Saturday, February 28, 2009

The Necklace

Finally. A picture of my new necklace. I really have been trying to get a good shot but it never worked out. I talked with my sister who gave me a few ideas. The best idea? Pull out the instruction manual for the camera. Huh, why didn’t I think of that?

So I did and found the magic setting that I needed to get a close up picture. Isn't it beautiful?? I absolutely love it. (click on the picture for a bigger view)

Thank you to Suzanne Myers for creating this amazing piece of jewelry. Thank you to the team from No Hands But Ours for having the give-away which I was so fortunate to win.

But mostly, thank you to the team from NHBO for creating their website as well as to all the parents who have contributed stories. I know all the information provided will help countless numbers of people welcome waiting children into their hearts.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Frantic Friday....

We interrupt your usual blog reading to give you a giggle for the day….

Picture this. Math centers with 20 kindergartners. All of whom are sweet but all of whom are loud, want to be in charge, can't listen worth a flip, and already know it all.

During our one hour math session, the following happened:

*Two girls decided to cut their hair. Why? I have no clue. No one has done that before.
*One boy decided that it would be a good idea to go around pinching other kids on their bottoms. Uh no. Where did you get that idea?
*Another boy decided it was too much trouble to go to the bathroom so wet his pants instead. Good grief. The bathroom was ten feet away.

All my assistant and I could do was shake our heads and pray for the clock to move faster.

After days like this, it’s hard to come home to my double trouble duo. So, I have asked my principal to move me to another grade next year or back into special education. I can’t stay in kindergarten when my kids are the same age.

It’s just too much “five-ness”. (Do you like my new word??)

Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Good, the Bad, the Ugly....

Oh my. It’s only been two days since my last post but it feels like it’s been forever. My days have seemed so long. When I have time to breathe, it’s bedtime (for me!).

Here’s the rundown on The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly:

Ummmm. Let’s go from worst to best, shall we?

The Ugly
*I have run out of patience. If you know where to buy more, please let me know. No price is too high. I really need it. Yes, I am an addict.
*I have twenty kindergartners that task me each and every day. Rules don’t apply to them, did you know that? See above. I enjoy them all but they are pushing me over the cliff. And rather rapidly. But only 59 more days to go.
*I miss my naps. I don’t think it would bode well for my future teaching in my county if I chose to take a nap and let the kids play. Do you?
*I am behind on blog reading. This really bugs me. I like to catch up each day with everyone but haven’t had time this week.

The Bad
*My girls have been “a mood” this week where non-compliance was the only way we existed. Yeah for me. What one does, the other copies. Note to self: perhaps the three year age gap of the big kids is a good thing-----as opposed to the fourteen months with the little ones.
*Case in point: I was very nicely sitting there eating my pizza (lazy dinner time), when a pair of jammies hit me in the head. Got to love a four year old.
*I am so tired of Wal-Mart and Kroger. I dislike being there every other day. Don’t you? Even if I plan ahead, some nameless teen needs something that was not mentioned earlier.
*Soccer has started again which means a weird night time schedule. Ordinarily it’s not a problem since Dave is the coach and does the driving. However, since he is in China, it falls on me and Katie. But it’s baseball season so Katie is off watching her boyfriend pitch (with MLB scouts watching----whoo hoo!). So that leaves me…..and the girls… pick up Alex at 8:30 when we (well, they) should be in bed. Ugh.
*Tonight, while Skyping with Dave, I had to fuss at Anna Grace. Dave just started laughing so I fussed at him too. He said it made him feel like he was at home. Geesh. Maybe I should ditch the webcam!

The Good
*I got my new name charm necklace from Suzanne Myers. I love it!! Already had many compliments on it. I have tried dozens of pictures but nothing is turning out. I am sorry. My zoom isn’t zoomy enough. But if you go to her site, I have one of each of the borders (one for each kid!) and the rock crystal as the stones.
*I ordered my t-shirt from Gwen and received it yesterday. Mind you, her daughter was having surgery so the fact she mailed it just amazes me!! Click on her button on my sidebar, Support the Oatsvall Team.
*Daddy comes home from China on Saturday!
*Katie did bathtime tonight….for a fee of course. But sometimes, I’ll pay anything for her to do bathtime. It’s normally a daddy thing. When he’s gone, they have me (grumpy Gus) or they are dirty. Figured the school wouldn’t appreciate dirty kids to I’ve had to step in. But paying Katie works for me too! Plus then she has money for the baseball game tomorrow.
*Skype is cool… glad we got set up. It has been great this trip to actually see Dave when we chatted. It will come in handy this summer when he is back in China.
*Tomorrow is Friday!!

Yeah for the weekend!!! Hope you all are doing well.......

Back to watching Dora until bedtime. Only a few short minutes away.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

A package...for me!

I arrived home yesterday to find a brown box in my mailbox. Whoo hoo! A package for me. I looked at the return address and saw it was from my friend Denise from There’s Always Room for One More.

