Sunday, December 26, 2010

4 Christmases

Not the movie.  We've just had 4 days of Christmas.  Brian actually said "I'm glad I have to work tomorrow".  He said he's tired of all the getting and going.  Thursday night we were just home, so we let the kids open their presents from one of their grandparents (out of state) so they could enjoy and not be so overwhelmed.  Oh, yes, the woes of being spoiled by everyone. 

Friday (Christmas Eve) we went to Brian's grandparent's for the big family Christmas dinner and the kids got some small gifts there.  Then, we had to leave for church and came home to find out Santa had come and the kids had more gifts.

Saturday we went to breakfast at Brian's parents and more gifts.  We took the kids home for a small nap and then went to my moms for dinner with the big family.  No more gifts there, but tons of food. 

This morning we had breakfast at my moms and yep, more gifts.  Now we're done with Christmas and I know everyone is tired!  So after all those days of Christmas, I narrowed down the pictures quite a bit.  I really didn't take too many anyways because I'd rather sit back and watch the kids enjoy.  We don't usually have big Christmas', as in big gifts.  First I don't want to spoil the kids, even if we could afford that and second we usually can't afford as much as a lot of their friends get.  I know that doesn't necessarily mean they can afford it, but that conversation is for a different day.

The kids got everything they wanted.  I really, really don't think there was anything left.  They had made lists early on and dispersed them to grandparents, Godparents and great-grandparents.  They were extremely surprised this Christmas.  I do NOT want to hear "I'm bored." for a very long time.

Here are their pictures.  Kaelin seemed to be the most surprised about everything.

My two best buddies.
Jaemin wanted his cousin to be his baby last night.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

This show gets my heart every single year!

http://www.tv.com/video/10510653/home-holidays--home-is-like-open-arms?tag=vid_carousel;vid;2

Unfortunately, I missed the original airing.  I haven't missed in years!  But, watch the various clips here if you need a cry.  I cry every single time, every single clip!  These kids and families are amazing!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

My baby girl is an actress!

Yep, she's only 5 and got her first part, very small but speaking part, in a play.  She's already in bed and I'd just checked their website, so she doesn't even know it yet.  She auditioned last night and they were finishing up tonight.  After auditions last night she didn't want to do it.  She really wanted to audition, but I think she got kind of rattled at the audition.  I couldn't prep her since I had no idea what to expect. 

She can fully read at a 3rd grade level, but was too scared to do it then.  But, when the director would give her her line she's say it loud and proud with plenty of tone.  They couldn't help but oohh and aahh over her, which I think made it a little scarier for her.  She completely chickened out afterward and told me she didn't want to do it anymore.  I told her just to think about it because I was afraid she'd regret it.  It took a lot more nerve than I have to even audition and she did that much completely on her own.  So, this morning I asked her if she felt differently about it and she said she was ready to be in the play.

Looks like I get to tell her in the morning she got it.  She's only in a couple of scenes and only has several lines, but that's really great for her first play anyways.  Very proud of her to be so brave to do something I would never have done.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Just as a precursor, I wanted to say not to take offense to what I have to say.  I'm not good with words, so I don't always quite convey what I mean in a well constructed manner.   Basically, some of the things have to say are just my interpretations of certain areas of the world based on both personal observations and just things learned through other avenues.  This does not make them true and I'm well aware of that.  It may sound very stereotypical from time-to-time, but it's not really meant that way.  I'm just pondering.

I just finished watching a movie about Apache Indians.  Not a true story by any stretch....just a story.  But, everytime I watch a movie with Indians I can't help but wonder where I came from.  I've said time and time again that I feel no culture for myself.  I know of people who eat corned beef and hash on St. Patricks Day or celebrate certain ethnic holidays such as Cinco De Mayo.  We celebrate the US customary holidays as well as our Christian holidays.  But I find the blends of other cultures and customs from other countries so intriguing.  When I used to study my ancestry (years ago) I had found the mixture I came from.  This did not help how I felt lost.  Even my very German side no longer really celebrates anything German.  I mean there's no particular foods and no body speaks German any longer.  Probably since my great grandmother passed away years ago.

My dad's side is even more complicated.  That's where I found evidence of Choctaw Indian; even though by his mother's account (my grandmother) they're Cherokee.  We have never found this evidence though.  There are family stories and many of them, including her name.  His family is also directly from England with a mixture of French, Irish, Spanish, German and Scandinavian.  As Brian says, this makes me a mutt because he's 100% German.  Though I sometimes tell him he's just American like me.

