Monday, September 29, 2008


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Things are crazy!

Love the sign here. It is actually for the bear cat or something, not the roaming chickens.

The pictures are of the day Anna and I went to the zoo a while ago. It was a beautiful day before preschool!

Speaking of preschool...Anna loves her new preschool this year. It is amazing. Every day they make the neatest things or charts or a class book. Just like when the boys were at their preschool (the one Anna went to last year that had a new teacher). It is amazing. Her teacher has been there for 34 years, I think, and she is older, but the things that she does definately compares to kindergarten. One day they had to bring in a 1/2 of their favorite sandwich. Hard since Anna doesn't eat sandwiches. Usually she will roll bologna up around cheese, but on this day she did take a 1/2 of PBJ sandwich and ATE it. Amazing. She hardly ever chooses bread or buns, etc. The class then made a chart to see the types of sandwiches brought. Anna's class only has 7 students so far so they just add to the other class. All the kids in her class are girls. It seems like a very calm and quiet class, so I am sure that Anna adds some spunk!b They have done a lot of charting and little books. YES...we love it! I just wish there were more students

Busy week last week. I worked 3 days as a in Special Ed at the school Brandon just left and two in Music at the Intermediate School. No one ever gives the music dept enough credit. They work sooo hard. In a few of the classes I had there was oer 60 kids! Insane, but the teacher is sooo good that there isn't any behavior issues. The teacher said I could just show Sound of Music and other musicals for 2 days, but that isn't my style, so...I taught music and worked my butt off the first day. The second day the kids sang some and also did watch the video some. I had fun, but it was exhausting. The 6th graders said it was the best music class ever. Hard to believe because their teacher is just

House Update! OMG...we are waiting on the dry wall guy to finish the sunroom work. Then the carpet will go down. I guess we are going for a more family room type look in there now. It has served its purpose well as a sunroom/toyroom for many years, but I look forward to a new look now that the kids are growing up and we don't have very many toys around.

We are also going to get carpet in the living room, family room downstairs and the steps going upstairs and the steps going downstairs. NO bedrooms or den. We got it all picked out and also the entry ways and we are just awaiting the bid to see the total damage it will cost! Can't even imagine. Those are too bad, but the rest of the house and sunroom means about 1500 square feet of carpet. YIKES...I have been waiting for 8 LONG years for carpet, so this is exciting. Also means that I am going NUTS right now trying to figure it all out. The carpet lady has already called 5 times with questions today to make sure that we are all on the same page. With so many rooms to do, it is getting a little confusing! I will NEVER build a house. I am trying to remain calm about it all and start packing up the rooms at the same time. Luckily, the sunroom is already empty.

Barry has been a busy man lately with outside stuff and also some inside. I wanted to stain the deck, but he did...thanks! I will do the second coat, but it is raining today. We have been landscaping in the back in 2 areas and had to fix some of the boo boo's made by the new driveway. I am not good at the outdoor type things and have trouble picking out landscaping plants, etc. Barry also dug a hole in the crawl space yesterday for the back up sump pump to be put in. So, we are waiting on that. Could we take on MORE projects? With the adoption and raising 3 kids, we have put off things around here for way too long. Now, everything is needing done all at once!

The joys of owning a home!

Ok...enough rambling.
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Monday, September 22, 2008

We were TEE-PEED!

We had our first official tee peeing here! I should have taken a picture. We didn't get it too bad, though. Just toilet paper all over the trees and the van and car. We can't park in the garage since we are redoing the sunroom, so unfortunately, the vehicles got it good! I thought that maybe the suspects were short (LIKE 9 years old) because of the way the toilet paper was hanigng all over the trees down low. Plus...they left the roll of toilet paper on top the van since they were too short to reach it! But then I thought...why in the world would 9 year olds tee pee us??? Well, because of Brandon! The girls are flocking to him! Oh my...we are in BIG trouble with that one. Well, today, all of the cutie patootie nine year olds proudly confessed their crime to Brandon. The funny thing was that Brandon wasn't even home the night that they did it! He was sleeping over at his grandma's and we cleaned it up before he got home.

