Sunday, August 31, 2008


We went to another of Kole's football games today. They are doing really well! I am starting to think the Varsity team could take some lessons from these little guys. I didn't get any pics of our dog training, but it went well. Sweetpea is responding very well to Boyd and Reiko is learning that he does not have to be in a sit position to get a treat. We are usng the clicker as our good reward with treats and someday no treats will be necessary, just the clicker, then we can put that away too sometime.

Here are a few pics of the Marching band on Friday night.

of course, Kali has her head turned...

in the front row

Saturday, August 30, 2008

We survived our busiest week yet

Wow! We made it! Kali started power tumbling this week and is so glad she got back into it. She is really enjoying it. Kaci started a Hip Hop dance class and she is very good at it! I was amazed watching through the open door. Both of these classes are on Monday night in the same Dance/Tumbling school. Tuesday I took Kole to his football practice and Boyd had his tattoo worked on. Wednesday, I took Max to an audition for the Orchestra and he made it! Plus he was recommended to a very good teacher, Kamen Petkov of the Illinois Symphony Orchestra. On Thursday, Boyd took Kole to football practice and I took Kaci to her first piano lesson after a hiatus for the summer. Then last night was the football game where Kali marched with the high school marching band. She had a blast! The band which is very small, 9 High school students and 11 Junior high students did a very cool field show. We stayed and watched our team get slaughtered Athens 0 Pittsfield 32. It was awful! But hey we had many first downs and our team sacked the quarterback of the other team! ha ha ha

Today we have dog training this afternoon. I will post more then and add pictures! I am very ready for this 3 day weekend.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

First Scrimmage for Kole

We had an early start today! Boyd had to work, so I took all the kids to Kole's first controlled scrimmage against Williamsville. What a hoot! they are so tiny out there!

Kole plays defensive lineman. He is really good at it! Here are some pics from our morning! I sure am glad we were done by 10:00. It is going to be hot and humid today!

Kole is in the front row second one in #11

Kole is on the farthest away end

Kole and Max before the game

Kali congratulating Kole on a good game

Kole is second from the left watchin the offense play

Kole is right in the middle of this pic

Friday, August 22, 2008

First and second days of school

O.k. you can tell I have done first days of school so many times! I have no pictures of that event! The first day went very well, and all the kids survived. I left Max to fend for himself on Thursday morning after we finalized his schedule. I felt so bad! Kali was left to ride the bus and get to Junior high all by herself! Kole and Kaci know the routine at the elementary school, so no worries there. They all made it home. The three younger kids took the bus, Max decided he would try walking. He made it as far as the local grocery store and went in to rest. A girl from school offered him a ride home so he was able to get a ride at least part way home. Kali and Kaci have teased him ever since! Max tried soccer practice and decided he is not cut out to be a soccer player. His muscles are very sore!

Today I took all the kids in to Springfield. Kali needed to stop at the doctor's office for a shot then we went and got Max's things or school. Then off to the mall. Max wanted shoes and a book bag. We ended up at the Finish Line for both. We wandered around the mall a little while too. When we arrive the girls were so glad to see Ally, a girl who babysat them for us one summer. Max was surprised we knew her. Kaci went running up to her and got a hug in and Kole played shy. Kali's arm was sore, so she kind of stood back and watched and talked.

Tonight Max if off with Brady at the football game between the Varsity and the Junior Varsity. I found out that Brady's sister was a friend of Vivian's last year. Must be a good kid.
He chatted with us while he waited for Max to be ready to go.

Tomorrow is Kole's first football game. I will try to get some pictures of him to post on the blog! Should be very cute! If a football game can be termed cute!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Luggage arrived and school registration

Max's luggage finally arrived around 9:15 on Monday night. He was a very happy person. Too bad the kids went down to bother him while he unpacked! We are going to talk to the kids about smothering Max. He seems to be enjoying it, but he is also a very polite young man. I really can't call him a boy.

Kali was trying to help him pick out what to wear the first day of school. She was telling him, no that doesn't look right or this is too something... I told her to back off that there is a big difference between 12 and 17. Max does very well dressing himself without Kali's input. I know she is just trying to help him fit in.

Yesterday the kids went to the store on bicycles, then swam and played on the tampoline, did some archery, and played video games. Kole does not know how to take turns very well. he will learn.

Tonight is the kindergarten open house for Kole. We get to take all his supplies in so he can carry an empty book bag tomorrow.

