"what i've said, that will i bring about & what i've planned, that will i do." isaiah 46:11

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

- new date's been set -

we found out today, that dustin's new court date's been set for january 15 @ 3:15pm [the date's set in pen, but the time's still in pencil, so i'll post on here as soon as we've the exact time] - again, thanks to all who've been praying, emailing with encouraging words & phoning...it means a lot

- the good, the bad & the ugly -

well, yesterday was sunday...god's day...a day with our entire family...a day of rest, etc...so here goes!
the good...we got to church at the designated time we needed to be there & wasn't late!
the good...praise the lord, 1 block from our church, we found gas for $1.35/gallon, so we filled up the van for only $27!! [whoa]
the bad...the clock i'd been looking at all morning long at home, was wrong [by exactly 1 hour], so we arrived at church an hour early...yes, with a 6y, 5y, 4y & 4m old, one of which has ad/hd & has been having a hard time these past few days since schedules have been off, routines have been off, etc.!!! [ugh...fun times]
the bad...i purchased one of the 'insert' seats that people use for their little ones when they ride in shopping carts, etc., so they don't get germs - well, the picture on it, showed it can be used for high chairs as well, so when we went to cracker barrel for lunch after church, i decided to try it out & oh my goodness!! - it ended up working, but i was so concerned that we were making a scene [don't ask me why i care about that as we're 2 white parents, 2 white children & 4 brown children...sure, we make a scene wherever we go!!] - i get more concerned about this when dustin's with us as i know it frustrates him, which i don't like doing, but anyhow, it's a free meal for him, so i guess he can handle it! - it ended up working great, but i should've practiced somewhere 'less full', than on a sunday for lunch when the place was packed!!
the ugly...i'd gotten up extra early as brit was to work the nursery & had to be at church much earlier than normal - i got up, got all the little ones ready, got myself ready & we were ready to leave...on time [which for those that really 'know' us, 'on time' isn't usually in the same sentence with 'spike & lori'] - we were feeling really good about getting coats on & loading the van...on time - just as i shuffled the last little one out the door on the way to the van, i picked u ahniér, tossed her up over my right shoulder to hear a horrible sound - yes, that sound was her puking all down the front of my shirt - now, what do i do?? - do i take the time to change my clothing & make us late?? - or do i just wipe all the puke off since it's a black shirt & probably won't show?? - yep, you guessed it...wipe it off [so as to not be late!] - spike dropped the girls & i off at the door as he went to park the van - brit went on to the nursery & i had to take everyone to go potty, drop coats off in the coat area, etc. & then head to the sanctuary to get seats - i got all my 'jobs' completed & things were going along quite nicely when just as i was walking into the sanctuary with ahniér up over my left shoulder, i heard the same noise i'd heard early in my kitchen - yes, that sound was her puking all down the back of my shirt - luckily there was an elderly woman right behind me [didn't know her] & she said, "honey, if you've got something like a rag, i'll help you get yourself cleaned up" - to that i replied, "thanks, but if you'll just wipe it off, it'll then match the front of my shirt!" - she just smiled as if to say, "this poor dear has no clue what she's doing"
the ugly...well, i'd gotten ahniér some new shoes the other day - they're the same size that she's been wearing, but a bit more room in them, which's what she needed - all day long, everytime i looked down, a shoe was missing - i hate to see a child dressed in cute clothes without shoes on!!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

- look at those ears -

i've not blogged about this yet, but about 3 weeks ago, i took ahniér in & had her ears pierced - they look adorable & she did great! - here's a couple pics to show the finished product - isn't she a cutie :)

