Sunday, August 30, 2009

Picture Updates

Here are some more photos of our time recently...

A train trip to Millenium Park in Chicago...

Six Flags on Olivia's birthday...

Olivia opening a Leapster Didj (an older child version of Leapster) from Grandma and Grandpa... Can you tell she was a little excited??? :)...

A visit to the local zoo when we were in my hometown last weekend...
Olivia was scared to death of feeding the birds and this was the only time she tried it...

They did have a blast feeding the fish though...

And meeting with family for dinner at a GREAT pizza place on our way back home last Monday... (Don't we have the cutest kids!?) :)...

Braeden thinks he's hilarious... trying to give Great Grandma bunny ears! :)...

Friday, August 28, 2009

An Eighth, a First, and a Scary Third...

So much going on, not much time for the computer! :(

Olivia had her eighth birthday on August 16. Where DOES the time GO??? :) The kids and I spent the day at Six Flags to celebrate. We had free admission with Olivia's Make a Wish passport which JUST expired, and with my six flags credit card points we had free food vouchers, so we paid the cost of gas and parking which wasn't bad at all for a great day! :)

Olivia's in Third grade this year which amazes me! :) Our district is K-8 and is split into three buildings: one is K-2, one 3-5, and one 6-8. I teach at the 3-5 building which means Olivia is now going to school at the same place where I teach, crazy! :) Even crazier is that she's in the classroom RIGHT next to mine! Luckily she's young enough that she thinks this is VERY COOL! She loves seeing me in the halls and yesterday said, "Mom, I saw you THREE times today!" It was so cute! I think she'll begin seeing the downfall, especially since I see her desk through the door as I pass by the room. :) The other day I went past and she had the point of her scissors IN HER MOUTH! What?! Of course I HAD to say something, right??? :) But overall it's great!!!

Braeden had his first day of kindergarten this year! Seems even crazier than Olivia being in third! :) I drop him off at school in the mornings and he rides the bus to my school at the end of the day. I hope the year continues with his HUGE grin and yell of "MOM!" at the end of every day when he sees me in the hall. :) It's like he didn't REALLY believe I'd meet him there until the moment he actually saw me. Melts my heart. :)

God has poured an abundance of change into our lives in the past year. So many wonderful things! I feel HIM moving in many ways in my heart and preparing for the future. I am thinking of possibly moving back to the area I'm originally from at the end of this school year. A lot has happened in the last few months, and in taking time to look at our life and situation I feel like that is where God is leading us. It's not set in stone, still up in the air, but that is where I'm feeling led right now.

In order to prepare for the possibility, I've been finishing small projects around the house, purging toys and baby items I don't know we'd need anytime soon, and just working on getting things in order. The area I'm from is about 2 1/2-3 hours from here. Not real far, but far enough that we haven't been there often. It's been about 12 years since I lived there and the kids don't know the place much. It's also only 45 minutes from my dad's side of the family which would be wonderful, and I have many friends in the area, some of which I've been blessed to reconnect with on Facebook.

A very close friend of mine, Braeden's godmother, lives in the area so we made plans last weekend to travel there to spend time with them, see some others, and show the kids the area. They loved it. Here is a night at the park where we met up with some great friends...

Unfortunately we also had quite a scare while there. The first night we stayed, we swam in the hotel pool. That night/early the next morning there was a scary cough from Liam. I woke and went to check him. He was completely unresponsive. This has happened two other times, the last over a year ago. The first, unbelievably, was at a hotel also, the same kind we were in now. Even though this has happened before and I know it's most likely a seizure though they've not found out for sure, it was still horrible. I lifted him up to check him and took him to the bathroom to not wake the others if I didn't need to. He was like a rag doll. Eyes closed. Unresponsive. Very scary. You feel like you're holding a dead child. It was hard to tell if he was even breathing until I laid him down.

Some bad experiences with the hotel not answering the phone, then the ambulance arrived. He took a lot longer "coming out of it" than he did the other two times. I had them take him to ER to check on him and after a few hours we were able to leave. He was completely himself and we continued on with our weekend. I was able to get him in this coming Thursday for an EEG and a neuro appt. They haven't done an EEG in the past so I'm really hoping we get some answers!

Other than that, if that wasn't enough, it's been back to school, back to work, back to routine. Olivia's had a hard time getting back into the swing of things and we've had some issues with her being tired and not doing what she needs to in the morning, but we're getting there. I don't think it will take her long to get back in the routine. Hope you are well. Looking forward to catching up on all of your blogs!!!

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

New Before and Current Pics

Here are some new "before" and "current" pictures for those who were asking! :)

Notice I say current, not after! :)

Here's a before at Christmas time in FL right before I started with my healthy living...

And here are a couple from the other day... so not fun trying to take photos of yourself! :)...

I'm at 54 pounds so far... and at least 20 more to go!!! :)

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Soccer Season

This is a first for our family, and I am officially a soccer mom! :)

We're having lots of fun trying out soccer this year. Our local association began mid July and since that was the perfect time for us with our vacation this year, we signed up last spring. Braeden wanted to try it, so even though we've done gymnastics, swim lessons, tae kwon do, all to no avail with him, I decided to try again.

Practices for both have gone well. Olivia loves soccer, as she does with everything physical she's tried, and she does well, especially for her first year. Braeden has been Braeden. :) He does well when he's focused and paying attention and engaged, and if he's waiting in line to shoot, or something similar, he is off task to say the least. :)

Today was the first day of games. We began at 8:30 am with Braeden's game. I was AMAZED! He did GREAT!!!! He played about half the game, and while in he was focused, he knew where to be and what goal to go for (something which this age is not always so good at!), and he even shot a goal! I was SO PROUD of him! I really hope he continues and soccer can be something for him "to do."

Olivia's game was at 1:00 in the afternoon. We had some rain, but that didn't stop them! She did AWESOME and played most of the game! She also scored a goal and I was so excited for her! I think she was exhausted (her age group's field is quite larger than Braeden's), but said she wished she could do it all again!

The only downfall was that we missed nap time. Olivia just gets so very tired, especially during the summer when we're so active and out and about. We had some issues tonight, so next time we have a mid day game I think we'll do at least a morning rest time and see if that helps.
On other fronts, we've been busy as ever. We joined the local YMCA to swim and play and hopefully so mom has a place to workout. :) It's only a couple blocks from our home, so we've walked there a few times. We've taken the bikes out, visited the nearby children's museum (free on Tuesdays!), had some hometown friends over to visit and play Wii, gone to Lincoln Park Zoo, enjoyed some $1 Wednesday morning movies, and spent a WONDERFUL day at a blogger friend's who lives in this area though we had never met! :) She and her husband have 5 children, two of whom are adopted from Eithiopia. Two other of her friends also brought their kids over - one has two bio and two adopted from Eithiopia, and the other has three from Eithiopia and two from Russia. It was a blessed day, and I truly enjoyed getting to know these wonderful women and asking lots of questions about international adoption! :) I'm so very close to starting this process!!! Just waiting for the final go from God... but it's coming soon! :)
I have lots more I want to blog about, but still have yucky dial up at home and posting pics and such just takes FOREVER. I'm planning on getting wireless, so hoping I make the call and get it going this week!

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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