Friday, December 23, 2011

Almost Christmas!

Since the last posting we had three Christmas programs to attend.
Boyd sprained his ankle, and I slipped a disk in my back. And, Mojo was hit by a car... There are my three so the bad luck can just stop now.

Boyd's ankle has healed and I was healing during the past week. Almost back to normal today. Mojo has his stitches out from the plate they surgically used to fix his broken leg and on his way to recovery.

The kids are out of school for Christams break and I took time off for the first time ever before and after Christmas. I am so glad I did.

Finally got my Christmas letters printed and today, although late, I will be getting my Christmas cards ready to go out.

Kali IS GOING TO CHINA!!!! She is so excited. And even better news is that her friend Meg is going too! A trip of a lifetime for her. Then maybe in teh future she can go and help at orphanages on mission trips. This trip is a little more expensive then some. I'm ok with that because, she will finally get to see all the things that she missed when our flights were messed up years ago when we went to get Kaci. And she will be able to experience so much more! We have enough or close to enough for our next payment towards the trip. Now to start in again on the fund raising. If you would like to help Kali in her fund raising for this trip, send me a comment with your email and I can let you know how to get in contact. Some things she is doing is a Pampered Chef online party, just order on line and she gets the profits. Also a Scentsy online sale where she gets 20% of the profits!
Here are the webpages:

Scentsy: look for the ongoing parties and select Kali's fundraiser. ORders are shipped directly to you!
Pampered Chef:

This will take you directly to Kali's party. Or just go to tracystewart and type in Kali's name in the search to take you there.

Another option is save your aluminum cans and if you live close we can pick them up and cash them in ourselves. If you don't cash them in, send me a comment with your email and I will not publish the comment, but instead email you with our address where you can send your donation. Or if you just want to donate you can do that too! Either through the chipin that is on this blog or comment with your eamil address, I will email you our address and delete the comment instead of publishing it. And not to worry, we are paying at least half of the trip or more out of our own pockets. IT would be easier if Mojo's surgery had not cost us $1300. yikes! But he is worth it.

Anyway, enjoy some pictures that we did take:

I hope you enjoyed the pictures! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

72 hours ...

We will know for sure that Kali will be going to China in June 2012 in just 72 hours. She attended a group interview with 11 other delegate candidates today and got along well with all of them! She has grown up so much! So here we go! We have started fundraising as if she was selected. Any amount we make that is above and beyond the amount Kali needs for this trip will be donated to our local food bank and to Love Without Boundries.

There are a couple things we are working on besides the Chipin account.
One is a Scentsy Fundraiser. You can go to this website ( scroll open parties and select Kalis Fundraiser. Order online and the order will be shipped to your home address or the address you designate.

If you are local or within an easy drive we are also collecting aluminum cans to turn in.

Any assistance will be helpful and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts for helping meet this goal of returning to China!

Leave a comment if you have cans to be picked up or better yet, if you are far away turn them in for cash and then just send Kali a check. You can private message me on facebook or at my email address

Thank you!!!!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Chipin To help Kali go to China in June 2012!

Thanksgiving and a lot more!

This year we went to my brother Pat's house for Thanksgiving.  We had a lot of fun and loved getting caught up.  Too bad we could only stay a few hours.  Then Friday following Thanksgiving, we had a big meal at home.  We are still recovering from the carbohydrate overload of the past 3 days.

The kids are healthy, the animals are all doing well with the exception of Mia.  Her leg is messed up and she will need to see the vet.  If it isn't one of the kids, it is one of the dogs or cats needing medical attention.

Earlier this month I took Kali to an orientation for People to People Ambassadors.  She has applied and interviews next week to go to China!!!!!   She is so excited!  I am excited for her!  We are in the process of funds raising and saving to hopefully have enough money come June 2012 for her to go. 

Right before her 16th birthday she will be returning the the country of her birth as a Student Ambassador for the US.    We are saving aluminum cans and cashing those in.  She is also working on coming up with other fundraising ideas.  Two friends have offered to have Scentsy parties and giving her a percentage.  Her interview is a week from today.  I don't seem to think there will be any reason why she shouldn't do wonderful at the interview. 

If you would like to help in anyway, have a fundraiser, make a donation, save your cans and donate what you earn from them...  let us know by email for commenting on this blog.  This is a chance of a lifetime for Kali.

I am going to try to get a Chipin working to put on this blog.  Just need to figure it out.

