Thursday, June 30, 2011

Another Swim Class Complete

The kids go to swim lessons every year.  Even if it's out of our budget, it's kind of a must in my mind.  Safety's a big issue and it's good for them to feel absolutely comfortable in the water...especially with so much around here.

Chelsi was in level 2, while Cole, Chase and Kaelin were in levels 6, 5 and 4 respectively.  Next year Chelsi will be in level 3; scary a 6 year old small girl in 4 foot of water.  Chase will be in level 6; we're expecting him to need to spend 2 years there.  :)  Kaelin will repeat level 4.  Cole passed level 6, so next year he will be old enough to take a lifeguard certification and do that if he chooses.  He's going to call them tomorrow to see what to expect next year since it costs around $130 and I can't afford to pay for it for him.  Though I'd love to see him have a job at 15 to start saving some money and would be more than happy to drive him there.

As for Kaelin not passing, it's no big deal.  I tell the kids every year before they start that it's not about passing or repeating.  It's about learning and mastering the skills they teach.  I have no problems paying for them to go back the following year and they try hard, so I know it's not for lack of trying.  I'm proud of them regardless!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Sticker Face Again

I had an irritating night with the kids, so I'm not really in a mood for a cutsie post.  Jaemin was my little angel tonight.  The big kids, believe it or not, could have learned from him.

I finally unloaded my little pocket camera's photos tonight and found a picture of Jaemin from the drive home from Alabama last month.  He totally kept himself entertained by taking all of the stickers off the sheets and putting them in various places on his face.  He would feel for an empty spot with his fingers and then stick them on.  While he was very very quiet on the drive, getting the residue from the stickers off took DAYS!

Here are the lovely photos Brian took last night while my dad and step mom were in town.  They brought me a cake for the first time in like 20 years, so Brian took a picture.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Another birthday gone

Yep, that's right, this time it was my birthday.  I won't say how old I am, but I'm still young enough to adopt from Korea again.  So those that are Korean adoptive parents know about the vicinity I'm in.  And by the way, I have some years to go before I age out there.

Anyways, I had a good birthday day. Nothing crazy outstanding, but a good day is a good birthday.  I got by without too much at work...I think only my boss's boss knew it was my birthday today and she brought some stuff.  My darling daughter Kaelin told my mom to give me the present she bought me for Christmas to me today, so I got a new purse, thanks to her.  :)  My dad has been in town for a couple of days, so he and his wife brought me a car and gift card and then got me a cake.  I haven't had a birthday cake in some time.

I have to say, they did actually pull something over on me and I'm pretty observant.  Brian told me he wanted to make me birthday brownies, so he stayed home from swimming lessons tonight.  I thought it was odd that the house didn't smell yummy when we got home, but I had stuff to do and dad was coming back for a visit, so I didn't have too much time to think about it or question him on why he missed swimming classes.  :)  Then, he had me come in the kitchen and they had a cake with a candle on it.  Wow, I definitely haven't had a candle since I was a teenager almost 20 years ago. 

And best of all, my speech delayed little man gave me a hug and said 'happy birday mommie'. 

Onto another year of life.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Nice evening for a swim

The kids are on their 2nd and last week of swimming lessons.  All 4 of the older kids are enrolled.  Jaemin will be old enough to start the preschool class next year.  My dad has been in town for the last two days, so tonight my roast didn't get done in time (crockpot) to eat and get to lessons, so I decided we'd grab some drinks from home and pick up some hamburgers from McDonalds and eat at the park next to the pool.  We ate and then the kids played on the playground for a bit before they needed to run down the hill to their lessons.  It was nice and relaxing.  I had no mess to clean up and all 5 kids were content to play.  Cole just followed Jaemin around on the gym, so I could just sit and watch.

It was obviously nice enough for them too because Kaelin thanked me for doing that tonight.  She never does that.  So, I am really glad they enjoyed it!

Direct Donation for Dillon for Di2010-k06

Dillon contacted me today.  I now have this sweet little guy's name so you and I can pray for him by name.  Also, when you donate you can put his name in comments on my link or Dillon's site to make sure that the funds go towards him.  If Dillon gets donations in his name they are going to let me know.  I have NOT gotten any donations yet, so please if you're feeling giving, this guy could use it.  Please help him.  We can't all adopt all the children in need, but we can sure help provide some support for them to either help nudge that family in the direction they're otherwise to strapped to walk down or help support his needs when he moves to a facility.

