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Monday, December 26, 2011

Merry Christmas!

We woke up to a wonderful surprise on Christmas morning! SNOW! I think it was our first white Christmas in 10-15 years. The weatherman missed it badly--said we might get an inch. It snowed all day long--we got more like 6 inches or so. The girls went sledding. Kennedi was in the middle of it this year--unlike last year. Read that post here.  They are out sledding again this morning before it all melts! And yes, I still think their Daddy is pulling them much too fast.  Annsley wants him to go fast enough that she catches air on a hill.  I don't think so!
Building ammunition stockpile for the snow ball fight.

Oh what fun it is to ride!


Getting the hang of this Christmas thing!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Sugar Cookies!

The girls love making sugar cookies every year. Last year we didn't make anything. I can't even remember the holidays with all the rushing to and from Russia. Here are some pictures from this year's sugar cookie round up! It was Kennedi's first year to really "participate", and she ate just about as much cookie dough as she cut out into shapes. Annsley was rather put out with her as well when she used all the white icing. That meant her candy canes had to be red and green. Not cool for that 7 year old little girl...

All Andrei can manage to do is go around the house saying, "Gooo-kieee." He won't say "Momma" for nothing. He calls me "Daddy." Doug is now trying to bribe him. "You can have a cookie if you say Momma." So far it's not working. He's now screaming for a cookie...(sigh)

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Milk Stand Off!

Andrei has been taking his "nearly 2 year old" wheels out for a spin lately.  At least I hope that is what it is.  His temper tantrums are mighty and lengthy--complete with foot stomping and throwing.  The last one was a few days ago--over 1 1/2 hours long.  I actually blogged about it, posted it, and then deleted it.  It was a sad diatrab of my morning, and I realized that noone really wanted to read all about those woes.  Just know he is a usually happy and obedient child, but when he gets a good mad going on it is a sight to behold. 

He's become very opinionated lately as well.  He has decided that he doesn't like milk.  Today I decided that I had had enough.  He would drink his milk.  And so the standoff began.  I handed him his milk and put him in his high chair.  He swallowed once and didn't want any more.  I fed him his oatmeal.  He wanted down.  I said, "Drink your milk."  He shook his head no.  "Drink your milk and you may get down."  He shook his head no. 

So over the course of the next hour and 45 minutes (no exaggeration) he played with his sippy cup, jabbered to himself, wailed to his sisters, cried, kicked, played with his sippy cup again, said "down", kicked, screamed, jabbered, etc.  Trust me, after about 20 minutes I was ready to let him down and "win", but I knew that since I had started this battle of the wills, I'd better win, or it might be tough goings around here pretty soon.  Battling with a 22 month old...interesting...anyway at approximately 10:10AM, he stuck his sippy cup in his mouth and drank all his milk in one swoop.  He looked at me, shook it to let me know it was empty, and said, "Down."

I have The Strong Willed Child by James Dobson on the bookcase...

Today marks the first time we met Andrei one year ago.  I posted a short video of that visit on our adoption blog.  Check it out when you have a chance!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Wanted: Snow Plow Driver

Here is the conversation between my two girls this morning as we made our way to their dentist appointments.  I love how they converse like I'm not even there... To give a little background, we're having a some nasty wintery weather today, and we got stuck behind the snow plow on the way. 

Annsley:  Mom, what's that big truck?
Me:  It's a snow plow.  See the front of the truck?
Annsley:  That gets the snow off the road? Why?
Me:  Yes, it's like Katie!  (We have read Katie and the Big Snow before.)  It makes the road safer without the snow on it.
Kennedi:  Oooo! I want to be a snow plow job! (That's not a mistype.  That's what she said.)
Annsley:  Is that what you want to be when you grow up?
Kennedi:  Oh, yes! A snow plow job!
Annsley:  (in her motherly voice) That is a great job, Kennedi.  You wouldn't have to work very often.  Just when it snows. (Hmmm...should I be concerned about this lackluster motivation of working?)
Kennedi:  OK
Annsley:  Now Kennedi...I don't know how to tell you this...(big pause) but you could work as a snow plow job here and then when it's not snowing, you could go somewhere where it is snowing to work all the time.  That would be good. (Obviously she is concerned that her sister will not be employed full time.)
Kennedi:  (totally enamored with her sister's wisdom, she nods her head) Yes!  I want to be a snow plow job. I'll go to work where it snows.
Annsley:  That would be very good! (Is she trying to get rid of her little sister??)

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


We headed to McKinney, Texas for Thanksgiving this year.  My dad's family has met there ever since I can remember, and it's an awesome time. (It has to be--we all keep coming back!) Now that we all have children and grandchildren, there are quite a few of us--46 were there this year (We had 4 people who were missing?? Maybe??)!  We just keep breeding and breeding! :) We ate on the driveway this year.  It's happened before--usually due to warm, nice Dallas weather.  This year it was a necessity.  You'll notice we all had jackets on. It was suppose to be 70.  NOT! The weatherman missed it.  Thank you Uncle John and Aunt Patty for a blessed holiday once again! Annsley hasn't stopped talking about how much fun she had!
Having so much fun in the car I could spit!

Solving the world's problems...

A portion of our feast!

A portion of our crowd...

Playing football or some resemblance of it on the front lawn.

Waiting for fire!  The rain put a slight delay in the makings of hot dogs!

Andrei roasting a marshmellow with his Aunt Patty.  And yes, he enjoyed the smores.  (Annsley told me she had 6 of them!)

I never would have thought a hammock could be so captivating!

Fun times with cousins in the "play room!"

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

100 Things

With Thanksgiving around the corner, I though I'd share something I felt the Holy Spirit has been working with me on. 

Several months ago the Holy Spirit was gently guiding me into an attitude adjustment.  I had gotten into a habit of being cynical; ungratefulness was creeping in; Poor Pitiful Me Syndrome was rearing its ugly head.  I felt compelled one morning to begin listing 100 things I was thankful for.  I thought, "OK Lord. This will be a piece of cake.  Watch my dust! (or ink...) Paul writing most of the New Testament has nothing on me...

And so I began my list.  I wrote a out a nice, concise title for my assignment: 100 Things I Am Thankful For and I began to write. The first 10 things were no brainers.  It was composed of the "knee-jerk" responses one thinks about during these assignments.  God, my children, my husband, my family, living in America, etc. By number 30, I was tired.  My brain was tired.  Yeah, I live in the greatest country in the world, I'm healthy, I'm not alone and I'm struggling.  Gee God...You might have a point.  Maybe I do need an attitude adjustment... (sigh)

Day 2:  I grab my pen with renewed vigor.  I will finish my task today.  If you give me more than 10 minutes to finish, you'll have missed my diligence.  I'm really wanting to finish up reading Romans today, so I have great motivation.  I finally quit at 75.  OK God, You've made Your point.  My attitude sucks these days. 