Found this definition of the act of toilet papering..... Toilet paper (also called TP'ing or Yard Rolling) is the act of covering an object (usually a tree, house, or other structure of similar size) with toilet paper. This is typically done by throwing numerous toilet paper rolls in such a way that they unroll in mid-air and thus fall on the targeted object in multiple streams. Toilet papering is not uncommon in the United States and frequently takes place after the completion of a school's homecoming football game and graduation, as well as on Halloween.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

A while back, Anna was given this beautiful Chinese outfit by Justin and his family. Iveny asked Ricky's mom to send it to us from the Fujian Province. THANK YOU! I had been wanting to take Anna's picture in it and today she wanted to put it on. So, we rain to the zoo park to take pictures and then played at the zoo, too.
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Monday, September 15, 2008

Saturday fun on a hot hot day

Posted by PicasaThese two have been so goofy together lately. This often gets them into too much mischief, but on Saturday, they were having fun after Brandon's soccer game. Barry was finishing up the landscaping project and it was VERY hot out.
Logan spent the weekend with the Scouts camping. Well, kind of. They had stayed at a local air force base and went to a football game. The weather was going to get horrible, so they packed up the second night and slept at a church nearby. Good thinking, Scout Master. Logan had to plan 3 meals for the weekend, go shopping and then help cook it all on the campout. He had fun doing this.
Yesterday it rained and rained ALL morning. We were getting a TON of water in the backyard, so we had to skip church to keep an eye on the sump pump. Barry spent the entire morning making sure gutters were working and shoveling water to various parts of the yard. It was a MESS. My parents got a ton of water, too, and there pond definately met the creek again. ICK.
Remember that new landscaping??? Well, some mulch did wash away. The joys of owning a home!

My new best friend

I love this phone. I know that a person shouldn't be so excited over a phone, but I am. My husband recently got an i-phone and we all know that is the sweetest phone ever, but his was free through work and I just don't need all of the stuff that it does. Less is better. Logan, of course, had recently told me that he was the ONLY 7th grader without a phone. We said "TOUGH!" He said his friend Katie asked for his number so she could text him. The horror was just so aweful for him to admit that he didn't even have a phone. Give me a break. We had been discussing a phone for him for a while to have for Show Choir stuff, etc. There have been times where I wished I could get a hold of him, so I wanted to add a BASIC line for him. No texting, no frills, nothin! So,I decided to upgrade to a phone with a better calendar system. Logan was so embarrassed in the phone store that I was insisting I wanted the phone with the best calendar besides the i-phone.

Anyway...I am loving this phone. I had forgotten to go pick up Market Day last week and now my phone will tell me who to pick up when and where, when to take the boys to piano, soccer, appts, etc. Woo hoooo.

My friend, Charlotte, thought that Logan was walking a few inches taller this week because of his new phone. Cracks me up since he isn't allowed to take it to school or anything. Just the extra things. He decided to actually take Barry's old phone since his was "waaaayyy cooler" than mine.

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Saturday, September 06, 2008

Eyelash Question

Anna enjoying a messy treat!

Anna had been having headaches this week, so I took her to the eye dr. to make sure that her glasses prescription was doing the job and hadn't changed too much since Thanksgiving. Well, the vision had changed a little bit, but I did find out that her frames probably need replaced because her face has grown a lot since Dec. when we got them. Plus, her bottom eyelids are turning in and that is causing the eyelashed to curl up onto the eye and irritating her. She has been rubbing her eyes a lot, so I thought it was the vision getting worse. Nope....just her beautiful eyelashes. The top eyelashes are very long and are touching the lenses, too, some. So....probably getting new glasses. The eye dr. wanted us to see a pediatric eye dr. first, though.

Any other little ones from China had this problem?
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Run, Brandon Run!

Brandon LOVES to run and he is darn good at it. I really think he will be in Cross Country or run in races or something. He is a fast little booger! Soccer started a couple weeks ago and he loves it. He was out on the field forever today before getting a break. He ran and ran and ran.
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Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Growing up

Hard to believe that Logan is growing up and is in 7th Grade now. Hard to believe, too, that his FEET will not stop growing. He is only about 5'4" but his feet are a 10.5 men's!

We still have our moments that are not always good, but we do see him growing up and making good choices most of the time. He never likes to be in pictures (takes after me) and he is not always photogenic, but I like this picture of him! It just looks like him...the real Logan.

