Monday, June 30, 2008


So, I think I'm in the market for a new vehicle. I was going to wait and save up until next summer to get a new car, now I'm not so sure. First because there are some great interest rates right now, and even though I hope to save a lot this year with no other debt beside the mortgage, I still will have some financing. And second, because I don't think my van is going to make it through another year. Right before we left to come back from FL it started sounding pretty rough and continues each time it's driven. It scares me that I'm going to have to fork over a bunch more money for it, and also because we still have one more road trip this summer, would probably drive to FL at Christmas, and then will have a road trip next summer though could maybe get the new vehicle before that.

So, I've been researching and looking and thinking. I really don't want another minivan, because I think it's going to be outgrown very soon. It's crowded with 4. We can sometimes fit one more in the back but it has to be a certain size car seat to squish and is still hard. The next size up would probably be an 8 passenger. That would make room for 6 in the back, possibly, depending on car seats. I'll be so glad in another year or so when Olivia is out of a car seat. But, then we'd have to still take two cars with friends to go anywhere.

So, I've really been thinking about a larger passenger van. That leaves Ford, Chevy, GMC, and Dodge. The more I look and research, I think the best is the Dodge Sprinter. You think maybe you don't know this car, but I bet you do. It's the one that they have on Jon and Kate Plus 8. Dodge makes a 10 passenger gas or 12 passenger Diesel. It is made by Mercedes and supposedly has better gas mileage and handles more like a car than it's competition. BUT, it's also quite a bit more expensive, and I emailed our Dodge dealer just to ask about them and if there was a way to get one a year old and what cost would be, they replied that they're "out." How are you out of a car? That cracks me up, but ok. I've also been emailing with someone at Ford. They can get a good deal on a 2008 12 passenger with low mileage and extended warranty to either 75,000 or 100,000 miles. I'm thinking about it, but just think this is where I'm being led.

Financially I can still pay way more than the payment and hopefully pay it off quickly. My credit card is paid off. My car is paid off this month, so will be a full downpayment. And my student loan is almost paid off. Such a good feeling. I want something safe to drive my kids in. My only hesitation is gas prices right now. BUT, I've talked to some people who actually get better gas mileage than there minivan because it was old and not up to par. I'm hoping that's how my experience will go as well. :) Thoughts, comments, experiences, advice???


Today was a pretty typical summer day. We woke up around 7, ate breakfast, got dressed, and read/played for a bit. Then we left to run some errands. I had my (hopefully) last set of paperwork to drop off at my new agency. They opened at 8:30 so I figured we would start there. Then drove to our new big WalMart for some groceries (mostly fruit) and I ordered the rest of Girlie's pictures so that I can finish her life book. We came home after that and had a snack, then played/read until lunch around 11:45. After lunch, we headed out front for a popsicle treat. Made with some great Strawberry Lemonade I found at Aldis.

I love this picture because it captured each of them in the cold-pucker-face mode of eating a popsicle. :) (notice how Braeden is obsessed with swords right now, and Liam is following suit!)

Braeden was a little more interested in the ants crawling on the flowers and never did finish his popsicle!

We then took naps. After napping we walked down the road to this great new park just a few houses down from us. We played there quite a while and then headed back so I could start dinner. After dinner we had planned a family movie night with popcorn. This was supposed to be Girlie's last night, now we're not sure. The supervisor thinks she should transition more slowly and not move in until around the 15th. It's so silly. She doesn't need it at all. We'll see what tomorrow brings. After popcorn and a movie (Pippi Longstocking) we went to bed. Of course my non-sleeper Braeden had to come downstairs where I usually hang out until I go to bed, with his grin that always gets me, and convinced me to let him stay up a little longer. He's been asleep on the couch behind me for the past hour now. :) I'll carry him up to bed later.