Day 3:  I finally finish my list. I read it daily--well, maybe not daily, but quite frequently.  It does wonders for my attitude. I am blessed beyond measure.  I start sucking my thumb some mornings, and after reviewing my list, I take my thumb out, take a big breath, get a firm grip on my underwear, and pull up my big girl panties.  I am blessed.  I am blessed...

A few of the not so cookie cutter thankful things on my list...
**having  horses to ride growing up
**my girls can swim
**smell of chocolate chip cookies
**clean underwear every morning
**Post It notes
**asphalt on my driveway
**I am made righteous through Jesus Christ
**my pregnancies
**my children's great sleep  habits

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving Cyber World!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Stop the Presses!

I made a BIG, HUGE accomplishment yesterday.....drum roll please...............................

Yes, I, Current Queen of the Toilet Paper, managed to get all my washing, ironing, AND housecleaning completed in one day!! It's the first time since we brought home Andrei!  It was nearly 9:00 last night when it was all finished, but I finished it!

I've tried the method of just concentrating on one room a day, but it doesn't work for me.  It's kinda like when you begin a remodeling project.  Painting the kitchen leads to dingy looking tile.  That leads to new tile.  New tile shows how scraggly the cabinets look, so that lead to new cabinets. New cabinets show just how nasty your kitchen faucet is, so that leads to a new faucet.  New faucet = new sink.  And on, and on, and on. 

Same with house cleaning.  A clean child's room shows just how dirty the other ones are.  Then you notice dust all over the bookcases in the living room.  And then you notice the fingerprints all over the sliding glass door, and so forth.  It just easier to get it all done at once.  Up until yesterday I usually managed everything but the floors, and I would get that finished the next day.  Today I'm just getting to enjoy my already clean house this morning.  I'm breathing easier today.  My secret?  Andrei took a really, really long nap yesterday and the girls were quite cooperative yesterday about cleaning up the toys off the floor. Combined with my hypersensitivity about getting everything finished, I met with success! Whoo Hoo! (And maybe because the girls left yesterday afternoon to spend the night with their Mimi could have a HUGE factor in the matter...) 
Wow, such stimulating news around here....

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Fiona and Phylis

Annsley comes out of her room the other afternoon, sits on the couch beside me, and says, "Mom, I have something I need to tell you."  She isn't looking me in the eye, so I'm thinking this must be a serious matter.  We've had a few bathroom accidents (no relation to the tp rations by the way), so I ask, "Annsley, did you have an accident in the bathroom?"

She frowns and says no--and rather indignately I might add.  "So what is it?" 

She smiles, looks away shyly, and says, "I don't want to tell you."

I'm still thinking about bodily fluids, so I press farther, "Did you get some clean underwear on?"

"I didn't have an accident, Mom!"

"OK, then what is it?"

"I don't want to tell you."

Now Doug is getting in on the action.  "Annsley, you need to tell us if you had an accident."

"I didn't!"

Doug and I together with frustration, "Then TELL US what it is you want to talk to us about!"

Annsley takes a deep breath and says, "I want to change my name to Fiona."

Fiona???? "Why?"  I ask.

"Because I hate Annsley.  I love Fiona!" and she jumps off the couch and runs to her bedroom.

I have NO IDEA where a name like Fiona came from in her little world.  Kennedi has been sitting on Andrei's Lightening McQueen car listening to this conversation. After her sister's departure into their room--which  I'm guessing to mull over the finer points of Fiona and practice rolling F-I-O-N-A off her tongue, Kennedi pipes up.

"Mom, I want to change my name to Phylis."

Surprise, surprise. "And why Kennedi?"

"Because I hate Kennedi.  I love Phylis!!" And she zooms off on Lightening McQueen singing "I hate Kennedi.  I love Phylis!"  Meanwhile Andrei is screaming and running after Kennedi because she is touching his things--yet again.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

TP Rations

(You know it's been a slow week when all you have to blog about it this:)

We're on rations around here...toilet paper...I'm tired of buying it...not tired of using it--big difference.  It's the children--and I don't mean Doug or Andrei.  It's the little women of our household.  I noticed a few months ago that we seemed to be going through a lot of the paper.  I noticed that Annsley sure was having an abundance of empty toilet paper rolls for her arts and crafts projects.  It was always in the back of my mind when I put on a new roll, but I could never quite remember when the last time I replaced it, so I kinda thought it was just me.  Well, it's not. 

I finally caught them.  I had just bought another new package, and put one on the roller at approximately 4:30 PM Thursday.  Noon on Friday the roll was empty. 

And so we began our 3 steps to Wise Stewards of the Toilet Paper Training training.  I reinstituted the 5 square rule.  Yes, you read that correctly.  I told them to count out five squares and that's it.  It's not "let's wad up the toilet paper the size of a pom pom to wipe the delicate parts of our body."  Kennedi told me she didn't know how to count 5 squares.  Yeah, right. 

Notice I said reinstituted.  When Annsley was two, she became pretty self sufficient with the potty training and preferred to be left to her own vices in the bathroom. Literally, she would hold her hand straight out from her little body as she sat on the toilet.  "Go Mom.  I'm fine!"  I figured if she was going to be left to wipe herself at two, she needed a little direction with the use of toilet paper.  In a quandary about how to show a toddler how much toilet paper is "enough", I decided to go with a quantitative measure:  ie. 5 squares.  And should my little rule follower follow you into the bathroom and you choose to use 6 squares instead of 5, she would let you know about your excess use! Trust me and the grandmas on that one! LOL 

Anyway, Kennedi was introduced to the 5 square rule as well, but I never really followed up on it.  Yes, I became lax in my mommy skills.  And it really didn't become an issue until a few months ago when I noticed that my children were becoming wasteful with several items around the house.  It could be pouring half a bottle of shampoo into the bath tub to make a bubble bath...or dumping the last of the hand soap in order to get to use the new stuff that smelled differently...or purposely getting muddy in the late afternoon before church in order to wear new clothes that evening...and so on...

