Saturday, October 30, 2010

Happy Halloween 2010

 Our sweet Scarecrow during trick or treating on Main Street. Our town has done this for as long as I can remember, always the saturday before halloween.  At one shop they said they had over 500 trick or treaters so far that day! I think it is really neat that the business owners are all so willing to do this for our kids, and it is a neat way to see new things in town we sometimes miss.
 We met up with our good friends while on Main Street.  Between us we have 9 girls and then Sawyer. He keeps hoping they are going to adopt a boy for him to have a BFF!   We promise him that someday he is going to be happy to be surrounded by girls!
 Each year our church has a trunk or treat.  This year our theme was the Wizard of Oz.  We combine with my mom, cousin and aunt to all match.  (they will say that I just boss them around and tell them what to do, might be slightly true!)  This is our tin girl, scarecrow and lion.  Notice the yellow brick road, it ran in front of all our cars.
 Our trunk was the house, complete with witch legs under it! Mark even got our tornado to spin!

Munchkin land, complete with munchkins done by Aunt Debbie & Uncle Terry!

 Amy as the Rainbow holding Leighton the Lion with her Hot Air balloon.  She is so creative!

 Emerald City done by my mom.

All the kids together
Our Crew. Mark and I were Auntie Em and Uncle Henry.  Makenna Dorothy.  Malaine was the Scarecrow.  Sawyer the wizard of Oz.  Sage & Mavery the lullabye league munchkins and we had an extra.  Makennas friend Jordan dressed as Glinda.

Already thinking ahead to next years theme! ;-)

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Laundry for 7

One thing that was very difficult for me to adjust to as our family grew was the laundry, OH the piles!  I knew I had to get control of this or I was going to drown quickly. 

I came up with a few options.  At the top of the list was a maid who would come in and do our laundry.  For some reason Mark was entirely against that idea.  Next was disposable clothes.   Which seems like such a lovely idea.  Besides the fact that I would have to buy all new clothes often.  Not practical.  No money and no time to shop for all those clothes to dispose of!
It did cross my mind that we could simply throw the children WITH the clothes in the washer and get double chores done. Makes sense?  I AM KIDDING! Of course I would not do that.  But spicy girl did attempt to play in there.  She has been warned that this is a no no.

Since those ideas did not work out, I scoured the internet, tweaked a few ideas and found a plan that is working really well for our family.   In a perfect week, I start laundry on Sunday night.  I throw a load in and set the timer so it is washed when I get up, then it gets switched to the dryer.  All laundry is done by Tuesday night, and I do not do it again till Sunday night.  I LOVE having a timer on the washer, it is wonderful.

Each person in our family has a basket of their own.  You can see above the white basket is Makenna's, the zebra is divided into separate baskets.   Towels/sheets go in one.  Dedicates in one. And then like I said, each person has their own, all clothes go into it.  Besides the socks and underwear. Each person has a small mesh bag that they put those things into.  On Mondays, each child brings their basket to the laundry room, dumps the ENTIRE basket into the machine and I get it started on cold wash.  The sock bag gets thrown into a load with towels.  It is zipped up, so everything stays inside while being washed and dried. Once the load is done,  child is responsible for loading it into basket, and putting it away.  Makenna helps the little girls, who love to fold laundry.  No dividing up A.N.Y.T.H.I.N.G!  Socks are not mismatched because they are in their bag.  No guessing what sock belongs to who, because each one has their own bag!   On average I do about 8 loads of laundry each week.  I do combine my clothes with Mark, and I wash Sage & Mavery together.   So there you have it, how I have mastered the laundry in my house. Now, if I could just master the menu planning.  And the cleaning.  And the list goes on!    

Monday, October 25, 2010

Blog Construction

Finally figured out how to enlarge pictures, but now can't figure out the header to fit w/ the larger pictures. So forgive me while I work!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

A Trip to the Pumpkin Patch

I was able to go on a field trip with Sage and Mavery to the pumpkin patch this month! It was a beautiful day to enjoy outdoors.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Mavery's Roller Coaster

Two years ago when we prepared to meet our 5th child, our 4th daughter in China, I went in so blindly. Sure I had heard a few stories of older child adoptions, but I concentrated on all the positive things, thinking that we were "well seasoned" parents. We had 4 children, we had been to china once already. How hard could it REALLY be?

