Saturday, November 27, 2010

Unexpected Day Off

Today has started off a little rough but I am at home watching college football and hoping to see a Wisconsin trip to the rose bowl. I have temporarily become a Penn State fan hoping that they can knock off Michigan State but since this isn't a journal about football I'll just leave it there.

I was woken this morning by the sound of a text message coming in. I knew immediately that text messages at 4:40 could not be good. It wasn't. The babysitter's son is sick and she can't watch my kids. Now for some people that wouldn't be a big deal but in my job it is huge. My parents are out of the country, my brother has already gone home for the weekend and my job does not see a babysitter cancelling as a valid excuse for not going to work. While I understand their point, I also know that someone needs to watch my kids and if my normal sitter and back-ups are not available, I really am not left with much choice. I called work and thankfully was able to sweet talk them into giving me the day off so now I will see what kind of fall out there is when I return.

I took the boys to see a shadow puppetry show at the Overture Center. It was a lot of fun and I actually learned quite a bit. I have never seen shadow puppetry before and it was very interesting. The kids enjoyed it and did really well paying attention. Jacob was disappointed that he wasnt chosen to help with the puppets but that was really the only issue we had.

I am now at home watching football while the kids rest and take naps. We will probably go to church this evening. I have to decide if I am able to take tomorrow off work if I want to write a report at home or go in for a couple hours Monday and get it done. I will probably go in Monday morning so I don't have to try to get all of the information at home. Either way I am concentrating on how blessed I am to have a job to worry about and children to care for. Even if the balancing act seems impossible today.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

What We Are Thankful For

It is Thanksgiving. A day to reflect on all of the blessings in our lives. The kids and I talked about what we are most thankful for last night. Here are their answers.

M: Fire trucks, ambulances and police cars.

Jacob: Doctors.

I could list all of the things I am thankful for but the list would be endless. After travelling to countries where people don't have clean drinking water, access to schools and medical care and where 25 percent of children die before their 4th birhday, I don't take anything for granted anymore. I also am much better at prioritizing what is important so here are my top things I am thankful for this year.

1) My 2 beautiful sons. Jacob has been here for 3.5 years now and M has been here for just over 2 years. They brighten my every day and make life worth living. I can't begin to express the joy these two precious children bring to me. They make me laugh and cry and I wouldn't have it any other way.

2) The love of my family and friends. It really is the relationships we build that are most important.

3) Our health. There is not a day that goes by that I don't look at my family and thank God we are all healthy. I know that could change in the blink of an eye and will never take it for granted.

4) Schools and education. We experienced some day care problems and had some not-so-good teachers and day care directors and some absolutely awesome teachers. I am so grateful that we have great teachers right now who love the kids and their jobs and do their best every day. I am also very grateful to live in a country where my children are guaranteed an education and most people can attend college if they choose to (even if they have to take loans or go part-time).

5) Our pets. We lost one cat earlier this year and another one isn't going to live much longer. We will miss both of them but know that they have blessed us while they were here.

6)A healthy and safe home. That includes safe water, house and neighborhood.

7) Enough food to fill us every day and never having to worry about where our next meal will come from.

8) A working van to get us to all the places we want to go.

9) Time with my family. I often don't think I have enough of it but I am grateful for the time we do spend together.

10) Great doctors and medical care. I am so grateful that I life in a country where people come from all over the world to see our doctors and use our hospitals. We may grumble over the cost but we are privileged to be able to do that. So many people in the world don't ever see a doctor and die of preventable illnesses. We are truly blessed to have such great care.

Thanksgiving Cooking Rules By M

I am working today and Uncle Chuck is watching the boys. I reminded M to be good this morning and help Uncle Chuck cook. M replied he would but then followed that with some rules. Here they are:

1) Jacob and I can't put hot things in the oven. We would burn our hands.

2) Only Grandpa, Mom and Uncle Chuck can put things in the oven.

