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  • What I said before

The craziness of the season

My mom sent me the Steel Drum Island Christmas Collection Vol.2 and I am listening to it as I write.  It is funny to hear the ‘Island sound’ for all the Christmas Classic songs I love to listen to and sing along with. It is not easy to do with this little added Island flare but it is a fun change to the season this year.  I am not really an Island, hot weather, gal but I do enjoy a variety of music and this fits. I admit is is kind of odd to listen to the Island version of Christmas looking out on the beautiful white, white snow that is glistening out the window.

I have been way to busy.  I have given myself lots of ways to have way too much to do.  That is OK. I am surviving. This week I had a somewhat free Monday morning.  Had free lattes at McD’s with some moms from preschool…I had sweet tea of course and it was not free…Griffin and I have been making cookies after school and on non school days this week and the end of last. We have managed to make Toffee Squares, Peppermint melt-aways, Peanut butter blossoms, Milk Chocolate fudge and today possibly ginger snaps and/or chocolate candy cane and/or Spicy Molasses cookies. Just have to see how energetic momma is…this weekend we weill be making spritz cookies and decorating sugar cookies as a family. I will have to replace the already eaten toffee squares and fudge at some point too.

I have planned the Christmas Eve dinner and will be having a fresh pork roast and hand made/homemade potato dumplings and broccoli and carrots(DH does not east broccoli).  It will be a warm cozy meal. Lots of cookies for dessert. On Christmas Day afternoon sometime we will trudge through the snow to my SIL and share the day with them. I will most likely be cooking whatever it is they have purchased for dinner as they never seem to be able to get it together. I will bring a huge amount of cookies for dessert.  SIL will go to the fancy bakery and get ultra fancy, uber expensive desserts and they will sit and all the homemade cookies will be devoured. She will never learn.  The kids will have a blast.

Back to the craziness..Wednesday I performed my duties as co-head-room mom. I planned and ran the holiday party in Spence’s class. We made adorable mini-me snowmen from danimal bottles and had cute powered sugar snowmen in white popcorn snow. We played snowball toss with marshmallows and winter words scramble. The kids had a good  time.  So did the moms. Spencer is so lucky to have such a great class and teacher.  I am beyond pleased with the very large school system we have though some are overly skeptical about it’s size and ability to meet the needs of the kids, we have nothing but good things to say. I sent in carrots and ranch dressing (at Spence’s request) today for the whole day read-a-thon pajama day. The kids were stoked about this already yesterday so I am sure it is a hit today. Tonight Spence has his scout pizza party…another exciting thing for us to all do together..we have yet to go see the holiday lights at the Cuneo Museum which we do every year.  I think the best thing I did this week was make this huge a$$ pot of chicken noodle soup.  We ate it  for dinner Monday Tuesday and Wednesday.  I could eat it again tonight if a.) there was any left and b.) we did not have the pizza party….

I am so grateful for the grocery game and the possibilities that it has allowed me to have this year with Christmas shopping. The message board there has had way to numerous hot tips for gifts that I was looking for this year.  It allowed me to do so much more shopping then I would have had I not found them. I have my shopping done and all is wrapped and ready to go.  I have been sneaking wrapping in here and there when Griffin is occupied.

Tomorrow is the last day of school before winter break.  I am looking forward to winter break this year and to having some good time with friends we don’t get to see to much now that we all have school aged children. The boys have friends that they have not seen since summer and are looking forward to getting together these next two weeks.

I can assure you that I will not have time to post till the schedule goes back to normal in the new year on the 5th of January. But if I can sneak some time in to do so I certainly will…

This weekend marks the end of time for us to get our Christmas cards complete. I stole part of my card idea from my friend Sybille.  I am not sure how she accomplished it and I am having such a difficult time but there will be cards and a photo and they will come before the middle of January.  This weekend also marks what would have been my dads 75th birthday.  ( this July 2009 it will be 10 years since he passed away.)  The same day as the day as my dads birthday is the anniversary of Griffins court day in Russia. Of course his finally family day is December 24th. The day we brought him into our home, the day he was home forever. We did not actually leave court with Griffin that day.  We went back to our hotel/apartment without him.  Court was in Izhevsk 3 hours away from Glazov and it was after 5PM local. There was not going to be a return trip to get him.  He was brought to us the next morning by Svetlana (our translator)and her husband.  Do you all remember reading about the elevator that dropped three floors with Svetlana and Griffin and I in it.  Yeah, that was the morning we headed to Moscow…before leaving the Chicago.

