Tuesday, June 30, 2009
As for the movie: if you saw the first one and loved it, you'll be disappointed. It not nearly as funny and a wee bit slow. I kept waiting for it to pop and it never did. Wait for the Redbox rental.
Stayed tuned for cuteness overload as we get to meet up with some other Kyrgyz cuties (the girls) and Russian hotties (the boys, of course) at the zoo tomorrow! Of course, we are taking along our "homegrown" boys too, so there will be photos of them as well.
Heart contents by Maria at 11:29 PM
Monday, June 29, 2009
She LOVES to look at her picture of her as a baby that hangs over her changing table. She regularly stands up, points at the baby and looks at me saying, "Ba?" I tell her, "Yes! It's Baby Ellie!! It's you when you were a little baby."
And, now, she's out and *fingers crossed* will sleep through the night. Dr. H. has given us some "tips" to try to help her sleep through the night. We will begin trying those once we return from our "mini-trip" to visit our Kyrgyz friends. I'll let you know how they work (and what they are) after our success with them (notice the positive thought process!!!).
Heart contents by Maria at 8:03 PM
Regardless, I wanted to post a happy birthday to her. Today we are headed to the doctor and then I think we'll go to the park to play so I can take some photos of my babies. Haven't had any in a while. I'm so burned out from working so hard yesterday that I need a break and some fun. We might even get ICE CREAM to celebrate -- yeah, that sounds like a perfectly wonderful idea.
Stay tuned for fun photos tonight!!
Heart contents by Maria at 10:02 AM
Sunday, June 28, 2009
We spent last week car shuffling and kid shuffling because 1) my car is still broken, and 2) Dee'Anna was on vacation. Nana came down Thursday and Friday to take care of the "young'uns" and, of course, we went with Kevin on Tuesday/Wednesday.
This weekend has been pretty much nada, nothing, boring. I worked in the field half a day Saturday, then worked on the computer doing paperwork for FIFTEEN hours today. Yes, you read that right, 15 hours. I stopped only long enough to go to the bathroom and eat lunch and dinner -- or did I eat lunch??? I think I might have had a Pop Tart for lunch.
Kevin was baby-sitter extraordinaire and took care of Ellie and Josh all day so I could try to get caught up with work.
I haven't taken any new pix of Josh or Ellie in a while. We may try to do that this week. I'm excited that we are going to meet up with this family and this family this week at a "mini-Kyrgyz reunion" of sorts. The last time we met up with them, Hotdog and Ellie couldn't walk so this time should be fun!!! And, meeting new kiddos will be fun too!
Ellie has a check up at her doctor's tomorrow so I'll be excited to see how much she weighs and how tall she is now. She fits comfortably into her 6 and 9 month clothes now so I know she's filling out some. She's still a little bitty bit, though.
She is walking much better now, but still holds her hand in the air -- hanging on to her imaginary rope, I suppose. Josh has taught her the word, "GO" (as in Go Away, Ellie!!) and she says it all the time. Her other word for EVERYTHING is "Ba". She points to things and says, "Ba". I haven't heard "mama" a lot more, but she does say it now. She's learned to shake her head "NO" and will do that and sling her hands around if she doesn't want something. I know she understands us more now, because at the park yesterday, I asked if she wanted me to put her down to play with Eli and Robert and she shook her head, "No!" She likes to wave -- backwards -- bye bye when you tell her to. It's sweet.
She continues to be reticent around people that she once would go to willingly. There seems to be no rhyme or reason as to why she chooses one person over another to go to. She loves to play with other kids though.
I think Josh is particularly bored so far this summer. I'm going to have to start working to find friends to come over or for him to go visit and things for us to do. He is way too social to be at home by himself or he starts to invent things to do. Never a good thing. Football practice will start at the end of July, so in a few more weeks, he'll have that social outlet too.
So, I'm off to bed. Yes, I'm still reading my Bible verses every night. I've just finished Numbers and started in Deuteronomy in the OT, and am working through Luke in the New Testament. I continue to be soaking up all of the Old Testament like a sponge. I'm particularly interested in researching the tribes of Isreal and where each tribe's lineage has led to in today's world. I was fascinated to read that Moses married a woman from Ethopia! I'd like to know more things, like which group of people came from, say, the tribe of Gad, or such, and where they currently live in relation to the land God gave them with their inheritance in Canaan. I think it's all really relevant in the times we are living in and would help me be more discerning of things going on in our world.
I'm also very interested in interpretations of how the Old Testament laws given by God relate to us today. While I know we are now saved by grace, I'm interested in knowing about the relationship Jesus' saving grace has on edicts requiring people who murder to also be murdered (ie., capital punishment). Anyone who wants to share comments/dialogue -- feel free. I can't say that I will always agree with you, but I'm interested in hearing your thoughts.
Until later ... I promise there will be photos this week!
