Samuel Jerome and Richnightder

Samuel Jerome and Richnightder
Our boys in Haiti

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

travel is the enemy of biggotry

I watched a really neat show last night on PBS. It was about two guys from New York City who decided to re-trace Marco Polo's journey. Their trip lasted something crazy like 720 days or so, and they travelled to some very remote places and experienced life in very different cultures.

What they said at the end of the program was something I have tried to articulate to many, many people before but have never been successful. One of the guys said, "Travel is the enemy of biggotry." How absolutely true is that?? If only people who carry prejudice and biggotry could travel and experience the fact that people are people the world over regardless of skin color, our world would be a nicer place.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

2009 better be the year our boys are home

Well, I managed to post on Christmas day about how well Marc did in the shopping of gifts for me, but since then I have been in bed barfing. I now completely understand what Thomas meant when he kept telling me his stomach hurt days after I thought he was over his flu. I will spare everyone the gruesome details, but suffice it to say, I have extreme lethargy and really haven't cared one rip that the kids have completely trashed the house.........and I mean trashed.

Last night, Thomas came in to kiss me goodnight and I sarcastically thanked him for sharing the flu with me and he replied, "Glad I could do it." How's that for a smarty pants?? Earlier in the day Marc took the kids to the mall so they could spend some of their Christmas cash. As they were getting dressed in some of their new clothes, I told Thomas how nice the new red hoodie sweatshirt looked on him and he told me it was really soft and when Madi grabs the hood to choke him, it's softness makes it better!! He is an optimist and always looks on the bright side!! Marc came home looking sick and I was hoping he didn't get what I have, because then I would have to drag my sorry ass out of bed to take care of the kids and animals. His pale/green face was merely caused due to his lightheadedness he felt from the crowds at the mall. For some reason, he has always gotten sick feeling at the mall; crowds, parking lots, smell of the food court all contribute to his sick feeling. What a weenie.

As I have spent the last several days doing nothing, I have had way too much time to contemplate the adoption. I cannot believe that January marks the two year anniversary of us having started this fun journey. All I can say is THEY BETTER BE HOME SOON. We cannot keep talking about Richnightder and Jerome and imagining what life will be like with them here at home with us. We actually have to get them home and start forming this family. So to all my C4C family and friends, I hope and pray that the vast majority of us will have our families complete in the new year. I so hope that 2009 sees us all making the 'Gotcha' trip to the creche and beginning the road to cementing our families. If I feel better by New Year's Eve, I will raise a glass to toast in the new year and whisper under my breath my hopes and dreams for the coming year.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Marc really is a super man, husband, father, etc.

I made a wish list at and my oh, so dear husband actually looked at it and bought something for me from the list of items I had chosen. He bought me a stacking ring of diamonds that match my wedding ring and engagement ring. It is REALLY nice and very unexpected. He also went shopping with Madison and Thomas and bought quite a few things I had pointed out to Madison and shocker of shockers, he actually got the right sizes.

But the most suprising gift of all was my stethoscope. No I am not a sex freak and into kinky stuff with it, but it is very useful when our horses colic. Which in fact, our Arab Mare did on Tuesday. See, having a stethoscope helps to hear the gut sounds to see if they are fully impacted or still able to move some matter thru their belly's. Yippee.....I have had a good Christmas.

I have a lot more to post, but the kids are bugging me to make my cinnamon, chocolate bubblr bread. More to come later. Merry Christmas everyone!!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

A picture is worth a...........donkey trip

Vivian just forwarded this picture to me of the boys. I absolutely love it!! At least I know they both love wearing pirate eye patches, not just Jerome.

Yet another "ass" story and a really bad day

Yesterday was most cerainly the kind of day I should have just stayed in bed with the covers pulled over my head. If it could go wrong, it did. I guess since nobody ended up at the hospital or getting lost in the snow, it wasn't a completely bad day. Nonetheless, it was still a screwy day.

A very long difficult day in a nutshell; I broke the zipper on my new expensive coat, snapped the mud flap off the Denali backing into an icy snow drift, a wheel on the cart at Target fell off while I was pushing it full of stuff, I ripped open one of the bags of french bread and they all fell on the ground at Sam's Club, fell carrying in the groceries and ripped open the other bag of french bread sending them to the ground on the front porch, came into to the mud room and discoverd my puppies had massive diarrhea ALL OVER, took pups to vet only to discover they had eaten a rice bag(that you heat for aching muscles), cleaned and scrubbed mud room all the while complaining of $200 vet bill, Thomas develops the stomach flu and barfs all night, Madi awakens with headache and belly ache, I got my period and feel great hostility, Oh, and we went thru the drive thru at McDonalds and didn't discover until driving away that neither kid got fries with their meal, and once home discover an invoice for our donkey trip to Jeremie for $251.

At least the donkey trip is complete (as of December 8th) and we can only hope and pray that the documents needed were retrived and are what is needed by MOI. Now I realize $251 dollars is not a lot, but what I do think is interesting is the odd amount. Not $250, but $251....guess that one dollar makes all the difference. Who knew renting an ass could be so affordable?? Now we must wait until offices reopen in January to continue with the processing of our dossier. This wait is of course necessary so the much over-worked and distressed government workers can mentally recharge and spend time with their loved ones!!

Not quite sure if we will get into town today to complete shopping and mailing. Seems we are expecting more snow and blowing and drifting which sometimes causes white out conditions. Have a holly, jolly, Christmas!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

another donkey in story

Perhaps this isn't even news, but it is a tidbit in the continuing saga of our rent-a-donkey journey in Haiti. Vivian just posted on the C4C forum for adopting families that all of us families with children having been born in the province of Jeremie have now had the elusive missing documents successfully retrieved. I sure hope that includes us, as I had heard gossip the "ass train" was to have taken place sometime this week. Since I have yet to get a bill, which usually comes speedily, I am still waiting for confirmation on this.

Everyone in the waiting adoption realm is all too acutely aware that tomorrow is the last day of work for all government offices in Haiti to include the U.S. embassy. Seems the perceptions of over-worked government workers is universal and includes third/fourth world quasi governments. So from tomorrow through January 7th or so, everyone gets a nice relaxing break. Guess it doesn't matter that a gazillion orphans and their families will just have to blot from our waking thoughts the fact that we are not together while the unappreciated, over-worked government workers relax and enjoy the time together with their families.

Yes, I am aware that Marc is employed with the United States Government and yes we do enjoy some nice benefits, but for God's sake can you imagine if our government just shut down for 3 weeks?? CHAOS!! I suppose that I just need to vent and spray my verbose diarrhea about the inequity of those who can least afford to take a three week vacation while their country teeters on coups, riots, and famine.

So on that chipper note I will go and have a beer, and watch "How the Grinch Stole Christmas." For some reason it seems oddly apporpriate right about now. Let's just keep our finger and toes crossed that we actually come out of MOI sometime in January and they briskly move on to Passport printing and then to USCIS.....oh, joy.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

What to do, what to do when the weather outside is frightful??

We have all reached our maximum allotted amount of togetherness. We have been confined to he house for 36 hours and although we still have power and satellite internet, it would sure be nice to get away from the other breathing, annoying members of the family.

The blizzard started yesterday morning and while I got the kids to church for their Christmas play practice, everyone was sent home early due to the horrible weather, zero visibility and drift covered roads. The play should have been this morning, but the entire state is under a civil emergency and no travel is advised.

Besides the snow and hurricane force winds, it is also a little chilly. Currently it is -12F and tonights low is expected to be about -25F. Add in the wind and it feels like -55F. I think we have received about 13 inches of snow, but it is difficult to tell, when the drifts are 6feet tall.

Since we are stuck inside, the house is getting cleaned. Laundry is getting folded and put away. The bathrooms are clean and the floors are getting scrubbed. That said, I have also composed a Christmas letter which will get shoved into our Christmas cards that I intend to mail out as soon as we can get dug out. I also thought I would keep everyone entertained with what will be our CHristmas photo this year. We actually took this picture about 2 weeks ago to send to the boys in Haiti, but figured, good enough....I don't want to repeat that chaos. So no "matching" clothes and nothing Christmassy. Just 4 people and 4 dogs trying to squeeze into one picture and still hold pictures of Richnightder and Jerome.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Thomas has a major crush

Thomas and I usually have deep, meaningful conversations in the car while driving into town. Yesterday was no exception. He began by telling me what car he plans on buying so he can start dating. Yes, dating.

I reminded him that he is only 10 and that is a smidge young to think of dating. He persisted and informed me that if he had a nice car, he could drive in only 3 years and take a girl out by himself. Sadly, the age to get a drivers license in North Dakota is 13!! No way are my kids going to be driving at that age, but I digress.