I took the kids shopping on Monday. We went to Hollister, Abecrombie, Aeropostle, American Eagle outfitters, Subway for lunch, Best Buy, PetsMart, and Circuit City! I was beat! We were pricing electronics for Max. Now we are on a mission to find the least expensive way for him to call home to Brazil. Vivian had a calling card that her dad would add minutes to. Max purchased a calling card, but I think he needs more minutes added on.
We are also looking for a translator that translates English to Brazilian Portugeuese.
I know we will find one, but probably not in Springfield! LOL

We took Max to the school to register him and today I need to call and find out if they have something worked out so he can go as a senior and graduate.

Next week Max has auditions for the orchestra in Springfield. I need to call today to get him an audition time. I think he will enjoy it. He plays both violin and piano beautifully!

Last night while Kole was practicing football Max was making friends with some of the local guys that were hanging out at the park. It is good that he is not shy about making new friends. He will have a whole list of them before tomorrow is over.

Kali and Kaci are enjoying having a temporary older brother around more than I think they could imagine. It is so fun to watch them laugh and have a good time. Kole looks up to Max a lot! He really likes him.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

First day with Max

We got in last night very late. Kole was asleep, but the girls were awake when we arrived. Max's luggage did not make it to Chciago, but they will be delivering it hopefully tomorrow! We are lucky that he and Boyd wear almost the same size in some things.

We went today and loaded up on the last of the school supplies that the kids needed minus the kleenex. I am getting that tomorrow. Between 3 of them I need to pick up 7 boxes!

The kids played on the trampoline, and played football, music and video games. We are going to the school, the mall, Circuit City, Best Buy and possibly Officemax or Staples.

We are looking for a good deal on a Sony laptop for Max.

So we have a busy day carved out for tomorrow. I took one first day picture of all the kids on the couch playing video games.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Max is coming! Kali is coming home!

Kali comes home today! She has been gone a week and we miss her. Grandma is bringing her home and then staying with the kids on Saturday while we drive up to get Max!!! He is coming into Chicago on Saturday evening! We'll get home around 11:45 PM That will be a long drive!
But it will be worth it to keep Max from having to change terminals and airlines to get here.

Our Answering Machine was fried a couple weeks ago during some storms and so was the caller id so we had no idea if anyone was trying to reach us during the day or not. I received a call yesterday at work with the information about Max's flight. I had been worrying myself silly over the whole thing. Just the way I am. You know, planning... I have to have a plan worked out with the schedule. Actually that is the only way I can keep things going around here with our chaos. I know, if I said no once in a while there would be no chaos. But, that would not be me!

More after Max arrives!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Happy Anniversary to us!

As of August 12, 2008 Boyd and I have been married for 19 years! We dated for 6 years before we took that ever important step. Our wedding theme was "Today I marry my best friend" That we did. We were friends before anything else. The girls love it when we tell them how we met. Kole gets all embarrassed.

Anyway we will be celebrating with a couple who were married on August 19 by going out to dinner with no kids on August 30! This will be so much fun!

Next year I hope we can go on a weekend get away just the two of us. With no phones! ha ha ha
No computers, no dogs or cat.... O.k. I know keep dreaming!

We also were having a problem with a couple links to exchange student sites. I fixed that! ha ha ha Silly me had them routing to our blog instead of the site! Geez.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Band Camp, Bedroom, Dogs Oh My!

Well, the week was busy, what week isn't?! We finally got the bunk bed ready with bedding and took out many parts of Kole's twin bed. I registered all the kids for school except Max and I take him in after he gets here for a tour and registration. Kali was in band camp all week with the high school kids. I found out the high school band only had ten students! so they took ten from the junior high to make it look like something. They looked fabulous during the demonstration today!

Kali left for a week at grandma's house.
Uncle Pat and Aunt Patty came to get her and take her back. It was good to see them. While they were here we had a local dog trainer come in to do a consultation on the behaviour issues with Sweetpea.

We knew she was a good dog, just had some baggage that she brought along. Each of children had their own unknown baggage when we brought them home also. This trainer, Tricia is also a K-9 Officer in our town. She was awesome. Since 2:00 today there has been peace in our home with two dogs! YES! We are being trained on how to work Sweetpea through her insecurities and fears. It will not be over night but with consistency and having everyone told this and not just me passing it on I believe we can do this. Tricia actually recognized her from the APL which was cool. She remembered seeing her at some offsite adoptions. Even Kole is learning what is right and what is wrong when working with her. Of course the light bulb went on inside me and I was getting it. I think the rest were, too. It is so nice for Boyd to come in the door and not have her barking her brains out and getting Reiko all worked up too.

Kole had football practice on Tuesday, but it was rained out for the second Tuesday in a row. They practiced Wednesday and Thursday instead. Next week we are back to Tuesday adn Thursday, but there is rain the forecast for Tuesday, again.

Here are some pics that were taken during the week.

