Friday, December 26, 2014

Christmas 2014







They all had a good Christmas.  Jaemin got a little more out of sorts as the days went on, but I think it was just too much stimulation for his system.  It was definitely not like him.  Today will be a settling day for him for sure.  The kids got pretty much everything on their lists, plus some since most of the kids ask for very little.  Cole got the stuff for his truck, or some of it, that he wanted.  Chase has pretty much gotten a full camo outfit for hunting; from head to toe.  Kaelin got her volleyball shoes, but we do have to take them back since they were too small and her volleyball and some other small items.  Chelsi got a tablet; which she didn't ask for because she said it was too much.  Lucky her  momma is a really thrifty shopper and got one for hardly anything.  She also got Frozen dolls which she didn't ask for was really excited to see Anna and Elsa as every other little girl was over the week.  Jaemin got a ninja turtle doll to sleep with and a tablet which he really wanted....same as Chelsi's.

Brian and I had already spent the money we got from grandma and my dad on a toolbox for him (which he really needed) a splurge of shoes I would never have bought myself and a tv because the one in the bedroom was so small I was starting to have trouble reading the menu.  Yes, I'm getting old.

The food was awesome, everywhere we went, as usual.  That's my favorite part.  Sitting around, talking to family, laughing and snacking on some great food!

 Notice Chase is actually smiling back there.  I love his dimples.









Thursday, December 11, 2014

Easy to joke









When our kids are little, it's so easy to joke about how are kids will be as teenagers.  I think most of us are guilty of saying things like "until they're a teenager and don't listen to me at all".  The brutal truth is; those teenage years do come.  All of the little things we previously joked about are suddenly coming true, and more, for most of us.  However, it's not funny.  It's so easy to get hurt by your teenager.  It's all to easy to cry at the actions of your teenager; your once sweet baby that you swore was destined for greatness. 

To hear moms of young children complain about not sleeping because of a baby or terrible twos becomes the new joke to the parents of teenagers except down deep we're actually envious of the lost, simple, years we didn't enjoy enough.  We wonder if we're simply repeating that mistake with our big kids (young adults).  The problem with teenagers is the worries are so much bigger.   The mistakes they make are consequential to the rest of their lives unlike toddler grievances.  Little kids can make you feel bad, but no one can make you feel like a more of a failure of a parent than your young, very independent, adult.

Our jobs now, and its a tough one, is to try really hard not to let it get to you.  That's my biggest failure or weakness.  Your call.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Getting out.










I stayed home with a sick little boy yesterday.  Monday night Chelsi had come home and said her stomach and head hurt....or at least I think it was Monday.  It may have been last week.  I'm losing track of everything anymore.  That evening, she tossed her supper and felt better and was ready for school the next day.  Jaemin came home Thursday from school and Chelsi said he, very quickly, fell asleep on the bus that afternoon, so we suspected.  He said he wasn't sick, but he really, really wanted to go to wrestling practice.  We told him that if he was sick he wouldn't want to get his teammates sick.  He decided he needed to stay home because he had a headache and as the night went on the fever set in.  It was just low grade, but his head was hurting.  By morning, it was inching to 103-104.  We just kept giving him some tylenol.  He was eating a little, so that was good.  He stayed in my room all day and we watched tv, held him and he drank a ton of water.  He was really good, but definitely a momma's boy when he's not feeling well.  I decided I needed to get out today.  Kaelin ended up feeling bad last night, so Chelsi and I went grocery shopping and ran errands today.  I took her to Chik Fil A for her character award she'd earned.  She got the award for being Polite in October.  She enjoyed her first trip there.  We went to the mall to pick up an order.  Only her second time being in a mall in her life (9 years).  Crazy, I know, but we don't mall shop.

She and I were working on teacher's gifts.  I don't have much in my budget, Christmas just isn't a big budget, so we have to be super creative.  She was great.  We went to the $1 store and found buckets, some pretty filling, topped cups, their teacher's favorite candies, gum and pens.  We filled up the green bins with the filling, tissue paper, green/white (school colors) topped cups, gum, pens and candy and they looked so nice when we were done.  Luckily, Chelsi is a very detailed girl and knew her teacher's favorite candy, so we got it.  One got laffy taffy and the other got some Russell Stover chocolates and they both got snickers.  We had to put the buckets in the car for the weekend and they're giving them to them early because we're afraid someone will eat the candy if we put it under the tree.  :)  We got home after all of our trips and Jaemin was feeling quite a bit better.  Not eating as much as he was before, but definitely energetic now.