You can click on Dillon's link here to donate.  In the comments section note that it's for HoSeong.


Friday, June 24, 2011

My little man/grant or sponsorship/Di2010/k06

So, I haven't been able to talk on the phone to Dillon staff, but I did receive a quick email that they will be able to take any money I can collect and put it towards a sponsorship if little Mr. Di2010-k06 goes to an institution OR better yet put it in a grant for a family that comes forward to make him their child.

I have an email back to her to ask if it will be tax deductible.  Either way, if you can donate it WOULD go to this little guy.  I'm hoping eventually they'll let me post his picture here.  If you haven't filled out the form yet to see him, trust me, he's SUPER cute!  He'll be 3 in September and seems to be on target with the exception of language.  It sounds like he's about where Jaemin is now.  He's talking, just not full sentences and probably not super clear.  He needs someone to bring him home and get him into some speech therapy and let him grow.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Unspoken prayers

Please pray for someone I love.  This person is going through a tremendously hard time and missing a huge chunk of their heart.  I can only imagine as a parent how much it hurts.  I want only the best for them and for this to be resolved.  This is my unspoken prayer request today.

Please pray for them.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

New updates on Di2010-K06

I'll keep the donate button out in the right side bar, but since I'm posting this info here anyways, thought I'd also post this.

So, here it is. This little guy (I can't release his name) is almost 3 and is still waiting for his family. He will be moved to an institution, possibly this year. Children are virtually unadoptable at that point. This little guy is making tremendous progress and seems to be doing quite well. He's the same age as Jaemin and seems to be at the same stage...lacking in speech language. I think it's worth at least looking at his file to consider him.

Go to Dillon's web site, fill out the form real quick to get access to the waiting children and say no to this beautiful face....I dare you!!  Double dare you!

If you're not looking to adopt, but would just like to help this sweet boy out, you can donate on my page and in the next several months I will send the money to Dillon. I have their approval to advocate for him and all money donated here will be sent to Dillon and earmarked only for this child. They said that if he's adopted it will go into their Building Families fund and given to his family as a small grant. If he's sent to an orphanage environment, it can then be sent to Korea to aid in his care; speech therapy and just everyday living for a child.

I can't get him off my mind and would like to do something for another child and am praying that somehow he finds his family.

You can donate here and help a child in need.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Please pray a way home

for this little guy. He reminds me so much of little man; in his description. He's even the same age. I pray he finds his forever home soon. Are you his family?

Cutie Here

Friday, June 17, 2011

I love my children, my life

The Mother In Me

The mother in me says to her children;
Don’t cross streets without looking both ways
Don’t talk to strangers
Don’t drink and drive
Don’t do drugs.

The mother in me thinks her children;
Should respect all people
Should treat others as they would like to be treated
Should love and cherish life
Should be all they can, because they can be anything.

The mother in me prays her children;
Will never hurt
Will be loved by all
Will never feel lost or alone
Will always know and remember I love them.

Copyright Notice
© 2005 All rights reserved.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Uggghhh! Braces

Today was Chase's 3rd opinion from an orthodontist.  Looks like we really don't have a choice.  He needs braces.  This guy actually explained things a little more, which really helped.  Basically, Chase has a couple of upper and lower teeth that are crossed.  So basically his upper tooth is back too far and his bottom tooth is too far forward, while is other teeth line up when he closes his mouth.  This will eventually cause one tooth to wear down the other tooth until it needs a crown...YIKES!  So, the estimate on this?  $5,000 if we begin in 2012.  I don't know that we'll be able to do that, so we may have to wait.  She said it's safe to wait as long as we don't get to the point it starts to damage.  She said we can watch and the dentist can watch for that.  I'll talk to our dentist next week when we have our annual there.  Also, his two canine's have nowhere to come into.  One is coming out the side already and won't drop down.  She said it will probably hover between his gum and the actual spot it's supposed to come into.  The other one, on the other side, may never come in, which isn't good either.  Chase also needs to work on keeping his teeth cleaner.  I'm glad he talked to him about it, so maybe he'll take it more seriously.

