Friday, July 17, 2009

"Rapping" Up

Our last few days in FL were a blur, it seems like there is so much time and then as it nears the end so much tries to get crammed in. :)

Here are a few more pictures worth sharing! :)

Liam asleep on the bed, the flash lit up the room so it looks as bright as it does due to that.

The boys enjoying Grandpa's smoothies...

As a "treat" for losing fifty pounds, my mom and Olivia and I went to my favorite restaurant, The Melting Pot...

The day before we met Brandi and Jessica at the beach I had gone to see the tour of Rent. My parents have seen it a number of times and suggested I go since I had not seen it and some of the original cast members were a part of this tour. I LOVED it!!!!

A few years back I had watched the movie but it was odd and confusing to me. I LOVED the stage production! Since we were leaving Saturday, I had decided to get "cheap seat" tickets for the Friday performance and go again. :)

After the performance I went around to the stage door and a few of the actors, including one main actor whom I had been excited to see since I knew him from a few movies and was reading his memoir, came out to sign autographs. I had the book with me, so had Anthony Rapp sign the book and took a picture of him signing others. I wasn't "brave" enough to ask for a photo with him!!!

I see that the show is coming to Chicago for ONE performance in the fall, so I'm planning on buying tickets to go!!! :)

All in all we really had a wonderful vacation! It's good to be home and do things here for a while too. Olivia and Braeden have started soccer, we're firming plans for day care and school this fall, I had a new door put on the front which I had ordered prior to vacation, I was able to see Harry Potter thanks to a friend watching the kids for me, and tomorrow I'm so blessed to be able to participate in a first-ever Project Hopeful International Adoption / HIV adoption workshop with some online friends and some of Olivia's doctors. I'm so excited and hopefully will have lots to share and blog about after! I've also talked with a friend of mine who is a caseworker to put a bug in her ear about something I've been thinking a lot about lately.

I've really tried thinking of ways for our family to help give back, especially in our community. I've tried other things that people I know have done, only to be blocked in many ways. I finally realized I needed to think about us and our gifts and what we have to share. What I think God is leading me to do is provide support to a single, possibly teen, parent who has little to no support in the area. I certainly know what it's like to be a single parent, and to have no family around. I have been blessed with my friends, church, and career, and my kids LOVE to love on other kids! So, I talked to her today about thinking of someone who could use a place to leave her kids from time to time for a break, or to take a class, etc. Someone whom we could have over for dinner every now and then. Someone who could become extended family. Someone whom WE could be support FOR. I think she was surprised and pleased to hear why I was calling and said she would check around to see if they are currently working with anyone like that or maybe someone there would know of someone. I think God has opened my eyes to exactly the kind of thing our family would be perfect for! :)

I look forward to what the rest of the summer brings!

Last Day at the Beach

We are officially back from FL! It's bittersweet. Great to back, but sad to be back too. Thursday before we left we were able to meet up once more with Brandi and Jessica and the kids for a day at the beach. It was lots of fun!

We had brought some sandwiches and snackies with us for lunch, but when Olivia's, and then Josh's sandwiches were literally snatched from our hands by hunger crazed sea gulls! we had to be quite protective of our food. :)

I think Josh ate as much sand as he did apple!

Jessica had the great idea to eat under the umbrella, it did seem to help!

Liam had to come show me what Braeden did to his hair! LOL :)

My crew thought Miss Brandi was the best, and had to walk with her on our way to wash off the sand before heading out. :)

It was a WONDERFUL day! I'm so blessed to have somewhat gotten to know these two inspiring women!

Wednesday, July 08, 2009


No, I'm not turning fifty!  Still a while for that to happen. :)

But, I did hit the fifty POUND mark in my quest to become healthy!!!  In fact, I blew right past it last night and am now at 51.8 pounds lost! :)  It's still hard for me to believe.  

I still see myself needing to lose weight, I do have more weight to lose, but it's hard for me to really take in the "me" I'm becoming.  I explained it to someone the other day as having to "retrain" my brain.

