Thursday, December 31, 2009

Final Days

We've had some busy days to tie up our vacation... we're on our way out of town tomorrow after breakfast.

Olivia had another day of skating.

Yesterday we went to Give Kids the World Village to visit.  WHAT A WONDERFUL AND AMAZING PLACE!  We first were blessed enough to go there as visitors for a week during Olivia's Make a Wish Trip in August 2008.  Families can go back and visit any time they'd like and participate in any or all of the activities whenever they visit... just can't spend the night or take part in a meal. :)

We went the morning they have horseback riding.  The kids LOVED it, especially since Liam who was too young in 08 to ride!

The men who brought the horses said Olivia was a natural... :)

Braeden was shy, but finally gave the photographer two thumbs up!  They take photos of everything when you stay there, and then give you a CD of the pics when you leave.  They got my email to send us these...

Liam was on cloud nine!

After riding, the kids got "Official" cowboy certificates and hats!

We found the paver that Grandma and Grandpa donated money to have put in...

Got to see the new pool/water area - amazing! but no pictures :( - and the new Garden of Hope (this pic does NOT do it justice - gorgeous!)...

Rode on the train at the Station building, inside are toy trains, boats to drive, games, etc...

After GKTW, we headed to Downtown Disney for lunch and a little shopping.  Grandma and Grandpa got Braeden a basic lego set for Christmas, we've only had Duplos until now, and we got some more at the lego store to add to it.

The olders and I shopped around and each spent a little money on a special something.  We had fun watching the "animals" at Rainforest Cafe!  (Though we actually ate at McDonalds!) :)

Today we started off at Krispy Kreme, then went to Chuck E Cheese.  We played first and then had our lunch... it was nice and not too crowded...

Later Olivia and I went to do some shopping.  The kids each got a little money for clothes for New Year's, so we hit the deals and found some great ones!  Olivia spent her $20 on a shirt and two pairs of knee highs at Gymboree, and a shirt, scarf, and mittens/gloves at Gap.  I found the boys matching shirts, some shorts, and a few other things at Gymboree, and even got myself a few things at Gap.  Gap had adult clearance an extra 40% off, and kids clearance an extra 25% off.  Weird!  

We've had a great vacation.  Tomorrow will be hard.  The kids are already so upset to be leaving and say off and on, mostly Braeden, that they aren't getting in the car, I'm making them leave, etc.  How to explain when Braeden says family doesn't leave, that we actually see a lot more of our Grandparents than some?  Hard to "make" them go.  Will be a sad sad morning!
Saturday, December 26, 2009
Another great day in FL!  I got up bright and early, my one early shopping day of the year, and headed to Target.  I love all their Christmas toys they have each year and always stock up the day after Christmas for next year's stocking stuffers.  After a bunch of great deals, I picked up Olivia and we went to get my hair cut.  Then we headed to the mall to spend some money which was again burning a hole in her pocket!  She had decided to use Christmas money to get her ears pierced (again).  The first time was a birthday gift and she ended up taking one out at school, so I left them out.  I'm hoping she's learned her lesson and leaves them in this time! :)

We girls had lunch at Panera and then headed back to Grandma and Grandpa's.

The kids got a few outdoor toys for Christmas so we spent some time outside playing today...

Olivia did great on her pogo stick!

Santa gave each of the kids a skateboard and they were in heaven, having wanted these forever! :)  I have it on good authority that Santa and his wife got great deals on these! :)

Unfortunately we all have pretty sore throats which is not much fun right now.  Braeden seemed to be the worst and during dinner just did not want to eat, asked to be carried, and was almost moaning aloud... oh wait, he was moaning! :)  We took his temp and it was a whopping 103!  Poor guy, no wonder he was moaning!  Praying it's short-lived and that the Motrin kicks in quick!

It was a long, but good day... and we had one tired pup who crashed hard about five minutes after being sent to bed...