Thank you in advance for any assistance anyone would like to give.  

Friday, November 4, 2011

November is here already!

Time is flying by!  Kaci turned twelve!  Kali is driving!  Kole is playing on a competitive basketball league!  November is the month when we sent our paperwork in for each kid years apart!  Thanksgiving is on the horizon with Christmas right on it's shirt tails.

Parent teacher conferences are done.  The kids are amazing!  Academically I will never have to worry.  They try their best and do well.  They are all honor roll kids. 

Kali has been struggling to get straight A's this year, but she also has a very challenging  course load.  Biology II (junior class), Chemistry (Junior Class), Geometry, World History, English, Band, Spanish II.  I am sure there is one more in there. She is also involved in Swim Team, Leadership, and she is the Class treasurer.  She is a sophmore.

Kaci continues getting wonderful grades.  She also participates in Band and Basketball.  Basketball is winding down, then on to volleyball.  She is trying out sports this year and will decide her favorite over the summer. 

Kole is reading at a 4th grade level as a 3rd grader.  He is being moved to a more challenging reading curriculum at school a couple days a week to challenge him.  He finished up football on a good note and then moved on to basketball.  This was his first year on Honor Roll.

We also acquired a new cat.  Smokey (I was going to name him Maurice, but no one liked that name).

The dogs are doing well and love Smokey.  Tink is starting to accept him in the house.

Picutres:  Bonfire, Kaci's basketball team, JAsmin's cross country team, Reiko and Smokey,
KAli, Ally and Kole at bonfire, Kaci after the cake fight, last two are Kole at football.

Monday, September 26, 2011

I should be ashamed...

Making you wait for updates on this blog! LOL

Well, it has been a crazy since my last post.  Jasmin has joined our family and started school.  She is participating in Cross Country.  Kali is on swim team, Leadership committee, and who knows what else.
Kaci is participating in basketball this year.  Kole is finishing up football and starts basketball this week. 

Homecoming has come and gone.  Everyday is a busy day here.  We went camping as a family for the first time.  Thank goodness we had Jasmin with us!   She knows how to do stuff in the camper that we were renting.  Below are a bunch of photos from when school started on.

I hope all the pictures make up for the lack of content!

Friday, August 12, 2011

K Kids plus J and more

The summer is almost over.  The past week I have been on vacation.  It has been so nice to be home and get some things done and to just sit and do NOTHING!  I am really enjoying it and think that one week just hasn't been enough! LOL 

This past week we agreed to host a semester student from Germany.  Her name is Jasmin. She will be joining us on Tuesday.  We are really looking forward to this!  Our house is getting smaller!  Jasmin likes pets, which is good around here.  I hope she will like staying with us.  This is the first time we have hosted from Germany.  We have had Taiwan, Brazil, China, and Japan. 

Back to the family here.  Kaci went with a friend on vacation the past 10 days.  She really enjoyed herself.  Especially the Taylor Swift concert!  3rd row from the stage and her two friends with her were able to touch Taylor's hand!  Talk about your squeeling happy tears girls!  Kaci was within one foot of Taylor Swift.  These girls were star struck.  What a wonderful experience.  However, Kaci says she will stay home next year. LOL 

We just kind of hung out at home this past week.  Tomorrow I believe we are going to the Zoo unless it is raining.  Then we will think of something else to do.

I would like to get up to Knoxville to see my grandmother.  I have had time to go, except for the constant running of kids to doctor appts and team practices.  Band started again also.   It has been just one wild and crazy time!

It seems there is always something going on. 

I started taking a class a church for Stephen Ministries training.  I am really enjoying it.  It will be even better next week when my friends are back from China and can attend class too!

I will try to get some pictures on here soon!  Wish us luck with our new family member for 5 months.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Summer crazy is over...... or is it?

I just noticed it has been since June that I updated our blog.  Well, you see....  The girls have kept me very busy with swim team, sleep overs, shopping adventures, trips to grandma's house with three boston terrors to celebrate Kali's 15th birthday!  That is right my sweet Kali is 15!  This means, more responsibility, driver's permit and a sophmore in High School!  I think back to when I was a sophmore, so much has changed since then.  We wandered around the city with no worries, basically had fun and did the cooking, cleaning, laundry etc.  hmm  I think I am still doing all that stuff!