And then we met Mavery. She took one look at me and began to scream. She wanted nothing to do with me or my stinken candy. ;-) Her life was turned upside down in a matter of minutes. All she had ever known, was ripped out of her hands, forever.
Add to that she lived for 6 weeks of her life with her birthmother before being left on a train. Then was brought to the orphanage for awhile, till she was sent to the hospital for open heart surgery. Back to the orphanage where she finally settles in, and then she is brought to us. People who sound, look, and act different than anything she has ever known.
She then travels a million miles away and meets her new siblings. 3 olders and a sister who is similar to her, but obviously already knows her place. A "twin" who is her age, but can do everything easily, and struggles with nothing. She visits a doctor who finds her heart is not in good shape and is taken into surgery after surgery.
And so the ride begins. Little did we know how big of a coaster we would be getting on when we went to get our Mavery. I thought we were simply getting on, at most, the kiddie coaster where I would barely need a lap bar. Thank goodness the Lord knew we were getting on the coaster of all coasters, and he not only put our lap bars on, but He buckled the belt tight and even pulled the harness down over our shoulders.

We have slowly climbed up the steep hills, where we thought things were getting good at the top, to quickly fly down the other side frustrated. To then be taken around and around and even at times upside down, to start back up that hill all over again. I have held on to that lap bar like my life depended on it at times. My fingernails digging into the skin, sure that I was going to be tossed from the car as we dipped down the hills.

And through the ride, I have started to realize something. I am NOT falling out of the car! As 2 years have gone by, the hills are actually getting smaller. To be truthful, there are days, I can ALMOST throw my hands up in the air and ENJOY the ride. Days such as today when I pick Mavery up from pre-school and I hear this from her teacher. "I can tell Mavery is a mama's girl because she talks about you all the time and all the things you do for her, and how she is so happy you will be picking her up from school" Those are the times I freely raise my hands and ENJOY it, I can't wait for the next turn.

I may have gone in blindly, but the Lord did not. He knew exactly the ride we would be on, and He has held on to me the entire way. He chose this child to be a part of our family, and we are thankful. We know there are still hills to climb up and down. But we also see that the coaster does have an end and it looks much closer than it did 2 years ago. And till we are there, I will try to remember to throw my hands up as much as possible and just enjoy the ride.

Mavery Gotcha Day 2 years October 13th

Last year I did not pull out Maverys gotcha outfit. We were still in attachment therapy and I was not sure it would be a smart thing. This year I did. Sometimes I wonder what she is thinking in that little head of hers. As I pulled it out and showed her, she asked what the smell was. I told her, that is what China smells like. And you could tell she was really trying to process that. I wonder when she smelled it, does she remember? Because I do. It is amazing to me how a scent can take you back there so quickly. I keep their gotcha day clothes in sealed baggies, and it still lingers on them. So many memories wrapped up in those bags. 2 years together. Happy Gotcha Day Mavery Raye!

Malaine 8th birthday & party pics

Enjoying being the center of attention!

Got to blow hard with all those candles!

We just had a small party with 2 friends for her birthday this year. She chose to go to Monkey Joes, so Makenna made up these monkey cupcakes, aren't they cute?

Somehow I have lost the rest of the photos on my computer and can't figure how to switch this sideways, but the girls had a blast running and jumping. We ended the night w/ chocolate chip pancakes at IHOP. YUM!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Malaine Shaye turns 8!

On October 8th we celebrated our little Lainey Bug turning eight years old! Our middle child, our surprise child, our easy if we could be guaranteed 10 more of her we would surely have more children child! ;-) So 8 things about Ms Malaine Shaye.

1. She is always smiling now. However, she was my only baby who had colic BAD. Cried from 10pm -2am E.V.E.R.Y. night for months. You would never know that now, she is so happy.

2. She has muscles in her arms that would shock you. She can do more pull ups than most men I know!
3. She is always happy. Except when she is really mad. Which is rare but when she is, watch out!
4. LOVES babies, and anything to do with babies. I won't be shocked to have lots of grandbabies some day from her!
5. Is part monkey. We have a column in our dining room that she climbs on and hangs from. Some kids are attached to dolls, my daughter is attached to a poll. ;-)
6. Makes me feel like I am the best mommy in the world. Always comes to thank me, hug me, tell me how nice I am.
7. Gets away with ALOT because of all the reasons mentioned above. All she has to do is ask and the answer for her is typically yes!

8. She is SO tiny. She and Mavery can share clothes. (3 years age difference) She was just a bit offended one day at preschool when one of the kids asked her if she was new. She set him straight telling him she was in 2nd grade and just dropping off her sisters!

Happy 8th birthday Malaine! We sure are crazy about you!