"Adventures, I used to call them. I used to think that they were things the wonderful folk of the stories went out and looked for, because they wanted them, because they were exciting and life was a bit dull...But that's not the way of it with the tales that really mattered, or the ones that stay in the mind. Folk seem to have just landed in them, usually...I expect they had a lot of chances, like us, of turning back, only they didn't. And if they had, we shouldn't know, because they'd have been forgotten."

-Samwise Gamgee, The Lord of the Rings

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

My girl

Watching these video's makes me even more anxious for the 11th when we will visit an ortho and get an x-ray of her legs to see what the deal is with her legs and ankles turning in so badly. But hey, she controls them pretty well. :)

Also, its so cute to watch her walk because she has to get her 'stance'.... she crosses her pointer and middle finger on her right hand and she holds her left hand with her fingers all together. She ALWAYS does this right before she starts walking and she continues to do it until she stops. At the ends of the second video you can see her doing it up close. Love it!




Friday, June 24, 2011

Walking, 8 months home, and new pictures

So guess who's walking? Yep, thats right... Alina decided the other day that she can, in fact, walk by herself (and not just taking one step at a time and pausing four minutes between each step, she's been doing that for months. LOL) I don't know if its because we decided to forgo the de-rotational bands for a while because they were majorly stressing her out, or if she finally felt stable enough to go for it. What I do know, is that what she said to me when i asked her about it melted my heart to a puddle! After she walked all over the driveway, including stopping, starting and turning, I asked her 'Alina, what happened? Why did you finally decide you were going to walk and not be scared?' and she thought for a minute and then said 'I not fall, mama catch me.' and went on her merry way. Little did she know that those few words meant the world to me. I promise a new video soon of her skills. :)

In a couple days, Alina will be home 8 months! I cannot believe its been that long since we finally stepped off that airplane and I seen my Anthony with his face pressed up against the glass waving at me. I couldn't get down those steps fast enough. But it seems like its been forever. Bonding hasn't been easy. Watching her grieve hasn't been easy. Knowing when to push her and when to back off certainly hasn't been easy. Nothing was instant, but day by day things get easier. And 8 months out we've found our groove, she's growing and thriving and learning at lightening speed. We are so excited to enjoy the summer with her.

And some new pictures.... The last picture in a frame of Alexander alone was from his 7th b-day. Anthony's alone is from before his 4th bday. Sad, considering my favorite hobby. LOL I DO have recent pictures of the three kids together, and will get a few better ones soon.










Extreme dandelion blowing



Look how much she has grown!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Would you do it again?

I've been asked this question quite a few times in the last month. At first it was easy to answer 'OF COURSE!' but after the third or fourth time being asked, it was harder to answer because I had thought more about it.

I would have swam the Seven Seas for Alina to come home, and I would do it again in a heartbeat for her. Who wouldn't? Look at this face...


But would I do it again for another child? I'd like to jump right into the 'Of course!' but I hesitate. I feel a connection with Alina that I'd be afraid of not being able to duplicate with another child. It has taken she and I some time to fully bond, and I worry that another child wouldn't take to us so easily.

But when would we be ready? There are a couple kids that I would literally get on an airplane for tomorrow and go get them. Because I've seen them. Touched them. Held them. And because they are so very real to me both in my memory and in my heart, I cannot let go. But again I hesitate. Why?

Money. Isn't it terrible that what turns many away from adoption is money? But sadly, it is. We often will talk about another child, or say things like 'Alina sure needs a sister' but the comments following are always 'well if we had the money....'

Travel. Being away from my family, my home, everything, for another 3-5wks. I worry about how bringing home another child would affect Alina.... when would she be ready? I know the boys would be ok, they both understand and KNOW that if mama leaves, she always comes back. Alina doesn't quite have that down yet, she panics when I leave the room, or if I go out with a friend at night and she's home with Dad and brothers. She's felt a great deal of loss in her life and she hasn't moved past it fully yet, and probably won't for quite some time. We are ok with that, its our job to be here for her and help her.

But would we do it all again? The simple answer is yes. There is no question in my mind that if everything worked out that we would jump at the chance to bring another child home. Every worry, fret about money, every hurry up and wait, every document signed and notarized and apostilled and treated like a gold doubloun and spending a small fortune just to mail them off, every minute away from home, putting your entire future and that of the child you already love in the hands of others.....

Is simply worth it.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

And the winners are...

