Friday, December 31, 2010

New Years Eve ~ Then & Now...

Then...

Nearly a decade ago our New Years Tradition began: My BFF (Bren) would fly in from CA a few days after Christmas, load up the motor home, hook on the snowmobile trailer and head to our mostest favorite-ist lodge ever (WyColo, baby!).

And on New Years Eve day we ride ride ride!


Nearly 100 miles of God's Country covered in one glorious day of sledding. By the time we're headed down the T Trail back to the rig, we're completely worked. And then some. Every muscle is screaming in agony (including ones that I didn't even know existed!). A hot shower later, we're cozy in the lodge dining on a scrumptious prime rib dinner and the party begins..

Now...

This morning I kissed Little Buddy goodbye (he was up watching cartoons) and headed to work. I'm off at noon, doing a grocery run and plan on accomplishing nothing more than house cleaning and laundry all weekend. Oh, and some snuggling and movie time, too. We may stay up late and ring in the New Year..

Or not.

Happy New Year, Ya'll! MISS YOU, BREN!!!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

A Lickity Split Update...

I'm on the run, as usual.. even at 5:45 in the morning!

The Plague has passed and both DH and I are feeling nearly human again. What rotten timing, right? The kids were so busy with all the family comings and goings I don't even think they realized how totally out if it we were.

Bottom Line? Christmas was great.

We've since met with social workers and they're thrilled with the kiddos' progress.. especially Little Buddy's. They know each child well and even the little changes are cause for quiet celebration. I can say without an ounce of hesitation, the workers in our county rock and truly do care about all their kids. They defy all the stereotypes..

This case is unusual (for us, anyway) as we've come in late in the game. Pieces are being put into place at breakneck speed to ensure the children's well being. It's like life is stuck on the fast forward button (x4). We have a huge court date coming up ...

Stay Tuned!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Breakfast Of Champions...

Food For My Soul...





Monday, December 27, 2010

Perfect Moment Monday

As I was pouring an exhausted Little Buddy into bed on Christmas night, I asked him what his favorite part of the holiday had been. He thought for a moment (it had been a marathon day) smiled and said, "Setting up my cars with GramPapa.. and we that we were twins on accident.."


Simply Perfect.. six year old style..

Saturday, December 25, 2010

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

From Our Little Home To Yours ~

May you have the spirit of Christmas
which is peace,
the gladness of Christmas
which is hope,
the heart of Christmas
which is love.

~Author Unknown

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas!!

Hugs & Love,

Friday, December 24, 2010

A Christmas Note To Mama...

Dear Mama,

I wish I could send you a card, especially this year. You are always on my heart and now, with kiddos here at Christmas, you are missed even more. I didn't think that was possible ... but it is.

If a note could reach you I would tell you how special every child placed with us has been and that each would've stolen your heart. Especially our current little darlings. Lil Buddy is tender hearted and would've soaked your love up like a sponge. SweetPea looks just like me when I was little.. blue eyes, curly brown ringlets and all. Truth be told, she's way cuter but you were always rather prejudiced.. LOL.

The sweet memories you and Daddy created for me at Christmastime are flooding back in force. I don't know how you did it all. I wish you were here and we could reminisce. You hold the keys to my past and I feel they are slowly becoming lost forever. Our history is now but a few fading photos and a tape recording I found from my second Christmas. Yours and Daddy's voices transport me through time and space. A toddler repeating, "Oh no, not again!" and squealing over her new "atapilar" are all I have left.

But for that I am grateful.

My Christmas wish is that you know how much of an impact you made on my life. I will never be half the woman you were but will always strive to make you proud. Even though I was adopted, you loved me like I was a part of you... and I can still feel it.

Merry Christmas, Mama. I love you, too.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Pink Eye & Sniffles & Ear Aches ~ Oh My!