So, when I watch movies I sometimes wonder if some of me is becoming of my biological beginnings.  Do I have certain instincts because of my Indian ancestry?  And really I have fairly good instincts.  Do I believe in signs and look for them for the same reasons?  Am I sort of prim and proper sometimes because of my English ancestry?  Yes, the girls at work like to make fun of me because they can easily make my face turn red with conversation.  It takes very little.  Not to mention, though you can't always tell it here, that I tend to speak fairly properly.  I take it upon myself to constantly correct the kid's English as if I were a teacher.  Bad habit, I know.  I see my very dark brown eyes and wonder where I came from.  But am thankful for those same eyes that give me likeness to my Korean born children.

In turn, I wonder if my Korean born children will have certain tendencies biological to their own ancestry?  Will they wonder...very possible, one of them will, at least.  But will certain things just come to them because of where they came from, not because of who or how they were raised?  I have trouble thinking not.  I already see likenesses to the few facts I know about their birth families.  I sometimes dream about what they will be like as they grow older.  I wonder if these likenesses and the things they seem to be drawn to will continue over the years as if they knew the loves their birth families had? 

I just can't help but wonder how biology plays a part in who we are and who we become.  The mixes of where we came from.  I mean, as the US grows older the mixes, like myself, will become more and more.  I think you will eventually find fewer families that are all Jewish, all Irish, all German. 

Honestly, I'm not even sure where I was going with this or where I want to go.  I guess it's just some thoughts I have that seem to pop back into my head over and over again.  And I think because of how I feel about my backgrounds I tend to cling to my Korean born children's culture even more.  It feels more like my own sometimes.  All in all, I'm just American.  I know that.  They are too.....now.  But, I love culture and traditions.  There's nothing better than having that to remember and fall back on for comfort.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Some things in life ARE free!

Are you a country music fan?  Do you like Brad Paisley?  Have you downloaded his song "This is Country Music" for free yet?

I believe it can be downloaded free of charge until 12/31/10.  He has offered it free as a thank you to country music fans.  I think that speaks highly of him.  I, personally, love his attitude toward life.  I love his quirky songs and the sense of humor so many of them have.  Chelsi and I made sure to add the song to our MP3s tonight.

Get yours soon!

A treat for the girls

I decided since we didn't have any plans for the evening I would treat the girls. 

So, I took Kaelin, Chelsi, Jaemin and Chase all for Christmas haircuts.  This was Jaemin's first time letting someone other than mommy cut his hair and it looks really nice and he did SO good.  Once they gave him that sucker he started smiling really big.  Chelsi and Kaelin got a layer cut into their hair.  After cuts we had to do our Christmas grocery shopping.  I'm not sure we'll have enough time next week, so I tried to plan ahead.  Brian had some aluminum money so he said we could pick up Chase's free Book-It pizza and get pizzas for the rest of us.  YAY!

After supper I gave Chelsi, Kaelin and Jaemin a shower.  Then the girls came back to my bathroom for their treat.  I found my old Mary Kay pedicure stuff and gave them each a pedicure.  I had them soak their feet in a nice warm sink of water.  I went through all the steps and gave them calf and foot massages.  Then, they each picked out a polish color for their nails.  Kaelin picked out the clear sparkle (clear with glitter) and Chelsi picked out a coral sort of color for one foot and a pink/red color for the other.  I found some cuticle oil too and massaged their cuticles and pushed them back.  The girls just leaned back on my counter and relaxed.  They LOVED the massages and kept telling me how good they felt.

See treats can be FREE!!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Ice Day!

I guess that's like a snow day off school, right?  Yep, I have all 5 today.  It was my regular day off and school is closed for ice.  I sent the big boys out to bring in the stuff they left out last night and get trash up before the trash men come and all I saw was them ice skating in their boots.  Yep, the driveway was so slick they could just sit on the hill and slide down on their butts or glide across on their feet.  The dog went running and went into a tailspin.  I think it took him a bit by surprise, by his look. 

I went out to salt some more (on my side of the drive way) and couldn't even walk across the rocks.  I had to make my way to the grass because the gravel was SO slick!  The boys yelled at me after I threw salt on the lower driveway.  They told me I ruined all their fun.  Isn't that what a mom is for?  Now they're in their room cleaning what looks like a tornado ravaged area.  The girls and I already cleaned out the toy boxes and cleaned up the downstairs for Christmas.  I gotta get something out of them when I can.  I have lots of plans for their days off next week, before Christmas.  :)

Lisa

Monday, December 13, 2010

Thankfulness Post #15

This thankfulness post is to the kindness of two strangers.  I got stuck on about 2 inches of ice this morning in, thankfully, a fairly empty parking lot.  I knew after I pulled in I should have backed in, but it was already too late.  When I couldn't get out a guy across the lot came over and asked to get in the driver seat.  I trusted him and he tried to get my van out.  It wouldn't budge, with or without traction control.  It's just no match for solid ice.  Then a guy with a big ole diesel pickup came over with a chain and pulled my van out.  Between the two of them I got to leave.  Poor Jaemin was totally freaked out by having a stranger in the driver seat of his van, but I didn't want to get him out because it was so bitterly cold.  The guy in the driver seat had a good sense of humor about it.

