Friday, August 23, 2013

July, August, 1st Day of 2nd Grade (2013)

We had the busiest summer this year of any summer!  July started off with a rather large cookout for July 4th at our house!  We had neighbors, friends, family and lots of good times.  The kids had a ball playing outdoors in water hose.  Nothing like a water hose to bring kids from 2-11 together to play!

Afterwards we did lots of sparklers with the older kids and had a ball.

During July we also celebrated Tic Tac's 2nd birthday!  We made Sesame Street themed fruit pies and just had family over for this one!

August also brought plenty to do.  We took a large shopping trip to some outlets and I got to visit my best friend.

August also brought our second foster child placement.  A little girl this time.  We feel so blessed even though she may never be ours to call our own.

Finally Daniel went to back to school this year as we were finally re-districted to the school we originally wanted.  He's had a great first week!

Monday, July 8, 2013

June 2013 - Kick Start To Summer!

This June started out with our summer vacation.  We ventured north this year to DuBois, PA.  Make sure you pronounce it Doo-BOYS or you will be corrected!  We stayed at Treasure Lake in a nice 2 bedroom townhouse.  We were able to take our boat and enjoy the Lake.  Tic Tac had his first boat ride and he loved dipping a fishing rod in and out of the lake.  We had to tie the rod to him though because we almost lost one when he pitched it overboard!  Daniel has become a master fisher.  He uses an open face reel and will give you a lesson if you need one using all the technical terms.  (He’s a mini-Troy)!

One day we rode through the Wilds and took a driving trail for Elk sightings.  We did see 4 Elk and they have the coolest pull offs where you can follow a trail to a large wooden blind and look out for Elk in the fields. 
The highlight of our trip was heading to Niagara Falls for a day.  We visited the national park on the American side only, since we don’t have border crossing documents for Tic Tac.  It was wonderful!  We had gorgeous weather!  For $5.00 the whole family could ride the trolley around the park all day!  I highly advise it – the kids loved it.  I made a new friend on the trolley (ask Troy), but that’s another story!!  We rode the Maid of the Mist – it launches on both sides of the border and returns you to the same side, so no passports needed!  Tic Tac would have nothing to do with the rain coats so he and I got soaked together!!  We also visited the Observation Deck and the Aquarium.  We ate lunch outside at a picnic table which an older couple volunteered to share with us.  We had a wonderful conversation and in the midst of it, Daniel asked them to guess where he was born.  They were amazed when he said “Russia” and that kept us talking for some time! 

The following weekend my mom rented several campsites at our local campground.  It used to be a KOA, but is a Good Sam’s park now.  It’s local and since I don’t love camping we travel and “day camp” and go home each evening.  The camp is situated on a river and there is a little beach, river tubing, a waterfall, pool, hottubs, nice bathrooms, and gameroom.  Yeah, I know…primitive, right! 

We had a ball!!  All the family comes and this year included two of my aunts and uncles, one we hardly ever get to see!!  They helped us celebrate Daniel’s birthday!  We cooked out, and did all the amenities.  River tubing and visiting the waterfall were our favorites, after getting over the shock of the cold water!!  Daniel was a wild man in the river and pool.  He could live in water if we let him.  Tic Tac also enjoyed both and is enjoying “jumping” off the side of the pool (with help) into my arms!  We’ve been dunking him under water ever since our trip to Destin in April.  He does just great with it and comes up laughing!

Daniel requested key lime pie, so we made it in cups and handed them out after dinner one night.  I can’t believe my baby boy is 7!!  He also ate about 100 s’mores over the weekend – mother of the year here!!!

Finally, we went to Virginia Beach for the day and got to meet some blogging celebrities!   Those of you who adopted around the same time we did may know Rob, Dede andLiam!  They came all the way from Texas to visit friends of theirs and we got to crash in on everyone for a day!  The kids enjoyed staying in the pool for 4+ hours!  I love how in the adoption world, you can feel comfortable with people you've never even met!  We ended the night with an awesome dinner and two very sleepy boys on the way home!

In between all this Daniel still finds time for summer camp 2 days a week and karate 3-4 days a week!!  Our schedule is nuts!!  Next stop - July!  Our weekends are crammed this summer and we are loving it!!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Spring Vacation!

Wow - I know I sound like a broken record, but I can't believe it's been so long since I last posted.  For my peace of mind that I'm not a bad blogger, I will blame it on a very busy tax season this year including brand new software! 

It's also hard to post about life and post photos when I can't share information or photos about Tic Tac.  He is such an integral part of our lives and he is in every photo and in every story I want to share.  This week marks one year that he has been with us.  One whole blessed, amazing, trying, and wonderful year.  Oh, how I hope I can share more in the coming months!

At the end of a busy tax season always comes a few days off.  We decided this year to rent a condo in Destin, FL and visit Troy's granny and family.  Its been quite a few years since we've been, so it was a real treat.  The boys loved the beach.  Daniel was fearless running into a chilly surf day after day.  I even ventured in with him while Troy stayed ashore with Tic Tac.  Tic Tac liked the beach, but he LOVED the pool and most especially he loved a beach ball!

We realy had a nice time as a family, something I had been needing since I been working so many hours and really had not been able to spend as much time with the boys as I like. 

We visited Gator Land and the boys got to hold a baby gator and we got a cool photo.  It wasn't without mishap though - Troy and Daniel both got "gator-peed" on!!    Tic Tac and I stayed safely in the back of the photo!  Afterwards they got to feed the gators on cane poles and it was lots of fun!

