Thursday, August 28, 2008

Today it's my birthday........


The big 35.

I am sick. Really feel yucky.


My mom is coming over tonight and if I can muster the strength I am supposed to go to dinner with Gary. Although as bad I want to go out maybe watching the Blue Collar Comedy Tour with my feet up is not such a bad gig. I am so tired.

Gary got pulled off his flight for someones training purpose so he got to come home early. He wasn't supposed to be until tomorrow. So if anything I can have some help with the kiddos today. He took Abby to gymnastics and I had a little breakfast at my friends. The kids painted pictures for me and they will bake a cake later tonight.

Anyway enough rambling.

My kids have decided that they would not speak English or Amharic, they have literally created their own language. All four of them walk around the house gibbering some kind of made up language. It is cute and annoying all at the same time.

Last night smarty pants Netsanet decided that she didn't want to eat her hamburger patty but she did want her piece of chocolate. She kept going to the bathroom, I thought she had a sick stomach so on her fourth trip I went in to see what was going on. She was taking one bite of the hamburger at at time and spitting it in the toilet! Way to clever for a four year old.

Okay off for now.
Happy birthday to me, I live in a tree, I look like a monkey and I smell like one too!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Here are some newer pictures

We started homeschool a few weeks ago, thus my lack of blogging. I have really enjoyed it but it leaves me with little time for very many other things. I have this list in my head that just keeps playing. So much to do, not to mention I keep a list of things for Gary to do as well. I know he loves that. Not. Anyway here are some pictures of our kids doing what they do best, just being cute.

First day of School

Netties drawing of someone, maybe me?
Abby and her flamingo
No shirt required at homeschool for kids under 4 and under. :)
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First day of school

Art class

Nettie loves drawing
I just asked for a picture of an animal instead I got a whole scene with giant man eating grasshoppers, a dragon who ate a guy swords even blood. Nice. Only in Home School he may get expelled for this anywhere else.
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Putting the girls to bed they love to snuggle
It was cute they each have their little dolls that are special
This is what my kids do to tire swings
Our slide
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Saturday, August 23, 2008

Leaving babies to die.

Check this out, happening right in our own back yard, Good ol America. You know for all of those who are looking at all the issues when voting in a new president I think each one of us has the duty to be fully informed and to fully understand who and what we are voting for.

Thursday, August 21, 2008


We have a nice pair of friends coming to visit us tomorrow. My kids love this man he is uncle to them. He is so good with children but hasn't had any yet of his own. He is bringing a childhood friend with him and I don't think she has kids either. Big sigh. My house is sticky. I mean the whole thing. I am not joking. There seems to be a layer of all kinds of grime mixed with dirt that just sits there. It does not matter how much I scrub, which is not a lot lately because home schooling the kids has taken over my life, the sticky just stays. I was thinking in my head tonight if I should just forewarn them like "Welcome to my home I am so glad you guys could come out and visit, here is a plastic bag to sit on and some rubber gloves to use in the bathroom." Speaking of I recently found stickers decorating the side of the toilet!! I tell you there is no place sacred here. When I say every inch of the house is sticky I am not kidding. Okay I am sitting here just looking at my sticky house typing on this sticky keyboard and I just noticed my curtains are hanging upside down! ahhhh it is close to 9 and there is so much work to do. Not to mention I didn't sleep at all last night each child woke me up at different times of the night.

Okay off to work by my self, husband fell asleep with the kids. I told you I need one of those boxing gloves. :)

Monday, August 18, 2008

Everyone married couple should have one

Went to a birthday party at PUMP IT UP. It was great. Gary and I have been bickering over stupid things lately like who is making who late. I am sure he is making us late when we go out as a family and he begs to differ. It was on the occasion of one such argument that we were fortunate enough to be on our way to a place where we could settle things. Old school. Pump it up baby! Oh ya, I hauled my fat butt into one of those little kid bouncy things and challenged my dear husband to a match or two. I dawned the sweaty head gear, without fear of germs, and picked up the giant boxing mittens. Okay so round one he got me. He tagged me so hard in the ear that I got a headache. But if you know me you will also know that I wasn't going to drop it. Round to the jousting table, it is the one above with that padded thing in the middle. You have to stand on it with these big foam logs and try to knock each other down. I so won. To see that 6 foot one man tumble backwards legs flailing in the air totally helpless was good enough for me!! In the end I lost, I went down quite a bit more. Again he hit me so hard in the side of the head he gave me a headache. I don't care what they say about the safety of those foam things they hurt! We ran the obstacle course and he won that too. But I had fun trying. I hyper extended my knee, got a burn on my elbow, nearly dislocated my shoulder, and twisted my ankle. I was and am sore. My friends husband also twisted his ankle and last I heard is still limping. It was worth it. I left feeling refreshed and ready to go. Everyone should own these tools of matrimony, it would make life so much easier.