3) Grandma can't use the oven because she might hurt her hands. She's a grown-up but she still can't use the oven.

Grandma and Grandpa are in Egypt and Jordan this week so they aren't going to be cooking. I will make sure Grandma knows the rule about using the oven when she returns. She will be happy to know that she doesn't have to cook.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

DREAM Act Update

According to a radio talk show I heard yesterday, it appears the DREAM Act may be coming up for a vote soon. Let's make sure this passes. Here are the key things to remember about the DREAM Act.

1) The Dream Act will only affect those adults who immigrated here illegally as young children and graduated from US high schools. It is not an automatic pass. They must have attended and graduated high school to get a conditional pass.

2) The applicants for the Dream Act must complete two years of college or military service.

3) They must not be involved in criminal behavior.

4) Immigration currently checks documents very carefully to make sure they are authentic and people receving visas meet the criteria. I have no reason to believe the same won't be true for young adults filing for conditional or permanent residency under the Dream Act. They will need to show high school and college transcripts, be subject to criminal background checks and show evidence that they resided here before they were 16 years old. I don't know the specifics on how residency will need to be proved but my guess is that it will be by school records, medical records or other similar reliable records. Not just someone showing up at immigration and claiming to have lived here for years.

5) These young adults were raised here and speak English. They know the culture and were raised in American communities with American values.

I urge everyone to contact their US Senator or Representative. For those of you in Wisconsin, Sen. Kohl told me he is on the committee that currently has the Senate version of the bill. Let's flood his office with calls urging him to move it to the Senate floor for a vote.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Weekend Update

It has been a busy and fun weekend. I was off both Saturday and Sunday which is always a special treat. It means I actually get to spend two full days with my kids and don't have to take anyone to school or day care. I am always grateful for these days and hopeful that I will get more of them soon. Here is a quick review of the major things we did.


-We started the day by just laying around the house and relaxing. The boys woke up around 5:30 which is normal but then watched cartoons until about 8. At 8:30, I made pancakes and started to get everyone ready for the day. Much more relaxing than our normal 45 minute dash for the front door at 6 AM.

- We went to Target with a list of things I was waiting to buy. I cashed out some unused vacation time and had a little extra money on my check. I bought new sleds for the kids (although the temp is suppose to be back up in the 50s next week. This has been a very warm start to the winter). I also bought a DVD player. I bought one last Christmas but it broke shortly after we got it so we have been living without one. I finally decided I better get some gloves and a hat for me since they are predicting light snow at the end of the week. It will be cold for a couple days before it warms up enough to melt so I will have to shovel if we get much. Otherwise I risk icy driveways and stairs. I also got some new markers, paints and coloring pages to try to keep the kids entertained now that it is getting to cold to go outside all the time.

- Jacob and I set up the DVD player while M took his nap. Jacob loved watching the two new DVDs we bought and learning how to use the new player. M slept for about 3 hours. I slept for about an hour and then played solitaire on the computer and just rested.

-Jacob, M, Uncle Chuck and my parents took me out for my birthday dinner. M kept telling me I was getting a police car. He was so convincing my mom mentioned that she hoped he wouldn't be upset when he saw what he really got me. He wasn't and he remembered. I opened the box and pulled out some earrings. He immediately started laughing and told me that was my police car. Funny kid.


-We went to church. Sunday school has been a struggle lately. I am hoping this is a short phase. The boys' teachers are great but they just feed off each other. I bought a cookbook from the mission group. Jacob tried to give it back to the woman. He stated I didn't need it because I already cook well. What a sweetie. I told him I wanted it to get some new ideas. There are a lot of wonderful and easy recipes in it.

- The boys lost their DVD privileges so I rented a movie I wanted to see. It was nice to just sit down and watch TV. I watched the movie while the kids slept.

- Our friends Jasmine, Brooke and Quanda came over. They are teenagers now. I have known them since they were 5 and 7 years old. It was nice to have them over for dinner and catch up on their lives.