Thank you to two kind strangers today.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Camo Cookies

Here's our package for a military unit in Afghanistan.  I hope they enjoy the home made sugar cookies, packets of hot chocolate and marshmallows for their drinks.  Stay safe boys.





Saturday, December 11, 2010

Thankfulness Post #14

I'm SO thankful Brian cleaned the house last night while Chelsi and Kaelin and I had girls night.  I would have been even more exhausted tonight if he hadn't!  Now I just have to finish the cookies, make bulgogi and finish laundry tomorrow.

Tonight I rest

and I am SO tired!

We sold Brian's 93 Escort this morning (YAY!) because this week we upgraded him to a 2006 Focus; complete with air bags and anchors for the carseats.  So happy to be in the same decade.  It only took one day to sell his car...not even really.

I worked all day making supper for tonight.  We had a turkey in the freezer that I got on sale last year, so it was time to get it out.  I made turkey, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, green beans, stuffing, rolls and cranberry sauce.  The kids and Brian were so full when they left the table they were all moaning.  Everyone said there was not one thing that wasn't good.  You see, Brian likes to joke and tell people I can't cook, but it's just not true.  I never had time to want to until I started working part time.  Now I have more time and actually want to spend part of my time making these meals.  Tomorrow is bulgogi!

Tonight I mixed up the sugar cookie dough and colored it.  Tomorrow we'll be rolling out and cutting camouflage sugar cookies.  Then we'll send them along with some hot chocolate packs to Afghanistan.  After making the cookies a couple of weeks ago that ended up looking camo colored we decided this would be fun.  So, someone I know has a son overseas and she said he and his unit loves packages.  I thought the kids would enjoy doing something nice for someone else.  His mother also said to send a note from the kids, so he knows who to thank.  The kids would think that's awesome getting mail from someone in the US military.

But, now I'm exhausted.

6 Years of Christmas Greetings

We must have skipped 2005 when we were waiting for Chelsi's referral, but the kids LOVE wearing pjs with Santa hats for Christmas pictures, so we have 2004, forward. They have changed so much. And as Chase says, the tree is shrinking. He just could not believe after we put it together how short it keeps getting. :)

2004


2006


2007


2008


2009


And then 2010

Monday, December 6, 2010

What a pair of women!

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/us_tv_kate_meets_sarah_palin

The two women of reality tv (and no I do not watch because they bug me so much) that a despise the most.  They're both just women that constantly want their 15 minutes.  I think that's the only reason Palin may run for Presidency, Lord help us.  And Kate....well...I still think in the end she kept doing her show and putting her kids in the spotlight for herself.  I mean really.  Did anyone any longer believe it was so hard for a mom of 8 kids to make it when she really didn't have to do anything.  It's kind of easy with nannies, cooks, clothes at your disposal and income from the show to-boot.  Palin I just can't stand.  She's fake and uses her family the same way.  I still think her show is just a way to get even more notoriaty before running for 2012.

ICK!!!  I'd probably vomit if I did watch it.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Just live

I'm a Type A, obssessive compulsive person.  That's not easy to have them together.  One can feed the other.  For a very long time I've had to control everything.  I live for structure and schedule.  I'm trying very hard to change.

Not that all of those traits are bad, but they can be hard to live with.  Afterall, does anyone really have control of their life?  In reality I never have.  I know that.  Everything since we've been married has taught me that there is no real control.  There's only God's control and how we react to his actions and the actions of others' free will.  I have decided that I'm going to try to just live.  When my work schedule changed from fulltime to parttime I was terrified.  I wanted it so badly for over 10 years, but I wasn't sure how we were really going to do it.  But, now that I've been doing it for 3 months, I realize how much I love it.  As much as I'd hoped; since I was scared that I may end up disliking it.  I always have fears with any big changes in life.  That's just me. 

Things aren't easy, but we're making it.  It will be a little tougher next month when my insurance premiums go up and my paycheck goes down $200/month.  But, I'm still very thankful for my time to spend with my babies before they grow up and my time to do grocery shopping and the little things I need to get done without the insanity.  I know it will end, but I'm living in today and what I have now.  Until my parttime job ends and I have to return to fulltime next year I will continue to enjoy every second of it.  I will continue to make cookies, pies and cinnamon rolls with my kids helping.  I will continue to snuggle that many more moments.  I will continue to be the one home when the get off school; to help with homework and start supper.  And the little kids, for a little longer, will have special grandparent time on the days I work. 

