Thursday, July 31, 2008

Hannah Montana Day!

Well, Anna has not looked back on sucking fingers since we started the STOP THE BITE! KICK THE HABIT STUFF! So, today was Hannah Montana Day! It started with me giving her a Hannah shirt to wear for today. She loved it. You have to remember that for months and months and months, we would see Hannah stuff in the stores and the answer was always "No Hannah stuff until after you stop sucking your fingers". We played it up for months and months. After dinner we had our little party...just the 5 of us. The boys had planned carnival type games with Hannah prizes. Anna got out her guitar that Santa had brought and she and Logan were rockin' in the den to Hannah Montana music. Logan was hysterical! I had picked up some stuff on clearance. Two funny things were Barbie type dolls of Miley and Oliver from the show. They look nothing like them, but for less than $3, who cares. I think they had as much fun as she did. Anna had picked out a tiny cake at Walmart for the celebration and gave us each a bite.
Way to go Anna!
Of course I wish I had done this sooner. We let it continue to long...yes....but when we adopted Anna, she had very little with her. She had the clothes she was wearing, a bottle, her Chinese name that we kept as her middle name and her fingers. So, her fingers were a comfort in her little world and we let her have them. We tried putting vinegar on the fingers and she still sucked them. Barry put medical tape around the sucking fingers and she removed it nightly.

Monday, July 28, 2008


Had to add these shots of the work. I can hardly find a parking spot. Not good for today when unloading groceries! What was I thinking?!?!
Driveway progress. We have some concrete on the side of the house that is poured and dry. Today they are digging a trench in the front yard and they took out the old concrete. It seems like they take 2 steps back and not much forward at times and I think they feel that way, too. I had to add a shot of the Ameren guys working next door with their trucks at the same time. YEAH...they decided to FIX the ongoing 5 year gas leak. I guess it paid for my neighbors to pitch a fit. Glad to know we won't blow up now! It is SUCH a hoot here in our cul de sac. The mail lady is trying to deliver mail, too. There are 2 big Ameren trucks and their diggers and machines next door and then the 5 guys working on our house and my other next door neighbor is having concrete work done, too, in this project. I have had enough noise for one day and we are off to the peaceful pool at my in-laws. They started all this last Wed. and who knows when they will get done.

Anna just came in and said "Oh my gosh...I am so angry about this. There is a brown fat guy with no shirt on and an earring and tattoos AND he is smoking!" Well, he didn't have a shirt on and he is quite a beefy boy with a tan. Little does she know....I saw this same young man peeing in my back yard towards my neighbors house today. OMG! Quite a learning experience here today.

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Saturday, July 26, 2008

Friday, July 25, 2008

My handsome boys!

I just have to share pictures of the boys. Logan hates to get his picture taken (like me!) and he is gone a lot this summer, so today he actually wanted me to take his picture. Plus, you usually have the 12 year old attitude with that, so......Brandon is always willing. You just have to know that spunky little squirrel who rarely runs out of energy.

Zoo and Museum Fun

We picked up Justin today and headed to the Zoo and it got hot and then we headed to the Children's Museum. Anna's favorite part of the zoo was the giant snake that the workers had out. She LOVES snakes. She and Brandon were recently pictured in our local newspaper petting a snake at the park program.

Justin had a blast with us and always enjoys doing things with Anna. I love watching the world through Justin's eyes. He takes it all in and loves every minute of life. He had a fun week at our parents' church at VBS. He is such a good boy. He is so smart! He is going to kindergarten a year early! Anna was squirmy all week there a naughty at times, but not Justin. He had a lot of fans there that knew him from his parents' restaurant. He is a sweetie. They gave me a Dairy Queen Ice Cream cake last night for my birthday. It was called Chocolate Extreme. It is like a slice of heaven on earth!

Brandon enjoyed telling us all about the zoo since he just spent a week working there as a ZOO KID. It was nice having Logan with us today! He is usually off doing 12 year old things when we go to the zoo and has been so busy this summer with his camps, etc. I took some great pictures of him and will post them next.