- We took a small turkey over to my parents' house to start to thaw in the fridge. My parents are on a trip to Egypt and Jordan so it will be just the kids, me and my brother. It will be fun but we will all miss my parents while they are gone. This is the second time they have been gone for Thanksgiving and we always miss having them there. Right now I am scheduled to work and my brother will be watching the kids. I am hoping that changes and I can get off work but it probably isn't likely.

-M and I are having our monthly meeting with the social worker tomorrow. Jacob has 4K and I have to take the dog to the vet in the afternoon. Then we are off to Appleton so I can go to class. We are officially back to our crazy and busy schedule tomorrow. It was nice to have the past two days off to just relax, clean and do laundry and just spend time together.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

College Student President

Click the below link to read about Pedro Ramirez. Pedro is the student body president at Fresno State University but also an undocumented immigrant. He was brought to the United States when he was three years old. Think of all of the 3 year olds in our lives. Pedro was not told he was undocumented until he was a teenager. He grew up speaking English, attending US schools and following the American dream. He now must deal with the reality that he is here illegaly and his chances of following his dreams are greatly reduced. Read the article. Then contact your representative in Congress.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Gosselin Kids

The breaking news in the entertainment world seems to be Prince William's upcoming wedding and two of the Gosselin kids being expelled from school. While I have absolutely no interest in the royal wedding, I do see some common themes in the Gosselin kids and the average family. Here are some of the important things I think we need to take out of this latest episode.

1) These are kids. They will sometimes act out and may now be acting out as a result of the recent stress and turmoil in their young lives.

2) We don't really know what kind of parenting is going on so we can't judge. We really shouldn't judge even if we did have all the facts but without actually witnessing what goes on when the press isn't around is just unfair.

3) The kids attended a private school. Now, some people will see this as not an important fact. I will say that it is. Private schools can and often are much more selective about who accept and who they dismiss. That needs to be considered when looking at the school's reaction to the kids' behaviors. They may be a very tolerant school but they may also have very strict behavior policies and may kick out many kids every year.

4) Kids are still learning, growing and developing. They may not have the skills necessary to navigate difficult social encounters or to handle strong emotions like adults would like.

5) Schools have confidentiality rules and laws for a reason. Kids privacy needs to be protected. The entire world doesn't need to know the details of what happened. The school, parents and service providers need to help the kids learn but the rest of us don't need to know the details.

I won't get into my personal feelings about how the children are being raised or the choices that their parents make. I will say that I am pleased Kate is choosing not to speak to the media about her children's problems at school and only wish the media would stay out of it. Many of our children will get in trouble at some point in time as they grow. The entire world doesn't need to know about it.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Quiet Moments Are Not Always Good

I was busy in the kitchen cooking supper. Jacob and M were only slighlty more hyper than normal which meant I was sure they were slightly more inclined to get in trouble than normal. I was cutting potatoes and onions while listening to their giggles and occassional argument. I was trying to remember that they will never learn to solve their disputes if I intervene every time I hear an injustice or the start of an argument. I was begininning to wonder how much damage they would cause before bed and how long I would have to clean. I was thinking about how grateful I was to be at home with them.

Then it got quiet. I heard Jacob quietly state, "M come over here quick. Before Mom comes in." Then all I heard was whispering and stifeled giggles. My mom radar was up and I knew nothing good could come of this. Yet I was in the middle of mixing a sauce for our casserole and didn't want to leave. So I just yelled into the other room.

Me: Are you guys doing something that is going to make me mad if I come in there?
Jacob: Yes.
Me: Then you need to stop.
Jacob: Quick pull Wusha (our dog). See if our leash will work.
Me: Let the dog go and leave him alone.
Jacob: (Giggles) We aren't doing anything.

Ah, young boys. I love their creativity and sense of adventure. I even love when they get quiet leaving me to wonder what they could be up to now.