I asked him what he would do on a date and he told me he would have the girl come over to our place, take a walk on the prairie, and then cook and serve her dinner downstairs at the bar. While I commended him on his lovely ideas, I continued to point out his too youthful an age to be dating. So I played along with this convo for a while and he continued to offer up very cool dating ideas. He thought it would be fun to take her to dinner and then a movie. Yes, good idea, but what if she is like me, your mother, and whatever restaurant is suggested is not to her liking?? Thomas thought a good solution to that would be to ask her where she ate last week and if she enjoyed it, then maybe that would be a good choice!! Yeah, this from a kid who can't figure out how to adjust the water flow of the faucet if he has already started to brush his teeth. Try to figure that one out??

When Marc and I were dating in the late 80's he was the least romantic, least spontaneous, least impulsive man I could ever imagine. How Thomas has acquired these romantic ideas is beyond me. All I know is that he certainly didn't get it from Marc. He did divulge that he has gotten most of his dating ideas from movies. I was scared to ask what movies, so I just play stupid on that one.

Clara is the object of his desire now. He just showed me a note he wrote her and it is wonderful. He tells her how beautiful and smart she is and that he hopes they can be more than friends?? What that means scares me right now, so I play stupid again. He also told her that she is everything a pretty girl should be and she is also so nice to everyone. He did however point out that he while he would love to take her out, and her girlfriends too if she feels more comfortable, he does not want to paint finger nails or brush hair. I think he has seen what Madi and her friends do when they have sleepovers, but again, I will play stupid. He has a heart of gold and when he is MUCH, MUCH older, he will make some girl a fabulous boyfriend. I love my little boy Thomas, but it appears he is growing up.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Waiting for a donkey

We just received and update on our status in MOI. Seems for some reason Richnightder's file will need additional original documents from the province of his birth, which is Jeremie. I am a little confused about the email I received, but I guess all that seems to matter is that we will need some antiquated form of transportation, namely, a donkey, to take a staffer from C4C into the province to retrieve the original document and them have it legalized in PaP.

Of course, this is because I was hopeful that the boys would be home in Feb. or maybe March. I suppose tonight we will like our wounds and re-strategize and shoot for early summer. I washed the boys new bedding earlier today and made their beds. I guess it is like washing the car and then it rains!! :(

Friday, December 5, 2008

latest update photos..............because April asked!!

I have been a slacker lately about posting pictures because the new computer is still confounding me. I am aware that makes me sound oh-so-bright, but sadly it is true. I have saved pictures to our pic folder, and when I go to retrieve them, somehow, it says the file doesn't exist. I guess I just need to sit down and figure this new thing out. And yes, I do plan on changing my background to Christmas, but if I drag my feet anymore, I just may have to set it to a spring time background.

So in honor of April's request, here are our boys' pictures. I love them and I think this time I really like Jerome's picture. I think it captures his joy of life. Let's just hope he doesn't enjoy wearing the pirate patch when he is 30. Richnightder finally seems to be coming out of his introspective shell and letting his hair down. He sure looks like he is enjoying a hell of a good belly laugh. Oh, and can someone explain to me why he would wear the patch the middle of his forehead?? The last time I saw him, he did not have a cycloptic eye!!

On to todays absolute chaos, but before I leave, I have a question for all of you in cyberland. Yesterday at homeschool gym, I was sitting with a group of women who are quickly becoming friends. We have a lot in common to include that we all pay the bills and handle the finances forour households. Here's the question: Do all of you who pay the bills actually balance the checkbook or do you just bring the balance down and never really check it's accuracy?? Yes, I confess our concesus was that none of the 5 of us balance the checkbook, including me. I figure my system is working out just fine since I have been doing it for 18 years and have never bounced a check. Thank God for that hefty line of credit attached to the checking account!!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

We're getting closer!!

I just received an invoice for Richnightder's and his birth parents' DNA testing. It was done on 11.20.2008 and I have never been so happy to have a bill to pay. All I know is that this means we are getting closer to bringing those little guys home and I had better get crackin' on finishing all of those immigration papers. Our little Jerome has no known birthparents so he is absolved of having to do DNA testing for obvious reasons.

Monday, December 1, 2008

christmas photos

Christmas is my favorite time of year. I love almost everything about it. Yesterday we were trying to take a family photo of ourselves to send to Kristi for her to take to the boys when she goes to Haiti next week. Geez, what a friggin' fiasco.

It took us more than an hour to get the four of us, and the four dogs all posed casually in front of the fireplace. Marc and I each held a photo of Richnightder and Jerome, so in actuallity, we had to get 6 of us in the photo. One photo actually turned out where I looked dim-witted and the dog was yawning. Finally, our last try, produced a picture that was passable. No one looks happy at this point, just frustrated and eager to get it over with and away from each other. Gosh, we really love our time together.NOT!!

I am still trying to figure out the new computer. It has some neat things that our last one didn't have, even though the last one that died was only several months old. I like the hot buttons and glowing keyboard, but the mouse pad seems really touchy. I have to learn to have a light touch which is not easy for me. We are still retrieving info from the old stored data, that I have no idea how it got to where it is on this new computer.

Tomorrow is homeschool gym for the kids and it is bowling this month. I have only bowled about 5 times in my whole life, so needless to say, I suck at it. I need the bumpers and even then I still suck. Tomorrow should be a ton-o-fun with me watching the kids bowl since they take after me in that skill area.

I will try to post the picture of us with the dogs and kids tomorrow, but Marc has the memory stick with him today. And as for adoption news, we are still in MOI and hope to be out before Haiti and the U.S. embassy take holiday breaks from Dec. 19 to January 6. We hope that all our documents are in order and that we progress quickly. Now we are busy filling out another large pile of papers, this time for the boys immigration. When will the paperwork ever stop??

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Gobble, Gobble

Today is traditionally a day when we American's pause and reflect for a moment on the things for which we are thankful.

I am very thankful that our new computer is up and running and we were able to save all the info from the broken laptop. The computer is our link to the outside world and to news of Haiti, and updates on our boys and progress out of legal departments.

I am thankful that we are all in good health, have a lovely home, our animals, family, friends and I am always thankful for the ability to get out of bed everyday and think of what good things may suprise me.

Madison suprised me last evening while we were in the kitchen busily cooking and baking. She has told me now for sometime that she plans of attending Harvard for undergrad and then going to vet school. Last evening she told me that she loves me being her teacher because I care enough to stay home and teach them. That made my whole year. So many times I feel like the worst person for yelling at the kids, and dreading a difficult school day, but hearing her say that, completely renewed my sense of determination to continue homeschooling.

We must fly to the neighbor's house now to partake of their dystfunctional family. It is so nice to see other families interact on a less than stellar level of civility. Best part of it is that since they are not our family, we can just get up and leave, come home, put on our jammies and talk about them and their oddities!!

Monday, November 24, 2008

I told you that would happen

Thomas officially has the crud that has plagued the rest of us. He has terrible congestion, a sore throat, chest cold, productive cough and a fever. I am on the mend, but Marc and Thomas are feeling pretty yucky.

Last night I let Thomas use our almost brand new laptop to surf cars and trucks while he was lying on the couch. He carried it in to show us something and as the words were being exhaled from my mouth, "Be careful and carry it with both hands" he stumbled and dropped the laptop. It's screen is now a miserable mess of broken whatever it is material. All I know is that the computer is no longer among the living.

Today Marc took it to Best Buy and the Geek Squad is trying to retrieve all the info from our hard drive and install it into the new computer that we had to buy. We bought another Gateway as we really liked the one that just became garbage. So keep your fingers crossed that we can get back onto a real computer by late tonight or tomorrow evening. Right now I am using Madi's little notebook computer and I hate it. It is so darn dinky and her keys are sticky with food and God knows what else!!

But the Mother of the year award goes to me for what Thomas heard me say last evening after the computer incident. I was trying to tell Thomas that money doesn't grow on trees and since we are having to incur the cost of buying a new computer, even though it was an accident, maybe we should cut back on the amount of gifts that we planned on getting him. He told me that was ok, as Santa would still get him stuff. I thought he had left the room, but was merely out of my sight behind the countertop island in the kitchen when I told Marc, "Well maybe we should just complete his night and tell him there really is no Santa." I felt SO bad when he came around the counter, looked at me with those deep, dark, tear-stained eyes and said, "What? There's no Santa. Oh, great. What next, no tooth Fairy." So back off ladies, Mom of the Year goes to me for bursting the kids bubble after he berated himself for accidentally breaking the computer. And life plugs along up here on the Northern Plains, where everyday, little boys have accidents, and their Mom's damage their psyche's by obliterating the fantasy of eternal happiness and good will, also known as Santa.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Any news is good news

Having fun with my little pirates in June

Earlier this week I posted on our adoptive family forum of C4C families some information that I had gleaned from Vera's blog, regarding a new step in MOI. Well, Kathi, co-founder of Chances4Children replied to my post and explained that our creche has already been supplying the extra documents needed so we are not affected. But what I really liked reading in her post was about my boys.

Kathi wrote that she happend to be in Haiti when my boys had to go to MOI for their birthparent interviews and that the interviews went "Very well." She also said that both boys looked so cute in their dress-up clothes waiting to head into town. My anniversary is in 2 days and she is so unaware that her few words totally and completely made my day, week and anniversary so wonderful.