So, Friday afternoon I showed them both how to count out the toilet paper lest there be any miscommunication.  Problem solved.  Or so I thought.  Sunday I happened to be in the bathroom while Annsley was in there doing her thing.  I watched her systematically count out her squares, making an ever so slight tear at each square.  "That's my girl!"  I thought.  Then, I watched in horror as she did it 4 more times.  (And this was not something that required repeated wipings....)  Sunday evening I found about half a roll of toilet paper in the trash can--compliments of Kennedi.  When I asked her about it, she said that she had counted out too much toilet paper, and threw the rest away. 

OK, so it wasn't going very well.  I know what you're thinking...this story can't get any better...Out of my frustrations we are now on toilet paper check out.  I am in charge of the toilet paper.  All of it.  Queen of the TP.  If you need to go to the bathroom, come get your toilet paper before you go.  Surely, this will get their little attentions.  Quite frankly, it was a lot of work for me yesterday as I finally had to put a roll in every room so I could remember where they were.  Last night I asked Annsley how she liked having to ask to get the toilet paper.  (I'm thinking that she thinks this is way below her standards.) In a much too chipper voice she says, "It's OK Mom!"  Kennedi, on the other hand, has kept repeating, "Mom, I'm so sorry I wasted so much toilet paper!"  I have toyed with the idea if this doesn't work, then I can always just give them each a roll all to herself, and when it's gone it's gone...but then what do I do?  That would be a bit self defeating.  Maybe  a sticker chart for good stewardship...

The fact that I just wrote an entire post about the wiles of our toilet paper saga makes me think I'm off my rocker trying to teach my kids to be good stewards of the all important toilet paper.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Thank You Veterans!

I am so honored and blessed to live in this incredible country thanks to all that you do and have done!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Applesauce and Macaroni

What do macaroni and applesauce have to do with one another? Absolutely nothing. 

Yesterday afternoon we made homemade applesauce and today we had a bit of a macaroni incident.

The applesauce story:
Until last year, I had never made applesauce.  I have always thought applesauce was OK...never craved it and would have never put it on my top ten things to have if I ever get stranded on a deserted island.  Annsley read a book last year about apple picking and then the family made applesauce when they got home.  There was a recipe in the back of the book.  My oldest child loves to cook.  So we had to make it.  Let me just's a little bit of heaven!  Especially warm--right out of the pot.  Liquid apple pie.  YUM!

So, yesterday we made it for the third time in my life.  In the words of Fancy Nancy, "Oooh La La!"  Delicious once again!  Now, if I were into cooking and giving you a drive by of my skills, I'd have pictures to guide you along.  I am not, so I don't have.  Here is the super simple recipe if you're up for giving it a try.  I don't know how much the recipe makes--a big ole pot--maybe something like 8-10 cups???

9 apples--at least 3 different varieties
     (peeled, cored, cut into 1/2" pieces)
10 oz. apple juice
1 lemon, juiced
1/4 C. brown sugar
2 cinnamon sticks
1/4 t. ground cinnamon
dash of nutmeg

Add everything into a large pot except ground cinnamon and nutmeg.  Bring to a boil.  Cover with a lid and simmer for 15 minutes or until apples are tender.  Remove cinnamon sticks.  Add ground cinnamon and nutmeg.  Use a potato masher to mash until desired consistency. 

What I've learned...
**why use 3 different varieties?? I don't know.  That's what Grandma did in the book.  Annsley is a stickler for the rules, so we had to. Grandma said it made it the most flavorful.
**Red Delicious apples are one of the most difficult to peel.  Macintosh are the easiest.  I'd go heavy on the macs.
**I've been out of apple juice and used water instead.  Just a good.  Maybe not as sweet, but you'd never miss the juice.
**Twice I've accidentally added the ground cinnamon to the boiling mixture.  It didn't result in a do-over either time.
**I''m thinking that a scoop of vanilla ice-cream with the warm sauce would result in indescribable bliss.

The macaroni story:
Today, Kennedi left the house with one piece of macaroni and returned home with one less piece of macaroni.  About 12:25PM while I'm fixing lunch--macaroni and cheese no doubt--she starts crying and says, "Mommy, I have macaroni up my nose!"  She had asked for a few dried pieces to munch on beforehand.

What??? I thought this was reserved for 3 year olds!  "Kennedi, you're kidding!  How did it get up there?" (Like I don't know!!!)

Kennedi shrugs, and says, "I don't know.  It was just right here Mommy (pointing to her nostril opening) and then it just went up!"  (You have to watch those pesky macaronis.  They have a mind all of their own.  Didn't you know that???)

So, I have her blow.  Nothing.  I look up her nose.  Nothing.  She tells me she can feel it.  Oh brother.  I take her to the bathroom and have her lie down.  I tell Annsley to watch Andrei.  With the flashlight I can see a bit of it.  I try with the tweezers while holding the flashlight in my mouth. And try.  And try. We have a mighty fine M*A*S*H unit going on here. My tweezers touch but I can't get it.  She sneezes. "DON'T SUCK UP YOUR SNOT!"  I scream.  Now I can't see the vermin at all, but I know it's still there.

Our pediatrician's office is closed until tomorrow.  The pediatrician's office who is on call is closed for lunch until 1:30.  It's 12:30.  So, I load up the crew and we all head to the urgent care clinic.  Doug is out of town, so we have to make it a family affair.  One hour later we finally get called back. Annsley is way past boredeom.  Andrei is getting high from no sleep.  And Kennedi needs to be duct taped to a chair by now. I'm guessing Kennedi did enough somersaults and shimmy shakes on the leather sofa at the clinic all while chasing Andrei who made the rounds in waiting room that she loosen up her macaroni.  The nurse had her blow and out it came.  "Do you want to still see the doctor?" the nurse asks.  No, thank you. That will be all.  $40 later and minus our elbow pasta, we leave.  Nobody has had naps today.  They are all on forced outside play right now.  I'm enjoying my quiet...just me and my keyboard...

Monday, October 31, 2011

Picture Post!

I'm cleaning out some 800 pictures off my memory stick, so here's a little show and tell about our comings and goings for the last few months.  Enjoy!

Andrei lovin' his first corn on the cob!

Andrei thinking he's big stuff getting a ride in the jeep!
  Scenes from the Tri State Fair:

Daisy the milk cow

Watching Daisy the milk cow get milked.

Kennedi helping out the lady from the Farm Bureau kids' show.

Annsley realizing that her daddy is about to beat her.  (Please note her father's gleeful sad, so sad)
 Scenes from the Corn Fun Farm:
Navigating the ropes through the corn maze

Annsely on the zip line.

Doug re-living his ice slide in Krasnoyarsk...

Loving the slide through the "mountain"

Is it ever going to end???
Kennedi on the zip line.

