they should be keeping watch? Yes? You're pretty satisfied with the stellar service you get from the rude little nasty-pants that works behind the counter at Dairy Queen? Because they are working, they are automatically superior to the single mother with two small children that were abandoned by their father? Of course there are those "lazy workers", though most of them are not. Just like there are welfare and public assistance recipients that intentionally dodge work...BUT MOST OF THEM DO NOT!!
Yesterday, I learned that President Bush proposed a $500 million cut in SSBG (block grants that fund social services such as childcare assistance, foster care, child abuse prevention education, adult assisted living programs, etc.) spending for 2009, and then PROPOSED CUTTING SSBG COMPLETELY OUT OF THE BUDGET FOR 2010! Are all of you single-issue voters who are choosing McCain/Palin because of their Pro-Life position paying attention? Chances are you voted this way before. How'd that work out for you? Did you pray that we would elect a president that would spend $10 billion a month on a war in Iraq? Did you pray that we would elect a president that would propose cutting funding for services that protect over 10,000,000 endangered children? I'm so glad he feels the way you do about the unborn. Does he feel the way you do about the ones that are here? Are you volunteering to go to court with them, represent them, supervise their home visits, and let them stay with you for a weekend so their foster parents can have a break from the tantrums and defiant behaviors? Will you volunteer your time to spend the evening feeding and toileting an adult that can't do those things for him/herself?
I believe Obama will win. I hope he will win. I hope that all of you that spent the half-hour praying instead of listening will be a part of the solution instead of part of the problem. If/when he wins, you can drink the purple Kool-Aid and decide that our faithless, Godless country that's run by a "Socialist Muslim" is doomed, or you can be the superior, epitome of morality that you claim to be and SUCK IT UP AND HELP.
Hugs and kisses.
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
We are almost all ready for our traditional Halloween evening full of friends and fun... we make home made pizza, this year David has requested Texas Sheet Cake for dessert and of course apple cider. (And we will sneak some salads in there too!) The "dads" are taking the kids trick or treating and that leaves the Mom's here to pass out candy and enjoy the peace and quiet. :)
Angeline has her first UTI and goes in and out of doing well. They changed her antibiotics once already so we are hoping that it goes away and stays away! We knew this was a good possibility of happening now that she is getting CIC four times a day. (That's Clean Intermittent Catheterization for short.) Please keep her in your prayers... this is rough. (On both of us- I feel like I am torturing her at times.)
Lauren, Grace, Sophie, Lena and I all have bad colds. I am downing a large bottle of Emergen-C right now. If no one feels better by tomorrow we are hitting up the doctor for something a little stronger. Even though I have been sick I haven't missed Boot Camp. Woohoo!! I am feeling stronger and getting leaner and it's really something I look forward to each morning. The eating part is going well too- or lifestyle change and the week one tally was that I was down 5 lbs already! (Which is great considering the amount of muscle being built.) I am going to try to stay off the scale for the next few weeks as suggested. (KB only likes a weigh in at week five and week ten.)
Speaking of boot camp... my dear friend Amy F. that I coerced into doing the boot camp with us BROKE her elbow doing the cartwheel last week! :( (How terrible do I feel!) But she managed to still show up for cardio yesterday morning and is going to finish the class without using her one arm. How inspiring is that?
Jeremy came over the other day and got a phone call- and they asked for CASTRO- he then filled me in that his nickname is Castro- because people think he looks like Fidel Castro. Can't say that I disagree with that statement! :)
Well I am off to shower, toddler time, library, school meetings, then home for some schooling, then laundry, then dinner and MOVIE night!
I hope that your Wednesday is a blessed day.
Monday, October 27, 2008
(Photo credit: Jeremy- his picture-his eye- if you enlarge it you can see his hand and the camera reflected in his eye- this was impressive especially given the basic quality of the digital camera he used.)
