Saturday, January 8, 2011


Our minds, our memories are marked, tattooed with permanent images of the experiences we face every day. Tattoos are marks that can be permanent or hard to remove. Sometimes, bad stuff happens that leaves a mark we struggle to remove. It’s so embedded that no matter how much you wipe it away the image is still there. Then there are the new marks we want to make….goals and achievements that are painful in the process, making you question if you can suffer through the needles and pricks to experience the beautiful picture or symbol that’s in the making.

So what do you do? For me, and many others we get tattoos. Here's why: Number 1: We are willing to suffer a little pain to get what we want. Number 2: We are willing to commit to a decision that can have permanent consequences; and Number 3: We wear our permanent marks outwardly.

Think about the invisible tattoos in your life. You know….those marks I mention above. The tattoos I’m talking about are your experiences and actions that mark your life and influence your future. The question is….which tattoos do you want to remove and which ones do you want to add? In either case, you will suffer a little discomfort or pain.

Life is like that, each moment/experience/or mark cost you… good and bad ways.

So, judge me if you must, stare when you see my marks, question me as to why I would do such a thing....... and then sit back and think about the invisible marks you keep hidden inside yourself and then we'll see if you have the right to judge.

Friday, November 19, 2010

$ + Christmas = PRESENTS not LOVE

Today on the way to school I was talking to the kids.. telling them that Christmas is a little over a month away. They are getting so excited!! Last year on Christmas eve we stayed up late and "tracked" Santa on the Internet. We could see what Country he was in, the cities he was delivering to... SO exciting tracking his journey. The kids are excited to do it again this year, we've decided to clean off a shelf we have in our family room and set the lap top there, that way we can track him right down to the neighbors house!! THEN, the conversation goes like this.... Thomas says "does Santa deliver everywhere??" And I said "yes of course" Thomas says "even to Africa" and I said "yup, even to Africa" And then Fasika says "NO he doesn't" I thought oh shit I knew exactly where she was going with this. I am so not prepared to have this discussion, and in the school parking lot no less. Fasika was almost 4 years old when we brought her home. She remembers everything, and she remembers having nothing, no clothes, no food, no toys. She said "Santa NEVER came to Africa, he didn't bring presents, he didn't bring food, he didn't bring money, he didn't bring nothing. I guess he thought all of us Africas were naughty" So on the 4 minute ride to school, I managed to get them excited about Christmas and at the same time make Fasika feel ashamed of her Country and it's people. Great, huh?! I tried the whole "different Countries celebrate different ways, some give presents and some give love.... blah blah blah" Fasika says "kids want presents NOT love" And she's right.. duhh! At 6 what kid wants to pass up a new Wii, or DSI or baby doll, or any of those material things for love????

The conversation ends with Fasika saying "I guess I AM lucky" And what she means is "lucky" that we brought her here so she doesn't miss out on anymore presents. For the last two years since we've been home with Fasika, there have been countless times she has overheard people say "she is so lucky you adopted her." Annoying and ignorant. If anyone is lucky, it's US. But back to the Christmas in America vs. Christmas in Africa thing.... Any ideas?? The last thing I want to do is make Fasika to feel "lucky" that she is here because there will be Christmas presents under the tree, loaded stockings hanging from the mantel and food on the table.... any suggestions????
By Autumn
nit wit
dip stick
ding bat, germs
sticky boogers
nasty colds,
he smells like worms
eats his toes
picks his nose
and sits on "todes"

Although her poem is cute, very cute... and some of it (well most of it) is very true... that's my baby boy! He is a bit of a nit wit & a ding bat at times, he's got germs no doubt, boogers.. of course, he very seldom smells like worms, I've seen him "eat his toes." But there is one thing he would never do... he'd never sit on a "tode"

He is a very typical little boy. He's rough, he's loud, he's dirty, he likes video games, wrestling, watching football, playing sports. Did I mention that he doesn't eat meat???? Hasn't for 3 months now, you can ask him if he likes meat and he will say "yea, I like meat, it's yummy, but I LOVE animals" Isn't he sweet?!? All this from a little boy who just a few months ago would eat cheesburgers and hot dogs, tuna fish, steak... you name it. So in addition to all of those things his big sister listed, I need to add

sweet and kind
the biggest heart you'll ever find
no chicken, no beef, no fish
get this boy a vegetarian dish!!