Sunday, November 14, 2010


Hope. It is such a powerful word. I received a phone call last week that gave me hope for our future. As many people know, I applied for a new job last July. I made the initial cuts and was told I was at the top of the list. They filled one position and told me more positions would be coming once the budget was passed. Well, that is where I slowly began to lose hope. There was talk of layoffs and position freezes. It looked like I would have to wait until at least the spring. Then the budget passed, positions were put back in and it appeared there would be permission to begin hiring again soon.

Hope. I had it once again. The phone rang last Thursday and I spoke to some sources within the organization. I have an interview scheduled and there are rumors that more positions will be opening. I now have hope that my days of working almost every weekend and holiday will be coming to an end. Maybe, just maybe, this Thanksgiving will be the last one I spend at work. I have hope.

My hope for a job that meets my family's needs better has led me to think about how important hope is. Imagine all of the times we hope for things. Sometimes those dreams come true and sometimes they don't but we continue to hope. I think about all the hopes I have for my children. I hope they stay healthy and grow up to be happy. I hope they do well in school and can attend a college or university. I hope they realize whatever dreams they have. Whether it be Jacob's dream of becoming "a doctor who takes babies out of mommies tummies" or M's dream of becoming "a police officer and fire fighter."

My children and I are lucky. We are able to hope. With hope comes motivation to work hard and permission to dream. My hope of a career change inspires me to attend graduate school even when I would rather watch TV. My children's hope inspires me to pay for good child care and preschool and be involved in their education. My hope inspires me to pray and ask God to help us realize our dreams.

Not all children are able to hope and dream like my children. Teenagers who were brought to the US as young children illegally are now undocumented immigrants. They are old enough to realize that their hope of attending college and having the career of their dreams is not possible if they cannot get financial aid or are deported. The DREAM Act would make their hopes and dreams possible. It would give them a reason to be motivated even when school and life get tough. A reason to dream and a reason to hope. Contact your US Senator or Representative today and ask them to support the DREAM Act.

Friday, November 12, 2010

I'm Not Tired!

I'm not tired! That's what Jacob told me 15 minutes before I found him in the toy box.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Big Boy Toys

Jacob has suddenly started to grow up at an amazing speed. I don't know what happened. It seems like just last month I was carefully deciding which Little People toy to buy him. Now he has begun putting Legos together and is currently leaving preschool toys and getting into toys for older children. It warms my heart but I also miss the little boy he once was.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Laser Treatment

People often ask me how many laser treatments Jacob has had and how many he has to go. The answer I have is not really what they are looking for. The truth is that I lost track of treatments awhile ago but I think we just finished treatment number 18 or close to it. Jacob received his first treatment shortly after he arrived home in 2007. He has been going about once every two months since then. He will continue to go as long as the doctor believes she is able to make progress and the treatments are working. I have no idea how many that will be but I am guessing it could be a couple more years.

Jacob did great as usual. For those of you who don't know, Jacob was born with a port wine stain on his face. It is a reddish birth mark that is near his right eye. Without treatment, the birth mark would likely get darker as he gets older. It also seems to affect his eye making it appear red. The pink and red in his eye has really decreased since he began receiving treatments. It has been a long time since someone pulled their child away from him and asked if he had pink eye. Now I only have people ask when he is sick or he is upset and his blood pressure rises.

The birth mark itself has also faded with treatments. The birth mark under his eye has pretty much disappeared and the lower part of the birth mark has faded greatly. The upper part is still more visible although it is fading slowly. The doctor was very happy with the progress she saw and she was able to use a much more powerful laser today which should have some good results.

Jacob is a trooper. He claims he isn't even nervous before a treatment but I'm not sure I completely believe him. He loves the nurses and doctors and will walk to the surgery center with them. He holds the mask to his face and lies down quietly until he falls asleep. He is only asleep for about 20 minutes total and they really don't sedate him very deeply. Just enough for him to sleep through the treatment.

