Friday, January 30, 2009

You be the judge...

I am definitely not a big fan of having housepets & I think that toddlerhood is convincing me of that even more everyday :)

Here are just a few of the ways that Luke is channeling his inner puppy & proving this to me...

*Most of his toys have been a "chew" toy at one point or another
*He follows Scott & I around the house (as the old saying goes) "like a puppy" :)
*Peeing on the carpet is a great new trick
*For the last week or so, we keep hearing him say "ooww, ooww, owooo" (howling) when he is playing with his animal toys
*He has been known to pick up pieces of food off the floor to eat after having thrown them on the floor
And...
*He loves to pant & wave his hands in the air (similiar to dog's wagging their tails) when he is really excited about or wanting something

It really is all very cute, well except for the peeing on the carpet thing, but it does leave me wondering. Hmmm...what will his next phase be...?

Thursday, January 29, 2009

2009 Book #4

Thanks to all of these snow days, I just finished my book last night! I read After Long Silence by Helen Fremont which is a memoir of her family. Helen & her sister, Lara, were raised as Catholics, but when she was an adult she learned that her parents were actually Jewish. They were Holocaust survivors who were still living the "lives" they had created during that terrible period. Helen & her sister eventually pieced together most of their parents' story through research & interviews that they had conducted with others.

This book was a fast read & not quite what I expected it to be. I thought that it was going to be more about her parents' 'story' than it actually was. This book was more about her, Helen's, life & how she and her sister and their family as a whole were affected by the lies that were told as they were growing up. Don't get me wrong, there were still many, many accounts of the Holocaust told in the story, but Helen definitely let you know that she wasn't ever sure that she was getting the "whole truth" from her mother, father & aunt. I have read several books about the Holocaust & am always blown away by the terrible things that occurred & how terrible human beings can be to one another based on a simple difference in beliefs. Although this book was not (in my opinion) one of the best ones I have read on this time period, it did leave me with a couple of new impressions. For instance, every book I have read, pretty well, stops somewhere between 1946-1950 so I liked that this book took place long after those years & gave me a glimpse of what it was like to grow up raised by Holocaust survivors. Honestly, I hadn't really thought about it before, but it probably would have been quite trying at times especially if you weren't really aware of what had happened to them! I also liked that they were raised as Catholics because she wrote about their mom's take on some of the things Catholics do (since she was only 'Catholic' as a way of protecting her children!) For instance, when Helen asked why they don't go to Communion like everyone else or if she had to participate in Confirmation, her mother always replied that they never did those things in Poland & that they were newfangled American additions to Catholicism. Because I myself am Catholic, I found those remarks quite hilarious, but totally understood why her mom told her those things.
Soo...if you're interested in this time period, you may find this book interesting, but I wouldn't recommend it as a 1st read if you are wanting to learn more about the Holocaust in general.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: Snow


This is a pic from the last time it snowed a week or two ago, but there is plenty more than this out there again today~Yay! I was going for an 'artistic' shot-love to hear what you think, but only if it's good-hehe :)

Check out more Wordless Wednesday at 5 Minutes for Mom

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

25 Random Things...

I did this on Facebook for some of the people I know in RL (real life) & I thought I'd share it all with you too~enjoy! :)

1. I love to read & will read almost anything put in front of me.
2. I love listening to music & will listen to any kind.
3. I once helped to host a "Polka Party" for one of my aunt's birthday parties~yours truly provided the tunes :)
4. I like making people laugh, but am not always sure that they get my humor.
5. I also tend to smile/laugh in awkward moments (like funeral lines) & I feel guilty about it, but don't know how to stop it.
6. I like beer! (the drink & the song!) ;)
7. I love teaching kids & hope that I am making a difference in a few of their lives.
8. I have a very sarcastic/dry humor.
9. I cannot remember ever being able to smell anything, except on 3 or 4 rare occasions in my entire life.
10. I like knowing that I have taken a GOOD picture of someone or something :)
11. I wrote in a journal through some of high school & most of college & loved the 'release' it gave me for some of my thoughts.
12. I love watching TV, especially soap operas (although I don't really watch them much at all anymore) & old sitcoms.
13. I do not get up at night with my son, Luke. Scott does this, mostly, because he hears him before I do~he is a VERY good man!
14. I have been known to sleep through my alarm clock, loud thunderstorms & even the smoke alarm once! Yikes!
15. I love watching a good sappy movie & forcing Scott to watch it with me!
16. I have a new found love of running, especially in colder temps, but I haven't done it much lately with the weather & extreme cold temperatures :(
17. I have a weird fear of having tick stuck to me & never knowing it's there~I think because I'm not really sure what happens if you never find it.
18. I have problems with the times "quarter til" & "quarter after"~I get them switched around in my head when I am trying to remember when someone told me to be someplace at one of these times. I do much better with :15 or :45.
19. I used to always be very early to places, but now tend to run 10-15 mins late~I blame my friend Lora :) her ways rubbed off on me when we were college roommates!
20. I am known as the "instigator" in my close circle of friends~I am constantly encouraging them to do crazy things when we get together.
21. I used to take a roll of dimes with me to a local bar outside of town when I was in college for their "30 cent draft" nights every Thursday. :)
22. I really like even numbers, especially 4's & 8's.
23. I would love to have 4-6 kids someday.
24. I spell peoples' names in my head when I meet them & if they end up spelling it differently than I would, it bothers me until I am used to it. A little weird...I know :)
25. I also associate certain spellings with specific people so when I see that spelling I automatically think of that person.