Saturday, December 20, 2008

- i've been tagged -

for my friend debra, i'll do this...
8 tv shows that i watch
1. jon & kate plus 8
2. 17 & counting [& baby makes 18]
3. i love lucy
4. andy griffith
5. nanny 911
6. wife swap
7. meet your new mommy
8. little house on the prairie
8 favorite restaurants
1. sapporos [japanese steakhouse]
2. benihana [japanese steakhouse]
3. pepe's
4. visa lodge [in haiti]
5. olive garden
6. on the border
7. arts pizza [the sloppier the better!]
8. panera bread
8 things that happened to me today
1. was able to sleep in [thank you spike!]
2. received pictures from the girls that they colored for me
3. rocked ahniér a million times as she's not feeling up to par
4. witnessed ahniér roll over for the first time [didn't 'see' it, but i looked & she was on her back!]
5. watched a movie with the girls & spike [- brit as she's at madisyn's]
6. talked to dustin for about a nano-second, as he's too busy to talk to his mom [teasing]
7. made manwich for dinner
8. stayed home all day
8 things i look forward to
1. christmas with all our family
2. taking the kids to see santa
3. taking the kids to see christmas lights
4. going to haiti again soon
5. ringing in another new year & anticipating all it has to offer our family
6. when ahniér starts sleeping through the night *wink*
7. seeing all that god's got planned for not only our kids, but our entire family
8. working to get more children 'home' from haiti to their new families
8 things i wish for
1. to go to haiti soon
2. for our kids to see jesus in me
3. that we'd find out what kiara's scratching's all about
4. ruby's ci would be found
5. all whining would cease in our home! [by everyone]
6. us, as a family to learn more sign language
7. spike & i to continue to grow closer as each year passes
8. to grow old with spike
8 people i tag
1. dad/mom
2. brit
3. angela
4. tanya
5. courtney
6. jamie
7. aaron
8. heather

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

- when you thought i wasn't looking -

a message every adult should read because children are watching you & doing as you do, not as you say & that goes for children with special needs too!!!
when you thought i wasn't looking, i saw you hang my first painting on the refrigerator & i immediately wanted to paint another one
when you thought i wasn't looking, i saw you feed a stray cat & i learned that it was good to be kind to animals
when you thought i wasn't looking, i saw you make my favorite cake for me & i learned that the little things can be the special things in life
when you thought i wasn't looking i heard you say a prayer & i knew that there's a god i could always talk to & i learned to trust in him
when you thought i wasn't looking, i saw you make a meal & take it to a friend who was sick & i learned that we all have to help take care of each other
when you thought i wasn't looking, i saw you give of your time & money to help people who'd nothing & i learned that those who have something should give to those who don't
when you thought i wasn't looking, i saw you take care of our house & everyone in it & i learned we've to take care of what we're given
when you thought i wasn't looking, i saw how you handle your responsibilities, even when you didn't feel good & i learned that i'd have to be responsible when i grow up
when you thought i wasn't looking, i saw tears come from your eyes & i learned that sometimes things hurt, but it's all right to cry
when you thought i wasn't looking, i saw that you cared & i wanted to be everything that i could be
when you thought i wasn't looking, i learned most of life's lessons that i need to know to be a good & productive person when i grow up
when you thought i wasn't looking, i looked at you & wanted to say, "thanks for all the things i saw when you thought i wasn't looking."
i'm sending this to all the people i know who do so much for others, but think that no one ever sees...little eyes see a lot - each of us (parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, teacher, friend, etc.) influences the life of a child - how will you touch the life of someone today? - just by sending this to someone else, you'll probably make them at least think about their influence on others - live simply - love generously - care deeply - speak kindly - leave the rest to god - that's why we've to make sure our children are seeing all the good things we do, because they're watching - children learn what they live

- this evening -

this evening i was running errands [just ahniér & i] & stopped by dad/mom's house to drop some things off - when i walk in the door, it's never, "hey lori, how are you?" or "lori's here!" or anything that even sounds like that - here's what i hear when i walk in [carrying not only a car seat full of a chubby baby, but also a walmart sack full of stuff, a large box with christmas ornaments in it & also 2 of the large candles you set outside for christmas] - madisyn says, "mom, ahniér's here!", mom says, "awww, where's that little angel?", etc. - here's a few pictures i took while i was there

