Saturday, February 28, 2009

Lost and Found

Our Lucky left us and is in puppy heaven.  He died, unexpectedly on Sunday morning.  Chase went to his kennel to find him lying by the gate.  The boys took it so badly.  Cole, as usual, took it the hardest.  He's generally the pet caretaker of the house, so he gets very close.  We will all miss Lucky.

Cole had been begging us since about October or November for a beagle pup.  Apparently, his bus driver raises them and had pups at the time.  We kept telling him no because our two dogs were enough.  Well, now that Lucky is gone and his birthday is next week, we felt it was okay to go ahead and let him have one.  So I called them up and apparently they're trying to get out of the business and get rid of all the dogs and pups they have.  So, Chase and Cole, both now have a beagle each.  They're not pups, but the little sisters are 2 1/2 years old, but small.  I think he said they were miniature??  They're cute and seem pretty well behaved so far and the boys are getting them for their birthdays, so they were happy.  The guy raising them likes the boys and felt the dogs would have a good home with fun boys to play with another beagle to teach them to really hunt, so he gave them to us.  They seem like happy little girls, so hopefully, our nights are too loud.  The boys well know it's their responsibility to shut them up at night, so they'll be getting up to yell at them.  :)  This ought to be interesting.  :)

Here are the girls. 

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Two Sweet Valentines

I picked up a couple of tshirts right before Valentines, this year, for the girls.  They wanted to go ahead and wear them to church and they were so cute, I had to take a pic.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Positives of being shy

I was always a shy child.  I remember hiding behind my mom's legs even as my aunts and uncles would talk to me.  These were aunts and uncles that I saw often, not just once a year or something.  I never made friends easily.  I don't have any idea why I was afraid to talk to people, I just was.  I kind of followed other girls around if they seemed to be friendly to me.  That, I guess, meant "friend" to me?  I don't know.  Who knows what a child thinks.  Even in high school, I was terribly shy.  To my closer friends I could talk, but I never really spoke my mind, that I can remember.  You know, when you actually feel free to say what your opinion is instead of worrying if it's the popular opinion or not.  Or share your troubles and know you can all really talk about them openly and support each other and vice versa.

As I got older I came out of my shell a bit, but now I think I'm starting to realize a benefit to my prior shyness.  It kept me from getting hurt in some ways.  I know on some adoption boards I used to frequent I wasn't "popular" so my posts were 95% of the time just plain overlooked.  Even at work, I don't speak loudly enough, so my opinion is left aside.  I guess, it seems that it's best to either be really loud and get your voice heard, which I just can't do  OR, be quiet, sit back and don't say much and don't get your feelings hurt.  If you don't say much, then it just seems harder to get hurt.  I've been going through a hard time lately, where every facet of my life has been this way and for the past week I've drawn myself in...except at home.  It really does seem to be helping.  It seems kind of silly really, but we all have our own way of doing things in life and dealing with things. 

I just always thought that it seemed so many people were close to their families and were able to go out and have a good time with friends....lots of circles of friends and keep up with it all, happily.  I have realized that I don't have the energy to do all of that, so my family comes first.  Not that I was ever a partier. :)  I was just trying to branch out more and push myself to be more social, when possible.  I like it the way it was.  Going home and staying home with my family.  Especially, as the kids get older and there is so much to do with and for them.  I have my best friend living with me.  I have kids that I can talk to all the time and they're fun to be around, so really why would you have to have fun anywhere else? 


Friday, February 6, 2009

Birth Families and Adoptees Everywhere

Hopefully this link works.  It's a Good Morning America link to a story of a man that was just past toddler years when his Korean mother had to place him for adoption, after his father passed away.  He then came to live in the US.  He had the opportunity to meet his birthmother and it was so emotional.  Seeing how much older this woman was and getting to meet her son just broke my heart.  I can't begin to imagine how my daughters' birth mothers feel.  Do they miss their baby girls terribly?  I can't imagine they don't.  Will they forgive themselves for their selfless act for their baby girls?  I hope so. 

I pray that, one day, if my daughters want to and choose to search for their birth families, they get to meet their birth families.  I pray, if they want to, they're able to locate them.  I pray all of these hearts, with a missing piece, are made whole again.  I know I can't fix them if they feel a piece missing.  I can just support them to do what they may feel the need to do.

Please pray for all the birthmothers throughout the world who are missing the children they so lovingly placed into adoption.  Please pray these children are loved unconditionally by their adoptive families and given the opportunity to do what they need to to be the person they need to be.


Thursday, February 5, 2009

TF Issue Resolved

I received a message from Tracfone today in regards to my complaint filed with the AG's office.  They wanted to transfer my double for life card to my current cell, per my complaint.  I told them that was fine, but I also wanted the minutes I didn't get the day I added them.  She finally accepted that request as I told her I would not drop the AG's complaint with out it.  I also informed them that when shopping on their site, this little disclosure about the double life only applying to the life of the phone should be with that item when purchasing.  She said it's at the bottom of the page at the bottom of the list of all of the options to buy and you have to read a disclosure to see it.  So basically, you'd have to fish for it.  I told her that since nothing else has a limitation like that it would be more noticable to be with the item you're purchasing.  Then maybe, she wouldn't have people like me filing complaints with the AG's offices around the US.  ;)  She agreed, but who knows if the powers that be will really be smart enough to head off some headaches they're causing themselves.


Is it just me or do you really wonder about the world we live in?