And the Winners Are:


Kindle:
Carolyn Schwenzer!


Outfit #1-

Crystal Britzius!


Doll -

Renee Tam!

Outfit #2 -

Michael Dahlen!


Hair Bow set -

Charissa Browning!


Toffee #1 -

Carolyn Schwenzer!


Toffee #2 -

Christina Lunn!


Target Gift Card -

Leigh Walters!


Olive Garden Gift Card -

Carolyn Schwenzer!

If you won something...please leave a comment with your name
and address and we will get your goodies to you!
Thank you to everyone who donated and participated! Almost $1700 was raised for the Houser family to bring sweet Sveta home!
And because its cute, this is the kids drawing names-
(and clearly I should have double checked my camera settings... these pics are all over the place, geez!)
Look how he's covering her eyes, like she can read and cheat! LOL



The boys were totally into it, they wanted to keep drawing names. A lot of you won random prizes like leftover breakfast, plastic basketball, bean bags, my sewing machine, a Hello Kitty lunchbox..... you get the idea. :)

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Mini-vacation

Thats what we did last weekend. On Friday afternoon we headed over to the St Croix River state park to camp for the weekend. Alina had never been in a tent before, but the rest of us love camping. And, as we expected, she enjoyed every second of it! She's a trooper. She hiked, walked, climbed, swam and played without skipping a beat. And at the end of the day she was so excited to 'seep in da tint'. :) We had to buy a new tent this year too, our old one, while still fantastic, was just too small for all of us. We squeezed four of us into it for 5yrs, but five of us would have been like a clown car. Our new tent is BIG, tall enough to stand in and we had so much room. You know, for one more. ;)

ANYWAY, on with some pictures, as I know thats why you all come here anyway! :)



Its eery how much these two look alike!


Waiting for the boys to bring the canoe down


Out on the river there were many large islands


The boys out in the canoe


Watching other canoe-ers come in after we finally docked ours.


Beautiful!




The boys weren't afraid of the frigid river water!


Neither was she. :)


Waiting for some campfire breakfast


Oh but who doesn't love Pringles after breakfast? And if you look closely at her hand, she has an Oreo cookie too.


Roughin' it


Eugene and Alexander climbed this


ALL the way to the top. 134 step and 100ft in the air. This fire watch tower was in use until recently.







And because its cute, this is Alina's 4th of July dress. There is a size larger available in my Etsy shop, or you can order a custom size! :)


And don't forget about the giveaway! Scroll down to the post titled When Love takes you in giveaway! Lots of fun stuff!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Happy Birthday, Alexander!

My awesome first born is 9yrs old today. Wow. 9yrs ago I was in the hospital wondering if the stubborn little thing was EVER going to come out, and he finally made is appearance at 11:28pm.

Happy Birthday, Alexander. My amazing, smart, sweet and stubborn 9yr old.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

When LOVE takes you in GIVEAWAY!

So a certain sweet little girl that I advocated for here on my blog and on facebook has her family coming for her NEXT WEEK! I'm sure you all remember Sveta....

Sweet Sveta planted her sweet self right into my heart when I got to meet her and spend time with her while we were at the baby house. She is just a love, and her mom is awesome too. They are working very hard to get to her, and they leave in a week.


So, there is a giveaway to help them fund their airline tickets. There is a lot of fun stuff, including a Nook, Target Gift card, and some fun outfits and a custom doll directly from my Etsy shop!

So go, check it out! For only $10 you get a chance to win some cool prizes and help that little beauty come home! You can also order a t-shirt or a car decal and get entered, or post it to your blog or facebook to be entered! Just leave a comment on Michelle's blog when you've donated, posted or bought a shirt or decal. All the info plus pictures are on her BLOG SO CLICK HERE AND GO CHECK IT OUT!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Walking and talking

Trying the video's again. Blogger is being frustrating lately.... and it seems everyone is having a problem.


She was having a blast with these walkie talkies. At first she was 'talking to grandma' and they were 'going shopping'. :) Then of course I get the camera on and she stops doing it. :)
(and ignore my horrible voice on these video's. I always hate my recorded voice!)






At the beginning of this one she is saying that she just got off the four wheeler.



Apparently if she covers her eyes, you can't see her. :)


Anthony rode her scooter out of the garage (apparently hers is more fun to sit on and ride out of the garage since it has three wheels) and she was all in a tissy about it.