A typical summer day...
Sunday, June 29, 2008

Craft Time - Painted Horses

Today was a lot of fun. After church we went to McD's to get food, took our "camp" chairs to a portion of our busy road in the middle of town, and set up to watch a parade! We have a Friendship Festival every year and usually I take the kids with a friend on Saturday when they have family time. Every ride during this time is one ticket, usually they are 1-4 tickets. If you buy early, you can get a sheet of 16 tickets for $12. This year we opted out of that since we're doing so much already. But, there is a parade on Sunday and we've never gone before, so I thought that would be a lot of fun, for free. :) I have never seen so much candy outside Halloween before!!! I couldn't believe it! Luckily I did think to grab a bag, it was packed to overflowing! They also got frisbees, small footballs, water bottles, cups, popsicles (I had to start telling people no thank you, 3 popsicles are plenty) :), etc. The parade began with 18 firetrucks/ambulances lined up with sirens going. Liam was a little scared and stayed close to my neck, but waved and smiled, and had fun just the same. :) Of course, the horses were the big hit!

After the parade, we came home and put the littles to bed. Then the bigs and I cleaned out the car and started our craft time since today, it was just for them!

In FL my mom and dad had bought a couple other crafts that we hadn't gotten to ( I couldn't tell you why :) ) so we did one of them today - paint your own horse!

First we gathered our supplies: a box with the kit in it having two horses, paint brushes, and paints, a cup of water and a rag. We painted on our plastic kids' table, but if I were doing it again I would put down newspaper. They had so much fun!!!

Friday, June 27, 2008


It looks like we're all set for Girlie to move in permanently with J next Tuesday or Wednesday. She spent the day with her on Monday, and was with her Thursday-Friday overnight and it was great. Just as we thought it would be, no issues with transitioning. Thursday night they came over for dinner which we do from time to time and can be crazy, but fun. She also has a foster daughter who is 5 and after 3 YEARS in care, is hopefully, finally, heading toward termination and adoption. Her current 2 year old foster daughter is set to go home after court on Tuesday, then Girlie will move there Tues or Wed. While it will be sad to not have her in our home, in a way it isn't, if that makes sense. We still get to see her and hear about her and know how she is, and she will be with someone who is better at the RAD issues than I admit that I am. It won't be "easy" by any means, but I think she will be ok. I'm so excited to see how God has worked through this process and placement, and can't wait to see what's next. :)
Wednesday, June 25, 2008

A Boy's Mind

A funny story I forgot to tell you about while in Florida. My mom was teaching each of the kids to play checkers (yes, we've not done it! :) ). During Braeden's turn she was explaining to him that the checkers out of commission on the side were "dead", they weren't able to be used. Braeden looked at her and said, "Were they fighting??" lol :)

Today after the licensing worker left, I asked Braeden what he thought of two boys his age? He got this huge grin on his face which cracked me up. I said, "You know, they might not always make good choices. Would you make bad choices if they did?" He said No. I said, "What would you do if they made bad choices?" Braeden said, "I'd give them a hug."

Awww... my Braeden. :)

New Agency

Today my licensing worker from my new agency came to the house. I had called last week to remind her that we would be home from vacation Sunday and said that today would be a good day for her to see the house since she hadn't yet. She agreed and remembered she still hadn't sent out the reference letters to my 3 references yet. I have had to call and get the paperwork, stop by to remind her I needed to sign a release for them to get my file from my current agency, etc. I hope that this is not a sign of things to come, but just a busy licensing worker. She has been more than gracious each time I've spoken to her and has apologized up and down each time, but still...

Anyway, we agreed she would come today, but a time was never set. So, I called this morning and left her a voice mail asking what time so that I could plan our day. She called back and apologized, she had forgotten. She said she would come by at 10:30am. Her coming today was probably the biggest reason I wanted to clean and organize the past two days. I had planned on using those two days to get inside things done, working outside today with Braeden and Girlie. (My front gutter is overgrown with baby trees!!!)

It's crazy with thunderstorms today and when my licensing worker came, she walked in, sat at the table, and related how much pain she was in today. She apologized and said she wouldn't be looking around at the house, dropped off papers, and that was about it. EXCEPT - I told her what the bedroom situation was so she would know. The first thing she said was, I have four and five year old brothers who need an adoptive home. !!!!! Wow.