Heart contents by Maria at 11:02 PM
Thursday, June 25, 2009
And then there is the shocking death of Michael Jackson at age 50. People, I'm not too far from that age myself, so what a shocker. I've related it to the death of Elvis Presley. He was such an iconic pop culture figure that, albeit strange and different in his later years, was a multi-faceted, talented individual that seemed above death -- a reminder to all of us of our mortality, I suspect.
I remember, vividly, when the Thriller album was released and trying oh.so.very.hard to learn the Moonwalk -- and failing miserably. How I longed to be able to dance like those dancers in the MJ videos. He was one of my first true experiences with music videos. It was like a mini-movie filled with magic to me. I remember we were one of the millions of people who had that Thriller album (no, young people, they did not have cassette tapes, DVDs, BluRays or IPods back then -- we had vinyl).
I've remained transfixed through the years at the changes, allegations, and continued superstar status of his image and life. There was always some type of fascination -- much like I'm sure the fascination surrounding his death. I'm sure I'm one of millions who currently pore over news stories about his unexpected, sudden death.
Each of these individuals were part of the framework of my early years growing up, and I am saddened at their deaths, especially so very young. I wish the families of each of these individuals peace and understanding from the public during this difficult time.
Heart contents by Maria at 10:28 PM
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
I think she's going to be a gymnast. Doesn't she look ready to do the parallel beams in this photo?? *smile*
Don't I have handsome boys???
This was Ellie's favorite thing at the pool.
After the pool, we hung out in the fitness room (Ellie and I watched Sesame Street and Hannah Montana) while Josh "worked out". Then we went to get ready to go over to Bass Pro to hang out and wait for Kevin to get done working.
Josh wants to buy this "in a few years". He tells me that DeeDee will take him to hunter safety class and then DeeDee will take him hunting. I asked what he would hunt. She said, "The only thing you can hunt -- deer." (Who knew??) I asked if he would eat the meat. He said that no, he wouldn't. He would donate the meat to the TWA??? Ok, whatever.
We all had lots of fun dreaming on the "party barge" pontoon boats. We all picked where we would sleep and nap and everything! It was fun.
Ellie was fascinated with all the animals -- pointing and calling them some sort of name -- "ba"?
Josh and Ellie both liked this animal. Anyone have a clue what it is??? I don't.
There were really cool places outside to take photos. It's a shame that all I had was my camera phone. It did well though, I suppose.
This weekend was the first time Ellie has called me "Mama". It was a big deal (to me!). She also has begun to make a big deal out of making "kissing" noises. Tonight she got her Elmo out and took it over to Josh and made it kiss him over and over. Poor Josh was a good sport.
Josh made a stop at a fireworks store on the way home to pick up fireworks. He had washed both cars and cleaned them up to earn money to buy fireworks. I don't like them, but I know that once a year it's something that boys just feel a need to do. I make sure that Kevin is with him and helps and I just stay as far away as possible.
And, on a final note -- Ellie's hair seems to grow overnight now and it's beginning to get a bit wild and unruly. Not having a girl before -- any ideas on what to DO about it? I look back over the last few weeks' pictures and her hair looks pitiful in many of them. Poor girl. Comments welcome!
Heart contents by Maria at 9:17 PM
Last night when we arrived, Josh was all about going swimming. Since it was later than the pool stays open, Kevin asked at the front desk and she said it was fine. He got dressed and we got Ellie dressed and off we went. Ellie did NOT like the pool that much. In fact, all that got wet on her was her bottom and I think that might have been from sitting on the side. I have photos, but the memory card reader is in the truck that Kevin is currently in. I will add photos later this evening.
However, today, with just Josh in the pool, Ellie warmed up to the idea a whole lot more and allowed him to take her up and down the length of the pool several times. I have no photos from today's trip to the pool.
There are also some pix from the Bass Pro (yeah, I know ....) and I'll get those posted as well.
Ellie likes riding on the luggage cart -- a lot!! She's done really well considering she is out of her element. It was after 11 last night before she went to sleep -- kicking and screaming about it. However, she did sleep all night tucked in beside me and got up at her regular 7:15 time.
It has been nice to get away from our home for a little bit -- even if it was just an overnight trip.
Heart contents by Maria at 11:34 AM
Monday, June 22, 2009
I was excited that I got to "stack" coupons. For those of you who don't regularly use coupons, this is a process whereby you are able to use two coupons for one product. Here's how I did it. I had a coupon for $4.00 off the Sense and Spray unit. THEN, I had a coupon for "Buy one Sense and Spray unit and get a free refill." Since I was obviously buying a unit, I got the refill free. Therefore, a unit and a refill ended up costing $1.99. Since this would normally have cost $13.75, I was doing the happy dance. I had three such coupons I could stack so I got three.