Wooo....she did it!

I think that Anna has kicked the finger sucking habit! We got this stuff from Walmart called "KICK THE HABIT! STOP THE BITE!". Well, we got it last week and I thought I would try it out first. I thought...geez...I just paid $3 for clear fingernail polish. I put it on all my fingers and later made the mistake of licking my fingers while cooking. OH MY! NASTY STUFF! It REALLY works. Anna has gone 5 nights now. She only made the mistake once and put her fingers in her mouth on the way to church Sunday. It only takes that ONE time...seriously. It is sooooo bad. There is no taste quite like it. It remains with you forever. The bottle says to use it for 3 months to really break the habit.
So, today, I let her have a couple of the Hannah Montana stuff that is waiting for her. She has to make it 7 more days until we have a PARTY.
I just had to add some pictures of my Guangxi girl at various ages sucking her fingers. Plus, a couple of others since I am thinking about cutting Anna's hair shorter. Can't decide.
Well, we are off to the zoo or the park to escape all of the driveway construction and noise.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

An Eventful Day

What a day! The day started off too early at 5:30 with Barry getting up to go to Chicago for meetings today. The good part was that on the kitchen table for me were cards and flowers for my birthday from Barry and the kids. I am big deal. Just another day in the calendar.

I had to move my van at 6:00 am to get ready for the driveway people to come by 7:00 am. Then I noticed the back tire was almost flat. The other day I had to fill it with air and today it was pretty bad! Luckily Barry rode with someone today and I could have his car. Mom helped get me to and from the tire place. THANKS, MOM!

My neighbor called and said that apparently there is a gas leak in our cul de sac by their house. I thought maybe our driveway work was causing issues, but the Power Company said was been there for 5 years! NICE. So, the power company has been outside 2 times today and are doing something out there now. The leak has to be worse than 15% for anyone to care. Never mind the fact that we have children who are constantly playing outside.

The boys must not have gotten the "BE GOOD ON MOM'S BIRTHDAY" memo and have been extra rotten to each other today. rained some and little progress was done today. Plus, I think a snag has been hit or something. I really think we might sink through the earth soon with the driveway. Major issues and for the high price it is costing to fix this, let's just hope this works!

Anna's little friend, Kailee, just called to sing happy birthday to me. She is so cute.

So, that is just about it in a eventful day. Tomorrow seems to be a calm day in the calendar!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Playing in the rain!

Not a very exciting day around here today. Barry worked and Logan arrived home from his week at camp at Noon. Then my new freezer came. WOO HOOO...our garage freezer was needing replaced, so..happy birthday to me a week early. I know....sad that I am excited over a new freezer. I would be even more excited over new carpet!

It was very dark in the morning and rainy, but no lightening, so Anna wanted to put a swimsuit on and play in the rain. I was a bit sad that Brandon didn't want to. He said it was for "babies". That is a first.....he always loves that! Boo hoo....he IS growing up.

Speaking of Logan......He had a blast at camp and is exhausted! I am working on his laudry right now and is soooo stinky. I washed the darks two times and I am bleaching the whites right now. STINKY. He swam in a pond or lake all week, so things are just GRODY! He wants to go back again next year.

Dedicated to Erin

A family from our travel group has a 13 year old daughter that holds a special place in my heart. Erin is mentally and physically impaired. Shortly after she was born she developed cancer and survived that. She has had seizures all of her life, too. Currently she is in Milwaukee having brain surgery. She had one surgery on Monday to do a mapping/grid system to determine where these big and bad seizures are occurring. The area was located and another surgery was performed yesterday. The surgeons felt confident that the two portions of the brain that are causing the problem could be removed. In a few months it is the hope and prayer that the surgery was successful and that Erin's quality of life will be improved. She is a fighter. Erin is blessed with wonderful parents who have done everything they can for her. Please keep Erin and her parents Janis and Ed in your prayers. Also, Nathan, her 17 year old brother and Maya, age 4.

I am adding a picture that I took of the family when we met them on vacation a couple of years ago.

