Samuel Jerome and Richnightder

Samuel Jerome and Richnightder
Our boys in Haiti

Friday, July 30, 2010

Orlando, March 4-7th, 2011

I already have some plans solidified for 2011. Our first plan is for the Haiti in our Hearts camp in Alexandria, Minnesota for the weekend of July 15th, 2011. Right about that time, we also have Madison's youth group trip with church to Seattle for a week of community service. We'll travel there by Amtrak (blech) and then stay in something less than a 5 star hotel. I'd rather fly, but the other kids from church can't swing that finacially, so it's the train. I just hope they have a booze car so I can R.E.L.A.X away from teenagers.

But the biggest and most exciting news for next year is my trip to Orlando.....completely without kids or husband. Now I have never gone on a vacation without Marc before, but I am really excited about this trip. Corey, over at is planning this second annual mom's only trip to sunny Florida. It's a total CHICK weekend and I am more than a little excited. Could you tell?

I trust that Marc will be able to feed the kids and animals on a somewhat regular schedule and that the house will be standing upon my return. Actually, I don't give a damn.....I'm going to Orlando with a group of fun chicks. Tifanni....You Gotta come too!

Where's my template?

Our 3rd laptop is in for repairs. We seem to be really tough on them. Marc bought a new desktop for the kids and while it's nice, I hate being locked into one place to do my internet stuff. I like to be able to sit on the deck, the couch, my bed or even the garage when the kids are driving me crazy and blog in relative peace.

But for the last 2 weeks or so I have noticed that my blog doesn't load the template or all the info. It does this regardless of what computer I am using and it is bugging the hell out of me. Does anyone know what the hell has happened? Does this mean I actually need to add a new template? Did the old one get so old, Cutest Blog on the Block did away with my monkey template?

Hints, help please!!

Monday, July 19, 2010

I laughed so hard, I cried....and almost wet my pants

Just your average homeschooling mom's who get thirsty!

Our first weekend of Haiti camp is in the record books. We left for Alexandria, Minnesota on Friday morning and had a somewhat peaceful drive there. With 4 kids, the trip is never 'fun' but at least the 5 hours passed in relative harmony without any major fights. We found the camp, Lake Geneva Christian Campus, without any problems, checked in and promptly began looking for the three families I most wanted to see.

I had never met Sarah from Wisconsin, but had followed her life thru her blog, and knew we would hit it off in real life. Sure enough, we met and began chatting and having fun from the first second. Together we planned a covert operation of sneaking beverages of an adult nature into the camp which restricts alcohol on the premises. She brought two of the LARGEST travel mugs, cutely decorated with our names and sequined flowers so we could quench our thirst in relative secrecy. Who would have known that ice would be hard to find at this damn camp. We ended up drinking our margaritas out of styrofoam coffee cups with lids and I shared our 'secret' with Sara Eggers and another gal from Missouri named Maryann. Together we formed a secret drinking society.

All of the kids had fun and I have lots and lots of pictures to post, but for now I am going to post the one that made me laugh the hardest. Sarah and I posed for a picture at check-out time with our travel mugs and laughed so hard I almost pee pee my panties. Not only will these mugs travel to Haiti Camp again next July, but Sarah and I and the big purples jugs will meet up in March in Orlando for a mom's get away with Corey from

Secretly I desperatly wanted to make sure Sarah would come back to this camp so I nominated her to join the board of directors of this camp which is Haiti in Our Hearts. She is officially now in charge of event planning and getting the itinerary planned. Marc and I got elected to the board and will be in charge of reservations, registrations and newsletters. I'm sneaky, but just want to spread joy and sunshine wherever I go.

Richnightder and Jerome got to meet creche mates, Marie Dakar and Mackenson again. It's been 2 years since they saw them and their frienship picked right up where it left off. Their parents are Sara and Joe Eggers who are complete and total riots. Sara and I laughed to the point of public embarassment while watching Marc and Joe on the lake.

Marc took Marie and Richnigthder out in a peddle boat and Joe took Mackenson and Jerome for a ride in a canoe. Unfortunately, both men decided to do this right after a tornado..ish storm rolled thru on the other side of the lake. The wind picked up and the lake had sizeable white caps. Marc looked like Gilligan as the waves kept him from peddling the boat back to shore. I think he must have peddled a full marathon in that damn little boat with the two kids. Joe brought the canoe ashore but it quickly capsized and the kids scrambled ashore while he hopelessly fought the wind to paddle it back to it's docking place. Eventually the wind lifted the front of his canoe and tipped him ever so slowly backwards into the lake. He has now earned the nickname of Tippy-Canoe!

We had a great time and invite any and all of you with children from haiti to join us for next years camp. The more the merrier. For me, the most gratifying sight from the weekend was seeing the now grown kids who have been coming to this camp for 20 years. They are now young adults in their 20's, some with children of their own now and to witness how much they value their on-going connection to each other and this annual camp with families who will always have Haiti in their Hearts!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Lake Geneva here we come

Friday we leave for a weekend camp with other families that have adopted children from Haiti. Our boys will get to visit with two other kids who came home to the states from the same creche as our boys. They haven't seen these kids for about 2 years, so it should be fun to watch them re-acquiant themselves.