All I have left of Christmas shopping is one thing for Cole that I don't want to order until the last minute and something that needs to get to Walmart for Chase for his grandma to give to him.  All is wrapped and under the tree.  Cards are written out and ready to mail.  We're doing good with it and ready to relax for Christmas, hopefully.

Artist














Chase is a budding artist.  I think he has actually budded already.....is that a word?  Anyways, someone gave us a used saw blade to see what he could do with it.  WOW!  And his lures are amazing.  Totally designed and tested by him.  He carves them, makes their eyes, makes their spoons and builds everything himself before he artistically paints each one of them.

He's amazing!





Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Here he is















The video of Jaemin's lines.  He really did great!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Kindergarten Christmas Program















This is my last of 5 kindergarten programs.  I'm a bad mom.  I've never been overly excited to go to these.  They're packed, hard to see, etc., etc.  But, Jaemin had lines that they drew his name out of a hat for.  The kid with speech delays had lines.  I was so worried.  Within a couple of days of us finding out and going over the lines, just a couple of times, with him he had them down.  He's been practicing for 2 weeks.  Tonight was great.  He was great.  He was excited to put on his big  boy belt, and his ribbon (his words for necktie).  He was handsome as ever.

My sweet, sweet 6 year old has sensory integration, speech delays and suspected language disorders (we're still working on).  He usually flaps pretty bad, but he held it in the entire program.  He struggled with the word 'eagerly' as that's really hard to say with a delay, but he did AWESOME!  We walked straight from the program to the high school where his dad was at a wrestling parent meeting because little J has begged to wrestle after going to camp.  He put on his singlet and headgear at home and wanted to sleep in it.  He's SO excited!  I just absolutely adore this boy.  He is truly our unexpected blessing and a real gift.  Seeing the way he sees life is so different from anyone I've ever known.  He's delightful with everything and sees life as an adventure and something of happiness.  He looks forward to every new day and is excited when we turn the calendar to a new month.  He makes me love life.





Sunday, November 9, 2014

Halloween 2014!


















It was pretty cool on Halloween, but awesome since it was a Friday!  Chase had a football game, so that's where Brian went and Cole hung out with friends....actually, I came home to him and a couple of them hanging out watching movies.  My boss had mentioned he gave out full-sized candy bars.  When I realized he lived in our town, I told them kids we would go there as well.  We drove around for 2 hours....well part of that was stopping at their grandparents and walking the neighborhood.  We went down a street that K has always wanted to since there are about 30 houses.  We ended up with 3 oversized bowls of candy.  It was a LOT of candy.  Jaemin was tired of doing it just a few houses in and after doing the trunk or treat.  By the time we got to the big neighborhood and he was able to just run in the yards from house-to-house he was ready for more.  He was really, really getting into it about the time we were done.  His poor little nose was red and a little snotty from the cool weather.  y the way, the picture below is of them and K is a zombie football player.  She wasn't going to dress up, but then we told her if she wanted to, she could and since Chase's practice uniform was home she grabbed it.  She was going to dress up like Chase, but we couldn't find his beloved Bass Pro hat.  Likely he had it with him at school.  So, yeah the look she's giving in the picture is a zombie.  My little Pocahontas, zombie football player and teenage mutant ninja turtles.


Thursday, October 30, 2014

Sweet Slumber











School's very hard on him some days.  This is J when he earns laying in bed at bedtime.  You can tell weather's turning cool.  So cute!


Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Utter Relief!












