Thursday, July 23, 2009

Swimming fun!

A couple of weeks ago we went to the free movies and then met some friends at their pool. The kids swam, ate, and then swam again! A fun day! Except that my bald boys got their scalps a little fried. Especially Max, the scar on his head blistered and peeled, poor boy. We stayed waaay longer than we had intended. Still, it was a fun afternoon!

Some other kids there brought this big tube and while they ate lunch, our kids played on it. They had a lot of fun all piling in and then, inevitably, falling out. :-)

Monday, July 20, 2009

Playing cars

Ivy is funny. All girl but then, she loves matchbox cars too. Of course, she prefers the pink ones or the cars that have glitter on them! And also, they visit together. The cars, that is.Misha got this car ramp for his birthday. (Grandma and Grandpa Falk gave him a loop to go with it but I took these pictures before the loop arrived.) He and Ivy spent a long time playing together on the back porch a few days ago.

I really enjoy watching the kids play together. They often pair up predictably: Misha and Max, Hannah and Annette, Ivy and Vitali. Other times they mix it up a bit. Like this day.

Passion fruit.

During our nightly walks to the neighbor-church VBS, we noticed these flowers trailing around the empty lot by our house. Upon closer inspection, they have several green fruits about the sized of Kiwis growing on them. I recognized the flowers as passion fruit flowers since, when we first moved in here there was a vine at the edge of our 'woods'.

Our vine disappeared and we never got any fruit off of it so we'll have to keep an eye on the neighboring patch. Hopefully, we can find a ripe one before any wildlife gets it first!

I don't know if they will be yellow or purple. To tell you the truth. I am not sure if I have ever even had passion fruit! I didn't know what color it was and wouldn't have recognized it if I saw it on a produce stand. Another thing I don't know is, "How do you eat it, anyway?!!"

Thursday, July 16, 2009


Misha's eighth birthday was this past Sunday. All year, and I do mean ALL year, he has been talking about turning eight. He had looked at the calendar in November when we got it and has reported to anyone who will listen that he was seven and he would be eight on JulytwelveSunday. All one word, like that. :-)

After the Friday all-nighter in the ER, I was not so excited to be making a race car cake, which is what Misha had requested. But it was only his second birthday party ever and I wanted to keep it just as special as he was hoping. After looking around online and doing a little thinking of my own, I came up with a figure eight (appropriate) race track onto which I stuck actual metal toy cars. The decorating was minimal. The most effort went into two little checkered flags that took me all of eight minutes to color and tape onto cut pieces of drinking straws. I stuck some sugar letters onto the sides and made sure to put in plenty of food coloring (in an attempt to prove my theory that brightly colored frosting makes any cake awesome--at least in a kid's eyes).
He was thrilled when he woke up Sunday morning to see his cake on the table! Good! I thought he would be. He is not really very hard to please. He was even still excited on Monday when he had to add an extra job to his daily chores now that he was eight! Haha!

We opened presents and shared cake with a couple of friends at a local park after church that day. It was hot but we had lemonade. All was right with the world! Misha holding up the little Lone Ranger Bear that Hannah had gotten at the dollar store. She bought the little bear and cowboy costume separately and then added a mask and little gun belt afterward. Didn't she do a good job?

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Annette gives us a scare...

Here is a picture of Annette yesterday afternoon feeling fine and dandy. That was how she was all day. For fun, she and Max switched beds so that she was "spending the night" with Misha and Max and Hannah camped out in the girls' room. Turns out that this plan would come in handy a few hours later...

Around eleven o'clock, Steve and I were sitting in the kitchen stringing beans and watching an internet 'tv' show when we heard some thumping around down the hall. Misha is known for sleep walking so we ignored it until we heard a louder thump and some crying. Steve went down the hall thinking Misha was just disoriented and couldn't find his bed but when he tried to open the door it was blocked and it was Annette's crying we heard.

