Samuel Jerome and Richnightder

Samuel Jerome and Richnightder
Our boys in Haiti

Sunday, August 31, 2008

From North Dakota, with love!

Everyday, every minute I miss Richnightder and Jerome. Today is one of those down days when I just really feel that a part of our family is missing. I am missing out on so much of their childhood and each day that they are not home with us, makes me realize how quickly time is moving and that they are experiencing things that i will never be a part of.

I know Richnightder has a birthfamily that undoubtedly felt pride with each milestone he reached in his 3 years of life with them. They got to hold his hand as he took those first shaky steps, watched his first tooth pop up, and reveled hearing him say mama and papa for the first time. Jerome, as a true orphan at this first O, probably had no one to take notice of his milestones, and it breaks my heart that I was not a part of his life then. Each day that passes by that my boys are not here at home, reminds me of all the "firsts" that I have missed out on and will never get back.

Last months report stated that Richnightder is reading sentences and continues to write very well. How I wish I could be there to hear him read outloud for the first time. Jerome, they noted, loves to dance. I wish I could have been there to see him make that discovery. I know I will have plenty of "firsts" discoveries when they are home, but there are somethings that can never be duplicated again.

I just want to hold their hands and walk with them as they discover life here with us. It will all be so new and probably scary. I continue to wait for them and every moment of everyday, they are in my thoughts. It is indescribable how much I love them and how our family is not whole, with two members still not here.

I have so much to share with them in life. Little tidbits of wisdom to pass on that my Irish Mother passed on to me. I have a sarcastic sense of humor that I want to impose on them, and I am somewhat hopeful that Richnightder has a smidgen of my sense of humor. I want to kiss the boo-boo on Jerome's ankle and tell him that never again will he have to soothe himself when he is hurt; he has a mom and dad to do that. I could ramble on, but the boys are on my mind today and I just miss them so much.

The picture I posted today, shows the boys sleeping together. It makes me feel good to know that they are behaving like brothers and I hope it is a bond that they never forget.

Friday, August 29, 2008

flailing hooves

The farrier was out yesterday to trim our horses' feet and to put new sliders on Tommy. Marc was at work and the kids were done with school for the day, so I was almost looking forward to time alone with the farrier and some adult conversation.

Trimming the grown up horses is never a problem for us or the farrier, but for added fun yesterday, we trimmed our three month old filly's feet for the first time. Madi and Tom have done a super job of getting her halter broken and being able to touch her feet, ears, face, legs, etc., but actually cutting her hooves.......whoa, she was a little tiger.

Actually, Pat, the farrier said she was the best baby he had ever trimmed in his 20 years of experience, but nonetheless, the hooves came flying at my face. We put Coco's butt in the corner of the stall and I held her head down with the leadline, but as soon as he started rasping, her little feet were up in my face and her legs were on my shoulders. It would have been a cute sight had she not been scared witless and been clubbing at my face and shoulders with her little hooves.

I have a few battle scars from the adventure, mostly bruises and sores muscles. But the weird thing is that my back has been killing me since I slipped getting out of the limo 2 weeks ago and after yesterdays smack-down wrestling match with the pony, my back is almost perfect. So the moral of this long story is; who really needs a chiropractor when you can wrestle with horses and get the kinks worked out? But hey, it sure beats setting your finger on fire! Right Tifanni!!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Hurricane Gustav

It appears that Hurricane Gustav is expected to make a direct hit on the country of Haiti and more specifically, the eye is expected to pass over the capital of Port-au-Prince. The creche where our boys and 65 other kids reside is a mere 20 miles or so from Port-au-Prince. Please keep our kids and all of their creche friends in your thoughts today. While hurricanes are not rare in Haiti, the destruction they often cause is catastrophic.

People are ill prepared to face a storm of this size. Their housing, if any, is ramshackle at best, they have no food supplies for reserves and the torrential rains often cause landslides and much death and destruction. We feel confident that our kids are as safe as possible, given the situation. The creche has ample food on hand, and reserves of clean well water. The road, or dirt and rock path, that must be travelled to reach the creche is often washed out in heavy rains, completely isolating the orphanage. Please keep this situation in your daily thoughts and pray that our kids and all the staff members are kept safe during this storm.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

So am I a perv or what?