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

- conversations from today -

preface: we'd a guy over all day today installing a water softener/conditioning system, etc. - he was here for about 6 hours & although he was kind, he'd no personality at all - kiara & karleigh were upstairs playing in the room next to where he was working [he was in the laundry room for most of that time] - i could hear them up there talking to him as i stood at the bottom of the stairs - here's a conversation that i overheard between he/karleigh
karleigh: hi, i'm karleigh
the guy: [couldn't hear what he said]
karleigh: are you my papaws brother?
the guy: [couldn't hear what he said]
karleigh: are you sure you're not my papaws brother?
the guy: [couldn't hear what he said]
karleigh: well, i think you're wrong...i do think you're my papaws brother & you just don't know it!
guess she thought they looked alike & to me, outside of them both having grey hair, they looked nothing alike!
preface: my mother in law hates the song, "who let the dogs out" & says that it's about the worst song she's ever heard in her life & it really drives her nuts to even hear it - my nephew shane takes it upon himself to have that song played 'for her' any chance he gets, when we're together as a family [ie: skating parties, bday parties, bowling parties, etc.] - here's a conversation i heard between he/kiara
kiara: what's your name?
the guy: [couldn't hear what he said]
kiara: do you have kids?
the guy: [couldn't hear what he said]
kiara: do you know this song? [as she proceeded to sing loudly, 'who let the dogs out'...she heard it today on the bus radio she said]
the guy: [couldn't hear what he said]
kiara: well, my grandma shepler loves that song & she always asks my cousin shane to play it for her when we're all together & you know what??? - i think she dances to it when no body's lookin' :)
tonight i was preparing dinner & the girls were upstairs playing dress up - kiara comes down & says, "mommy, i know a suggestion for dinner" - i said, "well kiara, i've already got dinner about finished & we're having chili" - she said, "well, i have a suggestion for dinner" - i repeated & explained dinner was done - she said, "no, i'm not talking about that, i've got another suggestion - can we, just for tonight, all eat dinner with no clothes on... huh...please?" - it was at this time that brit literally choked on whatever it was she was drinking as she i think, got a visual - i said, "no kiara, we're not eating without clothing on, where did that come from?" - she said, "oh, i just wondered", then she smiled & walked away
memories... at least no one can ever say my days are boring!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

- merry christmas from our family -

[as always, click on the individual pages & they'll enlarge]

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

- cancelled! -

what??? - yep, that's right, it was cancelled!
this morning cheryl & jenna bartoo made an hour+ drive to my house in order to watch all 4 of our little ones - the group going with dustin [about 30+ of us] then met at a local restaurant for lunch, afterwards, we ran back to the house for dustin to change clothes - we arrived at the courthouse [tissues in hand] at 3pm as it was scheduled to start at 3:30 - dustin went to check in & they said that his attorney had called not 5 minutes before & cancelled it, due to him getting sick! - we all just stared at each other for awhile, almost in disbelief...like we were waiting for someone to run out & say, "nawww, we'll go ahead & let you in"
we then left there & went to perkins for coffee & to reflect on what had gone on today - after coffee/fellowship, we headed back home to relieve cheryl & jenna of the nonsense i'm sure they were dealing with - everyone went home & we'll now wait for another day to do this all again
thank you to everyone that came...we love you all - also, a huge thanks to cheryl & jenna for watching the girls - most of all, thank you to all those that said prayers today for our entire family...they were very heartfelt

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

- tears...blogged tonight by brit -

brit blogged this tonight on her blog & i thought i'd share it as she's got such a way with words
My family is going through a particularly difficult time right now. And one of my family members said the most endearing, deepest thing I've heard in a long time. She said, "My eyes aren't crying, but my heart is." These words were said by the same six year old little girl who still cries when she has to go to bed; who still believes in Santa Clause, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy; the same six year old little girl who intuitively knows when someone is sad. As I watch Kiara go through the day, she surprises me so much. I think that most people believe wise sayings come from skilled, educated, and legendary figures, and I used to be one of them. But, as I hear my little sister say these things, and watch her try to comfort her family, even though she doesn't understand our pain, I find myself abandoning my earlier belief. I guess some of the greatest ideas can come from the least of mankind. A six year old little girl.

Monday, December 8, 2008

- not looking forward to wednesday...at all -

well, we're down to 'the week' & we're not looking forward to wedensday at all - that's the day that dustin's to be sentenced & although i've known it's coming, i'm starting to really feel the 'knot in my stomach' & the 'can't seem to concentrate on anything' feeling & it's not a good feeling at all
we had his open house this past saturday & it was very nice - there was a ton of people that showed up & spent most of the day with us - he really enjoyed seeing everyone & i know he was touched - he was with us all weekend & at church everyone prayed over him that he'd be able to handle what was coming his way [no matter what it is] & that he'd begin a new day from here on out - they prayed for as light of a sentence as possible & for dustin to have learned from this mistake & move beyond it - we then went to olive garden for lunch [his fav], as last thursday [the 4th] was his 23rd birthday & had a great time
he's coming to our house tomorrow night to stay over & i can't help but think [with tears now streaming again]...'will this be the last time i can physically tell him good night before going to bed?' [not that i see him every night as he doesn't live here, but i can call him if i so choose] - i also think,' was yesterday the last time i'll be able to worship with him in church?'
i do alright for awhile, but then i get to thinking & it tears me up - our little ones don't even know he's done anything wrong or what he's possibly facing...what will i tell them?? - when will i tell them?? - they love their brother so much & it kills me to think of him possibly being sent away & them not seeing him for a long time - ahniér's only 3 months old & if he goes anywhere, she won't even remember him
well, this post is going no where [understandably so] & so i'm closing up shop for tonight - i don't know how much i'll post over the next couple days, but i will post on wednesday night [might be short] to let you know what the outcome was - please continue to be praying for this entire family as we're all so broken right now - there's to be about 30 family members with him on wednesday, so pray for us to stay upright [especially me] - thanks ahead of time

