I was trying to explain that she was making a social commentary of the day, and as I was laughing at the dialogue, he was looking at me with a dazed look and said,"you find this funny?" He is the king of dry humor, and he didn't get it. Maybe men just can't understand how great Jane is, how lovely she writes, how funny her characters are. I just love, love, love, Jane Austen. I am so thrilled that Northanger Abbey and Persuasion are going to be on as well. I need to find my novels and read them again, maybe swoon a little on my fainting couch and drink some sherry to revive me. I was definitely born in the wrong era and station in life.
Sunday, January 31, 2010
I have been watching "Emma" on Masterpiece theater. Tonight, it went by so quickly; I cried out in frustration that I would not be in the presence of my Dear Mr. Knightly for yet another week! Okay, not really, but man is he good looking, and tonight the way he looked so longingly at Emma...ahhh. Tim watched it with me tonight,and absolutely didn't get it. He critiqued the entire show, "what do they do all day?" "What is this, the upper 5% of the society lives like this, doing nothing but gossiping all day?" I kept shushing him. He's such a guy. He's never even read Jane Austen.The only thing he watches on PBS is war stuff and "The New Yankee Workshop".
Saturday, January 30, 2010
Friday, January 29, 2010
Every Friday night Gabe and Abby have a sleepover. They switch off rooms each week, if Abby hasn't had a tantrum. Gabe has a bunk bed, so Abby usually sleeps on the top bunk, or they fight about who has to sleep up there. Weird. What kid doesn't think it's cool to sleep on the top bunk? When they are in Abby's room, they sleep in her twin bed. I don't know how long we can get away with that, but neither one wants to sleep on the hardwood floor. And, yes, they are faking sleep in this picture, but they still look like little angels.
Thursday, January 28, 2010
Gabe and Abby bring home books to read to us every night. Abby is reading fluently now, and Gabe is doing really well. It is so amazing to me that he is reading as well as he is. He had no interest in kindergarten at all. In fact, he was pretty much a blank slate starting first grade, and only knew 5 sight words. Tonight, he read a book to me about sea creatures. Abby read an entire book of nursery rhymes, not just the ones you remember, but ones I had never heard of. It was kind of funny, one of the well known ones was "this little piggy". She read it to me while I grabbed her toes. She had no idea why I was doing that, and thought the rhyme was strange. I guess if you don't play,"this little piggy" in 4 or 5 years with your kid, they don't remember ever doing it. She was fascinated with it once I told her that I used to do that to her as a baby and then tickle her. She wanted to do it over and over. I guess even a little 6 year old wants to go back to the "good ole' days".
Tomorrow, Gabe and Abby have Crazy Fun day at school. They can wear pajamas, or a silly hat or hairstyle, but Abby told me they couldn't wear noodle strap pajamas. I asked her what that meant, and she said, "you know, no noodle straps". I said,"you mean spaghetti straps?" And, she said, "oh yeah, that's what they're called".
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Two summers ago, Julianne and I volunteered in our ESL class at church. I really wanted to get to know people from a different culture and thought this might be a good way to do it. One man in particular, Flavier. was very engaging. He was from the Congo and spoke English very well.
Last May, his wife Ines came from Gabon in the Congo to finally join him 1 1/2e years after they were married. They had only spent 5 days together before he was given the go ahead to move to Colorado Springs. He came here, learned to speak English, although he taken classes in Gabon, and got a job at Memorial Hospital right near our house. When Ines came, several of our church communities got together to collect household goods and fix up his apt. for his bride. I put a note in a card to him stating that I lived near where he worked if he ever needed a ride. Well, he kept that note. and in Nov. he called me explaining that Ines had gotten a job at the hospital as well but they were working opposite shifts and she would need a ride home in the afternoons.
So began my friendship with Ines. I pretty much sound like the ignorant American to her, I'm sure. with all my questions, like,"did you live in a house?" I'm thinking she lived in a tent, in a refugee camp. She looked at me like I was crazy! "A house, yes, of course, like these!" She said, pointing to the neighborhoods we pass by. I grill her about food, clothing, her family, if they had tv, computers, etc. She is, for the most part, patient with me, although she laughs often, I'm not sure if it's at me, or because she's not sure what I asked her, but no matter, we have had some good conversations every day.
