Sunday, March 22, 2009

Lazy Weekend

Spring has sprung...finally!! It was such a beautiful and totally lazy weekend. I couldn't resist this picture of Ted and Audrey from Saturday night. Andrew surprised Grandpa by being able to give him a piggy-back ride. The kids enjoyed a visit from my dad. He lives about 2 hours away. He came and took us out for lunch (and quickly learned why we don't eat out with 5 kids very often!!). Then we spent some time at the park. Before he left everyone had showed off all of their latest tricks/ riding, hanging upside down, basket shooting, piano playing, reading, etc.
Rita may not be able to climb across the monkey bars but she sure can do alot of other things on those bars.Natalie and Audrey teaching Boots how to dance. He has recovered from surgery quite well. Now he only pees on half of the fire hydrants and telephone poles instead of every single one on our walks.
Tomorrow is Paul's 4th birthday. He can hardly wait. Also, in my last post I talked about our meeting at school in regards to Rita. Well, the principal call on Friday afternoon and told us that Rita's IAT team decided to get things rolling even faster. Tomorrow she'll go back to her original 1st grade classroom in the afternoons. She is so excited and we're so proud of her.
Oh...if you need a good movie rental recommendation...check out "Changeling". It's rated R, so it's not for kids. It is based on a true story and absolutely unbelievable.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

"Suddenly, I'm not half the man I used to be"

" Suddenly, I'm not half the man I used to be".. (lyrics to Yesterday).'s true, Boots lost his manliness today. We learned (once again) that you have to be careful about how you word things around kids. Ted and I were discussing Boots 'getting his balls cut off' and sure enough first thing this morning Audrey said very loudly..."Boots is getting his balls cut off today." Good grief, I could just see her announcing that to her preschool class!!!! Anyways, there will now be no little Bootzies running around town. Hopefully he will stop trying to get so fresh with my mom's dog.
Boots has each and every one of us wrapped around his little paw. Even Ted!!! Ted wasn't really crazy about the idea of getting a dog but they are the best of friends now. Ted has even changed his name to "Big Bob." Ted claimed that Boots told him that his name was too girly and he wanted a cool name like Big Bob. I told him he could call him Big Bob but he will always be my Bootzie-Wootzie. We used to make fun of my mom for claiming that her dog talked to we're doing the same thing. We are such Schnauzer-loving fools!!

Everything else around here is busy as normal. Paul's birthday is in less than a week and Rita's big birthday bash is just right around the corner. We are making Rita's 8th birthday extra-special since this will be her first birthday ever!! Natalie thought of a great name for the party "Rita's BIG birthday party~~~ 8 times the fun!!" So we'll have 8 games, 8 cakes and big 8's all over the family center.......all drenched in pink. Rita will be dressed in pink from head to toe.....she is sooooooo excited for her party!!!!!
I had our 2nd to last IAT meeting at school for Rita today. Her team has a great game plan for her next year. Most of you know that we started her in 1st grade but since our school doesn't have and ESL program, very early in the year the school highly recommended her moving to kindergarten. She is 2 years older than all of her classmates but that hasn't really bothered her. She has learned so much, I believe that this was the best thing that our school system could do for her. But, I made it clear early on that I wanted her to get back with her age group, because I didn't want a 16 yr. old 8th grader or a 20yr. old Senior!!!! So the plan is for her to be considered a 2nd grader next fall with her going to 1st grade language arts. As she progress through the year the goal is to have her in the 2nd grade language arts before the end of that school year. We all know that she will probably need extra help for a few years no matter what grade she is in. I really like this plan. The principal has already picked the 2 teachers and I know with these two gals she'll be in great hands!! Finishing out Kindergarten they plan to start pulling her from class and to start going with 1st graders who are getting pulled for help with math. Plus she is already ready at an early 1st grade level so they will continue to 'push' her reading skills. She will go to summer school 1 day a week plus be tutored (still working on those details) on 1st grade science/social studies/ math skills. We don't plan to let her brain turn to mush this summer.
One quick note about Andrew. While I was at school for Rita's meeting I ran into Andrew's homeroom teacher. He once again told me what a great year Andrew was having. His exact words were "Andrew has STELLAR classroom behavior"........stellar.......geeze, I've never had anybody say I was stellar about anything. I just thank God and the staff at F.R. for helping Andrew become the great kid we knew he could be.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

If only.........