Now a shout out to everyone in the adoption world. Do the kids have an interview also at MOI along with when the birthparents appear?? Regardless, I am so happy to know that my sweet boys are getting closer to coming home; and then the chaos starts..........which I can't wait for!!

Friday, November 21, 2008

A flippin' miracle in Montana

I am draggin my self off of my self-imposed sick bed, to announce to the world that Nate and Kristi and their little boy, Kobe Loudince are officially out of the black hole of IBESR!!!!!!!! They have spent a leisurely almost 10 months hanging out in the first of the Haitian legal departments responsible for processing our adoptions.

I know how they feel today, and I bet they will have a wonderful, wonderful weekend envisioning the day little Lou man comes home. Celebrate and enjoy yourselves..........the best is yet to come.

Now I am really mad

I hate being sick, and I am still sick. I haven't slept in two nights and I am not a very pleasant person to be around right now. I haven't taught school since Monday and the kids are really in need of a routine. I look so horrible with puffy eyes, red nose, and breathing through my mouth, that I can't even look at myself in the mirror. I also have missed my last two hair appointments, and now am scrambling trying to get in before Thanksgiving.

My roots are growing out so much that I look like a cheap, old, two-toned car. You know, one color on top and one on the bottom. YUCK!! Right now, getting in to Tammy and having my hair cut and colored before Thanksgiving is worth any amount of money. I just may have to bribe her with a nice bottle of wine while she does my hair. Just for the record, I have come to realize that I get the BEST haircuts when the stylist is drinking wine. Go figure.

The house is in an even worse state of disarray. Yesterday afternoon, Madi and Thomas were screaming at each other because of the way Thomas was sitting on the couch. I don't know why, but Thomas likes to sit on the couch upside down and watch tv. It reminds me of the old tv show, Mork and Mindy. Mork (Robin Williams) was an alien and he always sat on his head. I know Thomas has never seen a re-run of this show, so I just have to think it is something weird he discovered on his own. Anyhow, the kids are crabby, the house is gross, I look like hell, and we still get the pleasure of putting up the Christmas lights this weekend. That always involves a nasty argument and in some sick, perverse way, I look forward to it.

Oh, and our 18th wedding anniversary is on Nov. 24. Marc and I were supposed to go out on a date this weekend, but not with the way I look right now, and my hideous hair. Maybe he can pick up some Carino's to go and we'll eat it in long as the kids are at Jan's house overnight!!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Everything has gone to hell because I have a cold

Madison was kind enough to share her cold/flu with me. She is still sick with it, but when she first came down with it, she spent 3 days lying on the couch with kleenex, cough drops and the remote. Now she has seen fit to share her plague with me and I am still up moving around.

The kids had basketball yesterday, ice skating today and Madi has another activity tonight for two hours. I still have to feed the animals, oh, and try to do homeschooling. Since my voice has left me, I did not do school yesterday and today isn't looking so great either for school. My puppies barked all night long, so much so that it even annoyed Pebbles and Chowders. Pebbles had gas all night which is never good since she sleeps under our bed. The green fog apparantly seeps upward thru mattress and bedding until it wakes us from a sound sleep. Chowder woke us up to go outside and vomit and I continued to lie there coughing and choking on the phlegm. Marc was a good sport last night, and got up to feed the puppies, change piddle pads and take Chowder out. Pebbles barfed sometime around 4AM and as we lept from the bed to try and drag her to our bathroom and onto an easy-to-clean floor, she barfed right in the doorway to our bathroom. So I grabbed the nearest thing to scoop the barf up with and it was unfortunately Marc's pants. OOPS!!

The whole point to my story is that, when my normal routine is off, suchas having a cold and not doing school, the whole house, including animals all falls to hell. My house is a disgusting germ infested abode that needs a serious scrubbing. I now have to scrub floors, bathrooms, kitchen, doorknobs, lightswitches, remote, kitchen drawer pulls, etc. I hate seeing stuff lying around and for a couple days now, I have just walked over or around it. But it is seriously causing me distress. I ventured downstairs and was horrified to see that the kids had left the bar area a total wreck. That sink is full of empty pop cans, and bowls from having contraband ice cream. They moved ALL the furniture around to make a blanket tent and I swear it is bigger than Marc's first apartment. They rearranged the bar fridge and pushed my diet coke to the back which really pissed me off. I know, illogical, but I do feel crappy and when I feel crappy, the kids go WILD.

So I just had to rant and rave that I hate having a cold and I hate having a trashed out house. On the up side though, Marc did bring me home a dozen roses yesterday because he knew I had a rough day. Now if he really felt like getting me something to cheer me up, he should have gotten me the matching necklace to my earrings at Tiffany and Co. HINT HINT

Monday, November 17, 2008

Yelling must be a cultural thing

I am totally swipping this idea from another gals blog,, but since I have no shame, I am going to continue the discussion she brought up. Her comment was that most mothers admit to yelling/hollering at their kids especially preschool aged children. I am not super proud to admit that I yell at my kids, but I am only human.

Let me back up a little here on this great topic of why I admit to yelling at my kids. First I would like to state for the record that I do not randomly yell at my kids just because I am bored, but it is usually precipitated by my child/children doing something utterly stupid and dangerous...or publicly embarassing that will cause me to yell at them later in private. My mother was Irish and my Father was of German heritage. These two cultures are diametrically opposed in areas of verbosity. My mom was always very verbal and never lacked for a reason to talk or to yell at us kids. Until very recently in my adult life, I believed that yelling was a normal occurence in the Irish culture. All our cousins had mother's that yelled and our houses were naturally loud. My father was very quiet and only spoke when it served a specific purpose. Yelling was an unnecessary noise that served little purpose. We always knew my dad was mad because he just very quietly and deliberatly left the room. You were forced to stand there in your own silence and inevitable shame.

Most of the cousins were Irish and the other side was Italian. I just grew up in a house where yelling was a normal, daily occurrence. Now don't get me wrong. The yelling was not always in anger, heck most of the time, it was just how thoughts and emotions were expressed. I never knew it was unusual or something in which to be alarmed. But the first time Marc ever met my Aunt Joan's family and her kids, he ended up with heartburn, a headache and a twitch in his eye, all before desert. The dinner table was surrounded by at least 20 family members, to include the two Irish mothers and the two German fathers. Chaos normally ensued, but Marc had never been to a family get-together where everyone talks at the same time, kids are whinning, and the grown-ups are loudly talking and laughing....even with people at the other end of the table. Seriously, Marc got dizzy trying to keep up with all the different conversations. This was just normal life. Loud discussions, interspersed with an occasional shout from a frustrated mother.

It wasn't until I first had dinner at Marc's parent's house that I realized how different our families were. His family had a large gathering of relatives around the table and yet, no one spoke until another conversation had ended. There were no raucous discussions, no mothers yelling at their kids to sit down and eat, and no good belly laughs. His family was very reserved and composed. Now this is where I got a headache and a twitch in my eye. To me this type of family dinner was straight up WEIRD. How can anyone show love to someone else if they aren't being loud and shouting?? I still to this day, just can't believe that anyone in his family is having fun at these dinners if it is deathly quiet. For God's sake it is like eating dinner with professional mourners!!

So very long story short, I totally get the hollering at the kids thing and not thinking it is necessarily detrimental to their future mental health. My mom never yelled demeaning things at us and I don't do that when I yell either, but I do occasionally blurt out a "What the hell did you do that for?" I like to labor under the delusion that my sisters and I are some where on the spectrum of normalcy despite our mother yelling at us. So in defence of hollering at our 'young'ns, I think the two that I have raised since the moment of their birth are somewhat normal and well-adjusted. How ironic that on our first adoption homestudy 11 years ago, one of the questions asked was what one trait of your parents' child-rearing style would you be most likely to reject...........................and I wrote....................yelling!!! HAHAHAHAHA Life has a funny way of biting you in the butt. Even though my mom and my aunt Joan are now gone, they still live on in me everyday when I open my mouth and yell at my kids, "If you don't come inside and eat now,I am eating the rest of your Halloween Candy." Jokes on them. I finished it off last weekend!!

A parting shot to contemplate. My mom passed away on October, 17, 2007. Last Friday I received in the mail..............her stimulus check!! I don't know how stimulated it will make her in the great beyond!! Just what every deceased person needs is $ that makes everything right!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

cheap laughs

Does anyone else enjoy people watching?? Sometimes I have to suppress my laughter when I am at the store, mall, airport or any public place at the things people will do and wear by choice.

I would like to know what would cause someone to be so desperate for groceries, that they venture to Super Walmart in their pajamas in the middle of the day?? Not that anyone should go grocery shopping in their PJ's regardless of the hour of the day. What would cause my MIL and FIL to travel from Oregon to North Dakota with their passports......tied around their necks?? Why do some women at Walmart wear gross, old, dirt slippers to the store?? Why do some "big-boned" gals insist on wearing tight pants and shirts that show every fat roll on their body??