Hope you enjoyed this version of "getting to know Anita"! ;)

Monday, January 26, 2009

I've Been Tagged!

I'm so excited! This is the first time EVER that I've been tagged for anything in the blogging world so here it goes~thanks Brenda!

Here are the rules:
1. Go to where you store your digital photo folders & open the 4th folder.
2. Go to the 4th picture and post it.
3. Explain the picture.
4. Tag an additional 4 people.


Some great photography to be sure! ;)

This picture was taken in August 2004 at my cousin Becky's 'couples' wedding shower. She & her husband received a croquet set (most awesome game ever!) as a gift, in fact, I may even have been the one to give it to them, but I'm fuzzy on the details. Becky, my sis Emily, myself, & a couple other cousins decided to break into this gift immediately for a game of "Extreme Croquet". Becky's mom & dad had just recently built their new home & it had a huge slope from their walkout basement. So "Extreme Croquet" consisted of playing a game in the dark with the metal hoops all on the "hills" where you had no control over where your ball would stop if you could get it up the hill & hopefully not lose your ball in the darkness! That was a fun night :) Thanks for helping me to remember it Brenda!

I am going to tag Jenny (because I know she has tons of pics & I'd like to know what her 4th pic in the 4th folder is :), Jamie (one of my RL friend blogging buddies), Jaime & Angie (2 bloggers I've known a short while & some my newest blogging buddies)
I can't wait to see your pics! :)

Sunday, January 25, 2009

"You Light Up My Life" Sunday 1/25/09


This person always makes me laugh.
This person is by far the "most intelligent" person in his family...if you listen to him tell it :)
I am actually a bit frightened by how alike our sense of humors are!
This person would do anything for his family & friends.
He is a good uncle, but prefers to see his niece & nephews in 'small doses'.
This person loves to cook & is good at it too.
He loves to sing, especially when he may only know one little phrase of a song & knows that it may be annoying to his brother.
He is a good brother to his brothers & sister.
This person is very thoughtful, most of the time. ;)
He is my only hope for having a niece named "Ethelburga" someday! haha (maybe I'll share this inside joke with all of you in a future post someday...)

So to my brother-in-law, Brad, here's to you~I love ya!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

2009 Book #3

I just finished reading Good in Bed by Jennifer Weiner this week. It is the first book I have read by this author & I enjoyed it quite a bit so I'm sure I will be reading more of her books down the road.
This book is about a girl named Cannie Shapiro who has just broken up with her boyfriend of 3 years. She is a pop culture reporter, has a mother who has come out of the closet & a father who 'forgot' about his first family when she was just a girl. The plot of the story basically begins when she sees a new magazine column that is being written by her exboyfriend. It shares the same title as the book & the column she sees is titled "Loving a Larger Woman", which sends Cannie into a year filled with lots of misery along with some very fantastic events. She comes out the other end with a totally new perspective about herself & her life in general.

