Thursday, February 26, 2009


My little Julianna is convinced she is getting a sister from China. I mean really convinced. She has plans for this sister, whom she has named Jessica. They will share a room, painted pink, of course. She has also decided that they will sleep together in a queen bed instead of getting two twin beds. Bless her heart, she talks about this "sister" as if she is on her way home. I tried to explain to her that daddy said we can't adopt a little girl from China. So she decided we will just pray about it and that is what we have done.
Anyway, so this may be why she wants a sister from China:

All of the child's friends are Chinese! With the exception of one other little girl, ALL of her friends are Chinese. She is surrounded! No wonder she wants a Chinese sister of her own. Maybe she thinks it would be like having Clara or Olivia over all the time. Maybe she doesn't realize that she wouldn't get to be the only princess anymore. I don't know, I really think she does understand. So we will just have to keep praying, isn't that right Juju?

Friday, February 20, 2009


Being the cyber stalker that I am, it is no surprise that I stumbled across this sweet blog. I enjoy reading Kim's blog, her children are adorable! Anyway she is having a giveaway, and I thought you, my devoted readers (yes, all five of you!) would love to enter. She is giving way one of these cute little hair clips!

If you win, you can totally have it personalized with your little girls name and your color choice! So head over to Kim's blog to enter! Even if you have little boys and don't need a cute little hair clip, visit her blog anyway! You will leave blessed!

A side note: I have been stalking Kim's blog for a little while. I followed her journey to get gorgeous little Vivi Jo in China. While she was there, I had friends there bringing home their little girl, Macy, as well. Well, China is a big country so I never thought that these two families would have ever crossed paths. When my friends got home, they were telling me all about their travels. They said that they had met this great family with a precious little boy and a new little girl. The more they talked, the more I put it together. After a couple of minutes, I said, "Are you talking about Vivi Jo??" My friend about fell on the floor laughing. Turns out they had met, and really enjoyed each others company. Too funny. It did make me feel less like a stalker, since I actually knew someone who knew Kim and her family. Funny, eh? For the record, the people I "stalk" are people who have adopted from China. You all know where my heart is, and I have to live vicariously through them. So I really am not a crazy person. Really.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

I Am So Proud of Jackson.

We began homeschooling Jackson when he was four. When we first moved to this area of the state, Jackson was two. We had been here like an hour and people started hounding us about where we were going to send Jackson to preschool. At that time, I had not planned to send him anywhere. I was a stay at home mom, my job was to stay at home and be a mom to my little boy. I had no intentions of sending my two year old to preschool. As time went on, it seemed I couldn't have a conversation with someone, without them asking me about preschool.

So when Jackson was three and a half, we decided that maybe we were wrong and Jackson would like going to preschool. So we enrolled him in a private Christian school. He went three mornings a week for three hours. His first day was right before Halloween. Every single day when he left to go, my heart broke. Honestly, it went against every ounce of my being to send him away for 9 hours a week. He was three for goodness sakes. You know what? He didn't like it either. He tolerated it at best. Most days we had to beg him to go. If he ever cried when it was time to drop him off, I didn't make him stay. I couldn't stand the thought of walking off from my crying child and actually leaving him there. When May rolled around and school was out for the summer, we were so happy.

At some point that summer we decided he wasn't going back. We just had such a peace about him staying home. We started homeschooling him that August, when he was four, and never looked back. It has been the hardest thing we have ever done. It has been the most awesome thing we have ever done.

We have both learned so much over the last year and a half. We have struggled in a lot of areas, but I feel we have made such progress. I am sure that most homeschooling families have a rocky first year. We are no exception, but I feel we have worked out most of our kinks.

All of that to say, that Jackson officially started first grade today. A whole 6 months early. He finished his kindergarten curriculum, and we decided to keep moving forward. In his kindergarten year he has learned how to read, excel in math (never made less than 100 on his math test), and he accepted Jesus into his little heart! Its been an awesome year! And to think, I almost gave up the opportunity to share all of that with him. I am thanking Jesus that I have the opportunity to experience the blessing that, that child is to me.

I wouldn't change my life for anything. Maybe I am not the best mommy in the world, but I for sure have the best kids in the world!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Can We Talk for a Minute?