I also get to meet Sarah from who I have spoken to on the phone a couple times, but have yet to meet IRL. She will be bringing her boy crew with her and most importantly, two hand-decorated insulated travel mugs. Why you ask, would the travel mugs be so important? Well, you see, the camp we will be at does NOT allow beverages of the adult variety, so in her clever and creative way, she came up with the idea of disguising our drinks in some sequined and glittered travel mugs. Trust me, I can't wait to meet her and her creative handiwork. We plan on having a drinky-poo and a lot of laughs!

I also look forward to sharing some of the stories that only fellow adoptive parents 'get'. We waited endlessly for these kids to come home to us and prayed incessantly for their safety and well-being, but yet when they eventually do come home, they sometimes bring stories of sadness and heart-ache that lingers in my heart. While my kids have not exhibited RAD behaviors, what they have displayed have been remarkable senses of humor and senses of resilience. They have lived through things we can't wrap our minds around and still, after 15 months home, they still share stories of things that they experienced. Often these stories are warm memories of Richnigthder and his birth family and sometimes they are stories of lonliness and waiting for a forever home.

Enough of the sad stuff! We are outta here on Friday and return Sunday night. I just hope I get to take my personalized travel mug with me for covert use here at home.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

small annoyances

I took 2 Benadryl's last night before bed since I was itchy, watery and plain miserable with my grass pollen allergies. I fell asleep, deeply asleep fairly quickly and it was a delightful sleep until....

The thunderstorm rolled thru about 3:30AM. It wasn't a large or violent storm. Just a lot of lightening and some big booms of thunder. Really, it was a small storm compared to some that have damaged our house before. None of the kids woke up, nor the dogs. Neither did Marc or I awaken from the storm. But there were two small things that did wake up during the storm and kept Marc and I awake for the duration. Cochon and Bacon, are two sweet little guinea pigs seem to have a fear of thunder storms. They woke up and screeched and growled and eecked for a solid hour. Those little buggers were soooo loud and annoying and yet Marc and I were the only ones to hear them. Their cage is in the little boys room and their pathetic screeches from fear were beyond annoying. Richnigthder and Jerome are able to sleep thru an atomic detonation due to their years in an orphanage. Nothing rouses them from their slumber.

But those damn little guinea pigs were a huge pain in the butt. We are supposed to have some severe storms tonight and I think I might have to move Cochon and Bacon downstairs to the family room in an attempt to buffer them from the storm and so we can't hear their small, but hugely annoying whines. Damn guinea pigs.............and yet I kind of love them....annoyances and all!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

You like floppy lo's, don't you?

Gucci and Carlos under a yellow clover plant watching the action.

Carlos watched from under my chair with his head on my feet!

Marc is STILL home on 'vacation' slaving away building our 2000 feet of fencing. The front of our place is done and looks beyond wow, and now he is working on enclosing the riding arena and back side of our place. He has had mechanical failure after failure with the machine he rented to dig the post holes and this has frustrated him and slowed his progress.

The machine he rented is called a in, "The Dingo ate my baby." Anyhow he has been working from sun-up to sundown on this little project and besides my supervising his progress, I have been making meals and snacks at regular intervals for him. The other night I was running out of ideas and made a huge batch of sloppy Joe's.

I left the dinner simmering on the stove and went out to fetch Marc and the kids, happily announcing that hot food was now ready. Jerome asked what was for dinner and I told him sloppy Joes. He turned and looked at me and asked with a straight face, "I like floppy lo's don't I?" OMG, this kid makes me laugh all the time. From now on in our household, we will forever more refer to sloppy joe's as Floppy Lo's!~

Madison spent the morning babysitting a friends almost 2 year old daughter. After I dropped Madi off, I came home and commenced with my supervisory duties with the fence building which entails that I drag out our camping chair, sunglasses, gatorade and drive out to the field where Marc is laboring. I had my phone with me and happened to snap some cute pics of our Shelties, Gucci and Carlos. They help supervise construction too!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Can you teach a cat to use an inhaler?

We appear to be magnets for animals that are in need or just plain weird. Last summer, Thomas comes marching home with this itty-bitty kitty that he found abandoned in the neighbor's barn. It was scrawny, flea-ridden, and lethargic. We took it to the vets who confirmed that the liquid shooting out of her butt was indeed diarhhea caused by a host of issues. A couple hundred dollars later, and she was on the mend.

For a long time, Tulip was anything less than sweet and cuddly. She was most likely a feral cat, but we quickly cured her of her people aversion since she was subjected to 4 kids mauling her daily. She a nice enough cat and lives in the garage, rarely leaving its safety even though the garage doors are fully open. I wouldn't leave either knowing there's a mountain lion living somewhere around us either. She occassionally sleeps inside with Thomas, as she did last evening.

Last week we took Tulip back to the vets since she had this highly annoying high-pitched, wheezing cough. Seems that when Thomas brought Tulip home from the neighbor's barn, she carried with her a pre-existing medical condition. She has asthma and seasonal allergies. I ask you, who in the hell has ever heard of a barn cat having asthma, allergies and needing steroid shots? I am incredulous about this. I can't help but wonder if instead of the steroid shots, if it wouldn't just be easier to teach her to use an inhaler?

Only in my dream!

Oh, and Richnightder's guinea pig, Cochon, was demonstrating signs of stress and depression by pulling out his own hair, so we bought the last littermate brother and now those two are living in pig heaven. The new guinea pig is named Bacon, since he is the color of a lovely peice of crispy, pan fried bacon.....and he's a guinea..PIG. We are so NOT creative. So Cochon and Bacon are liviung the high life in their new deluxe enclosure and I hope they do not develop asthma or allergies. I can't take anymore humiliation!