I felt like I wanted to share some politics with you all- don't worry- I am not going to tell you who to vote for- I trust you all to be very informed, well educated friends, family and blog readers and know that your perfectly capable of making your own decisions.
I have read recently a couple of blogs that have really been interested and have made me think, so I wanted to share them here:
Courtney over at Storing Up Treasures in Heaven writes about her beliefs in this well written post.
Take the time to read the comments- people are all fired up. I do love seeing people get passionate about something!
Amy over at Smile and Wave- wrote this very spirited post- gotta love the buddy!
Hilary shared her beliefs and feelings in this post truly a view point that I hadn't thought about. It is interested to hear the biblical view of women being keepers of the home and how this is affecting her vote. Thanks for sharing Hilary- you certainly got me thinking!
And last but certainly not least- are a series of blog's from Amie- I don't know Amie- but I like to read her blog. And she's friends with Tara Livesay- (and any friend of incredible Tara's is a friend of mine! :) Truly thought provoking, moving, deeply intellectual and spiritual posts about several different "hot" topics. Please scroll down and start reading at the Politically Correct post. You won't be sorry you took the time to do so.
Saturday, October 25, 2008
(Don't forget to please mute the music on the right before viewing. And if your sound isn't on- turn it on and listed to Isaac and his adorable singing.)
A special thanks to the wonderful people who took this video for us- it's the little things like this that definitely get us through this wait.
Isaac looks so much older from the last time I saw him- I can't believe it's been over a year already. Praying you home son... you are SO adorable.
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Although I am sore, I am feeling really great that its Friday eve and I have almost made it through week one of boot camp.
Today we did Cardio- which is challenging but fun- and involved (gulp) forward rolls and cartwheels. (I thought that it was a joke at first- but no- no it sure wasn't.) I felt silly- but made it through.
Please keep my dear friend Amy F. in your prayers today- she was the cartwheel queen and may have sprained or broken something during one of the cartwheels! Thankfully- her husband is a doctor and will take good care of her. :)
I am so happy and proud of my friends in the class and how hard they are working! You go girls!
(I swear that KB- the strong/buff/fearless instructor looked slightly alarmed when it was my turn to give a good left hook times three at the "thingy" he was holding- I must look crazy when I am so red and sweaty. Or maybe I just had that- I am not so coordinated where I throw my punches look in my stink eye.)
Angeline had several special blessings this week: Another Mom with a child with Spina Bifida has gifted her daughters pricey special shoes to Angeline, they are pink and white- and she will love them. Angeline also was able to use enough strength in her legs to climb up the ladder of her slide on her own. And lastly- we believe she has enough donations now to cover her WISH of a therapeutic bike! (I am expecting for a confirmation about this in the next couple days.) What a blessing! Thanks for all the donations and the donor who said that they would like to cover the balance of her bike. I can't wait for her to have ANOTHER option for mobility! We plan to bring the bike to toddler time, Costco, and even the mall with us. It will enable her to be close to the ground and able to get on and off if she wants to explore. Yipppeeeee!
Today we are having a FUN home school day full of art, cooking, PE and science! The house is already clean, applesauce and pie filling made (from the apples last weekend) and in the freezer, and we are ready to have some fun learning time together. These are the best home schooling days, and they make us all happy. Here is a link for you all with some great ideas:
Tomorrow my husband has off work and I am looking forward to our three day weekend together. Even though its ridiculously busy! I am still counting my blessings that he has his job, works so hard, and is able to be home so often- and that he loves me like no other. Amen!
Outdoor soccer officially ends tomorrow- and for that- I am happy. (Sad to say- its been a busy life with four kids in soccer.)
This week I got to experience two things: Vietnamese food- Yum! So many fresh and healthy options! AND... went to an "adult birthday" lunch with my sister and Aunt- and was able to bring my oldest son Jeremy- who has now moved from teenager to adult in my book. He held a good conversation, wore shoes with soles intact, and was just lovely to spend time with. He (along with Danny and Tyler) are working so hard, living on their own, succeeding at the things they are passionate about, and it feels really good as a parent to sit back and watch.
