Tuesday, August 31, 2010

My New Addition

Whoa... calm down now!!!  No surprise Ethiopia trips or prego belly, despite the fact that my 3 cuties have been telling several people we are going to "get" a baby soon.  Obviously, their idea of "soon" and my idea of "it will be awhile" aren't jiving at the moment :-)  Heehee!  Someday, but for now let me introduce you to none other than my very own, brand new, REFRIGERATOR :-)  You laugh, but we have been without one since Saturday, so I'm thrilled to have a new one.  Nothing grandiose, but it meets our needs, and I'm thankful for it!!!

Monday, August 30, 2010

"Meant To Be"

All of my faves... Steven Curtis Chapman, beautiful music and amazing lyrics, adoption clips, Jeremiah 29:11, and VEGGIE TALES.  Hmmm... this will be on the Wells' family Christmas wishlist.  It releases October 5, 2010. 

“We’re very excited to share It’s a Meaningful Life with VeggieTales fans and families everywhere,” said Greg Fritz, SVP of Sales & Marketing at Big Idea Entertainment. “This episode is based on Jeremiah 29:11 which says, ‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’ So many of us often wonder what our lives would be like if we had all we ever dreamed of. This title takes parents and children on a journey that explores how we can be content in the plans that God has for our lives – and helps us discover the beauty of how our lives affect those around us.”

Inspired by the It’s A Meaningful Life story, Steven Curtis Chapman notes, “The song is really shaped around, what I want to say, especially to children that wonder, ‘does my life have any meaning?’ As I have said to so many orphans in China or even to my own children, ‘you are special, and you are meant to be because God has put us here.’”

Saturday, August 28, 2010


After a little bit of girl gab time at a friend's house this morning, I gathered the troops and we were Stanford bound.  Today, my sister and I (with the help of our parentals) hosted a baby shower for my brother Matthew and Megan.  Malachi Thomas will be making his arrival in October, and we are all so very excited to welcome him!!!!  We had a great time visiting with family and sharing some laughs during the baby shower game.

I do believe my crew ran Papaw and Uncle Matthew ragged, but they kept the troops in line.  That is minus unexpected shower #2 - Caleb soaking his sister with a water hose :(  Rachel was not in the least bit happy about being wet or having to wear one of Papaw's t-shirts until her clothes were finished in the dryer.  The highlights for the kiddos were definitely CAKE, playing in the back of Dad's pick-up truck, and taking rides/driving the riding lawnmower. 

A Jeremiah funny - there has been an ongoing debate between Jon and Jeremiah.  Jeremiah gets very irked if anyone refers to a chicken nugget as simply chicken.  He is very emphatic in correcting us and wants to make sure we call it a nugget.  Jon has been trying to explain that they are one in the same.  Also, when Jeremiah sees a bird, he often refers to it as either a duck or a chicken.  Well, there was a large flock of birds flying overhead as we were piling in the van to leave my parents house.  Trusting that Daddy must be right, Jeremiah points to the birds in the sky and says....  "Look!  Chicken Nuggets!"  Shortly after, one of those chicken nuggets pooped on me and my sister!!!!  Ughhhhh....  this shower #3 was very unplanned, unwelcome, and quite honestly one of my worst nightmares realized!  Thankfully, it just got my feet - it could have been A LOT worse.

As you can imagine, I was a bit speedy on the way home, so I could enjoy the comfort of SHOWER #4.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

6 Month Post Placement - COMPLETE!

Our original expectation was to have our 6 month post placement visit yesterday evening.  However, we received a call from our social worker yesterday afternoon, and due to an earlier appointment and forgetting the time change, he would be unable to make it.  Crazy KY???  Why is the state in two different time zones?

Thankfully, we were able to reschedule the appointment for 3 p.m. this afternoon.  Therefore, the house was not completely ransacked before Harlan arrived.  Rachel's endearing smile greeted him at the door while the boys were still sacked out in their beds.  We set up shop at the dining room table where I completed a questionairre on Rachel and Harlan asked us general questions regarding the children's health, adjustment, and attachment.  Mid-appointment, Jon actually went and woke the boys from their nap.  Very rarely do we wake a slumbering child, but we need the boys to make an appearance even if they were somewhat groggy.  We completed our paperwork, the boys warmed up and began covering themselves in CARS stickers.  They posed for a "brotherly love" picture and then Rachel gave Harlan one of her best glamour shots.