I liked this book because I felt that Jennifer Weiner really captured the dialogue that runs through my 'fat person' head. The way Cannie sees & thinks about herself throughout most of the story is something that I can totally relate too. I can also say that I have felt that same way about myself numerous times throughout my life. I also like how she comes through the terrible thing (I don't want to ruin the surpise if any of you haven't read it yet) that happens toward the end of the book with such a healthy take (eventually) on everything that has happened to her & about herself and the way she looks. I also liked that it was a fairly easy read that only made me think 'just a little bit' about myself & how I view myself. It is good to have a "thinking" break between the tougher books! :)

Friday, January 23, 2009

Step Taker, Gas Maker :)

Please excuse me! For the duration of this post, I will no longer be remembering my manners as a "lady"...you have been warned! You still have time to turn back...

TOO LATE!

This past week I have noticed a change in my body. Not necessarily a good change, not necessarily a bad change, most definitely a natural change, but definitely not a polite change. What is this change I speak of (now I'm beginning to sound like the new president hehe)?

GAS! Lots & lots of gas!

So yesterday I got to thinking about this new development & trying to figure out what is causing it. The only thing I can come up with is the recent change to my diet (which has been going very well by the way-thanks for asking ;) I am blaming all of the fiber from the extra fruits & vegetables that I have been eating this week, but then I got to thinking again...
What do I eat for breakfast every morning? If you said cereal, you would be correct, but not just any ordinary cereal...wait for it...

FIBER ONE cereal filled with 9 grams of fiber in each serving! So, needless to say, besides all of the fiber I am normally eating first thing in the morning, I am adding lots more fiber to it throughout the day with all of the extra fruits & veggies I have added to my diet. Who would have guessed that eating healthier could cause such a stink! :)
I just hope that no one was down wind of me yesterday afternoon when I was doing my walk/run (good thing I live in the country), every step I took brought a wonderful moment of relief (if you know what I mean!) :)

Okay okay, I promise I'll try to get back to "being a lady" for tomorrow's post! ;)

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Welcome ICLWers :)

Those of you who are regular readers may notice a jump in the number of comments I am receiving over this next week (which makes me very happy! I love reading comments!) This is all because I am participating in "IComLeavWe" Week, which I found via the wonderful world of IF (aka infertility) & adoption blog reading & which means I'm visiting lots of new blogs this week & leaving lots of comments & hoping that lots of new people will be visiting my blog & leaving lots of comments (you get the idea!) ;) So to all of the new readers-welcome & to all of my regular or previous readers-welcome back (& I hope that you will all leave a comment sometime during the next week, especially since this is my first time!) :) You can learn more about it by clicking on the button over there on the left hand side & I promise more & better (I hope!) content as ICLW week rolls on!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Inaugurational Day Thoughts

Well...today was inauguration day & here are some thoughts that I have had over the past few days...

*"historical" is a word that I am quite tired of hearing, especially in regards to this particular inauguration. I agree that yes it is quite an 'historical' event to finally have an African American as president after the treatment the ancestors of African Americans, in general, have received in this country over the past several centuries. It is a very good day in that regard & very 'historical', but my argument would have to be this-isn't every inauguration 'historical' in one way or another, either it's a new president, maybe a new political party in power, maybe a new 2nd termer, etc-so I just kinda feel that the term 'historical' has been waaaay overused by the media this past week/weekend & I'm a little tired of hearing it. :)

*I am proud of our country, even though things are not super great right now...we are still able to have a very smooth transition between the old & new presidents, much of which I give HUGE kudos to George W. Bush for making it an easier transition by being so welcoming to the new prez, which leads me to this...

*I hope that history will be kinder to George W. Bush in the future (not everything he did was bad, evil, terrible, [insert your own negative adjective here]) & hopefully history will be much kinder than the media has been to him over the past several years

*I do not agree with Obama on some of my important issues, but I do wish him well (although I do have a bro-in-law & a sis-in-law who may not believe me, since they believe me to be only republican minded :) which is not the case) & hope that he can bring good changes to our country/government. I hope that he can inspire all of us to pick ourselves up to bring about the changes we may need in our own lives & not wait for the government to do it for us!

*Speaking of "Change we can believe in"....

Here are some things that I know this new president will not change...

*My dad will still think that anything Obama does is wrong. Not because he is black, my dad could care less what skin color he has, but because he is a Democrat & there isn't much any democrat can do right in his eyes! (& believe me, he WILL be telling us all about it for at least the next 4 years!)[insert sarcasm now] My mom may be sending out thank yous very soon to all of you who didn't vote for McCain-thanks a lot! hehe :)

*My ordinary life is not really going to change that much based on who the president is. I will still have to go to work each day, love my children & husband, & continue to try to make the best life for my family. I just hope that any changes made will not be a detriment to these things.

