Samuel Jerome and Richnightder

Samuel Jerome and Richnightder
Our boys in Haiti

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....

Friday, September 5, 2008

Looking ahead to the youth world show

Madison seems to have some natural talent when it comes to competing in horse shows. She started showing in leadline when she was 2 years old and then quickly moved on to the walk-trot classes. She rode my horse, Tommy an AQHA gelding in walk-trot classes until she was 8 years old and faught with him to get him to just walk and just trot instead of bursting into super-fast run-downs. Miraculously, she took year end high point that year and then started showing in the youth reining classes.

Kevin, our friend, neighbor and trainer who Madi travels with to some shows, had set her sights on merely completing the pattern in the ring and not to expect placing. Well her first show, 2 summers ago in Rapid City, SD she placed 3rd and had the audience standing and yelling cheering her on. SHe wowed the audience and obviously kicked some serious butt! That's my baby. Last season she continued to keep placing higher and higher against much older kids; I'm talking 13 to 18 year olds and captured a first place.

So with all that in mind, and a reduced show season this year because of our trip to Haiti and the expenses involved with that, she is planning on going to as many shows as we will get her to so she can try her little heart out, to win enough points that would qualify her for the youth world show. Now with all that said, Marc and I have no plans of her going to World at her age of 11 years. The entrance fees are STEEP and she would be riding against some serious competition and much older kids. I think we will wait until she is 13 and then let her have her fighting chance there.

I never get alone, quiet time. I just wanted to do a little blogging and in runs Thomas to show me his newest wound. He was running around barefoot and peeled the skin off the tip of his big toe. Nothing gruesome by Thomas standards, but painful just to look at. Now that it is clean, he is sitting next to me on the couch, flicking the huge flap of skin back and forth. I think when he goes to sleep tonight, I will sneak in and cut the piece of skin off. Yucky to look at and yucky to watch him fiddle with the remnants of what was momentarily ago attached to his body. Boys are so groddy. And just think I will have two more of these fun little creatures in my house to pester me and gross me out with their "boyness."

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Me, doing what I do best!

Although Madi and Thomas are still completing last years curriculm, another year of school has just begun. I didn't begin to homeschool Thomas until October 31, and Madi on January 2 and I began each of their academic year anew. So with that in mind, Madison will finish 5th grade about November 1 and Thomas will finish up in late Sept or Oct. We are going to continue to homeschool all year 'round as I think it has worked really well for the kids. Every 20 lessons we take a few days off.

Anyhow, yesterday we met with the homeschool families for the first time and registered for gym with them twice a week. Every Tuesday and Thursday the kids will have P.E. with the other homeschool kids. THere are quite a few other families and kids involved. It seems to be a neat organization with lots of different activities and a different sport every month. This month, the kids could choose from soccer or tennis. Both Madi and Thomas have chosen tennis. I am not looking forward to March however as that is swimming month and I have volunteered to help. Way way, far back in my life, I was a lifeguard and swim instructor. Then i had a swimsuit worthy body, but now, not so much. UGH So I now have a goal and a reason to stick to weight watchers and try to lose these sneaky pounds.

If I were a horse, I would be an "easy keeper." I love to eat! I eat when I am happy, sad, angry, depressed, sick, or well. It is the only area of my life where I seem to consistently be an over-achiever. And it is the one area of life that I wish I could just chill out about. I hate these extra I don't know where they came from?......right! And then to make myself feel better, I hit the cookies. Geez, what a vicious circle. I wish I could have a little of Thomas' eating "problem." Somedays he tells me he just isn't hungry! WHAT!! I didn't ask if you were hungry, all i did was tell him it was dinner time.

Before everyone gets worked up that I am causing him to have an eating disorder, I never make him eat if he is not hungry. But honestly, I think that is weird. I eat because it is fun, social, and tasty. He eats for the altruistic reason of being hungry and needing to give his body energy. How weird is that! So if I could be a little more like my son, I would have Denise Richard's body and be wearing spandex everywhere.

Now if only the other homeschool moms would be in favor of having a Margarita while the kids were exercising I would be in heaven. I will have to work on that and see if I can corrupt a few of the other hagard looking, zombie-eyed moms.
So the picure I posted is me from last year when marc and I went on vacation, sans kids. This shot of me I call " Enjoying every ounce of liquor here on the beach in Grand Cayman." Oh, did I mention Marc and I got NASTY sunburns. Who would have guessed that liquour dulls your pain receptors. Oh, well, back to homeschool. Now that sounds funny!