Yep... two days of cleaning the whole house for a 45 minute appointment that only included walking through one room to sit in another.  Hahaha...  the same as the last one.  One of these days, I just might get brave enough not to go cleaning kamikaze, but for fear that he would want to venture through and explore every nook and cranny that will probably never happen.  Oh well... next and last visit will be in February for our 12 month post placement.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Hip, Hip, Hooray - It's Dancey Shoe Day!

Rachel has tried her best to wear her dance shoes for awhile now.  I scored a mega deal on a pair of tap shoes at a consignment sale, so I have had them for a few weeks.  Wonderful mother that I am, I left them out in plain sight to tempt the poor child.  Every time she would pass them, she'd pick them up and say "Wear Dancey Shoes?" 

Then, last Tuesday night's date night with my hubby consisted of a yummy dinner at Outback, buying color coded towels for each member of the family, searching several stores for clearanced swimming trunks and rashguards for the boys, and pink ballet shoes for Rachel.  (Yes, aren't you jealous of our smoldering romance?  Hahaha!)  Since the one shoe store didn't have ballet slippers in her size, we picked up the princess from Grandma's and headed to another store that was holding a pair for us.  We decided she might as well try them on, and that she did.  She was none too happy about taking them off either.  Again, vying for "Mother of the Year" award, rather than putting them out of reach, they remained in our living room.  You guessed it, I walked in several times to see her putting on her shoes.  She'd look at me and grin and say, "Pink Dancey Shoes!"

So... the day finally came!  Dance Class was at 4 p.m.  She was excited to put on her tights and leotard and head out the door, but on our way to Shelbyville, I noticed tears in the backseat.  Supposedly, it was because her sunglasses were in the van and not in the Rav.  Somehow, I believe there was more to it.  We were the first to arrive, and she played shy with her teacher Kacey... even though she sees her at church every week.  Oh well... after the parent meeting, Kacey put the girls in their spots.  Rachel was reluctant to go, so Mommy escorted her all the while positioning her in "criss cross applesauce" - a new one for this baby!  We exchanged some high fives and hopefully calmed a few fears, and then, I made my exit with the other mommies. 

While chattin' it up with my friend Gretchen, our girls Rachel and Libby had a ball with their first attempts at prima ballerina status.  Kacey must have done a great job because when they came out to change into their tap shoes, they were both all smiles.  When I asked Rachel if she had fun, she said "Cool Mommy!"  Strutting her stuff in her tap shoes, she returned to class.  Again, all smiles and ready to tear into her sucker at the end of class.  I'm thinking dance might just be a success.  To be continued next week....

Heading out the door! Dance class - here we come!
Got there SUPER early, so Miss Rachel hung out with Mom in the front seat!

Rachel and Miss Kacey

Libby and Rachel ready to tap!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Celebrating Silas!!!

We had the best time tonight!!!  Friends gathered to welcome home another Ethiopian cutie.  It was wonderful to celebrate with Josh and Emily and "oooh" and "ahhh" over Silas.  Congratulations are in order, and I must say they don't come any cuter than this little one!  He is absolutely precious and when I held him it made my Momma heart go pitter pat!  Yep.... definitely bitten by the baby bug.  I made sure that Silas was passed off to Jon.  Wonder if the bug bit him too?  He did look very comfortable with a baby cuddled up to him again. :-)

Speaking of biting bugs, they definitely were out.  After coming home, I counted 24 mosquito bites on Caleb.  Wow - that boy must be sweet!  Obviously, we waited to late to put the bug spray on or he just sweated it all off.  He was running around in true wild child form followed closely behind by Jeremiah and Rachel.  While it was wonderful to talk about Ethiopia with Emily, catch up with Kim, and gorge myself on Gretchen and Sam's yummy food, I was struck by the beauty of watching the children play.  3 Ethiopian cuties, 2 South Korean angels, 2 blonde-haired, blue-eyed beauties, brunettes, my hubby's mini-me...  it was stunning.  I believe I had a glimpse of how God views the world.  I'm so thankful for the blessing of children, the blessing of adoption, and the blessing of a Father in Heaven who loved me enough to adopt me!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Shots Today - Mr. Gatti's & Dollar Tree Take the Pain Away