Ines has expanded my white upper middle class world and educated me about hers. She grew up in a beautiful country with brothers and sisters. She has a sister living in France. She talks to her parents every week. She was an elementary school teacher. She met Flavier at church. She doesn't like chocolate. She doesn't understand why Americans are so "crazy" about chocolate. She eats mostly fish, plantains, and rice. She loves bananas. They really don't eat bread, but sometimes she makes cake. No wonder she looks the way she does! She braids hair as a side business, and does quite well for herself. Today she told me she was going to do a weave for a "white American" for the first time.
Ines is intelligent, beautiful and has had to humble herself quite a bit coming into our culture. In her country, she was a university educated professional teacher. Now, she works in housekeeping until her language skills can improve enough to attend the university here and become a professional in her new country. She is hoping that she can get her driver's license in the next few weeks, so sadly for me, our driving conversations will come to an end. I am hoping that we will continue our friendship long after she gets her license and and is driving herself to and from work.
What a surprise my friendship with Ines has been. I thought I would be educating her all about American culture, but instead, she has been the teacher all along.
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Today was MOPS (mothers of preschoolers). I never had a group like this with my 3 older kids, when I really needed it as a young mother, but I was able to take advantage of it with the twins. I only had to wait a year after they were out of MOPS when I was asked back to be a mentor mom-because that's how old I am! I have to say that I haven't really done anything as a mentor mom, and hopefully, I will learn to be a better one if I am asked back next year. But, I love MOPS even now, when I supposedly don't need the fellowship of other moms going through the preschool years. It's hard to swallow that a lot of these women could practically be my daughters, one "girl" in my group is actually the age of Julianne, so I guess I am old enough. Thankfully, some of them are in their 30's so I don't feel so incredibly old.
One of the reasons I love MOPS so much is I get the chance to be around the other mentor moms. I'm hoping some of their wisdom rubs off on me. Not having my own mom around anymore, I crave these women loving on me. They are the sweetest bunch, the most beautiful, the most hip, the best dressers of any "older ladies" I know. Well, two of the women are around my age, but even they seem to have a lot more wisdom than I do, go figure. I'm hoping they let me hang around them for many years to come.
Sunday, January 24, 2010
No picture today. I forgot to take my camera to youth group tonight. I have been wanting to take a photo at youth group, and boy, did I miss a great opportunity. The kids were all upstairs waiting for Doug Tharp to speak, music was playing, something the younger generation would know I'm sure. It sounded sort of like rap to me, but I have no idea, and there was my little boy dancing in the aisle, bustin' his moves. Man, I wish I had my camera. He was on carpet so he couldn't do the back spins he was doing at Josh and Katherine's wedding, and he wouldn't do the "robot" for me either, but he was definitely in "the zone".
Anyway, tonight, when I tucked him in he prayed,"God please be with the people in Haiti and help them to get new houses, and thank you for Jesus dying on the cross for our sins and thank you that Mary and Joseph were such great parents, and thank you that the angel (he likes this part because the angel was Gabriel) came to Mary and Joseph and told them"you shall call him Jesus. Amen." He covers a lot of ground in his prayers.
Saturday, January 23, 2010
Today was Pack 55's Pinewood Derby. It was our first Pinewood Derby. The Boy Scouts take it very seriously. Theyt had Abby and I tagged along with Gabe and Tim. We had a great time watching the boys race their cars. Gabe won two of the races and also brought home a ribbon for 3rd place for "coolest car". Tim, unfortunately won only one of his races in the parent division and did not bring home any ribbons. They definitely had a wonderful time designing, building and competing.
Friday, January 22, 2010
Tonight was the night to "crank it up a notch " on Gabe's expanders. Tim got to use his new headlamp to see inside the patient's mouth . It is amazing how big these suckers are and that he can still talk and eat. At first, several months ago, when they were first cemented in, Gabe couldn't eat for about 4 days, or swallow, so he made these Darth Vadar like sucking sounds to suck up all the spit in his mouth. He still does it just to annoy me, I think.