Two boxes arrived today from ebay, one large lot of various summer clothes from Baby Gap for Lena that I bought for $4.99 (which will go home to Haiti with her in January), and a large lot of Gymboree items for Angeline for $7.00, that includes the most adorable purple outfit with a jacket she will be wearing to church this weekend! I do like shopping and getting a bargain is the only way I like to do it!
I was able to convince friends to go to the ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW with us (dh and I) next weekend- without any arm pulling or whining/begging. Anyone local want to come? Email me! (Date nights looming in the distance make me happy.)
My ballot is filled out and ready to be mailed. That feels good.
What is making you so happy today?
Heather T. Forbes, LCSW
Parent and Co-author of Beyond Consequences, Logic, and Control
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
I added the new feature right there... to the right of this post... FOLLOW ME- if you add yourself on there that would let me know who is reading my blog- and it would also give me a nice link so that I can read your blog. I would really appreciate you taking the time to do that. :)
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
WASHINGTON –U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced today that prospective adoptive parents already in the process of adopting a child from a country that has implemented the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Hague Adoption Convention) who filed a Form I-600A, Application for Advance Processing of Orphan Petition, prior to April 1, 2008, and who have received the one time no-charge extension, may file one additional Form I-600A, and continue to proceed with their intercountry adoption through the “orphan” process. The new Form I-600A must be filed before the current approval expires, and only if the prospective adoptive parents have not yet filed the corresponding Form I-600, Petition to Classify Orphan as an Immediate Relative.
U.S. law and regulations allow individuals who began the intercountry adoption process by filing Form I-600A or Form I-600, before April 1, 2008, to continue using these pre-Hague Adoption Convention forms and procedures even if they are adopting a child from a Hague Adoption Convention country. However, depending on the time that it takes prospective adoptive parents to be matched with a child and file Form I-600, the approval of the I-600A might expire before the prospective adoptive parents are able to file Form I-600. By allowing the filing of one new Form I-600A prior to the expiration of the current approved Form I-600A, USCIS is allowing prospective adoptive parents who have been grandfathered into the pre-Hague Adoption Convention process to continue to proceed under this “orphan” process, provided the child’s home country agrees.
If the Form I-600A is no longer valid, prospective adoptive parents must file a Form I-800A, Application for Determination of Suitability to Adopt a Child from a Convention Country, with a home study which meets all of the requirements for a Hague Adoption Convention home study. Once a Form I-800A is approved, the Form I-800, Petition to Classify Convention Adoptee as an Immediate Relativemay be filed on behalf of the prospective adoptive child.
Monday, October 20, 2008
I hope that you are having the MOST wonderful 3rd birthday today. I hope that you had fun passing out the treat bags to all of your friends and that you enjoy the little gifts that we sent. I am so happy that you are getting to wear BIG BOY undies now and that you are working really hard on potty training. We are all so proud of you!
We are also so thankful and pleased that the "little" sized big boy undies we sent fit perfectly and now you will have both hands to play with your toys- instead of always using one to hold up your undies!
We miss you so much and we just know God is going to bring you home really soon. We have your bedroom all ready for you and we have started clearing out baby and girlie toys in the playroom to make room for your boy things. :)
Our whole church is praying all the time for you and praying that your homecoming is soon. We can't wait to see you again and I can hardly believe its been a year since I last saw you. It hurts Mommies heart to write that...
When Kika and I arrived there was a woman in her 60's in the class before ours. It was their first day too. She said that her friend, who also is in her 60's, took the class several times over the past year and lost over 100lbs. How is that for first thing in the morning motivation!
I was home by 7:35am and as KB (The Instructor) says... "Most people aren't even up eating their first Crispy Creme Yet!"