Love ya buddy!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

D = E - R

Disappointment = Expectations - Reality ??

EXPECTATION: a belief about the future. Anticipation: anticipation with confidence of fulfillment. The feeling that something is about to happen.


Disappointment-- this occurs when you are let down or left with unfulfilled expectations. It can be as simple as being stood up for a date, or as serious as being deserted by a friend in the darkest hour of need. I think it's safe to say that in many cases when you have a certain expectation you instantly set yourself up for disappointment. We all have expectations... 100's a day in fact. We expect our alarm will go off at the right time, we expect the car to start, we expect our kids to get up and go to school, we expect our take-out orders to be hot and made to order (except at the South Barre, McDonald's... just plan on expecting the wrong order, every time!), we expect our Friends to call and be there when we need them, we expect our paychecks on payday. Most of our time is spent expecting, expecting something. Our moods, our feelings, our lives are molded by the outcome of each and every expectation, positive or negative.

Usually, I don't sweat what I can't control. I can pretty much shake anything off... But I have also learned not to place my expectations on people, events, or occasions that I can not trust or count on. Therefore avoiding many certain disappointments from unfulfilled expectations. I have been told this method isn't ideal, but then again until you have walked in my shoes, do not judge. When we have expectations, and we hit the wall of reality, we become disappointed.

Friday, November 5, 2010

It's been a while.....

Months actually, 7 of them. 28+ weeks. 2 seasons have passed, all 3 kids have celebrated their birthdays, a total of 5 teeth lost, a new car, Fasika's 2nd gotcha day, first day of 1st and 3rd grades, and much, much, much more... none of which I can elaborate on at the moment.

It's almost impossible to "blog" when I can't write about my thoughts.... Or when I have to monitor what I say and/or how I say it... Or when something so powerful takes over and consumes your life and I can't discuss it. So for now, I will remain vague... and I'll blog about the things I can.... and someday when everything is said and done, I can be real, and say it how it is...

Sunday, April 18, 2010

"She got me from Africa, my brother from Wal-mart, and my sister came out of her belly"

That's what I overheard Fasika telling her friends mom at dance class the other day. Keep in mind we only go to dance class once a week, and the people we see there are acquaintances only. Obviously Fasika is adopted, but the whole Wal-mart thing needed a little explaining. One day, shortly after we brought Fasika home, Thomas asked me "if Autumn came out of your belly and Fasika came from Africa, then where did you get me?" being the smart ass I am, I said. "I picked you up at Wal-mart, $5.00 on the clearance rack, and omg you were sooo cute!!" So for the longest time, Thomas really thought I "bought" him there. We joke about it all the time, but apparently Fasika didn't realize we were kidding and at times I think Thomas thinks we really got him there too. LOL, poor lil guy! Autumn even picks on him about it too. We'll be at Wal-mart and Autumn will say "MOM, isn't that the shelf you picked Thomas off???" LOL, we all laugh and joke about it! So... I'm sure most, if not all of the mom's at dance class think we are a little crazy!! Haha, if they only knew!!!

Friday, April 16, 2010

What to do???

So, next week is school vacation and my kids are so excited, especially Thomas. Thomas hates school, mostly because he doesn't like his teacher. I'm thinking she'd make a better drill Sergeant rather than a kindergarten teacher!! ANYWAY... my dilemma is this: now that I work, what do I do with my 3 children??? I usually spend school vacations at home with a house full of kids... now what???
As of right now, here's the schedule for next week:

Monday: Kids with Kellie (one of my bf's)
Tuesday: Kids with John (my sisters bf)
Wednesday: any volunteers
Thursday: Kids with Brock's mom
Friday: Kids with Brock's mom

It seems like a mess to me.... but I guess it will work.