If only I was superwoman and the economy wasn't in the toilet we would adopt Max. Today he is on the top of "Other Angels" (the website we found Rita on). He has been on this list WAY TOO LONG!!! He is gorgeous. With a loving family and quality medical care he could live a fairly normal life. But with 5 kids that drive absolutely insane most days, no money and a husband that is laid off, I believe that my job is to pray for Max's family to 'find' him very soon.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Sophia Jane Fundraiser

Please visit the blog linked on the right to help this family bring their daughter home. I donated some jewelry to their cause. There is some other great donations too!!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


Well it seems that everyone else around us now has a house dog. We felt like we must be missing out on something and boy or boy were we ever. We brought home the most amazing dog on Sunday from Indy. We had been looking on Craig's List for a little bit older house dog. One that was already house broke and good with kids. I kind of had it in my mind to find a pug, puggle or a schnauzer. I looked on CL between Ft. Wayne, Muncie, Lima, Dayton, Indy and Columbus. I emailed quite a few people about different dogs and seemed to keep missing the 'perfect dog.' Well on Saturday night I checked again and saw that a 1 yr. old miniature schnauzer was in need of a home because his family had to move into an apartment that didn't allow pets. I called them right away not wanting to miss out on this little guy. We were the 2nd family to call but the other family didn't commit to him and I said "We'll take him!!" On our drive to Indy I told the kids that Boots' might be scared and his current family might be sad because they didn't want to give him away at all!! When we walked into Boots' home he barked at us (schnauzers are very protective of their family but makes friends quickly if their family accepts the 'outsider') but quickly warmed up to us. He is a salt and pepper colored mini-schnauzer. I think he looks like a little old man with his gray eyebrows and bushy beard. The family said their good-byes and we promised to take extra good care of him!! He did fantastic on the 2 hour drive home. He took turns sitting on everyone's lap. He is an absolute joy...he only barks at Mulan (oh yeah, Mulan might not consider him much of a joy;o) and if somebody is at the door. If he gets too wound up we just say in a firm voice "Boots NO"....he sits downs and stops barking. I wish any of my 5 kids listened as well as Boots....hmmmm, maybe Ted and I should had 5 mini-schnauzers instead of 5 kids. Boots goes to the door when he needs to potty and lays down when it's bedtime and goes right to sleep until morning. I just can't believe how easy and loving he is. The picture of Boots with the lei is for our Hawiian friends...Roy and Tutu.
Okay...maybe I'm a bit biased but I think these are the two cutest Chinese girls in the world. On Feb. 28th we celebrated Audrey's 4th 'forever family day' and Rachel celebrated her 4th birthday. Kind of cool to think that 2-28-05 was very special for by my family and my brother's family. To read more about Rachel:

We had to readopt Rita for her to become a US citizen. Yes...Rita looks very but Ted and I have fake smiles thinking that if our guide in Armenia would have done things different Rita would have came to the USA on a different visa and we wouldn't have had to do this. All we could think about was $900 that we had to complete the adoption the same week as Ted's first week being laid-off (with no end in sight). Rita totally enjoyed her time in court and the judge made it fun for the kids. She let each kid set in her seat and pound the gavel....then she gave each kid their own mini-gavel...yeah!!

We went to a Chinese New Year party at a families' home in Berne. It was lots of fun. As you can see Paul is cheating at "pin the tail on the ox" in honor of the year of the ox. This is my zodiac year....yes it's true I'm only 24 (the zodiac goes in 12 year maybe I am almost 36 but 24 sure sounds alot better).

Here's the group photo minus Audrey. That little stinker refused to get in the picture!! My niece Rachel is in the middle with the jean jumper and Paul is on the end. Ai Wen is 2nd from the left....our families traveled together to adopt Paul and AiWen.
Well, thankfully Ted has stayed busy with auto repairs while being laid off. Lots of people have been laid off behind him with the good possibility of more. So it could be quite a long time before he would get called back. He is job hunting but there just isn't much out there. Our family is very blessed that he has another skill to bring decent money in right now. Of course the "dirty teeth" business is always busy so no worries about my job. I did spend 4 hours in the ER with Audrey yesterday. We had went to the family doctor on Friday and she tested positive for influenza B. I'm sure that Rita and Andrew had the same thing but Audrey just couldn't pull out of it. She became so dehydrated that she was miserable. She was on an IV (aka arm medicine) for 1.5 hours and she perked right up. We went home and she ate 3 helping of spaghetti. She had barely ate anything over the last week. On Friday she was down to 28 pounds!!! With spring coming I'm hoping that we are about at the end of all of this sickness.