Friday, December 31, 2010

Blow My Whistle

You know when your child has a new toy or a new skill and they really, really want to show you how wonderful that toy or skill is?

In the middle of cooking for our New Year's Eve party and in the middle of the boys "supposedly" cleaning their room I hear, "Mom, come look at my whistle!" Okay I was a little distracted but it did cross my mind as there was no way on this earth that I had purchased or had they received a whistle.....come on I'm not that deaf or senile yet.

I walked into their bedroom and he says, "Look I can blow my whistle." He then proceeded to show me that he had learned to whistle. Thank goodness God provided little boys so many avenues to make noise with their bodies! :)

Thursday, December 30, 2010


This was the "educational" (argument) debate between Lucas and Eli at supper time. I'd fixed fried potatoes with supper and after their second helping they started in on if there is one potato there is no "s", more than one potato has an "s" on the end. Eli in his unexpected and wholly inaccurate knowledge continued to explain to all of us that if there are 3 potato the word has 3 "s" and so on.

Lucas than takes up the volume by yelling, "huh uh!" Back and forth they went until Eli looks at me (why am I the chosen referee - Mike is sitting right there!) and says, "Mom, I right, yes?" Lucas yells, "Mom, he no know what he's talking about!"

Well there was a whole lot of correction that should have probably taken place in those exchanges but I cut my losses and told Eli that in this case Lucas was right.....his response....."Oh man! Come on!"

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Separation Anxiety From Everyone

Sorry to all for dropping the ball on posting. I decided I was going to have to cut back in order to make all ends meet at Christmas time. I'll have to work on getting some holiday pictures posted soon.

I thought I'd post this quickly as I've just returned from retrieving Lucas from his first overnight at a friends' house. Ok, I know the kid is almost 11 but this is a big first for all of us. The first time he has spent a night away from Eli. The first time he went to a non relatives' home without any of us. The first time he was totally on his own to communicate with people who had not been around him much. The first time he had to mind his manners and remember the lessons he's learned. Guess what? The kid did amazing! His friends' mom was very impressed with his manners and how he knew that he wasn't allowed to watch certain videos. Yeah!

Unfortunately the rest of us didn't survive his foray into independence as well. I nearly had a panic attack after I dropped him off, I had to call Lynn and have her tell me it would be ok. Eli was even less thrilled when he finally got it through his head that Lucas would not be coming home at bedtime. He kept asking if I was sure. At 9:00 he asked if he could sleep with us....again a big step as he had never slept anywhere without Lucas. Alison called later in the evening and found out that Lucas was at his friends. She totally forgot to talk about what she called for because she was stressing also asking if I was sure. Our friend, Chris, called and she too did several checks to see if we'd heard anything.....she called this morning too. What can I say these boys have a whole lot of people stressing on their behalf and a few of us need to loosen the strings. Luckily, Lucas and Eli are very good at stretching into new territory.

I think we are all taking a nap this afternoon. Lucas informs me that he didn't sleep last night....he kind of looks like it, I didn't sleep well....Eli spins like a top in his sleep when he wasn't patting my arm to wake me up and check to see if I was OK!

Mike was talking this morning. He said, "Did you ever think a year ago that either one of the boys would reach this point where Lucas was brave enough to voluntarily handle new situations for an extended time and Eli would be able to handle his world on his own without Lucas?" Now if their family and friends can handle it....that is the question!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Growed Up!

Have you ever been in a store and saw a toy that you had as a child? Then bought the said item for your child because you thought you'd pass the fun you had down to your "precious" little one?

Retro toys are in and Mike discovered a blast from the past. He brought Lucas and Eli a packet of "Amazing Expanding Pets". Do you remember those little, clear capsules you put in hot water and watch them dissolve until the animal shaped sponge is revealed? What can I say, things like that were fascinating in the late 60's.

I'm not quite sure what Lucas and Eli thought was going to come out but I know for the 5 minutes it took for the sponges to "magically" appear, Eli kept running to the counter hollering, "Is it growed up?"......repeatedly......loudly.......oh yeah......repeatedly.

Clue #1: Don't buy your child a gift that requires patience, especially at Christmas time.
Clue #2: Don't give said child the gift at night time.
Clue #3: Don't forget to explain that they shouldn't pull the capsule apart in an effort to shorten the "amazingly" long time the "amazing" pet capsule takes to's not pretty.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Let Me Tell You...

When I started writing this blog, I asked the girls if it was okay to include them in posts. They were a little "gun shy" of what I might write (where is the trust?)