So now that everyone has seen my naughty little French tutor, doesn't he look like he could use a good spankin'? Yeah, yeah, I am completely aware that I am ALMOST old enough to be his mother, but he still is a naughty grad student who looks like he needs a mama to keep him in line.

Speaking of naughty young college men, my friend Shawna and her family are moving to Gillette, Wyoming this week and a group of us gals went out to dinner to say goodbye to her. So there we sit at the local Mexican restaurant having a really good time and enjoying our drinks when a young guy walks by our table and asks us if he could ask all of us a question. A deafning silence fell over the 8 us and we just stared at this guy. Then the idiot went on to say "Don't you ladies think it is getting kind of late for you to all be out. Don't you have husbands to go home to?" What a freaking twerp!! As we sat there with our mouths hanging open, one of us, I don't remember who, told him to bug off and he needs to get a better line. As he walked away we burst out laughing at him and when he walked by us again, he looked like a puppy with his tail between his legs. Jan suggested I should have told him that he had mighty big nuts to fit into those little boy britches he was wearing. I wish she had been there to give me that line at the time. So enough about hot young college guys and the dumb-ass things they say.

My sisters wedding was lots of fun. I think the best thing about it was seeing old friends that I had not seen in almost a year. My sister has a really eclectic group of friends and some are just downright weird. I love Kathy to death, but I am still laughing that at least half the people at the reception in downtown Portland were old boyfriends that she had dated in the last several years. I am suprised that she didn't have to have a stud pen brought in to hold back the hordes of old boyfriends. They were all there; those with demented personalities, physical differences and those who I just don't understand. My personal favorite of her exes was the parapalegic psychologist who dumped my sister because she was not a good dancer!! It is public knowledge that Kathy dances like Elaine on Seinfeld, but to be dumped because of your dancing skills by a man who was unfortunatly constrained to a wheelchair is just harsh. This same shrink also told all of us at a family gathering just how dysfunctional our family is. Now he was in dangerous waters then as my dad and Marc had to carry him in his wheelchair down the flight of stairs and out into the backyard. He is just lucky we didn't leave him there overnight.

The reception was a nice event. None of the old boyfriends broke through the bars of the stud pen containing them and everyone had a really nice time. Good food, good drinks and good friends completed the night. My sister looked gorgeous and her new husband, Art is a really nice guy. Now I am not just saying that, he is a nice guy. He actually gave Thomas the box with my sister's wedding ring in it and let him carry it around for about 45 minutes before the wedding started. Thomas wanted to show it to me and when he opened the box, the ring shot out and fell into the gravel of the parking lot. OOPS. I dove to the ground to find it, blew on it super hard to get the dust out and shoved it back into the box with strong words to stick it in his pants and not to take it out until the Pastor tells him to. The only truly horrible part of the day was whent he pastor himself was singing the wedding song and it was MY wedding song, Unchained Melodies. That WITCH! She stole my song.

I also got to see my neices and my brand new, well 6 month old great nephew. Oh how I love that little fella. Conor stole our hearts. Erin and Morgan have the most handsome and charming little guy. My neice Krissy is as beautiful as ever and I love her sarcastic humor. She can make me laugh by just saying "corn." Marc has a new love interest and it is Krissy's friend/boyfriend, Keenan. Long story short, Marc and Keenan were carrying Conor and pushing the stroller down the streets of Northwest Portland and I was following behind like the nanny carrying the diaper bag and I told them how much they looked like a couple with their sweet baby boy. Marc grabbed Keenan's hand and shouted loudly, "I love this man!" and they kept on walking hand in hand down the street. The best thing about Portland and it's liberal lifestyle is that absolutley no one looked akwardly at Marc and Keenan. I do miss that aspect of acceptance because living in the conservative Midwest, that stuff just isn't funny. As Lawrence Welk would say, "We don't do that #!#* here in Starsburg." I am a liberal loving girl and both Marc and I totally dig alternative lifestyles.

