28 October 2010

wanna see something nasty?

... now THAT is a scary jack-o-lantern...

... well, so is this one. yep, its been hot down here this week.
thankfully the cool front moved in this afternoon. Not in time to save our pumpkins, but what are you gonna do? apparently we carved them too soon! also, just to give you the full -gross- effect. When I moved these punks into trash bags, tons of flies flew out of their mouths! eew!

Wilson had a fairly good "sick" day today. We finished up his family tree project. He's pretty creative but likes things simple. We kind of forgot about it over the weekend and then had to spend a ton of time on it Tuesday night. He's proud of how it turned out (teacher requested we keep it to immediate family & grandparents... otherwise, Wilson could've had a super-ginormous family tree!)
The boys spent a good part of the day in their super-hero costumes. While I was taking pictures of them, Wilson struck this pose. I kinda love it. He said, "You can't hardly tell its me!"
I tried a little super-hero mask for Walker. I probably won't be making a lot of these. They are sort of fussy. But since Wilson had a Batman one, I thought I'd try one for Super Walker, too.
Wilson planned his Halloween costume shortly after I made him the Batman cape. He knew he was going to wear his Batman pj's with his cape. So simple! He even drew the shape that he wanted for his mask (I only adjusted it a smidge to make it symmetrical.) And he was SO happy to have thought it up himself. Today Walker was going back and forth between being Super Walker or a Fireman. Guess we'll find out Saturday. Anyone else trick-or-treating on Saturday instead of Sunday?
Muskoka is ticked at the idea of going to the Howl-O-Ween at the Dog Park tomorrow. I had some extra pink so I made a flimsy cape for her... one sided, pinking shears on the edge, nearly-no-sew. She hates it. And that little clip in her hair, she has tried to eat it twice. Thankfully the boys liked their super-hero accessories.

27 October 2010

all sorts of misc. and also, some etc.

why not start with some cute?

this week at story time, the kids got to wear their costumes. they also decorated treat bags (itty bitty ones, very clever planning). then - get this- they got to trick-or-treat through the library! random library patrons (and also the regular story-time ladies) were handed buckets o'goodies to give to the preschoolers as they wandered around in their garb. fireman Walker was pretty thrilled about it. although the snow boots & plastic jacket were a little much in this weather! zoo-wee-mama!
I took a few more dresses to the gift shoppe on-post...
so far, I think I like the fabric ties the best...
these are Georgia bulldogs colors. Unfortunately it doesn't seem like there are many Georgia bulldog fans around... everyone likes Auburn or Alabama around these parts. (I do have a little green and white dress in the works for a little state fan up north).

I sold another super hero cape today! Woohoo!

That was the good news.

Wilson has strep again. I was supposed to set up an appointment for both boys to get swabbed to see if one of them is a carrier. I did set up the appointment, however, Wilson wasn't feeling great over the weekend. Headache, cough, blah. (But we've had our windows open so we thought maybe it was all allergy-related.) They got swabbed on Monday anyway. Well, I got the call today that Wilson's culture was positive for strep. And since he has been presenting some symptoms we are treating him with an antibiotic. We are praying that we can get an appointment with his doctor (we've seen the PA the last three trips) and get a referral to an ENT.

Also, I knocked the mirror off of the van when I backed out the of the garage this evening. Not one of my finer moments. At first I thought I could just pop it back on (only the mirror came off, not the whole casing/arm thing what the heck is that thing called?). But on further examination I see that out of approx. eight plastic clip-in spots, 6 snapped. Oops.

Earlier in the week, Brad declared this "The Great Rip-Off Week." He may not have been as formal in his title, but you get the idea. We had three distinct incidents.

1) The PX had a crazy deal on a huge thing of Tide, we usually make our own powder soap, but we've been buying tide to wash our towels/sheets in. So we stopped at the PX, then went over to the commissary to get a couple things for dinner. I realized that I had $20 less bucks in my envelope than I should've. So we had to go back to the PX. We thought it might be turning into some really ridiculously expensive Tide! The cashier was still in her lane, I showed her my envelopes and explained that we had just been there. She looked apprehensively toward her drawer... we told her she could go ahead and count it if she needed to. She did. We waited. Wondered. And she came back and gave us our $20.