I was reminded again today how grateful I am that we have such wonderful doctors and medical care in this country. I am also very grateful that he is healthy and only have to go to the surgery center for minor procedures and nothing life threatening. When I adopted Jacob, I knew there was a small chance he could have a very serious illness called Sturge Weber Syndrome. Thankfully, he does not have it and we are only treating a birth mark. Yet I always remember that I could have been taking him for something much more serious and so I say a prayer of gratitude.

Monday, November 8, 2010

National Adoption Month

It is national adoption month. A year ago I was silently hoping that I would be able to announce a new addition to our family but it isn't going to happen. Or at least not this month. So instead of intrudicing my son to the world (which I am hoping will happen by this time next year), I will try to answer some question and misperceptions that I hear on a regular basis.

1) Yes. My children are real brothers. If you ever doubt that, just watch them interact. The older loves to get the younger in trouble and the younger wants to do everything the older one does. I am becoming an expert at sibling rivalry. I just wish I was better at dealing with it.

2) A child can have more than two real parents at a time. Everyone thinks of parents as one mom and one dad. The truth is both of my children have two real moms. The moms who gave birth to them and me. We all love these little boys, are about them and pray for them. I am the mother spending every day with them and caring for them but that doesn't mean their first moms don't love them any less. I have told foster and birth parents that children can have more than one mom at at time and it doesn't change the relationship with either of them.

3) You do not have to be biologically related to be family. This kind of goes back to the first two. We are a real family and just as valuable and unique as any other family.

4) Not all adults who choose to adopt dealt with infertility. While it is true that some adults adopt after dealing with fertility problems, not all of them do. I chose to adopt without ever trying to have a child biologically. Adoption was right for me and it is right for a lot of famiiles.

5) God didn't plan for my children's birth families to be unable to care for them. He just matched us up when their families couldn't care for them. I don't know why some parents are better able to care for their children than others. It's not my job to question it. I just know that God sent my children to me to be my children and that it was a match made in heaven.

6) As my 3 year old said yesterday, you can't choose who your family is. Only God gets to decide that. I didn't "choose" my children. God led me to my children. I just followed his calling.

7) Not all foster children, internationally adopted or children adopted at older ages have serious behavioral challenges. Yes, abuse and neglect and institutional care can cause children to develop behavior problems but the extent and duration of those problems vary from one child to another. Many do not qualify as having behavorial distrubances or mental illnesss. They are just children who have learned certain behaviors as survival skills. As time goes on, they learn new behaviors and can let the old ones that cause problems in their safe homes go away. Most of these kids are just kids and most will never have a "diagnosis."

8) Adoption is not for everyone. While I would love for all children seeking new families to be able to find them, I realize that adoption is not for everyone. While I do truly believe that our children quickly become just our kids no matter how they come to us, some people can never be comfortable knowing a child has another family out there. Other people are unable to get past their own issues regarding race and diversity to parent a child who does not look like them. That is okay. I know that as much as I wish I could eradicate the world of racism and discrimination, I can't. I just ask those people to keep their opinions to themselves and not adopt or foster children who do not look like them.

9) Many children need loving homes. Being a foster parent means parenting for and with another parent while waiting for the courts to decide if the child will be returned. Most children are reunited with their families which is wonderful. For those children who can't go home, they often find new families with their foster families. To be a foster parent you just need to be willing to love a child unconditionally for however long they are with you and be willing to work with and accept the birth family. It's not an easy job but it is very rewarding.

10) Our family is just like every other family 99% of the time. We have our good days and our bad days. We have people who love us and support us. We turn to our friends and family when we need help and we love each other unconditionally. We wake up in the morning, have the same mad dash out the door every other family has and miss each other while we attend work and school. We gather together for an evening meal, are busy with sports, swimming, church and other activities and end the day with a bedtime story and lots of hugs and kisses. Just like any other family. We came together through many miracles and are a family just like any other.