About farts? I know, I know, a real mature topic, eh? Anyway, my family has always been a sharing kind of family, if you get my drift. No one held back (well except for my mom). And honestly, I am just a gassy person. I can't help it. Maybe I need to see a doctor, I don't know. So gassy girl meets Brad. The least gassy person on the planet. He has never, not even once, pooted in front of me in the 10 years we have been together. Because of that, I have never been comfortable sharing with him either. Its been a painful 10 years.

So I had a talk with Brad's sister not long ago about this very thing. Turns out, that was just the way their family worked. They just didn't share. Well, Stacey (Brad's sister) said that her husband has brought her to the dark side and the walls have come down. Not only do they fart in front of each other, they play games with it. So not fair. Here I am with a constant tummy ache, and they are having tons of farting fun.

All of that being said, I don't want my kids to grow up with tummy aches. I let them know that it is totally acceptable to pass wind when the need arises, as long as we aren't in public. I still try to keep my gas to myself when Brad is home. That means when he is not, it ain't pretty. Here's a little story for you, as sad (and funny) as it may be. We were doing school the other day and I was standing at the board writing Jackson's reading words down. He was sitting at his desk. I had a very loud obnoxious moment. Jackson shot a look at me, but didn't say a word. I just shrugged my shoulders like, well sorry, and we moved on. A few minutes later, I did it again. He gave me another look, and I gave him another shrug. Then I let out a little giggle, just thinking about how RUDE I was. Well, then Jackson giggled and I giggled again. Next thing I know, we were both hysterically laughing. We couldn't stop. Little Julianna was sitting at her desk too, and she never even looked up from coloring. LOL!

Anyway, I just want advice - what can I do to break wind, oops, I mean the ice with Brad? How do I help us to be more of a farting family? I have always heard a family that farts together, stays together. I want to be that family!

Monday, February 9, 2009

My Side is Splitting.

Let me start by saying that I am a decent cook. I mean, I am not awesome by any means, but I do alright. Our friends are always coming over to eat, so it must be ok. Ok, so my little girl's birthday is coming up. She wants a princess castle cake. Being the accommodating mommy that I am, I went to the grocery store to find the castle cake. Well, I found it alright. All $50 of it. Now, I am not quite that accommodating. I did think though, I will just make her a castle cake. It sounds easy enough - layered cake, icing covered sugar cones, right? So I watched the Betty Crocker instructional video about eleventy bajillion times.

I decided I probably should do a test run with the cake, you know just be too sure. I bought all the stuff today to give it a whirl. So, I get started and it was easy breezy. I thought for fun, I would use purple food coloring in the cake and green in the icing. It actually seemed very "Shrek" like, but this was just the test cake, so it didn't matter. Anyway, I get the cake out of the oven and it took me about 5 seconds to realize I had no clue what I was doing.

I cut out a smaller second layer, and an even smaller third layer. Castle's have layers, right? So here is a picture of what I was going for:

Here is what I got:

Lord, I have not laughed so hard in a very long time. Considering what it looked like as I was constructing it, I think it looks darn good. hahahahhahahahahahahhahaha. Is it a bonnet? A round submarine? A spaceship? And almost sombrero? I am not sure yet, but I can tell you what it is NOT. That's right, a castle.

So guess what my little girl is getting for her birthday? Yes, yes, the princess castle cake, courtesy of Lowes Foods. Best $50 I have ever spent.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

My Mom and Me.

This isn't a trip report, just some thoughts I am having. My mom and I are very close. We always have been. We Brad and I moved to Texas, I thought she was going to die. Physically die. I am not kidding. I, on the other hand, was too blind with love to be sad about moving half way across the USA. So we moved and I was thrilled. We lived in TX for about three weeks when my mom and step dad came out to visit. They had a wedding to go to in another town, so they flew to my town and we went together. They stayed about a week and we had a great time. Then they left. I felt like my heart had been ripped out of my chest. It was consuming. All I could think about was moving home. It literally changed who I was. I was a mess.

So fast forward almost 10 years, and I still have that feeling in the pit of stomach when they leave after a visit. It is horrible. It is almost like I grieve a loss for a day or so, then I am ok again. I know I will see them again soon (usually only a few weeks go between visits), but it is still so heartbreaking.

There is another side of things however. It seems that my mom and I can't get along for more than a day. Every single visit ends up with us fighting. For a while, I didn't understand why it happened, but it did with no exceptions. I guess the following will be a trip report - haha, since it happened on the trip, but not the kind you are expecting. So my parents came down to spend 5 nights with us here in Orlando. It took us 24 hours together before the fight began. On my birthday nonetheless. So we fought and moved on. The next day was great, we had a great time. Then Monday came. Oh Monday, how you sucked.