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Let's just say- I survived the weigh in, photos in my sports bra, and the fitness test (that included a mile run- or walk/run in my case). The class has a lot of women in it- but the only ones who came yesterday were me, my sister and our two girls (Ames and Kika)- we were quite the four pack with all the GUYS that were there.
Friday, October 17, 2008
So why am I not there you wonder?
Well... tomorrow Kika and I are doing a presentation about MAT and "service learning"... so I said I would put together a little slide show- that has now turned into a half hour full fledged production and is currently being burned in DVD and CD format so I am sure to cover all my bases. Its going to be good- and if I ever have the time- I might just share it with you. It basically chronicles MAT and how we started and shows lots of adorable pictures of all the children we have worked with...
So in going through file after file on the back up drive I found these two cute pictures that made me smiles and brought me lots of fond memories this evening.
:) (What I am doing right now.)
So tomorrow we have a busy day of presenting and encouraging others to find their "passion" outside of family/friends... we are going to encourage them all to truly find out how they can give of themselves and what their special talents are- and maybe even share a couple fun stories of the talents that we have like "baby stacking." (Another story for another time.) Anyhow... it involved getting from point A. in parking garage, up several flights of stairs, with three babies and not enough arms to carry them all... because we logistically couldn't figure out how we would get from point A to B without leaving one baby behind at some point... and given the distance from point A to B (not just from the garage to inside the door of the house or anything like that- it was a HIKE) we had to get creative. :)
So in other news... life is about to get real crazy around here. Boot camp starts Saturday- yes- fitness boot camp- for the next 10 weeks that will be a big part of my daily life. I am trying to determine how its all going to mesh together- and I am excited about soccer being over in two weeks.... which should help to free up the schedule a bit.
My son turns three next week. I don't want to talk/write/blog or think about that right now. It's all too depressing. But I got some cute pictures today emailed to me- so it really made my whole day.
I am thinking of taking the blog off private... I am at my MAX amount of approved readers allowed for a private blog at this point. So I either need to start deleting some people- or go public again. Any thoughts on that anyone?
(This is really fun to watch the computer spitting on the DVD's that I just made- how exciting to know how to do this- the possibilities are endless! I might have to do a Christmas DVD instead of a Christmas family journal this year.)
Speaking of Christmas this year we are only giving gifts (to everyone including our children) that:
1. Are handmade
2. Are home-made
3. "Do Good" for others
and in some special circumstances gifts that do the following will be permitted for giving:
4. Are extremely educational
5. Create family togetherness
More on that soon too. (I have a lot to update you all on!)
DVD is done! :)
More soon... wish me luck at our exciting public speaking event tomorrow! LOL
Sarah... half asleep already...
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
The kind of hot dog day where Mr. comes home and they still aren't cooked- the hot dogs that is- and he had to stop to get the buns.
The kind of day where explaining myself over and over becomes mentally exhausting.
The kind of day where I know I never have to explain myself to people who truly know me- because my actions speak for themselves.
The kind of day where my words for Mr. are short and sweet and resemble something like... "I made no guarantee that the hot dogs would be ready when you got here."
The kind of day where he jumps in the shower real fast because he sees me salivate for a Ladies Night Margarita and he sends me on my merry way with a smile despite my lack of wifely dutifulness. :)
The kind of day where I LOVE THIS MAN!
The kind of day when I appreciate my sister going to law school more than she knows and I appreciate her rearranging her schedule to "have my back".
The kind of day where my daughter says... it's OK if I have other plans than a high school diploma- it will be OK.
The kind of day where I am still praying things will work out.
The kind of day where I realize that some friends are meant for only a season- and for that season- the reason may never be known.
The kind of day where Toddler Time tomorrow sounds exhilarating.
The kind of day where the only hours I have are spent checking workbooks and not partaking in fun time with my children- ick-ugh-yuck.
A hot dog kind of day... that's my life today.
