Saturday, May 30, 2009

Introducing Gideon

Look who wandered up to our house yesterday looking for a new home! This place is becoming a regular Old MacDonald Farm! But what a dream come true for these two 9 yr. old cousins.

One problem...I don't have the first clue about having a cat! What do I feed him? How do I get rid of his fleas? And he is filthy. Do I give him a bath? Do cats take baths? Help, cat people!

The kids named him Gideon. Isn't he cute?

Thursday, May 28, 2009

This is NOT funny. Not funny at all. But does anybody see anything ironic about this box labeled "Live Baby Chicks"? These are in fact, 23 dead chicks. I hope nobody is offended by this morbid post.

John has been telling us that a "surprise" would be coming in the mail and to be sure to rush to the post office the minute we got the phone call, which came first thing this morning.

I got the kids ready as fast as I could and loaded seven children into the car (my five plus my niece and nephew who stayed with us last night). How quickly the mood turned from excitement and anticipation to extreme disappointment and sadness for all of us. When we opened the box, this is the surprise we saw. Apparently the package got misrouted and arrived two days late. :( So sad.

Three little survivors however remain and have perked up significantly after being dropper fed water and little bits of chick food. Meanwhile a replacement box of "live baby chicks" have already been sent. We will be praying for a very speedy delivery.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009








Making her silliest face

Have I ever mentioned how much I adore these little hands?

I love these eyes.....

But I sure miss those beautiful eyebrows. :(
Once, my sister Marlita and I attended a ladies' meeting where the speaker was giving us tips on how to make sure your necklace, shoes and purse coordinated with your blouse and pants. We both kept snickering and later found out we were laughing about the same thing: Forget the necklace and purse, our choice of outfits is normally determined by whether or not the clothes have grease stains or holes. And by the way, sometimes you can strategically hide those holes and stains depending on whether you'll be wearing a nametag or a jacket to your event, I've found.

Well I decided to turn over a new leaf this Memorial Day weekend after going out to get my bi-annual haircut, manicure and pedicure. I had some errands to run with the kids and decided this time instead of wearing the usual t-shirt and jeans, I would wear a pretty blouse and some high heeled sandals, feeling very cute, mind you.

By the time I returned home I had poop, blood and drool on my cute blouse. I guess it's back to t-shirt and jeans for me.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

10 Things I Hate about Dogs.....

I'd like to wish my niece Camille a very happy Graduation Day! Camille, you are such a joy to us. We love you and are so proud of you. I wish your mother could have been here to celebrate with us. I know she would be so proud of her daughters. We love you. Congratulations!!!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Awkward Family Photos

Need a good laugh? Check out this blog. Set your google reader. It's going to be a good one.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Alopecia part 4

About six weeks ago I told you we took Ava back to a third dermatologist hoping for a better prognosis for her head. This doctor was pretty optimistic that a certain wart treatment would have the side effect of hair growth, and had apparently worked wonders in several of her patients. They tested a small area on her arm with a strong dose with the intent of "desensitizing" her before putting it on her scalp three weeks later. I was told to expect a "poison ivy-like" reaction. This is what we got instead: (I felt horrible!)

It's taken me this long to want to blog about it. Needless to say, we didn't go back for the scalp treatment. (You'll have to click the picture and look closely at her left upper arm to see the scar in the second photo):

A friend highly recommended a homeopathic doctor specializing in endocrinology instead, so I took her there, hoping to find the root of the problem. Three weeks ago we went and this is what happened:

The saliva test, which I'm told is more accurate than a blood test, indicated that her body systems are functioning normally: thyroid, liver, kidney. When we came to the hormone/emotion part, everything was off. The test showed she has experienced "emotional trauma, child neglect, child abandonment, stress, overstimulation, frustration". That and she tested positive for a bacteria which the doctor said is very common for kids adopted from Eastern Europe. How weird is this? I am still not exactly sure how I feel about homeopathy, but I have to say I was very impressed with this saliva test. If anyone can explain to me how it works I would be fascinated to hear more about it. From what I understand the saliva contains a blueprint of every chemical the body produces in response to certain conditions, traumas, etc. It even told us she had a bruise on her head recently without knowing I had slipped and fallen while holding her a few weeks before while walking up my porch steps in the ice storm, leaving a bruise on the back of Ava's head!! (Weird.) So I am giving her homeopathic supplements for awhile to stabilize the stress hormones. No guarantees it will grow her hair back, of course but if it will help her emotional adjustment, it is worth it to me.