Anyway, we had a huge fight on Monday. It started when I left her with two of my little ones to go get the car so no one had to walk in the rain. My baby decided he didn't like to be left, so he laid on the floor of the mall and pitched the mother of all fits. So my mom had Sir Screams A lot, Julianna, a bag and two hot coffees. I guess she felt overwhelmed. When I got to the door to get them, she was not a happy camper.

I wont bore you with all the details, but lets just say, it was not a simple disagreement. After all was said and done, we had a very enlightening talk. It appears that my mom can't handle my personality. Just in case you don't know me, I can be a little, umm.... abrupt. Harsh. Sarcastic. I say what is on mind. I am aggressive, I get things done. My mom is very defensive, easily offended, kind. So it is no mystery that we don't get a long sometimes. I told her that honestly, I am sure that if I were not her daughter, we would never hang out. We aren't people that would naturally hang out together. In fact, we would probably avoid each other like the plaque. Really though, aren't most families like that?

Well, long story short (I realize this is not short, SORRY!), we decided that we were going to be better. I told her that my personality is not directed at her. Really, it has nothing to do with her. It is just how I am. So she is going to try to not be so sensitive and I am going to try to not be so - well, me.

Our last day together was great. We didn't fight once. I did tell her my thoughts though - she is getting older and more and more like my grandmother everyday. Then we fought again.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

You Know You've Been Waiting For It!

That's right, another trip report.
We are having a great time. However, Saturday made me want to physically hurt somebody. It was NUTS. I am not sure where all the people came from, but clearly they did not get the memo that it was my birthday, and they needed to get out of my way.

We went to Magic Kingdom. Disney has a special thing going on right now for people celebrating their birthday. You can get in for free, get an ultimate fast pass, or a merchandise credit for $75. Pretty good deal, especially since I happened to be there on my birthday. I chose the $75 credit. It is awesome that I had $75 of free money to spend. Wanna know what I bought? I bought Julianna's birthday present. Happy Birthday to me!

Anyway, so Saturday was pretty eventful. We went to the park for a while. My mom, Julianna and I went to the Afternoon Tea at the Grand Floridian. It was so nice. We had tea and little sandwiches. It was very frufru, but fun. I did learn that my child needs a few (ok a lot) of lessons on etiquette. She really let her inner Wilkesboro shine through. It was hysterical. They really made us feel special though, and it was a nice treat.
The sandwiches were so tasty! We got cucumber and water cress, shrimp salad, egg salad, chicken salad, and some pear cheese thing. My mom got a cheese platter with fruit. Julianna got special dark tea (chocolate milk) and three little sandwiches (pb&j, tuna, and ham/cheese). It really was darn tasty. So between the tea, the little tiny sandwiches, and the cheese plate, it was $56. It was worth it though - and it really did seem like quite a lot of food believe it or not.
Yesterday was the best day so far. We went back to Epcot and spend the entire day. The crowds were low, the kids were happy, the weather was nice - an all around nice day. My favorite part of Epcot is the countries. I guess I feel like it is as close as I will ever get to actually visiting the countries. You probably couldn't guess which country is my favorite - here's a little clue:

Did you guess China? hehe. I spent a lot of time and a lot of money there! It was annoying, I kept thinking how cheap the stuff would be to buy in real China. Oh no, not in Epcot China - everything is a fortune. Anyway, I really love it there. I even watched the Reflections of China film twice! It was so good. Anyway, lots of money, time, and peach tea consumption later, I moved on.
I also enjoy Mexico there. It is just so pretty. It really feels like you are there at night (no matter what time of the day it actually is). I love it!

You also will be interested to know that Miss Sissy Pants wanted to ride Test Track again. I was worried, but I thought, well, maybe she has found some courage deep down inside of herself somewhere. She got on, and loved it! haha! She really is coming out of her shell, thank the lord. Anyway, that is all for now. I will leave you with a few more pictures that are my favorites from the last couple of days.

1. Michele, Oops, I mean Cinderella Castle
2. EPCOT at night
3. Jackson TIRED of the camera in his face! ahhahahahah
4. My sweet baby loving on Mickey
5. And last but not least - JUST SAY NO TO CRACK. Seriously people, you HAVE to know your butt crack is hanging out 5 inches. That is NOT acceptable. Nor is the fact that I took a picture of it though, so I should probably shut up now.