He is having a fantastic year so far and we were so excited with the Jr. High and the faculty there. They have so much enthusiasm and love for teaching and we really enjoyed the Open House there last week. The kids went to a dance in the cafeteria while the parents went around to each and every class and endured the bell music system. It was a hoot to be back in the school that Barry and I went to at that age. I feel renewed in our district once again. The Intermediate School just wasn't like the Elementary School here in town where the staff seemed to really LOVE teaching and it made me sad that teachers in 4, 5 and 6th grade seemed to forget to enjoy teaching in many ways. The music and art teachers were fabulous and showed a love for teaching, but two of the three homeroom teachers that Logan had for the last three years seemed to have lost something. It made me sad. Where was that spark that kept my dad teaching in this district for 34 years?

Anyway...Logan loves school. He has a couple accelerated classes, so he has a lot of homework right now....mostly Algebra! He knows NOT to ask me for help!

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

First day of Preschool!


Anna was so excited to go to the first day of preschool today. She is going to love it. The class is very small so far and I love that. We went to an open house at the school last spring and we were very impressed. They had table after table of projects, papers, etc. of things that the 3's and 4's had done. I could not believe just how much they did last year and it made me sad that Anna had not had that many oppurtunities for learning as a 3 year old. We feel like we made the best decision for Anna and also for our family by switching preschools this year. The teacher is older and has over 30 years experience in preschool, so we feel confident that this will be a good fit for all of us.

She marched right in and greeted the teacher and the aide. She got to see the guniea pig and the fish and was very excited. The teacher made all of the kids feel very welcome.
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Guiping Girls Reunion 2008

Whew! What a weekend of continuous fun! Our travel group from Lifelink had 10 families and all 10 families get together each year. The first year we got together after the girls had just been home a few months that Labor Day. Then each year on Labor Day we have continued to get together. This is our 4th Labor Day of Fun! Each girl and their family has made it every year. We had 2 Grandmas and 2 Grandpas (My Dad went) also travel to China, so they make it to the reunions as they can. My dad hadn't seen most of the girls in 2 years.

Friday I headed up to Michelle's to do the food shopping since we were hosting the reunion there. Robin came in on Thursday to help, too and visit. Heidi came with her kids on Friday (first collage) and the 4 little girls had so much fun. These are the gals I go to Marco with each year. We love spending time together and Friday was no exception. Michelle's parents also came and visited for a while, too.
Three of us and the girls went for a little shopping and dinner and Anna and I headed for the hotel. I called my friend, Linda, that I used to live 2 down from when I lived in Bloomington. We visited until after midnight! It was great catching up!

Saturday was Reunion Day. In the morning we went to the Children's Museum and met up with as many of the families who were in town so far. Barry and the boys headed up Sat at noon to join us.That night we headed to State Farm Park and had a wonderful time. The girls were precious visiting together. There personalities are really shining now and they seem to just pick up where they last were on their last visit. It is always interesting explaining to Anna how the girls all came to be friends. She understands that all 10 girls lived in the same place in China at the same time while they waited for their familes. It is a tough concept at this age. We always revisit the same questions and each year they get more complex from her point of view.

The pink shirts say Guiping Sisters and have a map of China on it with them in Guangxi. Anna loves getting a new shirt like this from the reunion....thanks, Angie. Check out the Eckert blog for an adorable video of the girls playing ring around the rosie. It is just so sweet!
Sunday, we headed to Miller Park Pavillion and had lunch. Christie gave the girls a make up kit and they all loved that. Robin had a blast painting the girls' toe nails, etc. It was nice visiting again before everyone took off for home. What a great weekend!
The boys had a blast all weekend, too. There are plenty of big brothers to play with and they enjoy getting together with the other boys each year. I am glad that they look forward to the reunions and don't dread them. Brandon especially loved the bouncy house on Saturday and they are both thrilled when we get to stay in a hotel!

Yesterday, we had a nice surprise visit from The Hamby clan. They decided to come back from Iowa to visit family and dropped by. We were all thrilled! We really miss them in our little cul de sac. Things just aren't the same here without them. Sigh.....

Anyway....what a whirlwind wonderful weekend!
Anna starts preschool today, so stay tuned!
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