So there you have it, Chapter 4 of the ongoing saga of the Bald Beauty.

Meanwhile, a blog reader sent these beautiful bows, hats and headbands for Ava. She finally kept one on today long enough today not only for the picture but also all the way to school! Making progress. Thank you Shannon from Cary Hairbows!!! Please check out her amazing creations on her blog.

These will certainly be treasured memories in years to come......

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


Last night we celebrated my grandmother's birthday. Here she is blowing out her 94 candles, telling us that Grandpa never let us do that while he was alive; it was unsanitary. She is holding on to her teeth to make sure they stayed in. :) I sure love this lady. Here are a couple of my favorite pictures of the event:

And can I just say how thankful I am that I married THIS man 14 years ago today???? He still loves weather, airplanes, and me just as much now as he did back then. Happy Anniversary to us!! Love you, honey.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Cousins...and grandparents

My sister and I have been simultaneously pregnant twice. Here are the products of those four pregnancies.....(all 4 born at home, incidentally)......Evi and Liesel, two months apart....And Hope and Sebastian, three months apart. It has been so fun having cousins so close in age who LOVE each other so much. We sat on the porch this evening and watched them all play together, the older cousins making up inventions with wood, rope and plastic buckets, and the younger set of cousins playing walkie talkies and chasing the cow.

And my parents came up from Mexico for a visit. We always love having Opa and Oma in town. My kids asked me today if Daddy and I can go out of town so Opa and Oma can babysit them. They are remembering how much ice cream they got while we were in Ukraine last winter.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Happy 14th Bliss....

We thought 14 years was certainly worth celebrating. Is it weird that I made a birthday cake for my dog?

Friday, May 15, 2009


Many people have asked and prayed so here is an update. We sold our house today! (our old house, not our current one). The day the For Sale sign went up in the yard last September was the same day the news stories came out about the troubles of the major banks and our country's economic woes. Needless to say it has been slightly stressful making two mortgage payments for the last eight months but we have faithfully trusted the Lord to provide. We have continued to ask Him to bring along a really, really special family to live there. After all, there were a lot of precious memories made there and we wouldn't want it to go to just anybody.

Well wouldn't you know, the Lord answered our prayers and the house now belongs to a very, very special family. They happen to be good friends of ours who were moving back into town and suddenly in the market for a 5 bedroom home as their family is expanding from three children to who-knows-how-many children. They are adopting a set of siblings from Africa! Little once-orphaned African children are going to be living in our old home! Isn't God good? We are so grateful.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


Lately we've seen big improvements in Ava's receptive and expressive communication. I have lost track of the number of signs she knows. Last I counted it was 35. Since then she has learned airplane, banana, and dance. When her daddy holds her she signs "dance" because she LOVES to "dance" in Daddy's arms. She raises her hands over her head and lets him swing her around, giggling and squealing. She signs "home" when we pull into our long driveway, and "jump" when she hears the kids outside on the trampoline. She understands and follows a few commands: put it in, give it to Mommy, come here, where is ____?, etc.

Many times she can't do a sign or speak a word for something but she can certainly get her point across with a grunt, an expression or body language (and yes, she even has temper tantrums occasionally!)

We have been working on pointing to her eyes, nose, ears, etc. It took a while, but she is starting to cooperate. Recently she started crawling onto my lap with a book, letting me know that she wants me to read to her. Her speech therapist told me that her speech development was consistent to that of an 18 month old! Considering she was testing at a two month old level a year ago, I am extremely pleased with that report! 16 months of development squeezed into a 13 month period. Not bad.

Remember how excited I was when she made her first babble sound at the age of 4? I never imagined I'd be so excited to hear a "B" sound. (It's funny what excites a parent of a child with a disability. Can anyone relate?) Well I am HAPPY to tell you that not only can she say a "B" sound. She can now say 7 actual words:

1. Daddy ("Gaggy")
2. Cookie
3. More
4. Mama
5. Bubba
6. Good-girl ("Goo-goo")...which she says when she does something she knows we'll be proud of. :)
7. Thank you ("Kay kay")

And here is my favorite of all: When I sing to her at night now, she sings along! Of course not everyone would recognize it as singing, but I am her mother and I KNOW she is singing. Sometimes she even does the little signs that go along, like the itsy bitsy spider, a song they sing at school called "Special Me", where she pats herself on the shoulders indicating she is "special", and of course my favorite, Jesus Loves Me, she does the little sign for Jesus when I sing it to her.

I sure do love that little girl!