Looking ahead, summer vacation is only 7 weeks away. There is NO way I'm going to be able to juggle this schedule for the entire summer. Luckily, Onward, the after- school program is offering care from July 6th to August 6th. They have lot's of activities planned and a field trip scheduled for every Friday. The kids will have a blast and I wont have to worry about them. They will be in great hands. With the after school program running for only 4 weeks this summer, it leaves 4 weeks that I need to find care for. I could always bring them to work with me, OMG could you imagine?? Or worst case scenario.... I have to take the rest of the summer off!!!! Ahhh, sun & kids & the pool & the beach!!!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

I love this necklace and I really want it!! After I came across it, I really started to think about it's meaning.... and what it means to me. My journey, like all journeys, has a beginning. Although I'm not sure exactly where mine started or where it will end. Everyday there are new places to explore, new people to meet, new ways of looking at the world. There are always ups & downs and bumps along the way. Bright, sunny days and dark, miserable rainy days... all a part of the journey. The possibilities spread themselves out before me everyday. I always find myself looking forward..... forward to the "prize" or to the end of the day, or to Friday, or to summer, or vacation... I'm always wishing time would fly, always looking ahead. Is it bad that I've even wished away entire months??? Once it's gone, it's gone-- there's just no going back, all you can do is sit there and think about the time that has past and what you wished you had done with it. It's always nice to have something to look forward to, but at the same time it's easy to forget to appreciate the process and all of the possibilities along the way.

Seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, and months pass by without notice or a care, and for every moment that passes by, I am always too busy looking forward to and anticipating the next, that I never take the time to appreciate and enjoy what's right there in front of me.

It's not the destination I'm going to be looking forward to anymore, instead, I'm going to make the best of the journey. I'm going to dance with my kids in the rain, and stare the shit days straight in the face. I'm not going to wish away the bad days, or any days for that matter. Instead I'm going to take every day as it comes and with my eyes wide open, I'll appreciate it for what it is and take away as much as I can.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

TWO years ago today.....

2 years ago today my good friend Maureen left for Ethiopia to meet her son Biniyam. Maureen and I met through a WHFC group and became instant friends. We knew Biniyam and Fasika were at the same orphanage and probably knew each other. It was comforting for both of us. Together we anxiously awaited the "travel to Ethiopia" email. When she got it, and I did not, I was heart broken.... I had prayed we'd travel together to pick up our children. For the next weeks that followed we talked every night and into the early hours of the morning, packing and unpacking our bags. Maureen offered to bring a package to Fasika and promised to tell her that she had a mommy & a daddy and a brother and a sister waiting for her. I couldn't wait to put together a package for her, I spent many nights at the mall looking for the perfect things to pack! We send her an outfit, slippers, crayons and a coloring book, bubbles, a photo album of our family and a bunny with a voice recorder that we put a special message on for her, along with a few other things. I was so thankful to Maureen for delivering it to her! By the time Maureen and Biniyam got home the following week, group #62 was announced, and we were in it!!!!!

Biniyam and Fasika!
And two years ago TOMORROW!!........ "4/12/08 What an amazing surprise this a.m.!!! Today at about 9 a.m. I got a call from an unknown number. After quickly debating weather or not to answer I picked up. I was shocked to hear Maureen (a friend who is in Ethiopia now) on the other end. At a rate of $8.00 a minute I surely wasn't expecting to hear from her while she was gone. Anyway, she says "Valerie, I have someone here who wants to say hello to you" Instant tears of course, I knew it was Fasika-- I could barely speak!! I heard her chatting with the nannies and laughing. Maureen kept saying "VALERIE, talk to her!!" Finally after a minute or two I was able to get my composure and tell her that i love her and that we'd be there soon to get her. It was amazing to hear her little voice and listen to her giggle-- I couldn't have asked for a better start to this sunny day!! "