And this is another curious thought. Does Walmart really sell such high-end perfume that it has to be behind a locked glass door? Are the women driving in from the farms with their blue eye-shadowed daughter's just dying to get ahold of some 'designer' knock-off Elizabeth Taylor White Diamond's perfume?? What could be of such value that Walmart must lock it up?

And one of of my personal pet peeves.......I understand people traveling on a red-eye flight with children in their jammies or comfy clothes, but why do adults insist on wearing what I wouldn't be caught going to the garbage can in?? And on that same line of thought......why bring your own pillow, tucked under your arm, in plain view with a dingy, dirty pillowcase!! YUCK

With the Christmas shopping season now upon us, I am sure that I will have more than enough freaks to view at our local shopping establishments. But I do admit my personal favorite place to people watch remains the airport. I love to watch families fighting, screaming children, and the general sense of anger that everyone seems to carry along as well as their luggage.

The last time Marc and I went to Haiti, we played a fun game while waiting in line at all the airports we had to pass thru. It was packed as usual and people are standing too close to me for comfort, you know, personal space!! Marc was right behind me and as we stood in the lines that snake around and around, so that people are to your left and right, Marc blurts out, "So, what did you tell your husband??" Heads snapped around and I immediately got on board with this fun, new game. I replied, "I told him the same thing you told your wife." I loved the dirty way it made me feel and people couldn't stop looking at us. Now that was fun. Next time we do it, we are going to make sure that we have all 4 of our black kids with us. Now there's something to gossip about.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Happier thoughts

Wow, yesterday's post was a downer!! Although it was all true, the reality of it was still super depressing. I have not spoken to the neighbors today to see how they are feeling since the death of their horse, but I would imagine they are still pretty sad.

In light of my black, gloomy, post of yesterday, I thought I would post some cute pics of Madison and Thomas just having fun with the horses. No horse show stress or wardrobe dilemmas; just fun times with kids and horses at home. Sometime though, I will have to post pictures of Madison and Thomas collecting their awards at AQHA shows. Madi always acts like it is no big deal and Thomas is just the opposite. He wants everyone to take notice of his accomplishments.

But today is to honor the treasured relationship between people and horses. Our oldest horse, Josh, is a handsome, regal 21 year old Arabian. He still knows he is hot stuff, but he takes care of my kids. He is a four-legged babysitter and although he is aging, you can still see the majestic and proud Arab that he was and still embodies. Our Arab mare, Lucki, is a wonderful example of hot-blooded, raring to go, show off horse. She has a sweet heart, but a will of iron and I trust her implicitly with Madison only. She loves Madi and when they had a nasty spill two summers ago, Lucki waited beside Madi until she got up and took ahold of the reins.

Our Quarter horses have very different personalities than do our Arabs. They are more willing to please and not as tempermental, but still take care of us. My horse Tommy is a world class reiner that came to us from a breeder in Texas. I had a bad riding accident as a child and it took me well into my adult years to go back to riding. When I found Tommy at a show in Oregon, I fell in love. Little did I know that Marc and our friend and trainer, Terri, brokered the deal and bought him for me. He has restored my confidence in myself and taught me to trust the horse again. Now Madison rides him in the Quarter Horse and Reining shows and is kicking some serious ass against the much older kids. Marc's mare, Hondo just produced a beautiful filly that we hope will become a world class reiner in 3-4 years. Our mini's are just are pets that the kids goof around on and have a lot of fun. I love all my horses and their personalities are as unique and different as people.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Too much realism

My four little mini Shetland ponies
Yesterday I spent 6 or more hours with my neighbor Jan over at the other neighbors house helping them deal with one of their injured horses. Seems that one of their horses fell on the ice and snow and either fractured its pelvis or severely damaged the supporting ligaments in the hip socket. Either way, the horse couldn't get up and we had to roll the horse frequently and try to keep it warm with blankets as the windchill was just about zero.

The vet came out last evening and thought it would be worth it to give the horse a day to see if it could get it's legs under her and stand on her own. She did manage to get up twice, but it became abundantly clear that there was something very wrong and her rear legs were not functioning as they should. But about two hours ago the horse fell with its legs in the froggy position. Definetly not a viable position for a horse. Three of us managed to lift her back end and tuck a leg under her so that we could roll her onto her side. After getting her more comfortable, we could see her hip was out of socket and it appears as if she broke the left side of her pelvis. She was grinding her teeth and grunting in pain. It was a horrible, horrible sight. No vet could get out here within several hours, so it was up to the neighbor to have to put the horse down and out of agony by shooting her.

I have never had to witness this before. I have had dogs humanely put down at the vets with medication that stops the heart, but I have never had to hear the sound of the moment of death. Yes, it was the right thing to do and the most humane, but it was brutally real. We have 9 horses and this is my worst nightmare. I pray that I will never have to do this with one of our horses because it would be like shooting a member of your family that you love. To watch an animal suffer is a miserable thing in which to bear witness. They are incapable of expressing in words what hurts, but their eyes express plenty of emotion.

I am very grateful to our good neighbors who we all must count on for help in times of trouble. Friends are family that we meet along the way and I am sure glad that I have such good friends who just happen to be my neighbors.

Since today just happend to be Veteran's Day, Marc had the pleasure of being home to help out with all this realism. Yes, animals are an intergal part of our lives, and I would not want change our lifestyle and not have animals, but having to make these decisions are just plain awful.

Now, to my good friend Tifanni, try to top that day!! I call her Lucy and I am Ethel for all the escapades we have faced and the unfortunate luck that seems to happen around us. I am now enjoying another Corona and hoping that tomorrow can just be a normal day.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Yummy idea for Christmas gifts for people you like a lot

Since moving to North Dakota, we have met some of the most sincere and kindest people around. A lot of our friends have come thru contacts in the horse world, particularly the American Quarter Horse Association.

One such couple are Mark and Sonja Stromswold. They live a little north of us, near the Canadian border in a small town named Mohall. Nice, nice, people, but Sonja has a super sweet side to her.....namely her ability to bake FABULOUS treats. She has quite a reputation in these parts for her baking skills and ability to produce outstanding delicacies. So I am planning on ordering a lot of treats from Sonja's online site to send to family and friends for Christmas.

Check out her website at . I promise you will not be disappointed and after you have tried some of her Scandinavian specialties, you will always want more!! These treats are truly a hidden treasure from North Dakota.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

odds and ends

Carlos and Gucci

Carlos and Gucci escaping from the snowcave

Pebbles and Chowder

Madi as a pirate wench

I was looking thru some out-take photos that April and Beth just took on their last trip to the creche. I actually think they are just as good as the photos that we got as our monthly update pictures. I loved some of Jerome acting silly and Richnightder, looking the part of big brother, eye-rolling at his antics.

I am also posting some pictures of yesterday's blizzard and the fun things the kids did with all the snow. Marc helped them dig snow caves and even added built-in seats in the caves. They really were neat caves and the cool thing about them is that they really do protect you from the weather and they are ultra quiet inside. Marc and I met up in one of the caves when we had told the kids we were going to the barn to feed the horses. Actually thought we would have a moment to make-out, but Thomas burst in on us with a loud "Gross." Geez, with all the snow clothes on, it's not like we could actually "DO" something.

Also added a picture of Madison on Halloween dressed as a sassy pirate wench. She is growing up way too fast!! I also added some pics of my cute little puppies and of Pebbles, our Rottweiler and Chowder our Chow Chow.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

It's beginning to look a lot like winter

You know the weather is bad in your area, when the anchorman from The Weather Channel shows up to do live reports.

It started to rain very hard last evening and quickly turned to freezing rain. Then oddly, it began to lightning and thunder. At the same time, it began to sleet and then turned to snow. It is now a raging blizzard outside with 50mph winds and almost zero visibility. Marc is slowly making his way home on the backroads as the highways are glazed over and they are getting close to closing the major roads.

All this snow makes me want to slip away to something tropical and blessed by warm ocean breezes. I also picture in my fantasy, a very handsome, dark-skinned cabana boy and an endless supply of Long Island Iced Teas. Ideally, my island fantasy will not require me to take anti-malarial medicine; those are nasty tasting and have unpleasant side-effects. 'Nuf said!

Fantasies are wonderful things. I often picture myself escaping from my children and not leaving a forwarding address. But then reality bites me back into conciousness and I realize that I am soon to be the mother to 4, count 'em 4 kids. in the hell did that happen?? I had better find a reliable escape mechanism before the new boys are home or I will be a real loon.
The above picture is of Marc and the neighbor clearing our driveway. What a beautiful North Dakota Autumn day.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


Obviously I am thrilled that barack Obama has been voted as our President Elect. I saw the eyes of the American people last night, yearning with hope and triumph. This is a moment of infamy!

I did not vote for Obama because he was black. I voted for him because I saw the desire to bring hope to our country. Hope to the people who have seen their dreams and their hopes for their children slowly ebb away from reality. I do believe that Obama can and will inspire all Americans to do what they can for our country. I do believe that he will have daunting challenges, successes and failures and I do believe he will lead our country to a new-found standing of importance and respect on a global scale.

