Then they ate their cookies. I LOVE this picture of Liam! Can you tell how very careful he was being to NOT get the cookie itself! He just wanted that hat! :)
Braeden and I each won one game for $5, but Olivia, even with calling half the games, won two and got $10!
You see, my cute little self...
was about to flip back off of this chair AGAIN! So while my mommy, Lisa's friend, was busy watching me (and all within seconds of the rest of this),
Olivia's mommy, was to the left of where Olivia is in this picture throwing away some garbage in the workout room...
The second they were both distracted, my 3 1/2 year old brother and Braeden, no floaties on their little arms and unable to swim, wandered farther into the pool than they were supposed to!
My brother was holding onto Braeden's head because he knew he was in too deep and couldn't swim or touch! Braeden couldn't touch either though, and his little head kept going under water, panic on his face because he was about drowning!
My mommy yelled to my brother two or three times to "Let go of Braeden!" But he didn't because he was just so scared!
So... Lisa jumped in the water, with her clothes on, with her leather shoes on, with her watch on, with her electronic key ring in her pocket. Luckily she had taken out her cell phone and camera and laid them on the table just before this happened! She was able to quickly get both boys out of the water! Whew! And then Olivia snapped a picture of HER! :)
And THAT, my friends, was the drama in the hotel pool! :)
Of course I packed an extra set of clothes for each of the kids, but did I pack a set for me!? NO! :) I had Sunday's outfit for our family Christmas get together, that was it. So my friend went to get that from the car, and then she took home and washed my outfit I was wearing, so that I was able to at least wear it the next day. :)
A little later, we then went to another friend's mom's house to see all the amazing work and updating they've done over the past ten years since I've been there. So great! My three friends (sisters), their parents, and extended family were a second family to me when I was living in my hometown 12+ years ago. I did a lot with them, spent time on holidays with them, it was great.
Two of the three are married now, and one of them has an adopted daughter who is 2 1/2. So cute! She had my kiddos wrapped around her finger! Especially Olivia, who was roped into dance after dance! :)
One of my friends was talked into cracking nut after nut for my lovelys. Her sister had told her daughter enough after a few, and Braeden says, "I'm glad I'm not in THAT family!" Oh my! Hilarious!
We then went across the street for ice cream at my favorite and best ice cream place ever! (Owned by some other friends of mine.) :)
Take my Son
A wealthy man and his son loved to collect rare works of art. They had everything in their collection, from Picasso to Raphael. They would often sit together and admire the great works of art.
When the Vietnam conflict broke out, the son went to war. He was very courageous and died in battle while rescuing another soldier. The father was notified and grieved deeply for his only son.
About a month later, just before Christmas, there was a knock at the door. A young man stood at the door with a large package in his hands.
He said, 'Sir, you don't know me, but I am the soldier for whom your son gave his life. He saved many lives that day, and he was carrying me to safety when a bullet struck him in the heart and he died instantly... He often talked about you, and your love for art.' The young man held out this package. 'I know this isn't much. I'm not really a great artist, but I think your son would have wanted you to have this.'
The father opened the package. It was a portrait of his son, painted by the young man. He stared in awe at the way the soldier had captured the personality of his son in the painting. The father was so drawn to the eyes that his own eyes welled up with tears. He thanked the young man and offered to pay him for the picture... 'Oh, no sir, I could never repay what your son did for me. It's a gift.'
The father hung the portrait over his mantle. Every time visitors came to his home he took them to see the portrait of his son before he showed them any of the other great works he had collected.
The man died a few months later.. There was to be a great auction of his paintings. Many influential people gathered, excited over seeing the great paintings and having an opportunity to purchase one for their collection.
On the platform sat the painting of the son.. The auctioneer pounded his gavel. 'We will start the bidding with this picture of the son. Who will bid for this picture?'
There was silence..
Then a voice in the back of the room shouted, 'We want to see the famous paintings. Skip thisone.'
But the auctioneer persisted. 'Will somebody bid for this painting? Who will start the bidding? $100, $200?'
Another voice angrily. 'We didn't come to see this painting... We came to see the Van Gogh's, the Rembrandts.. Get on with the real bids!'
But still the auctioneer continued. 'The son! The son! Who'll take the son?'
Finally, a voice came from the very back of the room. It was the longtime gardener of the man and his son. 'I'll give $10 for the painting..' Being a poor man, it was all he could afford..
'We have $10, who will bid $20?'
'Give it to him for $10. Let's see the masters.'
The crowd was becoming angry. They didn't want the picture of the son.
They wanted the more worthy investments for their collections.