I'm so lucky to have an amazing friend like Maureen and for Fasika to have her sweet little friend, Biniyam!! We are hoping to spend lots of time together this summer!!!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

First of all I would like to thank everyone for "checking-in" and for all the sweet emails-- I have been absent on my blog lately, it's just been kind of hard to find much positive to blog about these days

Lots of changes have been happening around here. The biggest is my job. For the last 11 years I have provided childcare, and loved every second of it. I often giggled to myself as I sat and played with a group of 3 year old's, almost felt guilty for collecting a paycheck at the end of every week..... being paid to play, who would have thought ?!?

Me & MeadowSo for the first time in my life- I have a JOB, I actually have to WORK for my paycheck.

I now have major responsibilities, NOT that providing childcare wasn't full of responsibilities, those types of things just came natural to me and never felt like WORK

Before this JOB my day would consist of: Dr. Seuss, play-doh, kissing boo boo's, Dora, Mr. Potato head, Lego's, finger paint, pull-ups, gold fish, and occasional time-outs. And now I sit hear and look at general ledgers, spread sheets, purchase/receive orders, sales journals, point-of-sales system, and the list goes on and on and ON.....

Luckily for me, this is our family business, and so it comes with many perks.... I come and go as I please, I now get to drop my kids off at school and pick them up, take-out for lunch, and shop at Staples for office supplies, which I often do... just because :)

I do miss playing with my daycare kids, very, very much. I miss playing outside, making grilled cheese and being rewarded with all their smiles and hugs. I miss all the kiddo's and their families-- they all have become such a huge part of me and my everyday life. Everyone one of them have a special place in my heart and I will forever cherish my time with them

On the upside of things, I still get a chance to practice my babysitting skills..... at this this new JOB and working with Brock and the guys here at the shop, I still have some degree of babysitting.... I know you might find it hard to believe, but there isn't much of a difference between my group of 3 year olds and this group of guys :)

and now, back to WORK....

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Pulling the weeds.....

We all go through situations in our life when we really need our friends & family. Luckily, for the most part we've surrounded ourselves by true and loyal friends. Not that I needed a tragic event to happen in my life to make me realize how much I love and depend on my family and friends, but it's always times like this that snap you back to reality and make you appreciate the people who you sometimes take for granted. Makes you realize what's important and what's not. Makes you realize who's worth your time, and who's not....

After Derrick died, all of the support that has been offered to me by my community, old friends, good friends, true friends, new friends, bloggy friends and my family has been overwhelming and I feel so lucky to have so many amazing people around me. Through all of this I have also learned that it's time for a little weeding. It's time to weed out the people that I don't really need in my life, the ones who turn their backs when times get tough and the ones who kick me when I'm down. By doing this it leaves me with more time, energy, and love to share with the people who really deserve it and have shown me the same. All I need are the people who've touched my heart, those who care for me as I care for them, those I can be myself around, act crazy, loud and make stupid choices and always been forgiven, those I instantly remember in ten years because they are in my heart and not just my mind.... those who have had the ability to change me, even if they haven't. YOU will all be etched in my memories forever. The WEEDS have been pulled and dumped.... Sometimes you don't know you have weeds that need to be pulled.... but the sooner you figure it out the better off you'll be.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Back to fundraising......

Back to fundraising.... it's time to refocus my energy on something other than baby Derrick...
These past few weeks have been hard to say the least, full of ups and downs. It's crazy that during such a tragic time in my life that the rest of the world just keeps turning... and it leaves me no choice but to push on...

I've decided to focus my energy back to fundraising and hope to reschedule our trip sometime in the next few months. I guess this leaves me a little extra time to fundraise more for Fasika's village....