So, there you have it.  Unless we manage to sell our state tax credit, it will be hard to be for.  If we manage to sell the credit, then we'll, in essence, get that money next summer and be able to start on his teeth.

Fun, fun!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The person I want her to be

that's my baby girl, Chelsi.  I've told the kids time and time again that I don't need them to accomplish anything earth shattering.  I don't need them to be the prettiest, the top of their class or anything like that.  I need them and want them to be good people.  That makes me happy.  Today I got a note confirming that Miss Chelsi is well on her way.  Today was the last day of summer school and her teacher sent home a note with all of the students.  But, Chelsi's had something extra.  It said "Chelsi is wonderful!  I had a little boy who was crying everyday and Chelsi was able to get him to stop.  She was the friend he needed.  Such compassion from a young girl."  Makes me teary everytime I read it.  Apparently, from Chelsi's explanation, this little boy cried everyday, but she didn't know why.  Today she walked up to him and told him she liked his Transformers bag.  He asked her to play with him at recess and she said 'sure'.  This was the day the little boy stopped crying.

That's my baby girl!  My sweet, sweet girl!

Oh I hate those dreams

You know the dreams. The ones where you wake up and remember it and then ponder it all day wondering what your subconscious was trying to tell you.  I had a dream that all of a sudden we were at the point where we had a picture of this cute little Korean guy, he was probably about 12-24 months old and we were adopting him.  He was a waiting child....yeah, that's how much detail I got.  And all of a sudden we were in the throws of the adoption and I was going 'holy crap, how are we going to pay for this'.  PANIC!  I don't know why in the world I would have such a crazy dream.  We have no intentions of anymore kids.  We're good the way things are and our hands are full and our pockets are empty.  Why put any thoughts in my head that I don't need?  It's almost like if I saw this little guy in real life, I'd recognize him.  It was THAT vivid.  The ONLY reason this dream scares me is because in October 2008 (a month after Jaemin was born and 5 months before we knew about him), I had a dream that I met a little baby boy and he was wearing mint green.  Yep, that was my Jaemin.

I love birthday month

Obviously as a mom to 5, I'm lucky I get a birthday, so there is no week long or month long celebration.  However, the coupon people LOVE my birthday.  So, I show them some love by SPENDING them!  I got $10 off Kohls, so Cole got a new pair of shoes for school for $20 after my 20% discount and coupon.  I got $10 off Penneys, so Kaelin got a pair of capris and a shirt and Chelsi got a shirt for $13 total.  I even got a free meal off Lee's Chicken, so I had to use my $20 Groupon to Old Navy and had my yummy dinner for free!

Came home and Brian tells me I got my birthday coupons in the mail today too.  Our city allows vendors to submit coupons and then on your birthday you get a whole pack.  I got my favorite.....I'm hoping someone's going to take me for Chinese so I can use it.  Hint hint.  After all, I've gone to this restaurant most of my birthdays for most of my life.  Why stop now.  It's the only time I get to have it.

Always a reason to celebrate when you get coupons to help you out!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Official switch from 'WHEN' to 'IF'

I hate, hate, hate doing this because it feels like I'm telling myself I've lost hope, but I have to do this to not feel so stressed.  I'm talking about our once in a lifetime trip to Korea as a complete family.  We may go, we may not. I've been mulling this over in my mind and on paper for the last few days and I just don't see any alternative.  Going to Korea for 7 is not as simple as it may seem.  \

First of all, finding a hotel room to accommodate 7 people together is near to impossible.  I'm willing to split the adults up to find two separate rooms, but that definitely adds to the cost.  Not to mention Korea's rules are stricter than here in the US where we can stay in a suite with 2 doubles and a fold out couch.  They don't allow that in Korea.  We finally found a decent place to stay that would only be $180/ of now.  So we're figuring on $200/night just in case rates change.

Food's not a terrible worry, but even if you figure $50/day (cheap) you would be spending $6-700 over the 12-14 day stay.  Which yeah, we could stay for a shorter time, but if you're going to fly for 14 hours you want to stay a bit.  If anything it helps a little with jet lag.

Transportation within the country's not terrible either.  We can get around on the subway and cabs for probably less than $500 the whole stay.  Then, there's transportation to Gwangju and Jeju (their birth cities); that's another $1200 for both and a hotel stay at each if just some of us go.  Like me and each child that was born in the city we were going to.