Sadly my first thought was, "What is 'wrong' with them?" Those ages seem young to not have a home for them as an adoptive placement. Do they have attachment issues, behaviors, etc??? But, if they are foster and not terminated, then they wouldn't have actively sought outside of their agency, I know boys are typically harder to place, and they are AA which is also harder to place a lot of times sadly. I at first thought I don't think so. I really had my heart set on another baby, but maybe this is God. As someone said in a recent post, maybe my "bandwith" needs to be expanded to meet God's plan for my life. I would definately be interested in hearing more about them and even meeting them. I talked to Braeden who of course was thrilled to think about two boys his age, but does he completely understand what it would mean in sharing his toys, room, mom, with two his age??? Probably not. It's definately a prayer request. We also don't have room in our car for two kids this age. I am wanting a new one but was looking at getting one next summer, not now, though we could. I know that if they are my children then the timing of my switch to this agency, and everything going along with this, has been orchestrated in ways I could never know and believe that it will work out perfectly. My thoughts now are with them and if we are not their forever family, I pray that they find theirs soon and get stability.

Blog Buzz - Extreme Poverty

I missed answering Blog Buzz questions while on vacation, I just didn't have time but now hopefully I'm back on track. This week the Red Letters question is on explaining extreme poverty to our kids.

With Olivia, being 6, she understands this much better. When Oprah did her special on the school she started I used some of that show to give Olivia a glimpse into what we had already begun talking about with regards to poverty, especially in Africa. She was able to see kids living in huts with dirt floors, etc. It really opened her eyes to what I had tried explaining. How can you really imagine that without having seen it somewhat. I know I still can't fully grasp the meaning of that until I see it myself firsthand. She has a beautiful heart and talks of these people often whom are affected by this kind of extreme poverty. Olivia receives an allowance each week, some of which goes into a saving jar for college, some to a spending jar, and some to a giving jar. This money in the giving jar is used to "sponsor" a child in our school district at Christmas, or give to causes such as those shown on KidsLAKE. She loves the giving jar and the idea of giving to those who truly need the help.

In addition, we also sponsor two children. One is through World Vision and is a part of their Hope Child program helping communities ravaged by the AIDS epidemic. The second is a child living at AHOPE orphanage. His sponsorship helps provide the HIV medicine he so desperately needs and will help him to be strong and healthy. We have pictures of these children in our entry and the kids know we sponsor them and some of what that means and why we do that.

Extreme poverty is difficult to explain, but I think that my kids understand it the best they can and pray that as they grow they will have an opportunity to help first hand in some of these areas. I believe God will use them in magnificent ways!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Back to Reality

We're home and it's been a few crazy days of unpacking and working on the basement which I started before leaving (why???).

Friday was our last day in FL. We finally finished the picture frames!!! :)

My dad had a pirate night for the kids with bandanas, eye patches, telescopes, and of course tattoos! Liam thought (and still thinks) that the tattoo was/is the coolest thing ever! LOL :)

On Saturday morning we went to Chuck E Cheese (did you know that they open at 9 am???) to eat and play. Then we hit the road from there. It's a little easier of a transition on the kids leaving from there rather than my parents' and it makes them a little tired. :) Sort of. They did good on the way home, but it was a little harder. They are just tired out on vacation, especially when we do so much! So Liam was a bit more crabby, but all in all they still did great, slept well during the night, and I made it in one shot. There was about a 10 min period where I was real tired and was doing what I could to stay awake and see if I needed to pull off - cooler air, chewing gum, etc - but ended up fine and we made it home at 6:30 Central Time. We drove through Mickey D's for breakfast as I knew there was nothing at home. After a bit of a fit telling me he didn't need a nap, Braeden and the other three went down for a nap at 11:30, and slept until 3:00pm!!! We all needed the rest! :) We're back on track now and doing well.

Yesterday Girlie went with my friend for the day. She is excited to have someone whom she thinks will let her get away with a lot, but little does she know... it went well though and they are doing an overnight Thurs-Fri.

