Friday, August 28, 2009

Fav Foto Friday (8.28.09)

Welcome to my Favorite Foto Friday!!!!!!

We finally got our pictures back from GAFE!!!!!

One of the bonuses of GAFE is that they have photographers that come to the event to take family pictures!

We got some really great pictures this year and I'm thrilled that we had them taken!!!

To see more Favorite Foto's click here!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Dentist Appointments!

Today was Dentist Day!

All 4 of our kiddo's have been to the dentist numerous times already...and it keeps getting better and better!!!
The only one who needed assistance this time was our Little Lady and that is because she is so small that she needed someone to hold her. The boys did great! They climbed right up on the chairs, laid back and let the ladies do their work!

Unfortunately, E has 3 more cavities, bringing his total to 6... he has very soft teeth.... and K will have to have one cavity filled. I feel their pain since I am one of those kids who had every tooth filled...and soon as those teeth left, I have had cavities on top of cavities on my adult teeth.

They will get them filled in 2 weeks...but E had his filled with no problem, I dont envision any problems this time either.

They go to a specific kids-only pediatric Dentist and she and her staff are fabulous!!!!!!

K being such a big boy lying on the chair!

The Little Lady getting her pearly whites shined!

E looking cool in those sunglasses!!!

Little F just getting started!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Fav Foto Friday (8.21.09) K's Birthday Edition!

Today's Favorite Foto Friday is a special Birthday Edition!!!
Our middle son K turned 4 on Wednesday!!!!!
We had a great day that day!
K woke up, opened his presents, and we headed off to breakfast and then to the Ogemaw County Fair!
The Fair was a lot of fun!!!!
We then came home and went swimming in the lake!
Had dinner and had Cake!!!!
What better way to spend a birthday????

K loves his dinosaurs!!!!

The Little Lady wants to Drive!!!!

(Grandpa isnt so sure...)

K on his First Pony Ride!!!

F riding his Pony!

E all saddled up!

Two future firefighters????

The Little Lady sitting on a cow sculpture with assistance from Grandma!

Having fun in the lake!

Can we get back to swimming now???

E takes his swimming very seriously!

Make a Wish!!!

E likes the cake!

F is busy eating his cake!

The Little Lady wearing more cake then she ate!

Happy Birthday K!!!!!!!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Happy Birthday K!!!!!

K is now 4!!!!!!!!!

Today was K's 4th Birthday!!!!

We had a great celebration at my parents house!

We opened gifts as soon as he woke up!

We had breakfast at Burger King! (a hit with the kids)

We spent the day at the Ogemaw County Fair!

We swam in the lake for an hour!

We had a very cool Spongebob Squarepants Cake!!!!

and... all the kids are now sleeping!!!

This past year has been a great year for K. The following year will also be great I'm sure!
K began pre-school this year, he became fully potty trained, his Spanish is improving by leaps and bounds, he is able to color with both hands, he loves to sing, he has almost learned to ride a bike, he can hit a baseball that is pitched to him, he can kick a soccer ball, he can throw a ball with good accuracy, he knows his abc's in English and Spanish, he can count to 20 in both languages, he can identify letters, he can almost write his name, he knows his full name, where he was born, the town he now lives in, the state he lives in, and the country he lives in. He knows the Pledge of Allegiance. He knows most of the Lord's Prayer. He is able to sit through church, he can sit through a movie, and he is very co-operative at the Dentist office as well as the Doctor's office. He had his tonsils out and his sleeping has improved and he doesn't snore anymore. He did great with the surgery! The only other sickness he had this past year was strep-throat/ pneumonia combo 2 months before his surgery. Other than that, he was super healthy and we were very blessed with that.

K is very special to me. Each of my kids have a certain something that really tugs at my heart more that it may with their siblings... with K, it's that he has really had to work at loving and trusting us...and at times, I have really had to work at my feelings also. He has come so far in the almost 3 years he has been with us... and I am constantly amazed at his tenacity. His smile melts my heart... his cries tear my heart out...but he is such an intense, loving, and wonderful little guy, that I cannot imagine our family without him.
Of course on a day like today, my thoughts are with his mom, L.... I pray that she has some peace...and that we are able to contact her in the next year...
C, (foster mom and Godmother) called us this morning as she does on all birthday's and holidays!
I'm soo happy that she is still involved in our lives... K even told her "quiero mucho Madrina" (Love you Godmother) and I could hear her cry a little. I know that she misses him... but I'm glad that she is in our lives and us in hers! K was excited that she called him all the way from Guatemala! He also asked if we could go see her.... I hope we are able to do that before his next birthday!

Well, I am having card-reading issues up here... I forgot my card reader and my parents use a different memory card than I do... but here are the pics we had taken of our Birthday Boy a couple of weeks ago!

This is the smile that melts hearts!

Hope you had a great 4th Birthday!!!!
We love you soo much!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Fav Foto Friday (8.14.09)

My Favorite Foto Friday is a little late today....