Once Steve got into the room he found Annette behind the door lying on the floor. She had thrown up into her hair and was disoriented and wailing. Thinking she was sick and half-asleep he guided her out the door and to me so that I could wash her up. Trouble was, I couldn't get her to stand up while I ran bathwater. She kept listing to one side. So I called to Steve. I asked him to just hold her up while I started the bath. Still thinking she was just half-asleep. I turned on the water and went to pull of her shirt but when I did, her right arm just flopped down. I picked it up and dropped it. Floppy again. I asked her to squeeze my hand, nothing. She actually reached over with her other hand to comply. All this time she was wailing incoherently.

I got her over to the tub and said to Steve, "You better get dressed." While I washed her hair and cleaned her up there was no improvement. She mentioned that her head was hurting but not until I asked. Steve then showed up at the door dressed and with an outfit for Annie. Two shirts. Okay, so I ran down and got some pants for her and Daddy carried her out to the car. I could see the alarm in his eyes and he announced before driving away, "I'm taking her to Children's".

We were scared. No doubt about it. Our friend Bryan called (Steve had already called him) and said he would come over and sleep on the couch so I could go to the hospital. Like any good woman, I looked around and busied myself tidying up. Praying and answering phone calls all the time. It kept me busy for the 35 minutes or so till Bryan got there.

I drove to the hospital trying to keep to the speed limit but leaning forward in my seat. Steve told me later that he had gotten stopped going about 90 but that the officer let him go with a simple, "Calm down". I didn't have my glasses or my license ( they were in the car Steve was driving) so I didn't want to get pulled over!

Annette had thrown up again at the hospital. Apparently, in the waiting area which seemed to get her finally to a room. By this time the paralysis had pretty much faded and her movement had come back.

Once I got there, the Dr was in with them and I arrived in time to hear him say that he was thinking it sounded like a classic migraine. Skeptical but relieved not to hear Stroke or tumor, we waited while she had a cat scan and blood work and just rested.

At four am when the Dr came in to give her a final look-see, she was happy and perky at his offer of a Popsicle and gave me a demure smile when he called her a Princess. She already knew it was true.

In the end, we were there till 4:45 am and didn't get home until 5:30. Annette sang "Joy to the World" on the way home and was feeling, "Perfect!," but apparently still sleepy since she conked out about 20 minutes from home. Goodbyes and thank yous to Bryan and we were into bed by 6:30 just as the sun was coming up.

The kids woke up as usual and, with Annette sound asleep, no one realized that we had been gone all night! In fact, the first one to notice was Hannah who said, "Mom, why is Annette wearing those pajamas?" And Annette was beaming, proud of all the attention and of the fact that she had a new nightgown, albeit a bit drafty.

And today, you'd never know that she'd had any kind of ordeal! She is chipper and cheerful and good as new. And me? I need another nap.


Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Shoebox Blog

I love to read the Shoebox Blog (Like the Hallmark line of greeting cards) each day with the rest of my lineup. Occasionally, I just laugh right out loud. I really enjoy the "off" sense of humor. And I got a kick out of this one today. :-) I also thought this one was pretty funny. But my mom wouldn't.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


We braved the mosquitos to hang out in the backyard this evening. Even squeezed in a picture of the whole family! (Gotta scroll down for that. )



Thursday, July 2, 2009

Max and Me

I'm not sure how long I will keep my blogs separate. But LovedAlready has always had a dual purpose. It was not only to keep all informed of our process but also to inspire and encourage others who might consider or perhaps already were traveling the same road as us. Now, a year-and-a-half after the boys have been home, there are very few things that are "adoption specific" to blog about. Mostly everything that we do and the ways the boys behave are so "normal"(to us anyway) that they hardly seem worth mentioning. Because of this, I post fairly infrequently which can end up spelling the end of a blog.

I will try and post links here when I have posted there. That way those of you who have given up on my sporatic postings will keep up-to-date. I will mostly only do that when I post. Steve posts things there on occasion and probably more frequently than I do so you'll have to keep checking if you are interested in catching everything. He posts mostly essays about adoption. His writings are thought provoking and display his heart and passion for the orphaned child as well as illuminating the paralells of orphan adoption to our adoption by God.

Today I posted a short story about Max.