Thursday, December 30, 2010

Boys' Day

Yesterday was Boys Day / Girls Night. :) It's so hard to come up with ideas for Grandma and Grandpa for Christmas. As I was thinking of things, I was looking for shows/things to do and came across one that sounded fun but wouldn't be for the boys. So, I decided why not do a girls night out, and Olivia and I got tickets for Grandma and the two of us to go together as a gift.

That left Grandpa, so the search began. He's hard though because he uses a walker and has a lot of trouble with stairs and distances. He would also have two rambunctious boys to keep after. I went through many ideas... airboat rides, shows (nothing playing for their interest), children's museums, but nothing "fit." We finally settled on the idea of giving him gift cards for he and the boys to go to Celebra*tion Stat*ion. It's similar to Chuc*k E, but has rides outside as well as go karts and mini golf. We had enough money on the gift cards for pizza, drinks, LOTS of tokens, and passes for the boys to ride as many of the kiddie rides they wanted. Grandpa could corral them fairly easily and it seemed a win-win.

Well, they went yesterday and I expected a couple of hours worth of fun. Grandma and I took Olivia across the street to the mall to ice skate while we waited. They WAY outlasted us, and were there over four hours! Grandpa had my camera and got some great shots...

Also had the pleasure of putting Liam in a time out... the picture just CRACKS me up!

Braeden also befriended an older boy that my dad said was VERY nice.
B loved having someone to play the big kid games with!

Last night was then our girls' night out. No pictures unfortunately as they didn't allow pics, but we had a great time! We saw Forbidden Broadway and it was so good! The reviews I had read from patrons said positive things regarding kids, but Olivia was THE only one there! A little worried! Luckily there was really only one whole song which I had her close her eyes for, and a part of another which I'm pretty sure went right over her head luckily, the rest was ok with a few bad words. She laughed at a lot of it and had fun, though she was tired by the end! :)

It was a good day! Today we hung out, went out for lunch, saw a movie (I do NOT recommend Gull*iver's Travels... wait for the rental!), and did a little shopping, lots of laundry, and mucho packing of the car. Tomorrow morning we're heading out! It's been a good run and the kids will have a sad day tomorrow as we leave. Please pray for them as they say goodbye to their grandparents! And happy new year!
Monday, December 27, 2010

A Day Like That

Having children with differences can be challenging. It's hard too when your child "looks" like every other but their "issues" are purely internal. Braeden had quite the day today. You just never know. He was very wound to say the least, and days like this that are jam packed and include a surprise location, well, you just never know. And since we've been playing Russian Roulette regarding new meds, and this newest combo is better than the last but still off base, and since we don't return to the doctor until Jan 3, we're left to piece together what we can and work our tails off to get him through these days. Most of the day was really ok, but there were a few rough patches and the rest of the day he was just WOUND, best way I can think to phrase it. Hoping to at least try something else starting Monday!

We began our day heading to Orlando and Give Kids the World Village. When we chose which day we would come to GKTW on this trip to FL, Braeden had originally hoped to go Tues which is when they do their horseback riding. Mondays have Disney characters to meet and greet, and Liam was so excited for that that Braeden and Olivia decided to come Monday and let Liam see Mickey. Of course, since Braeden was "off" today, he didn't remember THAT and was NOT happy about seeing characters. He has become quite shy regarding those meetings of late, and instead of just skipping the meeting, was becoming quite angry at even being there, let alone waiting in line. I simply reminded him he didn't have to go, and he and Grandpa ended up heading to our next stop where we met them later.

For the rest of us, a quick hug to Alvin and we were ready...

We first got to see Mary Poppins. Fun! We've never "met" her before so that was a treat for the kids! And can you tell it was VERY cold in FL today!? :) Here I thought I left this weather in IL! :)

Then we were able to continue on to see Goofy and Mickey! Liam was not at all sure of Goofy, but was very excited to see Mickey! Give Kids has photographers at everything and they take down your Villa number each time, to compile pictures of your time there on a CD for your departure. Even though we weren't staying there, they still take pics for us and will send them via email! Love them! This is our version, I'm sure theirs looks even better! :)

Once back outside we headed toward the ice cream palace where Grandpa and Braeden waited...

