Tuesday, October 14, 2014

One Day at A Time....

I found a reading tutor for Lovely Gina today.  I'm hoping that she will be able to assist in a miracle.  We are going to try it three days a week, at the end of the school day, and I'm hoping beyond hope that she will be able to crack the learning code in this girl's head.

I've read so many blogs of parents adopting children, and what is so hard to explain to anyone is how weird my life is now. 

Everyone of us (including me) take for granted the learning capacity of our children.  We start teaching them when they are born, all the things they need to cope in the world.  We love them, we rock them, we feed them every 3 hours, we nurture them, we protect them, we cherish them. 

The three children I have adopted didn't have any of that growing up. 

None of it. 

They had terror, pain, torture, neglect, abuse continually...every single day of their lives, until they came to live with me. 

That's a long time. 

Everyone praises me and tells me what an awesome thing I am doing for these kids.  What they don't understand is, these kids have never learned basic, necessary things. 

Like sheets on a bed.  Totally foreign to them.  Pillowcases?  What?  Hang your clothes in a closet.  What?  How do you do that?  Why do you do that?  

Basic things like toilet care.  You flush poop on your paper, don't throw it away.  Hygiene.  Hair care.  All of this was foreign to these kids. 

I had three toddlers, ages 11, 9 and 3.   The thing is I forget that they suffered.  I get overwhelmed with the enormity of caring for three more kids some days.  I want to run to the mountains, and scream at the sky....."WHAT THE CRAP WAS I THINKING?" as I find ordinary things, like buttons, dice, hot wheels...hoarded in boxes in their rooms. 

The concept of toys are even foreign to these kids.  They have no idea how to even play with toys.

So, yeah, it's hard.  It's a pride swallowing, patience testing, walk the tight rope of sanity life I'm leading. 

I need prayers, people. 

Solid, constant prayers. 

God has my back, and I know I'm answering His call for my life.  I feel the peace in the storm. 

One day at a time.  That's how we do it around here. 

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Weekend review


This week, I had a little vietnamese boy turn 5 years old.  Now, he can't remember that he turned 5...he knows it's his birthday, but he can never remember how old he is.

No matter how many times we tell him.....he never remembers.

Ever.

I found this on my ipad.  His first attempt at a selfie.  Cracked me up.

That was Monday.

Tuesday was a big day.  A ton of surprises at my work, left me in shock and reeling, so having Hallie singing in a fall concert choir thing, helped smooth me out.  Seeing her in a long black dress with pearls, curls in her hair and red lipstick, (instead of volleyball spanx and a ponytail) helped right my day.

I don't think they have many 6'2" singers.  So her dress didn't drag the ground??  Who cares??

Volleyball regionals happened this week.  We were lucky enought to get to host it at home this year, so that meant we had home court advantage, and I got to work in the concession stand.  (can't let that higher education ....er, food handlers license.....go unworked).   We played Lawton and Moore.  We smeared 'em.  It was epic.

http://www.normantranscript.com/sports/article_4a273db6-501e-11e4-bcb1-3f50bd78b4ac.html

Here's the link to the the neat write up they had in the newspaper..... Hallie had a spectacular showing in the first game against Lawton.  She had 16 kills with a .94 average..... well....here, you can see for yourself  (If you have 18 minutes to spare)




Now we move on to state (playing in Shawnee on Friday) against the Edmond teams.  We have yet to beat any of them.  We've taken a set here and there with them, but taking the match?  Not so much.  So we will play Edmond North first, and if by some miracle in heaven we pass and hit like we did against Lawton, we might have ourselves a match on Friday.  If not, we can hold our head up high and look forward to next season.  Meanwhile, we break for about a month, and then club volleyball starts (practice), with games starting in January again.   So, on we march.

Saturday, we had a fun SUPERHERO party for Zachary, and the Super fam from Shawnee (aka Lacey and Tyler) and we had fun playing in our super hero tshirts, and ate soup, took pictures and ran to the movies to see Alexander and the horrible, terrible, no good day...(which we all loved, and give 5 exuberant thumbs up)


 We now have a ninja in the house......Thanks to his older sister and brother in law.  "I a ninja".  And yes he wore it to the movie.


We are a really special bunch.  I especially love Lacey's small writing on her shirt (Laynie's sidekick).  

And yes, we went in public like that.  I did leave my ninja mask at home though.  It's hard to see out of it.  

And today we went to hear our buddy Kannon's wish from Make a Wish foundation, and they will be going to DISNEYWORLD over Christmas.  I'm pretty sure that would be my wish too, if Make a Wish ever notices me.  :)  Actually, I'd spend the whole time at Harry Potter's place at Universal.  For real.  Alas, I have kids in a single mom's world, so that will never happen.  Sigh....

So everyone have a great week, and I am going to try to be vigilant -er in writing more.  Steven starts basketball this week, and that should be a hoot.  Small world, Carl's cousin Jim Jarvis is his coach...... that makes me oh so very happy.  I adore me some Jarvis family.

On to the next........