Sunday, November 30, 2008

- family photo time -

here's some of the best ones that we chose - everyone had a great time [yes, you did too dustin!] - it should be that you can click on the pictures & they'll enlarge & you can see faces a bit better - hope you enjoy 'em!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

- what i'm thankful for -

yesterday morning [wednesday], mom came over about 9am & we began cooking - our menu for thanksgiving was: turkey, dressing, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, gravy, green beans, baked beans, rolls, deviled eggs, olives, macaroni & cheese, pumpkin pies & soda pop to drink - mom's a great cook & we so wanted to have thanksgiving at our house this year for several reasons 1] we just moved in 2] we've plenty of room & 3] we've double ovens so it'd save so much time in the kitchen
karleigh breaking bread for the dressing
ruby breaking bread for the dressing
kiara breaking bread for the dressing
mom dicing up things for the dressing
mom & i as we're preparing food for the masses
[i'm the enormous one on the left & mom's the short shrimp 'o beside me]
mom, stirrin' her pot!
after school yesterday, dad brought madisyn over & she & mom both stayed all night - it was so fun, we ordered pizza's, stayed up way too late watching movies & munchin' on goodies, etc.
we got up this morning & began again, working more on the food, getting the house straightened up, etc. - the girls were soooooooo excited as they found out their cousins were coming over [papa kyle, angela & all their kids!] - everything was well on it's way to being done & then people started showing up - dad & dustin were the first to arrive & about 5 minutes later, they were poking fun at us for not having everything done & on the table when they walked in - dad even mentioned something about giving up on us & going to mcd's for lunch!
dad, getting caught sneaking bites of sweet potatoes before it was time to eat
brit then brought out some pink glasses that made everything look like a rainbow when you put them on & somehow, dad & i are the only ones that got caught with them on
dad, trying to look cool in pink glasses
me, looking way cool in my pink glasses...not just tryin' to
kyle & angela soon arrived & that's really when the fun began [right guys!] - we ate until we couldn't eat anymore - we then played 'taboo' for like 4 games straight - it was girls [angela, mom & me] against the guys [dustin, spike & kyle] - just for the record, the girls whipped the butts of the guys all 4 games, but tried not to make them feel bad
dad, right after getting up from the table as the rest of the group's playing games...shhhh
spike, dustin, me, kyle & angela all standing around chatting dustin chatting on the phone
madisyn goofing around
maddie & karleigh [tell me these 2 aren't up to something]
brit following in her mom's footsteps & snapping pictures every chance she gets [you go girl!]
spike & dustin [gotta love this picture!]
dustin & me
katharine, looking so pretty ahniér, after a day full of fun, food, friends, being held, poopin', eating on demand,
burping loud & everyone clapping, napping, etc.
[ahhh, life's good!]
i'm thankful for so many things [too many to name here, i'm sure], but wanted to share just a few of them with all of you
dad: i'm thankful my dad was alright with mom & madisyn coming to spend the night with us - for him being in a great mood today & for staying a long time [he's usually one that leaves a gathering rather 'early'
mom: i'm thankful my mom [rachael ray] agreed to let us have thanksgiving at our house this year & for her coming over to help out - for her being willing to come over & spend the night, so we could get a good start on everything way ahead of time & also for her help in teaching me what in the world i needed to do, to prepare a wonderful meal for my family
madisyn: i'm thankful for madisyn just being here - last year we were soooo hoping she's make it for thanksgiving & she didn't, but this year she's here & seemed to have a great time - i'm thankful that she enjoys spending time with us, being a wonderful friend to brit, putting up with dustin since they're both living in the same house & believe me, i know how much he teases!! - for her loving all 4 of our little ones & showing patience to them, even when they don't always deserve it
kyle & angela: i'm thankful that you're our absolute best friends in the entire world - we trust you completely & am so thankful that god brought us together many years ago - i love it that getting together with you for the holidays isn't just a 'lets invite them' anymore, but more of a tradition now that we'll forever look forward to [so don't ever stop coming!!] - for loving our kids as if they were your own & for seeing them all for who they are
katharine: i'm thankful for the young lady that you've turned into - when our families get together, ruby, karleigh & maddie seem to hang out together as does noah & kiara, but you usually are tight with brit & believe me, she really enjoys that time with you even though there's an age difference - she's told me so many times how mature she thinks you act & how she doesn't see you as a little girl - when she heard you all were coming, she let madisyn know you'd be hanging out with them & that was fine by her as well - thank you for being a friend to all my kids & a great role model to the little ones
noah: thanks for being the 'big brother' to all my little girls - you're always there to help them when they need you & you're very glad to do it too - thank you for being there for kiara when it's time to eat as eating with you is something she soooo enjoys!
maddie: thank you for being a 'partner in crime' with karleigh - if she's gonna get in trouble, she'd much rather do it with you than anyone! - not that you all get in trouble, but when looking into both your eyes...trouble's not far off! - you're a sweet little girl
spike: thanks for giving our kids a great father & me a great husband - you're a wonderful person that i'm so glad they can look up to - you've blessed me with the ability to mother 6 great kids & without you, it wouldn't be - i'm thankful for the person you are & how you conduct yourself - i'm thankful you're honest & trustworthy - i'm thankful you love me & asked me to marry you many years ago & for being my best friend...i love you
dustin: thank you for being who you are & even when times are tough, you're not one that blames others, but instead takes the responsibility on your shoulders & goes with it - than you for being a wonderful son & big brother to all your sisters - thank you for loving me & for making me proud of you
brit: thank you for all the help you are here at home & for being a good friend - thank you for pitching in when & where you can & for going with the flow [that's a good trait for this home!] - i'm thankful to be your mother & for being able to see you grow into the person you are today
kiara: thank you for your smiles & carefree attitude - thank you for continuing to try, even when you're having an 'off' day - thank you for loving me 'around the world' & for letting me kiss you in my favorite place [on the bridge of your nose]
ruby: thank you for teaching me patience & for having a quick wit about you - thank you for teaching me what it means to see the world through eyes & not only ears - thank you for being a great helper when needed & for 'leading' your sisters
karleigh: thank you for your sense of humor & for having a smile on your family all the time - thank you for always wanting to give hugs & kisses & for being the first one of all our kids to 'make things right' when you've done wrong - thank you for having spunk & knowing when to use it
ahniér: thank you for being a wonderful baby that handles chaos - thank you for the personality you have & for that infectious smile - thank you for being an easy baby that sleeps well
birth parents: thank you to all my kids' birth parents that made the decision to allow me to parent your child - for giving me the opportunity to share in their lives, when circumstances didn't allow you to do so
god: thank you for all you've given me, because without you, i'd not even be here - thank you for family, friends, health, home, wealth, etc.
note: just for the record, the taboo game that was played 4 times between the girls & the guys was won totally by the guys - we lost all 4 games as they were so good [not that we were bad, just that they were good] - we'll get them next time though!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