I've decided to create another frame... our mini frame was so popular and we sold out so quickly. This cute chunky frame is painted black, very lightly distressed and finished with a super gloss finish. It hangs with black and white ribbon. It's an adorable addition to your nursery or any room in your home. Also makes a great shelf sitter! The quote "As one person I cannot change the world, but I can change the world of one person" By Paul Shane Spear, is written around the design. This custom design was created by Jim Goodell, it features a childs handprint sketched over the earth. The shape of Africa with a red heart over Ethiopia. This frame measures 7" x 7" with a photo opening of 3 1/8" x 3 1/8"

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Rest In Peace baby Derrick

It's been a while since my last post, and we should be in Africa as I type. But due to the unexpected death of one of my daycare babies, we have chosen to postpone our trip. Baby Derrick went down for a nap, and never woke up. We are grieving his loss and needed to take this time to heal. Please keep baby Derrick's mom & family in your thoughts and prayers. He will be very sadly missed and we'll forever remember his sweet little face.
Rest in Peace little Snugglesaurous....

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Take a picture with your pet.....

As an animal lover there was no doubt my kids were going to grow up surrounded by animals. When I was a kid we always had animals.. dogs, cats and bunnies of course. I always asked my parents if we could get more pets-- and they always said "no". They even got angry when I'd come home with a new bunny, which I did many, many times, risking punishment!! Luckily for me the punishment was never sever enough to stop me from doing it again. We had a finished back porch that I even transformed into the bunny's room, complete with litter box and faux grass-- ya know, the indoor/outdoor kind!! I can remember my dad saying to me... "when you grow up and have your OWN house you can have as many pets as you want" well, here I am, all grown up and with my OWN house and am completely IN CHARGE when it comes to getting pets!! =)

For Autumn's first birthday, we got her a black lab and named her Zoey.And when Thomas was 4 he got his baby, a basset hound, he named Beef. Well then came Fasika, and here she sits without a pet, yup... poor Fasika is pet-less. Even though our household includes 2 dogs, 4 cats, 3 bunnies and about 15 mice-- she still doesn't have her "OWN" pet. My mom kindly offered to share her dog with Fasika, and that worked for a little bit, but now she continues to question "how come Autumn has a dog, and how come TJ has a dog, but I don't??" I tried to explain that we have lots of animals already, and I tried to give her ALL 4 cats and a bunny to call her own-- she shot it down "cats and bunnies aren't fun like doggies" she says... SO.... what to do?? Relax mom, we are NOT getting a new puppy-- we will delay as long as possible... just look how lonely she looks as she holds her puppy-less hands out.... So sad!

Friday, January 15, 2010

29 Days before we leave for Africa--

We are so Lucky to be working closely with our Adoption Agency,
Wide Horizons For Children. They have been amazing from day we signed with them. I'm so glad we choose them, as there are many great agencies out there. Not only have they have always gone above and beyond for us, they are now playing a HUGE part in helping us plan our trip back to our daughter's birth country. They have offered us a room at their guest house, they have notified Fasika's family that we are coming!! They have arranged transportation and a translator. Mulat who is employed by WHFC will be picking us up at the airport late Saturday night. We feel so spoiled-- they are so amazing.

I can't even express what a relief this is for us-- I was overwhelmed with all the planning and making the proper arrangements. Our main goal is to visit Fasika's family and deliver our donations to the village of Aleta Wondo-- now, thanks to WHFC we will be able to do this with ease and enjoy our visit and take everything amazing Ethiopia has to offer.

So far our week looks like:
Saturday: arrive Addis 7:30 pm
Sunday: spend the day at the orphanage
Monday: Tour Addis
Tuesday: Leave for Aleta Wondo at 4 a.m., arrive 7 a.m. & spend the day with Fasika's family.
Wednesday: Spend the day in Aleta Wondo, say goodbye to Fasika's family, leave late Wednesday night.
Thursday: Spend the day at the orphanage
Friday: coffee ceremony and say our goodbyes. Flight out at 10:30 p.m.