Little SweetPea welcomed the week with a gooey eye and trip to the doctor's office. Lo and behold, early stages of an ear infection were setting in, as well. She was also super boogery. Poor Boo! The bright side? Our little-un is on the mend and should be good as gold for the family gatherings Friday and Saturday.

The tricky part? Keeping the rest of us healthy so Christmas festivities can go on as planned.

On top of all my usual scrambling, I have a mountain of toys that need to be wrapped. From the looks of things (ie: my lack of time management skills this holiday season) I'll be in the basement until the wee hours of Christmas morning (undoubtedly cursing Scotch tape and losing the scissors). Fear not, my friends.. Frank, Nat and Bing will be crooning the classics and my trusty wine glass will be close at hand.

... And I'll be loving every minute of it!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A Home For The Holidays ~ A Cool Update

THIS JUST IN!

Our friend Marsha (from Fearless Hearts) is one of the families profiled tonight on Home For The Holidays! Make sure to surf on over and read her take on the show (and tune in!)..

2 Awesome DON'T MISS Shows TONIGHT!

Tonight is a MONSTER NIGHT of MUST SEE TV, YA'LL!

First Up?

With the help from our friends at The Dave Thomas Foundation For Adoption the 12th annual production of "A Home For The Holidays" airs tonight (8:00-9:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. Included are moving performances by Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter Melissa Etheridge, Grammy Award-winning group Maroon 5, Grammy Award-winning superstar Ricky Martin and Grammy Award-winning hip hop artist Nelly. The show will open with a performance by pop sensation Katy Perry. The hosts of "The Talk," Julie Chen, Sara Gilbert, Sharon Osbourne, Holly Robinson Peete, Leah Remini and Marissa Jaret Winokur, as well as Academy Award and Golden Globe Award-winning actress Mira Sorvino ("Mighty Aphrodite") are among the talent set to present.

This awesome special highlights children in foster care and their inspirational stories. Gather the family around the TV and TUNE IN!

BUT WAIT.. THERE'S MOOOORE!

At 9PM EST, Teresa Signorelli makes her second appearance on MomTV's Adoption Angles! Dr. Signorelli is a child development specialist and bilingual certified speech-language pathologist with 17+ years experience. She is the Director of the Smadbeck Communication and Learning Center at Marymount Manhattan College and consults in private practice. Dr. Signorelli runs the Neurodevelopment and Rehabilitation Laboratory at Marymount where she studies brain changes though normal development, in response to disorder or injury and/or following cognitive-linguistic, motor-speech and related therapies.

We will be discussing how to build the best home play-learning space designed to foster optimal development! A very cool subject for ALL parents (adoptive and nonadoptive!).

Dr. Teresa's website is: http://www.myspeechdoctor.com/

**DOWNLOADS OF TONIGHT'S DISCUSSION ARE AVAILABLE ON HER HOME PAGE**
&
Follow her on Twitter: http://twitter.com/DoctorTeresa

WHEN? Tonight at 9PM EST

WHERE?



SEE YOU THERE!!!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Perfect Moment Monday

Perfect Harmony


Even if it is momentary... LOL...

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Mrs. Miracle ~ Christmas Movie Review

Continuing my search of more holiday traditions, I happened upon Hallmark's own, "Debbie Macomber's Mrs Miracle".



From the website:
James Van Der Beek ("Dawson's Creek") and Doris Roberts ("Everybody Loves Raymond") star in this heartwarming charmer about family, faith and forgiveness. Overwhelmed widower Seth Webster (Van Der Beek) is searching for a housekeeper to help him with his rambunctious six year old twin sons. Mrs. Merkle (Roberts) - whom the boys call "Mrs. Miracle" ~ mysteriously appears and quickly becomes an irreplaceable nanny, chef, friend.. and matchmaker. From the #1 New York Times best selling author Debbie Macomber comes this whimsical holiday story filled with good tidings and great joy.

Little Buddy and I snuggled in and watched it together. I was doubtful a movie that lacked Phineas and Ferb or the cast from Shake It Up would hold his attention but it did. He kept whispering, "I think Mrs Miracle is magic" only to decide at the end, "I think she's an angel".