As the mother of four black children, I am overwhelmed with joy and hope that my children will now be able to say that although they have studied segregation, they have also witnessed the culmination of perserverance and determination to overcome injustice. Yes, racism still exists, sometimes subtly and sometimes quietly, but perhaps those clutching to their ingrained fallacies, will now begins to see things thru different eyes. I believe the best days of America are still ahead of us. That responsibility does not lie soley with Obama, but with the millions of Americans who must take responsibility for our destiny. Millions have voted and now our future is in our hands and Obama's respectful vision of America; one of hope, success, independence, and unlimited possibilities.

Sunday, November 2, 2008


I'm bored and getting sad. I have heard our unusually warm fall is about to end next week. That means a return to parkas, hat, gloves, etc. I even heard the weatherman say the 'S' word...snow!! Marc put up some snow fencing today to keep it from piling up in between the barns. UGH I am not ready for winter yet.

The feeling of being in MOI has not worn off yet. It is a nice feeling to think that we are getting close to the end, relatively speaking. I know once it gets back to the USCIS offices, Marc will have a little 'pull' as he has lots of contacts. He has also spent a great deal of time at the Senators' offices and our Representatives office making contacts that will help when it gets to the embassy. Not like it is hard to do as he works right across the hall from their offices. Marc told me they have had some nice talks in the men's room. Right now, I don't real care where the schmooze happens as long as it helps get our kids file to the top of the pile in PaP. But bearing in mind that I have the luck of the Irish, we may just spend a few years in USCIS. Who really knows if anything will help, all you can do is try.

With the coming of winter weather knocking on our imminent door, I thought I would post a picture of Marc and me with our friends from last winter's cruise. We had an outstanding time and it was wonderful to be together, sans kids. Gee, maybe I should start planning another trip soon. Our 18th wedding anniversary is Nov. 24th. Yes, Marc married me when I was only 10!!!!! ;)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Richnightder and Jerome are legally ours!!

We just got home, turned on the computer and saw email from Vicki. It was outstanding news. She told us that as of October 23, we are in MOI. This means that the boys are legally ours. This day will only be topped when we are flying out of Port-au-Prince and bringing them home FOREVER!! It is getting closer and maybe, just maybe, they will be home in February or March.

This is the last legal step of the Haitian adoption process. After this it goes back to the U.S. side of things for final authentication. Hopefully, Richnightder's DNA tests have been done and the U.S. side of things will move quickly and smoothly. This is where we need the prayers. We are on cloud nine now and I am going to go celbrate with a big bag of Halloween candy. CHEERS!!

Thomas and the crazy things he says

Last night Marc was out ridding our world of yucky drug dealers. But the reason I mention this is that I was really craving Applebee's crispy orange chicken bowl and he was going to pick up curbside-to-go for dinner. Well, as fate would have it, Marc was not heading home until almost midnight. I had given up hope at about 8PM and fed the kids, Mac and cheese and fudge. Yes, I know a well balanced dinner. I had graham crackers in the hopes that Marc would still be able to pick something up for the two of us, but as it got later and later, I despaired.

Finally at 11:45Pm he calls and says they take phone orders till midnight!!WOOHOO. So even though he had just had a night of fun with scuzzy drug dealers, he still stopped and picked up our super yummy Applebee's dinners. Isn't he the absolute best husband EVER!! And no, I am not craving food because I am pregnant!! Marc had a vasectomy 2 1/2 years ago and he still feels pretty macho having done that.

Thomas never sleeps. As Marc and I ate on the couches in the family room last night at 12:45AM, Thomas wanders out of his room and comments on us eating delicous smelling food. We shuffled him back to bed and I was grazing on left overs in the kitchen this morning when he got up. He looks at me and says, " Are you still eating?" What does he think? That I am awake all night eating? I told him I actually took a break to sleep for a few hours, and then resumed my grazing. Sadly, he just shrugged his shoulders and walked away.

Am I twisting him up that badly with my sarcastic sense of humor? Only time will tell. I guess if I discover he is trying to reach the Dr. Phil show, I will have my answer.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Latest pictures of Jerome and Richnightder

The most recent trip to the creche has just returned home to the states and we have gobs of new photos of the boys, courtesy of a couple families.

Beth took Richnightder's birthday present to him for us, and April took some great pictures of him opening it and a tear-jerker video of the traveling families singing "Happy Birthday" to him. Of course I cried watching it, thanks April, but it is so wonderful to know that the other visiting adopting families treat everyone else child at the creche as a member of their extended family. In actuality, our kids at the Creche are living like a large family, somewhat like the Duggars, and when they eventually do make their ways home to us here in North America, it is important to me that they stay in touch with their creche family. I am sooo appreciative of the love, hugs and kisses that everyone shares with all the kids. It makes those of us at home feel warm inside even though we are insanely jealous that we are not there ourselves.

So tonight I thought I would post a picture of my stunningly handsome boys who are getting closer and closer to make it home to us. Beth, April, Jennifer and Laura, I raise my Corona to you in appreciation of the fantastic pictures. Gulp, gulp, gulp........aaaahhh, that was tasty and it only would have tasted better had I popped that open at the dining room table in the creche. P.S....Did Antoine do any late night runs into Croix de Bouquet for 'beverages'???

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Happy Birthday, Kathy!!

My slightly(HA) older sister is another whole year older today. I won't announce her age as I am unsure if she has told her new husband the truth. That and the fact that she is 10 years older than I am which would make me a bona fide 40's something. But as all my friends and I have discussed, 40 is the new 30 and damn, I was good in my thirties!!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY KATHY.....OOPS, I MEAN, KATHLEEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! My entire life, I have called her Kathy or Kath. But to the outside world, she has always been, Kathleen. Don't take me wrong, kathleen is much more refined and grown-up sounding than Kath, but she is and always be, my Kathy. The one who made me sit on the floor of the pickup at the A&W while she met guys. The one who told me when I went to bed at night that mom and dad were paid to take care of me and that someday when I woke up, they would be gone. The same Kath that locked me in the rabbit hutch when she was supposed to be babysitting because a boyfriend called her up for a date. AAAAHH, the fond memories of loving sisters. Thank God, I turned out normal despite her. Who would think that now I actually kind of like her......well maybe I even love her a little.

So here's to you big sister! In honor of you today, I have put on my nice clothes, my new Stuart Weitzman pumps and my Burberry handbag and am heading into town for a nice afternoon of shopping at.......(walmart)!!! Schocking horror of horrors, what a waste of perfectly good high end products. If you were here with me, I could drag you to Walmart too for a fun, down home, Joe Six-pack kind of afternoon. HAHAHAHAHAHA Thank God we are Democrats and not linked to Palin.

Oh, I thought I would post a picture of my neice or neices, Kathy's two daughters and Kathy's new grandson, Conor. I may be partial, but they are all gorgeous.

No adoption news yet. I am hoping to find out that we are legally their parents, out of 2nd legal and into MOI. Keep your fingers and toes crossed.

Tifanni, the coconut top went out in the mail today. I hope Mike enjoys it as much as Marc did!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

It's just us now

When I was a little girl, I always had so much fun listening to my mom and her friends talking and laughing at the kitchen table. Usually they had a bottle of wine, or during the colder months, mai tai's. Nonetheless, I was usually surrounded by all of their kids and we had a great time goofing around. But what I remember the most, was hearing my mom and the other women laughing. My brain can still recall the sound of my mom throwing back her head and letting out a heck of belly laugh. For the most part, our kitchen was always full of my mom's friends and their kids. It was safe, predictable and now provides me with my warmest childhood memories.

My mom passed away a year ago on the 17th of October. She would have been 75 years old on October 22, but sadly slipped just short of reaching that day. She passed away from Alzheimers which is a terrible, nasty disease that steals the personality right out from under their feet. She was a feisty woman; Irish Catholic, and her favorite saying was "My feet are always pointed towards the door." She was never one to let a good time go by without her, and yet that is what the disease stole from all of us. When she passed away, she was in chronic pain that she was unable to articulate, and panicked all the time. She lost her sense of kindness and acceptance. My mom became highly irritable and at the same time, a hopeless flirt. It did seem to send her sex drive into overdrive.

There are funny things about the disease, but only now are they somewhat laughable. She developed an eating disorder and was terrified of being overweight. She was always a skinny-minnie, but feared food making her fat. She flirted with other dementia patients who were blissfully unaware of her come-ons. SHe wouldn't rest until my sister took her to the mall and bought her an I-pex bra from Victoria's Secret. She wanted her boobs to be pushed up and look sassy for the men.

What I am most grateful for although I was not with her when she died, was that she got to see a picture of Richnightder and Jerome. She spoke to their pictures as if they were real and there in person. She stroked their faces and told them, "Nana loves you." I think she knew then that she would never see them in person here on this earth, but I know that she is with them in Haiti watching over them everyday. She loved children and my mom would have been thrilled to be able to bake cookies for the boys.