Most especially when I go shopping.  I used to shop only for the kids.  Besides having some fun buying things for myself for a change, I NEED to shop for myself.  I just don't have much to wear.  But making myself understand that I need the large tops, not the double X, and the smaller size pants than what I'm used to is HARD.  I've been overweight my entire life.  I don't know that I've ever bought some of the sizes I'm wearing now and I still have the feeling that I'll take it in the dressing room to find out that yep, I need a bigger size.

With clothes, I'm at a pretty good place right now, but as I continue to lose, I continue to need more.  I've found that many tops last longer than pants while losing though, so at least it's not constant.  But in the pants dept. I have gone down from an 18 to currently a 12 in most stores.  I bought four pair of pants the other day on major major clearance, size 12, thinking perfect for school in the fall and I should be able to wear them then.  Of course they were final sale, a new thing some stores have now.  For fun I tried them on the next night, they all fit!  And not just fit, but fit well!  So, I'm still going to be in need of clothes for work come Aug 19, but seeing as it's still a little while away, I'm going to wait on buying until it's closer. :)

I know that God has done so much through this process with working with me and working on changing my thought processes.  I pray He continues and that I continue to trust in Him for that guidance.  It's definately a work in progress and I'm glad weight takes time to lose.  I know it didn't get put on all at once, and by taking time to lose it, and doing it in a safe, life changing way, it's helped me on many levels.  

Many ask what diet I'm using.  I'm NOT dieting!  I've really worked on CHANGING how I view food, and myself, and the world around me.  This will not change once I lose what I hope to lose.  Actually then it will be even easier, and it's easy now, because I'll be maintaining and will be able to eat even more calories.  I already feel like some days I eat constantly.  It's all about what I choose to eat out of my alotted calories.

If you struggle with weight as I always did, please know that it IS possible.  Someone else, many others, HAVE done it.  You can too!
Monday, July 06, 2009

Water Fun

It was nice meeting up with my friend J and her three girls today.  All three of them are on their way toward being adopted (through foster care) and for her oldest, just turned six, it's been over FOUR YEARS!  Such a long time to wait for permanency!

We had a good time walking the mall this morning, and this evening had a blast at the water play area.  Didn't even realize I had no pictures of Olivia til I was just going through them.  She was busy with the big slides some of the time and I must have had the camera out then. :(  Oh well, there's always the next time! :)

Here Braeden isn't mad, it's his usual lion growl! :)

J with her oldest and youngest...

And her middle... the one who used to live with us and whom I had nicknamed "Girlie"... :)

(Liam is always INCREDIBLY excited to see and spend time with her and she says she's going to marry him!) :)

A great day, again! :)

More FL Fun

I've not been feeling well since our Orlando trip, but am finally up to par again and hoping it stays that way! :)

Since then we've done some crafts...

Had some great meals out, had lots of rain so were stuck inside going a little stir crazy, and then had a GREAT Fourth of July.

We have a lot to be thankful for, many freedoms we take for granted such as being able to worship our God.  Many blessings!

The little dance machine...
Boiled peanuts - found a food we DON'T like!

Then some we did - pretzels...

and hot dogs...
Liam was a bit scared of the fireworks again this year but did better than last.  It was a wonderful day!

Yesterday we were able to swim, eat out for lunch, and after I spent some time in ER getting antibiotics, I took in a movie after the kiddos were in bed.  Today we met up with my friend J from IL who is also here right now vacationing with her brother.  We walked a mall, I got the boys really cute Fourth tshirts for next year at a great bargain, then we did lunch at IHOP.  After naps we are going back to Largo to the swim play area and hoping that J and the girls will join us.  Saturday is the day we're planning to head back to IL.  

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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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What you should know about HIV

-HIV can NOT be spread through casual/household contact. HIV is not spread through hugging, kissing, shaking hands, sharing toys, sneezing, coughing, sharing food, sharing drinks, bathing, swimming or any other casual way. It has been proven that HIV and AIDS can only be spread through sexual contact, birth, breastfeeding and blood to blood contact (such as sharing needles). - HIV is now considered a chronic but manageable disease. With treatment, people who are HIV+ can live indefinitely without developing AIDS and can live long and full lives. - People who are HIV+ deserve to be treated with love, respect, support and acceptance as all people do. Additional information on transmission of HIV can be found on the Center for Disease Control website:

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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