Airfare.  Here's where I can't cut the cost at all.  We're obligated to pay whatever the going rate is at the time for economy class tickets.  So, if oil goes up, so does our airfare, which at a good June rate will be $1500/ticket if we're lucky.  With 7 of us, the price of our family's airfare can fluctuate anywhere from $10,000 to $13,000 for all of us.  There's not getting around this part.  You can't just choose to drive or take another mode of transportation.  This is the part that really stinks!  We can afford to be in Korea, we just can't do the high end of airfare.

We've been planning for this since Kaelin was about 3 and told me she wanted to go together.  Then we emptied the whopping $800 we had in the account to get Jaemin.  I got serious and started saving $100/month after Jaemin came home two years ago.  Then came my $250/month pay cut thanks to our stinky contractor who can't get us a better deal on health insurance.  Due to that I had to go part time to afford my bills and get the kids out of daycare.  And with all this went the $100/month I was saving for the trip.  So, there we stand at $3,800 in our Korea account.  If you added the above up, we're need about $17,000 to go.  Only $13,200 short.  Not bad huh?  UGH!  We have our regular savings and it has some in it, but you can't drain your savings to nothing with 5 school aged kids.  We're already living paycheck to paycheck...literally.  There's nowhere to go.  Then, we have the potential that either we're going to have to fix our septic's drainfield or hook up to our city sewer.  Either way it will cost about $3500.  And Thursday after our 3rd orthodontic opinion Chase may still need braces.  Poor kid has two permanent teeth coming out the side of his gums.

So, it's time I let myself down a bit.  I was so psyched for this trip.  It's not like I was completely doing it for Kaelin, Chelsi and Jaemin.  I was planning it for our family.  It's bonding.  It's a special link for us.  It's how we became a family.  It's been important and driving me for years, but it's time to let go so that I don't let it's dream consume me.

The plan is to wait until next Winter when we had planned to start buying tickets or watching for decent fares to reevaluate.  If things seem okay and maybe we manage to save some more we'll think a little more about it.  Otherwise, each year it will get pushed back another year until we decide if we'll ever go at all.  Really, you don't have forever.  Cole will be 18 in just 4 years.  One year he will have his heart surgery and that is how we'll spend our summer.  So, all I can say is IF we go to Korea as a family it will be the best trip ever!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Our Outing

I took the kids to a state park to look around and walk.  They enjoyed it. It was a perfect 80 degrees, but was a little muggy down near the water.  Somewhere during this outing I hurt my knee.  I'm guessing anyways.  By Saturday night my knee was swollen and warmish.  I can't kneel on it or put pressure on it, so I've been icing it.  It's sort of white and then red on my knee cap.  Weird.  Who knows.

This is how far up we were.  We drove down the hill and then walked the trail along the spring.
The kids at the ruins of the castle.  It took almost 20 years before it was completed and was gone in another 20.
This is a glimpse of what the house looked like prior (during) it's burning.  It was HUGE!
Happy little camper running along.
Chase just had to take this picture.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Fun Summer Day

We had a really great day!  Last night the big boys had to go to town with me because Chase wanted to buy himself a new Cardinals hat since he lost the 3rd one in about 5 years, while on vacation.  Cole needed a new lifejacket since he finally weighed over 90 lbs and actually jumped right to 100.  I wanted to be sure it would fit him since he's so thin, so he came with me to the store.  The boys talked me into stopped at Petco because they'd been saving for a lizard habitat starter kit.  Obviously they'd been planning on it because they'd caught 3 lizards and the neighbor boy was keeping 2 of them in his habitat.  They lucked out and it was $20 off so they could still afford to buy the water dish, sand, etc.  The darn heat mat had a short or something and the light didn't work at all, so we have to bring those parts back.  They moved the lizards in today and are so happy to have them in their room.

Because they couldn't set up their tank until today, we got back too late last night, I was able to leverage with them and they had to clean up their room spotless because set up.  Then, I promised the girls that if they cleaned up the rec room we'd go swimming at Lois' house.  They cleaned it up and the boys finished up to make sure it was up to par for mom's standards. 