2) The other night while Brad was working I was busily cutting up satin for super-hero capes. When I laid out my satin, I realized the lady at JoAnn's cut one piece about 6 inches short. Oh dear. I took a picture with my phone, then kept cutting. I took in the short piece on Tuesday. The manager wasn't rude, but wasn't very clear about his policy. I mean, I knew there was no refund on cut-fabric. I also knew it was a long-shot to say, "See I took a picture with my phone, that piece was shorter." But I tried. And he ended up cutting me a new piece and only charging me the difference of it & the piece I brought back. I didn't realize until I re-told the story to Brad that I still got ripped off a little... but only by about 40 cents.

3) Then yesterday, we got a bill from the ambulance company in Flint (remember the little fender-bender and Wilson's sore soft tissues afterwards). The bill was for $502. It stated that our insurance company paid $192 and that we were responsible for the remaining $502. I didn't for one second think we had to pay that money. Brad immediately called our insurance company, then called the ambulance place. They tried to bully Brad at first, then he dropped the whole I'm-Active-Duty-military-and-I-had-a-son-Life-flighted-and-never-paid-a-dime-so-I-know-I-don't-owe-you-and-you-can-call-my-insurance-company-and-deal-directly-with-them-card and they backed it up. (because her daddy taught her good)

Truthfully, it was more like "The Great FAILED Rip-off Week."

except for the 40 cents.

and whatever that mirror ends up costing. ;)

26 October 2010

cub scout bowling...

the scout meeting this week was at the bowling alley. And thankfully, again, Walker got to be right in the action... with a little extra help (which was so nice because the last time we went bowling, Walker's ball stalled out halfway down the lane - more than once!)Here are the guys getting ready for the game to start...
and my favorite cub scout, with little scout right behind him.

It was a fun, simple time. After a very busy Monday, I wasn't looking forward to it (at all). But it turned out to be a really great time.

25 October 2010

pumpkins for our punkins...

We went to the "farmer's" market downtown Saturday in hopes of finding some pumpkins. The market is actually just a bunch of vendors crammed along both sides of one sidewalk (not both sides of a street, both sides of ONE sidewalk). There were a few folks with some local produce, but for some reason none of them hauled big ol' pumpkins down there.

So then it was a toss-up. We had planned to go to the Southern Pirate Festival after finding our pumpkins. But with no pumpkins found we had to boil it down to choice a) Pumpkins from Wal-Mart and Pirate Festival or choice b) Pumpkin Patch. The boys picked the pumpkin patch! So we headed out.

It wasn't too far of a drive. And boy did I want to buy one or ten of these giant mums! Aren't they amazing? I am sure they would be dead in a few days at our house, so I just had the boys pose by them... Cheaper that way, too. The boys quickly picked out their pumpkins. This "patch" was kinda nice because you could truly just get pumpkins and go without paying bunches of money for other things. We didn't really want to spend the day with the pumpkin patch people.
And then they got to cleaning out the guts. Its been awhile since they've carved one with Daddy, I think we all had forgotten that he would smear pumpkin-guts on your face. Walker wasn't too pleased with it...
But he got over it pretty quickly. He planned his pumpkin's face to match Pumpkin Jack from one of his favorite Halloween books. Daddy helped with the carving.
And Wilson and Brad collaborated on this guy as well. Wilson was rather pleased with his finished Jack-O-Lantern.
And here they are on the front porch, waiting to greet trick-or-treaters (or to be smashed by hooligans). One of these days we might see about putting candles in them. Or not.
p.s. Brad was jumping behind me being silly, trying to get the boys to smile. Our shadows make it look like we were in some sort of victorious embrace though! ;)

flashback

our post from one year ago today...

20 October 2010

book report...x3...

Brad bought me this book last week. I read it in nearly two days. And I am not a reader. So, so very good. I bawled through portions of it. Even had to close it and have a good cry a few times. And yet (and praise God for "and yet"), I was filled with awe for our Creator. Reminded that we don't always get to know why, but that our Father is unchanging. Always.


This is a little book Walker picked up at the library a few weeks ago. (I have been trying to find books about adoption, and initially I thought this was an animal book about the concept of adoption; but it was actually about people adopting a pet. After looking at it together, Walker still decided he wanted to bring it home.) Both times that I read it to him, I had to pause and blink back tears at this one part. The other day I heard Wilson reading it to Walker and I ran downstairs trying to get there before Wilson got to the "sad" part. But he was on the last page. When he finished reading it, I said, "One part in that book made me cry." He turned around and looked at me with teary eyes and said, "Me too." God has given him such an empathetic heart!