*Grin*

This wonderful holiday movie is about love, loss and moving beyond it. Faith, hope and forgiveness.. things we can all relate to. I thoroughly enjoyed it and am thrilled to add it this lovely find to our Christmas Collection. Little Buddy's take? He asked if we could watch it again today.

That's two thumbs up, y'all!

Final Verdict: Looking for a great family movie for the holidays? You won't be disappointed! Purchase Here.

BONUS ALERT!! Hallmark Channel is airing a new Mrs Miracle this year! Debbie Macomber's Call Me Mrs. Miracle:
Sat, Dec 25 12:00 PM
Tue, Dec 28 8:00 PM
Wed, Dec 29 8:00 AM



**I did not receive compensation or product for this review. These opinions are solely my own (and Little Buddy's)**

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Forts Rock...

.. And so does the imagination of 6 year old boys..

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Tradition...

Recently, I was reading Gesine's blog and she was talking about traditions. Not only is she an amazing baker (go check out her scrumptious Christmas creations) but she, too, lost her mother to cancer. Cooking is a way of connecting through time and space .. and that really spoke to me. This is the first time we've had kiddos over the holidays and I want to make it a very special season for them.. and not just with material things.. like Mama did for me.

Whether they are with us only a few more weeks or this is the beginning of our forever together, this year, the Christmas traditions begin.

Tradition #1: I was never a fan of those radio stations that played all Christmas music ALL the time (starting Thanksgiving Day). I thought it was totally overboard. Now, with the kiddos, that station is played continuously and Little Buddy and I happily sing along. Music was a very important part of my childhood and all the warm fuzzy memories are flooding back.

Thanks to my holiday bestie (Amazon), these are arriving soon ...






I hope Mama is smiling down, singing along with us.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Mommy, I Double Dog Swear..

This time it wasn't me...


... For reals...

Monday, December 13, 2010

Perfect Moment Monday

Great Teamwork..


Plus A Little Supervision..



Equals This..

Perfect Holiday

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Definitely Not On The Naughty List..


He's either really smart or super duper sweet.

Actually, he's both.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

No-Bombs & Nocturnal Naughtiness


Sweet Pea's second birthday is just around the corner. She is smart, sassy, beyond stubborn, absolutely darling and starting to use more words. Her favorite?

"NO!"

Imagine that. Totally textbook.

DH and I are not alone in noticing her NoBombs. At day care this past week, her teachers commented on their sudden frequency (laughingly).

Our biggest battle with her is bedtime. Surprise surprise surprise (think Gomer Pyle). The good news is I think I'm getting a handle on it and we're making some adjustments over the weekend that ought to make our nights a wee bit smoother. Especially for Little Buddy.

I hope.

As frustrating and totally 2 as Sweet Pea can be, she (and her darling brother) have both already melted the entire family's hearts.

Completely.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Little Buddy's Christmas Wish...

As I was preparing dinner last night (okay, that's a stretch.. Auntie MooMoo brought over homemade mmm mmm good chicken noodle soup and I was heating it up--are we spoiled or WHAT?!) Little Buddy came into the kitchen with a semi serious look-on. He gazed up at me with that cherub face of his and says,

"Mama, I really know what I want for Christmas this year.."

Bracing Myself

Moi: "What's that, darling?"
LB: "It's really important"
(Oh No)
Moi: "Okay"
LB: "A PUPPY!"

I literally laughed out loud.

For any of you that know us or have read this blog for a while, you know not only do we have dogs.. we have a herd of them.

Moi: "Seriously"
LB: "Ya"
Moi: "Go tell DH"

Into the living room we go...

LB: "Daddy"
DH: "What?"
LB: "I want a puppy for Christmas"

More laughter ensues..