Hopefully, all this money spent will enlarge his mouth to accommodate his Chicklet like teeth and he won't forever look like Mater in the Cars movie. I hope his face doesn't change too much though. He has the sweetest face to go along with the sweetest personality. You can't help but love Gabe. He is lovable, squeezable, huggable, kissable, and always forgivable. Even though he is often whiny or collapsing in a tearful heap on the floor, he is always our Goober. His teachers love him. Two things about Gabe: his charm gets him out of a lot of trouble, and he often doesn't even realize he's in trouble! A couple of years ago, Gabe was misbehaving in Sunday School and was sent to the superintendent's office to sit with her until we could come. Gabe though it was a treat to be there with her and enjoyed "visiting" with her. He didn't even realize he had been sent there as a punishment until we told him later. He can make the best of any situation, for sure!
Last year, in kindergarten, his teacher would often tell us about the naughty things he did or just general mischief, and then would finish by saying, "but he's so cute, I can't get mad at him". Tim told her, "you have to get over that!". That is our Gabe. He is the sunshine in our home when the stormy clouds are exploding in thunder (if you get my drift).
Thursday, January 21, 2010
Thurs. afternoons I volunteer in Abby's class. She has the same teacher, Mrs. Wilkinson, that Ben and Nate had many years ago. I don't think Mrs. Wilkinson has aged at all. She looks just the same as she did 10 years ago. It has been my observance over the years that some teachers as they get older also get cranky, negative and just downright mean. They don't seem to care anymore. Mrs. Wilkinson isn't like that. She is still firm, soft spoken, unbelievably patient and in control all the time. I wish she would take charge at our house. It is never loud in her classroom. Everyone uses their "inside voices" which are pretty quiet. Everyone gets along, and does what is expected. And, if anyone starts to get a little loud, Mrs. Wilkinson says,"give yourself a pat on the back if you are quietly doing your work". That actually works in her class!!! The kids quiet down, and everyone goes back to work. Amazing.
Abby loves Mrs. Wilkinson. She makes her little pictures and gives them to her. I know a lot of girls love their teachers, and give them little gifts, but for Abby to do it, and to love her teacher says a lot about the teacher.
Mrs. Wilkinson never seems to be tired or exasperated, and believe me, there are kids that would drive me nuts in a minute! I know she isn't their mom, and that we, the parents always see the worst behavior in our kids at home. But, even if they do show that behavior at school, it is dealt with quickly and never excused. She treats the kids with respect and loves those kids that aren't so lovable all the time, like mine. I am thankful that Abby has a teacher that is reinforcing the behavior we expect, along with the values even in the public school.
So, thank you Mrs. Wilkinson (said with my "inside voice")
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Yesterday, Tim and Gabe went to Tiger Cubs to weigh Gabe's stealth fighter pinewood derby car. Gabe was so excited that he designed it, thought of how to put wings on with hinges and got to use tools to make it-definitely father bonding time! Saturday is the actually derby.
Let the battle begin!
Monday, January 18, 2010
Abby took my camera today and went into her room. I found this picture on my camera when I went to upload some photos. This dress is hanging in her room. It was mine when I was about 1, and Julianne has worn it, as well as Abby. The shoes were Abby's first shoes. Memories...
I missed posting yesterday's pic, but here it is. Gabe has been busy working on his pinewood derby car, completely by himself, learning a lot about tools and how to use them. Tim is having a lot of fun too, making his own car which I don't think has the rules that Gabe has to adhere to. It's a good thing I'm not around when he's using the tools, because I don't think I would be letting him do much on his own.
Sunday, January 17, 2010
We had a great time at the Kevin and Beth's last night. They hosted a taco bar, and Beth made Prickly Pear wine coolers, which were great! We are so fortunate to have such a great group of friends that have been meeting together every month for more years than we have been around, just to visit, eat and catch up on each other's busy families Last night the women of course, talked around the food, while the men and some of the boys watched football, the teenagers sat and talked together, the little kids played with all of the toys in the playroom, and older jr. high girls did whatever they do together. The topics ranged from: football, of course, to politics,teenagers, where our kids are going to college, what our college kids are going to do when they graduate, those suffering in Haiti, health, church, cats, vacations, spring break, mission trips, where to buy wheat, living overseas, job possibilities, Focus on the Family (Rob was there) and Disney (it was Kevin's house after all) Good times!