So, last week, we were told that our dentist thought Chelsi had internal resorption of teeth 7 and 8.  This is her front tooth on the right and the tooth right beside it.  Reading about this is scary.  It's almost always caused by trauma.  We were supposed to be seen by a pediatric dentist yesterday, per our dentist.  Yesterday morning, I called to ask more questions because it didn't seem logical to see another dentist if it was resorption as that requires an  endodontist to work at the pulp and/or root.  They informed me that they had discussed the case with our dentist the day before and didn't want to see her.  They didn't feel they could treat her, but no one had called us.  I was a little freaked out.  Just a little.  I googled to find an endodontist myself.  I called our denstist, he called back and explained that he had an endodonist that would see us and was 30+ miles away.  He said there were none for her nearby.  I googled him and he had terrible reviews.  Sorry....you're not working on my child.  Turns out, he didn't want to work on her either, after seeing her xrays.  I found some that were 50+ miles away, but had really good reviews.  That's what I wanted.  I took her to one today after I had her xrays emailed.  He felt he could deal with it if it was.  He was really nice, his staff were nice and he was very honest and great at explaining why it wasn't resorption after he took his own xrays.  He did all of this for $60, which is very inexpensive.  He told me that it was more than likely a cavity or something similar, but not resorption. It was not in her pulp.  This is good!  But the cavity, or whatever, was 1/3 of her tooth and a little on the other tooth.  It was only sensitive when they poked the actual spot.  He said to go to a dentist to get it filled.

We left and all I could think was her dentist didn't want her, the pediatric dentist didn't want her and the endodontist helped us as much as he could.  I decided that since he was nice enough to print a copy of her xrays, I would stop at our dentist's son's office since they are no longer together.  I wanted another opinion.  Of course, this was after calling the pediatric dentist back to let them know it was not resorption only to be told it was the fact that it was her permanent teeth that made them not want to treat her.  I stopped in at the office and told them we were not patients, but I was very lost on what to do and having trouble getting anyone to treat her.  I gave them her xray, they looked at it and decided they would squeeze her in for an evaluation.  He was great.  He looked at the xray, checked her out and agreed that it was NOT resorption and was maybe a cavity.  He said it was very different, which did agree with his dad.  Typically, a cavity doesn't invade a tooth that badly in only one year.  That takes years of neglect and she's only had those permanent teeth for maybe 1 year.  They weren't in in the last visit and we go yearly.  He decided he could fill them today.  YAY!  He started and then stopped and explained to me they were all wrong.  It was a birth defect.  Her enamel and minerals in her two teeth weren't right and they basically were malformed.  He said they weren't really rotten or anything, but stuff could still get stuck in these voids and cause cavities down the road.  He filled the holes inside and reshaped the teeth with the resin.  It was hard to see because it was near her gum that basically had a chunk out of her tooth.  It's now pretty and white and perfect!  He said even though that tooth is still pretty crooked, he said he agreed with me that we have time to let her grow and see if it straightens out.  We are going to start helping her clean that little triangle the two teeth are creating because food gets stuck in there daily.  I'm also buying her a travel brush for school, so she can brush during the day to help keep them clean until they realign themselves.  He said once her eye-teeth fall out it will help.  We paid a lot more for those 2 cavities than we probably will for Chase and Cole's 6 between them, but we were an emergency fit and he fixed my baby!  So worth it.   So relieved!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Snippits











Decided to, once again, take some time to change camera settings.  In the evening in the kids' room is best to test.  Just dark enough I have to either open the aperture or or up the ISO.  I did both and finally got some to come out.  Jaemin really is changing and loves to play school and other things.  Before kindergarten he was never much on pretend play.  The kids all had good parent teacher conferences.  Nothing startling, which is good.

Jaemin had mastered everything he should at this point and got a + on every behavior item.  Jaemin's teacher's going to try to get Jaemin some more help.  After having him, in class, for 3 months she says there's no way an IQ of 82 is correct.  I knew that, but nice to know someone agrees.  She said he's in the high reading class and can't help but think he needs language therapy and needs tested for auditory processing disorder, which can't be done until 7.  I'm all for this.  Some other A-parents have suggested ADD or ADHD, but I really don't think that's the issue.  I have an ADHD kid and Jaemin's processing speed has been tested and it's fast like Chelsi's, but only when he understands what you say.  I'm anxious to get to the next step for him because he's already blossomed so much.  He'll be amazing!