Here was the conversation with Alex pertaining to my wonderful package.

Alex: What is it?
Me: A mug from my friend.
Alex: She’s in Missouri. You can’t buy a mug here in Georgia?
Me: Sure I can but this one has her blog logo on it.
Alex: (giving me the look) You have a mug with her blog logo?
Me: Yep, it’s cool!
Alex: Have you even met her?
Me: Nope, but we will soon.
Alex: That is so weird. Really mom. Get a life.

I have a life, thank you very much. And it involves lots of bloggy friends. No, we may not have met in person but I truly enjoy each and every person whom I have met through blog land. My child can just hush. Geesh.

Without further ado, here is my wonderful mug from Denise.

I can’t wait to make some tea or hot chocolate and test it out. I’m not a coffee person. Sorry Denise. I know you are a Starbucks addict. Stay tuned to her blog. She is surely going to have more mug give-aways!!

Oh, and the package got even better. She sent me one of her famous Crack Bars. No, we are not mailing drugs across state lines, I promise. These are addictive chocolate rice krispy treats. And trust me, they are addictive. I had to force myself to put mine down.

But the icing on the cake? Bubble wrap. Anna Grace and Abby were excited about the package until they realized it was not for them. A major let down let me tell you. Whew. However, when I opened it up and found bubble wrap, their day was complete. And made my day much louder when they proceeded to put the bubble wrap on the floor and jump on it. Oh. My. Gosh.

So, thank you Denise for my gorgeous mug, my crack bar, my tea, and the bubble wrap----but not so much for the bubble wrap. Thanks most though for being such a great friend. We will meet one day, for sure!

Anyone else want to come join us?
The making of this post is brought to you by the letters
S for Skype….since I chatted with Dave while typing!
B for bath…..that Katie did while I was skyping
C for the cleaning up that Alex did after dinner
by the number 4 for the number of great kids I have.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Scrubbing Saturday

After admitting to the blogging world that my bathrooms were not “company ready”, I decided that needed to be today’s project. It was either that or wash my socks like google told me to do.

Let me just tell you….enthusiasm abounded when I announced our morning plans to my children. They scattered like roaches do when the light comes on. Lovely visual huh? I've lived in the south too long!

In spite of their trickery, I recruited enslaved them and assigned jobs.

I armed myself with my trusty sidekicks...

No, not them. They are no help at all. Trust me.

These sidekicks work much better.

I ever so happily got to work. And if you believe that, you don’t know me very well. I sent Alex to go scrub the downstairs bathroom and do some vacuuming while I worked on his/the girls bathroom before mine.

Not to be left out of the scrubbing fun, Katie was put to work scrubbing kids

and finishing the vacuuming.

After the successful cleaning to mom's satisfaction, we earned our reward. Me, bribe my kids? No, why ever would I do that??

All those calories I burned off while scrubbing tubs just got eaten. Oh well.

But now if you are in the area and want to stop by, I won’t send you to the neighbor’s house to use the facilities. In fact, our bathrooms are so clean we may eat dinner in there.

Wouldn’t my kids think I’ve really lost it then? (snicker, snicker)

Whew. I think I’ve inhaled too many fumes today.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Evidently I need......

I did this for Facebook tonight because it looked fun. You google your name plus the word "needs" and see what pops up. You then post the top ten items. Mine were bizarre. I had to sift through what made sense. But here you go!

*Kristin needs to move. (no thanks!)
*Kristin needs a good haircut to tame her wild hair. (true!)
*Kristin needs to wash her socks. (how does google know that?? kind of creepy)
*Kristin needs a cocktail. (probably)
*Kristin needs help. (always!)
*Kristin needs your number. (uh, maybe not)
*Kristin needs to get on the show. (what show? is it a good one?)
*Kristin needs to stir it up. (I'm good at that!)
*Kristin needs her own talk show. (ha! watch out world!)
*Kristin needs to get over here and rock out! (really? no cameras, please!)

Try it and see what happens! It's pretty funny. :-)

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Return of the Lazy Blogger

The lazy blogger strikes again. We’re off school this week for mid-winter break. I have no schedule, no pressing needs, and absolutely no motivation. We’ve been in our jammies until lunch time and doing a whole lot of nothing beyond that. Love it!

Honestly, I should be cleaning. Our bathrooms are in a sad state of affair. Please don’t come visit me or I may send you to the neighbor’s house to use the bathroom. Seriously. The laundry is caught up. I know you find that shocking based on my past laundry experiences. I did sweep today. Yeah for me. I just couldn’t take the dust bunnies anymore.

So what have we done instead?

On Monday, we planted a cheeseburger tree. The girls have been anxiously checking to see if it is growing. They’ve told several people all about it. Poor kids. Little do they know that they’ve been duped by the teens.

On Tuesday, daddy left for China. We dropped him off at the airport, went to McDonald’s for breakfast, and came home, The little ones were excited to see an email waiting for them from daddy showing them his airplane.