- well, it happened... -

ruby flipped me the finger! - this', along with cursing, smoking, drinking, etc. is something that's not tolerated in this family - it goes so far as our kids would think 'shut up' & 'fart' are curse words since we say things like 'quiet please' & 'toot'
anyhow, ruby came home yesterday afternoon from school with a bit of snip to her attitude - it wasn't a 'hateful' snip, but snip none the less - everything she did, was with a smirk & a roll of the eyes [you get the picture, a teenage attitude!] - anyway, she was helping brit with something & when the job was all but finished, she was then right in the way, so brit asked her to move over [nope, didn't work], so i said, "ruby, scoot over please? - it was then that she crawled over across the hallway, layed on the floor & said, "mommy... [flip!]" only didn't say flip, but instead, did it!
although i was shocked to see it, i wasn't shocked it happened as her bus driver mentioned about a week or better ago that a mentally challenged girl that's in about first grade that rides ruby's bus has started doing this very thing - he'd separated she & ruby for other behavior issues, but he was assuming ruby had already been 'schooled' on this & he was warning us
we've not seen/heard anything more until yesterday & like angela said, "gosh, she even used it at the right [wrong] time too!"
when she did it, i was on her like no body's business & drug her into her bedroom where she thought she was gonna die - i asked where she'd seen it [she told me] & i explained how we do not use that flip at all...here or anywhere & she agreed that was a good idea [she was just glad she was going to granted permission to live a bit longer]
so, i've now been flipped off by a child of mine that's only 5...ugh