Wednesday, October 31, 2007

50's Day

To celebrate the 50th day of school, the first graders performed for the school during lunch time. All of the kids looked adorable in their 50's attire! Here is Claire in her pink poodle skirt. Since most of the girls' skirts were like Claire's, I mentioned that pink must be a popular color with all the little girls. She quickly corrected me by saying, "No, it's just what they wore in the OLD days". OK then.
After singing for the parents and kindergarten, the first graders then had lunch. Claire was eating pretty quickly...when asked why she was in a hurry, she said "Mrs. Ginger (the music teacher) said we needed to eat like we have never seen food before!" because they were to sing later for the other grades. Just following orders I guess!! LOL

Halloween Parties

Last Friday was the date for the annual Halloween parties and parade at the elementary school. Claire dressed as a pink poodle, and Allyson decided on being a "dead" bride (but without the scary makeup). I visited Claire's class briefly before the parade of goblins..and long enough to drop off the "mummy hot dog" treats for the party. Then it was up to Allyson's classroom where I got to see Allyson being wrapped up like a mummy. She had a blast wrapping her friend up after she had shaken all the toilet paper from herself. :-)
Middle school isn't as much fun though....Emily's class didn't have a party (bummer!)
More Halloween photos to follow (after Halloween of course!!). :-)

Pumpkin Carving

We made a trip to the pumpkin patch (aka Wal-Mart lol), and the girls picked out their pumpkins. We then took them to Grandma's house for carving fun. I think this may be the first time Claire has carved a pumpkin (shame on us!). :-) Claire had to have a little help with the knife from mom, but Emily and Allyson carefully carved away at their creations. These spooky faces are a great welcome at night!

Good Grades!!

Good grades for the first quarter are flying high around here!! :-)
The middle school awards were held recently, and Emily got a certificate for earning all A's. We got a little extra surprise thrown in when her name was called out a second time....she was given an "Effort Award" from her team teachers as well (for going above and beyond in the classroom).

Although there were no award ceremonies for them, both Allyson and Claire were on the A/B honor roll this quarter. I must say that both Randy and I worked HARD to get those A's and B's for these two!! LOL This is the first time I've really thought hard about home-schooling...I mean, as much as we've studied and practiced, we practically have our own home school anyway! We've stopped tv and video games for the past month or so, and that has helped a lot. Family reading projects have also helped. The work continues on though.....

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

It's all about the Teeth

Claire lost her 3rd tooth over the weekend! Well, "lost" may not be the correct term....more like "manhandled". LOL When we visited grandma's house, Claire suddenly became determined to get the loose tooth she pushed and pulled and twisted. After about 15 minutes, she came and presented the tooth to me. Grandma was so impressed that she secretly gave me $5 to supplement the tooth fairy's money. :-)

On Monday, Allyson received her pretty PINK retainer! Thankfully, she only has to wear it at night (so far). We had a bit of a scare last night though...Allyson couldn't find the retainer and we thought the dog had eaten it!!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Corn Maze

After visiting a few craft fairs on Saturday, we went to the corn maze in SW Missouri. The girls all had a good time on the farm-style slides, hay ride, corn maze, corn cannon and rope swings. We all went through the maze together, and amazingly made it out without any help!lol
This was a great kick-off of the fall I guess I need to get some pumpkins bought! :-O

Craft Fairs

We went to a few of the local craft fairs this weekend. Didn't buy much, but we had a good time just getting out and looking at all of the stuff. Randy and the girls just HAD to buy the kettle corn though...I guess that's a requirement. :-)
When we came out of one tent, we saw an ATM van. I hadn't seen one of these before, but I guess if there is an area with a lot of people, and there are things to spend money on, there's a need for an ATM machine. When Claire saw the van, she asked, "What are they selling" :-D Don't I wish! As my grandpa Roberts used to say...give me a nickels worth of five dollar bills!
While walking through the vendor tents, we noticed a guy dressed as a pirate (he said he was a renaissance man). He had a pet bird on his shoulder...and offered the bird to Emily. She was a little surprised when the bird jumped onto her hand.
Gotta run now...more pics of our weekend to come later.

It Has Finally Happened....

I've become my mother!!! AGH!!! The horror!! LOL

I never thought I was much like my mom at all (in appearance or personality). I've noticed lately though that I am JUST like her now in some ways. No, I'm still not skinny like mom - probably never will be, but I've started acting like her sometimes. :-O
You see, mom is what I would fondly call a "miser" know, safe with her money. I've always been perturbed by some of the little things she does === like, her way of buying the cheapest little canvas shoes she can find...and literally wearing them until they fall apart. She also doesn't like to spend money on clothes...she's perfectly fine with the cheapest shirt she can buy. I guess I should say I USED to be perturbed by all of I just know that's how mom is. She definitely has the means to buy better things, but if it isn't important to her, she doesn't worry about spending much on it. A good way to measure this is to see her garden or her dogs...she spends huge amounts on plants and accessories for her yard, and the dogs...well, they ARE her babies now! lol

Back to my original point...I'm becoming a "little" miserly like mom in that I now LOVE going to thrift stores! I've never been a buyer of "used" anything...but that's all changing now. I am having an absolute blast - I guess it's the "thrill of the hunt"!! LOL

I've been promising to redecorate Ally and Claire's room, but we're on a tight budget right now. I wanted to put a bench at the end of one bed, but all of the benches I found were too expensive, so I hit the thrift store. I ended up getting a 70's coffee table - am going to paint and distress it, put a pad on it, and wah-lah a bench! I also found a cute pair of round frames at the thrift store too that just happened to match the theme of their comforters!