Doug sporting some fine looking attire:
Free ride in the wheelbarrow with the guy in the wife beater t-shirt.  (Doug knows I HATE those shirts...What girl wants to look at arm pit hairs?? He hadn't worn one in about 18 years...cut this shirt up that day  I guess in a fit of has since made its way into my cleaning cabinet.)

Thursday, October 27, 2011

In Case You Were Wondering...

It snowed! Actually, it is currently snowing.  We've gotten at least 4 glorious inches so far---wet, beautiful, thirst quenching snow! It was 86 two days ago and snow today!  Love the Panhandle! :) And as if I needed icing on the cake, we're supposed to have a hard freeze tomorrow morning which means death to the flies!!! Whoo Hoo!

Kennedi gets up this morning, and the first thing she says to me is, "Mom, you're a genius!!!"  Of course, I realize that I am and have been for quite some time now, but I probe her for more information. It is always important to validate your said beliefs.  "Why do you say that Honey?" With her 5 year old eyes wild with excitement she says, "Because you said it was going to snow and it did!!!" 

Yes, I'm at the top of the pinnacle today.  At least by 5 year old standards...just in case you were wondering where I stood... 

We had to take a break from schooling this morning...the snow was calling out their names, and we weren't getting alot accomplished...

Sporting their Russian knit caps we bought for them when we were in Krasnoyarsk.

Aren't they just the cutest things??!! (After the fashion show, they promptly ditched them in favor of "softer" head gear--whatever that means...)

Watching the excitement forlornly from the door.  I wish  I may, I wish I might...Come on Mom...have a heart! That's my kind of country out there!! :)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Copy Cat!

Andrei is such a copy cat.  More so than even Kennedi was to Annsley, and I didn't think that could happen.  Unfortunately, he copies some negative behaviors which can often be a detriment to him. (There are certain things, Little Boy, that should not be copied!)  He'll learn.  Other times he's just pretty darn cute! 

I've always thought it was important that my children can play by themselves.  I firmly believe that it is a life skill that will help them.  So, when Annsley turned two, I put her in her room with the baby gate up and she had "toddler time" by herself in her room.  We started out with just 5 minutes, and slowly increased that time to 30 minutes that she was in there by herself.  To keep her from thinking it was punishment, I'd always give her a Goldfish cracker snack in her room and brought down "special toys" only available during toddler time.  Kennedi began the same thing when she turned two, and she still has "toddler time" although I really should change it to a different name now that she is 5.  She gets her snack (she chooses to use a play kitchen cup or bowl to hold her crackers) and  she heads off to spend some quiet time in her bedroom.  Andrei has been watching all this for a few months now, and a few weeks ago after Kennedi started her toddler time, he went to the kitchen bucket on his own, dug out a little plastic cup, and brought it to me with "aaaa" coming out of his mouth.  Too cute! And super smart I might add!!! So, I obliged, and now he daily comes to me when Kennedi gets her snack,  holding out a plastic cup he's scavenged from the play kitchen, and reaps his reward of Goldfish crackers. 

Monday, October 17, 2011

Freakish Attachment

I've made mention, at least on our adoption blog, about how attached Andrei has become to his taggy blanket.  It's become such an issue with him that I feel like it needs to be glued to his diaper. It would keep all of us a bit happier.  Both my girls had attachment objects (Annsley had her Snoopy--Budda and Kennedi had a white baby blanket--White White (although White White is a nasty dingy creamy gray now--don't even get me started on why they make white things for children...) but I don't remember them being as fiercely attached as Andrei is to his.  He calls it "Tag" or more like "Taaa", and if anyone other than Mom or Dad touch it, a primal scream comes from his little body.  Heaven help us all if it gets left in a bedroom with the door closed.  He's OK as long as he doesn't want it.  When he does and remembers that he left in his room on the floor, he starts hitting the door--he's even been known to kick the door--and starts this high pitched pig squeal.  You can always tell when Andrei is just plain mad.  His crying hits an entire new octave.  He literally sounds like a stuck baby pig.  He knows that I won't give in to his screaming fits.  I just look at him and ask, "What do you want? Say your words."  After about 5 minutes--no kidding--he takes a deep breath, shuts off the water works in one swoop, looks at me, points to his room, and says, "Taaaa."

When I'm rocking him after reading him a book at naptime or bed time, he sucks his thumb and just constantly moves this taggy blanket all over his face.  He puts a finger through one of the ribbons and crams the rest of the taggy over his shoulder like it's a knapsack or something.  I often wonder if his frantic attachment is due to the fact that he's never had anything to call his own.  I'm hoping that is what it is and NOT his personality coming through.  This is a hand-me-down taggy blanket that I made for Kennedi who didn't like it, so getting a duplicate is not in the cards should this one become incompacitated.  Pray that it alone has a guardian angel watching over its whereabouts at all times!!! :)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

He said "Bye!"

Andrei said "bye" to me the other night when I put him down for the night.  It has been the first show of any kind of emotion when we put him in his crib since we have brought him home.  That little word was so good to hear.  I remember when Annsley started telling us "night night" when we would put her down.  Kennedi? Not so much...Talking wasn't her "thang" back then. We'd get a squeal, but that was about it from her. I closed Andrei's door, and said "night night" to him and then did a little victory dance in the bathroom.  I absolutely LOVED Annsley talking to us through the door, and I so much have anticipated having a conversation with Andrei.  Finally it happened--only once, but I know more will come!

His emotional state has really started to evolve lately.  He has started to smile and come running to the door when I pick him up at the nursery at church.  For such a long time he was so stoic.  No emotion.  He showed none when I dropped him off or picked him up.  You couldn't ever tell that he was glad to see me until a few weeks ago. 

One thing that I have had to get used to is his lack of emotions when getting him from his crib. With both Kennedi and Annsley they were so excited to see me.  They would laugh or smile as if to say, "I'm rescued!"  Andrei does NONE of that.  It is a rare day that he looks at you in the eye--certainly no smiling or holding out his arms for you to pick him up.  I'm sure that is all a product of his orphanage environment and will eventually change--slowly.  A small victory in that direction is the fact that he will now at least stand up waiting for you to pick him up. He will even jabber on occasion.  For months and months he would just stay sitting, sucking his thumb with his head hanging down.  I'm just holding out right now to see that beautiful smile of his when I open the bedroom door...

We were fortunate and blessed to pick Andrei up when he just turned 12 months old.  It makes my heart ache to know that he was already learning self-preservation techniques due to the lack of physical, mental, and emotional stimulation he was receiving.  It must be magnified for those children who spend years in an orphanage institution. 