*I will continue to hope & pray that our country can do only good things in the world & for the world & that we can all live in peace & harmony.

I felt proud to watch the new president be sworn into office (as I always am) & glad to see a person of color in the highest office (whether I agree with him or not) because it does bring hope to so many people, children especially, who may have thought that they would always be held back from reaching such a lofty goal. Someday I could be raising a child of color as my own (we're open to anything when it comes to adopting a child) & I do have several cousins who are part African-American, Hispanic, multiracial, etc so for their sakes, I am sooo glad that they finally have someone that they can look to in that role & say "Hey, maybe I could be President someday!"

Happy Inauguration Day!

Monday, January 19, 2009

2009 Book #2

For Book #2, I read The Shack by Wm. Paul Young.

This book is about a man named Mack whose young daughter, Missy, was killed by a serial killer while on a family camping trip. One day he receives a note apparently from God telling him to return to the shack where Missy was killed. Once he is at the shack, he receives a visit from some very special visitors. Due to these circumstances, he has to come to terms with Missy's death & his own relationship with God.

What can I say about this book? Well, first of all, it impacted me quite deeply while reading it. It presented me with a different way of viewing God that made sense to me & even answered some of those questions I am always asking myself about God & religion in general. It made me THINK, which is one thing that makes a book a "good" book for me. I also liked that it was basically just a book about God & his love for us without being a book that crams "religion" down your throat, so I don't believe that it would "offend" anyone. I also liked that it did address some of the problems with religion in general, but that it did not put down any specific religions either, which is something I don't agree with in our society. I enjoyed the overall lessons I took away from this book too-we should not judge each other so harshly, we should treat each other with kindness, we gain strength from our relationships with others & God, etc.

I highly recommend this book & would enjoy to hear what you have to say about it too! You can check out more about it here.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

"You Light Up My Life" Sunday 1/18/09 edition


This person is one of my most faithful readers sometimes checking up on us several times a day. :)
This person is very creative.
This person was right there with & for us through the tremendous emotional ups & downs of the days surrounding Luke's birth & his birthmother's relinquishment.
This person let us take over her home (basically gave it up to us) for 2 weeks while we waited for permission to leave Georgia & head back to Illinois after Luke's birth, which is something we will always be soooo grateful to her for doing.
She makes me laugh when she piles lots of cheese on her food because she LOVES it knowing that she will regret it a few hours later when her stomach is upset (lactose intolerance is not her friend!)
She is a good aunt to Luke even if she doesn't change diapers or like kids very well when they're acting up! :)
I love how persistent she is about making her cat here in IL a housecat even though her parents will have no part in it, since it is their house.
She has a great fashion sense & understands the torment that goes along with having curly hair!
She is a good friend to have & I am glad to know her.
She is a great sister to my husband.

So Mary~here's to you, it's finally your turn! I love ya! :)

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Eat Your Colors!

Here at the Faith, Hope & Poop? household we are working on trying to be healthier in 2009. We have definitely come a long way since we first got married 5 1/2 years ago, but Scott & I both know that there is always more we could be doing. Part of our desire is vanity, we both want to look & feel better about ourselves, but a lot of it is wanting to set a good example for Luke. We want him to want to eat healthy & to see us doing the same thing. We already try to keep a lot of the "junk" food out of our house (because we know that we will choose to eat it if it is here, instead of choosing something healthy!) Don't get me wrong though, we do still have some of that stuff around, but the amount has definitely decreased through the years. We also try to exercise some, but not nearly enough as we should. This all brings us to our new challenge. Scott (& me too, but just not as often) is constantly saying how we should be trying to fit more fruits & veggies into our meals/routines. We do a pretty good job with Luke (with the fruit anyway...although recently he has shown a slight fondness for cabbage, go figure), but when it comes to ourselves we only do a so/so job. Soooo...our new challenge is to try to "eat our colors" everyday. Check out this website for more info & I'll keep you posted on our progress & I challenge you to do it too!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

"It's been years"

Yesterday afternoon I was going about my normal routine/schedule at school. My job in the afternoons is to go around to certain K-2 classrooms pulling out individual students to do reading interventions (activities to improve their reading skills) with them. I work with the same students, for the most part, every afternoon. I enjoy this part of the day because I am constantly on the go~I don't spend more than 15-20 mins in any one classroom at a time. Even with the constant changing, it can sometimes seem a bit monotonous when you are trying to get a student to sound out/say the words correctly over & over again, especially if they are not getting it. For example, part of a typical session could go like this:

Me: Look at the word, say each letter sound & then say the whole word.
(We'll pretend the word is "red")
Student: rrr-iii-ddd "rid"
Me: No, try again, remember it's an e not an i
Student: Oh yeah! rrr-eee-ddd "rid"
Me: No, this time you said the right sound, but then you changed it when you put it all together
Student: (hopefully this next step is what happens, sometimes this previous part can occur again & again before they get it or they don't get it until I say it with them) rrr-eee-ddd "red"
Me: Yes! You got it!