My nephews are all grown up and are funnier that crap. My oldest nephew, Michael went swimming with the kids at the hotel and was taking pointers on dating from Thomas. Seems Thomas met some 13 and 14 year old girls in the pool and made a date to meet them at breakfast the next morning. Seems turing 10 really works for THomas. He also spent a lot of time in the deeper end of the pool. Couldn't figure out why until Michael noticed that the girls he was talking to were standing in the 5 foot deep part and that their boobies were floating at about water level. Thomas got a hell of a workout treading water, but I guess the view was worth it.

Enough for now. I sound like a freak with a freakish family. Oh wait, that is me, with the dysfunctional family. Thank God I fit in.

Voila, here it is

Friday, August 22, 2008


While I lie here in bed feeling crappy, I thought i would quickly post something I learned in Montana the other day that makes me laugh out loud even when I am alone. Friends of ours, who went to Haiti with us in June, met up with us at our hotel the other night and as we were saying goodbye, I blurted out how I would jack a kid of his donut right there and then if I saw some little grubby kid slobbering on a jelly filled delicacy. Tifanni blurted out then that they had stopped at Walmart and had a dozen Pusbuns in the car. Pusbuns???? It just happens to be what they call jelly or cream filled donuts. I don't care what they call them, they hit the spot at 11:30 at night and I am oh so grateful that they had 12 delicious pusbuns in the car and were willing to share.

Yes indeed, I have a picture of Hottie French Tutor

I have been feeling kinda puny for a week or so and today, the bug has finally hit me. I feel really yucky, but wanted all of you to know that today, I snapped a photo of Madi's French tutor. I will post it tomorrow along with pics from our trip. I have a lot to blog about, but I thought I would build the suspense and let you know that in a few short hours, you can all gaze upon the eye candy that I have enjoyed for 6 months. The bummer is that Fabien will be leaving North Dakota to pursue his career. I am somewhat optimistic though since he told me that a new grad student will be arriving from France in January and will take over tutoring Madison. And yes he is a guy......lets just keep our fingers crossed that he is drool worthy for a 40-something mama. Heck, drool worthy for a 40- is -the -new- 30 woman is any guy I am NOT old enough to be his mother. Man I have tough standards.

Check back tomorrow for photos and stories of the trip and my girls' night out last night. Somehow, we always seem to embarrass ourselves in public and last evening was no exception.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

2800 miles of fun!

6 days ago, we left for Portland and my sister's wedding. The wedding was on Sunday and it was a very nice event, even if she stole our wedding song. I have some nice pictures to post when I get home, but we are still 800 miles away from our own beds. We are in Missoula and spent last evening with the Watkins family. They are a couple we met who are adopting two little boys from the same creche that our boys are in. Madi and Thomas got to spend about 4 hours in the pool with Mike and Tifanni's little girl, Aurrora. She is so beautiful and the kids seemed to have a super time together. I just hope Thomas didn't teach her any bad words. YIKES.

We are about to jump in the car for the last 800 miles and you know what that means, fighting, yelling, tears, spilled food and drinks, frequent potty stops and all around great fun!!!! Oh, I almost forgot, we have to stop and get some Benadryl for the kids.......their noses seem stuffy?? It is just so unfortunate that it makes them so sleepy. HA

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


Vicki just emailed to say that we are out Parquet. This is definetly good news and it is proof that our dossier is actually moving thru the Haitian legal system. We still have Second Legal, which is where I think our papers are now, and then the Ministry of the Interior (MOI). After that it goes back to the U.S. for work. All together I am somewhat optimistic that they may be home by February. BURRRRRRRRRRRR

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

I wish the kids were having fun...HA

Here are some more pictures of todays fun adventures in Seattle. While they were riding the 'duck' and having fun at the amusement park, I was taking the horse to the vet for colic again, fixing fence posts, and buying beet pulp for the horse to eat (thanks, Terri.)

Our old friend ( no reference to age of course) Terri called. It was sooo good to talk to her and get caught up on family doings. She is responsible for almost all of the animals we have in our menagerie. We started with one horse boarded at her place 9 years ago and have added 7 horses, thanks to her and 2 rabbits which reproduced, well, like rabbits. She taught us most of what we know about caring for horses and also got Madison started in showing. We would have been lost without her guidance and friendship, albeit, maybe wealthier finacially if we didn't have quite as many animals. But they have become our life and a day without cleaning a stall, is just not quite right. I don't know if many of you will agree, but there really is nothing better than the smell of a horse or the sweet smell of its breathe with a mouthful of hay and alfalfa. Ok, it is defintely a horsey person thing, but if you love animals, you'll get what I am saying.

