Friday, September 30, 2011


I'm sure quite a few of you are going to laugh yourselves silly. Five kids....I do NOT pull teeth. Elementary secretary....I do not handle kids with wiggly, loose, hanging or in hand teeth. I will do almost any other kind of first aid...not teeth...ever!

This past week Mike was in Indiana for training classes and left last Sunday. Wouldn't you know it, Sunday night Eli announces that he has a wiggly tooth (the kid has lost more teeth in the last month than the previous 2 years). Being the concerned parent....I mentioned I DON'T DO TEETH.....kindly instructed him to keep that wiggler in his mouth until Dad came home....on Friday and oh ya, he probably shouldn't look directly at me lest I see the offending tooth. I thought we reached an understanding.

I guess that was too much to ask....Wednesday night cuddled up on the couch before bedtime watching a tv show, Eli says, "Mom." I, grossly miscalculating the evil plan of my youngest son, looked at him. There he sits beside me with his hand in my face holding his tooth. The very tooth that had been yanked out of his bloody mouth after I so lovingly told him to hold out for dad. Grinning ear to ear, blood oozing down his lip, laughing his goof ball head off. HE KNOWS I DON'T DO TEETH!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

As The World Turns

Something that has been hard for Lucas and Eli to understand is the extent of the distance between the Philippines and the United States. Even though they "survived" the never ending air plane flight, they have never really understood how large the Earth is, how far the Philippines are from Iowa or the size of the Philippines vs. the United States.

Lucas and Eli were talking about what time we normally have supper. Lucas went on to explain to Eli the shape of the Earth, that the sun was coming up in the Philippines, what time it is in the Philippines in relation to here and how big the world had to be in order for us to not see the sun at the same time as their friends in the Philippines. Eli's reaction....."wow, it really is far away, I not know this. Mom. Is this true?" I told him Lucas was right. I wasn't sure what reaction was going to surface but they just looked at each other, shrugged and Lucas said, "that is how you know you are far away, when someone else has night and you have day." Wow, geography class is paying off.

For anyone out there thinking of international adoption and either have a chance to purchase or put on your gift list a world globe is well worth the money and thought. I didn't know it was possible to spin one so many times.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Spelling SUCCESS

Lucas is so proud of himself and accomplishing an A+ on his spelling test this week. He asked if I had told the "computer" about it. It took a little investigation but we figured out he wanted me to post it on the blog.

After a nervous start to the school year he is really starting to like school again. He doesn't do change well and was really attached to last years' teacher. Mrs. Ettleman is his fourth grade teacher and he's discovered she's pretty neat too.

I remember those horrible first day of school butterflies, I wonder if Luke and Eli's are more like first day condors.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Want To Be A Pickle?

This post continues on from the previous one. Once again during this particular meal time with Sydney's boyfriend, Parker, in attendance. Eli and Lucas look at each other. It's the "look" that announces that through some form of weird, silent communication, the two of them have just agreed to just don't know what.

They both zeroed in on poor Sydney and Parker. Lucas superiorially points and waves his fork at them and announces, "You both get married. (they are seniors in high school it's not in their heads)" Eli announces, "Yes, Parker you will be a Pickle."

I jumped in to try and stop that line of sister humiliation and Parker told them that's not how it works. Eli once again, "WHAT! You no like to be a Pickle. I'M a Pickle, Lucas is a Pickle, we not used to be but now we are, so you be one too, everyone here is a PICKLE!" Well guess we will go back to the "you are adopted, Parker has a last name, it won't change" conversations. Probably need to revisit the whole "we are really sorry Parker, thank you for being so understanding" conversation.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

We Apologize to Visitors

It is really, REALLY a good thing that Sydney has a very understanding, tolerant boyfriend. Parker has known Lucas and Eli since they came's a good thing.....because Parker is occasionally at our house during meals.

I've described in the past that our meal time conversations are not for the weak stomachs or those without humor. Sometimes it's like navigating a mine field requiring us to think 3 steps ahead of the ongoing conversation in order to anticipate what road the boys' brains will travel, inevitably ending any appropriate dinner conversation.

We were having a marinated steak dish (never tried recipe before so it looked different). I apologized before they started because I really wasn't sure what the end result was going to be. Parker, being the nice guy he is, said, "Oh, I'm sure it will be good, I'm used to being a guinea pig."

I knew it, I knew it. As soon as it was out of his mouth, Eli did not understand him. Eli's head came flying up and out comes, "WHAT! This GUINEA PIG! ME NO EAT IT!" It took a while to convince him that it was beef. Two pieces later he decided it was "pretty good." But he did in no uncertain terms let me know that he would not EVER eat a guinea pig. That's ok as I probably don't have a recipe for one either.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Things Are Changing

We had a request last night from Lucas which left Mike and I realizing once again how much and how far Lucas and Eli have traveled in nearly 2 years.