Keep in mind this is not what happens with every child, but it does seem to happen at least a couple of times over the course of each afternoon, so on those slow moving afternoons, these episodes can feel like an eternity at times. This is why I appreciate when something totally unexpected/out of the ordinary happens on these afternoons.
Yesterday afternoon I went to one of my classrooms to pull the student I needed to work with at that time. Well, his class was in the middle of watching a movie/documentary about penguins. I asked the teacher if he needed to stay to see it & she said that it was okay to pull him, that they were watching it because they were getting ready to start a lesson about penguins so he wouldn't be missing too much. As the student & I were heading out into the hallway, he looks up at me & says:

Student: Is this going to take very long?
Me: Nope! Only about 10 mins, I promise you won't miss much of your movie!
Student: Oh goood! I don't want to miss it-it's been years since I've seen a penguin movie!
Me: Years, huh? (holding back my laughter)
Student: Yeah, I don't even remember when I saw one last...

He's only 7! I couldn't help but pass this info along to his teacher. She was glad & I was glad that he was getting to see his first penguin movie in years & we both had a great chuckle over it! :)

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: Singing & Dancing Mouse

For the back story see here

For more Wordless Wednesday see 5 Minutes for Mom

The Note...

Dear Mom & Dad,

I love both of you very much, but I am not sure why you both continue to torture me so. You continue to hide my one new most favorite toy & I don't know why! Oh sure, there for a long time I was scared of it & sure, I don't really realize that it is gone until I get a peek of it, but now that I am the ripe old age of 16 months when I do see it I WANT it! Its dancing intrigues me, its music mesmerizes me & all I want to do is just listen to it. I am not really sure why you two don't want to sit with me for hours upon hours listening to it & pushing the button over & over again with each new demand when the song ends. Come on now, what are parents for anyway! If this abuse continues, I will have to continue my campaign of pulling out the "lip" & the cries of despair that make you think that the world is coming to an end! (Granted this may all be dependent on me remembering that the toy exists or me catching a glimpse of it, but still...you get my point!) Good Day!

Your Lovable Son,
Luke

P.S. Thanks mom for typing this note for me! :)

(If you're curious to know what this 'new most favorite toy' is, stay tuned for Wordless Wednesday tomorrow...)

Sunday, January 11, 2009

"You Light Up My Life" Sunday 1/11/09 edition


This person can get "under my skin" faster than anyone else I know. :)
This person is always there for me when I need her most.
This person has shown a strength that I'm not so sure I would have with regards to an impending "crisis" her family is facing.
This person can tell a story better than I can.
She is the person (along with myself) who introduced Scott to the true meaning of a "girl fight" (aka 'death stares', silent treatment, etc) when Scott & I were dating. :)
She is a great mom & inspires me to help Luke be more independent after watching her with her girls.
We have always pushed each other to be better than the other or at least the best we could be (with only a 16 month age difference, isn't sibling rivalry swell!)
This person never lets me forget the silly mistakes I have made, especially when she has been along for most of them!
This person has been there for almost everything that has ever happened in my life & I can't imagine & wouldn't have wanted it any other way!

So Emily~here's to you! I love ya!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Winds of Change...

I thought that was a clever title, since it is only supposed to get windier & colder as the day goes on here-hooray for winter NOT! :)

Anyway, today I just thought that I'd talk about the blog a little bit, since I have recently changed/added a few things & will hopefully be doing a little bit more over the next few months.

For those of you who have been reading for awhile now, the most obvious change is my template. I have been known to switch it up every once in awhile, but this one was a big step for me because I actually went out on the internet & found this template AND got it switched around ALL BY MYSELF (I know I'm getting just a bit more techno savvy everyday, yay!) :) I like the new template alot, it kind of reminds me of myself, a little old-fashioned (like me), the colors are super(pink-well I am a girl & brown-have you seen the title of the blog!) & it had 3 columns, which was something I really wanted so that I could get the blog arranged more how I wanted it to be.