Another thing I've realized is that when it comes to having kids you never have to say you're having more or you're done.  You can make your choices as God or life leads you.  I can honestly say I don't know where our family stands.  I'm happy with our 5.  Very busy and happy with our 5.  But, we have 6 years until we age out of Korea; withstanding the Korean government discontinuing adoptions in 2012 as planned.  We never know if we will decide to go into foster care one day either.   Now, before friends and family freak out when they read this, this does not mean we're having more children.  It just means we don't know.  I do know I do not want to parent more babies.  If the right situation came along, maybe, but I sincerely doubt we would.  I still have the dream of adopting an older child one day.  But, again, things change as life goes on and I'm trying very hard not to plan my life away.  I'm trying very hard just to live.  Live and wait for God's signs.  If they never come then maybe we're never meant to expand our family.   And, honestly, I'm happy either way.

It feels so good to make a decision like this.  I've been grappling with it for a bit now.  My love for my kids is SO immense.  That love spreads to other children with no families to call their own, but I now know after much thought that that doesn't mean we are their family.  It just means I need to pray for them to find families and maybe find other avenues to help. 

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Christmas Cookies and Family Anniversary

We don't really have a designated day for our family anniversary.  We can basically pick any day between 11/28 and 12/22 to celebrate.  How's that for an anniversary? 

A lot of families with adoptees celebrate their child's Gotcha Day, Airplane Day, Family Day, etc., but with biological children as well, we decided not to.  We always have on their first and we still acknowledge it, but we do not have any big celebration.  We don't do gifts either.  But, on our family anniversary we do celebrate.  Not with gifts either, but just by being a family, being together and doing something special.  We've gone out for dinner in the past, but this year I ordered some airplane cookie cutters and decided we'd make Christmas sugar cookies and then make some of these too.

Chase, Kaelin, Chelsi and I worked on these most of the day.  You may not be able to tell though.  Some are pretty oddly painted with icing, but the kids worked hard at them.  I also colored the dough, so that the trees would be green, the gingerbread men would be brown and the airplanes would be about the same color as the Korean Air planes.  I thought the color came out well, but it's hard to paint them with icing.  Nonetheless, the kids had a great time and they were YUMMY!  We also painted a gingerbread man to look like each of us.  Kaelin painted me, Brian and Cole.  Chase painted himself and the girls asked me to put them in a hanbok, so I painted them and Jaemin. 

After loads of laundry, cleaning the house from top to bottom, making beds and making cookies ALL DAY LONG, this girl is beat! 

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Thankfulness #13

Like I said in my post, just before this.  We had to have an electrician come out because the night before Thanksgiving our electric fireplace smelled when Brian turned it on and he realized it had melted the plug and surge protector.  For safety's sake, I wanted it checked out.  I'm so thankful he didn't think it was anything major.  He said there was really no damage and rewired a new outlet.  He said it could have been lightning from the storms that night or it could have just been a bad plug end cap that came with the fireplace.  He told us to replace it and it should be fine.  We got off cheaper than I thought too.  I had no idea how much an electrician goes for nowadays.  But, happy it didn't break the bank.

Sick and Tired

I'm SO tired.  Jaemin had a terrible night last night.  He has a terrible cold and for him it causes reactive airway (basically asthma). So he barked all night, in my bed, on top of me and then puked snot several times.  TMI, I know.  I had a rag by my bedside so I could catch him every little bit.  About 4 in the morning I decided I was just going to take the kids to school and come back and sleep...yeah with 2 little kids.  Don't think so.  Not to mention the electrician was coming to look at an outlet where a plug blew last week and another guy was coming to cut down our dying oak. 

Instead of sleeping, I washed and folded 4 loads of laundry, nebulized and administered meds to one little boy, wrote out Christmas cards with the help of a 5 year old, finished wrapping presents that arrived today, cleaned the girls' room out and dusted.  Tonight, I'm just stopped up and tired.....again.  On a good night that poor boy doesn't sleep well, therefore, I don't sleep well.  On a bad night, well, it's just BAD!

Here's to a night of rest?  Hopefully?   Maybe?  One day?

