Tuesday, August 31, 2010

August Kids' Quotes

Keandre --
Mommy: "Keandre, what are hands for?"
Keandre: "For loving and helping....and eating...without hitting!"
Mommy: "Ummm, yes! You are correct." :)

Destany --
"Keandre, the chicken avocado isn't done yet.  Would you like a side-kick?  I'll get you a menu of the sidekicks."

"Chez and Leslie go to Satan Joe Church."  (They attend a Catholic church...and that is not its name! ;)

For family that likes to keep up on recent quotes, check here for July.  I just finally posted these, and Keandre had some pretty good ones!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

adoption playgroups

As you can see, adopted children are photogenic, cooperative,
and exceptionally happy! ;) 
(Thank you, Annie.  That is the perfect caption! LOL)

Adoption playgroups are such a blessing.  Today we met up at a local Chick-Fil-A.  Six families, 16 children (3 are missing from this picture), and lots of fun and chaos!  We sat outside the entrance of the play room so no one could escape the restaurant without our notice.  The noise level in there was over the top!  Amazingly, the manager invited us to come back again soon.  Probably only because we were so successful at keeping noise contained in that little room. ;)

first swim

We were at an adoption playgroup this morning (16 kiddos, one little Chick-fil-A playground, and lots of fun and chaos!), and afterward we went to a friend's mom & dad's house to hang out.  That led to an impromptu swim in a salt water pool (my favorite!).  It was pretty hot out, so I decided to let Brooklyn enjoy the water.  She was missing a naptime, so she was quieter than usual, but she kicked her feet a bit and was very relaxed.  In a pinch, cloth diapers make a great swimsuit!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Mighty Mud Mania

It's not my fault.  I give Andy full credit.  He's the one who took them to the real Mud Mania last month.  I bet these kids have been waiting for a day like today -- a day I naively said, "Sure, you can play in the hose. Just stay in the shade."  Ha!  I went out a little later, and Lucas, Destany, and their cousin Devin exclaimed, "We made our own mighty mud mania!"  Highlight of my day....stripping them down and hosing them off.  No baths needed today! ;)

Innocent little boy, out picking flowers, when suddenly he is attacked by mud monsters! 

Funny Friday

Hey, watcha looking at???

(Yes, our sweetie likes to sleep with her head pressed
into the corner of her playpen!)

Thursday, August 19, 2010

First Day of Preschool

The time has come for our sweet, busy boy to have a day to run, play, and be as noisy as he wants without me reminding him to play quietly while we home school.  My sister and I were blessed to find a Christian preschool that is very reasonably priced, and willing to split a Tuesday/Thursday program for two students.  Cousin Devin signed up for Tuesdays, and Keandre for Thursdays.  They both had their first days this week, and had a great time!   

Keandre picked out a Toy Story "pack pack", and if I would have let him, he'd have packed up half his bedroom to take along.  As it was, he settled for a special blanket, his water bottle, and spare shoes.  (I noticed at the last minute that his shoes were too small, but he didn't want to change.)

As much as we were looking forward to Keandre's big day, I was also a little anxious about dropping off my sweetie and trusting the teachers to understand his life-threatening food allergies and keep him safe.  I took several steps to increase the likelihood that even busy, distracted teachers would hopefully never forget his allergies. 

A great allergy bracelet.

A sign for the classroom door ensures that any teacher or adult in the room can see at a glance WHO has food allergies, what allergies, and what to do in case of a reaction.

An allergy-alert lunch bag.  I put a reminder of his allergies
in the front pocket, and I will be sending allergy-safe
snacks and lunches for him.

Matching neon green bag for his emergency medications. 
I attached a dog tag with his name, allergy info, and our
cell phone numbers.

Keandre cried a little when I dropped him off, but had a good morning after he settled in.  And of course he was doing great when I picked him up, and told me all about his day. 

I'm very thankful that Keandre's teachers were glad I was taking precautions and going out of my way to teach them how to deal with Keandre's allergies (this all makes it less stressful for them, after all), and they seem to be taking his allergies seriously. 

Keandre is proud of himself for attending preschool for the first time, and is already looking forward to next week.  That's my boy! :)

Monday, August 16, 2010

impromptu dinner

Who gets a cold in August?  Apparently I do.  Ah well.  It's a great excuse to take a 3 hour nap and let Daddy snuggle our littlest cutie in my place.  Which of course they both loved.  I was barely missed!  That is, until feeding time at the zoo....