I also changed the "About Me" section a little bit & am hoping that it conveys my personality just a little bit better than it did before. The picture that you see floating around to represent me may just seem like an ordinary picture of a rose, but in fact it was not just any rose, it was my first ever Mother's Day rose, which if you have been reading any length of time at all-you know that (along with Father's Day) was a VERY major milestone in the Faith, Hope & Poop? household last year!

I've also added a couple of items so that I can see where my readers are coming from (this is only for my own vanity :) I love seeing all of the different places pop up in the Traffic Feed & knowing that maybe my little world actually interests someone else & even possibly that by sharing my stories I might help someone else too.

Which brings me to the "My Stories" & "Story Topics" sections, the first is just the archives of everything I have written & the second is just the major things I write about (me, Luke & Scott, work, etc.) or the things that are currently most important to me.

Most of that stuff is pretty consistent with what I've always had on here, but the newest & probably most major change that I have made is adding advertisements to the blog. Along with that you will seem some other boxes of things that I have joined or am doing as a way of increasing my readership, showing my interests & supporting other bloggers at the same time. I love blogging & am so glad to have discovered it. I love being able to channel some of my creative energy into what I hope people enjoy reading & I would love to try to use it as a tool to help us bring even more love into our household. My plan is to use any money earned from this little blog to fund future adoptions & Luke's (along with future children's) college funds, so if you see an ad that interests you-I hope that you will check it out & know that it is being used for something worthwhile not just to "buy more stuff" :) Even if I make no money off of this venture, I take pride in knowing that I am doing something that I enjoy & I am helping to document my little family's history as well.

Thanks for reading & I'd love to have you join me by "Follow (ing) My Adventures" or Subscribing to our blog!
Enjoy & don't be surpised to see more changes down the road (because you know that I never can make up my mind)! ;)

Thursday, January 8, 2009

I'm Ready, Now What?

I wanted to send Congrats out to my cousin Tami's family~she & her husband welcomed a new baby into their family last week via adoption. This little baby girl is their 3rd child & the answer to their prayers of wanting to add to their family. We are so happy & excited for them here at the "Faith, Hope & Poop?" household & can't wait to meet the newest member of our extended family! When we were first looking into adoption, Tami is one of the people who we consulted about her experience & she was there for us during the ups & downs of our experience with Luke's adoption. She along with three of my aunts on that side have all adopted their children (my aunt's all did it via the foster care system) so adoption is nothing new to our family. I think that many people would find it to be quite an experience coming to one of our family things with all the mixes of races (my cousins) & strong personalities (my aunts! hehe). I've oftentimes wondered if my mom's mom & dad (Grandma & Grandpa) ever imagined that this is what their family would someday look like-I'm sure that they would not have expected to have so many additions to the family via adoption, but I like to think that they wouldn't have changed it for the world. Of their 16 grandchildren, 6 are adopted (via foster care) & as far as their great grandchildren, currently 6 (& 2 more on the way) are biological, 4 are adopted (via private/agency adoption) & 3 are step greatgrandchildren-it really does make for one very unique family!

All of this & the past holiday season have gotten me to thinking about my own family & I was hit with the realization that "I'm ready!" I want another little body in our house, another little someone to love & care for, another little baby to raise as my own...another child. Maybe it is because I am surrounded by family & friends adding to their families, maybe it is because I realized Luke is at the age I was when my first sister was born, or maybe it is just because I have so much love stored up inside of me to share with another child that we can't have on our own, but whatever it is I'm ready!

We've started doing all of the things that we need to do-updating our portfolio, contacting the agency, etc, but it all leaves me with many questions too...just because we're ready should we continue if Scott is out of work-is that really the smartest idea but shouldn't it also be a major priority if we are ready, then I ask myself 'but if we could get pregnant we probably would have been already when he lost his job so is that how we should be thinking', how long will our wait be before we have another child in our arms & how many expenses will all of this include, what if no one chooses us...along with a million & one others, but that's all part of the game & we've been here before so I am hopeful that years from now we'll be able to look back on this journey we call adoption with a great deal of wonder & respect & gratefulness for having had to it when we're enjoying our own 'unique' family someday!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

2009 Book #1

I finished my first book of the new year (only 39 to go to make my resolution!) This book was not one that I would have picked up on my own, but was one that I had to read for my 4th grade book club discussion. The book is The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 1) by Rick Riordan.