Today was Liam's court date. Dad is going to contest, but he won't get anywhere with it. Not sure yet if mom will appeal or what. The first termination hearing is set for August 5. (We'll be in Orlando on Olivia's wish trip. :( )

Friday, June 20, 2008


Today I took Olivia and Braeden to Tampa's Museum of Science and Industry. While not quite as extensive and "great" as Chicago's, they/we had a lot of fun.

Do you remember the movie Big? I loved the Zoltar machine! (Braeden was a little scared to stand by it!)

Olivia used Egyptian letters/symbols to write her name! :)

They loved the little farm vignette.

Olivia laid on a real bed of nails!!! You lay on a plexi glass box, putting your head on a plexi pillow of sorts. Then, a button is pushed which raises the nails so that it lifts you in the air and you are supported only by the nails. She was scared of trying it at first, but I told her they wouldn't put something here that would hurt you and that as long as you lay still it would be fine, and she did it!!! (I don't know that I would have!) She did great!

We finished our time by walking through their outdoor butterfly garden. It was "beautiful" as Braeden said over and over...
Thursday, June 19, 2008

Lion King

...was AMAZING and AWESOME!!! A lot of it I didn't remember and I'm guessing a lot has been added and/or redone. It was wonderful! The little Simba and Nala are always my favorites! They were played by 11 year olds who just did an excellent job! A great afternoon!!!


Today is The Lion King!!! I am so excited. I have seen it once a long time ago with my 2 then foster daughters and friend J and parents. The kids haven't seen it yet (stage version) and they have NO idea! Wow, I can't wait!!! It is just incredible! :) Will post later!
Wednesday, June 18, 2008

One Last Time

Tonight I took Olivia and Braeden to the beach one last time. We had so much fun. They are so good there! They played and played and I watched and took pictures and read. I'm reading 3 or 4 books right now, but am mostly focused on The Shack which I took with me. What a great book. I've heard it's been pretty controversial, but I love it. I have not read the reviews to know exactly what the controversy is, but what a perspective to have about God and your personal walk and life. It's been very inspiring and thought provoking for me.

Here are some pics of the night...

Olivia loved trying the boogie board...

We ran into Capt Jack... Olivia took care of him for us! (Braeden was a little shy, or shall we say scared, to be in the picture!) :)

Time Outs

We use time outs primarily to "work on" misbehavior. I've read, listened to, and watched the video for 1-2-3 Magic, which I really like. My one "problem" which he tells you over and over not to get into is that I try to talk and get emotionally involved. I try hard and usually can follow through. Anyway, I digress. This morning has been great, but for this one 5 minute period in time which I had to bite my tongue on and just HAD to grab the camera to capture on film. :) It may be hard to tell, I did try to adjust levels as the back was extremely dark at first, but this shows all four kids lining the hall of the condo in various stages of time out! :)

Liam was first. He was mad at me for saying no to something (who knows what) and pushed his chair over. I asked him to pick it up and counted him to 3 as he told me no each time (his favorite two year old word), so he had to sit. Girlie was next. There is a pocket door separating the family room from the hall and the little kids of course love to play with this, but also get it all marked up in the process. They have been asked to leave it alone about a million times. :) That wasn't enough for Girlie and she was playing with it again as I had Liam sit down, so she joined him. Upon finding her, I peeked in the family room to check on the olders. Well, wouldn't you know, amnesia was rampant this morning and although Grandma and Grandpa have asked a million times to not play with the big blankets on mine and Braeden's aero beds, that's what they were doing. So they joined ranks. I had to turn away to keep from laughing. They served their time and it's been pretty smooth sailing since. We're hoping to get to the pool one last time today if it doesn't rain. (The only time kids can go in the pool is from 12-3.)