Friday, January 15, 2010
The Easy Bake oven. I loved my aqua plastic and metal oven, circa 1968. It baked beautiful (I thought) cakes with a 60 watt bulb. It was so cool. I think I got mine for my 6th birthday, and I can remember using it in the kitchen of our house in Kansas.
Today, Abby and her friends are making "cookies" , meaning one cookie, in her Easy Bake Oven. It is still aqua with white trim, but there is no metal. The knobs are fake (I could swear that mine actually worked), and it's not even an oven. It's supposed to resemble a microwave. Everyone knows you can't bake in a microwave! Well, they used to have plastic "bakeware" that came with microwaves, the ones that took up an entire counter and cost close to a thousand dollars, but did anyone ever actually bake cookies or cakes in a microwave? If they did, I'm sure it was a one time deal once they realized that rubber was not edible.
Anyway, now the Easy Bake oven has a screen behind the window (like a microwave), so you can't even watch your cake bake! How lame is that? I remember, pushing the cake in with the little metal pusher, and then watching as my cake rose in the oven. Now, Abby and her friends, shaped their cookies in the pans, pushed the pan in the "microwave", waited about 3 minutes, noticed the light wasn't on, and told me we needed a new bulb, and ran off to play. At that time, I twisted the knobs, as if that would do anything, thinking maybe I had to turn it on. Then, I realized that after one use, the bulb had burned out on our oven and Abby's friend's oven which we are also using. So, after about a half an hour, the bulbs have been changed, and our first "batch", meaning 2 cookies, are now "baking" under the 100 watt bulb. Why isn't a 60 watt bulb good enough anymore? Tim and I figure that there have been a team of kitchen scientists at the Easy Bake Oven test kitchen trying to figure out the optimal wattage for baking a cake.
I wonder how I can get that job?
Anyway, I have made 40 cookies in my real oven in the time it takes to make 2 in the Easy Bake Oven. It just doesn't hold the same magic that it did for me in 1969. I think it has something to do with the design.
Thursday, January 14, 2010
Yep, that's my man, or as my mom always called him,"that boy". He's working late into the night on his double screen he set up in our bedroom-how romantic. I don't mind though. I would much rather have the comfort of watching him work here while I read, rather than in another part of the house away from him. He's such a great man, provider, husband, father. I sure do love him a lot. He's my bff. I would rather spend time with him than anyone, and after 27 years together, 24 married, I think that's pretty nice. I never get tired of talking to him or just being with him. I am so thankful he has stuck around all these years with his crazy wife
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
Monday, January 11, 2010
Well, I don't think I have ever spent so much time in a doctor's office in one day, but at least there seems to be a game plan for my ankle. We saw Dr.Hahn, at the Limb preservation center today. He spent about 45 min. with us discussing my failing ankle fusion. Fun, fun. He thinks it is probably due to the 2 infections I got after my initial surgery, and then after the subsequent screw removal 9 months later. Apparently, infections can hinder healing or destroy bone, or just stay in there without any symptoms. He also said that fact that I have been taking Naprosyn, an anti inflammatory has pretty much retarded any bone growth, or healing. Great! Why didn't my orthopedic surgeon know this? I feel like I have wasted the past two years thinking I was healing, when actually, my bones were disintegrating, I went from a 50% healed fusion last Dec. to a 10% fusion this Nov. How can that happen? Where did my bone go? So very weird.
So, the game plan is for me to stop all anti-inflammatory meds, DONE, and start taking mega doses of Calcium and Vitamin D to see if that promotes any bone growth. Not real likely, but it's worth a shot before the next step which is to (most likely) go back under the knife and have him clean out the ankle of scar tissue, dead tissue, possible dead bone, and rough everything up, nice and bloody so the bone can try to grow again. Sounds so painful-don't really like pain. Then, after all that, I get to be on IV antibiotics for 6 wks. or so-don't really want that either. And, after all that, I may end up with another fusion, and a external bone fixator, which is a medieval device to hold your bones together from the outside with pins sticking into your skin squeezing everything together, but better than screws if you are prone to infection in your bone-really, really don't want to go there. I am not into torture. I am one of those people who asks the drs. questions like,"is this going to hurt?" Duh! He said,"once people have had external fixators, they don't want to ever have them again" He also added a nice comment,"but then, it's better than an amputation". He wasn't kidding. Yikes! Then, this nice doctor, sent me to Dr. Terra, an infectious disease doctor. Tim kept referring to him as the "contagious disease dr.". Dr. Terra fit us in, at the spur of the moment, and was very nice explaining what he would do with my ankle. He's the one who would make up the cocktail of IV antibiotics.