What gets me these days, is that my sisters, Nancy, Kathleen, and I are now the OLDER generation. All the kids I grew up with have lost parents and it is shocking to be hit with the realization that we are now the mature generation. My dad died on father's day in 2001 and I have officially been an orphan for a year now. It is odd to feel that way even though I have a terrific husband and wonderful kids, but the reality is that I am parentless and my generational status has moved up the ladder. I still feel like I am 25 and God knows I act like it most days, but to think that my sisters and I are all that is left of my parents (besides our offspring) catches you and pulls you up short sometimes. So my sisters and I raise a toast to all of you kids, and warn you to watch out, because will be it too!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Madison the wonder girl

Now everyone knows by now that I homeschool the kids and sometimes, there is a very real thing of too much togetherness. Yesterday was one of those days.

My friend and neighbor, Jan was feeling sick and asked if I would mind picking her up some 7-Up and other things for a queasy tummy. Sure. It gave me a reason to get out of the house and separate the bickering kids and tormented mom. Madison joined me at the store and Thomas was left home alone(for the 2nd time ever) with strict know the standard drill. Off to the store we go and reurn in an hour and a half. I dropped the stuff off at Jan's and she told me that she had seen a car at my house while I was gone. She called and Thomas told her it was the religious women. ???? When I questioned Thomas, he said the Jesus people came to share the word with us and he told her I wasn't home, but she still read the bible to him. Give me a break! Are the Jehovah Witnesses so hard up for new members that they felt it prudent to preach to a child home alone? And yes, we did have a nice long chat with Thomas about answering the door when he is home alone.

Yesterday morning, before the Jehovah Witness lady showed up, Pebbles our Rottweiler barfed all over the front steps. I mean it was projectile vomit and she got all the front steps sprayed with undigested food. The religious woman, had to tip-toe around the barf to even get to the front door and she ended up stepping in it. She told Thomas that she had to go home now and wash off her shoes!!!! YEAH. So the moral of this story is to always keep fresh dog barf on your front makes it difficult for the zealots to ring your bell.

Madison is trying to earn the privilege of having a Halloween party with some of her homeschool friends. She would like to have 10 girls over to our house to bake treats and then eat them all up while watching scary movies. Sounds great to me, but one caveat! She must be polite, and respectul to us as a way of demonstrating she is trying to be nice MOST of the time. This morning she got up and went outside to feed and water the horses, change the puppy piddle pads, and made us a hot fresh pot of coffee. All I can guess, is that she really wants to have that party.

And one more thing, Marc would like everyone to know that he has been busy this morning cleaning the house and doing laundry. Now I have told the world what he wanted me to. He is laboring under the assumption that by doing the domestic chores I no longer have time to do as I am homeschooling, he is going to get lucky on a much more regular basis. Actually, I do find it sexy when he is swiffering the floors. Now that he is busy doing grunt work, I am going to run outside and catch a quick ride on my horse. The weather is outstanding today and it just might be our last 70 degree day for many months.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Richnightder is 6 years old October 14th.

It is utterly inconceivable that one of my sweet, handsome bright boys will be 6 years old tomorrow, Oct. 14th 2008. I am so sad that another birthday will pass without him here at home with his family. A peice of my heart is left in Haiti and I only wish that my little fellow could understand just how much he is loved and the hole that is left in our hearts without him with us.

To you, my beautiful Richnightder, a hope and a prayer that you feel our love across the ocean and will always know how much you are treasured by your mom and dad. You have so many wonderful and unique gifts to share with this world, that I just know God has something special planned for you.

A special thank you to Beth for taking Richnightder his birthday gift on the next trip to the creche next Monday. Make sure you whisper in his ear that his mom and dad love him more than he could ever imagine.

Friday, October 10, 2008

of course I can't drive a tractor and other stupid questions

There are some weeks I realize you just shouldn't get out of bed. The roofers came and I have been joking that being such sharp-dressed men and looking so well rounded, that they are probably all on work release from jail. Well, gee I was right. Yesterday I was outside with one of our horses at about 8:30 AM because she had spent the previous evening at the vets due to colic, when the roofers began to arrive. One shouted loudly to the other guy about how he was enjoying his "vacation." The guy responded with, "Well, they only give you a snack if you are out all day and then you have to be up and out by 7:30AM. Who would have thought that part-time jail was so inconvenient?

So having solved the not to difficult mystery of whether or not the roofers were convicts, I tried to squeeze in a little education for the kids while nursing the still under-the- weather pony. Lolly doesn't seem to want to drink water right now, which is not uncommon due to our first major seasonal change of cold and snow. She has a small impaction in her pelvic flexion which is just fancy talk for "Hey, my stupid pony didn't consume enough water and all the hay dried out in her intestines and stopped moving thru to the exit." Every couple hours I mix up a lovely batch of dried beet pulp, lots of salt, water and corn syrup and slop it out to Lolly. She begrudgingly eats it as we are with holding hay until she starts to poop normal turds and not dried up goat turds. My whole life seems to revolve around crap. HMMM, a trend here??

In the midst of listening to heavy metal rock from my roof, the constant checking on the horse and school, I get a phone call from LeRoy advising me that our new pre-fab barn is soon to be delivered. I told LeRoy that Thursday was the only day Marc could not be home to help with the siting of the barn and was tied up at work. Well the barn was about 30 minutes away and was going to be delivered! Up drives a semi hauling our pre-fab barn which is all steel framed and 15x30 ft. LeRoy meets me out back and tells me all I have to do is get on our tractor and using the chains and grapples drag the barn off the skids as he drives the semi forward. WHAT!! Seriously, I was panicking. I don't want the barn ruined and I sure as hell can't drive the tractor so I imposed on the driver, LeRoy to do it all by himself. I did lend moral support and stood around outside watching the action when I noticed the roofers waving at me. Kind of weird, but I waved back and thought they were just enjoying the fiasco with the barn. LeRoy jumps of the tractor and jogs to the house and I was thinking he was just running away, when in fact, the roofers ladder had fallen and they couldn't get down. Yeah, there I was waving at them when they weren't being friendly, just needing the get back on the ground. Can you only imagine what they were saying about the dumb blond out back waving at them??

LeRoy completes his job without any catastrophes and got the heck out of our place. I grabbed the kids, loaded them to go to homeschool gym (football) and the guy doing our siding drives in. So I had to stand around and discuss which product to put up on the house. At this point I really don't care; just put something up that doesn't have holes and isn't pea green. We made it to football and Thomas gets hit straight in the face with the ball and then gets a direct hit in the nuts. He whinned and cried on the way home until I found the snicker bars and he felt much better.

I fed the horse again, took the puppies out and Marc got home with Pebbles and Chowder who had been at doggy daycare. Both neighbors came over and Michelle brought Steph and Bryon and all of the kids ended up inside eating my hidden stash of halloween candy. Now I was pissed.
But the real topper of the day was that the roofers had to lift our satellite dishes and couldn;t get them put back correctly so I had NO TV OR INTERNET!!!! Finally at 7pm tonight, the DISH guy came out to align our dishes and voila' we are out of the dark ages.

Marc is gone picking Madi up from a birhtday party conveniently located in bismarck a mere 50 miles round trip. She has made a lot of neat friends from homeschool and I don;t care what it takes to keep her active with a nice group of kids. And some of the moms like to drink, so that is a plus for me.

All I know, is that life really does come at you fast. It works for me to stand there and act stupid and blond and somebody usually picks up the peices for you. Lame, but true. Oh, and our boys updates finally came and it says we are being preparation for MOI. It is getting closer, which is hard to believe. Keep your fingers crossed as we are hoping February or March they may actually be home with us.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

No updates yet

I have been following other people's blogs who are adopting from our creche, and they all seem to have gotten their updates and pictures, but not us. A lot of the families are excited because their updates have noted progress thru the system, especially for those of us stuck in 2nd legal. I am anxious to get out update to see if we have completed the third leg of second legal and are heading into the home stretch of MOI. I know we haven't been in second legal very long; only arrived there on August 13th, but am hoping that we have a speedy trip thru it, since we spent an exceptionally long time in IBESR.

So to occupy my time, I thought I would post a picture or two from today of the two new puppies, Gucci and Carlos. They are 9 weeks old and have been home 6 days now and are oh, so much fun. Gucci likes to chew on the baseboard molding and Carlos is a major food piggy. Pebbles, our Rottweiler is very gentle and patient with the puppies and poor old Chowder, just can't believe they are here to stay. He just gives them a quick sniff and motors on his way.

Pebbles and Chowder are at doggy day care today. Why you ask?? Well our second new roof since June is being put on and the dogs go crackers hearing the ripping and tearing on the roof. So to save my sanity and theirs, they are spending a couple days at the local dog day spa and living it up.