Nothing like a little ice cream for brunch!

Braeden was quite wound, but still doing ok...

Some play time in the castle...

And on the carousel outside...

Then off to Amberville to play with the remote control boats, train sets, and video games...

We then grabbed some drive through burgers on our way to Down*town Disney. After the first store, we left Braeden and Grandpa to hang out with B's new toy bought with Christmas money, and Grandma's new iPad, while the rest of us walked and shopped some more...

Grandma went to stay with them after a while, while Liam, Olivia, and I finished up. At this point, B was restless and knew I had just walked by, so took off and ran away from my parents. In Downtown Disney. On Dec. 27. Where it was CRAZY with people! They were so scared, but did eventually find him. I was texted and came back and Braeden cycled through anger and apologies and hyperactivity.

We headed to the car and though early, began our way to their surprise... dinner and a show at Arabian Nights. When we were here for Olivia's wish trip in 2008, we had gone to the Pirate show, and I've been to Medieval Times, but the kids haven't. We decided to do Arabian Nights since they had a holiday show and we could do Medieval some other time here or in IL. Braeden had a rough time at the start of the show, but did great through the rest. They were all excited by the show, though us adults thought it a little boring. The horses were fun and Liam was so entranced he didn't even eat. :)

Braeden did fine once back in the car and on the way home too. Here's hoping tomorrow is much smoother again... It's just so hard to know, and that makes it even harder. Hoping to keep low key tomorrow with the exception of possibly taking the olders to skate and then going out to dinner...
Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Day

We had a beautiful day today... few "issues"... lots of smiles and thankfulness... many minutes (hours?) taking things out of boxes and putting things together! We say each year we're cutting back and each year it seems we still have lots to open!

Santa gave Liam gum in his stocking which was a HUGE hit! Liam has been told over and over no gum until he turned five (which he'll be on Jan 30), so to get it a little early, he was THRILLED! He had to be taught to put it all in his mouth right away, and would chew a piece for a while and then spit it out and get a new one. It was so funny! :) Here's his first attempt...

They had each asked for silly string when they "discovered" the existence of the stuff recently! Santa delivered, a perfect stocking stuffer!

Grandma and Grandpa got Liam a cheese hat - not for the Packers, but because of the cheese! The kid LOVES his cheese! And I just love Braeden's smile in the background of this picture, so excited for his brother! (He was given the Boba Fet*t helmet himself.)

Olivia was enthralled with the shirt Braeden made! She yelled, "Camp Halfblood!?" So cute!

Liam was excited and thankful for his shirt too...

Braeden has wanted a remote control helicopter for a long time now. I got him one for a STEAL on Amazon a while back. Unfortunately it was more for older kids, and not moms, and the poor kid lost it on the roof when mom tried it before he even got a chance... :( (Notice the white speck???) We're going to ask maintenance Monday but don't know that they can get it. :( He took it well and I felt and feel horrible! :(

Liam had a blast on his new "big boy" bike. (My best steal of the day... $10 on ebay!) It was going to be his birthday gift, but I decided to switch since the weather would be good here to try it out and if I had waited he wouldn't have been able to for a while. So I pulled out a couple Christmas gifts to save for his birthday instead. So funny because it's been in the back of our van for a couple months now and he had NO clue!

Late afternoon found us at the beach. It was a bit chilly and quite windy. Notice all the people in the background! :) The boys took the boogie boards to the water, touched their toes in, and came right back to just play in the sand! :)

Olivia and I were at least dressed for the weather!

Hope you and yours had a Merry Christmas too!

Happy Birthday, Jesus

The kids (OK, Braeden my egg cracker) and I made a cake for Jesus' birthday yesterday...

A new creation... chocolate cake, vanilla icing, mint M&*Ms, and peppermint sticks...

And today we sang Happy Birthday and tried out the cake...


Merry Christmas and Happy Birthday!

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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