Wednesday, November 23, 2011


      Yesterday was a brutal day of homeschooling. It was the kind of day when I send SOS texts to Scott from the kitchen table while I am teaching. He sends me messages back telling me how great I am and keep at it, and those kids are so BLESSED to have me and promises back rubs later in the day. I tell him they are trying to overthrow me and to please start teaching them Math. He always says yes but it's always me with the flash cards the next day. Still, he's a smart man and knows to not tip my scale in those crucial moments.  Most days are not this way. I love teaching those little cherubs and usually things really click. We read great books and go from subject to subject happily. They sharpen their colored pencils and create fabulous notebook pages and shade in rivers and oceans on their maps. They sketch in their nature books and write beautiful poetry. They clap out their helping verb chants and practice their spelling words together and I beam with happiness. Sometimes I have to drag them away from the book basket because they are so interested in the material.


I had to drag them TO the table and they were glaring at each other and mouthing angry things each time I bent my head to read. It got so out of hand, I even recall telling them all of the amazing things I could be doing if not for educating them all day and to please be a little more grateful. No, I am not proud of that but you can't unsay words. It obviously didn't work because they complained about each thing we did and had full on tears during math. I sat there gripping the edge of the table as I read about conjunctions. I love English, so I get irritated when they fight through the whole way through it. I said through gritted teeth,

" A conjunction is a word that joins two words together. As in, Autumn AND Chase need to zip it."

      We finally made it to Geography and Science. This is when things usually lighten up. They really enjoy these two subjects because they tell me it's so much fun it doesn't feel like work. I admit, I also enjoy these subjects. We are studying North America at the moment so I asked them to please get out their maps.

I leaned down and looked Chase in the eye, my nose touching his and said so calmly and so lovingly, "I am going to use the restroom. I would like you two to behave for the two minutes I am gone from this table."

 He replied very seriously, "You should do that Mom. And we will not fight."

 I was gone no more than thirty seconds when I heard Chase screaming and wailing. Now, when that happens I usually also hear the offending party spurting out apologies and convincing the victim to reconsider tattling. This time however, I heard Autumn laughing her head off. Hard. I opened the door to Chase standing there with a tooth his hand and a napkin in his mouth, which made it very hard to understand his words. Behind him, was his sister bent over busting a gut, with a ruler in her hand.

"What happened?!" I asked, trying to decide who to deal with first.

Autumn dried her tears and sweetly said, "Well, Chase asked me if he could borrow my ruler (LAUGH) so I tossed it to him across the table. ( "THREW!" Chase corrected.) He missed my throw and it hit him in the face. (CACKLE)  He yelled, 'YOU KNOCKED MY TOOTH OUT!' I felt really bad Mom, but then he spit and his tooth went flying across the room!! I heard a teensy...... "ting!" when it hit the floor! (opened mouth LAUGH, LAUGH, LAUGH)

  I looked at Autumn sternly but I couldn't say a word because I was two seconds from laughing. I know it wasn't nice of her to throw the ruler and it needed to be dealt with, but I was thrown off by their opposite demeanor. Chase was in hysterics, and she was laughing so hard that nothing I said could sway her at that moment. I bent down and looked at Chase's tooth and said, "Well, there is only one explanation..."

Chase got really serious and asked, "What?"

"Autumn is working directly for the Tooth Fairy," I said.

He started to smile and he looked at her and said, "Do you think you could knock out another one?"


Sunday, November 20, 2011

Birthday Girl

  Today is our baby's birthday. I was so busy getting ready for her party today that I felt sad I wasn't spending enough time just cuddling her. But each time she walked by me I tried to take an extra second and really look at her. Or kiss her. She is turning into a little girl before my very eyes. When my children have a birthday, I always go over their birth story in my mind. I replay it and remember it fondly and teary-eyed. For the first time, I couldn't do that. I was a bit surprised when nothing came to mind when I tried to think back to Havensong's birth. And that is only because my body doesn't really know that she didn't come from me, so it shocks me that I can't remember. I wanted to know her beginning so badly today...but trying to recall her story was like trying to describe a color I had never seen before, or like trying to find a place I had only visited in my dreams. So close, yet a million miles away.

           The party was starting soon but I wanted a moment to myself. I closed my eyes and tried to force her little history to my mind. I couldn't do it. It almost hurts. I don't want to make some story up in my mind that isn't true, but I need to picture something. Having nothing to go on is harder than I ever knew it would be. It's just that there are so many possibilities... so many questions....the only thing I did know, is that baby who was wrapped in a blanket and placed under that street light was now running through our home, carrying the kitten upside down, sippy cup in hand, piggy tails in place, and turning two. And her guests would be arriving soon and celebrating her day.

I decided to focus on what I did know.... I knew she was our daughter. I knew she had a family who adored her every move. I knew her siblings thought she hung the moon. I knew her dad was wrapped around her little finger. I knew I loved her more than I could ever express.