I can't believe I forgot to post about my presents yesterday. Since we were going to be in FL over my bday, Olivia has talked and talked about going with Grandma to pick out a birthday gift for me. She has been so funny about it. And it's a nice idea, as a single mom they don't have many opportunities to get something for mom other than what they've made at school. As they get older it will be easier, but right now it's kind of hard and not something I've really even thought about, but Olivia was determined to be able to give me her own present this year. :)

She has been talking about this for quite a while, and a few weeks ago came up with a pretty good idea for a gift, without any ideas from me. At the day after Thanksgiving sale this year I had gotten the Spiderman 2 DVD for 3 or 4 dollars. Of course the kids haven't seen it yet due to the rating, but they've seen the cover and Olivia has asked about the whole "2" thing. So a couple weeks or so ago, out of the blue, she asked me if I had Spiderman 1 since she knew I had Spiderman 2. I said, no, I don't. Then about five min later, so subtle of a six year old, she said, "Mom, I have the perfect idea for when Grandma and I shop for your birthday present!" I have no idea how I figured out what she thought about giving me! :) lol But, it was a really good and thought out gift and I was so proud of her for thinking of it. I let my mom know that I thought she had an idea, if she still thought of that, and that it was fine with me and I didn't have it already. :) So, when we went to a mall the other day, Grandma and Olivia split off and found a used copy at the "record" store. :) Pretty cool! I of course gushed over it although I knew what it was, but I really was so proud of her for thinking of something that she knew I would like and didn't have. :)

Then, with Braeden, Grandma asked me the other day if I had a duster or something that Braeden had broken??? I said yes, why? She had asked Braeden if he had an idea of something to give me for my birthday. Braeden thought about it for a minute and then said he would like to give "his mommy a duster because" he broke mine. :) Too too too cute! I had had a small but telescoping duster which he loved to play with (it does make a great sword you know!) and the telescoping part broke while he was using it shortly before we left. No big deal, it was an accident, I wasn't mad, but he still thought of that as a gift for me. That just warms my heart.

What do I remember one time around their age getting for my mom as a gift??? A pink hot wheels car!!! Why? Well, because I wanted it! :) I'm so proud of my kids for thinking past themselves as I didn't. :) Yay kids!!! :)
Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The "Big Day"

Yes, it's my birthday today. Not such a big deal once you're "old." :) 38 years. Wow. Where has the time gone??? It hasn't quite been the perfect day I'd hoped for, but we've had some fun just the same.

Last night was great. My mom and Girlie and I went to my favorite restaurant of all for dinner, The Melting Pot!!! LOVE it!!! It's not a kid friendly place for crazy kids like mine, and I knew Olivia wouldn't like it much, but I also knew Girlie would do better with me than Grandpa and that left him only 3 instead of 4, as it takes about 2 hours to eat there. She did wonderfully!!! We had 4 different staff come to the table to comment on how adorable and smart she is! I kept thinking, oh if you only knew! :) lol

Here's some of what we did today...

The cake after we went at it. It was very cute, with flip flops and palm trees!!! :)

We started the day at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium. It's mostly a rescue operation and they have wonderful animals that you can view and interact with. We touched sting rays, watched sea turtles, and saw the dolphins, especially their "famous" dolphin Winter. Winter has no tail and is an amazing animal. She was rescued from a net which damaged her tail. The kids had a lot of fun!

Touching sting rays, Olivia was scared at first, but got the hang of it after a while.

Braeden leaned so far one time that he would have fallen in if not for quick thinking grandparents!!! He was SOAKED! (You can tell in the last picture.)

We then watched a video on their aquarium.

Here you can see how wet Braeden got!

After we went to a pub/restaurant called Dogwater. They serve your meals in dog dishes!!! The kids thought it was hilarious!
Then we went swimming again. Olivia unfortunately had to miss out. We found out this morning that not only has she lied to us every morning and night this trip about brushing her teeth, she got the toothbrush wet to look like she had done it! Unreal! We've worked so hard on the lying, and that was really what got to me more than the teeth. We've had some other issues as well, which I don't like to post on the blog much, so this was a topper and we decided she needed some consequences and missed out on swimming.

After that it was nap time. My dad and I went to thrift shops while they were sleeping. Well, I went to thrift shops, he drove with me and read in the car while I was in the stores. :) I found a couple things and spent $8.