November 6 is Orphan Sunday.  Please keep them in your prayers.  So many children need a home desperately. 

Thursday, October 6, 2011

A Few of My Favorite Things...

I love my new ride! 

It comes with a bonus:  Lightening McQueen talks.  I love the "Go! Go! Go! button bestest!

We have spent literally HOURS doing "hair".

Yes, this is "Jessie" the beautician. 
Thank you Momma Carol and Grandpa!  These items were a big hit!!

On a side note, I was fixing Kennedi's hair this morning and brushing out the tangles.  She let me know that I was causing her little head pain.  I apologized and said I wasn't paying attention (and I wasn't as Andrei at that moment was thinking about going fishing in the toilet).  She asked me if Gram hurt my head when I was little.  I said yes, but I was tough (my attempt to let her know to "buck up" and ease up on the theatrics.)  She then asks me, "Were you just Jessie, the ruffest, tuffest cowgirl???" (If you're unfamiliar with Jessie, click on the link.) 

"No, I didn't know anything about Jessie," I told her.

She then asks all wide-eyed, "You were just the ruffest, tuffest?"

"Yes--the ruffest AND tuffest!"

Ah, to be put above the ranks of Jessie.  It is a good day! :)

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


I remembered yesterday why there are no school field trips to the pig farm.

My husband raised hogs when we were dating.  It had been my first time to be around them--and I mean around them. My nose started to hitch hike off my face.  Nostril hairs were thumbing for a ride.  I promise.  I had never smelled anything that horrible in all my life--a smell that makes you want to smack your momma smell. Skunks have NOTHING over pig poop.  Dung.  Whatever it's called.  So, I knew I had to be in true love when he took me for a ride to meet his prized pig breeder.  Oh joy.  It was in the middle of the summer.  About 100 degrees.  No wind.  He drove Mabel (the name for his pickup) into the middle of his breeder's hog farm, parked it, and turned off the engine. 

"Do you want to come in to his office?"  Doug asked pointing to a sad looking 1950s style trailer with rusty tin on the outside. 

"I don't think I can suck in enough air to breathe in order to walk that far," I gulped. 

"You think it stinks?" he asked.  I couldn't tell if he was serious or just making fun of me.  "OK, well, if you get hot, start Mabel."

He leaves, and I soon learn a very important lesson about my future husband (although this experience put that manifestation in serious jeopardy).  If there is another living human close to the vicinity, gab will over take Doug and we will be there a long, long time.  Live animals will also take his attention to new heights as well.  I'm new to this phenomena.

I sit in the pick up.  It is sweltering.  The smell is insane. It seeps in through the glass.  I am in absolute shock that Mabel's paint isn't peeling. Beads of sweat are starting to pour down my head.  I can feel sweat down my back.  I have to get some air.  I start up Mabel and turn on the air conditioner.  I am met with a blast of pig poop a la perfume.  The air conditioner is cooling me off but it's blowing nasty pig particles through my hair.  The horrendous smell is now magnified.  I turn off the engine.  I smell pig in my hair now.   15 minutes goes by.  Surely my new love knows I'm still sitting out here.  Surely he will come and rescue me.  Time ticks away.  No Doug.

I am miserable.  I am sweating.  I am breathing very shallow.  I can't take a deep oxygenated breath. I can't physically will my body to do it.  I have to get some air.  I roll down the window about  2 inches.  I then roll down the driver's window about two inches.  I'm hoping that it will create a draft above my head.  It doesn't.  Of all days in the Texas Panhandle, there is no wind today.  The pig stench is permeates my skin.  Every so often I pull the collar of my shirt above my nose and take in a huge amount of air.  I'd keep my nose covered, but it is too hot.  As the afternoon melted into evening, I sought relief in the setting sun....Just kidding, but my 30 minutes in the truck might as well have been 4 hours. 

Doug FINALLY shows back up.  "I couldn't find Leroy." 

What???? What in the world have you been doing all this time????? Can you not fathom how miserable I've been?? My love tank was on empty.  He's been walking around looking at sows and boars and what not.   I've been gasping for my last breath. 

He notices my severe state of distress.  "You didn't turn on the air conditioner?"  He takes me home.  I need a shower.  Pig smell is much like cigarette smell.  It is in your ears, your shoes, your hair, plastered to your skin.  I burned my jeans that evening. 

So yesterday, my husband takes Annsley and Kennedi to a nearby pig farm to see the baby pigs.  God is amazing as He wipes from our memory really really horrific things.  I had totally forgotten in nearly 20 years about the polluted odor.  It came rushing back to me about 7:30PM last night.  It was in Annsley's hair, Kennedi's shirt.  I told Annsley and Kennedi to leave their shoes on the porch.  Clothes went immediately into the washer.  I personally washed both girls from head to toe myself.  Doug was just laughing.  He actually questioned my sincerity of having him take a shower before he read the girls a good night story!  And his dress pants spent the night on the porch rail in an attempt to water down the smell before putting them in my car for a trip to the cleaners. 

Now I like bacon like any other Southern girl.  I'll fry up the entire package and eat it all by my lonesome.  I put bacon grease in my green beans.  Anything is better with bacon on it or in it I say. But I like my pig already butchered.  I like my pig on the pages of a children's book.  That's where it stops.  I honestly do not know how hired hand/owners of farrowing barns survive without an oxygen tank.  I've been in one and only one in my lifetime.  Doug was so excited to show me all the baby pigs.  He tried to explain to me how clean it was.  I walked in and turned around and walked right out.

If you're running low on ideas to do, I I double dare any of you to load up the family and head to a pig farm/farrowing house. My advice: ask for a tour but don't wear flip flops.  Take a plastic garbage bag to toss your clothes in for the ride home.  Tie the bag to your back bumper.  Maybe the clothing will air out a bit before you get home.  Load up on body wash BEFORE you take your field trip. Have your olfactory nerves/system removed before attending. Or, be like me and support your local pig farmers from a distance--literally.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Conversations with Kennedi

(1) "Mom, look at my balls."  (My back is turned towards Kennedi, and quite frankly, I'm riding a speeding bullet back to high school at the reference to some of the most highly prized possessions of some 16 year old male...)

"What???" I'm thinking.  There is NO WAY she knows anything about that stuff.  And, let's go ahead and address what some of you are thinking. I have NO IDEA why my mind went right to the gutter--did not even pass Go--just slammed right into it--but it did.  I hide my head in shame.  I turn around to see exactly what Kennedi was referencing.