Chelsi is the same as always....super high reader as in off the charts.  Very high in math, but not the highest, still great.  Super polite, kind and respectful in school.  She'll be getting the politeness award this week.

Kaelin I was only able too talk to a teacher by phone.  She had the same concerns I did and that's that she's rushing through her math, so we've now approached her and I'm sure it will be fine.

Chase had all As and his homeroom Physics teacher had no concerns.

We didn't even set an appointment for Cole since he's in his senior year and we have no academic concerns.

We took the kids out to eat last night and they got to order anything they wanted.  Luckily, this little place is not too expensive.  The little kids even got milk shakes.  We really wanted to spend a little extra and reward the kids for their grades.  Cole's were the lowest at 3.6.  Pretty good for 5 kids in school.  Then, we got Cole's acceptance to the college of his choice.  It's a 2 year and he will go into become an electrician if all goes well.  All he has to do is send in his final transcripts at the end of the year.  YAY!  Such a huge step....one will hopefully go to college next fall.



Tuesday, October 21, 2014

On a good note














While I think Cole and Kaelin can definitely improve their grades if they each work a little hard (they're fully capable), they each ended up easily on the B honor roll with 3 high B's and the rest As for Cole and 2 very high Bs and the rest As for Kaelin.  Chelsi, of course, had all As.  We expect that fully if you have no learning disabilities in 3rd grade.  So, hopefully, she'll just keep that up.  She knows it's great, but she knows not to settle.  Chase....duh, duh, duh, duh, played football which requires 3-4 hours/day of practice, work outs and/or games and sometimes more.....had straight As!  That boy worked so hard.  He rarely got to hunt or fish, go out in the woods or carve his lures in the last 3 months because he was either working on football or had his nose in books.  I could not be more proud of his sacrifices this quarter and know that if he can keep this up, he will go SO far!

I told the 4 older kids, though, that one quarter of all As for all 4 would be superb!  Especially at their ages.

One of those days











UUUGGGHHHH!!!!

We're getting close to paying ourselves back for Cole's heart surgery....like maybe a few more months.  I think that just got blown away from probability.  We went to the dentist, which we had put off for a few months because Cole had to wait.  You cannot go to the dentist within 6 months of a heart valve replacement.  Well, Chase has 2 cavities, Cole had 4 and Chelsi has  2 somethings we're not sure of.  The dentist defended the boys and said they were due to pits that were inherited (I'm pretty sure my mom says she has them) and they're hard to clean.  One of Chase's is a 12 year molar that decided to come in in the past year (yes, that's late) and he said the gum lies over it for awhile and traps stuff in there and the 12 years are extremely common and normal to have cavities.  Chelsi has something going on on her front teeth.  One of her front teeth and the tooth beside it.  There is nothing but a chip looking thing from the outside of each, but the xrays show something very different.  Basically, it looks like it's rotting from the inside to outside, so we would have never known.  He said whatever it is is very near the pulp and that's not good at all.  He said it could have been a birth anomaly even though it's her permanent teeth, poor prenatal care or she could have had an injury in the last year while they were erupting.  We don't remember anything like that I would think we would.  However, the side tooth was pretty crooked and has  been pushing on the front tooth, so he said there's a slight chance it pushed hard enough to damage it.  Regardless, he didn't feel comfortable treating her, so he said we had to take her to a pediatric dentist.  Chaching!  We have no dental insurance as we definitely cannot afford it and have always paid out of our pockets, but this is really going to hurt.  The boys' filling are not worrisome.  They'll be about $40 each and we'll be done.  Not pleasant, but doable.  Chelsi will most likely have a visit to this new guy and they usually charge double what our regular guy charges plus a visit to come back for whatever treatment they need to do.  I'm worried what that treatment will be.  He said they can't do a root canal because her roots are not fully formed yet.  Obviously, you don't want her to lose a permanent tooth at this age.  He's hoping it's just something this other guy is more versed in and is an easy treatment, but I'm worried for her.

