Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Hippo Birdie America!

Our nation celebrates its 235th year of freedom this weekend.  She keeps pretty good care of herself because she doesn't look a day over 200!

To celebrate, we commandeered two lovely campsites along the Oregon Coast and we are taking our very best friends and their kids with us to whoop it up!  We're all so excited we can barely get through this week!!

Today my husband and the husband of the other couple went to Washington to buy some celebratory items.  To commemorate our nation's independence.  And such as.

And also, there will be a negative tide on Saturday morning - which means CLAMS! 

Enjoy your weekend - and our freedom and independence.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Bass Ackwards.

Captain Sassy Pants has a problem with wearing his clothes backwards.  It doesn't matter what it is, he will inevitably put something on backwards.  He doesn't care to look at the label.  It's too much work.

Tonight at the dinner table I look over and he has his basketball shorts on backwards.  I could only tell because I could see the pocket.  Unless that kid was trying to store things in the pocket of his tutkus, he had them on backwards.

I sighed, and said "W!  WHY do you have your shorts on backwards?  You're a wreck!"  He just smiles.  I explain for the eleventieth time how he needs to look for the tag.  "And where does the tag go?"  He smiles an says "In FRONT! No, wait.  In BACK!"  It's always 'No, wait.'  I say to him "Child.  You test me.  You exhaust me.  You are a wreck!"  He just grins and laughs.

So we're clearing the table and the kids are heading back outside to play some more (it's the last week of school and I am uber super relaxed about bedtime this week).

W tells dad "I fixed my shorts."

Dad tells W "Good job bud."

W tells dad "Yeah, I didn't want mom to go all 'Boom goes the dynamite' to me!"

HA!  That kid.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

It's All Coming Together...and I Can Hardly Stand It!

For the past week, we've been receiving mail almost every day from DHS (Department of Human Services) here in Oregon.  One day it's the kid's new medical cards (they are entitled to secondary insurance through the state - which is nice because it will back up our insurance).  The next it's another agreement we need to sign and send back.  Or some information.  Or something!  The good news is, it's all starting to flow.  We're in the home stretch.  Our adoption is coming down the straightaway - the white flag has been waved and we're putting pedal to the metal.

It's an amazing look back at what we've accomplished in these last 6 months.  We brought home two children who had been through SO much.  Who had been promised SO much in their short little lives.  They had been ripped from their parents - the only people they ever felt truly loved them, through no fault of their own, and bounced around from place to place.  They were summarily handed back to their bio-mom a few times, and when they were, she would pack them up and move them to another state, all with the intent of trying to hide them from the CPS in the previous state.  And inevitably, the cycle would start all over again.

I am thankful that Washington and Oregon work together, and did work together to bring these children out of the unfortunate situation that they were in, and find them a family that would take care of them and love them the way they deserve to be loved.

I am thankful that my tough little nut, my 10 year old daughter, has softened.  I am thankful that she has seen that we love her, fiercely, and that we will always be there to protect her and guide her.  I am thankful that she has finally opened up, little by little, and allowed us to hold her heart, if even for a moment.  I am thankful that she is honest, and accepts responsibility for her actions.  I am thankful that she sends me little emails each day to tell me how much she loves me.  I am thankful that she no longer feels the need to worry about or watch over her brother out of necessity, rather, she does it because she wants to.  I am thankful that she has let go - and that she is able to be a child right now, when it's most important.

I am thankful that my sassy pants boy, my 7 year old, has matured and become comfortable.  I am thankful that he doesn't keep his room clean with military precision anymore.  I am happy when I see clothes strewn about and toys not put away.  I am happy that I have to remind him to clean his room, and that he grunts about it.  I am thankful that he no longer looks to his sister to provide him with answers, or guidance.  I am thankful that he is blossoming on his own, and developing his own little sense of self.  I am thankful that he is so helpful, and that he enjoys teasing mama about her love of the Yankees, all the while clinging to his papa and cheering for the Cardinals. 

We have introduced them to sushi, late-night get togethers with great friends, independence, personal responsibility, Wii tournaments, Just Dance, rock music, Bon Jovi, family game nights, and road trips.

We have instilled in them that THIS.IS.IT.  And I think they are finally getting it.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

A Damn Good Cause

I know someone who holds foster adoption as dear to her heart as I do.  She's a foster mom, and also the adoptive mom of a foster child.  She loves her son and is currently looking for a sibling for him.

Foster children have what are called 'Life Books' that contain stories and photographs of their lives as they go through the foster care system.  Since their lives are so uprooted, it's a way for them to record their memories.  This way, they have something that they can own, and be proud of, and look back on.  It is usually passed on to the adoptive parents, or in some cases, back to the biological parents if it is deemed that they are to go back home.

Sometimes the children are so nomadic, living out of cardboard boxes, and constantly moving, that these Lifebooks are lost.  Or they aren't kept up well by their foster parents.  It's understandable, but not acceptable.

Enter Andrea.  She has a plan to make these Life Books digital, so that all of their information is readily accessible and available, no matter where they go.  This service is free to foster children and their families.  It is in the upstart stages, but I see this idea taking off and becoming the new norm.  How wonderful that these children always have access to their memories.  How wonderful that no matter where they end up, they will always be able to look back on their lives, and never lose these memories.

Recently, Digital Lifebooks entered the Pepsi Refresh Everything contest to win a $50,00 grant towards the cost of implementing this idea.  PLEASE, go to Digital LifeBooks - Pepsi Contest and vote for them to win!!  You can vote once per day.  It's a great cause, one that is near and dear to our hearts, and it would mean the world to a child.

Be the change - and vote!

Much Love!