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!;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  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.  :)


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. :)






And then 2010

Monday, December 6, 2010

What a pair of women!

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?