She has her biceps flexed, and with a very serious 5 year old face she is tensing her muscles as she asks, "Are my balls getting bigger??" 

(2) The other afternoon Kennedi is skipping around the kitchen singing a song from the Christmas play the children's church has been practicing.  She does a lot of humming and says Bethlehem every so often.  I look at her, give her a hug, and ask, "Kennedi, what am I going to do with you?"

Kennedi smiles and says, "Just keep lovin' me Mom."

I then say, "Kennedi you are so cute.  I'll just keep you around a little bit longer."  Later that evening, she is telling all of us at the dinner table that she can jump out of the swing while it's swinging.

"And I go really, really farrrrrrr and I'm not scaaaaed!"

I say to her, "Kennedi, you are so cute.  I'll just keep you around a bit longer."

She looks at me and says fervently, "Mommmmm, you ALREADY told me that today! Why do you keep saying that????"

I then say, "I love you."

She says with a hint of disdain and her hands on her hips , "I know that!"

Definitely she is a one shot wonder.  Don't go repeating yourself to her.  She doesn't want to hear it! :)

Monday, September 19, 2011


I have a love-hate relationship with autumn.  Or fall.  Whatever your preference in vocabulary makes me no difference. We don't use the term autumn around these parts.  It sounds so formal.  I think of it as an Eastern United States word instead of a West Texas southern word.  It's a "pretty" word--one that I can imagine using if I lived in Vermont where the leaves blanket the road like a beautiful patchwork quilt.  Our leaves are brown unless you are one of the few and far fortunate ones harboring an oak tree.  Around here we don't rake the leaves into a pile. We don't have to. You won't find any leave laden country roads either.  First, we hardly have any trees to speak of.  Secondly, the leaves we do have just turn brown and the wind blows them off to unknown parts of the world.  The leaves I have blowing around in my yard are from Tucumari, NM. Western Oklahoma gets my leaves...

 I LOVE the cooler air.  I love being able to go outside and not sweat. I love not having to put on a double dose of deodorant because the little dab from the morning hours doesn't quite cut it after your body temperatures reaches the melting point. I love the fact that the cooler breezes really act as an air conditioning unit instead of a miserable furnace blast in 100 degree heat. I love knowing that winter will soon be on its way and the flies will die.  I love not having to mow as often (although this year our mowing effects have been minuscule due to our extreme drought, so really, that point is moot.) I've never really been a summer lover.  I don't like to garden; I've tried the whole flower garden thing too.  I found no pleasure in watering it every day and picking those pesky little weeds from it.  Half of the time I found I couldn't differentiate between the baby plant and a weed any way. I cannot relate to those of you who live to tend to your gardens every year.   Any thing green outside my house is due largely impart to my oldest daughter.  She reminds me to water things. I thought I would enjoy the gardening lifestyle.  I was brought up on it.  My mother had huge vegetable gardens and huge flower beds.  So did my grandmother. I figured it had to be encrusted in my DNA. I'm here to tell you that the whole green thumb thing is known to skip a generation.  When we bought our first house, I made Doug plow up the entire side of one fence so I could have a flower garden.  Three years later my tribute to the Audubon Society and the such had been whittled to a 2 x 3 foot square area.  By year five I was scattering wild flower seeds and calling it good.  I hate having dirt under my fingernails.  I cannot begin to tell you how much I hate it.  And I'm one of these who can count on one hand how many professional manicures I've had in my life time.  I'm not a foo-foo girl, so I don't know where that trait comes from.  Anyway... fall brings football. I love high school football games--the sounds of the band, the math teacher turned Friday night announcer...maybe it's because my husband is an ex high school football coach... I love not having to turn on neither my home's air conditioning or heater and thus saving muchas dollars.  I love homemade applesauce.

Then on the other hand...

Autumn (aka fall) brings the flies indoors.  They know that winter is coming--that they will soon meet their demise with the first hard freeze and they are anxiously trying to avoid the death trap by nesting in my house.  I have killed 13 of them so far this morning.  I hate flies.  Our cat Mickey starts "beefing up" for the winter.  He is such a lush.  He starts putting on weight in September and keeps his Garfield physique throughout the winter.  Around May he starts slimming down and turns back into a lean, mean tomcatin' machine.

Fall also means critters are coming out.  Soon our evening air will be filled with the aromatic skunk.  I've never seen one out here, but you know they've been around.  Utterly disgusting.  And let us not forget the tarantulas.  My girls play with them. I act like think these oversized, hairy arachnids are cool, but they are not.  I wrote about my girls playing with them here

Fall also means the end of summer and hours of playing outside for my children.  That equates to a little peace and quiet for Mom.  I am so thankful that they like playing outside.  Freezing winter temps will put an end to that.  I'm not sure how Andrei is going to handle that.  He loves to go outside.  About 11:00 every day he is asking for his shoes and pointing to the back door.  If he doesn't stay out long enough to suit him, he breaks down into a temper tantrum upon entering the house.  Our winters will challenge all that he holds near and dear.  Pray for me.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

High Waters

We have rain!! Beautiful, cool, rain!  It started last night on our way home from church and rained all night long.  So far we have had 1/2" inch. I know that is minuscule compared to what some of you get, but that is a big hallelujah when you've had about 2 inches total rain for the year!!! I couldn't drag myself out of bed this morning. My alarm went off at 5:30, and I heard the rain pitter patter on our porch's tin roof, and I just couldn't roll out. I just couldn't.  I tried.  Really.  I did roll over and shut off my alarm though. I made it that far.  Would you agree that there isn't anything better than listening to rain and snoozing?  It's gotta be one of my top ten gifts from God.  I know I could be happy in Seattle.

Today's high is predicted to be 55.  Two weeks ago we were nearly 100 after a record summer of 50+ days over 100 degree heat.   Due to this overnight "fluke" temperature, I haven't yet gotten down the kids' next size fall and winter clothes from the attic.  They all had to wear jeans in their closet that were left over from this early spring.  They are prepared should our disparaged and water ravished grounds become so overly saturated that flooding will shortly ensue...
Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry setting a new standard in jean attire this season.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Conversations with Doug

Buckle yourself down. Riveting...simply riveting...