Pics of the bunk bed

Pics of Sweet Pea and Kole

Cicada dressed and ready to shop!

Kali at the band demonstration

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Referral Anniversary Kali

Wow! Eleven years ago today we received our first referral call for our first daughter, Kali. I was at work in the process of moving from one floor to another. No phone, no computer, just a cubicle and a chair and my stuff. Our receptionist hollered over to me and told me that I had a call and it was very important. I had given up hope of having a referral for our daughter until the next month since it had been almost 9 months already.. Well, I was so wrong! It was our agency, Plan Loving Adoptions Now with "the call". Kali was described as a chubby cherub. The stats were very old so we had no idea how big or little she would be The paperwork was dated Dec 1996 and her birthday was July 17 , 1996. The call came on Aug 5, 1997 at approx 2:00 pm. I called Boyd almost immediately but I couldn't remember his cell number. I finally looked it up and by then I was in tears I was so happy. We had tried to have a family for 6 years both biologically and through adoption. We could hardly wait to meet our Kali. When we did, she was 22 pounds and 28 inches tall! short and chunky! We met on Sept 23, 1997 in Hefei, Anhui. That began our journey to being the parents we are today. Kali is 12 now and more than we could have ever asked for.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Referral Anniversary for Kaci

Wow, 8 years ago about this time (6:30 pm) I was outside talking to Boyd and Kali while they were paddling around in the kiddy pool( pretty good size one) when I heard voices coming from inside the house. I ran in and it was our answering machine! I picked up the phone and it was our adoption agency Plan Loving Adoptions Now calling to tell us about our new daughter who would be Kaci. She was 17 pounds, 27 inches long and located in Dianbai, Guangdong. We were elated, although we were expecting a toddler. The next day we received her picture and documentation. Gotcha day wasn't until September that year. Remembering back to the emotions of that day and watching Kali be so excited about getting a new sister was amazing! I guess you could liken the experience to knowing you are giving birth soon and now have an idea of sex and size... We waited 8 months and 3 weeks for her referral. Her picture reminded us of a cry baby! LOL But as we were to find out later, she had reason. She had sleep apnea that we did not find until she was 3 years old. After her tonsils and adenoids were removed, she became a completely different kid. Gone was the crying and total clingyness. Gone were the bags under her eyes. Then she grew! A lot! I should really save some of this for Gotcha day posts next month!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Another busy week down

Not only did Boyd have to replace the brakes on my van, he is having to do the same to his car. A lot cheaper when you can do it yourself.

The girls have been staying home and doing a very good job getting along and working together. I really think they needed that time to learn to work things out without Kaci running to me every second. They have been tending the dogs and doing chores. And reading. Kali just finished the 4 books of the Maximum Ride series by James Patterson. I think she is wanting to go and pick up the 4th book in the vampire series by Stephanie Meyers. Kaci has been trying to read a book rated for 6th grade called The Summer of Monkeys. She gets through one page at a time and is very happy when she does. Kole has been busy with football and I wish we would just sit and read to him more.

Kole has mentioned that his nose looks funny. We have told him no it just adds character and is part of him. He is a cleft kid. Anyway, we found out an older boy at daycare was making comments to him about his nose. I didn't have to do much, just tell the daycare provider that the girls were coming that day. They showed up and had a talk with the kid and Kole. Well, the kids said he was making fun of Kole because he was annoying. The girls response was "That is not a good reason to make fun of someone." Then he said Kole was kicking and hitting him. What?! So the girls asked Kole. He said no. Kali said you could tell he was not lying. So then the kid took a step toward Kole and Kaci jumped between them and told the kid he would not touch her brother. In the end the kid who started the trouble felt really bad and guilty. He is also 4 years older than Kole. Kids can be so mean! He did apologize and they are now playing together again at daycare. The girls warned the boy that if they found out he was doing it again, they would hunt him down. ha ha ha

We put the bunk bed together last night and I am going to get sheets and pillow today. It actually looks really good in the room. Once I get the sheets on the top bunk I will take a picture of it.

The exciting news is Max will be here in just a couple weeks!!!! We are so excited. The kids are getting real excited as are is we found a really neat translator online that we were playing with last night to practice some Portuguese.
Here is one: Congratulamo-nos com você para a América.
We can type in words or phrases and it translates from English to other languages and vice versa. Here it is:

Ok. I will give it up. Kali's friend Logan shared it with her and I snatched it! It is really fun!

Kole learned how to block and tackle this week at football practice. It was too fun to watch! Some of the kids didn't want to be tackled so they ran away! LOL Then others wouldn't tackle at all... I think they will get it before their first scrimmage in about three weeks.