Definitely not the most pleasant of dental visits we've ever had, but I guess we've gotten off easy over the years, so it's time to pay up.  I think between medical and dental we pay about $6500/year out of our pockets because we max out our HSA.  I'm also behind on paying ourselves back every year, so I guess in reality it's more than that.  I just don't really want to know.  3 years and over $18000 in medical bills.  I'm praying next year we get a break from medical and car expenses.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Great Field Trip







I've never done the kindergarten one before.  I ripped my jeans on baling wire, but Jaemin had a great time at the pumpkin farm and I didn't have to go back to work.  Boy was he tired at the football game tonight though.  9pm is the witching hour for Jaemin for sure!







Sunday, October 12, 2014

Cheer!











I love Cheer Fair.  It's so fun to watch Chelsi go out there and shake it.  That girl has definitely got it.  They practice for one night, learn a few cheers and a dance routine.  She was a little worried because she said the routine was harder than in years past, but as soon as that music started to play she remembered.  It was obvious.  She's going to make a great cheerleader one day.  The only downside to last night was it was cold and drizzly.  But, we all survived...though you would have thought Jaemin was dying by the end.  He just wanted to see his friend L who had gone home.  Chase got in on the last few minutes of the Varsity game since they were killing them and while no plays came to his side, he did get a carry on offense.  I would have rathered him get a defensive tackle, but that's the way it goes.  The pictures are from my camera while videotaping, so they're not that clear.







Saturday, September 27, 2014

Perfect night







For s'mores.  We did it the real way with Hersheys, marshmallows and the name brand graham crackers.  I think Camo wanted one.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Happy Birthdayssssss!










2 birthdays in two days.  Today was Jaemin's 6th and tomorrow is Chelsi's 9th.  With football in full swing and 3 games this week, it was tricky.....also 2 nights of practice and last nights went pretty late (over 3 hours).  So, I left work just a few minutes early and we were able to squeeze in the candles and cupcakes before Chase went to practice.  I wanted to get pictures, but they aren't good.  My camera isn't focusing right or something.  We sang twice.  Once for Jaemin to have his own and then for Chelsi to have her own.  Tonight, after the game we got McDonald's Happy Meals for them like we'd promised.  That's a treat here.  We generally do the dollar menu if we go, but they had to sit through football on their birthdays, so it was only fair to them.  Jaemin was so wild all night.  Obviously, the sugar in the treats he brought to school was way too much, plus he was just super happy it was his birthday.  The teacher working the gate even let the them in free since it was their birthdays.  Jaemin wore his birthday crown from school to the game and told everyone he was 6!  He really likes being 6, so I hope it's a good year for him.  Chelsi's just another year older I think.  She's loving the gifts, but other than that, just means she now has more chores.  :)  Poor girl.  My babies are getting older!  Tomorrow, we'll watch the Lego movie Jaemin got while the big boys are gone for football and I'm sure Cole will go out.  It will be a good mom and kiddo time.







Monday, September 8, 2014

Just life


















Life tends to get in the way or prevent blogging.  I don't know if sometimes I'm too busy, don't really want to talk about it or everything all together.  The last month since the kids started school have been awful.  Teenage stuff and we'll just leave it at that.

The one kid I was concerned about is doing so great in school.  Jaemin really loves it.  I hope he stays like this for a long time.  He loves everyone he meets.  He asked if he could have all of his teachers over for his birthday next week and he strives to get on purple as often as possible so he can sleep in my bed.  He such a a sweet kid. He doesn't always get on purple, but he tries.  He never goes below green, so he's doing perfect!  Every time he only gets on blue instead of purple his teacher tells me that's the highest she gave out that day.

I have been running crazy since school started on top of the unmentionables that I won't talk about with anyone.  We're getting through it as a family, so that's all that matters.  I'm trying to learn to enjoy and take it all one day at a time.  I'm being forced into it, but maybe that's good.  I've cut 7 heads of hair this week, which has taken a lot of time, but it's cool out, so now's the time.  Yes, this means I cut my own hair.  It needed whacked off and I got tons of compliments.  Kaelin, again, trimmed the bottom for me to get it even and shaved my neck.  Chase and Brian wanted it buzzed, thankfully.  Jaemin got his usual...a little longer on top and shorter on the sides and back and Cole asked for a mullet.  Ick!  But, I youtubed it and did it for him.  Turned out nice if I do say so myself and he was happy with it.  Saved a bunch of money this week.