All three of our girls have been wonderful when it has come to accepting, encouraging, defending when needed and teasing their brothers over this past 14 months. We are extremely proud of the way they've each met the challenges and changes.

Sydney, as the only sister still living at home full time, has probably had the most changes to her daily life. She is the one who willingly drives them to and from school, she goes to their sporting events, she babysits with them for an hour each day after school, she lets them commandeer the tv, she listens as they talk non stop through supper and listens to the increased volume of our house.

It's quite a change from what she may have thought her life was going to be like the last 2 years before she heads for college. She can get aggravated with her brothers, never doubt that, but she also is one of the first to acknowledge and work to find answers for them when needed. She will defend them, teach them and play with them.

We are very aware and extremely proud of her willingness to help, that allows for me to continue working, the boys to have a consistent person to meet some of the daily tasks. I'm also sure there are times when she dreams of the quiet before boys, not tripping over remote control cars and not having to take turns for the bathroom.

So even though I don't write a lot about any of our three wonderful daughters, they are truly gracious young women who have expanded their lives and hearts to include two rambunctious, hilarious, at time irritating little brothers. They've expanded their lives and hearts and that is a gift that this set of parents will have forever.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Giving Back

These days, our evening conversations revolve around Christmas, Christmas programs, Christmas gifts, Santa, how Santa gets in the house, how he will find our tree because I put it in the family room instead of by the fireplace, etc.....

This past week-end Lucas was talking about Christmas in the Philippines and in Zamboanga at the orphanage. He explained what they would receive as gifts and from whom, what happened to those gifts and which children received what.

He sat still for a little while and then asked if he could send his bike to the orphanage because they only had one for the kids to share and from his description it didn't have a seat and one of the pedals was missing.

I explained that while we couldn't actually send his bike to the kids but that we could check to see if we could make a donation, he got the most concentrated face. I asked if he thought that it would be okay to do something like that. His answer was kind of sad. He thought maybe we should send them a little toy but then to buy "big" food because there wasn't always enough and even though you can't play with food that would be better to give because stomach aches aren't fun......well poo.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Singing for Whom?

Wednesday evening was the Christmas concert for the boys. Just before leaving for the concert, we asked if they knew their songs (this year they have the tune if not all the actual words.)

Lucas starts into his grades' songs - at full volume - thanks for the preview.
Eli simply states, "I am singing for the Tooth Fairy." you know the song? Yep, All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth. He is now convinced that the Tooth Fairy and Santa work together. I just knew Santa had to have more help than elves!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

What Language Do You Speak?

Last night was a guys and girls night out for supper courtesy of some lingering gift cards. Sydney and I went to meet Alison in Omaha for supper and some shopping. Mike braved discount night at a local chicken place with Lucas and Eli.

Apparently, Eli's talking streak continued throughout supper and on the way home in the car, apparently, Mike was having trouble keeping up with the subject and couldn't understand one of the words Eli kept saying over and over. Finally, Eli looked at him and says, "What language do you speak? I speak ENGLISH!" Ok, yes, it was a little on the lippy side but hilarious!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Divorce, Death and Adoption

Bet that title had some of you wondering. It's something that crossed my mind this morning on the way to work. It's amazing how much can fly through your brain in a quiet 15 minute commute.

I was thinking about all the changes that our family has gone through this last year. The boys arrived home during the holidays last year, Mike's grandmother passed away and a whole multitude of other life changing events have taken place.

I can remember a friend talking about the changes in her circle of friends and family after the death of her husband. Many of those close to her began to feel uncomfortable and drifted away. The same thing occurred in family situations where she noticed a feeling of isolation. Other friends have mentioned this after a divorce. People that have been friends as couples are no longer moving in the same circles and eventually lose touch.

This "phenomenon" is also seen by many when they adopt. I guess I was counting my blessings on the friends that we are lucky to have. Those core group of friendships remain in place and for the most part, those friends who were raising children when our girls were growing up are still hanging with us as the boys have come into our family. Mike and I are truly grateful to these wonderful people who haven't shied away from a change to the structure of our friendship and are sharing themselves with us. They are truly an awesome bunch of people.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Eli's Memories

Of the two boys, Lucas is usually the one who talks about the Philippines, the people, the orphanage and their friends there. Eli doesn't like to talk about any of it. We've not pushed. Usually he listens to Lucas and nods his head with a couple details coming out. We take our ques from them as to what questions we ask.