The jist of the book is that the main character, Percy Jackson, is labeled a troublemaker in school & has ADHD. Any school he has ever attended, he has been kicked out of & he is now in the 6th grade. He has some strange things that keep happening to him-he sees faces where there shouldn't be faces, he watches one of his teachers turn into a monster & then he vaporizes her, etc. He soon learns that this is all because he is a half-blood meaning that he is half Greek god & half human. His mom sends him to Camp Half Blood, where he meets other kids who are also the sons & daughters of Greek gods & godesses. He befriends a satyr & a daughter of Athena. They accompany him on a quest across the U.S., into the Underworld & back out again to help solve a problem that is causing turmoil amongst the gods, which could lead to WWIII for the rest of the world.

I thought this book was okay. It never really drew me in to the point where I couldn't put it down & Percy wasn't a character who made me really feel for him. He struck me as a bit conceited & I may have enjoyed it more if one of the other 2 main characters was telling the story from their perspective instead. I did like the whole Greek mythology aspect of the book, which was something that I was always interested in learning. I did wonder about using it for a 4th grade book club though, since many of those kids haven't really been exposed to Greek mythology yet, I figured that many parts of this story would be hard for them to grasp (& I was right!) It would serve better as an early middle school book. I thought the play on Greek gods & monsters living in the U.S. was kind of a fun twist on the mythology part of the book. This book is the first in a series & I can easily say that this book did not make me want to read the next book, but the excerpt from the 2nd book in the back of the book did interest me in it more. I also kind of felt like the author was playing off of the whole Harry Potter thing too (main character finds out this secret about himself in junior high-he is actually a very powerful person, doesn't "get" all of the common knowledge things in his new world, befriends a 'weaker' male character & a 'stronger' girl character, together they have a mystery to solve with an older mentor/teacher looking out for them, etc.) although I don't know if it was intentional-it was just a connection that I made between the two series. Overall, I liked the book, but I just wasn't excited about it.

Wordless Wednesday: Highchair?




This was Luke's "highchair" at a recent family dinner due to the actual highchair being in use by his cousin already.

More Wordless Wednesday at 5 Minutes for Mom

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Grrr...

I've been trying to post some fun things, but Blogger won't upload my pictures~I'm giving up for this evening, but stay tuned & please send some cooperative thoughts my way:) Maybe it will work tomorrow...

Tackle it Tuesday: The Office

Tackle It Tuesday Meme

Last week, Scott & I tackled cleaning the office so I thought that I would join in the fun over at 5 Minutes for Mom & post my before & after pics here.

Here is the catastrophe we were facing:

BEFORE




AFTER




Yaaaaay Us!!!!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Back to the Grindstone

School starts back up today & boy am I glad! Don't get me wrong, it has been great being able to be home with Scott & Luke the last 2 weeks, but I hate not having a normal routine. The same thing happens over summer break too. I love the 'free time' & not having lots of added responsibilities outside of caring for my family & home, but I tend to let myself go by the wayside.

*These breaks are when I tend to start getting more out of shape (lack of schedule means I can always fit exercise in "later", but later never comes.)
*I tend to pack on the pounds in over these breaks too because I don't follow a 'normal' eating schedule & I'm usually at home where I have access to "goodies" at any time of the day.
*I start to fell 'blah' mentally without the challenge of constantly planning & teaching lessons all day long.
*My house usually becomes MORE disorganized during these times (see the above explanation about exercise except insert the word cleaning for exercise!)

So, needless to say, I'm ready to get back into the swing of things even if it does feel a little too 'routine' sometimes~I am definitely a better wife & mother & friend to myself for getting up & going to work each day (& boy, I never thought I would be the one saying that, so much for all of my talk a few years back of being a SAHM after I had kids!) :)

Sunday, January 4, 2009

"You Light Up My Life" Sunday edition 1/4/09



This person has always been there for me.
This person is a GREAT listener (she's had plenty of practice of the years that's for sure!)
This person is always ready to help her family & friends who are in need.
This person is always willing & loves watching her grandchildren (even though she does sometimes forget that she already has something "on her calendar" for the same time :)
She is a good baker, but usually needs a 'reason' to bake (like a birthday or church fundraiser!)
When I look back on my school career, I am very grateful for all of the 'running' she did so that my sisters & I could participate in sports, band, clubs, etc.
I love watching her play with babies-I truly believe that within just a few minutes of meeting any baby she could make him/her laugh.
She is very generous (she's one of the few people I know who doesn't even bat an eyelash when her husband tells her that he is going to the "boat" (casino boat) again for the 3rd time in a week! She just says "Well I don't have to worry about him bugging me that way!") :)
I love how deep her faith is & am grateful that she has instilled that in my sisters & me too.