When Rachel moved back to college this fall, she moved into her own apartment (good for her...sad for the parents) which in turn left her old room vacant. Lucas came to us last night after supper and wanted to know if he could have his own room. Wham - up side the head - didn't really see that request coming for awhile yet.

Lucas and Eli have shared a room for 10 years. I think the only times they've not been together was when Lucas was in the hospital in the Philippines or the few times of over night stays with friends here in the U.S.

I guess what struck me was Lucas' request wasn't a "Hey! Finally I can have my own room." It was more I really want to try this. So once we talk (we do A LOT of talking) to make sure that it's really a choice he wants and we talk with Rachel (yes she will still have space to come home) we will see about making this move up (or down as the bedroom is downstairs by Sydneys' room).

Did I say how struck dumb I was by this....Eli was too....he's not real sure that this would be a good idea. Not because he wouldn't like his own room but because he realizes that would make him solely responsible for the messes in his one ever said the kid wasn't thinking ahead.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Worry Bug

Sorry for the delay in posting and I will post our mini vacation highlights but since I've had welfare calls from people wondering why the silence, I thought I'd throw in a quick update. Life is you knew that.

The worry bug has also come to visit at our house. Lucas and Eli worry about everything. This seems to be the case during the school year. They love school, think their teachers are pretty cool and really love being back with their friends. For some reason this also seems to be when they bring up the Philippines a lot. Constant comparing of everything. School, food, friends, people, rules...pretty much everything.

The latest hard thing.....what happened to my friends in they have families? I think Lucas especially has figured out that they were getting to the age where they would no longer be able to stay in the orphanage and would be on their own to make their own ways. We had this difficult discussion with Lucas this summer, he thought that he would live at RSCC until he was old enough to work there. Probably not the case. Thank God he doesn't have to find out. He also realized that he and Eli would have been released at different times. That was really scary for him and us.

Now they both worry for those left behind. So for any of you out there that are thinking, wondering, considering makes a huge difference in your life, in the lives of your potential child(ren) and in the lives of those who have found their families and worry for their friends who wait. Think really hard.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Traveling Pack Rats

Road Trips.  You think that after 25 years of parenting, too many road trips to count and an impressive ability to use "mommy hearing", that I would learn a few things....maybe it's like forget...think I'll go with that because the alternative is old age.

We've embarked upon our Labor Day week-end, the parents have flipped their minds, camping trip.  Our family, with the exclusion of Alison who is graciously house and dog sitting as well as pulling a week-end shift at work and very much thrilled to not be a part of this outdoor experience, have traveled 3 plus hours to a lake area of Iowa.  We've been trying since Memorial Day to plan this trip with two other families and we may finally be pulling it off.

This was not an environmentally friendly road trip.  So far it has involved 2 motorcycles, a four door pickup, a Yukon pulling a 30  foot camper, another pickup fulling a fifth wheel trailer....we've more that helped the fuel industry.  3 campgrounds, 16 people (no pets), 3 bikes, 2 rip sticks and a first aid kit.  Three of us comprise the office staff of our elementary (2 secretaries and the nurse...wonder what happens if we don't come back to work on Tuesday).

We took less stuff with us on our week long summer trip than for this week-end, still can't figure that out. We have an extra boy in our camper tonight and who knew that boys giggle more than girls?  Did you know boys take longer in the bathroom than their sisters ever did?  Did you know that when you put  9, 10 and 11 year old boys in the bunk end of a camper it can produce smells that rival an over ripe potato?  Did you know the promise of early morning fishing can make all 3 boys hit the bed and sleep? 

It promises to be an interesting week-end....wait for the pictures I'm sure we'll have a lot of opportunity and more than a few insane happenings.  Hope you have a great holiday week-end.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Name that Tune

Learning English to speak and understand has to be confusing on a good day. Learning slang, pop culture references puts it into a whole new experience.

This past week Eli has been singing at the top of his lungs, a warm up exercise from school (thank you Mr. Buckner) 1,2,3,4,5,5,4,3,2,1 over and over. He's singing...that's good...he didn't know any songs in Tagalog or English 2 years ago so when he finally started singing 6 months after coming home it was a big deal....still is....just wish the songs were not belted at full throttle and repetitively.

Part of his latest song goes something like this, "willow, willow, racoon!" Over and over. Do you have any idea what this song might actually be? Assuming we can get him to understand that, "yes, those are real English words, just not the right ones." The actual wording...."we will, we will, rock you." (the song from Queen). Someone help us if he ever attempts rap music.