And this is a book I read quite a few months ago. Well, I used birthday money to buy it, so I guess it was in May. When I read it, I felt like it kind of captured a lot of what had been going on in my head and my heart in regard to adoption. I picked it up and started reading it again this week. And yes, there are a few tears when I read this one too. Some people strongly dislike this book because of some of the things Russell Moore says in regard to adoption practices. (However, he is speaking from his personal experience and not authoring a book instructing all adoptive families about best practices. Big difference.) I really appreciated it and I highly recommend it to anyone.

19 October 2010

rather than 5000 words...

...I thought I would upload some pictures.

Wilson got back on his bike. We took a long summer-break so he wouldn't have a heat injury. Its finally cooling off enough to go outside in the evenings. It wasn't a happy reunion between the boy and his bike. Hopefully a few more forced-rides is all it will take until he enjoys the freedom! Daddy was very patient at his end of the street...... as was Koka at our end of the street.
Yesterday the boys climbed all over the swingset while I made a mess inside... Walker got a "new" pair of cowboy boots from a neighbor! He's thrilled!
Barbie and I hit the flea market when we visited them, I found this glass dish (top) and Barbie gave me one of her Sundae dishes (bottom) and let me use some of her clear caulk. Well, truth be told, Brad is actually the one that did the caulking (would've been awesome if I had gotten that picture!) Its quite a darling treat stand, isn't it? Especially with that cutie in the background....
Oh. And this is a note from Walker to me. While Wilson was working on homework this evening, Walker also wanted to do "school." His own -unassigned-by-me- schoolwork. Except somewhere in the process he decided that he didn't actually want to do "school." So he wrote his teacher (me) a note to tell me that "he had the coughs" and he wouldn't be able to do anymore school work.

Its hard to tell in the "note" but that is Walker and the coughs are on his smile. Or at least that is the way it was explained to me. ;)

16 October 2010

weekend update

We had our third (and final!) Home Study appointment yesterday! And Brad's "missing" application has been found! Praise God! Yesterday we talked about losses in our lives and how we have handled them. We also talked about family traditions from our childhoods, and how they look now. And we got to talk about the boys...

...who chose to be Pirates yesterday afternoon... rather gruff, mean-looking pirates...... or maybe not-so-mean-looking....

So as we enjoy our little swashbucklers, we will wait for our family assessment to be written up. And then approved by a case worker. And then approved by her supervisor. And then approved by his supervisor. And then sent on to the State for approval. And then we wait for a child. All manner of variables exist along each step and how long it might take. The constant is that God is the one in control, and He is the One that sets the lonely in families. We will wait with great expectation.

13 October 2010

mischief of one kind

its the most boo-tastic time of year! So yesterday afternoon found us working on "boo" bags. I adore this picture of Walker because his cheeks look so big & babyish and darn it if he isn't wearing 5T pants now. Heavens the time goes fast... but back to the booing... I was maybe going to make felt bags for booing, but Wilson and I determined that our old-standby-brown-lunch-bags would be best... so we made pumpkins for them...and we found the best ever printables to go with them -- easy for the neighbors to join in if they want, without having to create their own -- and isn't that the point, so the whole neighborhood gets boo-ed?

Pre-mischief picture, they were so excited! They got to go out on their mission all by themselves (while we watched, of course)...
And here they go sneaking down the drive...
and down the sidewalk... they were so adorable to watch! Brad and I had so much fun watching them, wondering how loud they were being, and if anyone was bossing... ;)
...and a post-mischief picture as they are returning home after their second delivery. (The second delivery involved crossing the street, so Brad had to be the crossing guard).

If you haven't yet, you should really consider boo-ing someone! Its so much fun!

12 October 2010

great weekend...with the Clements...

....not so great pictures...well,the pictures aren't necessarily bad, but I barely took any...

like I should've had Brad take a picture of Logan flat-ironing my hair; and surely we should've photographed the moment when Curry, Barbie, Brad and I discovered the cause of "The Seven Year Itch" in marriages; and why didn't we get any pictures of the piles of peanut shells lying around after devouring boiled peanuts? Maybe next time...

For now, here's a shot of Brad letting Walker "drive"... And Wilson (and Lo way in the background) on the four-wheelers...
and Wilson tailgating Daddy...
and our two brave October swimmers! none of the folks over 4 feet tall had swimwear with them (for good reason, that water was CHILLY!)
then back at the Clements for some driveway play... Barbie had a pack of sidewalk chalk/paint that Walker was begging to open ALL DAY LONG. He was a little bummed that it didn't live up to the 3D advertising hype, but I think he got over it...
can you believe these two driveway pics are the only pics I took of their new house? How ridiculous, but those boys sure are cute!