It is obvious that we, you and I, have a lot to celebrate and be thankful for.  There are so many that do not. My thoughts are with those at this time of the year.  Happy Birthday Jesus, thank  you for all the ways you have touched my life that is the little prayer we teach our boys.

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Turning four….

I know I am behind…I will catch up…for now..

Today is Griffin’s fourth birthday…most of you know I am the big birthday bash girl.  I love to throw parties for my boys. Last year and this year have been low key.  It makes me sad. The boys don’t seem to mind but I do.  I can not wait to be able to throw grand parties for them again…I hope you all VOTED…

Back to the birthday talk….some where in Glazov Russia there is a woman who may or may not realize or remember that today is our sons birthday…the day that changed her life and my life forever. I pray that she is healthy, content and safe, somehow having internal peace with the knowledge that her son is just great.

I remember Griff’s first birthday, when I stepped out on to the deck and yelled happy birthday to him, for him to hear all the way in Glazov, Russia. One month and 20 days later he was home forever with us.  That first birthday was celebrated here with a cake and singing and balloons and a night out at the movies. It was all without him and will be something I can not forget.  Today was a low key day really, he and I shoppd for his chocolate, chocolate frosted cake…and baloons, 4 dark blue and one green for Spencer, all his decision and choice. We met dad for lunch, again Griff’s choice, hot dogs and fries. He has asked for fish sticks french fries and mach and cheese for dinner…he is so easy to please. Afterwards, we will have neighbor/friends over for a brief celebration and gift opening. Spencer saved $20 this year and bought half of a Razor for his brother. He could not wait to give it to him so he got that on Sunday!! I assume you all know by now it is dark blue….he is a wiz on the thing…his sense of balance is beyond amazing for a child with inner ear issues.

Mommy and daddy got him a TAG I am really excited for him to start with it as he LOVES LOVES LOVES reading in any way shape or form. He is getting a radio/cd/tape player for Chrismas so he can do his read along books on his own in his room.  So I bet you wonder what 4 looks like on this boy….well here he is…

Many things to talk about so….

POTLUCK…..

I am going to forget to talk about something here so make sure you let me know what it is and I will post again…

I am working hard on spending time with Griffin now that Spencer is back in school and I am trying to get a garage sale ready and get into the frugal thing and clean and do laundry and find my NEW routine…I have let a lot slip lately…I am nearly non existent on the forums/facebook and commenting on friends blogs…I am reading pals…just not stopping to post a comment…sanity will return and I will get back to the old ways I PROMISE.Mostly I feel awful that I have a very good friend in Sybille and she has been in the hospital for nearly 2 weeks expecting to get home today…I have not called her or sent her a note or anything.  I have prayed daily that she is healed and that this mysterious thing leaves her body but I have not been in contact with her and for that I AM TRULY SORRY.

So going back I will start at the Florida trip and work forward….

Actually GOING to Florida was the right decision.  Seeing Svetlana and all the other children from the baby home made was perfect. I would have been so sad if we had decided not to go. Aside from Svetlana we travelled the farthest!! It was soooo worth it.  The weekend was wonderful and so many new bonds and connections were formed.  There were about 11 children from Glazov and then siblings.  There were 8 families I think. Maybe 7…Kristi and her DH Tim were wonderful hosts. Their home is beautiful and sits right on Lake Geneva in North Central Florida. She is a professional water skier holding the World record for Slalom. The children spent 9 hours playing on land and in the water. Tim was a wonderful boat driver with Spencer claiming “you rock as a boat driver Mr. Tim.” He took the children on raft rides all around the lake multiple times.  I think Spencer was on each and every one. “Mr. Tim you do ROCK!!” They had the event catered and the food was super yummy. Kristi was a wonderful host making sure that all guests had what they needed and wanted. Kristi also has a great ministry going go here and check it out…make a donation if you are so inclined. The children ALL felt so comfortable and at home there…it was nice to see. After the long day we all left about the same time. It was hard to say good bye to Lana again knowing that might be the last time we see her.  In Russia (and I am sure other places where adoptions take place) your translator is your life line. Without them you are lost.  We were fortunate to get two great ones.

WITHOUT THEM GRIFFIN WOULD NOT BE PART OF OUR LIVES NOR YOURS…THINK ABOUT THAT WON’T YOU. BRINGING HIM TO SEE HER WAS A SMALL GIFT IN RETURN.

So I suppose that you want pictures too…

  and I suppose you will want another post tomorrow…OK then…

What can you do???