Am I cynical, judgemental, etc.?  I just can't help but wonder what people are thinking.  Is it just more in our face than years ago because of media hype and multi-media avenues to convey hot subjects?  I mean you can read headlines at any given time in the week and see a headline on places like AOL news or Yahoo news and see things like a mother who gives birth to octoplets because she didn't want to waste embryos?  Okay?  She already had 6 kids ages 7 and under, is single and is adding 8 more?  It's probably just me, but it screams I want money like everyone else who has large families and appears on tv (aka Jon and Kate Plus 8 and, 17 Kids and Counting, etc.)  I guess really, TLC and shows of the sort are somewhat to blame.  They enable people to believe if they do something similar they will inherit the riches strewn upon families like the Gosselins.  Granted, the show started out with a great premise of it being hard to raise 8 children as a normal family.  Normal they are not.  Only to not work, have a nanny and buy whatever you need, including a 6200 square foot house on a large acreage.  Seriously!  I think this woman having the octoplets saw this and thought, "yep, that's my piece of the pie".

Then you've got this horrible economy.  You have banks getting bailouts from!  Then the execs still spend this money....ours.....freely!  As stupidly as they got us into this predicament, they're continuing in the same ridiculous habits with no accountability whatsoever.  I mean seriously, lavish vacations, jets and bonus'...please...GET REAL!  What about Macy's.  What did they do?  Layoff their workforce and give the execs bonuses.  And when those workers that they laid off and other people who could normally afford to shop at Macy's can no longer....bye bye bonuses and bye bye exec jobs 'cause Macy's will go under.  Who do they think is shopping there.  It's not them.  That would be below them.  They're shopping Nieman's, etc.  Come on!

People need to get their heads out of the sand (because this is a family blog :)  ) and start being less selfish.  We're all in this together.  We can get through it together or fall divided.  That is a very true statement.  What was so bad about years ago?  Yes, in some ways our culture has improved.  In some ways it has gotten a whole lot worse!


Sunday, February 1, 2009

Sports and Grades (kids stuff)

We've struggled, somewhat, with grades for Cole for awhile.  I know most parents are completely thrilled with B averages, but he's SO very capable of more.  We're now about midway through the 3rd quarter of this year and his grades have vastly improved.  Each quarter has gotten better.  1st quarter consisted of mostly B's and the rest A's.  Then 2nd quarter was about split A's and B's.  This quarter, so far of course, is 1 B (an 88 though) and the rest A's.  SO GOOD!  Chase got a  nasty little 89 the first quarter and it threw him onto the B honor roll the first quarter.  He was VERY disappointed when he found out he would get the money.  Then the 2nd quarter was all A's with an A average for the semester too.  We've always tried really hard to encourage the kids and we've always paid Cole a little for his good grades (B's and better), but with Chase in the mix this year and sports to play we upped the anty a little.  They agreed with our new policy and wanted it over the prior policy for grade pay.  Prior to this, we paid $1/A and $.50/B and nothing lower.  If you got straight A's you got $20 for the quarter.  This year we informed Cole that since he wanted to play basketball and it coincides with the school year, unlike summer baseball, he had to have an 83% or higher in order for us to let him stay on the team.  He agreed and has worked very hard to keep this.  That combined with our new pay policy seems to have encouraged him.  I hope he stays that way.  We're now only paying for straight A's.  They get $40/semester for straight A's and if they keep them the entire year they get an extra $100.  They can spend half.  This has really been enticing for them and Chase managed it, so he's really aiming for the year now. 

We figured parents buy their kids stuff when they go to Walmart all the time or pay allowances and what not.  What's a better investment than working hard for good grades and getting money for your accomplishment.  No better way to spend money, in our minds.  Then they have to save too.  The portion they can spend we help them talk over how to spend and the best way to do so.  It teaches them to be a little frugal and wait for things they really want, but don't have the money for. 

Now, they're also learning to allocate their time wisely.  We've told them before we don't expect to be able to let them play more than 2 sports.  Having 4 kids means a sacrifice of time to go to the games/events and we want to be there for them all, as parents.  Not to mention how expensive it could get.  Cole has decided to let baseball go.  He does not want to play this Spring and we're behind him.  If he should decide, next year, that he missed it and wants to sign up again, that's fine too.  He may find other intestests...who knows.  He seemed to really like playing basketball, so we told him to put his energy into it and get better at that activity.  Chase still wants to do it all.  But, he's slimmed his two down to baseball and eventually football.  Yeah, not his mother's pick, but....  Kaelin is all about soccer still.  She seems to have no interest in anything else and she's pretty darn good at it.  She's got some natural athletic ability like Chase....even as ackwardly as she walks sometimes.  Get that girl out there to play soccer and she's a different person.  Who knows about Chelsi yet.  She says she wants to cheer like momma, but I think she'll try a year at soccer this fall to see if she likes it.  Wow...I hadn't thought about that 'til now.  My baby's old enough to play soccer.  Good Lord, where has the time gone with my baby? 


Superbowl Sunday...Sunday....Sunday

Did you hear the echoe?  I'm REALLY not into football.  I don't hate it, just can take it or leave it.  Now if there were in-person tickets...yeah.  Every sport is greater in-person.  Maybe with the exception of golf and bowling.  :)

Anyways, the feast is going.  We don't usually get together and have a party.  It's really not like that.  Brian has a couple of good friends who like football, so they usually come over, not always, and watch the game.  We make snacks no matter what.  The boys like watching the games with snacks.  So, Cole and I made a chocolate cheesecake and deer/pork bulgogi this morning.  Tonight we'll make a chili/cream cheese dip and Brian is making  a pot of chili.  We've tasted the bulgogi already (a traditional Korean dish) and the okay, not my favorite, but the pork tastes yummy and just like the restaurant.   Here's the recipe -  We'll be making some sticky rice tonight to go with the bulgogi...definitely the kids' favorite.

Can't wait for time to eat...who cares about game time.  :)