The auctioneer pounded the gavel. 'Going once, twice, SOLD for $10!'
A man sitting on the second row shouted, 'Now let's get on with the collection!'
The auctioneer laid down his gavel. 'I'm sorry, the auction is over.'
'What about the paintings?'
'I am sorry. When I was called to conduct this auction, I was told of a secret stipulation in the will. I was not allowed to reveal that stipulation until this time Only the painting of the son would be auctioned. Whoever bought that painting would inherit the entire estate, including the paintings.
The man who took the son gets everything!'
God gave His son 2,000 years ago to die on the cross. Much like the auctioneer, His message today is: 'The son, the son, who'll take the son?'
Because, you see, whoever takes the Son gets everything.
FOR GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD HE GAVE HIS ONLY BEGOTTEN SON, WHO SO EVER BELIEVETH, SHALL HAVE ETERNAL LIFE....THAT'S LOVE
Here is our Thanksgiving day in pictures... starring those I'm most thankful for...
It was RAINY! :( Boo!!! We've been to the parade on the "coldest Thanksgiving in Chicago in 30 years", and some where it's freezing, even a little snow falling (gorgeous), but never rain! And I don't like it! :)
This was the first year Liam really "got it" and LOVED it!!! I love his eyes in this photo!
And then it was home to bed... even though I had a youngest and oldest who were not ready to go and not ready to sleep.... but they went to sleep quickly and mom is finishing the packing for the rest of our weekend... A great start! :)
I'm very excited about our upcoming weekend! Tomorrow we leave at 4:30 in the morning, yes, 4:30 AM, to drive to the train station and take the train into Chicago for the Thanksgiving Day Parade. Last year we went to the lighting of the Magnificent Mile Parade instead, but this year back to our tradition! We'll go the parade, then eat turkey sandwiches from Subway in the train station before coming back. :) We were also invited by friends, where Liam also happens to go for day care, to join them once we're back for Thanksgiving dinner! Except once when Braeden and Olivia were tiny, the year before we started going to the parade, they have never had the big dinner with turkey and all the fixins! I'm so excited for them and to spend the day with special friends! We have so much to be Thankful for!
Then on Friday morning we hit the road to drive to my hometown and visit with friends, show the kids the area again to get them more used to it, and even see a house I've been watching online. We'll stay overnight at a hotel and are planning a get together there Friday night for friends.
Saturday around dinnertime we'll drive about 45 minutes away to where my dad's side of the family live. One reason we're trying to move to my hometown come the end of this school year. We'll stay the night with my aunt and uncle, and then on Sunday we're having "Christmas" with everyone there. We'll drive the 2 1/2 or so hours home that evening, ready for school Monday morning!
Whew! An exhausting, but fun filled weekend! Hoping for good behavior, and patience from myself! :)
Hope you and yours have a wonderful and thankful day tomorrow!
I tried one using Martin Luther King's I Have a Dream Speech. It's now hanging in the hall outside my classroom! :) (You'll need the java plugin on your computer, I don't have it at home ;() It took maybe two minutes to search online, find the text, copy it, and paste it in Wordle. Then you can hit randomize at the bottom and it will change the layout, text, colors, etc each time you click. Amazing! :)
She really didn't know her bio mom, and the relative she was placed in prior to my home is not a pleasant memory. But her brother was her life, her constant, and as he now lived 3 hours away and his foster/adoptive parents did NOT help facilitate visits (to say the least), she was left with a huge hole in her heart. I know that when we do have issues and fits at home (not real often, and it's been quite a while) that the internal "stuff" with missing him is usually at the core. It's been over two years since we last saw him. Since then I've sent birthday and Christmas cards, but hadn't even heard back so we were unsure if he was still at the same address.
Me holding Liam while they moved on to the next child (he was not wanting down and kept playing with my hair!) :) ...
Waiting for the service to start... Braeden opted to stay in his class, and I was proud of him for that, he knew it would be hard to sit and stand still on the stage...
Paper Bead Necklaces from Uganda!!! These are my next idea for a GREAT Christmas gift!
Start with a bundle of asparagus, a Tablespoon of olive oil, and some shredded cheese.
Toss the asparagus with the olive oil, lightly coating it.
Lay in a shallow cookie sheet.
Sprinkle with shredded cheese - any kind, we happened to have a Mexican variety today but have tried many and they all are great.
Place in a 350 degree oven for 10-12 minutes, and Ta Da!
I have found a GREAT site with WONDERFUL Christmas ideas! Again! :) Thanda Zulu is an amazing group who hires local bead workers to make wonderful jewelry and other items to sell and help raise money.