Bad bloger, bad bloger

Yes that is me.

I have to admit I have been busy. I know it is bad when I am too busy to blog.

Homeschool started and I have been trying to get into a groove. I am loving it this year thus far, using our virtual academy! I had a parent teacher conference today and it is so wonderful not doing this alone like I have in the past.

Okay quick update, Nettie is doing fantastic!! She is a dream and we adore her. She has her moments but really compared to some of my past experiences doesn't phase me. She is funny and has figured us all out. She is afraid of nothing! I love that. She dances and sings for everything and her number one goal in life is to make us laugh. Lately she has been really kissy with me. She will do something she knows is naughty and come up and say "But I love you!" or I will tell her I am going to count to three and she smiles until I stand up then she just books it down the hall. She has me figured out. She is sleeping on her own and the moaning for me to lay with her has subsided to a little protest but if she has a big brother or sister lay down with her and snuggle with her it seems to do.

It is hard, I think she asked me to take her to Africa to see Ababa, her Ethiopia daddy. I don't know. She is learning English so fast I am afraid she couldn't speak Amharic if she wanted to. She has told us she like America and she loves us all and that Ethiopia was "no conjo" She has gotten used to the food and using manners. She prays at the dinner table, says "yes mom", and sits down to eat and says excuse me from table. The other day she apparently burped and kept saying "Excusa may from da table" we were getting onto her about finishing her food and she couldn't leave the table, until we realized she meant "excuse me" She likes to try to put everyone to sleep and tells you to "Lay down, go to shleep!" then she sings "Manaka bi baby in the tee shop" The kids love speaking her language and have even picked up on her accent. She was so excited about the Ethiopians winning the gold in the Olympics she jumped up and down and kissed the TV then imitated the runners starting position and took off running down the hall. She yells at anyone that dares interrupts her while she is speaking, she tells them "SHhhhhhh!" I am talking to mamma, you go this away"

Homeschool is great like I said, the kids are doing wonderful. Judah is back in school and Nettie says she wants to stay home with me. I am doing some preschool work with her and fully anticipate her to be in Kinder next year. Abby is doing mostly first grade work which is very good. I wasn't sure she could get it but she is! I am finding Mason to be very talented and a deep thinker, a perfectionist who doesn't like to try for fear of failing. I know how he feels so I hope and pray that I can help him with these deep feelings. He is always dreaming, constantly designing and has a mind set to invent.

All in all I am having a blast with my second week of homeschool. I just get to do all the fun without the worry of curriculum. That is a huge responsibility off my shoulders. I thought I missed a lot last year by not having a set guide but apparently I had my kids ahead anyway. I will post pictures of them soon.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Just another day

We got invited to go to a free dinner at our local Chik Fil A. Yesssss...... they are so cool. Anyway as we were all trying to leave the house, Gary is fiddle faddling around taking his sweet time. I load the Suburban with all the kids, we are sweating like mad. I then decide to multi task and just pick up some of the garbage in the car while we were waiting for Gary. Much to my dismay I find a quart of motor oil leaking in the back seat, I mean really!!! Motor oil???? So I put it in my garbage bag, apparently not the right way to dispose of motor oil. By now Gary has decided to grace us with his presence and jumps into the car, snapping at me that we don't have time to clean the car. I try to jump in but slip on something slick, at the same time he is starting the car and the battery is totally dead. He is not happy and blames me for leaving the lights on. I don't think so. I blame the kids and look down to my feet to see what I slipped on. MOTOR OIL!!! the whole stinking thing leaked out the bag and on the concrete of our driveway. I debate telling Gary this messy little detail as now he is sweating and looking for jumper cables. Well it's not like I could hide it. So I fess up and his face turns red, I am not sure if it is the sun or me. Most likely me. I blame him for leaving motor oil in the back pocket of the back seat and he blames Mason for kicking it until it cracked. Yes we are dysfunctional. Finally he jumped the car, Nettie is screaming because she is sweaty and cannot stand it dripping of her face, Judah is chanting "Turn the cold air on!!" (which is actually broken) and Abby who is not is a seat belt is trying to restrain Sweaty Nettie who is also not buckled in. At this point the kids discover a new rhyme to Netties name, "Sweaty Nettie" and begin singing it. Meanwhile Gary is pouring dish soap all over the oil spill and scrubbing it with a broom. Finally he gets in the car and we are a half hour late for our dinner date.

Upon arriving I am told we can order anything and everything. I did. Our bill was close to 50 bucks!!! On the house!! I was so stressed out I ate so fast and swallowed everything down with a half melted cookies and cream milk shake, ended up sick. Never eat when you are anxious. Meanwhile I am thanking God I don't have small kids and all four of my children can play alone in the play area.