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Thankfulness Reminder #12

I'm sitting here watching the Hallmark movie 'November Christmas'.  While I don't think it's a true story, it could really be anyone's life.  I'm so thankful I don't have a child gravely ill and having to watch them go.  I always pray my children outlive me and Brian.  I pray they are held safe by God.  So when people ask why I wasn't scared when Cole had his first surgery or if I'm scared about the next, I'm really not right now.  I try very hard to remind myself that there are people in harder positions than we are in.  We're lucky to live where he can have treatment, we're lucky it's nothing worse.  We're lucky he's done better than they ever expected and the expectations of the previous surgical procedure.  As long as we're all together, I will be thankful for our health. and pray He keeps us together even longer.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Thankfulness Reminder #11

I'm a little late on this, but it's been busy.  We had a yummy Thanksgiving.  I enjoy the food more and more each year.  It's amazing that as you get older you start liking all of the stuff you thought was so gross when you were younger.  We had everything you could imagine at my aunts.  Everyone brings something to go with the turkey and ham and it's so good every time.

We did something different this year.  My uncle had everyone go around and say what they were thankful for.  I thought it was great to hear my kids say things.  I mean if I made them do that at home they wouldn't take it seriously, but there they did it because everyone else did.  They were thankful for family and life and that was so great to hear.  We're lucky.  Not a lot of families still celebrate holidays together anymore.  So many get separated by distance or feuds.  We still get together with my aunts, uncles, cousins and grandma; along with my sister, mom and stepdad.  The kids have this familiar placed tradition every year to run around with cousins, play with new babies, play games and cards, talk and eat together.

There is NO better tradition than this.  Family trumps everything in my mind and being together is important.

I'm SO done!

My Christmas shopping is complete.  I just started, literally, 2 weeks ago.  Didn't have a thing until then.  Now, I'm just waiting for everything to arrive.  What a relief to be done.  We way splurged this year.  The older kids each asked for slightly more expensive items, so we decided to get this this year; within reason and watching our dollars of course.  Every once in awhile it's okay and this is definitely something we NEVER do.  And though our budget is $100 or less per child we went a little over on the big ones.  The little ones help us average out and all the years past that we went under budget, so it's justified in my mind this year.  One thing I won't do is go into debt for Christmas.  Glad we save for it.  The kids even decorated the tree last night, so it's up too.  Here's the main picture we're using for our Christmas card this year.  This is our traditional pj/Christmas tree picture. 

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thankfulness Reminder #10

Thankful that I made a very stupid mistake on a Christmas present and it worked out to my advantage.  I ordered my new nephew (only niece or nephew on my side) his first Christmas presents and had them shipped to NY.  Well, right after that I ordered my kids a sand and water table.  I was super excited about getting this for Jaemin and Chelsi.  Great fun/outdoor activity  But, I failed to notice that it still had the NY shipping address on it and well, their gift was delivered to my brother's house.  It was too late to change the location by the time I noticed.  So, I called the store and they said I needed to go ahead and reorder without waiting for it to be returned so I could get the same discount I got last week (expired) and get it by Christmas.  So I did.  It ended up being on sale this week and I got the discount.  So, it wasn't too bad of a deal and the other one has been returned.  AND I've already got all the Christmas presents I have so far....wrapped!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Thankfulness Reminder #9

Simply, I now have some time to watch to of my gifts paint me some pretty pictures for my fridge and get to enjoy giving little man a scrub down after he, more or less, paints himself instead.

Definitely tired from today

I actually slept last night because I did have a certain nightly visitor to keep me up.  But, last night was not a good night for another child in the house, so we had to have a little .... okay a lot.... of a talking to before bed.  I was spent before I ever hit the bed.  This morning was better, but had to get the laundry caught up because it's our anniversary today and we were planning on taking the kids to Petco to spend some of their saved money, Barnes and Nobel to use their gift cards and then take them to Colton's Restaurant because we had free kids meals.  Didn't quite turn out the way we expected.  Brian did get Chelsi, Kaelin and Jaemin's sun catcher's and notes mailed to Korea to their foster mothers.

First, Brian's uncle came out to look at the furnace because it had been really loud the last couple of nights and we couldn't figure out why.  Ended up being the thermostat.  It was doing something wacky, so he said we needed to replace it.  I told him we'd get one tonight, at Menards, since I'd seen one on sale.  We stopped to get that one, took the kids to Barnes and Noble and then Chase, Kaelin and Chelsi each bought a beta at the pet store.  They were so proud to pay for this stuff themselves.  It was the first time Chelsi's ever spent her money and I could see the pride in her eyes as she paid for what the gift card wouldn't on the books and her fish.