Monday, September 29, 2014

WHAT A MONTH!

In case you didn't hear.......

I'M GOING TO BE A FREAKIN' GRANDMA!!!!!!!!!!!

Yep, that happened.  Lacey messaged me and said,  "Look, we have a bean!"  to my excited reply,  "I LOVE beans!!!"  Due to arrive around my birthday, May 2015.  That is the best birthday present EVER.

Kip and Brandon are settling in to their married life.  They sold the 2 door BMW and bought a "MOCHA" Honda Pilot (a familial vehicle) that fits the large granddog (she doesn't have to sit with her head out the sunroof.  :)  They've been putting in flower beds, and planning house renovations, it's just fun hanging out with these two.

Hallie has flat killed the dang thing in volleyball this month.  She won all-tournament at 2 of the 3 tournaments she played,   and has just continued to grow and learn this whole school season.  Thinking about the little non-hitting, "Where do I stand", player that we had just 3 seasons ago.....I am soooo  blown away by her determination and commitment to the game she truly lives, breathes and sleeps.  I'm looking forward to club season, and seeing how she continues to grow.  All very exciting.


Then my 3 take-outs.  I told you that I call my oldest 3 my "homemades" and the newest members, my "Take-outs" right?  Anyhoo.

In being transparent here, it's been hard.  Real hard.  It's ain't easy being me.

Gina has some real learning issues.  She is failing 3 classes in school this year.  And bottom line... she just can't read.  Period.  It's very very hard.

We vacillate back and forth with really great days, and really really sucky ones.  She's headstrong, moody, immature, loud, generous, big hearted, and loving.  Usually all within seconds of each other.  It's just exhausting.  It's growing up a teenager.  And even in the best of circumstances, this is a daunting task.

Steven is doing great in school, he's doing great in sports and just about every area.  He's a sunshine, big talker and really is the sweetest love.  I'd say if I had favorites, and all.....but since that's not even an option.....

Zachary will be the death of me.  He's about to turn 5, and informed me that he needed a new bed.  "This bed too small"  (which it probably is, but until we move.....not one thing I can do about it), so I told him, "Perhaps you quit peeing your pants at night, and we might see about getting you a big bed".  He solemnly thought about that for a minute and declared, "Well, that's never going to happen".  But then to my utter astonishment, he went pee-free for 3 weeks.    "Lolly, I quit peeing, I need a big bed".

Sigh.

I also chastised him the other day for just leaving his clothes laying all over the floor.  We had a big talk about where the dirty clothes go and where the clean clothes go.   Next morning or two I went in to wake him up and some pj's were laying on the floor from the day before.   I'm was all,  "HEY, what are these doing here".... to his (just woke up, mind you),  "Oh, I've been looking for those".  Little stink wad.

How will I ever make it?

Well, in May, this new little bean will have a 5 year old vietnamese uncle.

This little love will join a LOUD, exuberant crew and I, believe you me, CANNOT WAIT.

Nor can the new mommy....she sent me this text from the grocery store, along with emoticon feet and hearts....





Oh yeah.   

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Post #400 Running and Running and Running for Kannon

We pulled a TEAM HOPE together for Get Inspired's 2nd annual 5k yesterday because mainly it was to benefit our sweet friend Kannon and his parentals.  

I don't run.  Even when someone is chasing me, I kind of skip, fast walk.  Because, well, I ain't no runner.  If you ever see me running, call the police for sure. 

But yesterday, we won "Biggest Team" at the run and YEAH! we love to win that award!!!

Here are the 5k'r's ...
Minus Hallie.  Have no idea where she was. 
And ready, set, GO GO GO

 Ok, Zach is Kannon's daddy, so he is an honorary member of Team Hope, but he blew in first (from our Team Hope family) with a fantastic time of 26 minutes.  Wow.  
The first official member of Team Hope over the finish line was Steven, rolling in just seconds before Lee (in back of pic).  I was too busy trying to get my phone to work to get a decent picture of any of them, I'm really happy that Gina was johnny on the spot with the pictures.  She is handier than a pocket on a shirt.  

Here's Hallie.  She collapsed on the side and proceeded to toss her cookies.  It was a proud moment for me, and not at all embarrassing for her.  Did I tell you it was a whopping 44 degrees?  Yes, it's been 70 every morning, until the minute we try to run, then it drops to the 40's.  What is up with that?
Lacey's training partner and her daughter came rolling in and I was super impressed that the little gal just ran like the wind the whole way.  
Laynie's birthday buddy, and my sweet friend, Amy Astle came rolling in next .. that girl is my hero.
Amy's husband, John was right behind her, and he is quite the stud himself.  
The Astle's brought some friends, and they would have all had on Team Hope tshirts, had someone (me) not left their shirts on the table.  Yes, I'm quite cool that way.
Lacey ran her first 5k (she always just plans and coordinates the Wings to fly run that happens every year in El Reno, so she was pumped (cough) to get to run in this one.  She did fantastic.  She makes me almost want to run.  Almost.  Ok, not really, but Almost. 