DH: "Buddy, I don't think that's going to happen.."
LB: "But I want one of my own"
DH: "I see.. well, why don't you pick one of ours.. there are plenty to choose from"

Our sweet little man happily chose Coco.. his favorite. Although still quite spunky, she is our 16 year old min pin that is blind and going deaf. Bless his heart!

For the record, the only thing remotely close to puppies under our tree will be pictures printed on a gift card next to a Target logo:


(No subliminal messages here, honey..)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Judy M Miller *TAKE 2* on MTVAA!!

We had Judy scheduled on the show a while back but (due to techie difficulties) could not get the show off the ground.. I'm thrilled to have the BRAVE AND LOVELY Judy M. Miller joining us again tonight!!
Judy is an adoptive parent and adoption advocate living in the Midwest with her husband and four children. She has mentored prospective adoptive and adoptive parents for over a decade about adoption—its joys and issues. Judy is a columnist for the adoption network, Grown in My Heart, focusing on transracial parenting, special needs, and teens and tweens. Her essays and articles appear in adoption and parenting magazines. Judy’s stories are featured in A Cup of Comfort for Adoptive Families (Adams Media), Pieces of Me: Who Do I Want to Be? (EMK Press), and Chicken Soup for the Soul: Thanks Mom (Chicken Soup for the Soul). She presented on “Finding Our Stories Online” at Story Circle Network’s Stories of the Heart. Judy works as an adoptive parent educator and also offers online classes for adoptive parents of tweens and teens at Parenting Your Adopted Child: Tweens, Teens and Beyond.

She can also be found at http://judymmiller.com/
and on Twitter: @MamaMiller...

We will be chatting about advocacy and possible triggers in adoption.

Tonight ..9PM EST.. 6PM PST.. BE THERE!!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Survey Says...


Bronchitis

Unable to kick the goo that has plagued me for the last week and a half, I hit the doctor's office yesterday and took the rest of the day off. I'm Zpacking and feeling better today.

Well, I think I am so that's all that matters.

DH got home early yesterday and started putting Christmas lights up on the house. One of the workers picked the kids up from day care for a visit and brought them home afterwards (great timing for me.. I got to stay in my jammies and rest all afternoon). When they got home I could hear Little Buddy from the car yelling, "Lights!! Lights!!! Daddy put up lights!!"..

That alone made me feel better.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Friday, December 3, 2010

I Thought I Looked Both Ways Before I Crossed...

.. But it sure feels like I've been hit by a bus just the same..



This week has been utter madness. We started the kidlets in day care and getting them adjusted to that schedule alone is a struggle. Throw in me being horribly sick, going back to work and nightly visits from various social workers into the mix and it makes for a chaotic week.

BAH-RU-TAL

The good news is the kids are doing really well considering these (and the other) challenges they have faced. We completely adore them and all this crazy is worth it. I've already told Little Buddy tomorrow is a pajama day and he's cool with it.

Thank God.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Spinning...



In every direction..

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Back To Life ~ Back To Reality ..

Yesterday was our first day of school for the kidlets and back to work for moi. Although Little Buddy declared several times over the weekend he was going to, "probably be shy" when I went in to wake them up at 6:30 he was up and dressed. I was so proud of him!

Although a looong day, they both fared well. "Little Shining Stars" as the director put it. We had a meeting with some workers at home last night and that amped them out a bit. Sweet Pea is too young to understand the goings on but she was wound for sound at the day's goings on just the same. I didn't get her down until 9pm. That was a Battle Of The Wills for 2 hours, my friends..

Ah, it's good to be back in the swing of things..

My mornings now start at 5am.. I need some "me time" and time to get ready. I'll learn my lesson and start going to bed earlier one of these days.. LOL.

So for now, things are going well. Of course we have our moments but for the most part, the kiddos are doing awesome. As far as knowing what their length of stay may be, it's totally up in the air.. the next couple of months are critical.

