Saturday, July 26, 2008

Erin's Nightmare

Joey found this picture on the internet and put it on our desktop titled "Erin's Nightmare." I have to say it is SO TRUE!!! Actually as a kid in our backyard we found this huge Jurassic Park size larva and a few months later we saw something very similar to this picture on our back patio!!! It was soooooo freaky. My mom put it in a jar and I was TERRIFIED!!!

Camas Days

Friday, July 25, 2008

Family Day Celebration

On 7/7/07 we arrived home as a family and the kids we able to meet their extended family. On 7/7/08 we celebrated one year together with a American meal potluck.

A Look Back

So a little over a year ago on July 7th Joey, Jones, Mollie & I arrived home to the United States as a family. It was an exciting and a day of total relief. I remember it well. I can't believe it has been one year. In some ways it feels like it was yesterday but in most ways and most days it just feels like it's always been the way it is today. I can't remember Jones even talking Russian and I can barely remember the disciplinary challenges we had the beginning (oh, believe me, we have them now but back then it was different, more of definition of the way our family would run.) Wow, it is amazing to look back. Below are two excerpts from my two last posts from Russia before returning home:

"Last Day- Can you believe it
Today is our last day here! In fact we leave in less than 12 hours! Amazing! Today I am off and on emotions wise. Today I realized that it may not be all nerves but I think my trembling might also be excitement! The only other time I wanted to come home so bad was moving home from Virginia. Actually no,I have never wanted to come home more and have never been so excited to see your faces. I am trying to take the attitude of whatever happens, happens. There is only so much in my control. The Lord has to take care of the rest and if that is to let both my kids scream or something, then I will probably cry but have to endure. Please be praying very hard that we can get seats together. Right now we do not. I am a little concerned about that but I know the Lord has us in His capable hands. Please also pray for sleep for the kids. Neither of them sleep unless they are actually in bed so I am hoping that they will regardless. And lastly - just for smooth flights and transitions. We only have an hour and a 1/2 in Frankfurt to switch planes so we are in need of His guidance in that circumstance as well. I of course am nervous being my nature but I think God is working on strengthening me. I have had times of calm today though. It hasn't helped having so much cooped up time to think."

"Posted by Erin at 6:30 AM 0 comments
Thursday, July 05, 2007
Lord Jesus,
Be with us. I trust you I do. This situation at times especially like now has actually caused me to doubt my faith and trust in you. I will not let Satan influence me in this way. Please know my love for you and that I will choose to rest in you. Please bless my family in a special way Lord. Please comfort my children supernaturally where I can't. Please be my words when I can't communicate. Thank you for my children, and my incredible husband who has carried so much weight literally and figuratively this trip. And thank you for my friends and family who have showed incredible loyalty and committment. Please bless them ten fold in their lives and let our family be to them what they are to us. And Lord thank you for you. For the hope we have in you.

Goodness, reading those brings back so many memories but looking back I have to be honest and say that those were two posts where I was so nervous but so excited that we were almost on our way home and I was able to have a decent attitude. I am ashamed to say that if you look back at earlier posts last June & July you will see lots of frustration, doubt, and fear. always, the Lord brought us through.

I can't believe how far we've come. I can't believe how far THEY'VE come. Jones and Mollie are an incredible blessing and I will continue to thank the Lord everyday of my life for allowing me to be their Mom. It is so amazing to look at how much they have changed and to see fruit coming from their lives. I know the Lord has a very special plan for them and I am so honored to be able to witness it. And I am still so grateful for the support of family and friends throughout it all and still today. I love you all so much. Thank you again. Our words could never ever express the gratitude we feel in our hearts.

Finally sharing our 4th of July on this 25th of July

For our Independence Day celebrations (our kiddos very first) we started by setting off some fireworks the night before. On the actual 4th of July my parents treated us to dinner and a movie. We saw "Kung Fu Panda." This was Mollie's first movie. It was a little challenging to say the least. Mommy did not really get to enjoy it but at least Mollie kept her volume down. Then we went up to my parents to view the fireworks across the city and also watch the "Fort works" from afar. And we also lit some of our own. My kids weren't scared which was great but they were a little too unafraid for my liking. It was absolutely amazing. First of all, driving up Prune Hill to the house was so scary and exciting. There were fireworks going off EVERYWHERE! It felt like a war zone. We kept ducking INSIDE the car! One we were up there the view was spectacular. It was amazing to see fireworks going off from all directions around the city. I wish I could explain it better. It was breathtaking.

The Pre-show

I just love their little feet.

Mollie's First Movie

Grams & Jones

Our Family

Momma, Me, Mollie, & Tiffy (as Mollie calls her.)

Grandpa saving Mollie from herself. She was trying to run into the fireworks.

Brandon and his girl "friend" Tiffany. (Isn't she so cute?)

Day to day...

Homemade's been about a year I guess. It's Joey's favorite and I NEVER make it! I think it is time to evolve the recipe though. I have been making it the same way for our whole 11 years of marriage. Pretty basic, but he likes it! However he hates spaghetti (my fave) which I just don't understand!!!