We then went back to Dr. Hahn, down the hall, who BTW had the most awesome rock wall and waterfall cascading down the entire wall-the trip was worth it just to say to Tim,"That's what I want you to make me for our 25th anniversary". I'm thinking Dr. Hahn makes a lot of money along with his associates saving people's limbs.
So, I asked Dr. Hahn, "how likely is it for my ankle to snap in two in the next 2 months? Do I have to do something about this right away or could we try the vitamins and get off the Naprosyn, and see what happens". I again told him I didn't want that external fixator thingy, and he said,"I'm getting the subtle hint that you don't want it". He said we can wait, but I have to be careful with the ankle, because you just never know when an ankle held together basically by tendons and ligaments, with some bones floating around will snap in half.
So, I'm going to do a lot of praying that God will think it's best not to have to go the surgery route and start all over again. And, I'm going to try to talk Tim into taking us to Disneyland over Spring Break, because if I do have to go the surgery route, it's going to be a very long haul. When I told Tim that I thought we should go to Disneyland, he said,"what do you think this is,"the Make a Wish Foundation?" and I replied,"yes" I think I'm pretty close to qualifying!
To put things into perspective though, I don't have cancer, I am not sick, I am not in horrible pain (yet). I can still take care of my family. I have great friends who look out for me, and even brought over a meal tonight, knowing we would be up in Denver most of the day. I am very blessed. God is still good. He is still on His throne. It won't mean that He isn't good if I do have to have surgery and even have a medieval device pinning my bones in place. I will get through whatever plans He has for me, because He is always with me and He is my strength.
I had to remind myself of that when we were driving home and Nate called to say that Abby was throwing another tantrum and then he, being so wise at 15, proceeded to tell me what I should do about her when we got home. Gotta love that!
Sunday, January 10, 2010
These are some of the guys at youth group tonight. There were about 50-60 kids tonight, I'm guessing. Tim and I feed the kids almost every week. We are really enjoying getting to know the kids better. It's been fun watching these boys grow up (2 of which are ours) for the past almost 11 years. They are great kids who love the Lord, and even though they try to kill each other playing Murder Ball (see Rob's ripped jeans with blood stains on them which Ben inflicted) they really are good friends.
This picture was taken right before the table collapsed with the over 700 lbs weighing it down from the 4 guys on the right, most of which came from the Woodroof boys.
Quote from Abby today: "Mom, you smell like a ladybug". I said, "Is that a good thing?" and she replied, "It means you smell precious". Okay, I'll take it!
Saturday, January 9, 2010
Today we got to have fun with the little Brown twins. I watched them play with our twins and said to Tim,"wow, what a stark contrast of the 2 adoptions, " to which Gabe replied, "Mom, it's like we're quadruplets!" I love his perspective. I see 2 sets of twins born under very different circumstances, worlds apart,lives in jeopardy,black and white, Ethiopian and American. He sees the kinship he shares with these little babies because of adoption.
My perspective has certainly changed on so many things since our adoption of our twins 6 years ago. I really knew no one who chose to adopt kids that hadn't faced infertility issues. Now, we're surrounded, especially at our church, but even in our extended family, by families who have chosen to adopt for a variety of reasons, but mainly, because God placed the desire on their hearts, and they chose to obey Him despite all the obstacles of adopting children from across the world or right in their own town.
One thing that comes to mind over and over as we deal with our own kids "adoptive issues", is how grateful I am that God brought them into our family. I can't imagine what our lives would be like without them, and I don't want to imagine what their lives would be like if they had stayed in the situation to which they were born. But, God knew all along His plans for us, before we even knew about our twins, before we had ever even considered adoption, before we had ever even had one child, even when we had decided that we weren't going to have ANY children, He knew. He knew which children He was going to place into our family, by birth and by adoption. He knew these children before they were ever conceived.