I have a friend named Rachael who also adopted from Russia.  She and I became bloggy friends sometime back.  She has an etsy store called Simple Wishes and most, if not all, the profits go to making a donation at the holiday times to a Russian orphanage. Everything is hand made and there is lots of really cool stuff. I have offered to make some things for her to sell and my neighbor generously made a few necklaces too. I know some of you are looking for a way to help out orphanages and this might be just the way to do it. I know some of you sew and some of you do other things and I think you would be glad to make even one donation to this super cause. I plan on making some more bracelets and a few pair of earrings and I am going to our local jewelry guru to see if she would donate a piece or two. If you think you can help out please email Rachael or myself and we will get you going.

The next part of this is for you to look around the site and see if there is anything that interests you.  If so snatch it up because odds are it wont be there long. Rachael made me the most fun wristlet when she found out I was over forty and never had a mammogram.  She said that if I did it she would make me one…..she did and it is so cute and has the nicest feeling material and a Russian print inside. It is perfect for those short run around errands we all do.  In fact today I took it to the post with me with the things in it to mail to Rachael.

Go ahead make some child’s Simple Wish come true….

Sometimes you just know

that there is a higher, more powerful force, driving this life…

Randomly, I was looking through papers to day with no real purpose.  I wanted to find out the date that we went to court with Griffin in Russia.  The trip is such a blur as it was such a whirlwind…I thought we had been to court on the 22nd of December, at like 5:30 Russia time, is when the decree came through.  Smarties what time does that make it here in the good old USA??

So, reading through the papers, I was reminded that Griffin, then Andrey, became available for adoption on January 11th, 2005. Yep, my birthday…while I had not really forgotten that it just isn’t something you remember daily. I remember then thinking that this was so cool…he and I were meant to be together. I was reminded of that revelation again today…brought a smile to my face.

I continued reading through the stack of papers and towards then end I cam e upon the paper that talks about his birth family. His birth mom Olga and an unnamed birth father.  My mind was wandering thinking about them and what their lives might be like today…I googled Olga’s full name, nothing..silly me…I also have the names of her mother and her brother and his wife and Griffins half sister she lives with family in Glazov, Russia. Still wandering I thought about that little girl that we never had a chance to adopt much less see.. the family was not interested in letting both children come to the USA. She lives in Glazov to this day as far as we know.

So, on one of the last pages it lists Griffin’s birth moms age and birth date….while I sat there calculating how old she was then and how she was currently I looked down again and saw the TODAY is her actual birthday.  August 3. What are the odds that randomly I am looking at his papers today…the day of his birth moms bitrh??  I was amazed…I thought about her and how she might be celebrating if she is at all…is she well… is she hurting from missing her children…how does she feel being.. 26! TODAY…she and I are lifetimes away, two women who will never meet sharing one sweet child…she celebrates today…we wonder if she is OK. In another life could we share with each other the love of this boy. Could we meet and befriends each other.

Somewhere across the world a mom is missing out on the most precious child…she is 26 today…Happy Birthday Olga. He knows your name he knows your love he knows who you are to him……may you be as enlightened by this day as I was…I pray that my gift to you,  across the ocean, a happy birthday song by our son and us and a gift of peace find you the way it found me.

A visitor to the States

Through the great grapevine, that I have helped create, I found out that our Translator from Russia, Svetlana, is in the States. This grapevine that I speak of is about ten families, spread out all over the US, who have a child from Griffins baby home in Glazov. It is a wonderful connection. Through this is where I got my information. She was in Santa Fe and is headed to a home of one of our connections in Florida. I am soooo jealous of Kristi getting in touch with her and getting her to come to her home. I wish I could just get down there and see her with Griffin…it would be so cool. It is a bit too far for he and I to drive for a long weekend even though she lives just north of Ocala.

Now, I am trying to figure out which pictures to mail her so Lana can take them back with her and what I could get small gift wise for her and then something for the children at the home. If you all have any ideas I would appreciate them. Remember with all the airline restrictions this is not an easy venture.

Just a quick funny from GRIFFIN

So Richard and I have been talking about how congested Griffin is…that is not a bad thing for a boy with asthma…it means things are flowing and there may not be a need for the nebulizer…in our discussions we say things like ‘he is really plugged up’ or ‘he can’t seem to stop being plugged up’… Griffin says to me today..’mommy I am really PLUGGED IN’….I could not stop laughing and he just kept saying momma I am plugged in…it was THE cutest thing I have heard lately…of course we blew his nose so he wouldn’t be plugged in anymore….

I have to ask my friend Kate in Russia or Moscow mom if in Russia when you are congested you are plugged in or plugged up??