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 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.  :)


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.


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.


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. 


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, 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!


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!


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


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 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!


Tuesday, November 2, 2010


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.


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's a daily fight here.


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.