Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Flying the Friendly Skies

Southwest Airlines has the funniest stewards and stewardesses.

While reviewing the safety procedures, the steward discusses the oxygen masks that drop from the ceiling of the craft in the event the cabin should lose pressure. Making sure that everyone was aware of the correct protocol, he said adults should secure their masks first. Then, he proceeds with, "And if you have children traveling with you......I am sorry."

Mere was very interested in the safety procedure leaflet. Looking at all the pictures, she got excited and said, "Oh, can we do the slide to get off the plane?" A man behind me said, "I sure hope we don't!"

Shortly after her comment, a stewardess came on the line, assuring us we were facing a short flight, and she hoped we enjoyed our time together. She also reminded us if our flight unexpectedly became a cruise, we could find life jackets under our seats.

As passengers milled in the aisles looking for their favorite position on the air bus, another stewardess came over the loud speakers, trying hard to contain her aggravation that we were waiting on several folks to be seated so we could begin our trek.

"Ladies and gentlemen, please find your seats....Attention, passengers, everyone needs to be seated so we can secure the overhead storage compartments and ready the craft for flight.....come on folks, you are not picking out fine furniture. Please find a seat....You will only be in this seat for just about an hour...please, set your rumps in the closest facility to where you are now standing....there are no more seats that will appear the closer you get toward the restrooms...."

It was definately a fun flight, and gave us all a chuckle. I don't usually recommend any airlines over the others, but this past trip for us was quite enjoyable...and the free diet coke was delivered at just the right time!!

Monday, June 20, 2011

June 20th. Are you kidding me?

What a whirlwind this month has been!

There are so many highlights, I would probably feel overwhelmed if I thought too hard about it.

Tyler, Nicole and Nelly all graduated from their current grades with the A/B honor roll. Wow. And I mean, WOW!! Now I house a freshman, 8th grader and 7th grader!!

Tara finished her year on a high note, and moves to the "big" school now. She has done so well and we are entering the 3rd grade without an IEP. Another HUGE WOW!

Mere' is excited to be going into her first grade, full day year in the fall. Sans her "twin", and protector, Tommy. It will be the first year they will be going separate directions. First grade. It hardly seems possible that my "dinky" baby and my brilliant boy are going to school all day this next year. Mere' is a bit unsure how she will manage "on her own," but Tommy assures her she can do it. He has such a confidence in his abilities that he shows no fear like she does. However, she has grown so much and makes a friend whereever we go. I know they will have a great year.

And the baby...Bella is sooooo excited to go to school in the fall, her first time without momma. I do believe she will handle it far better than I. There is something that brews in my heart (separation anxiety!) that makes my knees shake and my head ache!! She will do great and is so ready for school.

Hopefully, by the time school starts, I will have the boys home from Liberia. What a long journey this has been. Mike and I tell each other it's gonna happen, it's gonna happen, it's gonna happen! Right now, the hold up is our fingerprints expiring. Another slooooooowwwww process, but praying for God's favor and expediant government workers as the papers pass along the way.

I was blessed to spend my birthday in Jersey with those beautiful grandsons. The kids treated me special and it is a birthday I will never forget!! Scott and Britt bought me my first pair of TOMS shoes, which I LOVE!!! The neat thing about them is that for every pair you buy, they donate a pair to a third world country. How cool is that? We had brunch at OC Cafe in Ocean City, and went to a bunch of garage sales!! We walked downtown with their friend Adrianna, whom I adore, and for dinner Scotty grilled Bison and Shrimp Kabobs! Fabulous! My sugars were doing so well that my birthday treat was a piece of cheese cake with fresh strawberries on top. What a great day!

While I was there, Keegan became my new best friend. Kaiden was busy with Mere and Keegy decided gramma was kinda fun. I love his dimples and impish smile. It was so sweet to see Kaid and Mere run to each other each morning with a huge hug and start their days as best buds. I loved it. Keane was so fun with his new sounds and silly faces. He kept me laughing every day. They are all so precious. When we are apart I feel like part of my heart it hanging in the air, waiting for one of them to catch it and keep me alive. They mean so much to me. They really handled the move much better than I expected, and we return this weekend to bring them here. They hope their crates will be in Puerto Rico by July 20th, since Scott has to report by the 15th. Who knows?? They will be welcome here as long as they can stay, and we hope to build on more summer memories before they head out to their new adventures in PR. I know I will miss them terribly until we meet again.

Kaiden finished preschool just before I got to New Jersey. I can hardly believe that first blonde that captured my heart and soul is now going to kindergarten!! He will be attending a school run by the military, and even learning spanish!! What a gift to have the experiences in Bayamon, PR. I will look forward to hearing all that he will be learning, and watching him grow. He has become a good little surfer in Jersey, and I imagine that will be his big focus for a while. He LOVES the water.

Keegy took off on his bike early this summer, without training wheels!! Go, Keegy!! He goes so fast it was hard to video!! He will be home with Mommy and Keane this fall, but that's just fine with him.

Keano continues to amaze me with how much he learns and how funny he is. He is quite the corker, and very amusing!! Too fun!! I know Britt will keep sending me videos and pictures to keep up with their new lives on the Island!

Getting on the plane, Mere could hardly contain her excitement. She wanted a window seat so she could take it all in. She buckled, listened to the safety instructions intently, and positioned herself with the best view.