And as one might expect when Mommy's sick, 5:30pm rolled around and there was no plan for dinner.  (Okay, who am I kidding.  That's practically normal.  Anyone who knows me well knows I don't mind cooking, but planning meals and shopping for ingredients is not a strength of mine!) 

As I surveyed the refrigerator, Destany, who was at the table playing with flour and water that she brought home from Sunday school, informed me that she is going to make pizza.  That is when the dough began flying through the air. 

Like this.
And then like this.  (Watch out, Keandre!)

I decided she was on to something.  I handed out more flour, a little water, some olive oil, salt, and yeast, and the kids all made dough on the kitchen table.  I wish I'd taken more pictures.  They were so into it!  Once their dough was formed into flat patties, they each created their own pizzas.  There was flour EVERYWHERE.  But the end result was so yummy that it was worth the mess. 

Lucas was the last to eat his pizza, and he asked me to take a picture of it first.  He wrote about his pizza on his blog

We'll definitely be making pizzas more often.  It's a super easy meal to throw together, and it was nice having the kiddos make their own.

We ended the evening by reading another chapter from Ramona Quimby, age 8 (our current family read), taking a walk around the block at dusk, and braiding Destany's hair while watching a library movie about horses.  All around a pretty good day.

ps - For more great pics of Destany throwing her pizza dough, check out her blog here. :)

Sunday, August 8, 2010

family worship

One of my favorite loving and teaching moments of the whole week is when we worship together as a family.  At church on Sunday morning, our children stay with us until just before the sermon begins.  We sing together, pray together, and always...always!...Andy and I have children in our arms and all around us.  Our four, and often one or two extra -- neighbors, birth siblings, etc.  We love on them, explain the meaning of the songs we're singing, and encourage them to sing along.  When their voices lift in song with us, it is beautiful!

Our family worship began long ago, when we were expecting Lucas.  I remember tearing up in wonder, singing along as Lucas would kick and move inside me.  As an infant, we kept him in with us right from the beginning, and I regularly lifted him up in prayer while standing before our Lord in worship.  Naturally, this continued with each child.  When Marcel & Mya were living with us, this time took on new meaning.  I would hold them close, praying over them, sharing the meaning of the words and explaining the joy on the faces around them.  God used those Sunday mornings to bring moments of peace and bonding during a busy year of having five children ages 1 - 6.  Those times were also their first exposure to believers coming together in this way, to worship together.

We are incredibly blessed to live in a country that allows us to praise God openly, without persecution.  May we never take this for granted!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

little sister lovin'

Keandre pointed out that he and Brooklyn match today -- both wearing brown.  Then he asked me to take a picture of the two of them together.  Unfortunately, Brooklyn was tired and soon dissolved into tears.  But Keandre handled it with grace and proved he had the situation under control!  He began rocking back and forth and singing to her, and soon had his baby sister calm again. 

He sometimes accomplishes this same feat by fetching her paci for her, and then he announces with great excitement and just a touch of pride, "I fixed it!  She's not crying!" I love his enthusiasm toward life as a big brother.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

what should i say?

We spent the morning at a Mocha Moms business meeting and playdate.  Arjay is visiting for a couple days, and before we left, Destany and I had the following conversation:

Kiara: "Destany, when our friends ask who Arjay is, what would you like me to say?"

Destany: "Well, you could tell them he's related to me." 

Kiara: "Great!  What other answers could we consider?"

Destany: "He's my birth brother.....or we're twins."

Kiara: "Really?  How are you twins?"

Destany: "We're the same color and we look alike.  And we both grew in Nichole's tummy!"  (A minute later...)  "Or you could just tell them he's my brother." 

We love watching Destany treasure her connections with her birth family.  It's interesting to watch how she defines these relationships the way she wants to at any given time.  I just have to remember to ask her regularly since the answers sometimes change! :)

Monday, August 2, 2010

sweet dreams, baby

Oh, my.  This mama is soooo creative!  I love every one of her adorable pictures.  What a beautiful way to capture your baby's first weeks of life.  And to think this is just her hobby while on maternity leave!
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