I once saw a quote that went something like this. Child birth is an act of nature. Adoption is an act of God.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Miniature Golf

I took Jacob and our friend, P, miniature golfing last night. I was bummed when I realized I forgot my camera and my cell phone so there are no picutres. Neither of the kids had ever been miniature golfing or had a clue what to do. I think that actually made it more fun. No one was a lot more skilled even though the Jacob is 5 and P is 9.

We got our balls and clubs and I spent a moment teaching the kids the rules of the game. I then showed them each how to stand and hold the golf club so that they could putt the ball. Of course Jacob immediately lifted his club up like he was hitting a long drive and sent the ball sailing through the air (not bad for never hitting a ball before but bad for miniature golf). Jacob went off chasing his ball that was now bouncing all over the course and I got P started. The kids forgot the whole taking turns thing and just started hitting the ball until they finally got it in the hole.

I moved us to hole 2 and reminded the kids that we were taking turns and to putt the ball not hit it as hard as they could. I showed Jacob (again) how to hit the ball as a putt and the importance of not hitting it too hard. He nodded his head and the kids were off again. Not taking turns but having fun putting and not hitting drives.

We moved on to the third whole and I again tried to teach the kids about waiting for your turn and scoring. Again they just got too excited. I realized that I was the only one counting putts or even caring what the score was so I put the score card away and decided it was time to just have fun. I still tried to get the kids to take turns somewhat so that they wouldn't run into each other but I wasn't really strict. As long as they weren't right on top of each other, I let them just have fun.

We played about half the course and then got to the remote controlled boats. This was the end of golfing for us. It was a lot of fun to try to steer the big boats around the water. P and I kept getting our boats stuck but Jacob was a pro. He was able to get his boat to go where ever he wanted and even backed it into the "piers."

We finished the night with muffins, cookies and slushies. I am so grateful Jacob's friend, Lela, gave him the gift certificate for his birthday. We probably wouldn't have gone otherwise and the kids had a great time.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Give Thanks. Give Hope.

I am having trouble getting the link for the St. Jude's walk to work on here. Please read my previous post and then sponsor us if you are able. My children and I will be walking together November 20. You may need to copy and paste the address into your browser.

Thankful For Healthy Kids and St. Jude's

I am reminded every two to three months how lucky I am to have healthy children. Every two to three months is when Jacob goes to the Madison Surgery Center to have a laser treatment to his port wine stain (birth mark). Jacob and I arrive about 45 minutes to prepare. We spend most of that time playing and teasing the nurses that walk by the room. After the nurses, doctor and anesthesiologist finish their visits with us, it is time for me to say good bye. I usually have to remind Jacob that he has to give me a hug and kiss before he leaves. He takes the nurses hand and with a brave smile begins the walk down the hallway to the operating room. He normally doesn't even look back but I can't stop watching him until he goes through the doors. The nurses tell me he gets to the room, picks out his toy and then climbs on the table. He takes the gas mask from the nurse and holds it to his nose, breathing in the root beer flavored gas until he falls asleep.

Jacob has become a pro at anesthesia and surgery. I always have a mix of emotions. Proud that he is so brave and goes back so nicely but also sad. You see, he may not worry but I worry every time he goes back there. What if this is the time something bad happens?

As I wait for the pager to buzz signaling that the doctor is ready to see me and the procedure is finished, I think. I think about how lucky I am that my son is there for a non-life threatening illness. I think about the parents who have to watch their children go down similar hallways and not know if their child will come back out. I think about those parents praying that their child's procedure will not just help with a birthmark but will save their child's life. And so I pray for those children and those families while I wait for my child.

On Saturday November 20, 2010, I will be walking with many other people to support St. Jude's Research Hospital. It is a hospital dedicated to treating childhood cancer and other life threatening illnesses. Research is expensive and many of the children they treat are praying for miracles. St. Jude's doesn't turn children away because they lack insurance or the ability to pay. They treat the child and work towards finding cures. It's just what they do. Every day miracles and they need our help to continue the fight.