And just for laughs, I received my THIRD jury summons since June. Incredible and unbelievable. I have called the Clerk of the Court and explained that I have been called 3 times, not been deffered and had been excused from the last session. I would think this would be clear to a woman whose job entails putting together jury pools, but she could not understand why I was asking to be excused since I had not been seated on a jury. what a flippin' idiot. As I very patiently went over the reasons why....which are actually blatantly clear....she got so upset with me that SHE hung up on me. Yes, the Clerk of the Court, hung up on me. Mind you, I was calm, polite, perhaps a bit frustrated, but never raised my voice nor said anything demeaning. Heck, the kids were in the car with me when I phoned and can attest that I was pretty cool, given the idiot I was dealing with. Now I am composing a biting letter to her supervisor who is a judge that Marc just happens to know professionally. I sure hope this woman gets her hand slapped for being so unprofessional and just plain old rude.

I am now done complaining for at least the next 20 minutes. Well, maybe not. Seems the roofers did not return today as it is very windy and I guess that could cause possible bodily injury.....wimps! But they left tools, open sacks of shingles, extension cords, etc., on the roof, all of which have blown off in our little wind storm. The noise is charming as you hear things scutter across the roof, and then silence until it hits the driveway. Ah, my glorious life. Now the house looks officially trashy with debris lying everywhere. Hopefully it will all blow away to Minnesota!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Palin want a cracker??????

Is she for real? At this point I would be more likely to vote for Tina Fay than Sarah Palin. Give me a break! All I saw last night was a woman who has shown who she really is; in candid interviews with Katie Couric and last evenings obviously coached performance. She is no smarter than a parrot. She can remember key phrases and reguritate them, but not have any understanding of what she is saying. Scary for our country. I can't believe the U.S. population is so stupid to actually think that she has any fundamentally deep understanding of foreign policy, finance and terrorism. When I think of Sarah Palin, I think of a woman in the grocery store handing out samples and coupons for new products. She tells me how great the cookies taste, but can't tell me anything about what goes into them, how they are made, or where they came from.

So the next time my kids ask me a really tough question about our finances or maybe why Haiti is so geographically close to the USA and yet people are starving, I am going to pretend I am Sarah Palin and give them a wink, and tell them to ask "Joe Six-pack," to look up the answer. Palin want a cracker????

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Margaritas!! and a political diatribe

What is better than meeting new women and finding out you have a lot in common???? Finding out that they like gossiping over Margaritas too!!

I can't complain about our North Dakota weather right now. It is beautifully sunny and 74 fantastic degrees. Yippee

I warn you now, if you are a McCain supporter, turn away from my blog now. I am a HUGE Obama mama fan and shudder to think what will happen to our country if the likes of McCain and Palin are elected. First, I would expect the person who is occupying the highest office in our country to know how to send an email. Secondly, I would expect that he would have the brains to choose a next-in-line running mate to be completely competent on world affairs, current events, historical facts and the ins-and -outs of our financial markets and current crisis situation. Her lack of knowledge on many fronts frightens me for the welfare of our country. In the global arena of international politics the United States is a laughing stock. We have been since Bush was elected and then re-elected and our lack of standing in the global arena is shocking. Third, the man does not think quickly or effectively on his feet. I am all too familiar with the early signs of Alzheimer's and dementia and he sure seems to have some of those early, easily dismissable signs.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, save your arguments for some place else. This is my blog and I get to be the sole expressor of opinions here. Marc walked with the kids in a Harvest parade last weekend with the Obama group and people heckled the Obama group. One nut job even followed the group, pushing a baby in a stroller yelling that if Obama is elected, her baby would be dead. What?? Are you saying Obama wants your baby dead? No, Obama does want it to be every woman's choice to choose when it involves her body. So yes, there it is I am pro choice.

Now I do not advocate for abortion, but I do recognize that it is still legally every woman's right to choose. Yes I have four adopted children and have been blessed by the choices their birthmother's chose, which gave me the ability to be a mother. But what really twists my cork, is when women say that abortion should be illegal. What do those women think will happen to those babies who are born unwanted and often resented. Yes, we will go back to the days of glory(cough) in our great country when orphanages were a dime a dozen here. Children will be raised in institutions and as all of us adopting from oversees knows, that is less than ideal. I wish all those angry women who loudly protest abortion, would pony up the money, time, effort, and unconditional love to these "unwanted' children. Not everyone is cut out to adopt and love that child as if born to you. So I would like to say, "Hey, if you want to abolish abortion, stand outside an abortion clinc and offer that woman your home phone number, cash and show a substantial savings account for college, etc., and then be there for the delivery and take that newborn home to love endlessly for at least the rest of your earthly life." If you can't do that, then just shut up and let everyone make those tough gut check decisions for themselves.

Oh, and for the record Marc and I have no problem with gay marriage and think it is everyone's constitutional right to marry another human being that they happen to love. So if some of my conservative readers stop reading my blog, so be it, for this is tiny, itsy-bitsy bit of who I am. I love my kids, my husband, and yes, I love the God who made all of us in his image. So why if we are made in his image and likeness are some of you McCain supporters and other assorted politicos so damn condeming of others?

Thursday, September 25, 2008

pumpkin patch pictures

Well, the field trip to the pumpkin patch wasn't as horrible as I had expected. So I will never be mother of the year because I loathe field trips and all that goody goody crappola that goes with annual school events. Who would have thought that even homeschool kids and mom's still have the "fun" of field trips with a gazillion other kids. But I must say it wasn't as bad as I anticipated.

Yes, it was hot and the wasps were out, but the kids had a lot of fun and the other moms are as crazed as I am. We compared the joys(cough) and the struggles of homeschooling and it is always good to know that others are sharing in your trials and tribulations. They are a diverse group of moms and I really like a lot of them. You know when I went into this, I really thought I would be the only normal one and everyone else would have "compound hair" and long skirts. Boy have I been pleasantly suprised. Not one long skirt, freakish hairdo in the group. Yes, some are a little religious, but most are just like me.....moms trying to give their kids the best they can.

in memory of Java the bunny

Today we had a burial. Our dwarf bunny, Java, passed away last night. We got him from our horsetrainer terri's daughter Paige, 5 years ago and we have no idea how old he was when we got him or even when Paige bought him at an auction. For about a week now, I noticed the bunny was not as active and seemed to by lying down a lot sleeping. His appetite was alright and he even ate dinner last night, but seemed to have a problem staying awake to eat.

When we got home from taking Madison to Church last night, he was doing agonal breathing. The only reason I know this is that when my dad passed away, that is the type of breathing he was doing shortly before death. Oh my God, I cried like a baby last night. I know he was just a bunny, but he was awfully cute and super fun to play with. Anyhow, he passed away quickly and for that I am thankful.

Marc went out this morning and buried Java in our tree rows next to the horse pasture. The kids and I will make a grave marker and give the other 3 bunnies extra love now. God, I sound like a whack job talking about this bunny dying. It's funny that it always seems like when there is a death there is always a new life too and perhaps that it our new puppy Gucci. We will pick him up on October 6th and I can't wait!!

Today after homeschool gym, all the homeschoolers are going on a field trip to the pumpkin patch. I should have some great pics to post later as the weather is going to be outstanding today. Record highs of near 90. I will also pack some bug spray and anti-itch medicine as the wasps are REALLY out this week. Madi got stung last week at gym the moment she got out of the car and it is still itching her. Thursday the kids had just started playing soccer and the skies openend up and it poured and then the lightening and thunder came. Needless to say, I had to soaking wet kids to drag to the grocery store with me then. Thomas' shoes squeaked from the inside all the way thru the store. When we got home, he actually took off his shoes and held his shoes upside down so the water could drain out. Do other people have this kind of fun in their everyday lives??

Friday, September 19, 2008

I'm getting a Sheltie

Woohoo, I am mailing my check to the breeder today in South Dakota for a super cute little male puppy named Gucci. He is 6 weeks old and we will drive down to South Dakota October 6th to pick him up. I can't wait to smell his little puppy breath and have him lick my face. I think I need to go shopping for puppy things now.

Yesterday we got an update photo of Jerome. He is so handsome and he is growing up without me there to take care of him. He looks so much more 'boylike' now instead of preschooler. I just wish I could make time fly and get those boys home NOW.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

The things kids say

The other day, I had to take the kids into town for school pictures. All the homeschool kids were meeting at a photographers studio for this and we expected to see some of our new friends. The kids and I were one of the first people there and as I was filling out the form and choosing which package to buy, when another homeschool family walked in behind us.

What was said next mortified me. The other family happens to be of maybe east Indian or African descent. Anyhow, that is beside the point. They happen to have skin the color of Thomas and three beautiful kids. So Thomas blurts out loudly, "Hey Mom, look at what just walked in." As I turned around and saw this family I wanted to crawl under a rock and drink some arsenic, I was so embarrased. I mean at that point what could I say that would make it look like we aren't biggots. I guess it was a little helpful that my kids are black but it showed a tremendous amount of, shall we say, insensitivity. I acknowledged Thomas by saying "Yes, those are our new friends." Thomas then went on to talk to the kids and play with them. The mom is very nice and said nothing of the comment....Thank God.