Also....I remembered this video this week of this disabled man who had an amazing father. I thought I would add this in honor of Erin and her family this week. When I was in college, I worked for many disabled young men and one man, Phil, reminded me of this young man in the video. I miss my work with the severely impaired population. After Anna goes to kindergarten, I am hoping to do more again.

This video is am amazing testimony of a parent's love for their child and that we will move mountains for our children.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Woo Hoooo!!!!!!!!!!!

Anna and I went to the pediatric urologist today and she is FINE! She is under no restrictions at all now. So, Barry ended up taking the afternoon off and we went swimming at Barry's parents' house! They just live here in town just a couple miles away and it is so nice to have the pool for the kids. We are really the only ones that use it, so this summer it really hasn't gotten much use.

Anna enjoyed being back in the water. We loved having Barry home in the middle of the day. We swam and picked more apples for applesauce. Then we cooked yummy ribs and Anna and I had to have shrimp scampi, too. Logan missed out on a good day here. I am sure that the camp didn't have ribs for dinner!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Cute jammies, etc !

I don't normally take pictures of my kids in their jammies, but Anna wanted all her Guiping friends to see her panda jammies from Target. They are so cute. She said you are all supposed to go out and buy them. They are in the big girl dept. so that won't work for so many of you! The pants actually don't fall off too much for being a 4/5, but the top is falling off. I am hoping my mom can make it a little smaller (hint, hint).

On a side note, the finger sucking war has begun. For 3 nights now Anna has gone to bed with vinegar soaked fingers. Who would want to suck on those now? Well, last night when I checked on her before I went to bed, the fingers were habitually in her mouth, as usual. She didn't suck them as she went to sleep, though. The first night was pretty bad. It was like she was in DETOX or something! Tomorrow we will go to the store to buy some pretty nail polish, too. Maybe that with the vinegar at night will do the trick!

Anna and Brandon got fish today and also a frog for the aquarium, so we see how long they will last before we have to flush them into fish heaven.

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News from camp

Boy did I panic today when the head of the camp that Logan was staying at called. It is sad when my first thoughts were "What bone did he break? or What trouble did he get himself into?" I shouldn't think like that but we have had our share of the latter types of moments when teachers call me. Anyway...the man (Bruce) assured me that all was well and I didn't need to worry. He was calling to say that there was an opening for a Mission Trip to Ohio for next week and he thought Logan would be a great one to go on it. We are going to pass on it, but his buddy Jacob may go. We just aren't comfortable sending him off for a second week in a row with people we don't even know. Plus he already went to Scout camp for a week this Summer and also this camp, so that seems like enough. Logan even called at dinner time to plead his case, but I told him that I was pretty sure that he would not be going. He will be disappointed, I am sure. I know that the trip would have been life changing and we will consider it for next year. Bruce said that he was very impressed with Logan and Jacob's maturity (and Teddy's) and that everything is going well at camp. Logan seemed to be having a great time. He will return on Saturday.

Barry and I had our share of mission trips in our high school days. Things sure start earlier these days! I am not sure I am ready for all of this. He is only 12. The youth group that Barry and I grew up in didn't do trips until high school. I did start the trips in 8th grade, though, because there were no other 8th graders, so they let me in early. Gee....I remember this cute tall, skinny boy on these trips (Barry!). We really did some neat things to help others on those trips and we taught Bible School in underprivleged areas like the Appalachian Mountains.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Park Fun

After dropping the boys off at camp, Brandon, Anna and I had lunch and then went to the park nearby. We have always talked about going to this park when we drive down this way to St. Louis, so Brandon was excited to stop.

Logan off to camp!

I dropped Logan and his buddies Jacob and Ted off at Camp Maranatha today. They will be back on Saturday around noon. Jacob and Ted went last year, so I got the full tour. Logan was excited to have aircondioning and a REAL bathroom in the cabin...unlike Scout Camp where you sleep in tents and the bathrooms are NASTY. It will be strange without Logan this week around the house. Plus, we usually have 2-3 extras of his friends here on many days. Logan is blessed with a lot of good friends.
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Grandma Weber's

Logan sang at my Grandma Weber's church today. He did a great job.