We had a lovely time visiting with family and friends at my mom's place. Then the next weekend we had a cookout.  Which turned into an indoor Wii Fest!  I should have taken pics.  We had a couple families show up and had some friends over to eat, and chat and just plain have fun!  The pool felt like it was 100 degrees..  It did turn my skin bright pink from the heat!

Swim team is over.  The girls had a great season and went to conference.  No medals, but they placed in the top ten of each event they participated in with the exception of  one and it was a twelth place.  But you need to understand there were 300 kids and 169 heats total!

No sooner did swim team end, then band marching band practices started and so did football for Kole!  School swim team will be starting and volleyball for Kaci, if she still decides she wants to do that. Music lessons continue.

Starting next week I will be attending training through December for our church's Stephen Ministries.  I know, when am I ever going to have time.  Well, Wednesday nights are my time for this training.  Most kids activities are not on Wednesday nights.  I will try.  If I can't make it, I can't.. I know I need to at least try.

August 3, I register the kids for school.  First day at school will be August 19!  I can't believe the summer is almost over!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Advocating for a special little girl and special boy

A wonderful friend who I might through adoption has a blog that features a beautiful 3 year old girl who desperately needs a family who can help her with her special needs soon.  Please take a look at my friends blog at:

OR if you would prefer a boy from the Philippines take a look at our blog for John

June is half over! How did that happen!!!!

Now there is too much to catch up on.  Since my last post I have had a birthday and school has let out and summer swim team has started.  Music lessons have increased and sport camps have started.

Whew!  When  do I have time to work!  All I wanted for my birthday was dinner at The Cracker Barrel.  I got it!  Following the girls' music recital which was awesome! 

All the kids did fantastic in the report card area.  School was done on June 1.  Then there was a parade to do in Athens, very short for memorial day.  That too was something I attended on my birthday.  

Since then,  Kole has attended a basketball camp, which he loved!  A new sport for him.  The girls started taking piano along with their band instruments.  Kole is still plugging along with violin and has his first recital next Saturday!

The girls survived their first swim meet and and Kole is registered for football camp and also for the late summer football season.   Kali will be turning 15 next month!    WOW  The time is flying!

Boyd and I are still both working.  Boyd had a scare with his health this past month.  Part of the reason I am so slow in getting updated.  He has had some trouble with the medications his doctor has had him on causing some liver and kidney protest.  Then to add insult to injury, he has a bad tooth.

Hopefully by the end of the month he will be on the mend for good.

I have been attending Weight Watchers religiously and keep gaining and losing the same 5 pounds over and over.  Hmm  Maybe stress is playing a HUGE part. 

We still have all the dogs, cat, fish and bunny.  All are in good health and thriving.

Kole has been testing the rules and testing to see if Boyd is really going to stand behind my summer rules of no computer, video games, or TV until after breakfast, teeth brushed, chores done and instruments practiced for 30 minutes.    Yes, I am a really mean mom.

I have been advocating for children needing homes.  We have a lead on a possible family for John, the boy from the Philippines that we hosted and I just fell in love with.   But just can't adopt him due to family issues and money...  I know, sad when I think about money needed to have another child.

I have become a great- aunt again to a beautiful little girl named Jasmine Nicole.  Trey is a big brother! 

Well, that is all for now.  I have no idea what pictures I would have to share, but I will look.
First we have Doodlebug getting to know Daisy, Then Daisy on her house, then Kaci, Kole with Mia, and Jasmine Nicole.  Of course the ones I have of Kali are on the iPhone that I gave her so she probably deleted them all by now.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

May is Chugging along full steam ahead!

Next thing I know we are halfway through May!  It is so true that time goes by faster the older you get.  Kaci went to IGSMA state solo and ensemble contest earlier this month.  She received a 2nd division on her solo.  I believe she was a bit flustered going so early after arriving at the site.  The duet and quartet she was in received 1st division.  I am so proud of her and all the kids that made it!
That same day the girls and I enjoyed a day going to O'Fallen to shop and then to Fairveiw Heights for shopping at St. Claire Square adn the St. Clarie mall.  It really isn't that far away that a day trip would be possible in the future.  The girls were in Mall heaven!  And of course we had to visit Barnes and Noble.  I love bookstores and libraries.  They have always been my favorite places.