Saturday, October 11, 2008
Friday, October 10, 2008
We also did some tie dying this week. It was fun- and worrisome- since I had buckets of dye all over my really white kitchen. I was impressed at how careful all the kids were to not spill anything and they did a fantastic job dying the shirts and even a pillowcase! The rubber bands were hard for Dom and Lulu to put on, but they just kept trying until they got it. I should have taken a picture of the kids with their shirts on the next day. We looked like the hippie crew at toddler time and the library the next morning.
Saturday, October 04, 2008
The good news is that Angeline appears to continue to have no signs of the syrinx. We are going to continue to watch her closely, and she will have an MRI and visit with the NS in December. Also the orthopedic docs. said that her feet look great and her hips have gone from 30% to less than 5% tightness in the past six months. (This would be because of her OT working with her, and because she is upright more often than she was before.) This was great news because hip surgery was not something we want to participate in anytime soon!
We had lots of things going on with the urologist. There is no urine re flexing into her kidney's YET, and she is emptying most of her bladder, but her bladder is "hard". Meaning that the muscle is hard and only holds 2-3 oz. at a time. Because of this, and because of her age, we are starting the intermittent catheritization (sp?) and meds twice a day. (The meds help soften the bladder so she can hold more urine so the hope is that between cathing, she might be a bit drier than she has in the past.)
The bad thing is that with the meds they have some not so fun side effects we really need to watch for. It's tough. My husband asked "How long will we do this for?"
I had to break it to him that this might be the rest of her life that we have to do this for (or teach her to do on her own). It's just added another thing to do and put her through on a daily basis- but of course she is taking it like a trooper!! I was really proud of my children on Monday, especially Angeline- they made it through the whole day with no complaining and just had great attitudes about all the waiting and rushing around the hospital. I am so thankful for that!! Yeah!!
Tuesday we were home most of the day catching up on school work from the day before. Everyone was grouchy from their long day on Monday and I thought I might lose my mind.
We had a long family meeting when "Dad" got home, regrouped and went to bed early!
Wednesday we took Lauren to the dentist and I had ALL the kids with me. (Not good to home school in the waiting area.) So the kids and I went to the local public market and sat around eating breakfast (bought from the organic market there) and did some school work. The kids were so good. Maybe that's the key- never let them spend too much time at home all together!
The Toddler time is also working as a transition for Angeline to have some activity time away from her family. OK so we all went last week and stayed for the full 90 minutes. (Parents HAVE to stay on site, and I would prefer to stay.) But the teacher is going to play with Bean without us starting next week for 10 minutes. She hates being away from us and gets very upset- so we have to start doing something to get her used to school or else this preschool thing in February isn't going to happen!
Thursday five of the kids had MAP testing (for math and reading) for a good part of the day. Lauren, Lulu and I took the babies and ran a couple errands, then back to get the kids, home for 20 mins, then off to soccer practices. (I don't know about this four children playing soccer thing- it pretty much takes up all our time! But they love it- what do you do?)
Today while my husband went to five, yes FIVE soccer games... I took the other half of the family with the "big boys" to run errands and help them to get groceries. (I am the transportation.) I was accosted at Walmart when the PC game that Lulu picked out for her birthday BEEPED while we left there. I really am NOT a fan of walmart, I have to tell you. They are one of the worst places to shop:
Thursday, October 02, 2008
I will update you all once I hear something on his condition today. (The information was from last night.)
His paperwork is now getting legalized so that was good news. We have to finish this step before MOI (which is where everything gets the final approval and the passport is applied for). We don't know if all the mistakes have been corrected yet or not, but this is certainly a step in the right direction!
After MOI he has a Visa medical and then we can make a Visa appointment I believe since our birth parent interview was done a long time ago.
Now if we can just get him home, healthy, and gaining some weight we will be in business.
Please also pray for everyone at COTP who are caring for him. They work SO hard and can use all the continued prayers that they can. :)
Blessings and Love,