Upon returning Braeden had not had the best behavior, so some of what I hoped to do, like finishing our craft which we still haven't done, didn't get completed. Maybe tomorrow... We had popcorn for dinner with a new movie I bought while out, then cake for dessert! What a dinner! :)

In a few min I'm taking off for an evening by myself. I don't get to do that often, so I'm leaving an hour before bed, going to mall to shop and go to a movie. :) Yay!!! Have a great day!
Sunday, June 15, 2008

Craft Time - Picture Frames - Night One

Tonight we began a two night craft project. We are making picture frames to hold a beach picture for each of the kids. We gathered our supplies: 4 unfiinished wood frames ($1 each), one bottle of "Summer Blue" acrylic craft paint ($.54), one small bag of foam craft brushes ($.82), and one picture of each of the kids at the beach. Tonight we painted the frames, using a mix of paint and water to make more of a stain, the kids (with help from us adults) used the foam brushes to paint on the blue onto the frames. They also wore some old shirts as paint shirts. :) Tomorrow night we will complete them by adding shells we picked up at the beach (free) and putting in our pictures! I can't wait to see the finished products!!!

Can I also just say how amazing it is to be able to use high speed internet for a change. What used to take me 15 or more min for a post, if I wasn't booted off in the midst of even trying to upload ONE picture, I can now complete in less than five. What an amazing concept and how much easier in the world of blogging!!!

Swimming Day

We got to the pool today, luckily just before the thunder started. They had a lot of fun though!

But Liam was NOT happy to leave! :)

Happy Father's Day

Happy Father's Day Grandpa, and to those fathers of my little ones, wherever you may be. I pray that God blesses you with a change of heart in many ways. Happy Day! (Sorry, I had to crop Girlie out of the original picture, they did such a great job though!)

Olivia's 'Do

Last night I took Olivia to the beach by herself to get her hair braided. While I'm not too bad at "box braids" now, I cannot do cornrows. Pier 60 has nighttime entertainment and little booths that sell crafts, have Henna body art, and there are a couple hair braiders. Olivia has gone a number of times to a Jamaiccan woman here at Clearwater Beach to have her braid her hair. It always looks so good! And it lasts at least a month, well, normally. She tends to end up pulling out beads, etc but has gotten better as she's gotten older. The cost has gone up since her hair has grown quite a bit so this may be the end if she pulls them out again. The woman who does her hair hugged and kissed her when we got there. After, she took pics of Olivia to put up on her "board" and also gave me a business card so that next time we could call her and she could come to our house to do it. She said I was doing a good job taking care of her hair and keeping it in good shape, which was nice to hear. She suggested a spray for the braids to help with itching and conditioning, I just hadn't found a good one yet, and also Shea Butter for her face. Around her mouth is getting very dry this summer like it hasn't before and there are some white patches. She said the Shea Butter would work really well. She said she would go get both of those for me locally and we could come back later this week to get them. I am so excited! :) She is so nice!!! Here is the braided princess...

Trip Updates

Liam's Crocs are officially considered gone. They haven't turned up anywhere, so we purchased a $4 pair of "fake" ones that he'll have to wear with everything. :) They're black.

The sickies seem to be doing ok. Braeden never acted sick, but was warm a few times and loved getting some Motrin, playing up his "sickness" for the five min it took me to decide if he needed medicine, then back at it he went. Girlie had a few times acting like maybe she wasn't feeling real well, but aside from some coughing and where you could tell her throat hurt from drainage, she's been ok. Liam had a couple rough days where he had some very crabby times and some very good times. Two nights ago he woke about 10:45pm just crying and crying. I brought him out in the "great room" with me and we watched the first half of HSM 2 before I turned out the lights and we slept in the big recliner until about 1:15am, then transferred to my aero bed. He did better last night and woke up in a good mood. He hasn't been eating well either, I just wonder if he's getting molars or having some growing pains. He has really lengthened lately and just looks so much more like a "kid," not a baby anymore! :)
Friday, June 13, 2008