As the plane took off, Mere braced herself, grinning ear to ear.
"Listen, Mom. We are blasting off!!"
"Oh, oh, look, we are flying!! We are flying!!"

It was worth everything to see her excitement. To watch her face light up and remember the doctor telling us when we left the hospital 7 years ago, not to be discouraged if she "didn't make it." She was flying!! I couldn't have been more excited for her.

It seems like we are all flying these days. Busy times ahead, but we are soaring high and watching the clouds below us.

Life is good.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

School Daze

The school year is coming to a close in the next week, and I was thinking back about the milestones each of the kids has made this year.

Tyler, although a few detentions have frustrated me, has brought his grades up to honor roll status. Just yesterday he informed me he had gotten a 100% on his powerpoint presentation. I think that's impressive, but I was especially glad to hear that the report he chose to focus on was about a physically handicapped young woman. He called her one of his heroes. I liked that. Good job and a great way to end his Jr. High career. He will be a freshman next year. Wow.

Nicole has been in three musicals this year. It seems our van knows the route to practices better than I did! She has determined acting is her LIFE, and knowing her dramatic flair, I think I agree!! She is almost on the all A honor roll, except for her advisory class, which she didn't know turning in assignments was really what the teacher meant...lol...She has developed a mature singing voice, and loves singing and playing her keyboard. Choir has been her favorite class this year. We bought a piano last month so hopefully some lessons are in the near future. She is much taller than me, much prettier than she believes, and much smarter than she gives herself credit for. She will be in 8th grade in the fall, and wants to be an adult more than anything in the world. Sigh...

Nelly, sweet Nelly, is more capable of making friends with strangers than anyone I have ever known. She has had many highs in her school work, and just as many lows. She has no problem doing homework, but it never makes it to the teachers desk until it's marked down to half credit. She scores very high on all her tests, but her method of daily work will need MUCH encouragement when she enters Jr. High in the fall. She enjoyed playing band this year, with my old flute, but wants to try choir next year. She is looking forward to her 6th grade graduation ceremony next week, while I am flying to Jersey. Bad planning on my part, but Daddy will be the videographer in my stead. Big year of learning, growing and changing. She is excited about moving to the big school next fall

Tara. The Reactive Attachment Disorder child that would have trouble attaching and bonding. Wow...she fooled them! Her teacher refers to her at sweet, gentle and bright. She is still the biggest dog lover on the planet, and perhaps the most mischievous of all the kids. She has maintained her strong friendship with a boy named Phoenix that has got to be her exact match in energy and spunk. She is hoping they have the same teacher next year too! She is making great strides in her hand control and writing assignments, and has even caught dad in his misspelling a time or two! She LOVES snacking, making her own ramen or mac and cheese, and can smell candy where ever she is. She is a strong leader, and learning to be a positive one at that. She is going into 3rd grade, and we are excited about the wonderful progress she has made. My blue-eyed beauty, that I swear has a little bit of snake inside of her!!

Meredith, Meredith, Meredith. What a stinker she has become this year!! She is the most loving of all the littles, and wants to hug and kiss everyone. She found out that whining gets her attention, whether or not it's negative!! She is still best friends with Tommy and relies on him probably too much. It's part of the reason they
will be going into separate classrooms for first grade, and she is already nervous about it. She is learning to sound out words, and write her numbers and alphabet letters the right way. She is a lefty and hates her glasses. But her best friends again this year are twins Cali and Cash. She is loving and kind and has been heard to ask others if they have birth moms too! She is starting to understand the whole adoption picture, and is excited about welcoming our new boys this summer.

Thomas prefers to be called Tommy. Not Tom. Not Thomas. He is the smartest kid and has gotten extra attention in school to challenge him. When I asked him how his special reading class was going, he said he wanted to quit. I asked him why would he quit something that he was so good at? He is a tremendous reader! This is how the conversation went:
Me: It's special to have someone extra to read with.
Tommy: I don't' like it.
Me: Why not?
Tommy: My teacher doesn't know anything.
Me: What? Why do you think that?
Tommy: She keeps asking me what a word is. She says, "Tommy, can you tell me
what this word says?" She doesn't even know as much as me.
Me: sigh...
He is the one I ask to fix the TV when I can't understand the remote. He is uber-independent. He loves being outside, bugging the dogs, or searching for a treasure. He is kind when he wants to be, and rowdy when I don't want him to be. He is sensitive and can get his feelings hurt, but he's also quickest to laugh at a joke that the others wouldn't get. First grade. All day school. It just happened too fast for this mamma.

Bella-Boo. She is so excited about going to preschool in the fall. She is registered at the same preschool that started with Nelly and all of the kids since that. She has been in that room for 4 years with parties for the other kids, so she is excited that it is finally her turn! She gave up her pacifier finally, but every now and then will ask for it. NOPE~ sometimes I think she just needs the reaffirmation that she really is a big girl! She is also looking forward to our babies coming home, and prays diligently for them. She rides a bike without training wheels, and exhibits more Independence than I wish she had! She calls me "her majesty" (without prompting!)and gives me tons of hugs and kisses all day long. I know she will change once she gets to school, and I treasure these days with her.

Our two African Angels will be joining us this summer. It's been a long almost 3 years of waiting. The longest pregnancy yet! But we are excited and ready to welcome them into the family and start their healing.

The days are full and busy. Once school is over, the summer fun begins. I am looking forward to the days ahead, making memories and watching the children grow.
I just wish I could keep them from growing up so fast!