Jones' Pre-Op physical with Dr. Miller preparing for his dental surgery (now delayed.)

Our "BIG" grocery trip to Walmart.

Picnic at "soccer park" (according to Jones.) So okay, I feel lame. It is a Burgerville cheeseburger picnic but give a girl a break...we were in between errands!

Playing "Hot Lava" after a crazy hot game of "Freeze Dancing." Oh yeah, we were doing it up old school!

"Daddy, I'm bored."

Friends who Flirt - Jones & Haley (I think she may be already spoken for though!)

"Sweet friends Jordyn & Molls- one loving the pizza and one not loving it. Unfortunately that one is gonna have to love it. It is sort of a requirement in this family." (Actually she does love it, just not that kind:)

Jones started soccer and is doing so well. He loves it! This is his first organized activity. He asks me everyday "Mom, do I have soccer today?" He is always anticipating his next practice or game. And I know I am partial but I have to say... HE IS PRETTY STINKIN' GOOD!!! He is a very fast runner and he does very good turning the ball around and is aggressive enough to get the ball and follow it to the goal! He is so cute when he is running and focused. He sticks his tongue out and is always smiling. He has the benefit of being on a team with many of his good friends Aden, Logan, Haley, and Ava, and of course Coach Jesse and has had the pleasure of making new friends with Kaden, Sawyer, Faith, and Asst. Coach Mark. And our cheering section- WOW! What can I say? It is amazing. We always have tons there with all the grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc... We are so thankful for our supportive family. Jones of course just adores the attention. I think his only major challenge is keeping his focus on the game instead of wrestling around with those Bonife boys or flirting with those girls!!!

Monday, July 14, 2008

I feel like I'm losing it!

Well, I humbly blog today that.......I can't keep up with all the responsibilities in my life, I get angry with my children often, I have trouble getting motivated in some important areas, &&&&& I can't keep up with blogging! Okay, that being said... I am also not a quitter and I am working on all of this.

Today is kind of rough for me. I am hosting Bunco this evening at my house which is a once a year thing with my Bunco group. I am feeling totally self conscious about the stains on our couch (which we had to bring downstairs when our other couch broke) & the stains on my carpet! I keep thinking... "How do I cover it up?" I kept meaning to shampoo the carpet for the last...oh, I don't know...MONTH, but time got away from me. And I just deep cleaned my downstairs less than a week ago and it is looking HORRIBLE and ready to be done again! Uugh! Plus I am such a perfectionist (which has been gradually fading away over the last year) that I want everything to be in theme, ready ahead of time, and in the perfect place.

Both of my children are sick with colds so they are not feeling well nor are they on their best behavior. I am trying to get them to rest so they don't cough but that is a huge challenge for an active two & five-year-old. We are still potty training Mollie. She is doing great but we had a few busy days last week of running errands where she was in diapers so we regressed slightly.

On top of it all I am suffering from raging PMS. I am sorry if that is too much info for some readers. Seriously though! Every single symptom- blemishes, pain in the two areas unique to a women's body, sensitive ears, crazy emotions, headaches, bloated! I am hoping it goes away before our long awaited family beach trip next week.

And......last but not least....I am still searching for a part-time job that will fit into our life without taking away from our family. This is an underlying constant stress.

So WOW this turned out to be totally complaining. In reality I am so thankful that these seem to be my biggest problems right now. I know there are so many going through so much more. Sometimes a girl just needs to vent or for me it is just a matter of being honest about my life and that's what my blog has always been about. The good, the bad, and the ugly and how we get through it. I think right now, Momma (me), just needs a good break and a time to be quiet with my Lord. I know He will carry me through this day even without the break and someday soon I will have the quiet that I need. In the meantime I grab as many spiritual "snacks" as I can!

I have so much still to blog about that I have not over the last week & a half. We celebrated our family day (one year since we brought the kiddos home from Russia), Jones started soccer and had his first game, and just our everyday experiences as a family as I attempted to take pictures for the everyday 6-9 pictures a day blog that my friend Stephanie was doing. If you get a chance, look back with me at where we were a year ago (well all of June until July 7th.) It is really weird to look back at my posts from Russia and see how far the Lord has brought us. That was a really really rough, stressful, exciting, & scary all at the same time.

Well, I better go! I need to get busy and ready for tonight! I am sitting here avoiding what I need to do!

(One thing to add: Mollie is sitting here right now petting Jones t-shirt saying "Your cute. I like your shirt. Your cute." It's pretty funny.)

Thursday, July 03, 2008

How far do you go?

Today Jones was in trouble for not obeying and so I had to discipline him and afterwards we ended up having a very long conversation. We talked about how important it is to obey your parents and God. We discussed how nothing he does could ever change our love for him and how when we ask him to do something we are not doing it to be mean and keep him from doing fun things, we are doing it because we know the outcome from our experience. Sometimes it is very hard for him to trust us and believe that we know better for him than himself so I am always looking for opportunities to show him.