Boo Hoo

3 of the 4 have 100 degree fevers! (We haven't taken Olivia's temp) No clue why??? Thought maybe it was the 20 year old thermometer? But my mom took her temp and it was right on target? Yuck!!! Liam has been crying most of the day. Finally figured out he has a gassy tummy so we got some Mylicon and he's doing better now, gotta run! :)
Thursday, June 12, 2008

More Pictures from FL

Last summer, I think it was, my parents purchased what is one of the kids favorite things here. A mini version of the "crane" game. It's filled with small treasures for them to enjoy such as little animals, candy, miniature cars and tractors, folded up dollar bills. On a day we may get it out to play, the kids "earn" a coin for the game by making good behavior choices. They were helped a lot in the beginning, but now we don't really help them. If they get something, they get it, if not there's always next time. They LOVE it!!! And Grandpa loves it too!!! :)

This morning I took the kids down to a small lake behind my parents condo. There is a pond directly behind the condo, mere feet from the sliding glass doors, which houses numerous turtles, some big crazy looking ducks, and even a small aligator or two! The lake is a bit farther back. Unfortunately the water is receeded quite a bit right now, but it was still fun to walk to...

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


So far on our trip we've visited the beach once (That's just a lot of work with four!) and the pool at my parent's retirement community three times. Here are a couple great shots from the beach the other day:

The pool has really been great too. Braeden has always been a fish! Ever since he was a baby and loved to stick his head under the water as it ran in to fill the tub! :) He wears arm floaties and is fearless. Even taking them off to the consternation of mom and grandpa. :) Olivia loves to swim too, although she's not quite as fearless.

The first time we went in the pool on this trip, since Liam and Girlie are so young it's like starting over, they were very hesitant. Liam loves loves loves water, but he wants that feeling of holding someone. He does NOT want water wings or a ring or the baby boat, no way. We put the suits on them that have inflatable inserts. But Liam wouldn't try to use them, he just would hang on and do some splashing and placing his face in the water. Girlie did better, but still needed someone or something, we got her to use the noodle a little bit.

Today was the third time, Girlie is completely on her own with the water wings only! Her face bobs below the surface from time to time, but she can keep her mouth closed and the water doesn't bother her. She kicks her feet and floats and goes! (With me right by of course!) Liam finally got almost to the same point today. Almost, he did the water wings finally. He would "swim" back and forth from grandpa and I. He doesn't stay up as well as Girlie and swallows more water, but he loves the free feeling. :)

I'm hoping to get some pool pics soon, it's hard with so many kiddos in the water! :) The trip is going well!

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About Me

I am a single mom to four amazing kids; each of whom just happen to have been adopted. The first three were adopted through foster care, and we just completed an international adoption from Haiti. Our family has grown through adoption and I am all the more blessed to know each of my children. I worship a mighty God, teach Special Ed, love bargains, and am inspired by Pinterest... come along with us for the ride!

Olivia - 14

Olivia - 14

Braeden - 11

Braeden - 11

Liam - 9

Liam - 9

Macy - 5

Macy - 5

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Orphan Crisis

• 147 million orphans in the world
• 50 million orphans in Africa 
• Every 14 seconds a child is orphaned by AIDS
• 16,000,000 have been orphaned by AIDS
• Every week, AIDS claims as many lives as American fatalities in the Vietnam War
• 854 million people do not have enough to eat
• Malnutrition is associated with the deaths of 5 million children under the age of five
• Every 2 seconds an orphan dies from malnutrition

Hence the title of my blog

Little Did I Know

Little did I know that the road would be so rocky
Little did I know that the trip would take so long
Little did I know that my heart could hurt so much
Little did I know that God is never wrong

Little did I know that love could be so powerful
Little did I know that a dream so far could go
Little did I know that God would place the right ones
Little did I know that my heart, so large, could grow

Little did I know that a dream has it’s own timing
Little did I know that this day would finally come
Little did I know that four souls would be sent to guide me
Little did I know that they would choose to call me mom

But God knew all along and He had a plan to follow
God knew all along that my dream would soon come true
God knew all along that we five should be together
God knew all along that I’d share it all with you