Did I mention that we are going to be in Ethiopia the same week that Group #89 is there picking up their children!? I can't believe it's been 21 months since I traveled in group #62 to pick up Fasika. 21 months... just doesn't seem possible.

29 days and counting......

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Me and Michellyn..... To my bff,
Well, where do I start!? Over the past 4 years we've shared an amazing friendship and some crazy times!! We started out "working" together that one crazy summer-- kids (lots of kids!!), a pot of mashed potato, 1/2 baked chicken--down the driveway to my parents basement (damn state). Sun-tan lotion, lazy days in the pool, golf cart rides, water balloon fights, the roofers next door (a camera with zoom!), myspace, mid-day naps, dirt roads & mud puddles, beep beep at P.T., texting and pregnancy!!!

We spend countless hours on the phone talking about absolutely nothing, accomplishing absolutely nothing. We share similar parenting tactics-- threats, potty talk words, and the "sleep where you crash" rule. You always give the best daycare advice, even though I'm sure I taught you everything you know!! But shhh, dont' tell anyone-- haha

Michellyn, I cherish the friendship we share, you have the biggest heart of anyone I know. I wouldn't want to be going back to Africa without you!! I can't wait to share the laughs, the tears, and everything we will experience together. Who would have thought, 4 years ago as we sat on my couch googling adoption agencies that we'd now be planning a trip back to Africa to reconnect with my daughters birth family?!!? I can't wait until it's your turn and we are celebrating the ups and downs of your adoption and I can support you as you have supported me every step of the way. You're the best!
And.... only you would bring me a Valentine's Day cupcake all the way from Milton, and only I would eat that very same cupcake you left in the WRONG mailbox an entire week later!!

Our Laughs-- [limitless] Our Memories-- [countless] Our Friendship [endless]
Love ya!!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Help me and Get a FREE Treasure Africa decal!!


OK... So here's the deal!! I'm desperate and I need some ideas on wording for a fundraising party that we are having before we leave for Africa! We are planning a "donation" party, inviting all our friends and family to pitch in and help!! I have a list of items we are asking for, and of course monetary donations (to benefit the village) are always welcome!! I want to make cute little invites asking for help.

Obviously the invite will have the general info; date, time and place, but I need to add an impactual statement that will make my friends and family WANT to give, to WANT to help. Anyone who has checked out my ETSY shop knows we feature the quote "As one person I cannot change the world, but I can change the world of one person" by Paul Shane Spear. I would like to incorporate that into the invite, but just don't know how....

I've never been one to ask for help, I'd rather bust my ass and get it done myself, but this is a task that is much bigger than I can handle on my own. I know my family and friends will give generously, but I want them to feel compelled help.....

TREASURE AFRICA DECAL: Black vinyl decal, in the shape of Africa. Inspirational words cover the decal in white and the word "treasure" in red. Can be easily applied on any surface, such as car windows, walls, mirrors, wood, metal, etc.

Easy application:Remove protective covering, apply to clean surface. Measures:6 1/4" by 5 1/4"

Help me out!! Give me your suggestions and post my ETSY link on your Blog, and I will send you a TREASURE Africa decal FREE!!!!

Thanks in advance!!

Saturday, January 2, 2010


It's official, we are going back to Africa!! Truth is, we booked the tickets a month ago but we finally just got everything else in order and have now started the countdown!

So here are the details...
1. We, as in, me, Autumn, Fasika and my bff Michellyn are going. Brock and Thomas are staying home-- Thomas decided he didn't want to get the immunizations and he's just not into going right now. The poor little guy is afraid of crocodiles... hmmm.
2. We are leaving 13 Feb 201o.... 6 weeks from today, oh my.
3. We are staying at the Horizon House which is run by Wide Horizons for Children (our amazing agency) we will be volunteering at the orphanage. We will also be travelling down south to Fasika's village of Aleta Wondo and spending a few days there with her family and working on a couple humanitarian aid projects.
4. Passports are here.
5. Immunizations are done.
6. Prescriptions are filled.
7. Looking for any suggestions as to what we could bring for donations for the village and the children....?!?!?