Clements, you are truly a blessing to our family. We love all y'all!

***funny sidenote: spell check highlights "should've" but not "y'all". Interesting, no?***

07 October 2010

backin' up...

so a few weeks ago, I saw this on another blog... and because we are super mature, I showed it to Brad when he came home... (p.s. sorry about the language)




You really need to watch both videos... to get the full effect...



and now whenever we hear the phrase "back it up" (or something similar) we think of this lady and her little song. Actually it hadn't occurred to me until Brad whispered to me at the Cub Scout meeting Monday... and then every time this pack-leader-guy would tell the boys to "back it up"... well, you get the idea...

My hope is that in sharing this with you; you, too, will think of this lady when you hear the phrase "back it up." Let me know if it works!

06 October 2010

ain't that a kick in the head...

We had a particularly rough home-study yesterday. It wasn't so much the interview, as the circumstances surrounding it. Namely, more missing paperwork and the feeling of inability to do anything about it. We checked and rechecked our list of paperwork before handing in our packet. Those of you that know Brad, KNOW it was all there. (I might be prone to missing some details here and there, but Brad is gifted in the details-arena. Thorough is an understatement for how he covers fine print.) At our first meeting, Brad had to fill out a paper, that he had already filled out once. Yesterday, we found out Brad's application is now missing.

We were frustrated.

We discussed it some; stating that the idea of going through an expensive professional agency was alluring right about now. And realizing that some missing paperwork is the reason some children linger in foster care. And feeling powerless to do much about it. But wait. And fill out the same forms...again...and again.

I was reminded that this is a battle. And that I know the Victor. "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly." John 10:10

This morning I was catching up on some blogs that I read when I am not too busy. I haven't read any of them in about a week, and there were many updates about a conference this past weekend. Together for Adoption. I watched this video...

Isaiah's Story from 31Films on Vimeo.

And, naturally, I bawled my eyes out. The realization flooded over me, no matter how frustrated we might feel in this adoption process. No matter how helpless we might feel in regard to waiting on the right person to get the right paperwork. Our journey will never be as difficult as the one our child is walking right now... wherever he or she is. From this day forward, I pray that each frustration we face will strengthen our resolve, will steady our feet on this path, and will keep us praying constantly for the little one God will bring to our home.

05 October 2010

fall family camp-out

We had a GREAT weekend with the cub scouts! We headed out Friday evening to the Camp Pine Mountain. We had no idea really, of what to expect. Sometimes that can be a good thing. ;) I think we all had a great time. Here are a few pictures (believe me, I left A LOT of them out!) Love this one of Brad and Wilson at the archery station...The great thing about it was that it truly was "family camp." Walker got to participate along with Wilson... shooting the bow was a thrill for him!
Next stop was the BB gun station. They told the boys all about the safety measures before letting them go shoot... parents could assist if they had "safety" glasses, Brad had to borrow mine ;)
Wilson with his target. Not bad for his first time shooting!
The boys all made little sailboats at the Crafts station, and then raced them. Here's the "W" coming into the finish...
Last night was a pack meeting, where the boys got to receive their bobcat badge. It was really exciting and high energy as the boys went down the alley to receive their new rank from their parents... (The other boys hit them with balloons as they walked through... the picture of Brad giving Wilson his rank didn't turn out very well...)
I thought for sure that Wilson would hate this part, but I guess this picture proves otherwise. This is after he got his rank and he's coming back to his seat (Brad and Walker are in the background).
They went outside after the ceremony to let the boys play a balloon-popping game...
and again, super family friendly, they let the siblings play too. Walker even has his cub scout sign up... Every time they would say "Signs Up!" Walker would shoot his little sign up in the air too...
And here's the little scout all decked out before his pack meeting last night. He has his camp-out patch on his left pocket. We bought his uniform yesterday and I sewed his patches on yesterday afternoon before the meeting. I have a new-found respect for people that sew patches on to uniforms. Wow, that was a little trickier than I thought it would be!

Overall, we are pretty excited that Wilson is in Cub Scouts. Yes, its a bigger time commitment than I expected, but so far it has been good. Brad and I were talking last night about how its a little like Awana. Of course, Wilson isn't memorizing scripture with Cub Scouts, but it is giving our family a chance to meet other families that we might not otherwise. We hope to be a blessing to those that we meet!