Adoption is God's idea. In fact, the Bible says,"He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved" Eph.1:4,5.
Lots of people over the years, seeing that we are older parents and not knowing the twins are adopted, ask us,"were they a surprise?" And, I always answer,"Oh yes!" and then, I proceed to tell them our story. I love that my life hasn't turned out the way I planned. How awful that would have been! I love that God has planned my days before they have even happened. I love that I am not the One who is in control. I love that I was not adopted into God's family because of who I am, or what my potential is. Our twins were considered a "special needs adoption". Aren't I a "special needs adoption"? I am high risk. As a sinful human, I have limited potential. I am a sinner through and through. God didn't adopt me because of how great I was going to be, or how much I would prove that I could obey Him, or love Him, or how perfect a Christian I would be. God chose me, because He is God. I had nothing to offer Him, but He has given me everything. Adoption is gift for many of us who are parents, but more importantly, for all of us who are sinners.
Friday, January 8, 2010
That's an aerial view of our sunroof. I still believe we were shot at by a sniper on I-25 somewhere past Palmer Lake, and somehow making the glass explode out leaving a huge volleyball sized hole in the sunroof. My eldest laughed at me when I suggested that there was some crazy person with really good aim (which snipers usually have) who hit our sunroof. At any rate, however it happened, it certainly freaked us out, and caused some excitement, not to mention a visit by a friendly State Trooper as Tim and Drew tried to get the largest chunks of glass dislodged while we sat on the shoulder of the road.
I think I should get some kudos from my geek (and I mean that in the most loving way) husband for suggesting that we get duct tape and cover the entire roof. It actually worked and didn't come off until they took it off at the repair shop.
Now we have a new sunroof, and 1000.00 less in savings, so there goes new carpeting in our bedroom for at least the winter.
On a sillier note, Thing 1 and Thing 2 came up with a song tonight while we were driving home from Costco. They often will make up a song, singing in tandem, and the words actually go together: "Mom and Dad are kissing, kissing, kissing. Mom and Dad are married, married, married. Mom is white and Dad is black, and I am their child."-that was Abby's part. I will never understand where she comes up with this stuff.
Thursday, January 7, 2010
It was bread baking day today. We go through about 2 loaves a week at our house. The twins have been on a diet for the past 4 months that eliminates preservatives and artificial colors and flavorings, so I began making my own bread. I have been experimenting with the ratio of white to wheat and still want to try to add more and more wheat. I've never tried flax or spelt, but I think I might break down and buy my own grinder, so I can grind it fresh right before I make the dough. So far, I haven't had any bad loaves, just ugly ones. For the life of me, I cannot make a nicely shaped loaf. I also can't slice it. I hack away until I get one or two slices I can used for the twins sandwiches. I may get more practice this week, since a half of a loaf was eaten right out of the oven when the boys got home from school today.
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
Is it bad to post multiple times in the same day? I won't do this often, but if I want to get down the funny sayings before they are lost forever, I am going to probably do it anyway.
Abby asked me tonight if I could go out on a dinner date with her some time. I told her that Daddy and I hadn't gone out on a date in months, so I would like to go out with him first. She said,'Mommy, you and Daddy have dates every night when you get in bed and kiss all night".
I tried to clarify that we do NOT do that all night, every night, even most nights, but I don't think she was buying it. I'm going to have to clarify the definition of "date" with her before she reaches the age of 12, or we're going to be in BIG trouble!
So, Julianne decided I need to start blogging, I think, because my Facebook statuses are always too long.
She gave me a 2 minute tutorial, which was very inadequate for her computer illiterate mother. And, I am not the talented writer that she is, so my blogging posts aren't going to be thoughtful or insightful, but rather disjointed and rambling, like me! I don't know the right terminology for all this stuff, so I'm sure it will mostly be laughable.
A friend, Stacy Richardson, who happens to be an award winning wedding photographer in the Baltimore area, challenged her "fans" to capture a moment of each day with a photo for a year. I have already missed a day or 2, but I'm going to plod on.
And, since I have already missed posting at the beginning of January, I'm going to try to catch up with my pictures...
January 1-we went for a short walk through Garden of the Gods with the family and Drew, Julianne's boyfriend. It may be awhile before I can walk there again, but more on that later.