Fasika is so excited and can barley stand herself right now. She started packing a month ago, she's packed something for all her brothers and sisters, her mom, her aunt and all the kiddo's she remembers from the orphanage... she's such a sweetie.

42 days...and counting....

New items!

With the new year comes new ideas and new items for my etsy shop!! I've been trying to come up with some new products to fundraise for Fasika village of Aleta Wondo. We leave in 6 weeks and are desperately trying to raise money for her village! Check out these blocks! They are made of wood, painted, lightly distressed, stained and decoupaged! There are 3 different sets available! BLESSED, FAMILY and ADOPTION!

Visit my ETSY shop!! Lots of new items available!!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas 2009

Christmas Eve...Still hasn't come yet... Passing the time with his bff Baby (grampa) is responsible for this! Notice Fasika is still trying to be "ghetto" and has rubbed off on her cousin Frankie!! This is the 2nd annual "be proud of what your Baby gave you, yo!"
Another cRaZy Christmas is over..... Apparently Santa thought we were all exceptional all year long-- I'm thinking he might have been watching the wrong family!!! For the past few weeks I've been threatening the kids with "Santa's watching" and "Do you really think that behavior/language is going to land you on the nice list??" Apparently the kids know Santa is a bit of a softy and is extremely flexible when it comes to them breaking the rules.

Is it bad that I sit here tonight..... thankful that Christmas is over?? Let me break it down for you...
Top 5 reasons I'm glad Christmas is over:

1. I can't afford another trip to the mall-- Seriously I'm sure GMAC is also happy Christmas is over-- they are patiently awaiting my car payment!! I have come to conclude that I can't afford Christmas AND my bills! Thank God Christmas only comes once a year!!!
2. I'm ready to put my house back in order. Ready to take the tree down and all of the clutter that decorating brings.
3. FOOD. I'm so full that I want to start my new year's diet NOW! (haha, that urge will be gone by morning, I'm sure!!)

4. The "Santa is watching" threats just aren't working anymore. I can now "ground" them from all of their new gifts-- hahaha!!
5. No more Christmas music at Walmart-- did anyone else notice that Walmart started playing Christmas music right after Halloween this year?!?!? Maybe that's a bit of an exaggeration, but seriously it was sooo early.
After all of the excitement and all of the presents the kids are finally sleeping!! Right before Thomas fell asleep, he said "mommy, how many day's till Christmas??" That same question I happily answered several times a day for the past 25+ days.... I answered, "365 sweetie!! Just enough time for mommy to catch up on bills and pay off Christmas 2009!!!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

A little bit of Crazyness......

I'm not sure whose idea this was, but I got stuck taking the pictures!! My 3 kiddo's plus my sisters 2, always = TROUBLE! My nieces, Chesnee and Francesca are a couple of crazy little girls! Chesnee is the cutest little DEVIL you'll ever meet!! Francesca is just a sweetie (& and little sour too!!) Anyway, when you get the whole crew together they are sure to melt your heart (OR drive you crazy.... right Meme??)

Soo, here they are

Like O.M.G!!!!
VAMPIRES... (yea, vampires.... idk)

Silly (normal for kids this age...)Hott (Hott?? yes I said Hottt. At this age, you might ask?? That was deff Chesnee's idea!!)
I'm not sure what happened to the "typical" photo shoot poses, such as say cheese, silly faces, mean faces. Oh how times have changed....

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

My excuse....