Monday, August 11, 2008

The kids are having fun in Seattle

Here are some pics that Angela just sent of todays fun in Seattle. I miss them terrribly. It makes me feel bad for all the times that i am yelling at them and thinking of pushing them out of the car. (Somewhat of an exagerration, but not much.) HAHA

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Thomas is the best!!!

Angela and the kids left for Seattle about an hour ago. I thought I would be jumping up and down will glee at the thought of being alone and without kids for 5 days, but oddly enough, I am weepy and sad. I tried not to cry at the airport, but couldn't help it when the kids kept running back for "Just one more hug." Marc is a little disappointed in my behavior because I think he was hoping I would be this crazy, free, uninhibited housewife and really get my groove on without kids cramping our style. Oh well!

But I want the world to know that Thomas is the best almost 10 year old boy anywhere!! While we were at the airport, he ran to the men's restroom and came running out to tell us that someone had left a BIG ring in the bathroom. I told him to run back and bring it to us and when he returned, sure enough, it was a man's wedding ring. Marc and Thomas took it to the airport police and Thomas was listed as the finder. He felt so important telling them where it was and helping them fill out the "Found property form." About 20 minutes later, we see airport security walking towards us with a young couple and the officer pointed at Thomas and announced that "this is the young man who found your ring and brought it to us." The young couple were very, very happy and told Thomas how good it was of him to do the right thing and then they gave him $10 and told him it was a small expression of their gratitude. I thought Thomas was going to burst with pride. I was so proud of him. And then in typical Thomas fashion, he told me he knew it was a "real" ring because it wasn't green and it didn't have any cartoons on it. You gotta love being 10 years old and a discrimating jeweler.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Cornrows: Cousin It and almost finished!

Newsweek magazine and old friends

Madison got her hair cornrowed this afternoon and it looks really nice. But the really funny thing that happend at the salon involved Angela and the Newsweek magazine. With about 5 minutes left of braiding to be done, Angela is thumbing thru the Newsweek and yells out, " Oh my God, this my friend Dustin." I casually asked her what in the heck she was so excited about and she shoves the magazine in my face, emphatically stating that the super hot guy in the magzine article and photo was her college friend from undergrad days.

Now I love Angela, but I was thinking that she was just overreacting about some good looking guy that 'looked' like her friend. As soon as we got home, she ran to the phone and called her friend to verify that it was indeed him in the magazine. Sure enough, it was him. I talked to Dustin on the phone and he was a really nice guy that just happened to end up in a calendar and on a magazine cover.....oh and he is REALLY good looking.

So not to offend in anyway, any of my LDS friends or blog followers, but Newsweek's article was discussing the turmoil caused by the calendar he was in. What, you ask, could have been so distressing about a calendar and how does this relate to my Mormon friends? Well, it seems the calendar was on hot Mormon Missionaries. The website for the calendar is www. All I can say is that if he ever knocked on my door, I would most certainly have offered him a big tall glass of lemonade and prayed to God that it took him a longgggg time to finish it. And because Angela gave Dustin my blog address, I must add that after talking to him for a few minutes, he is a very nice guy anyone would be lucky to have as a friend.

Angela is definetly not a country girl. She is a good sport about the dirt, bugs and animals, but seems to enjoy learning about country life hands on. Our pasture is now covered with 66, 1000 pound round bales of hay of which Angela thought would be easy to push and roll all the way to the barn. She and the kids attempted to roll a bale, and after about 5 minutes realized that it would indeed be easier to use the tractor. This is a smart girl, has her Master's degree, but somehow size and weight of hay escaped her education. Guess that wasn't a class offered to her in the city. HAHA

I did get some pics of Madi and her hair which I hope to post tomorrow morning. Time to fight the mosquitos outside and put the horse in the barn.