Here's a pic of my latest thrift store finds: a plain shelf and a folding table....both for under $20. Both of these items are going in my scrap room. My scrap room is pretty much all a mish-mash of furniture, but I love the room anyway! The shelf will fit perfectly under another shelf (bought from a thrift store also), and the table will be great to pull out when the girls want to scrapbook with me.

Hmmmm, wonder what kinds of goodies I can find this week? I still haven't conquered my fear of garage sales, but I'm loving the thrift stores. I'm hoping to hit a few auctions soon too! Maybe I can get mom to go shopping with me soon...I know she loves a bargain!! :-)

Thursday, October 18, 2007


We went to dh's company picnic a couple of weeks ago. They had the usual things like dunk tank, karaoke, face painting, and food (bbq brisket and chicken). They did donation jars for the management (as a fundraiser), and Randy just happened to have a big amount put into his jar, so he had to sing karaoke (not a big deal, since he's a singer anyway). Randy ended up singing IOU by Lee Greenwood and he sounded really good.
The girls' favorite part about the picnic was all of the fun kid entertainment. They all tried out the bull riding (Claire has a knack for this! lol). Emily and Allyson both did the rock climbing. Other items of interest was the inflatable slide and a couple of "jump houses".

Bye Bye Expander!!

Allyson said goodbye to her palette expander this morning! She was SOOOO excited about having this removed. She has been planning her first "treat"....a big bowl of popcorn which she'll have tonight! LOL
The process didn't go perfectly smooth though. As excited as she was, Allyson was also worried about throwing up. (She has a HORRIBLE gag reflex, and vomited on her first visit to the orthodontist a year ago.)
The doctor explained that the "cracking" sounds were the glue breaking off...not the teeth. Allyson was fine until the expander was out...she immediately jumped up and ran to the sink.
Once back in the chair, the assistant continued to work at removing the remaining glue...this involved a few more quick trips to the sink to rinse. While Ally was gone, I explained about her gag the assistant decided to put off doing the mouth mold until the last thing. Allyson cooperated while they took new x-rays and photos (of her now non-existing under bite). Allyson became very sad at the thought of what was to come next though.
Finally it was time....time for the mouth mold. I knew they had to do it, and I knew how Ally would react (we've really been talking positive about this all week hoping to make a difference). The assistant was great. She explained to Ally that it would feel like a cold glob, but that it would set up fast..and that Ally needed to breathe through her nose. As soon as the mold was put into her mouth, Allyson became stiff in the chair. I saw a tear run down her cheek and she pulled her legs up. In an effort to get Ally thinking about something else, the assistant quickly told her she needed her to raise her left leg into the air. Then the right leg, and back to the left. It worked!!! HALLELUJAH it worked!! They got the mold they needed for the retainer, and Ally didn't vomit this time! Since she was already late for school, I then treated Ally to breakfast of her choice...and McD's it was! Ally was excited about taking her expander and head gear for "show and tell" at school today! LOL
We go back on Monday for the retainer...fingers crossed that all goes well!!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

scrapbookers habitat

Thought this was pretty funny...documenting a scrapbooker like a wild animal! LOL Not sure I should let Randy look at this...he already says I have a "store" in my scraproom.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Floral Beauty

We visited my mom's house (WAY out in the country!) this past weekend. I took the camera along, planning on going on a photowalk. We got busy with other things and then it was time to go. I suddenly remembered that I wanted to take a few pics of mom's flowers, so I snapped these quickly while dh and the kids waited in the truck.
Mom has a huge green thumb, and I'm hoping to put these pics in an album for her as a Christmas gift (along with pics of her hummingbirds I took earlier this year).

About Emily

When I started the post yesterday about Emily's birthday, I got a phone call and had to rush out...leaving my post unfinished.

Emily was adopted from China when she was an infant....a fact that she has known about since she was around 2 years old. We've always been open and honest about adoption with our children. We talk about the circumstances that led us to adopt, as well as the circumstances that led to the girls being available for adoption (some of the details we will probably never know of course, but we talk about that too). We talk about our differences, as well as our similarities as human beings. We've had a LOT more conversation lately due to the fact that we took Emily on a heritage tour this summer. Even Allyson and Claire have asked more questions and pondered the "what if's" of their lives.

Hmmmm. Well, after I started this post, my mind has gotten sidetracked (that's been happening a lot to me lately! LOL) I'm not sure where I was headed. For all of the "unknowns" in our lives, I am certain of these things: God knew we would adopt these beautiful girls. He knew their names (both Chinese and American) before we did. He knew they would each have their own distinct personality. He knew we would feel the need to return to their birthplace to try and "fill in the blanks" as much as possible.

Oh yeah, sorta figured out where I was headed! lol
On her birthday, Emily talked about being left on a street by her birth parents 11 years ago. We were so glad we could talk about WHERE she was left, and then HOW she was named by the orphanage staff....the "Rising Sun"....a beautiful name for a beautiful young lady!

I guess we need to start a fundraising campaign because it's so important that we return to China with Allyson and Claire as well.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Birthday Wishes

Our "baby" girl turned 11 years old this past weekend. HOW did that happen? It was JUST yesterday that she was placed in my arms!!

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