But what would make my black son, say something like that? I asked him why he had said that when we had left and he told me he was happy to see other kids with the same color skin as his. WHEW, good to know, but I tried to explain how that comment maybe hurt by calling attention to them and by saying "what" just walked in instead of saying, "who." These are the times I want to put a sign on Thomas that reads, " I have a language processing disorder." It would be nice if everyone knew he interprets things differently and explains them unusually.

The joys of having minority children in a predominately white community!! Excitement at seeing "familiar" faces makes them giddy and the stupid stuff that comes out of their mouths' will surely make me want to run and hide. For all my dear friends about to embark on this new trans-racial adoption journey; get prepared, hang on and be prepared to be mortified by the things that our open and accepting children may say. EGADS!!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

A scholar and a dancer

I swiped the title of this posting from Vicki at Heritage who read our monthly updates before we did. The reports are pretty standard and state that the boys are both growing, eating and sleeping well. Richnightder is an outstanding student and "Asks searching questions during class." He reads and writes and is very attentive. Teacher John loves to have him class. Now for Jerome. Jerome is a very sweet boy who likes to play with everyone and enjoys doing puzzles. It also said he is paying attention to the teacher, but "Would prefer to be dancing."

Teacher John who writes these reports actually wrote in ours that Jeromes transition from the creche to our home will be smooth, but that perhaps we should enroll him in a dance school since he loves to dance soooooooooooooo much. Super! I have no problem with putting him in dance classes, but what I think is freakishly weird is that I now have two sons who are so very similar and yet are an ocean apart from each other.

Thomas was always getting busted in school for singing and dancing during class. Heck, he even got in trouble during the Christmas play because he was dancing on the risers during the songs. So how in the world do I end up with two boys who are both driven to dance and sing at slightly inappropriate times when neither of these children have been produced in my womb. I guess this truly means that these kids were meant for me by a higher power.

I am thinking that when Jerome and Richnightder come home I will have to teach school by wearing tap shoes, a feather boa, and sing show tunes. This could get interesting. Oh, and Tifanni, I will be mailing out this week the coconut top for Aurorra. I finally tore it away from Thomas who has enjoyed wearing it immensly since it was "rediscovered."

Our monthly report....that sounds like I am going to talk about my period, but I am not.....also showed that we are in Archives. I know we are in Second Legal right now, but if I am reading one of Vivian's old post correctly from the forum, then I think we are in the second step of Second Legal. Geez, can that sound anymore confusing?? I think our docs are now in the long phase of second legal where they need to get the actual archive documents and produce them for the judge. I think this is what happens and I hope ours won't be too bad since the docs were created and filed when the boys entered the creche, so hopefully they are in PaP. If anyone has any info on this topic, just let me know.

And I think I found a Sheltie breeder in South Dakota. She has a litter ready to go in a few weeks and I am waiting to find out if I can go and see them, maybe this weekend. Stay tuned.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

I want a Sheltie

When I was a little girl we had a Sheltie named Lina. She was a wonderful, sweet little dog and was very protective of me as a baby and toddler. When we moved to the farm, my mom would tell Lina to "Watch the baby!" and Lina would dutifully keep me confined to a small area of the yard. She had a litter of puppies when I was about 6 years old and we kept one of those puppies that I named Lassie. I know, how original but I was only 6. Lina died when I was 8 years old and Lassie was run over by the UPS man in our driveway when I was in 8th grade. I knew something was wrong when he wasn't waiting at the end of the driveway when I got off the school bus.

So fast forward 30 years and here I am looking to add to our family by adding a puppy to our chaos. Now we don't take adding pets lightly here. A pet is for life and it is our job to ensure it is healthy and kept safe from harm. But the point I am trying to make is that there really is no rhyme or reason to my madness of wanting another animal at this point in our life. All I know is that I am searching for a reputable and ethical breeder of Shelties somewhere in the upper Midwest.

Pebbles, our Rottweiler is a very friendly dog and won't mind having a new addition and Chowder, our Chow Chow mix is friendly too, albeit a little whacked. See, Chowder has separation anxiety and has to take Prozac everyday to help him from becoming so panicky that he bangs his head into the wall until he is unconscious. Yes, he is high maintenance. We took him to a doggy psychologist in Portland who told us that our dog was clinically depressed and suicidal. NO JOKE. How bad can life be in our house if the dog is trying to kill himself? So that is why he takes Prozac everyday. Bad part about that is that I have to go to CVS pharmacy to fill the prescription and when I pick it up, they always ask for the patients name and when I say Chowder, they look at me all weird. I tell them it is my dog, which usually gets an even odder reaction.

So if anyone out there that may stumble upon my blog, knows of any reputable and ethical Sheltie breeders, let me know. I defintely want a female and will get her spayed. I am not going to have a litter of adorable puppies and crying kids because they can't part with them. Guess that explains why I have 4 rabbits when we only started with two.

I am off to clean stalls, rabbit cages and litter boxes. Wow, I do have a lot of fun on the weekends. And this after having taught Sunday school this morning. God, I am such a good woman. And humble too! Geez, I hope God is watching and remembers all the good things I do and rewards me with peace and quiet. Actually, I'd just settle for my kids coming home soon from Haiti and bringing their own baggage of chaos.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

the absurd and mundane thoughts of a homeschooling mom

Madison woke up this morning with a sore throat and nasty head congestion. She is lying in bed studying for her history test which covers the Industrial revolution all the way up to the civil war. I had no idea how little she had learned in public school. She had never had history before, even though she was in the 5th grade when I began to homeschool her last January. I find this a sad statement on behalf of our school system. She never had to study for tests and had no idea of how to study. We have had to work on note-taking skills, and actually remembering the material that has been studied. Previously, she only had to read it and not necessarily remember the content. Having written all this, I must note that she had always been and "A" student and I thought she was doing quite well academically. I now have a vested stake in my child's future and in ensuring that she has all the knowledge and tools to succeed in college and life in general.

Homeschooling is tough. Until I started doing it, I was always the first mom to drop the kids off at school, barely slowing the car down so they could hop out and run into school. I loved having the days to myself. It was mental and physical freedom and I loved being able to decide what I would do on any given day between 8:15 and 3:00. What I hated about them being in school is too numerous to list. On average, 4 times a week Thomas would appear after school, frowing and angry, jump in the car and burst into tears. I later learned from other moms, that Thomas wasn't the only boy to exhibit this frustration. Seems his last teacher didn't like boys very much and always had an extensive list of infractions that the boys' had done thru out the school day. One of the ones that the teacher complained about to me at least 25 times during the first half of the school year, was that Thomas took his shoes off while he was working at his desk. She told me it was a violation of the fire code. My retort to her was always the same, that if the 2 room school house burst into flames, I would expect him to leave the building without shoes regardless of regulations. She always like to send notes home to the parents of the 4 boys in her class, expressing her disdain in the fact that the boys made farting sounds during class. Guess the boys were on to her. As soon as they knew she hated it and it bugged her, they "HAD" to make those gross sounds. This young woman had no business being a teacher to young children; she was in the wrong profession.

I like to see my kids learn things and know that I am responsible for imparting the knowledge. Some days are just plain rotten and I want to run into a closet with a large bottle of Tequila. But then there are days when, out of the blue, Thomas mentions the Prime Meridian and how it divides the world into the Eastern and Western halves. YES! We covered that in world geography before Christmas and it is till inside his brain. Those are the moments that make me forget about the moments when we all have had just a little too much togetherness.

Today is homeschool gym class. Madi and Thomas have chosen tennis for this month's activity and my only concern with this activity is that Thomas doesn't let any bad words fly from his mouth. I don't think a lot of the other moms would appreciate Thomas' extensive vocabulary. So i spend the drive into town preparing him for appropriate language use.

Moving onto adoption news.......We are still waiting for this months update on Richnightder and Jerome. It is always bittersweet to receive these updates as sometimes it shares things you wish you had been there to see for yourself. I like to hear that the boys are both growing, healthy and doing well in school, but as my stack of these updates continue to pile up, I realize how much time has passed us by that they are not home with us.

We were matched with them in May of 2007 and here it is nearing the end of 2008 and still are only half way thru the adoption process. It is cruel how slowly the process moves for these kids and their families waiting for them. We have actually contemplated putting in for the openings that have come up for Marc's office in Santo Domingo, DR as it would be on the same Island as our boys. Then we come back to reality and realize that it may seem odd to the new boys to have the adoption final, and to find out that they are only moving across the border. I told Marc I thought if we were going to put in for a transfer, I kind of like Geneva, or Rome. But then what do we do with our myriad of animals??

Enough of my absurd and mundane thoughts. Oh, one more. I just saw Jamie Lee Curtis on the Today show and she was discussing how sad it is that our children today don't have an extensive vocabulary. They seem to use small, everyday words to express thoughts and we are losing the ability to teach "language" to our kids. Just a thought to close with for today. I will now go check on the ailing Madi and see that Thomas is reviewing his science lesson. Off to the trenches....