Next was Colton's to eat and it was already 6:30, so we were all starving.  We had a 20 minute wait, which I didn't think was too bad on a Friday night.  But, about 10-15 minutes in Brian went outside and sent Cole back in to tell me he wasn't feeling well.  He said he's stay outside while he ate.  Doesn't that sound like a great way to spend your anniversary?  I went to ask the ladies how long it takes to cook the food and she said maybe 15 minutes.  It was so late we needed to get the kids some food, so I ordered their food and we took it home.  He's feeling fine now, but the smell was not appealing to him earlier. 

The upside is the rest of us really enjoyed our meals and it only cost $20 for 3 kids meals and 3 adult meals, tons of yummy roles and some peanuts.  We had a VERY late supper and then I still needed to wire the thermostat.

Thermostat is wired, kids are in bed and our anniversary is, as always, just another day.  That's what happens after 16 years. :) 

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Christmas learning experience

To a lot of people it might seem mean to make your kids put money towards their Christmas gift.  I mean it's not like we can't pay for them outright without the kids' help.  And it's not like we spoil them all year long so we can't spoil them on Christmas.  It's kind of the opposite.  We spend little on birthdays; around $20 or less and rarely buy things throughout the year.  It's kind of the only way for us to have saved anything with a family of 7.  Plus we try so hard not to spoil the kids so they understand a lot of things just aren't given to you and you do have to wait for them.

So, the oldest came to me about a month ago and told me he wanted an Ipod touch.  I couldn't understand why he would think he needs one when he has a perfectly good MP3.  Then, he let me know the stuff that the Touch does and he really does want it for the apps, video etc.  In his defense, his MP3 is at least 4 years old and pretty large for an MP3...that's how old it is.  I looked into them and the massive cost of the purchase and decided maybe, just maybe, for once, we'd give in and give them something they really wanted.  Not that they don't ever get anything, but they rarely ask for anything over my $100 budget and it's usually so over that it's easy to say no with good reason.  But, $200 falls into the category of WAY over.  So, I talked to them an told both boys (since they both would like one) that if they contribute a small amount to the cost I will get one for them if Apple has any refurbished for the price they had over the weekend.  Stupidly I didn't just order one like I should have.  They both really want it, so they agreed. 

So, if we can afford them, why am I making them contribute?  Because I think if they have something invested in it they may just take really good care of them and enjoy them even more.   I think that's a lifelong lesson and this is a good time to try it out.  They know we don't have money to just throw out on unnecessary stuff and know that I really try hard to stick to my budget, so they're okay with it and it will stay with them.  I hope. 

That's my parent lesson to my kids for the week.

Thankfulness Reminder #8

So I'm slightly behind on posting almost daily.  Almost daily seems to be like every other day, not every few.  And it's not because I have nothing to be thankful for; big or small.  I just haven't had time. 

I'm thankful Brian took today off to paint our hallway that hasn't been painted in 15 years.  Boy did it need it after 13 years of kids dragging their hands down the hall and us wiping it clean leaving just the paper on the drywall underneath.  And the corners.....they have paint and you can no longer see the metal corner.  So wonderful! 

Monday, November 15, 2010

Official Switch

So, we've made the official switch.....to glass.  There are just too many reports that can't seem to agree on whether reheating plastic (any grade) is okay or not.  I decided it's just not worth the risk.  I threw out most of my cheap gladware, but kept a few pieces in various sizes.  You never know when you might just need to bring a sandwich to work or just to freeze something.  But, I invested in some Pyrex containers and will hopefully add a few more over time.  We're good for now with what I already had and what I just got.  I feel better just knowing we're not taking the risk.  It was literally eating at me.  :)

Lisa

Thursday, November 11, 2010

He's still a CM fan!

Jae is definitely still a country music fan.  He loves music in general, just like his big sis'.  We were finally watching the CMA's tonight and he was air guitaring for awhile, but then went and got his little toy guitar.  He was rockin' around the room and even threw his momma a kiss and went back to some rocking.  I'm not a HUGE Keith Urban fan, but that's who he looked like grooving around the room.  I think he learned a thing or two from him and Brad Paisley tonight. 

Cole went and got his beginner guitar and Jaemin took right to it.  He's a lefty, but he holds it naturally.  I can totally see him playing one day.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Thankfulness Reminder #7

Thankful for kids who, sometimes, actually help out without complaining so I can actually get more done then I stressed about at work.  Chase sweetly replaced the nasty shower curtain downstairs so I could wash the old one.  Kaelin helped put away the items from my shopping trip.  Brian helped me fold the load of laundry and cut up the deer and pork chops for the bulgogi while I was out.  This girl just can't stand the site of the redness of deer meat.  I will eat it, but I can't stomach cutting it.  Chelsi picked up the toy food, twice!  Jaemin just kept creating his usual disasters.  But, thanks to extra help I got the grocery and monthly shopping done, a load of laundry washed, folded and hung up and a shower curtain soaking.