After Jaemin's nap we loaded up the water toys and left.  I stopped at the local store to get some of those yummy ice cream sundae cones to eat.  So we ate those before we swam.  The water was absolutely perfect!  We swam for a little over 3 house and only left because it was after our regular supper time.  The kids were playing so well together and watching them while I played with Jaemin in the water made me so happy.  You can see some maturity changes there and it was really nice to watch.  This is the best part of parenting to say the least!

Jaemin...oh Jaemin.  He's such a quirky boy.  He acts like he's not ready to potty train, but he's got it so under control.  He's just too stubborn to train.  I noticed he never pooped in a swim diaper the whole time we were on vacation even though we spent hours out there.  He was exactly the same at Lois' house.  He told me he 'pooped pants'.  I thought it was odd he'd do it in the pool so I checked and there was nothing.  I finally got him on her potty and he peed, but wouldn't poop.  He has a phobia of this for some reason.  So we go back and he says he has to go again.  I asked him if he wanted to go on the potty and he did NOT want to.  So, I asked him if he wanted to poop in Lois' grass (I would have scooped it).  :)  He didn't want to.  Later he gets out and grabs himself and says he has to go, but he wanted to pee in her rocks.  Yep, I let him.  He peed a lot!  Put back on the swim diaper and went on playing.  Right before we left I asked him if he needed to pee again and he did.  So, he peed outside again....a lot!  I think he's liking this peeing outside thing.  Maybe this will get me somewhere.  I may be hitting this a little harder tomorrow.  Sorry about the potty Lois. 

The boys have spent the evening admiring their lizards while Jaemin puts his finger by the tank and acts like they're biting him through the glass.  He yells ouch and seems to be a pretty good actor because when I first walked in I thought something had actually hurt him until I watched him.  He's such a funny little boy!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


It was actually about 200 miles away; give or take some mileage. They said it was about 3 am last night, but I didn't look at the clock. Yep, the girl who only wakes up when she hears kids woke up to the earth shaking a bit. I remember feeling very groggy and wondering if it was a rumble of thunder. Then, I thought "I don't remember any rain in the forecast". It felt like the bed was shaking a bit and I heard noise outside. It was over quick and I just went back to sleep thinking no way was that an earthquake. We would feel it here, from where our fault is.

So, as I was showering this morning Brian came in and asked if I woke up during the quake. I thought, seriously. I really thought I was dreaming. Hmmm...guess not. He said before it really shook the dog started barking and he was outside trying to quiet him. He said our house creaked a lot from outside.

The last time we had one a couple of years ago anyone barely felt it. I was on the 10th floor of a building so we felt it a bit up there, but most people on main levels did not. The one last night was a 4.2.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Hot and a little steamy, but wonderful

We've spent a lot of the past two late afternoons/evenings outside.  With temperatures that feel like 100 degrees right now, it's not always pleasant, but the evenings have been decent at a balmy 85 degrees. 

Last night we took some popcorn and drinks over to a friends house to watch Megamind.  I don't know how many families they ended up with at their house.  My guess was about 10 or so...families!  They set up a screen in their front yard and we all laid out blankets or sat in our lawn chairs and watched.  It was very enjoyable.  We went to the river with Brian's parents this afternoon.  It was warming, but breezy on the river, as usual.  The water was still too cold for me, but the kids had no problem getting in.  The current is really strong since it's up so high, but they did well.  Obviously, we didn't let the two littlest in without hanging on to them.  Jaemin couldn't get enough.  I swear he got dirty just so we would dip him in.  He would go play in the dirt and then come to us and say "I messy, wash me".  We would dip him in the river and he would start all over again.  He peed on the deck going to the dock twice.  The second time he announced that he was doing it, so he apparently now understands the sensation.  So, we would dip him again.  Then Jaemin decided he wanted to pee on a tree.  I brought him over to a tree, but nothing.  I think he'd probably potty train if I could get him to go one time outside.  May have to work on this this summer.  We had hot dogs and hamburgers and some pasta salad.  I think they were all worn out after the boat ride.  I taught Jaemin to put his arms up and scream like he was riding a roller coaster.

And now, I have to recover from my huge allergen exposure with all this fun.  Good thing I got some new meds for it today.  UCK!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Beach Family Pictures

I don't think I ever posted our family pictures from Orange Beach here.  I brought my tripod and set the timer and snapped what I could.  Not too bad for being in the photo and being the photographer.