I had all intentions of completing it this afternoon...

Instead, we got a trip to the ER with E....
He hit his head on a banister... opened it up... and is now the proud owner of 8 Staples!
(he is absolutly fine... actually bragging bout the staples!)
Today was also a special day for us....

Happy Birthday to my DH!!!!!!!

Here he is a couple of weeks ago....

Also got a great pic last week of the kids at the zoo at the dinosaur exhibit!

The exhibit was well worth the $3!!!!

The dino's are robots... but one burps... and two spit... and they all roar and move...

so of course, the kids were mesmerized!

Brothers make good protection!!!

E and BFF D getting spit on!

The pure JOY of being spit on by a robotic dinosaur!!!!

Uh... mom.... can we go home now????

Friday, August 7, 2009

GAFE 09 Day 3!!!!

Day 3 of our GAFE trip is what GAFE is really all about.
It is a day of workshops... a time to learn and a time to talk with other families and with those who are more in the "know" bout things.
The first workshop I went to was about the state of Guatemalan adoptions, how it got this way, and where it is believed it will end up. The speaker for the workshop was Kevin from Guatadopt. I didnt go to the workshop so much to learn... as I'm pretty aware of what happened in the past and what is happening now....but I went to meet him. See, I'm a mod on's forums... and I have been for a couple of years now. It's nice to actually put a real live face with someone you have been corresponding with for a couple of years! I was also curious as to how much other people knew...
I wish I could say that most were up to date...but sadly many were not... I "see" this prevailing feeling online... and I saw it a couple of times "in person" over the span of the conference that some prefer to not really acknowledge what happened to adoptions.... and really the future of adoptions there....No... not all adoptions had corruptions...but some did... it's important to acknowledge the ones that were corrupted.... anyways... it was an informative class... oh.. and I got to meet Kevin! *laughs*

After that, we took the kids to make some crafts... the kids made Queztal birds, and we helped them to make mobiles... they had a great time messing around...while their dad and I worked on their projects... I'm hopeful that the next time they can do more of the work themselves! *laughs* I've already had my fill of craft classes like that! *laughs*
We finished our craft projects and headed up stairs to order some lunch... of course we were on a schedule...but we thought we would have plenty of time to order out and eat... we ordered...they said 30 mins... and 90 mins later they walked through the door. I was mad, the kids were cranky, and it was not a good situation as we had to stuff our faces and run to our photo session! We had some great pics taken (hope to have them in the next couple of weeks!) and dh took 2 of the boys to the pool... while I kept baby K in the room to take a nap... It was needed for both of us!
Of course while we were doing our thing, there were many different classes and such going on... cooking classes, lifebook classes, a musical group was playing, and they had a market-place set up where you could purchase Guatemalan goods. They actually had classes for everyone... kids, teens, and adults. We just took a more relaxed option in our day.
After all the classes and such are done... .it was time for dinner and dancing!!!!!
Our good friends from Long Island joined us for the evening and we were sooo happy to see them again!!! We actually met in Guatemala City in 06... they were down there visiting their daughter for her birthday....we saw them at the last GAFE.... their daughter still wasnt home with them... Thankfully their daughter joined their family right before Christmas 08... so we were thrilled to see their daughter!!!!!!
Dinner was great! We had a nice salad selection, a chicken dish, a wonderful beef dish, veggies, potatoes, and of course a large dessert bar!!!!! We ate quickly....and allowed the kids to mingle and dance to their hearts content! It was nice for us adults also... as we were able to catch up with friends that we had known...and get to know our new friends also.... all in a relaxed and fun environment.
The kids danced, the adults danced, and I even got "pressured" into dancing a little... *laughs* if one could call my attempt at bodily movements dancing! But, really, who can refuse the hustle and the electric slide??? *laughs*
Alas... everyone was pretty danced out... kids were begging to sleep.... so our night had to come to an end.... the kids all dropped pennies into the wishing well... we said goodbye to our friends.... and headed up to our room.

All in all it was a very good day! I would have liked to go to more workshops and such but I know as the kids get older, it will get easier to do so. and yes... we do plan on going in two years!

K enjoying making his mobile

F and E making their mobile!

D dancing in the Conga line!!!

E showing off on the dance floor!

F cutting a rug!

A great group shot!!!!

E making a move on little N!

A great pic of a group of friends!!!!!!!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

GAFE - Day 2 NYC!