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I think I can! I think I can!

Anna and I went to the Railway Museum's "Little Engine that Could" that was visiting. It was fun and we escaped the rain before it hit there. She enjoyed the train ride and luckily picked the air conditioned car! was hot out there! It was nice having a day with just her. Hard to find in the summer!We try to take the kids separately to do things so we can have that one on one time with just them. Last night I took Brandon and his buddy Nick swimming, so he was thrilled about that. Logan leaves for camp today, so there will just be Anna and Brandon all week.
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Friday, July 11, 2008

Apples to Apples......dust to dust

Christine....where are you? It is apple picking time! We sure miss you guys! I know you would LOVE to make some applesauce!

Oh my....Barry's parents' Lodi apple tree is ready for the pickin'! The apples make a tart applesauce. We picked four 5 gallon buckets heaping full and we didn't even make a dent in the tree. I think this is the biggest crop ever. We could pick 4 buckets every day and it would still take forever to empty it!

One batch of applesauce is cooking up now. I really hate to peel apples and it is hard to find time in this house to just peel and stir for hours, but I will figure it out. Barry helped some before work.

Barry's parents left today with his sister, Angi and hubby Brad, Faith and Nolan for Germany. They will be back next Saturday. We hope they have a fun and safe trip. Apples will still be here for her to make applesauce when they get back!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Little Engine that Could, etc.

I used to love that book. Anna does, too. I am taking her to a local Railway Museum to see this on Saturday afternoon. She will enjoy getting out and doing something fun. Brandon would enjoy it, too, but it doesn't seem too age appropriate. I think I will do the Polar Express Train with Anna and Brandon in November. We did the Santa Train there when the boys were little with my parents and that was fun. I am not really sure what they will do on this train at all. I am sure we get to ride some, there is a petting zoo, and other fun things.

Anna's incisions were getting infected, so she is on an oral antibiotic. We drove 45 min both ways for a 2 min appt. I do like the dr., though. He is very good with kids. We still have to go back next Thurs for another checkup. I would hate for them to have to go back in if the antibiotic doesn't work. I do NOT want them to open her back up!

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

The Hannah Montana Rule

It is no secret that we deal with the fact of Anna sucking her fingers. We were doing sooo well. She had only been sucking her fingers mostly at night and occasionally during the day. While on vacation, she sucked on them a little bit more for comfort. That is understandable. After vacation I found the hernia on the right side and since I knew she was having surgery, I kind of let it go a little bit. What was the point? I can't expect her not to suck her fingers after surgery. Well, no more surgery now, right? Hmmmm..

A long time ago Anna started really liking Hannah Montana. I told her IF and WHEN she stopped sucking her fingers for 2 weeks or 14 sleeps that we could go pick out some Hannah stuff at the store. So, as we were shopping, I would play it up that she couldn't get any Hannah stuff until she stops sucking her fingers. It didn't seem to work. Walmart had a huge thing on clearance with tons Hannah stuff, so I brought it home and Logan and I really played that up. Well, it is still sitting in the garage on the freezer.

Get this...last night I asked Anna what she wanted to do today. She said "GO SHOPPING AND LOOK AT HANNAH STUFF AND NOT BE ABLE TO BUY IT!" I cracked up. She cracked up and off she went to go to sleep with her fingers in her mouth.
So, today at Target she said..."I can have Miley Cyrus stuff. She is not Hannah Montana". Smart girl, but she still didn't get anything remotely related to Hannah Montana.
I am giving her 3 days (since she had surgery 1 week ago and we visit the dr. for a possible infection tomorrow) and then I declare war. Any ideas?

Doll Hospital Day

The boys have been gone today and apparently Anna's babies needed hernia surgery, too. She was having a blast forever. I am taking Anna back to the urologist tomorrow because one of her incisions is red and doesn't look quite right. They may want to do an oral antibiotic.