Open adoptions

On Tuesday, we went to the airport to pick up Madison's birthmom, Angela. Most of you are aware that we have an open adoption with Madison's birth family and it really is a great thing. Angela will be here until Sunday when she then returns to Seattle, but here's the best part, she is taking Madison and Thomas with her for 6 fun-filled days. WOOHOO. That translates to me being all alone in my own house without any children, fighting, homeschooling, or general headaches that accompany kids. I worry that that makes me sound like a hideous mother, but I can't wait to have the house to myself and just lie around on the couch, eat cheescake and watch grown up shows on tv.

There are so many things I want to do while the kids are gone, that I am afraid I won't have time. I want to reclaim my horse, who Madi has been riding and showing, and have some fun. I want to take a nap in the middle of the day. I want to make brownies, not bake them and just eat the batter. I want to sit on the back porch drinking a beer and watch my horses graze. I want to wander the aisle of Target and buy things I want and not matchbox cars and beaded jewelry kits. I just want to enjoy the silence of tranquility. Does this make me selfish? I hope not. Because everyday of the week, my kids are my focus and all my energies are directed at them and providing education and recreation.

I hope Angela enjoys her week with the kids, but I fear when she meets us in Portland to bring the kids back, she may only slow the car down, and have the kids tuck-and-roll as they exit the vehicle. She will have Thomas with her on his 10th birthday, which is next thursday, the 14th of August. She is planning a swimming party at the water park in Seattle and it should be a blast for him.....maybe not so much fun for Angela. HEHE I am sure I will have some neat pictures to post of the fun event.

Madison is getting her hair corn-rowed today so that it will be easier to take care of on her trip with Angela. I hope the cornrows stay looking somewhat decent for my sister's wedding on the 17th. My fear is that she will meet up with us in Portland and have a full blown afro that will need to be conditioned and combed out all in a matter of hours. My little girl is growing up, sometimes too quickly, and sometimes not fast enough. Her hair remains a point of disagreement for us. I always want it neatly braided, and she is leaning towards the "I want it any way that is opposite of what Mom wants" point of view. Given that, I am certainly hoping that having three boys, will be easier in some respects. I am hoping that Madison feels like letting me take a picture of her new braids today. I would love to post a picture of her cute new style. Off to the races today with my 'tween daughter and agreeable son!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

lazy or techno advanced

I was catching up on the news on the forum when I noticed I had received mail. I clicked over to see what had come in and it was from Madison.......downstairs. I mean she is only about 35 feet away from me and she emails me with her completed homework assignment. WHAT?? Is this the new age, or is she just too darn lazy to climb the stairs and talk to me in the kitchen? I emailed her back with some corrections on the composition, which did not make her too happy, and then I heard the familiar sounds of pre pubescent 'tween feet stomping up the stairs. Seems she did not like the changes I wanted her to make and then she found the energy to walk all the way upstairs. WHEW.

Is this the future of communicating with our children? If so, well, I can say it may not be all that bad!!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Prairie trail ride

Madi and Thomas just hoped on a horse and went for a trail ride. It is a wonderful summer evening, about 75 degrees and no wind which is uncommon in North Dakota. Madi is riding Josh, our 21 year old Arab and Thomas is riding our feisty little mini, Baby. It is hilarious to watch Tom ride Baby. His feet nearly drag on the ground and every so often, Baby tries to buck him off. Being so close to the ground, Thomas usually lands on his feet. The really funny thing is to watch Marc ride her. Now there is a sight!!

a therapeutic reason to buy high heels

Wow, yesterday's post makes me look like a grubby snob. I did not mean to appear that way, it is just that I don't often get to wear nice shoes(like Stuart Weitzman's) out here in the barren, manure ridden tundra we call home. We don't often get to social events that require a more formal dress code beyond an evening at Carino's. Oh, wait. I take that back. I did get to wear my nice shoes a few months ago right here at home.