I told the workers last night we know cases can change literally in an instant. Family can come forward, birth parents can pull it together.. anything is possible. I truly feel terrible for their mom (a heart wrenching life lead) and pray she is able to dig deep and find peace in whatever her decisions are. Please keep her in your prayers as well.

In the meantime, we're going to love on the kids and enjoy our time with them.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Giving Thanks...

In typical Full Circle Style, we do this holiday differently. Gramsie and GrandPapa usually visit family out of town on Thanksgiving; so we do our feasting on Saturday. Unfortunately, their destination was up in the mountains and a blizzard warning the day they were to depart kept them home. Since we have a load of family and friends joining us on Saturday, our plans remain set.

Today, we give thanks over Surf N Turf.

Little Buddy doesn't quite get all the fuss. As a matter of fact, he's questioning why we don't give presents on Thanksgiving. Kinda lame in his book. The one saving grace? He's totally stoked that his Auntie MooMoo will be eating with us TWICE in the next few days.

She is awesome..

Today I give thanks for my wonderful husband, our two very special guests, amazing family and friends and awesome job (especially for being so flexible). This journey would not be the same without the support of my bloggy friends.. you all are the best!

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

MTVAA ~ Thanksgiving Edition ~ TONIGHT!

Tonight we are kicking off Thanksgiving early on MomTV's Adoption Angles. The Beautiful Mother and Daughter Duo.. Ann and Amanda Angel will be joining us!

We've got a very special chat scheduled, including a giveaway of their new book:



NOT ONLY will we have an awesome show.. you can see me in all my EXHAUSTED glory and hear more about Little Buddy and Sweet Pea!

Tonight ..9PM EST.. 6PM PST.. BE THERE!!

Kidlet Update

Little Buddy and Sweet Pea are doing really well. Our biggest feat thus far? Braving WalMart with zero incident. During Thanksgiving week, no less. Shoppers there never cease to amaze me. We literally had only 1 hour to stock up (yet another worker was scheduled to visit and we had to get back home pronto) and time was of the essence.

Although we have lots of stuff that fits Sweet Pea, we needed virtually everything for Little Buddy. And groceries. Murphy's Law ensued: Since we were in a huge hurry we got stuck behind the dawdlers and EVERY aisle had someone parked cross ways blocking passage. When you say, "Excuse me" (ie: MOVE!) they look at you like you're putting them out.

"So rude" (as Little Buddy would say).

Behaviours haven't come out yet, but we're still on the "Honeymoon". It'll be a few weeks (or less) for stuff to come out. We don't know much case-wise but we do know we'll have them at least through the first of the year.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Perfect Moment Monday



Perfectly Chaotic...

:o)

Sunday, November 21, 2010

.. And So It Begins.. Again..

At 1:30AM our new journey began..

Meet Little Buddy (6 yrs) and adorable little sister Sweet Pea (22 months old). At this point we don't know if they will be with us a day, a week, a year or a lifetime. What we do know is they are darling and brave. Very very brave.

God's plan.. it's a wild ride..

Friday, November 19, 2010

Pulling My Head Out..

.. of the sand ..

Why? What did you think I was going to say?

Monday's news wasn't a complete shock and we know darn well it's absolutely what's best for the girls. That being said, it still kind of smarts. Y'all know I try to be as real as possible here and honestly, there's a true sense of grief and loss. Not to mention the fact that time is marching on. DH and I are far from spring chickens and we've got friends and family that have no problem reminding us of that fact.

Tick Tock Tick Tock.

So I did what I do best in these situations: D.R.S. ~ Disappear, Regroup, Shop. Not necessarily in that order. The Good Lord blessed me with a 30% coupon from Kohls and I put it to good use. Thank you My Missy for aiding and abetting.

I've had a chance to feel what I feel (including guilt for being selfish), it has been acknowledged and now it's time to move on. This journey is not an easy one (on many levels) but it's ours and we own it.

Proudly.

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Four One One...

The verdict is in: The girls will not be coming to us.

The good news? They get to stay where they are and that's a good thing. One less move=less trauma.