When we left the madness started all over again. We finally load them up and immediately the "I'm thirsty, I'm hungry, I have to pee." ...... why is that?? We were just in the restaurant, I just don't understand.

Needless to say I went to bed really early and got a good nights sleep.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

My Day

Well my day is often filled with many things including things you say out loud that just strike you as weird or things you hear others say outloud.

For instance When I had to ask who stuffed the toilet paper in the sink to make it flood. Then Mason tells me "Oh no that isn't toilet paper it's bread, Abby did it." Ya thanks for letting me know when she was doing it. Now does anyone know what to do with it?

And when you hear your husband yell down the hall

"Someone pooped in our toilet and didn't flush it!"
Then down to the only other bathroom we have only to report a few seconds later
"someone pooped in this toilet and didn't even use toilet paper!"

It is like the three bears, just much grosser.

Abbyism for the day.

Abby literally squinted when she saw my tummy revealed while we laid down for bed time stories. It is not that she has never seen my stomach, it must have been the lighting. She told me my belly was very white and it hurt her eyes so she covered them.

She had a terrible rash (which gives clue to the one not using toilet paper) and Gary asked if I had diaper cream anywhere, hummmm..... I don't think so. Then Abby hollers she does, she reaches under her bed and pulls out my make up bag. The little stinker stole it and hid it under her bed. She says she is a secret agent and apparently her friends know she is a secret agent. I sure wish she had let me in on the whole thing. I have been finding things under her bed for some time now. Mason's tool box, his power rangers, Judah's cars and Netties dolls. I knew she sneaked the other kids things but now she has sneaked into my stuff. Tonight I found her jewelry box under her bed with all my jewelry in it. She said it was sad that her jewelery box only had one barrette so she took my necklaces to fill it up. Abby has been sneaking things for a while now. The items are getting more risky and larger.

These are just snap shots of my day. I had to laugh at myself tonight as we recorded the kids and Gary doing the Nija Warrior obstacle course in our back yard. There was laughter and arguments and all kinds of kid noise. We played it for them while they ate dinner and it was funny because I couldn't tell what was the recording and what was real time. I had to just think what a fool I was, because just their four combined voices in hyper drive makes me a bit coo coo for co co puffs but to have it in stereo was like doubling their power. It was like 8 kids acting loony.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

My love affair

I wish I could apologize for my feelings, but really I cannot. I have to admit I know it is wrong, especially for me.

It started off innocently. I went to a little get together. I didn't mean for it to happen it just did. I can't help how I feel. I know it is wrong but what is a girl to do? It started off small but now has grown into a full blown obsession.

I can't stop thinking about Brownies. Gooey, Ooey soft and chocolaty. I have brownies before in fact all my life I have enjoyed them if they were around, but this is ridiculous. I am blaming Julie for this. She made two pans of brownies a few weeks ago at our little get together and now it is all that I want. It is wrong. Pray for me. Diabetes run in our family.

Anyway......what can I say? I am in bondage to brownies.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Abby again

Apparently people at church are "fatized" instead of baptized.

She always hears things different.

New Pictures

I posted pictures on

Here is the latest Abbyism.

In light of Judah's recent diagnosis, I thought I better take some time for myself on a regular basis. You know get away and just try to regroup. I decided to go with Tara and work out at our local gym regularly. In our family we often talk about being healthy and eating the right foods. Although late at night I do eat chocolate if it is around.

Anyway..... I was getting the kids out of the car and Abby began to explain to Nettie very slowly and loudly and in simple English.

"Nettie you stay Mason Abby Judah, Mommy go to Exercise Mommy got Big Fat Belly, Mommy go exercise so Big Fat Belly go away" I stood there looking at her with my mouth open, Mason saw the look on my face and said "Abby mommy is not fat! Mommy is big and beautiful!!" Then he looked at me and told me how beautiful I was.

Everyone should have a son or two.

Of course Abby meant no harm she is just being factual.

I actually am not exercising to loose weight this time around. I am doing it for my heart.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Financial freedom update

Well as you know my husband is a big fan of Dave Ramsey. Every time I think I am "skimping" on my spending I have to amp it up. So last night we watched Ramsey on TV and I realized I can do more. I think I made it clear in my heart and God knows our hearts. Well today a woman I have never met just asked me out of no where if I wanted her kids hand me downs. Of course!! I said. Well then a bit later another friend that never calls gave me a ringy jingy and asked me if I wanted some clothes for Nettie. Two people in one day I feel this is a blessing from God and I thought I would share. I will post pictures of the clothes soon, I will gladly have the kids model them!