Anyway, so later in the conversation I told him that the kind of trouble he can get into as an adult could be way more painful than the trouble he is in now which is why I am trying to teach him as a little boy and that the Bible is God's way of teaching us and how it is almost like a treasure map showing us the way. That God does not want to keep him from things either but rather He knows that if we follow His simple rules and advice that we will avoid many pitfalls and things that are harmful, painful, and life ruining. He wants us to have all the good things in life. It is out of love not out of control. Jones seemed to understand to a point.

Then we got to talking about what kind of bad trouble you can get in when you are older. I told him he could go to jail, or lose his house, or car, or job, or friend, etc... which led to a conversation that the world has many good & beautiful things and people but because of our enemy there are also many bad and scary things. He wanted to know everything but I told him he would learn as he grows but I did teach him about strangers and that there are some bad people that "take children" and if he ever gets lost to try to look for another Mommy with children or a store employee and ask for help. It was just the first time I really thought about my child not knowing all the icky stuff out there. I don't want him to know it all but I do want him to have a certain sense of caution. So my question is ... what have you explained to your children about the "bad" in the world and how far do you go in those explanations? My son is very inquisitive if you can't tell by the direction the conversation went.

Soggy Bottom Saga "Wow!"

Mollie is doing so good potty training. She hasn't had an accident in two days! She has a had a diaper on for half the day both days though and I haven't been giving her quite as many drinks cause I was out but I still think she is doing awesome and tonight was the first night she actually took action to run to the potty! When she goes she says "I go potty momma! I win! I win!" It is very cute. I am now stocked and ready to go with "Roaring Waters." She likes regular water but won't drink nearly as much. Those "Roaring Waters" are awesome, my kids call it juice.

And since I am talking about how cute she is I will tell you some other cute things. This morning we were just getting ready to leave for the grocery store and she said "You cute Momma." It was adorable and then she wanted kisses. Then tonight Uncle Brandon taught her how to say "That's crazy man", It is ADORABLE with her lisp!

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

I forgot to tell you how thankful I am!

I know now I am blogging like crazy! I told you! I blog in clumps!

Anyway, I haven't really worked in a year and because Joey referred me (thank you Honey!) I have a new client. We listed their house three weeks ago. In 2 1/2 weeks we had it sold!!! In this market and the price range we were working with I know this was a gracious act of God. Thank you God for your timing and provision. Now I am fired up to work more! In 30 or so days I will actually have my first paycheck in over a year and boy do we need it!

"Mommy I found a MOON rock!"

Jones & I made this cute jar yesterday to hold his new rock collection. He found a "moon rock" at Grandpa & Grandma's and needed a special place to store it.

Soggy Bottom Saga "Punky Brewster"

So we started potty training Mollie on Sunday evening. I had very high hopes as we played around with the idea a few months ago and she was very excited and seemed to catch on. Unfortunately at that time, Mommy had a super full plate and could not add potty training and extra patience to the mix.

This time I think she is confused. She keeps sitting on the potty and then goes pee pee or poo poo when she gets up!!! This makes me crazy. I know, I know. Stay calm, cool, collected, and positive. I AM TRYING! I feel we have set her up for success by bringing the potty into an open and easily accessible space, providing her with Capri Sun "Roaring Waters" to drink, and chocolate (her FAVORITE thing in the world) and cheering as a reward. Today the score is 3-7. 3 Successes and 7 oopsies! I am hopeful for a better outcome in the coming days and weeks.

Our biggest obstacle is her panties. They don't come in her size so I am going to have to special order expensive ones online- uugh or hire a seamstress. Right now I am using everything we have hence the nickname of "Punky Brewster." Anything that fits her waste is what I will use so in place of panties she is wearing shorts, one pair of too big panties, and several pajama bottoms. I am posting some of the adorable pics of her mismatched outfits. Since we were mismatching tops & bottoms, we might as well throw in socks & baby legs as well. This is the other reason for "Punky Brewster" - accidents!

"Thaths my pink potty!" Mollie says strongly.

My PERFECT weekend.

This past weekend was so beautiful. I had no normal Saturday responsibilities and so we decided to vacation at home. It was the first morning in months that all four of us could get up and NO ONE had to be anywhere. It was heavenly....

We woke up and made Mickey Mouse pancakes and then headed to Lacamas Lake Park to play. We took a HOT hike. Maybe not the best decision in the 95-100 degree weather we were having but we had fun. We fed the ducks, looked at the waterfall, and Mollie decided to take a little dunk. Oops! Daddy had to pull her out by her toes. Lesson learned.

Breakfast & Our own church in the park.

Ready to get wet!

Playing in Grandpa & Grandma Waller's Backyard

Family Movie & Picnic Dinner

Making a Giant Cookie

Pizookie to end the weekend (for those that don't know- it's hot cookie w/ice cream)

Sunday Night we began potty training (these were the smallest panties I could find!)