Then I was also able to stack coupons for Lysol Neutra Air. I had a BOGOF coupon and a coupon for $1.50 off one. I ended up getting six cans for $3.12. Pretty good considering one can was $2.54. I've already given one of those away to my neighbor who gives me his coupons each week (gotta' share the love, huh?). The Lysol sprayer air thing (like the Sense and Spray) was also on sale for $5.99 (down from $11.99) and I had a $4 coupon for that as well. Another $1.99 air freshner thing! Yay!!
I also had four coupons for $.75 off Arm and Hammer toothpaste and it's always been too expensive during triple coupons, so I realized in Target that there were no size limitations on the product so I got four trial sized Arm and Hammer toothpastes and paid a total of $.16 for them. They will be great to have for travel for Kevin or camps for Josh.
But, the main reason for my post was to comment on what an excellent job the cashier at Target did checking me out. One day recently at Publix, it took two cashiers and a manager to ring up my coupons and they still couldn't get it right. The cashier at Target did not make one mistake and was very pleasant about it all. Considering I had probably 20 coupons, that was fantastic. I made a point to stop a manager on my way out and tell them what a great job she did.
So, Lori, if you are reading, you can use your coupons anywhere -- not just at the grocery store. I have always been pleased with my coupon usage at Target. While they don't double or triple, when they have items on sale and you have a coupon, it's usually a good deal.
Heart contents by Maria at 9:00 PM
As a human, I know about being in holes and not knowing the way out. However, as a Christian, I do know there is someone who does know the way out. I also know that as a body of believers, we are also supposed to climb down into holes and help others out --show them the way.
This story is beautiful. Take a moment to read it. You won't be sad that you did. The insight of the writer is beautiful. The more I'm reading of the Bible, the more I am certain that this man is certainly doing the work of God and the more I feel guilty that I don't do more.
Heart contents by Maria at 8:40 PM
Since she loves to throw plates all over the floor, we thought this might help with that problem. AND we think she might need to start eating with something other than her hands. There are a lot of messy foods when you want to feed yourself!!
Here are a few snaps of her sitting in her new booster. And for anyone remotely interested, yes, I used two coupons to purchase this item. I really had been looking for a long time at consignment sales, yard sales and other less expensive options. I did manage to save $8 on it so I feel a bit better!!
See how small the pipsqueak is? However, I think she's about tall enough to start clipping those coupons for me -- whatcha' think?? *smile*
This is full view of her in her new booster.
THIS is the look I've gotten all day today and for the last three days. I have figured out it is because her Nana came last week to watch her and Josh for two and a half days and Nana has spoiled her. She held her all the time (except when she was cooking) and just ruined her. I suppose that's what Nanas do, but oy! these past few days have been hard.
Eating some of her new favorite snacks: yogurt covered fruit. And, yes, I considered the choking implications but these thing just mush right in your mouth so I'm thinking she's ok.
Heart contents by Maria at 8:08 PM
We had a nice day together. We had agreed this year we were not purchasing Mother's Day or Father's Day presents for each other. Our reasons were primarily financial, but also we thought it would be fun to see what we could do to make the days special without gifts. I'm telling Kevin the donation we made here to help give babies in an orphanage milk is his gift.
I made Kevin banana nut muffins for breakfast, along with coffee. The kids got him cards, and I also made a triple layer yellow cake with caramel, chocolate icing and Butterfinger topping. I was supposed to share this with my dad, but we still have not made it over with cake. Maybe, at this point, I should make him his own belated cake.
We went to eat lunch with my mom and dad and Ellie was all over the place. She has become quite the fiesty, moving little girl who really doesn't want to stay anywhere for long.
After lunch, my mom suggested taking the kids over to the park to see the ducks. It was 95* out so we didn't stay very long.
All in all, it was a pretty low key day. I wish I had some photos of me and my dad to post on here. I should ask my mom to email me one to put up. I have one of us when I was about two or three where we are sitting in the swivel rocker and I'm piled up on his lap like it's the most wonderful place in the world. It certainly was!
Here are some photos of Kevin opening his cards with Ellie and Josh. They were certainly a
Josh insisted that the muffins needed candles, so we added candles.
The "official" group shot
Reading Josh's card. Josh picked out a musical card with a Superman logo on the front that read, "On Father's Day, Dad, I just want you to know you've always been my hero." Then you open it and it plays the Superman theme song and reads, "Still I never want to see you a cape and tights." They both got big laughs out of that. I think it's really cool that Josh is old enough to pick out his own cards and to see what he picks.
Check out how Josh is holding Ellie who is trying desperately to get down. Ellie's card was the perfect card. The front read, "A daughter's love for her dad is forever." Then you open it up and it says, "Thanks for being the dad I was meant to have. Love you, Happy Father's Day." Cool. She "signed" it by herself too.
And, here are a couple of pix of DeeDee (my dad) with Ellie and Josh that we framed for him for Father's Day:
Heart contents by Maria at 7:47 PM