Mike and I are still trying to figure out the trigger for tonight's conversation at supper. Eli was making quick work of his chicken when he stopped, looked up and started talking about waiting for his mom and dad, he stopped pointed at us and said "that's you," then talked about being told we were coming and the plane rides from Zamboanga to Manila and then to HIS home, again he stopped to say, "this home, my home." He talked about his auntie's letting him buy candy for the airplane trip to Manila and then sleeping at the hotel and on the plane home with us. He even talked about what he had to eat in the restaurants the week we spent in Manila. He had me worried that he'd actually start naming the restaurants.

It was amazing the detail he came up with. He literally has not talked about a lot of those things for the past year but they were sitting inside until he was ready to let them resurface. I was really happy to finally start hearing those memories from him. For the most part they were things we had learned through Lucas but to hear Eli put a voice to them himself was huge.

I am totally flabbergasted by both Lucas and Eli, not only are they moving forward with learning all that their new lives bring along but they are also learning to look at, process and hopefully put to rest some of their earlier experiences and realize that there were good times in the past and it's okay to talk about them. Doesn't matter how many times we say it's ok to talk about things until they are ready it's not going to happen, whether it takes a year or a life time, I think we all will be learning for years to come.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Mom! I Need...

.....costume for God. Hmmm! Well since this is Lucas' statement at lunch on Sunday after church, I assumed it was Christmas service related and not a direct request from on high.

It took some questioning and finally Sydney was able to figure out that what he meant was he needs a shepard's robe. I think we probably need to check with the Sunday School teacher as his description to her was, "I watching sheep." I do believe he's headed for disappointment as the sheep in question are not actually present.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Dad Gave Me......

Imagine if you will Tweety Bird on the picture? the sound?

That is what greeted me at the door on Friday after work. I arrived home to find Mike (home early) and in charge of snack time. Usually Sydney handles this and is very, very schooled in what snacks will do what to which brother and, shall we say, their activity level. Mike unfortunately doesn't possess, retain or understand the residual affects of sugar overload. No, he really does know but sometimes slackens the reigns.

Eli greeted me with, "Mom,mom,mom dad made popcorn, we put sugar on it. It's really, really, really good. Do you want some, you can have some, I have some, it's really, really, REALLY GOOD!" I slowly turn to my husband, who is obliviously doctoring up his own it wasn't actual sugar but close enough, it was Kettle Corn flavoring....not much difference. Thank goodness it's basketball practice night for Eli. I just feel sorry for the kids on the team that had to keep up with "Tweety Bird" and his Kettle Corn enhanced speed.

Friday, December 3, 2010

It's a Matter of Perspective

Last year at this time and temperature we never worried too much about the boys keeping their winter clothes on here at home or at school. Winter weather was definitely not their favorite. Well a year later they've become acclimated and have decided they don't need their coats, gloves or hats.

Okay, they are not dumb. They know they will get cold. They know it won't feel good when they warm up. But as Lucas very precisely and seriously explained to me last night, "I cannot play basketball with gloves. I cannot make baskets. I NEED to make baskets. Where are gloves that I can play basketball?" Well considering the windchill this week has been barely above zero, silly mom that I am, put their heavier gloves out for them to wear to school.

Lucas went to the glove drawer and pulled out the $1.00/Walmart knit gloves and proclaimed that they were the much needed basketball gloves....oh they also needed to be black. Hmmmm.....whatever gets him through recess without frostbite. I'll give him another week and see which pair of gloves he's wearing.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

What Can Santa Bring You?

I am always amazed by the hilarious conversations and statements that come out of Eli's mouth. Last night we were sitting, watching one of the billion Christmas specials and Mike asked the boys what they wanted Santa to bring them.

Number one I was totally shocked that Mike opened that flood gate at bedtime. I think he probably fell and hit his head or something.....

Lucas had to ponder as he is still under the belief that he can only ask for one thing and he has to chose wisely. Eli ( who is enthralled with our friends' 17 year old son who is an avid hunter) pipes up with...."I want a gun. I will shoot deer. ...... . I will shoot penguins!" Ummm, no we weren't watching the Penguins of Madagascar and it's been months since we went to the zoo, I have no clue where that came from....maybe he hit his head too?

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

That's Fantastic!

While I was cooking supper last night Mike was having the boys read their books to him in the living room. Let me tell you the amount of time it takes to read a book these days is definitely shortening.

Later during supper we were talking about the stories and how much both of their reading is improving. I said, "Do you remember last year when you didn't know how to read the words? You are becoming really good readers."

Well apparently my estimation of their greatness was not "good" enough. Eli pops up and informs me, "No Mom! It is a...m...a...z...i...n...g! We amazing readers!" I'd say the confidence level and enthusiasm for school are on the upswing.