Doctor's appointments today for Jeremiah and Rachel, and to my surprise, they did a stellar job.  The last time my kiddos got shots all of Frankfort knew about it. Jeremiah was the first to get stuck with the needle while Rachel got to go pick out her sucker and stickers of choice. She returned to the examination room to find big brother with a tear stained cheek and pouty lip.  Jeremiah gladly left the room to collect his stickers and banana split sucker.  Rachel's radar was on and she picked up loud and clear what was about to happen.  She began crying before the shots began and tried to push all away with her hands, but she was no match for Momma's bear hug. There were some tears and a short-lived scream from Miss Rachel, but it was nothing that her unwrapped sucker couldn't cease.

I was so happy to take the kiddos back to our family care provider.  Ms. Tonya is the best as well as the nursing staff and receptionists.  It felt good to have my cuties under their care.  Now for the stats... Jeremiah is now 44 inches tall and 41 pounds, and Rachel is 40 inches tall and 32 pounds.  Wow!!! My babies have grown so much since coming home. 

After being poked and prodded, a treat was in order.  Mr. Gatti's was the winning restaurant.  When asked whether they wanted to play games or get a toy at the Dollar Tree, they unanymously chose TOY!!!!  Mommy cheered for spending $3 instead of $15 on the silly games.  Hmmmm...  I do hope the Dollar Tree's grand splendor doesn't wear off anytime soon. 

DNG Giveaway Winner and a FREEBIE for everyone!

Congrats Heidi B. - you are the winner of the Roller Coasters DNG giveaway!  Enjoy this wild ride with your precious kiddos :-)

Now, the only thing better than Heidi getting a FREEBIE is EVERYONE getting a FREEBIE!!!!  That's right... courtesy of The Old Schoolhouse everyone can receive Amanda Bennett's Expedition Mexico Download N Go absolutely free.  Click HERE to get your free download.  Don't delay - this offer is only good through August 27th!!!!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Roller Coasters... we took the ride! Now, it's a GIVEAWAY!!!!!!

As most of you know, I left behind my career as an elementary music teacher to homeschool my three little ones.  If the past week is any indication of the amount of learning and fun our family is going to have, I am in educator heaven!  Thank you Amanda Bennett and Download N Go for an exciting, innovative, thrill-ride each and everyday in my living room. 

I have the privilege to serve on the DNG Review Team, and therefore, was provided the Roller Coasters DNG, without charge, for the purpose of writing an honest review.  Download N Go units are designed to be a week in length and are targeted for students in grades K-4.  Each Download N Go is filled with colorful graphics, engaging activities, video links, notebook pages, lapbook components, and lists of additional/supplemental resources.  Honestly, I believe there is enough information provided to expand the study well past a week.

Below is an overview of the study as well as a peek at some of the pages included:
Day 1: What Is a Roller Coaster?
Day 2: The History of Roller Coasters
Day 3: People and Places of Roller Coasters
Day 4: Science Secrets of Roller Coasters/Rides
Day 5: Goodies and Gadgets of Roller Coasters

In my home, I'm teaching two kindergarteners and a preschooler, I wondered exactly how much the kids would be able to do and comprehend.  From experience, I can confidently say that young students enjoy the DNG's tremendously.  Just after Day 1 of our study and watching some of the online videos, I came into the living room to find my kiddos "playing roller coaster" on the couch.  They were so excited and too cute!

My kiddos love to color and draw, so it was no shocker that we had to get out our drawing paper and markers to make some rollercoaster masterpieces.  They were definitely fridge-worthy!  As much as they enjoyed drawing, Jeremiah, Caleb, and Rachel really liked being able to design their own roller coasters on the computer and watching the simulated ride.  They even built their own roller coasters in the hallway using books from their shelves, a few pieces of their Thomas the Train tracks, and their favorite Hot Wheels cars. I was impressed that a 3, 4, and 5 year old could pull this off experimenting on their own.  This was a great activity!