So, I tucked her birth mother back in my heart and went on with my day. I didn't know if she was thinking of our daughter. I hoped she was....and I hoped she wasn't....the thought of her hurting was hard on me. When I went upstairs and picked up that sweet girl I gave her a very soft kiss on each cheek from two people on the other side of the world. And one on her perfect little mouth from me. Okay more than one.
 And I know one more thing...she loves shoes. I can't believe how well she manages those heels all the while feeding her baby a bottle. That's pure talent right there....
                                           Happy Birthday Havensong...we love you.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Friday Favorite: Asian Bistro and chopsticks!

Asian Bistro is my favorite place to eat. It is owned by Wilson and Nancy, a mother and son team. The food tastes fresh and flavorful! My favorite is the Thai have to try it. The owners are so sweet and they know ALL of their customers names by memory. Ok, they struggle with Havensong's name, but so do a lot of people.

     We went there today to celebrate our re adoption. We went before a judge today at the courthouse and filed for citizenship and a Washington State birth certificate for our baby girl. After the judge finished asking us all to swear to take the very best care of Havensong and love her forever she raised her hands and yelled out a cheer. She has quite the little personality on her. After the court session we went into a party room with all of the other families with adopted children. It was a beautiful sight seeing children from all over the globe with their new families.

     We had lunch at Asian Bistro and Wilson and Nancy were so happy for us. They have been part of our adoption process for six years. We have celebrated every adoption milestone at their restaurant.  Today we found out that Nancy was born in the same province as Havensong so we took a picture of them. Also it was Havensong's first try at chopsticks. She did fabulous! Except she left a lot of rice on the floor. Wilson patted my shoulder and said, "No worries, I am a professional."

    They are located in Ferndale off of Main street. If you are in Whatcom County try it out and tell them we said "Hello."

Friday, November 11, 2011

A Small Thank You

         I feel really blessed for all of the pockets of time I get to spend with each of our kids. As hard as it is at times to  be so busy, it does create a lot of good memories. Today Beau was piping at a Remembrance Day service in Coquitlam B.C. It's always effort getting everything together and out the door. And I often get lost while I am driving around Canada. I am getting better, but it is still tricky for me. Autumn decided to go up with us to keep me company while Beau was marching. We made it up there without any problems and even a few minutes to spare.

           I have never been a part of a Remembrance Day ceremony. This day is observed on November 11th in Canada and other countries to recall the official end of WWI on this day in 1918. Hostilities formally ended at the 11th hour of the 11 day of the 11th month with the German signing of the Armistice. The atmosphere felt much like our ceremonies at home. It was very moving and heartfelt. I saw tears as the band played Amazing Grace. I saw reverence during the prayers. As the decorated war veterans walked past, the applause lasted a long time. I got choked up as they sang "O Canada" and "God Save The Queen." I felt proud to be a part of it. A lady next to me asked me if I was from the states. (I think I may have had my poppy on incorrectly, or maybe it was my messing up the lyrics to the songs.) I told her I was. She said she was surprised I was there because our country had our own day honoring Veterans and she heard we are were dedicated and patriotic about those kinds of things. I told her I felt just as patriotic standing there on Canadian soil. The war heroes walking past me, and the fallen heroes we were remembering were equally important, no matter what colors they wore or which country they stood for. I was glad to be a part of it.
Besides, my son's pipe band is Canadian, and so we are connected in a special way.
I would like to say Thank You to our Veterans on this day. I think of my Dad who served during the Vietnam War and Scott's Dad who is a retired officer from the United States Air Force. I think of my husband and his eight years of service in the Air Force, including two years in South Korea. He knows full well the sacrifice involved and I always watch his face as our flag passes by him because I can see the pride in his eyes, and in the way his head is always slightly bent in respect. I think of the countless men and women who gave all they had for our freedom. I think of the families who show their endless love and support. I think of those who are gone, but won't be forgotten.

 I feel honored to be able to show my gratitude in this smallest of ways for your indescribable sacrifice.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Friday Favorite: Clinton James Photography

Tayler and Kyle had their engagement pictures taken. They turned out so beautiful. I think Clinton did a fabulous job of catching their personalities and their charm. I cannot WAIT to see what he does with the wedding pictures. Here is the link to her wedding blog:
They are having a Vintage theme... I loved it from the beginning but couldn't quite figure out why I adored it so much.

It reminded me of something lovely but I couldn't pinpoint it. So nostalgic, so pretty.

Then it hit me....Tayler looks like both of my Grandmothers in their Glory Days. The dresses, the hair-do, the car...As a girl I would stand on my tiptoes and look at the pictures on their dressers, wondering why women didn't look that way anymore. It was as if the average housewife had just stepped out of the silver screen. They looked so classy and feminine in their tailored tea dresses and heels. Girls these days do not appreciate this type of beauty...they show too much, and look older than their years.
But my girl has a natural gift for glamour gone by....
 And she grabs your attention with her eyes, her smile, her grace.

I thought Clinton James was my Friday Favorite, but I guess it's really Tayler...