This week is 3 footballs games, plus practices, etc.  I'm also trying to keep up on dad since he just got out of the hospital, but he'll be good.  He sounded good.  Keep up with 5 kids and all their homework, Cole registering for college and getting stuff done for that, senior pictures I need to do soon and family pictures (yes I do those myself as well) and I finally found things for Jaemin and Chelsi's birthdays next week.

I just keep remembering how fast this time has gone for Cole and how fast it will go for the others and I want to try to slow it down and enjoy a little more.  Tonight I was not the best mom, but the game was home and it was after 7 before we left, so yep, we went to McDonald's, ate, showered and went to bed.   Except for me who stayed up to finish up bills, check work emails since I'm in off-site meetings all week and edit Chase's photos so that hopefully I can take more Thursday.  Mom's taking the kids Thursday night since the game's away and then Brian and I can just enjoy it with Chase.  Hope it's as good as tonight's.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Kaelin Day














Today is Kaelin's 12th birthday in Korea and tomorrow is her 12th birthday here.  Of course, in Korean age she's already 13.  We have a birthday party for cousins tomorrow, so we decided to do her stuff tonight since it's still her birthday somewhere in the world.  She wanted pizza, so we went grocery shopping and brought home some pizza and watched God's Not Dead.  Very interesting movie.  Anyway, Princess Kaelin wanted white cupcakes, so I found some with rainbows on them and bought some animal print candles for her.  She's moving on and I told her only one year until she's officially a teenager, though in a lot of ways age doesn't matter to teenagers.  You get a teenager based on biology not age....I've got 3.  I told her she needs to think enough of herself to do what's best for herself no matter what.  Basically, value herself.  I think she'll do well.  I have worries....always, but she's a good girl at heart and does try.  I see her as the child that will do what she needs to to succeed.  I see her going to college and providing for herself and finding  herself before she moves into a permanent relationship.  This is important for my girl.  We love her to Korea and back.

Last night, we took the 3 little kids up with us to the complex for the high school's first football game of the season.  It was close to 100 degrees, but we brought water and sweated through it.  The boys on the field had it much worse, obviously.  Chase was not going to get to play for sure.  He's a freshman and it was a varsity game and a hard and big one.  But, I just wanted to at least go to the game to see him step onto the field for his first varsity game.  We got to make a parent tunnel and cheer them on.  The lights went out in the stadium for awhile, there were tons of flags and just an all out long game.  It was moved to 8pm due to the heat and we left the stadium after 11pm with Chase in tow.  Chelsi and Jaemin fell asleep close to an hour before it was over.  Jaemin slept on me....HOT!  Chelsi slept on the bleacher on the blanket beside me.  That shower never felt so good.

Through all our tough times I hope for things to get better.  This is where the movie God's Not Dead is correct.  He is our hope.  The devil's advocate in the movie says we believe in God to make things better in bad situations.  But, the truth is that's when it's hardest, but that's what sometimes defines us and our real belief.  When you are going through hell and you still find the strength to believe in God, it does help you.  Free will will always exist.  Because of that sin will always exist.  We may not always understand why things are the way they are.  They don't seem right sometimes.  I try to believe and sometimes it's a struggle that there is some greater plan.  We just may not know or understand.....at the moment or ever.  I'm not the most devote to some by a long shot.  I'm not an avid church goer.  I don't profess my belief in God at every turn.  But, I'm not a closet Christian either.  I do believe.  My relationship with God is personal.  It's private.  I don't believe human man needs to be a part of it.  And I don't get all of my prayers answered and definitely not as quickly as I need or believe they should sometimes.  But I still try to believe that like my parents God only wants what's best for me and I can't know or understand that all of the time and that's where blind faith comes in.

Back to Kaelin and her birthday.  Some birthday pics and a pic from a couple of weeks ago of a 5K she did with her friends.  I was supposed to to, but I left to do mine at the track so I could watch Chase at football.  She decided she'd rather stay with her friends, so I let her enjoy!