Off to Krispy Kreme tomorrow for breakfast and another day of ice skating for Olivia! :)  Good night!

Christmas Donation

We do a lot of donating, service, and other projects around Christmas time... but today's has to be one of my favorites this year!

It's been around a year that I decided to grow my hair.  One of my "talents" is being able to grow hair quickly. :)  I thought I should put that to use, grow my hair and donate it to Locks of Love... and today was the day it was long enough to cut.  My budding photographer Olivia (she got a small Disney digital camera for Christmas and LOVES it - a great deal I got this past year for about $2.50!) took some pics of the day for me!

She did a great job and I'm loving the feeling of SHORT hair! :)  I filled out the appropriate form, and they'll send in the hair for me!  Hooray!

Morning in Pictures...

Braeden has been asking for a bow and arrow forever... Grandma and Grandpa found a nerf type one... perfect!

They gave Olivia a pogo stick she's wanted quite a while!

And Liam... says forget the gifts, next year just give me a box! :)

They gave each of the kids a personalized superhero cape!  LOVE them!!!  This is completely Liam's thing!

We made sure to remember why we celebrate and who...

Now we're relaxing together, spending time with gifts, watching a movie, being a family.

Merry Christmas to all... celebrate HIM, remember the reason we celebrate, Happy Birthday!

Cool Boys

... where their footies like this...

After putting on our family Christmas Eve PJs, Braeden, who often does get hot, "needed" his top off. So I let him tie the arms around the waist, and of course little Braeden Mini Me (Liam) had to do the same! :)

This was the kids putting out "Reindeer Food", which of course was GONE this morning! :)  So fun!
Thursday, December 24, 2009

One Year

December of 2008 with blogger friends at Downtown Disney...

A few weeks ago with friends from my hometown (who asked me not to post to facebook and I'm assuming that means my blog as well! )  :)...

Lots of changes for me this past year, inside and out, and more to come in 2010!
Wednesday, December 23, 2009

A "Beachy" Day

First to see the new Alvin and the Chipmunks movie... very cute!

Then the kids and I headed to the beach... it was finally warm enough! :)  And had a blast!

We had a wonderful view just before heading out!...

"All Aboard!"

Last night was a real treat, my parents had purchased tickets for us to ride the Polar Express!  We drove a while to get there, but what a once-in-a-lifetime treat!

After boarding we found seats together on the train...

There were multiple "characters" from the movie.  As we boarded the conductor and the hobo were welcoming us on.  A girl with a chef's hat read us the story of the Polar Express as we were underway, traveling on the rails.  We sang carols.  Then the hobo came around with a "magic" light.  It was a part of the Northern Lights which we were told Santa LOVED and then if we kept hold of it, could give him as a gift when we saw him.  

He would wave it, looking as if he were pulling it from thin air, then place it as if he was putting it in the child's hand, and direct them to hold it tight and place it immediately in their pocket so it wouldn't get away.

Liam and Braeden looked EVERYWHERE for their light, they just could NOT figure out where they went!  Liam kept looking in his pocket and Braeden kept crushing his cheeks, waving his arms, trying to make it appear as the hobo did.

Soon after, we were asked if anyone needed refreshments, and of course everyone did!  Many chefs came down the middle of the aisles to sing and dance to "Hot Chocolate."  They then passed out large sugar cookies and cups of hot cocoa! :)

Next the conductor came through to "punch" everyone's tickets, leaving them with a train punch on the tickets.

Finally, we released our Northern Lights to welcome Santa onto our train car, where he passed out bells to all the children!  They were THRILLED! :)

As we made our way back, the conductor came through and allowed the kids to try on his hat!!!  This was the most animated Liam was all night... he was a little scared and nervous of Santa coming, he is not thrilled with Santa up close yet... but put a conductor hat on him, and he yells "All Aboard!" and smiles like crazy! :)

It was a GREAT experience, and one they won't forget anytime soon! :)  Thanks Grandma and Grandpa!

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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