I was pulling laundry out of the dryer and did something wrong, when WHAM, I completely threw my back out. Yeah I know that makes me sound like and old lady, but that is exactly how Ifelt and looked. My dear friend, Jan, loaned me a muscle massager to help work the kinks out and it worked super well. I just couldn't bring myself to tell people that the miracle cure was a product called "Dr. Ho's muscle stimulator." Sounds dirty, but was really and truly just this little battery pack with electrodes that you placed on the sore muscle and it gave 'em a little jolt. AAAHH what relief. But back to the shoes. So as I am hunched over, shuffling around in my fleece, polka-dot pajama bottoms, I read that wearing high-heeled shoes can change the angle of your back and alleviate pain. BINGO. Not a pretty look, but sure did feel good when I slipped on my favorite black heels and hobbled around in those pajama pants.

This was a look I only shared with Jan and of course the few people who were forced to live with me that week. Marc earned a crown in heaven that week for putting up with me. I don't believe I was a very sweet person being as angry at myself for the self-inflicted pain.

Maybe tomorrow I can think of something to post that doesn't involve shopping or me, me, me. I told you in the first post that I was a very shy, withdrawn, reticent person and here is the proof in the pudding. HA

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Sunday thoughts

Thomas went to a camp-out birthday party yesterday and when he got home today, was full of fun stories of things they had done. They had planned on sleeping outside all night long, but were driven inside by the lightening, thunder, and coyotes. A few minutes after going inside, the tent blew away into the trees.

Now I have never spent a night outside and camping does not appeal to me, so this kind of birthday party would not be my kind of gig. But for 9 year old boys, it seems to be a wickedly cool party. I know for a fact, that this would never, ever be the type of party Madi would want. She has already informed me that next year she would like to go to Minneapolis, spend the night and have a full day of shopping at the Mall of America. WOOHOO, what Mom in her right mind would want to drive 6 hours with premenstrual girls, spend the night in a hotel room, referring all the arguments and then keep track of them in the mall? Not this mom. I would rather spend a day having a root canal.....they have drugs for that pain!

In 10 days, we are off to Portland for my sister, Kathleen's wedding. I have nothing to wear again, so this means a shopping trip to Nordstrom. Madison is so looking forward to that. She already has planned out which departments we will hit first, her clothing dept. being first, of course. I personally am a shoe junkie and am looking to get a pair of Stuart Weitzman's to wear to the wedding. Yeah, they are a little spendy, but they fit my feet like gloves. Then I am hellbent on getting a new handbag. I have my eye on a midsize Burberry, but Marc will have to be liquoured up and well pleasured before he sees the Nordy's bill come in. Probably TMI, but oh well. One of the things I love best about my sweet Madi is that she is a consumate shopper, knows her way around Nordstrom, and knows where most Tiffany and Co. stores are located in major cities. She is my girl!!!!

Flip side of that is what Thomas has just requested for one of his birthday gifts. He wants a manure spreader. There you have it. It would appear that Thomas loves anything you can get at the feed store, and Madison lives for the big city malls. I wonder what Richnightder and Jerome will like. Will they like Quiksilver and Volcom jeans or will they like the Wrangler jeans and shirts?

I will make sure to post pics from the wedding and hopefully I will be sporting some nice heels and an import handbag! Now back to the daily grind of feeding horses, dogs, cats and bunnies.
Sometimes reality is stinky, dirty and riddled with manure, but suprisingly, I like it just that way.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Smokin' Hot French Tutor

Madison has a tutoring session with the French tutor at 3PM today and I still have to do my makeup. As many of you know, the French tutor happens to be HOT, HOT, HOT!! Not that he would be interested in me, but I still feel the need/desire to put on makeup and use hairspray. There is something so wickedly yummy about eyeing-up a young 20ish grad student with an intoxicating accent. HMMM. Yeah, I know. Call me Mrs. Robinson or Stella, but seeing this young eye candy twice a week makes me smile. And in addition to be good looking and smart, he is a genuinly nice guy.

Someday in the future, Madison will look back on this and tell all her friends how lucky she was to have a French tutor that just happened to be smokin' hot and from Versailles. When I was in school, I took German from a sweet little old nun. She was super nice, but I never went to class just to have a looksy at her. So now that everyone knows I am 'Stella' like, I will get going on my make up!

Not a good intro to my next topic, but it appears I will be teaching Sunday School this year for first and Second graders. I think it will be a blast. I taught Catechism back in Oregon and it was a riot. Let's just hope I can keep my sense of humor in check.

Off to the tutor, YEAH!