We had gone to NJ a day early to take in the sites and sounds of NYC!
We woke early in the morning, drove to the train station (just 10 mins from hotel), ate some wonderful bagels (CANNOT get a desent bagel in Michigan!!!!!), and then waited just minutes for our train into the city!
This was my boys' first time on a train so they were super excited!
The train pulled up and we borded an almost empty car. After a short argument over windows, we pulled away from the station and we were off on our adventure!
The ticket-taker guy (I should really know his proper name....) came and snipped our tickets... The boys fired off questions to him...but unfortunatly he didnt answer them. I'm sure he gets a lot of it...but he could have said something to them. It didnt damper their spirts though... and they were facinated and interested at everything we passed by.
There were a few stops along the way to NYC...and yes... every stop we were asked if that was NYC... My boys have been to a couple of cities... but there are cities, and there is NYC, Chicago, etc... They have never seen anything like the Big Apple so I'm sure they didnt quite know what to expect.
Alas, we finally did arrive in NYC... at Penn Station in Manhattan!!
We found a very friendly NYPD officer who directed us in the right direction, gave our kids high-fives and promised not to arrest them (yes... we do watch cops in this house! *laughs*)
We had about 45 minutes to get to the pier to take our boat ride...and along the way we needed to do an ATM stop and buy a camera for P who had "put hers away" the night before and was left camera-less when she couldnt remember where she had put it.
We were walking through the garmet district and there were pleanty of electronic stores... so it was no problem finding a good deal on a camera...but then we had to hustle to get to the boat.
Gosh those "few" blocks were long... but we made it! We made it as in we were almost running to the boat before they pulled away! They did let us on though which we were very thankful for! We took a nice ride down the Hudson and we were going to circle Lady Liberty and head back to the pier... I had bribed the kids to walk quickly by teling them I'd buy them a popcorn and sprites all around!!!! The kids liked the boat ride till we got to the Statue..... P went out to take pics... then I did... we tried to make it exciting for the kids... talking about immigrants... what it meant to people... etc... It didnt quite work... the kids had finished their drinks and now they wanted off the boat...
E also came up with the BEST quote of the trip... when while I was talking about the Statue of Liberty he told me: "Mom... I'm just not that impressed... we see it on tv all the time... can we go home now????" I almost fell down laughing.... couldnt believe it... Ellis Island... who cares? We want to go home! *laughs*
We did eventually make it back to the pier...then we made the crazy decision to walk to Central Park. We made it!!!!! We passed thousands of people, businesses, etc... passed Time Square, things like that... and PIGEONS!!!!! Oh my!!!! My boys just LOVED those pigeons!!!!! Pigeons, Pigeons everywhere!!!!!! and yes... I was told about each and every single one of them! *laughs*
Central Park was a lot of fun. While I laid down on a bench... the kids played... one thing P and I didnt notice though...was that the play area we just told our boys to play in... was also a splash park... yes... clothes, shoes, and all... they took full advantage of it all! Even though E told me he couldnt walk one more single step...soon as those boys saw the play area...they were off and running!
We stayed for a little over an hour and then decided to stop and get lunch at the park.
Hot dogs, sausages (super yummy btw!!!), and pretzels for all!!!!! and for dessert, Gelato! WoooHooo!!!!! I love street food!!!! Just cant get street food out here in the burbs ya know!
We then decided to call it a day.... and decided to take the kids on the NYC subway!!!!! Of course it took a few minutes of explaination that no, we were not going to Subway restaurant...but there is an actual physical thing called a Subway. *laughs*
We made it through the turnstyles... that was fun.... but we made it...and got on the train... of course.. in all our hurry, we didnt bother to find out the direction of the train... so we made a switch-a-roo at the next station! *laughs*
The kids were pretty excited bout being on the subway...even though it was jam packed... made it back to Penn Station, and waited to board our next train going back to Jersey.
I really thought we would have sleepers on the train... all the walking, playing, and then eating we did... but little D was the only one who took a nap...and he only napped for minutes....
Made it back to Jersey... and then to the welcome party for GAFE!
My dh had already met some of my "online" friends... so when I arrived I finally got to meet them face to face!!!! Also got to see a few old friends that I have known for a while! That's what I like about these get-togethers... meet new people and catch up with those you have known for a while... just love seeing how families evolve and how the kids change and such.
They had some great appitizers at the "Welcome Party" so we had some of those... we then made a quick food run and P and I went off to watch a movie about a Guatemalan Finca ran solely by Guatemalans. The people in the town actually own the land and they reap the benefits from their own land. Pretty good movie and hopefully it sparked some activisim in some people in the room.
The movie was "Voice of a Mountain" they have a website at:

I'm very happy that we decided to take the kids into the city. I know I highly enjoyed it and I know they enjoyed the trains and such. Just thrilled that I am able to expose my kids to all kinds of new things.... we are very blessed and lucky to be able to try to show our kids the world!

Waiting for the Train!

F is not quite sure of the train... Yet!

K enjoying the view!

D and E loving their trainride!!!!

Our Tour Boat!

Waiting for Snacks!

Little Tude...showing some attitude...

The Very Impressive (to us adults) Statue of Liberty!!!!

Central Park!

E enjoying the splash pad!

K holding down a couple of sprinklers!

K and D doing some exploring!

Just a' Swinging!

My boys... being my boys... D is not so sure....

Hanging out in Central Park!

Everyone Loves a street food lunch!!!

F and D on the NYC Subway!!!!!

K was so tired... he fell asleep from the train station to the hotel... he kept his sucker though!