(1)  Our conversation last Saturday as Doug was frying his eggs:
DOUG (as I'm walking into the kitchen):  Smell that green stuff.
ME:  What?
DOUG:  Would you smell that green stuff in the fridge?
ME:  What green stuff?
DOUG:  That salsa stuff.
ME:  You're talking about that green verde salsa that's been in the fridge since the beginning of summer?
DOUG:  I guess so.  See if it smells funny to you.
ME:  No.
Allow me to interrupt this tantilizing conversation for a little background.  Doug is constantly telling me he has a wonderful sniffer.  He can smell things that I simply cannot.  I admit that.  He has this super sensitive nose.  Annsley has it too.  He is continually asking "you cannot smell that????"  No, Dear, don't smell a thing...He can smell Andrei's dirty diaper the minute he walks in the door...he can smell a match that was lit three weeks ago...he can smell a feedlot from 100 miles away...I'm telling you has has a serious nose on the end of his face!  So, since he has this super smeller and I don't, I'm constantly amazed that he is asking me to smell things for him--whether it be his shoes, his shorts, or something out of the fridge.  In case you're wondering, the answer to his pleading is always "NO!" I'm thinking, if he's asking me to smell it, it must be bad, and if I can smell it, it means it's really, really bad. He's just using me for validation...
ME:  You didn't eat any of it did you? 
DOUG:  Yeah, I poured it on my eggs yesterday, but my stomach felt a little funny afterwards.
ME:  It's been opened for over 3 months in the fridge. 
DOUG:  It had white stuff on the top. Here, look...
ME:  (not looking) No thank you.  That's called mold.  M-O-L-D.  You shouldn't eat that. You actually ate that???
ANNSLEY:  Mom, Dad eats tortillas with mold on them. 
ME:  I know.  Don't let him feed that to you.
ANNSLEY:  Oh I don't.  It's gross. He tried, but I said NO WAY!
DOUG:  If you get it hot enough, it won't hurt you...

(2) I announced to Doug Andrei's new word for the day:
ME: Andrei said car today!
DOUG: He said car????
ME: Yes. He walked to Annsley's jeep, said "car" and got in.
DOUG: He really said car???
ME: Well, it was more like c-a-a-a. He sound like he's from Minnesota or something. You know, the East.
DOUG: Well, he really is from the East--way East...

(3) Doug's comment about roast and mashed potatoes:
ME:  Here, give Andrei a bite of those mashed potatoes.
ANDREI:  Uhmmmmm.  (Then he makes the sign for more.)
DOUG:  Looking at the roast left on Andrei's tray.  You like that?  This food reminds you of the old country doesn't it?? Yeah, those mashed potatoes too??
(Doug found out before we left Krasnoyarsk that the country Andrei's birth mother was from ate a lot of lamb.  Anytime we're eating meat that Doug doesn't care for (aka: roast) he looks at Andrei and makes some comment about it being from the "old country."  Quite frankly, I can't understand the connection between the food and the native country.  It just reminds me of two very old immigrants talking about the good old days....)

I know, you're thinking, "it can't get more astounding than that."  What can I say...conversation at it's best.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

English Verbage??

My daughter Annsley has always been verbal.  She had something like 100 words in her vocabulary before she was two. Really, I don't know how many she had--could have been 50--could have been 200--I didn't actually count, but it was a lot.  She clearly articulated; we've always been able to understand her quite well from the beginning.  Now, in her ripe age of 7, she is moving on to literary conventions...

She has begun experimenting with the English language in rather creative ways this last week--and I can't credit "school" with it as we haven't even approached the subject.  Similes have begun to flow out of her mouth.  They don't always make sense, but I'm thinking we may have a national best selling author on our hands if she keeps it up! :)

Example #1:  "That was smarter than a cow on a bell."  (I know, it kinda makes you crinkle up your forehead thinking about it, but it was her first one recorded to date...)

Example #2:  "Mom, you are meaner than a crocodile on ice."  (She said this to me when I dished out some terrible injustice to her the other morning.  And, I have to hand it to her, while I've never seen a crocodile on ice and what he'd be doing on it in the first place has me scratching my own head, I do believe that a swampy, hot natured creature would be a bit miffed to find his behind on a subzero hunk of ice. We then had a moment about being respectful and making sure we exemplify Ephesians 4:29.)

The last of Annsley's latest funnys involves powdered chocolate.  I'm not a fan; they have too much sugar; I dread driving the grocery cart down the coffee aisle because they inveritably spy the Nestle Quick and beg--I mean BEG- for me to get some for them.  I refuse.  Last week I relented.  I decided to use chocolate milk as an incentive for staying in bed once we turn out the lights.  (I blame the sharing of a room and bunk beds as this was never an issue before.) We've had one heck of a time with them, one at a time, tattling on what the other one is doing--or Kennedi coming out just to show us her muscles--.  So, I bought Ovaltine the other night and promised the girls if they stayed in their room and didn't talk, they could have chocolate milk in the morning for breakfast.  They were just giddy.  Then Annsley asked if I bought Quick.  I told her I found something better with less sugar (even less sugar than Quick's 25% less sugar package).  It's called Ovaltine, and  "you will l-o-o-o-v-e it!! It's been around for a long time.  It's so much healthier for you.  And I went into my prepared spill because I knew in their little minds that Quick was "where it was at."  As Annsley walked out of the kitchen, I heard her mumble, "With a name like Ovaltine, it can't be any good."  I have no idea where that came from. 

 I would like to add that when the morning came, Ovaltine was served, and by George, they both liked it.  (Even despite the fact that I put only 1/2 of the recommended 2 scoops in their milk,) I've been amazed since then at how something as easy as chocolate milk gets those girls to concede to their weary parents' wishes. 21 days to make it a habit...right?

Friday, September 2, 2011

Time Out!

I made the decision this week to close our adoption blog--for the most part anyway.  I'll just be updating photos and majorly important info from now on.  I had known for a while what I would be doing it, but I just didn't know when, and it affected me more than I realized.  It was like I was leaving behind something that I had identified myself with for the last year and half.  I had toyed with the idea of keeping both blogs up and running, but that was pure fantasy on my part.  The logistics of deciding what snippet of info to post where was just too annoying and draining, so I knew I had to ditch something.  The adoption is over; I formed that blog specifically for that purpose, and now that it is finished, it is time to move on to concentrating on our entire family.  Maybe I'll be more inspired to write more often here.  I'll certainly have more material to work with! :)

We use a number of discipline tactics around here.  Some work better on different children.  Time out is especially effective with Kennedi--Annsley, not at all.  That girl could stay in a corner by herself all day long without blinking.  Lately, we have been utilizing time out A LOT with Kennedi in an attempt to curb certain behaviors.  It has made an obvious impression on Andrei...

Yesterday, Kennedi was throwing up and was hugging the trash can on the couch. (Yes, vomit made it back around our house this week...) Oh, and by the way, last night when I went in to kiss Kennedi good night, she said to me, "Mom! My tummy isn't cramping anymore.  God put His hands on my tummy!"  I LOVE my girls' faith in their Jesus!!