I invite you to visit my page on the St. Jude's website. The link is below. You can provide a secure donation on-line. My children and I will be walking to say thanks for the healthy children in our lives and to say thanks for many miracles God provides through the doctors, nurses and staff at St. Jude's. Won't you say thanks with us by sponsoring us?

Here is the link:

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Gross But Lucky

I walked downstairs yesterday to find my sewer drain had backed up again. This tends to happen about every two years. This year seemed to be a little earlier and I admit I was suppose to have preventative maintenance done last summer but forgot. As I walked downstairs, I silently hoped that I wouldn't find my carpets soaked or my boxes ruined. I was pleasently surprised to find that only one box of books (that should have been thrown away a long time ago) was ruined and the carpet was still dry.

I woke up early this morning and called the rooter company. They agreed to come out this morning so I took the boys to day care and began cleaning the mess in the basement. I had laundry on the floor that had gotten a little wet and of course there was dirt and debris that needed to be cleaned. The odor wasn't pleasant so I found a new air freshner and began cleaning up the floor. The worst to clean was the wet cat litter that had been kicked out of the litter box before the flood hit. In all it only took about 45 minutes to clean which is far better than last time. Two years ago I didn't find the mess until I had given two baths to the boys, started the dishwasher and was running the washing machine. I went downstairs to move the wash when I found water everywhere. That year it did hit the carpet as well as most of the boxes on the floor and a variety of other things. That mess took several hours to clean (mostly drying carpets and shampooing them). This year I was lucky. Next time maybe I will remember to call for preventive maintenance and avoid the whole thing.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


I went on a field trip to a local bouncing facility with inflatibles. It was a blast. All of the kids had a great time and I spent a lot of time jumping and chasing small children. I am definitely not use to bouncing and running like that and can already feel my muscles tightening. I am going to be sore tomorrow and it will be worth it. The kids and I had a great time. I didn't take my camera but we all left happy and very tired. They boys stayed at school for lunch and naps. I stopped and voted and then went home for a 2 hour nap. It really was a great day.

Monday, November 1, 2010

A Day Of Surprises

Life at our house has been crazy lately but thankfully the trees in our yard have been cooperating. Or at least until the wind storms last week. The leaves all came off and my hard was covered. I planned to spend a day raking and mulching this week.

Yesterday I came home from church to find the leaves in my yard gone and two large piles by the street. My first thought was that my dad had come over but he normally mulches and I had seen him at 10. He had mentioned going to the Y to workout and nothing about working at my house or his. Then I noticed that the neighbors yard was also freshly raked. I asked her if she had noticed who raked my yard but all she would say was that it was the "leaf fairy." Well, I still wasn't one hundred percent sure it was her so I asked the neighbor across the street. She confirmed that my next door neighbor was the "leaf fairy." I guess I will be repaying her by snow blowing her drivway later this winter. Of course I'll call it the "snow fairy."

Jacob and M were also in for a special treat. They had soccer games early yesterday and I was in a rush to get their gear and get to the game after lunch. As we were racing to the car, our neighbor, Maxine, came outside. She stated she had a treat for the kids and to wait a minute. She returned a minute later with a card for each of the boys. Inside the card were $2 bills. My kids happily told Grandpa that they got "dollars" for Halloween.

Overall Halloween went well. M didn't really like trick-or-treating. He was tired and cold and only wanted to go to a couple of houses. Jacob and I went to about 12 houses total. I was willing to keep going but he was ready to go help handout candy. His friend from school stopped by and the kids had fun seeing each other and learning that we all live pretty close to each other. We still have plenty of candy from trick-or-treating at the zoo and now have a little variety to go with it.

Overall, it was a very good day and Halloween. I am looking forward to all of the activities this month and next. Halloween is just the start of fun things to come.