Mother's day followed very quickly and the I had an hour and a half with the toddlers at our church, then home to pick up kids to attend Church.  Well, they were all in bed still, so I went alone.  Kole gave me a booklet called I love you that he wrote all the reasons he loves me.  My favorite was he loves me because I adopted him and bought him new clothes.  :'-)  This made we tear up especially following the weekend that he stated he hated it here.   He also made me a beaded bracelet which I really like!  Kaci made me a colorful firendship bracelet and Kali rounded up money and sent me for my second manicure ever.  Which, I was impatient and left too early.  So, my nail polish ended up ruined.  I went to Ulta and purchased some of the polish and redid them myself. LOL    The kids also gave me 1 hour of peice and quiet on the deck to read my book.   Then they came out and we were being silly.  As I was sitting on the deck bending way over to the left, unbeknownst to me, a wasp had landed so when I sat up, it stung me in my behind!  THAT STINKIN BURNS!!!!  We now know I am not allergic to wasp stings.  whew!

After Mother's day I received my NEW refrigerator and it is wonderful!  I love it!  A black side by side 25 Cu. Ft. with crushed ice, ice, and water!  Very nice indeed!

Kali had her last spring concert of the year.  I let Kole and Kaci stay home, good thing I did since we did not get home until 9:30!  Kaci made sure they were in bed by 8:30 and when they went for a bike ride, she texted me and then texted when they arrived home. 

This weekend the whole family was going to walk in a 3K, but it rained, so I made the decision to walk 3K on the treadmill.  And I did it!  Took me just over 45 minutes, but it was a task I had been working towards!   

Kali begins practice for clarinet choir today and recital for her and Kaci is on my birthday later this month!

Kaci's last spring concert is this Tuesday. 

We finally laid the flooring for the hallway and that is almost back to normal!  Just some final trim to replace.  Then, mop and put things back.  The only room that will require new flooring is our bedroom.  ugh.  I do not look forward to that!  too much stuff in there to remove to do it!  We would have to take up the old and put down the new all in one day!  A nice day to boot, since all our funiture would be on the deck! LOL

Kole has done amazing at school this year!  He has learned to love to read.  He loves the Diary of a Wimpy kid books.  I am sure this will lead him to more books.  Kole is also participating in a basketball camp next week and an art camp the first week in June!  He is so excited!  I think his nitch is sports and art.  He does ok on violin and really does not enjoy it, but I keep him plugging along at it.

Only 10 days and 1 hour of school left for this school year!

I have been horrible with pictures this year!

Oh and I almost forgot!  Reiko brought us a little day old bunny the weekend before Easter.  Kali couldn't just send it back out in the cold since we could not find the nest, so she decided to bottle feed it.  We received a concoction from the vet and began feeding this little bunny with it's eyes closed still.  Kali named him Easter.  We scoped out a release site on our way to visit grandma.  But to Kali's dismay the trip up was too much for him and he died. 
Uncle Pat, Tyler, David and Mo helped bury Easter at grandma's house.
On our way home from grandma's, what do I do, but get her a bunny....  ha!  like we needed another pet in the house.   She is doing fantastic taking care of Daisy the black and white Dutch bunny.

Hopefully later I can upload some pictures!

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Where did April go?

Wow that was fast!  The kids have only one month of school left!  It is so hard to believe that this school year is almost over!  

We have a couple new school pictures.  They are nice.  I haven't scanned them in yet.  I will someday soon.
Kaci has state music competition this weekend then a Spring concert in mid May.  Kali and Kaci both have Recital on May 30th!  what a wonderful birthday present for me!

Kole is still at the violin, but doesn't try as hard as he could.  He practices when he REALLY wants to play on the computer or play video games. If he doesn't practice he can't play electonic games.

We had a beautiful Saturday today for our last day of April.  Planted a lot of pretty flowers.

This month, Reiko brought us a day old baby bunny.  She did what she could to keep it alive until we could find the nest to return it to the wild, but alas, the poor bunny died.  He, named Easter, lived 4 days being bottle fed.   There was a burial at my mom's house by the bamboo patch.   Then the next day on the way home, we stopped and got a bunny who is now named Daisy.  She matches the silly boston terrors in color.

April was very rainy and busy...  May will be just as busy.  Then June starts Swim Team through July...  Then in August School!  Kali will be a sophmore, Kaci a 6th grader and Kole in 3rd grade. 
This is Kaci's last year in the intermediate school and Kole's last year in the Elementary school....

Enjoy some pictures taken today!
Check out the black petunia in the first picture

Tree frog!

Daisy and Doodle bug

Daisy the dutch bunny