 Back to the story...  Andrei was very interested in that plastic bag.  I firmly took him by the hand, walked him away, and said, "No touch.  Leave Kennedi alone."  When I released his little hand, he looked at me and with a very solemn look on his face, he walked to the corner and put himself in time out.   He would look at me after about 15 seconds, take a step away, and then go back to the corner with his head hanging. (Mind you, time out has never been used on him!) It was a priceless photo opp!
He stayed here for nearly 30 seconds on his own!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Magenta Cows and Talkin' Watermelons

The world of make believe rides high in our home right now. Our daughter Kennedi has a very active imagination.  She currently has two imaginary friends, Jessie and her alter-ego Carla.  Jessie is the nice one. She is also know as "Jessie, the ruffest, tuffest cowgirl!"  I'm going out on a limb here, but I think her subtitle is from Toy Story 2...It is her that you want to "cut your hair" or fix your meals.  Kennedi loves to play "restaurant" and act like a waitress and then go cook your food.  If Jessie is your waitress, you'll get chicken soup and tasty blueberry tea and some kind of scrumptious never before heard of dessert.  If Carla is your waitress, the restaurant is out of everything you ask for.  Kennedi gets VERY upset when you call her by "Kennedi" when she is in another role.  With all the irritation a 5 year old can muster she says, "IT'S JESSIE!"  Kennedi loves to fix your hair as well, and after one experience with Carla, I won't let her do it unless she is in her Jessie role. 

The other day Kennedi was riding her bike--she is now turning, stopping, and starting all by herself--and Doug called me on the cell phone to come up to the road to listen to Kennedi.  All I heard the entire time she was riding that evening was, "Yah! Horse! Giddy ap!!" She rode that poor horse into the ground.

She has been known to blame things on her stuffed animals or dolls.  If she is caught talking after she is supposed to be taking a nap, she says that it's Puppy.  Her doll Gracelyn has kept her from cleaning her room before because, "Gracelyn wouldn't let me..."  kind of thing. 

Some people have told me that having imaginary friends is a sign of high intelligence.  I would have to agree as I had an imaginary friend as well growing up.  She obviously gets her brains from her mother! :)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Beauty Shop!

The results of living with two big sisters.

 So Annsley and Kennedi got out the nail polish and painted their toenails and fingernails the other day.  Well, Annsley actually did.  Kennedi painted her finger tips and insoles too--and possibly part of the back porch.  Andrei wasn't the only victim of the beauty shop that day.  They also wrangled their father as well.  Dainty Doug has neon orange on one foot and glow in the dark baby blue on the other. They begged to do his fingernails as well, but my husband drew the line there.  I can't imagine why with school starting... 

There is nothing like looking at your husband shave in the morning with his toe nails all dolled up.  Ummmmm....what a man! :) It brings an entirely new definition of sexy to our house!

In other news, Kennedi is starting to ride her bike without training wheels! Whoo Hoo! Go Big Girl! Her poor daddy has had his work cut out with her though.  Her free spirit seeps out even in her biking.  She tends to not actually pay attention to where she is driving.  Her eyes are not focused on the road ahead.  More like the ditch.  And so there she goes.  She leans crazily to one side and has this wild look in her eye as she passes by.  Don't get in her way.  She won't steer.  Doug is in need of a road side oxygen tank after spending a few minutes running along side her.  I wish I could get a picture of her face as she tries so hard not to look at you as she passes by, but quite frankly, I can't get too close because she'll run me over.  But, I am so proud of her!  She is already stopping and starting by herself as well after only a few days of trying! 

Instead, I'll leave you with a picture of Andrei sporting his new "hat".  No, he's not maneuvering the tricycle yet, but if you could will yourself into pedaling this vehicle, he'd be there! The helmet is much too big for his little head. He spent the afternoon having to tilt his head back to see as it kept falling down over his eyes.  But hey, he was a big kid like his sisters!  And yes, it's a pink and purple trike..a hand me down from his sisters.  I've said before that this little guy is going to have to get tough...
Not at all impressed that he can't make it move.


Thursday, August 4, 2011

Swimming Fun!

Our almost daily routine this summer~ swimmin' in the horse tank.  The girls took swimming lessons again this summer, and Annsley is swimming by herself in the "deep end" at the city pool.  She also conquered a 3 year goal of jumping off the diving board! 

As retold to me by my husband who took them to their morning swim lessons and then stayed the afternoon at the pool...

Doug:  She told me she was going to jump off the diving board, so I said OK. We all three walked over to the diving board area.  She looked at me and said, "You can go now, Dad.  I got it." 

(This is the same child that would put her hand up to you to stop you from coming into the bathroom when we were potting training her.  "Mom--Go!  I got it!"  This from my 2 1/2 year old...)

Doug:  I watched her jump walk up and jump off the board like she'd been doing it for years. She climbs out of the pool, looks at me, and says, "Dad--Go!"  I said to her, "Well, I want to make sure you're OK." 

Annsley:  "See that life guard?  It's his job to watch me.  Go swim with Kennedi." 

Doug:  So I did what she told me to do...

I showed up a few days later to take pictures--I have a little fish! I'm so proud of her! Also when I showed up, he and Kennedi just had to show Mom all of their little fun.  He was throwing Kennedi in the air--too high and too far for her momma's comfort.  When she would land, she would give the thumbs up sign and start her kick float from the point of "impact."  Yes, thrilled with her skills, not so thrilled with her being tossed around like a beanbag.

You can't buy this kind of fun in the winter!

Seconds before doing the belly flop!

Enlarge the picture (click on it) and you can see Kennedi's "thumbs up!"

My big girl little fish in the "deep end!"

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Kennedi's 5th Birthday!

Happy Birthday Baby Girl!! We are now Lite Brite richer, and one Fisher Price camera richer. We have enough beads to open our own jewelry store, and between her and Annsley's haul of clothing items, we can open up our own road side boutique. It was quite it usually is since our children are blessed with 4 sets of grandparents--and they all have this "thang" of making sure all siblings have something as well.  It must be a grandparent thing because all of our parents do it, and I know they didn't call some super secret grandparent meeting years ago...

The year Hello Kitty entered our lives...I didn't even know she was a force to be reckoned with until this month...

Kennedi enjoying her cake!

Andrei enjoying his sister's cake!

Oh Cousin Fischer--the things I could teach you!

Andrei playing hide and seek with a gift bag and my laziness of not going back to rotate the picture for you.
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