Tomorrow will be spent doing a couple more loads of laundry, making bulgogi and kimchi pancakes and a playdate after dropping kids at school.  Oh snap....the kids are off early too.  Well, it will be a full an noisy house while I get that done.

Lisa

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Thank you God!

Earlier this week I decided it was time to teach Jaemin to say his prayers at night.  He doesn't string too many words together yet, so I just had him repeat "thank you God, Amen".  He put his hands together to pray and repeated me.  Not very clear, but he repeated.  The next night I just put him to bed and sat by his bed to give him a kiss goodnight.  He put his hands together and started yelling at me "I pway....I pway".  It took me looking at his hands before I realized what he was saying.  He was perfectly content after we finished saying "thank you God, Amen".  He did it again tonight, so I guess last night was not just a quirk.  Then, he took his paci out of his mouth and said "popo".  I gave him his kiss (in Korean) and left.  OOOHHHH my little man.....I love you and you melt my heart and amaze me so easily.

Lisa

Thankfulness Reminder #6

I know that as time goes on this is going to get harder and harder.  Not that I can't find things to be thankful for, but finding them several times per week.  I mean....I always remind myself how thankful I am for the kids, etc., but not for the little things that happen or how they happen.  Of course, sometimes, I just don't realize how thankful I am for something until I see the reason why it happened.  Does that make sense?

So, tonight I'm thankful that no matter how badly Cole and Kaelin get along...and trust me they do NOT get along......he 'can' do what's right and big brotherly when she really needs him.  He rescued her tonight and I'm thankful.  He chalked it up to boredom, but he saw her being bullied in a subdued way, but still rescued her. 

Lisa

Monday, November 8, 2010

Thankfulness Reminder #5

So, after having the 3 younger kids line up for the lotion rub down, I realized that Jaemin's is getting better, Kaelin just has dryness on her face, but Chelsi's eczema is getting worse for the Winter.  So what am I thankful for today, you ask?  I'm thankful Jaemin has his eczema flare ups during the summer while Chelsi's is in the Winter.  So, YAY....at least they're not at the same time.  They are to the point that they're hard to reign in sometimes, so this is a VERY good thing!

Lisa

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Thankfulness Reminder #4

Tonight, I'm just simply thankful our church dinner is over!  No more worrying about my pies or bread in the freezer and geez my feet are tired.  But, boy that food was YU U UMMY!

Lisa

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Thankfulness Reminder #3

I remind myself that even on, what I consider, a bad day I need to post the things I'm thankful for.  At almost any given moment in my life I can find some small thing to be thankful for.  This is what I always hold onto and a lot of what has gotten me through the bad things that can happen in life.  So, even though today is not the greatest day for one of our children and in return, for me either, I make myself look for something.

Today, I'm thankful that we have an extra $40 cash (from aluminum recycling) that we can now afford to take the kids out to eat sometime in the next month or so.  We rarely go out to eat because it's hard to validate spending that kind of money on food for a family our size.  But, it is still an enjoyable thing to do for them and us, so since we got it we will use it.  Now, to debate on where to go.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Korean Background Inaccuracies

So when you see a movie that, supposedly, takes place in another country that you have never been to, do you assume it's an accurate portrayal.  For that matter, just another American city.  Well, this Korean lawmaker has a problem with American dramas and their portrayal of Korean cities, life and backdrops.  I found the article quite interesting as I know enough about Korea to know it's assessment of the issue is true.  I realize that Hollywood has a lot of work to get shows to flow together, but come one.  You can't spend a little more time to make it look a little more like the real thing?  At the very least costumes, etc. should be easy enough to get.  I can almost understand not being able to accurately recreate the Han River as it is SO vast and their bridges are different than ours, but then maybe you shouldn't say it's the Han River?

Anyways, an interesting article. Hollywood Inaccuracies Regarding Korea

Lisa

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Thankfulness Reminder #2

I'm totally thankful that tonight Jaemin is already asleep because he has his 'unsnipped' paci and likes going to bed again.  Nevermind that he still crawled over the footboard at midnight last night to get in bed with me....it was still better than it had been....and I'll take it!  Totally gives up the paci to sleep with mommy though.  MIL says it's because I'm his security when he's in bed with me.  Maybe she didn't mean it that way, but I totally took it as a sweet comment!

Lisa

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Geez!