Disappointed? Yeah, a little. But happy for them just the same.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

She's Got The Right Idea...

Take a break, relax and soak up some sunshine..

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Low Down & Great News From A Friend...

Monday is gonna be a BIG DAY, y'all!

We got a call yesterday from The Office. A firm decision will be made tomorrow and we should know by Monday. For sure.

ALSO...

Our dear friend Cloudmaster from Life Goes On & On told us last night during Adoption Angles THEY FINALLY GOT WORD.. Little (S) will be officially ADOPTED on Monday the 15th!!! AND GET THIS.. in his county, the 15th is when they are celebrating National Adoption Day. Their ceremony will be held as an event at children's museum!!! What started out as "just fostering" nearly 3 years ago ended up being truly life changing for CM & his wife.

PLEASE surf over and congratulate them!

It's official.. MONDAYS ROCK! :)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Tonight's Topic On MTVAA...

We'll be chatting up November being National Adoption Awareness Month and what it's all about. I'll be answering questions (to the best of my ability) and offering great information from websites like:


and sharing our journey, of course.

OH, did I mention a COOL GIVEAWAY from A big, "THANK YOU!!" to our friends at Company Kids for the totally fun (and darling) hooded Ducky towel we'll be giving away tonight to 1 lucky viewer! Please make sure to check out their web site.. it's loaded with DARLING products!

Tonight ..9PM EST.. 6PM PST.. Join me LIVE for a great chat!!


BE THERE OR BE SQUARE!!!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Hey Hey Hey...

Duane, ReRun and Rog came by to give an update on...you guessed it:

What's Happening! (sorry, I couldn't resist..)

Y'all ready?

Zip, Zilch, Nada, Nothing.

Sigh.

As instructed, I left a message yesterday with the worker but have yet to hear back. No news is good news? Blown off? Dunno.. yet. As soon as I hear I will update..

Until then..

Let's Dance Like ReRun!


Because really, if you can't have a little fun what's the point, right?

Monday, November 8, 2010

The Big Day...

Yep.. it's almost time..



Today is the day we find out the latest on the case. As I've said before, it's a total long shot. They have a bunch of great potential families in the running and honestly, that gives me peace. Whomever is chosen will be a perfect match and they know the children (yes, it's sibs) best. After all, their well being is what's most important.

Stay Tuned!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

An Awesome Show & Cool Giveaway Tonight on MTVAA!

I'm thrilled to have the one and only Judy M. Miller joining us tonight on MomTV's Adoption Angles!!

Judy is an adoptive parent and adoption advocate living in the Midwest with her husband and four children. She has mentored prospective adoptive and adoptive parents for over a decade about adoption—its joys and issues. Judy is a columnist for the adoption network, Grown in My Heart, focusing on transracial parenting, special needs, and teens and tweens. Her essays and articles appear in adoption and parenting magazines. Judy’s stories are featured in A Cup of Comfort for Adoptive Families (Adams Media), Pieces of Me: Who Do I Want to Be? (EMK Press), and Chicken Soup for the Soul: Thanks Mom (Chicken Soup for the Soul). She presented on “Finding Our Stories Online” at Story Circle Network’s Stories of the Heart. Judy works as an adoptive parent educator and also offers online classes for adoptive parents of tweens and teens at Parenting Your Adopted Child: Tweens, Teens and Beyond.

She can also be found at http://judymmiller.com/
and on Twitter: @MamaMiller...

We will be chatting about advocacy and possible triggers in adoption.






OH, did I mention a COOL GIVEAWAY??A big, "THANK YOU!!" to our friends at Company Kids for the totally fun (and darling) hooded Ducky towel we'll be giving away tonight to 1 lucky viewer! Please make sure to check out their web site.. it's loaded with DARLING products!

Tonight ..9PM EST.. 6PM PST.. Join us LIVE for a great chat!!



BE THERE OR BE SQUARE!!!
 

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