Due to my kids age, I opted not to do the notebooking activities.  It would be too much writing, and actually, Mommy would be the one jotting down all of the kids' dictation.  However, that did not eliminate all of these activities because we were able to discuss them and Caleb, especially, was able to answer orally.  Jeremiah and Rachel are my Ethiopian cuties.  As you can imagine, since they have been with us just shy of 6 months, there are always opportunities for vocabulary building.  Aside from the obvious word "Roller Coaster," we were able to talk a lot about antonyms:  fast/slow, high/low, up/down, and straight/curved.  Hidden opportunities abound.... you'll definitely want to check out these other Roller Coaster DNG blog reviews to see other creative ways people used this study. 

The Roller Coasters DNG was the perfect, engaging, hands-on, creativity catalyst to join our phonics, math, reading, and history.  I look forward to using many more DNG's in the future, and in fact, I believe, I will use Roller Coasters again too. I think it would be perfect to re-visit in a few years, possibly when the kids are 3rd & 4th graders.  They will be able to study gravity in more depth and do the notebooking pages independently.  Hopefully, they will be able to look back and remember some of the fun we had this past week as well.  Making memories and learning at the same time - that is my goal!!!!

Would you like to give the Roller Coasters DNG a try?  It is available for purchase here for a very reasonable $7.95.  You can also enter my giveaway...  I am authorized to give 1 complete copy of this study away.  The winner could be you!!!!  How do you enter? 

1.  Follow my blog.  (Leave me a comment saying you are now a follower.)
2. Mention my blog's giveaway on your blog, Facebook, Twitter, etc.  (Leave me a comment telling me how you shared about the giveaway.)
3. Visit the DNG site and leave me a comment telling what DNG title you are most interested in (Please leave a comment.)

So....  you have 3 opportunities to get your name in the giveaway drawing.  Just be sure to post in the comments section, and leave me an email address so I have a way to contact you if you are the Big Winner!  I will hold the drawing Thursday @ 1 p.m. EST.  Be sure to check back for the announcement!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Welcome Home Jeremiah & Rachel

Wow… there are no words to aptly express our gratitude and appreciation to our family, friends, and church. The evening of March 27th, these fine people gathered together to welcome these little ones with a party to match none other. There was a huge turn-out, and it appeared that a children’s clothing and toy store had it exploded in the church fellowship hall! Oh my…. I have never seen so many gifts. The children were wide-eyed with wonder. It didn’t take them long to get the hang of opening gifts. Jeremiah impressed everyone with his increasing vocabulary as he named a lot of the items he received. Rachel was playing the part of princess as she was seated on the table for her throne (and so everyone could see her). She was ooh-ing and ah-ing over her new clothes and donning all of her accessories: purses, jewelry, etc. Everyone was so very thoughtful because they didn’t leave the best brother ever, Mr. Caleb out. He definitely received a ton of toys and clothes too.

God has blessed us tremendously by placing such faithful, praying, loving, wonderful people in our lives. They stood by us 100% and sacrificially gave in order to help us bring our little ones home and have embraced them whole-heartedly. We are loved and love greatly!!!! Thank you God!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Easter Egg Hunt Preparation & Execution

Knowing that the idea of hunting Easter Eggs would be completely lost on Jeremiah and Rachel, we decided to have a practice run. With Caleb as a very reliable teacher, we knew they were in good hands. First, we hid for Caleb. Jeremiah and Rachel were mesmerized watching him hunt for the eggs. They each got an individual turn, and then we did one big hunt all together. They enjoyed hiding the eggs for each other to find too. All three of them were so precious!

With some practice runs under their belt, they were ready for the real deal at church. As you can see from the pics, they truly grasped the concept and ended up doing quite well. Although, the biggest thrill came from learning there were goodies inside the eggs. How could Mommy and Daddy have left the key ingredient out? CANDY!!!! They were exceptionally compliant when told to dump their loot and return the plastic eggs to use for next year.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Alphabet Train

Jeremiah - My Little Engineer! 

Caleb - My Little Smartypants!

 Rachel - My Little Miss Smiley!

 My Three Cuties - what sweet blessings!