I can't believe I've been suffering (and I'm sure Jae too) for no reason.  No reason at all!  I was checking in with one of our supervisors today, about an issue, and we were talking about how tired I was.  I told her how Jae has been having so much trouble sleeping all of the sudden; naps and night.  It's been terrible.  He doesn't want to go to sleep, talks, scratches, whatever.  Then, it donned on me while we were talking that this started about the same time as I started to snip his paci....3 weeks ago.  I started to snip it hoping he would give up what was left of his addiction.  He just takes it in bed, but after talking to another mom who said this works, I thought I'd try.  The other 4 gave it up cold turkey by 2, but I didn't see that happening with little man.

So tonight we decided to experiment.  I gave him one of the reserves I was keeping and sure enough it worked.  He went to bed, stayed in bed and fell asleep right away.  No, 1-2 hours of coming out of his room, going through his drawers, throwing toys around the room, whatever.  He's sleeping.  All this because I snipped his stinkin' paci.  Looks like he'll be keeping it bit longer.

Lisa

Thankful Reminder #1

I decided tonight that I'm going to try to post one thing.  Just one thing as often as I can about something I'm thankful for.  Not the usual, I'm thankful for my family, etc., though that might be thrown in from time-to-time depending on how I feel.  I want to reflect on small things.  Small things we all take for granted and need to remind ourselves to be thankful for.  We all find ourselves in the wo is me mood from time-to-time and this is something I do to help myself during those times anyways.  So, no matter what it is your thankful for, big or small, find something almost daily to be thankful for and remind yourself that life is good.

Today, I'm thankful that Brian has uniforms for work so that we can a) cut down on laundry and b) cut down on clothing costs.  I was reminded of this as I threw in 2 more loads tonight.....it's a daily fight here.

Lisa

Monday, November 1, 2010

Crystal Ball

I think at some point in most of our lives we sort of wish we had a crystal ball to see a glimpse of our future to know what choice to make or just for a second to know the choices already made were right for us.  I also think it's human nature to be curious of the lives of others.  Why else would reality tv be so popular?  I watch very little, but not because I'm not curious, but because I just don't have time.

I belong to various support groups between adoption and broken hearts and can't help but wonder what's behind the screen....really?  I mean, what someone shows us on screen is not really them....I would think not anyways.  I mean, do you really think this is the real me?  Here I may look perfect from time-to-time.  No one sees my failures or the times I just plain lose it.  Heck, the folks at work see me all the time and they don't see a lot of that.  My family, however, does.  The ones in the house who are with me on a day-to-day basis and the ones I'm most comfortable with.  I do think this is normal.  That's why I think I sometimes wonder when I see a mom totally lose it at the store thinking they're toning it down there, is it that much worse at home?

I also wonder about myself.  I see other families adding to their family through adoption.  I'm happy for them, but is a tinge of me really a little jealous?  Sometimes, I think maybe.  No, I don't want more.  I'm doing good with the 5 I have.  But, what if I'm jealous of how some can handle 5 little ones (I mean barely school age and under) while I'm treading sometimes with a 13 year old on down to 2?  But, then another part of me thinks maybe that's easier.  I used to think things would be easier as the kids got older, even though wiser moms told me otherwise.  But, yeah, now that we have 3 kids in school, and almost 4 in school, it's getting SO busy.  Not bad busy, sort of fun busy, but definitely crazy busy.  So, yeah a part of me wonders how hard it's going to be for these moms when the kids are all going to school, almost at once.  What if you had 5 then?  Wow!  In then end, I'm glad I heeded some of the warnings and at least kept a little spacing between our 5.  I think that helps a bit.  It eases you into it a little.  I can't imagine all of the kids one by one turning those magical ages each year when they begin school and therefore you have homework, school events and eventually extracurricular activities.  What about the magical age when suddenly you're paying to go somewhere or eat something....or worse yet.  Cole has hit the magical age where he costs what an adult costs.  Of course, for us that 'can' be good sometimes.  If it's to get a free kids meal with the purchase of an adult we end getting all the little kids free and only paying for an adult.

I don't know.  Just some random things I think about on occasion.  Maybe I just needed to write it down to get it out of my head?  Things are never what you think.  A lot of people look happy on the outside or perfect on screen, but life is not perfect.  The one thing I've learned.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Hallow's Eve!!

So, my kids weren't so scary.  The girls, were fairy witches....they're own invention after Chelsi couldn't decide between a witch or fairy.  So, her Godparents found her a costume, for her birthday, that fit the bill just perfectly.  We added some soot to Jaemin's face to go with his fireman's costume and Chase got dressed as a zombie football player.  I'm sure we'll have a ton of candy by nights end, but some will last until almost Easter.  The newness wears off after a bit.  But, the kids will pay us our dues in chocolate for being mom and dad.  How evil....huh?

This one's great.  They were waiting for Jaemin to look at the camera.  Never happened.  :)