Ok, so I don't have an excuse...
So here was the conversation last night right around dinner time:
Thomas: Mommy, what's that smell??
Me: That's dinner....
Thomas: Dad's home??
Me: Nope, not yetttt...
Thomas: Well, what's that smell?
Me: Dinnerrrr
Thomas: But where's dad??
Me: On his wayyyy
Thomas: but....?
(with a confused look on his face...)
And then the sad reality hits-- When daddy usually walks in, SO does the smell of dinner-- yup, that's when you know you get take-out wayyy too much..... oh and one last hint-- when you call the local restaurant (Behind the Scenes, soooo yummy!!) and they say... "You guys want the usual??"
Sad, so sad!! So tonight (just right now), I've decided that I'm going to get better at planning dinners around here-- Not only is take-out expensive, it's just NOT healthy. And it's not like I don't go to the grocery store every week and spend way too much money, and I really do LOVE to cook, so this should be an easy task!
Ok, that's my plan-- as I sit here (waiting for Chinese to arrive! yum!) I'm already thinking about next weeks dinner menu, and it does NOT include McDonald's, China Town, Behind the Scenes, Friendly's or Applebees!! =)
Ok, got to go-- daddy's home, and SO is dinner!!

Monday, December 7, 2009

WARNING: It's Contagious and I HOPE you get it!!

Soo over the weekend I had a special request on my ETSY website for 5 of my Hands for Africa Pendants, it's by far my largest quantity of necklaces in a single order-- so I was curious and asked the buyer if she had a handful of friends/family in the adoption process, and she said....

"Actually no. My friends and I decided last year to give money to a charity instead of gifts for Christmas. I am giving a donation to Doctors Without Borders as their present this year, saw your pendent and thought it would be nice to give them so when they wore it they would think of the donation."

I just packaged up the necklaces, added a few of my favorite decals and sent it on it's way-- I feel so honored to be a part of this!! It gives me even more determination to fundraise and put all the money to good use. Sometimes I sit here and I think of how much needs to be done, it's so overwhelming, it almost seems like a task that is impossible achieve. Then I come across people like this, like Debbie and I realize that every little bit helps-- and if we all pitch in WE can make a difference, to a child, to a family, to an entire village. It's contagious, one person gives and touches the heart of another and it continues on and on and on.... soo, the next time I sit here and think to myself... "can I truly make an impact?" I will be at peace and know I can because I am inspired by people like Debbie and maybe, just maybe, someone will be inspired by me and someone by them and on and on and on... I can only hope.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

"Is it dead yet, mommy??"

Sooo that was the question of the day on Thanksgiving-- Maybe because I made the mistake of letting the kids help me prepare the turkey.... cut open the package, uncover the hairless bird, dump the bloody mess from the wrapping, pull out the neck and other nasty insides-- they left the kitchen in complete disgust and wandered off with too many questions. I hear their discussions from the kitchen, Thomas says "I'm gonna ask dad if he'll get us McDonalds, I am not eating a dead bird."

Finally, when the buzzer rang and the turkey came out of the oven, Fasika comes running out and says "is it dead yet mommy??" LOL, I laughed and said of course, it's all cooked! Autumn says "well, is it a he or a she turkey? I bet the boy ones are nasty." I thanked Autumn for her input and changed the subject quickly-- Fasika continues to watch as I scoop the stuffing out and says "mommy, I'll eat some of that turkey, but I am NOT eating it's guts!" At dinner it was decided that the turkey was indeed a girl, because it tasted just too good to be a boy! Thomas was too busy claiming his olives to be concerned about the turkey!
You DO love your mommy!
Soo much to be thankful for....
Another happy turkey day!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

LOVE that smile!

It doesn't take much to get a smile out of that pretty face!! Give this girl a pile of leaves and you'll be lucky if she makes it in for dinner! I've always been amazed at how content she is with the simplest things-- No bells and whistles needed for this sweet girl! For now, we've got leaves, and soon we'll have SNOW, and then, her personal favorite-- MUDD! Got to love Vermont!!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Fort Hood, Texas

Our deepest sympathies go out to the families of those killed and wounded in the tragic shooting at Fort Hood. Please show your support and lower flags to half staff from now until Veteran's Day, on November 11th.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Hands for Africa Pendant

Hands for Africa Pendant BACK IN STOCK! Finally! They are soooo much work!! Check out my etsy shop!!