So all good gifts come from above. Thank you God.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

O. D. D.

Well some of you may know that we have had our fair share of trouble parenting our youngest son. Over the 2 1/2 years I have been his mom I have lived under a cloud of doubt and anxiety over some of his behavior. I have been judged, misjudged, angry, hurt, lonely and just basically misunderstood. I have felt guilty and sorry for myself everyday and I have cried many tears. I have felt frustrated and rejected many times by him and others. I guess somewhere in my head I believed it was all my fault that he was "different" I have been told I wasn't stern enough and that I was too stern. "If you just were more structured...or organized" I have been gossiped about and found out later that I was apparently scaring adoptive families because I was "complaining" too much, and that I should stop "complaining" I did this to myself. I don't think people in the end really think about what they say. My all time favorites "Oh my kid does that too" and "He is such and angel can I take him home?"

I have to say that when we adopted our youngest daughter I was hesitant. By the grace of God I never stopped advocating adoption, I never stopped believing adoption was God's plan and will. I just laid down under a blanket of guilt and anger wandering why all of this was happening. "Why did I have so many issues" "It must be adoption, therefore it is me" Some of it is me but...... not all of it.

When we brought Nettie home I realized I could attach to a child, and even older child and that these things weren't just about adoption it was about something else. We saw a child Psychiatrist who happened to also be a Christian. She diagnosed him with something I already knew he had.

One night several months ago, thinking he was autistic, I stumbled across Oppositional Defiance Disorder. I thought to myself, "Well they just have a name for everything don't they?" Even though he fit every symptom he was young and I was just overreacting. I had an easier time thinking he was autistic, it somehow didn't sound as bad to me. So Gary and I hung on to the fact that he may be a child with Aspergers autism. He had an obsession with trains and wheels and trailers that was extreme and he has learning delays, sensory issues like the need to drive over gravel and go on bumps.

The official diagnosis was ODD, ADHD, OCD, and sensory seeking. Well there you go. I join the ranks of the many diagnosed with these problems. The thing is I was judgmental of these things until recently. I felt that doctors over diagnosed, over prescribed, over did.... and if those parents would just feed their kids better and not let them watch so much TV then they wouldn't be having all those problems, and well boys are boys let them run around. I do not feel that way now. There is something and a mom knows when that something is not right. These usually go together and he has mild cases of them and because they are tied together we were told we can medicate but behavior modification would probably work. We were also told that he was just a normal kid and would have a good life. I am glad she said that because with the things going on at home I was beginning to think he would make a good shoe organizer at payless if Doctor wasn't in the future. I know that is horrible. I realize that, but here is the thing, if we can't talk about how we feel and what is going on than what good is any of this? I don't want anyone to ever feel isolated or angry or shunned like I have felt. Yes it is embarrassing if your 4 year old son is crawling on the floor of a restaurant licking feet and screams and slaps your friend in the face and kicks cats. It is hard on the mom and maybe just maybe she needs someone to talk to and not judge her so that she can sort through all the intense emotions it takes to parent a child like this. I know he is an angel for everyone else, I know it must be me. Yes it is. He loves me and feels most comfortable with me so that is who he test the most his family. I know he is sweet and kind and funny and very cute. I know. I live with him. But I also know something else too, something more. It is with the more I need understanding and not judgment or condemnation, I do that enough for all of us. There is more to the whole story, the story is about a boy that came to me just as he was. It is about a child who had a disruption in his central nervous system by being starved, it is about a child who was abandoned on the side of a road and moved around and who couldn't hear a word I was saying not just because English wasn't his first language, but because his ears were so severely blocked. Only to go under the knife and nearly die of morphine overdose. It is about a boy who I thought would just get better at 2, maybe 3, 4 for sure, after his ear surgery, after he started school, after, after, after........ it never happened. It is about healthy attachment for both of us that we never had, it is about starting over.

Here is a bit on ODD, just in case you want to know more. I am not going to label my child or make this who he is, I will probably make jokes about myself and vent every once in a while. This diagnosis was for me and Gary so we could be the parents he needs us to be.

All children are oppositional from time to time, particularly when tired, hungry, stressed or upset. They may argue, talk back, disobey, and defy parents, teachers, and other adults. Oppositional behavior is often a normal part of development for two to three year olds and early adolescents. However, openly uncooperative and hostile behavior becomes a serious concern when it is so frequent and consistent that it stands out when compared with other children of the same age and developmental level and when it affects the child's social, family, and academic life.
In children with Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD), there is an ongoing pattern of uncooperative, defiant, and hostile behavior toward authority figures that seriously interferes with the youngster's day to day functioning. Symptoms of ODD may include:

frequent temper tantrums
excessive arguing with adults
active defiance and refusal to comply with adult requests and rules
deliberate attempts to annoy or upset people
blaming others for his or her mistakes or misbehavior
often being touchy or easily annoyed by others
frequent anger and resentment
mean and hateful talking when upset
seeking revenge

The symptoms are usually seen in multiple settings, but may be more noticeable at home