Troy also ordered oysters at Panama's Joes our last night there and he bit into a real pearl!!  It was a natural pearl and a nice size!  No one there had ever had that happen before.  We had a jeweler look at it and while it wasn't valuable because it wasn't overly shiny or perfectly round it is a still a treasure!  Troy is having it set in a silver setting and added to a necklace I have!!

Without further ado...some photos of our beach week!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

School Dealings and Lego Fest

We’ve had a lot going lately.  Daniel had been having a rough year at school this year.  It got the point where we felt like the teacher was focusing on Daniel and picking at him constantly.  For 2 weeks straight I got home notes to the effect of:  he rolled a pencil on his desk today; he played with his gloves today, today he didn’t read well; he made a bad choice by not buying lunch today (and he was made to go back through the line and buy a lunch); and so on and so forth.  

Most of these issues I felt are issues that were VERY minor and could have been easily dealt with at school.  Not that I don’t want to be notified of things going on at school, but I don’t want my son picked on either.  Now, don’t get me wrong, Daniel DID toilet paper the bathroom, but I’m still of the opinion that this was something that took far more than 2-3 minutes considering that he had done a n umber 2 also in the time period.  I mean, folk, look at the single-ply quality (ha!) toilet he was working with and there isn’t even a tear!   All of my friends and co-workers (who got a charge out of it) agreed that this was a 3rd or 4th graders work and that it took at least 10 minutes.  What can I say?  My son is that talented!!  Seriously, it means to me that he was gone from class too long and no one noticed.  For the record, he punished at home by being on kitty litter duty for a week.

We went to the teacher, guidance counselor and assistant principal, then to the principal herself.  It did not go well.  I asked for something positive about my son to come home in the next couple of weeks and we got nothing.  No follow up, no phone call, nothing.  Daniel’s never had a show and tell day ALL YEAR – I sent a note asking why, got no response.  He’s never been the star student.  There hasn’t been much good for him this year. 

He said himself that he felt like the teachers were always in his ears saying do this, do that.  He got yelled at by a teacher one day and when he calmly said “I don’t like your noisy voice”, he got in trouble again for that.  I really don’t like that a teacher was yelling at my 6 year old.

It’s been a rough year.  There are more examples, like a nasty skin abrasion that didn’t even rank a visit to the office or school nurse, but instead got a tissue handed to him to wipe the blood.  Sigh….

Finally over the last 8 weeks or so we noticed a change in attitude, crying the morning, and wetting pants (the wetting we had been controlling well all year due to his medical condition).

Soooo, after much unhappiness. (on our part and Daniel’s) and after much research and exhausting our options, we felt like it was time to move out of the public school system. 

We delivered our NOI (Notice of Intent) to homeschool, along with proper documents for teaching at home yesterday morning and we went to the school and removed him mid day.  Probably not the best time, but we did it quickly and I couldn’t stand the thought of him there a minute longer.  Troy was brave and went to the classroom and grabbed belongings at mock speed and Daniel was non the wiser.  We will tell him tonight after Tic-Tac is in bed.

I won’t lie, I was so happy when I saw him coming toward the truck, but I cried anyway.  I cried because I’m upset about what happened, I’m upset that my child can’t attend school like the majority of the kids can, I’m upset for the friends he may not see again, and I’m upset that there are other children who may be undergoing some of the same treatment.

Sorry – that turned out much longer than I expected! 

Now on to the good stuff!  After picking Daniel up we rushed ourselves to Lego Fest!!!  We took our 4 year old nephew and Daniel and my mom took care of Tic Tac for the evening!  We had such a ball playing in piles of Legos!  There were awesome Lego sculptures, tons of places to build, Chima races, shows, monochromatic Lego builds and loads of activities.    We came home with free posters, Lego magazines and we may have spent a little more than planned in the Lego shop! 

Here are just a few photos of our good time!!  Oh, and I couldn't resist taking a picture with the Harry Potter gang - Hagrid was HUGE!!!


Friday, January 18, 2013

Christmas - 2012 (Where does time go?)

Wow - I had no idea how far behind I was on this blog.  Well, maybe I did, but was too afraid to look!

Things are same old, same in our world.  We are enjoying every precious moment we have with Tic-Tac and wondering how many more we may be able to hold his precious life in our hands, hoping forever, but not daring to accept it yet.

Daniel has blossomed into a great older brother.  He is patient and kind and loving towards Tic-Tac.  Yes he gets frustrated with him, yes he tattles on him and yes he feels he gets ignored sometimes, but we make every effort to spend one on one time with Daniel when we can.

This year Christmas brought sickness to our house and I ended up in the ER two days before Christmas.  I had a stomach bug and just couldn't eat.  I went 7 days with no food and trying to get drink down and by the seventh day I couldn't even swallow drink.  I went to my family doctor early in the week and got medicine for nausea, but it didn't help.  Once I checked into the ER, I received some different meds and within a few hours, felt much better and was finally able to swallow drink and then move to soft foods.

We celebrated Santa gifts with the kids on Christmas and our gifts to them.  Daniel was a trooper when we told him we'd be having the rest of Christmas the following Sunday which is when we moved our annual Christmas Eve dinner to.  It worked out wonderfully as since it was after Christmas my sister-in-law and her family (from Iowa!!) and my very best friend of 20 years and counting and her hubby were also able to join us, along with the rest of both sides of our families!  We had a blast and all the children were spoiled rotten!!

Hoping this New Year brings lots of happiness and more children into the lives of those that want them!  The news out of Russia has saddened me, but I know there are many children right here and all over the world that still need homes.  If anyone has any questions about adoption or fostering, please email me.