From their site: Thanda Zulu is committed to offering the highest quality uniquely designed jewelry, while making the world a little bit better. From paying the beadworkers a fair wage, to funding innovative programs to combat HIV/AIDS and poverty in South Africa, your purchase makes a difference. 30% of your purchase goes directly to the beader. 62% of your purchase supports the Thanda After-School Project in South Africa.
I LOVE LOVE LOVE this bracelet, in all the available colors, but I think this is my favorite
I'm off to see Twilight at 9pm and then New Moon at midnight. And to answer my questions myself, if you've read the Twilight books, then you KNOW why I'm doing this! :) They are too fun! And my lovely, wonderful, college-age sitter is coming with her roommate in 30 minutes so that I can go! :) The kids will sleep through it all, they don't even know I'm going! I wasn't about to tell them their beloved Miss H was coming, because then they wouldn't have gone to bed sillies!
I have a Luna bar packed, and our theater has free refills on pop and popcorn, so though I won't be getting the popcorn, the diet coke will be free flowing! :) Some friends from work were going to come with me, and me being the early bird ALWAYS, I had my tickets early, but when they went to get theirs a while back they were already sold out! :( But Liam's day care provider/my friend is going with family and so I will be sitting with them. Not that I would have minded going myself, I do that often actually, but this will be fun together! Out for a fun night! And then working tomorrow! I told my teacher assistant we may be doing a movie or two in class tomorrow! :)
AHOPE for children serves children in Ethiopia, including two children's homes exclusively for children who are HIV+ and have no extended family to care for them. The kids and I sponsor one of these darlings and I HOPE HOPE HOPE to someday travel to these children's homes, maybe to adopt!!! :)
Unlike some sponsorships, you are not able to personally write or communicate with children you sponsor through AHOPE. The reason behind this is that they don't want the children thinking they have a "family" and getting their hopes up. You do receive pictures and updated information on the child and how they're doing. Unfortunately our little guy hasn't been adopted yet, but if that happens I've been told that they will let you know and then allow you to transfer your sponsorship to another child if you wish.
There is also a wonderful store with great items like this awesome awesome awesome water bottle (man, I could build MY Christmas list from these sites!) :)
Why not give the gift of sponsorship to your family? Or an item from the store? Such a great way to help overseas even if you can't make it there yourself!
Water is something we take for granted like nothing else. We turn on our faucet and water comes out, magic! But for so many around OUR WORLD, there is NO access to fresh, clean water. WATER!
Did you know that just a $20 donation can give fresh water to one person for TWENTY YEARS!!! TWENTY YEARS!
So go, now to the Water for Christmas site!
And, if it doesn't get any better, here is an AWESOME etsy.com site that sells items to benefit Water For Christmas!
I LOVE LOVE LOVE the water drop ornaments! What a great gift - especially love the turqouise!
For today, why not start with an organization near and dear to my heart... Project Hopeful. Project Hopeful does many many things to try to unite HIV+ children from around the world with forever families. One day, hopefully they'll be helping me as well! :) You never know! And as I've had the opportunity to meet many of the people behind Project Hopeful in real life, on facebook, and through our blogs, I know this is an extremely worthy cause and a great way to spend money this holiday season! check out some of the wonderful items at their store which will help this strong organization do even more than they are already doing!
Wouldn't you or your loved ones on your Christmas list look stunning in this tshirt!? I think so! (Hint hint - I'd LOVE one!)
Julie, I will get you that ever important gift certificate for my soon to be launched etsy store!!! :) I'll get in touch with you soon! :) Congrats!
You will need: 1 package of biscuits (cost about .69 at Aldi's), 1 pound ground meat (we used ground turkey from Aldi's, about .89), and 1/2 cup of your favorite BBQ sauce. I have also done this with shredded cheese on top, which is wonderful, but we didn't have any on hand today and it's just as good without. :)
While that's cooking away, start your oven preheating to 400 degrees, undo your biscuits, stretch and push them in your hands to a large circle, and form them into the bottoms of a muffin pan...
Liam's was done before he even started on the rest of his meal...
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- DRAMA - The Rest of Saturday
- The Son
- Turkey Day
- A Crazy, Fun, Thankful, Weekend
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- ...And Now a Word From Our Sponsors...
- A Dedication
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- Saturday Share
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- Team Edward!
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- And The Winner Is...
- Saturday Share
- Some Pain
- Good News
- Kids Say the Darndest...
- Zoo Pictures
- Counting Down
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- Long Day
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What you should know about HIV
Other Awesome Blogs
• 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 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