So Mom, here's to you!~I love ya!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Coming in out of the fog...

We just got home from my aunt & uncle's 40th anniversary party. It doesn't usually seem like a long drive, but after driving over 50 miles in the fog with maybe 1/8-1/4 mile visibility (& part of it stuck behind a semitruck) let's just say it SEEMED like a really long drive. So now that we're all home safe & sound, I think I'll make this short & sweet.
I'm heading off to bed with sweet dreams of hopefully having a 'clearer' view tomorrow.
Good night & Good luck to anyone who may still have to drive in it yet tonight!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Interesting Hobby...

I told him that I was going to do this, so here it is~I hope you enjoy this little story!

Yesterday, while Luke was at the neighbor's (babysitter) house, Scott & I decided (well, I decided for us) to clean up the office. It was a mess, believe me! Most of the issue is paper clutter & alot of the issue is that Scott & I both tend to have "pack rat" tendencies. I, however, have really been trying to work on mine over the last year & have gotten more into the mindset of "if I don't use it...throw it out or donate it" which, needless to say, is quite traumatizing on my poor dear husband.
He hates having to throw things out because "we might need it someday". I usually retort "well, we haven't needed this [insert the necessity here] in over 5 years of marriage, what makes you think that we're going to need it anytime soon". To which, he replies "I don't know, but we might & then you'll wish you hadn't thrown it away!" I just politely smile & say "If I ever need that, then I'll just buy another one then, but I highly doubt that I will need it anytime soon!"

So...as you can imagine, we had a lot of throwing out to do! Well when we were all finished & everything was looking good again, I happened to mention that Scott could put up his new Dilbert desk calendar that he got for Christmas. He thought that this was a good idea so he opened it & put it on the desk. I then said "Now we can throw the box away". Scott then informed me that no he would not be throwing the box away because he keeps the calendar pages after he rips them off. My reaction "What for?" Basically, he said that he likes them (the comic strips) & then proceeded to show me the box (with calendar pages) that he has kept from a previous year along with some big color comic strips he had received at another time. He said that he keeps them because he is going to do something with them someday, "What?" he doesn't know, but something!
I was at a loss for words & just shook my head (although I did mention that this was definitely a story for the blog & would definitely be labeled 'Harassing my Husband'!) So if anyone out there has any idea, what you can do with comic strip desk calendar pages (at least 2 years worth) & HUGE comic strips, please send them our way, apparently we are in need of ideas!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

2009 Resolutions

It's that time of year again, the time when we all try to renew ourselves by making resolutions. Never wanting to be one who is left off of the 'bandwagon' here are my resolutions for 2009!

1. Get in better shape (I know how cliche, but I've already been working on it the last few months so I'm hoping this will be my year!)
One of my mini goals within this resolution is to lose 40 lbs this year-which should be just slightly over 3 lbs a month-totally doable...I hope! The other is to increase my amount of activity each week. I intend to do this by setting a goal each week & then attempting to surpass it that week. The goal will increase each week.

2. I want to read 40 books this year (not including the ones I read each week for my lessons) & you my lucky readers will get to hear all about them as I finish each one! Yeah!!! :)

3. When I first started blogging this year, I remember reading about people attempting to take at least one picture a day. I think that sounds kind of cool, hard, intriguing, etc so I am going to attempt it! If I get my act together, catching up on editing old photos, editing the one a day photos, etc, hopefully, I will be able to post some of them here for you!

4. And finally...in my continuing efforts to be a better person/friend/relative/etc., I am going to carry over that same concept to the people I know in real life & the people I am getting to know in the blogging world. I plan on doing/saying one nice thing for/to a different person each day so you my family, friends, & fellow bloggers are part of my resolutions this year-watch out I might be hitting you with kindness next!

Sounds like I am going to be one very busy lady this year, but I am planning on trying to find time to 'update' you each month on my progress & best of luck to all of you with your resolutions this year!

Check out more resolutions at 5 Minutes for Mom