Short britches won her age division.  
Semi short britches took 2nd in his age division.
 Not short britches at all won 1st in her age division.  The dude handing her her ribbon added, "Dang, you are tall". 
John won 3rd in his age division...that's amazing, lots of great runners there. 
Lee took 3rd in his age division (Grandpa) !!
So proud of him!
He also won 1st place in small boy wrangling and I did appreciate that. 
 I especially love this one of Lacey getting started, and Austin's little cowboy hat shining on her hip! 
And I guess I win the award for "Best Kleenex provider" and yeller at the finish line.

It was a great day, and I am anxiously awaiting to hear how much was raised for Kannon at the run.
They raised over $10,000 at the golf tournament and I'm hoping beyond hope they raised enough to get the van and the things he needs (and the things Kelli and Zach need) to provide for him.


Great Showing TEAM HOPE!  maybe one day it won't be freezing conditions.  

Nah, probably not. 









 



Thursday, September 11, 2014

Sixteen years....in a blink


When I found out I was pregnant with Hallie, I thought the doc was kidding.  I was fairly old, and had a 10 year old and a 14 year old.  Getting pg wasn't anything on my radar....at....all.

And then, along came Hallie.

She weighed 9 lbs, 9 oz and was 22 inches long.  She was just shy of being a toddler when she was born.

With a 14 year old sister in the house, and all the 14 year old's friends, she was quite the hipster.

 Her first Christmas.

Before we blinked twice, she was already pulling up on random things like legs and fireplaces and walking.


She seriously was the cutest little baby.  All dimples and eyes.  Her hairline was so receding, I was afraid she would be a forever grandpa.

When she finally got a little hair on top, we didn't waste any time flaunting it.

 Her sisters adored her, even would change her diapers without groaning too much.
And she was oh, so, oh so very happy.  All the time.  Just a little happy camper.

As I was looking through pictures to share on this blog, I ran across a few of her "scrapbooks" she made, while Lacey was doing the real scrapbooking, she would give Hallie some "Scrapbooks" of her own to keep her busy (and out of her stuff).  These pages were so precious, I'm just sharing them.

Hallie Hembree.....by Hallie Hembree   (age 7)


"Bald as Can Be"  Me and My Baby Days

Don't you think we are FUNNY?  My Fourth Birthday!

I especially like the pictures of the turtles that she cut out of some random magazine.  Her hearts were perfection. 
Hal & Lacey  "Sisters love each other"  

"Me & Kip"

This was interesting.
"animals are awesome".  I'm still clueless where she got the cat. 

There's so much fun on this page, I don't know where to start.  Her curlers, Her witch costume, her lady godiva on her rocking horse......Too many to chose from.  


I like this for one reason only.... the picture of her in the doghouse.  Priceless. 
Both of those little black puppies succumbed to parvo, about broke all of our hearts.  

She had quite a knack with the scissors here.  Takes after her mom. 
I especially love the one of the left corner...way scissor happy.  

On her 7th bday she got her ears pierced.
That lasted about 3 months.  
I think one of my all time favorite picture though
is this one..
She is 3 and Corey is 6 or 7.  
One of the cutest pictures ever.  
Her and her brudder. 
She was a terrific aunt, and couldn't get enough of Laynie.

I thought it was ridiculous when she turned 8.  Where had the time flown?  And where did Gram find those hip red/white/blue patriotic specs?

Now she is 16, and ridiculously tall.  And Smart.  And Beautiful. 
 Her sisters can't believe she is so much taller than them, and has such a better butt than them.  
It's all a mystery. 
They spend a lot of time pinching her volleyball booty and giving her a hard time.


All I know is yesterday we were doing this......

And now we are doing this.......






And today she will drive.  All the hours chauffeuring this child will come to an end, and I will be forced to find my own entertainment.  The difference between this child and my first two, I never slowed down enough to realize where I was with them, and really drink in every minute.  We rushed to the next milestone with amazing swiftness, and rushed to the next without acknowledging any of them.  That is my biggest regret as a parent.

If I can offer any advice to any of you busy busy parents......don't race to your milestones.  This past summer, I slowed down at work, I slowed down at commitments, I slowed down my life, to really, truly drink in this time with Hallie.  Oh, don't think for a minute I didn't want to put a sign around her neck "Free to good home" most days, but I lived full out in every minute....cherishing all of it.  And now, as of today at 10:45 am (barring she doesn't hit a curb in her driving test), she will be off and running herself around in her Nissan Frontier....... paving her own frontier.  As I drove into the high school parking lot yesterday morning, exasperated as crap at my teenager who thinks I'm dumb as dirt, and only put on this earth to make her life miserable.... I took a moment's pause and celebrated the fact that I will never have to push my way through the crazies in that parking lot in the morning, ever again .

Bitter.Sweet.

Drink it in.

Happy birthday, Hallie Lauren.  God's got Big, Big plans for you.  And I will be behind you, cheering you on, every step of the way....all of your life.




Forever and a day, Love you to the moon..........MoMo