I know, not extremely exciting for the average reader but it was a big hit with the four year old crowd!

Wednesday dawned bright and early. Our morning was leisurely until I came out of the shower to get dressed and realized.....that my engagement ring was missing. We have been having issues with a nameless four year old who can’t seem to keep her hands off things that don’t belong to her. When asked about it, she went completely silent. No clues as to where the ring may be. To say I freaked would be an understatement. Fortunately, without any assistance from the shorter people in the house, the ring was located safe and sound. Whew.

We then took off for the library so mommy could get some much needed reading material. After all, what else do you do when there’s no school and you don’t want to clean? I know, blog and facebook. But I like to read too!!

Can you see what author I am currently hooked on reading??

We were also able to Skype with Dave in Shanghai. The girls think this is WAY cool and come running when they hear his voice.

They asked him all about his hotel room so we had a guided tour complete with pictures of the bathroom. Got to love little people!

Wednesday was also hair cut day for everyone. We were much overdue. The biggest changes came to Alex, Anna Grace, and Abby.

We are going to attempt to grow out the girls bangs which is why we went short for this cut. We’ll see how it goes!! Alex only kinda-sorta cooperated for his picture because I was holding his lunch ransom.

And let us not forget the icing on the cake for Wednesday. Two tornado warnings (not watches) while I was at a meeting at church while the kids were home alone. Yep. Got to love those kind of nights.

Which brings us to Thursday. I took all three girls to have their nails done at a local salon. Let me add that one of the mom’s in my class owns the salon and gives me gift certificates. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have taken them all!! But AG and Abby had a great time. They got to pick out their nail color, sat patiently (by themselves no less) while they were painted, and even got little flowers on their thumbs.

Our week is coming to a close which means school will soon be here. I think tomorrow will be one more lazy day before conquering the aforementioned bathrooms and the playroom.

Unless someone wants to volunteer to come clean for me. I could then spend three more days being lazy on the couch, with a book, eating peanut butter m&m's, diet coke, and the chocolate crispy treats that Denise is going to send me, all while while the girls run rampant through the house.

Any takers?

Monday, February 16, 2009

Our New Amazing Tree

We just planted a new kind of tree. Yes, me, who cannot care for anything unless it talks. If I have a real plant in my house, it had better learn to ask for water otherwise it goes thirsty.

But this new tree should be easy to care for. Actually, it is the kids responsibility since it was their brilliant idea. They have it all planned out. When the tree grows and begins to bloom, they plan to sell the produce and split the money amongst themselves.

Do you know what they are growing?

Yep, they decided if you plant sesame seeds from a hamburger bun, you can grow your own hamburgers.

Won't they be disappointed when it doesn't happen?
You can thank Katie and Alex for devestating the little ones. After all, they convinced the girls it would work!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day!!

Aren’t these beautiful? They aren’t mine. Nope. They belong to Katie! Catlan picked her up for dinner tonight and gave her roses and chocolate. He’s making dinner for her too. What a great guy!! A tribute to his parents for sure. What other 17 year old boy is making dinner for his girlfriend tonight??

Dave and I don’t do much for Valentine’s Day anymore. Years ago, he would bring me flowers but then I’d complain about the cost. Then he only bought flowers when he got a speeding ticket. Such romantics, huh? Actually, he really is. I’m not.

Alex spent the day with a girl “with whom he has an interest”. Last year was a bad girl year so I hope this year is better. No elaboration but read what you want into my description of the year. “Nuf said.

Dave, the girls, and I? What did we do? We hit BJ’s and Wal-Mart (golly I hate that place---especially on Saturdays). Our mission? To find a new computer monitor for the one that croaked. We’ve been fortunate enough to borrow one from Dave’s office but need to return it. We also wanted to pick up two web-cams and sign up for Skype. Dave leaves for China in a few days. We’d really like to Skype this time! We haven’t installed both cameras yet so haven’t tested it. But we will before he leaves.

Dave is grilling baby back ribs for dinner. Yum! Had a slight mishap when putting them on the grill. Ran out of gas for the grill. Uh, not a good thing. So another trip to Wal-Mart for gas to resume dinner. Good thing we only live a mile away, huh?

The best news of the day? My van repair. You may remember my estimate was $900. Not a happy thing. We asked Heath, the mechanic, to find a used part if possible. He wasn’t able which was a big bummer. So we said to buy the new parts. After all, my fan running on high all the time was getting rather annoying. Try it and see for yourself.

Anyhow, we dropped the van off this morning expecting a 3 hour repair. An hour later, Heath called to say it was done. Wow! AND, the best news??? The new part was evidently two separate pieces with two different part numbers. He only needed one of the parts---a thermal switch. The place he ordered from said he didn’t have to buy both pieces….he could return what he didn’t need.

My total bill? $208. You read that right. $208.

I was psyched!

I didn’t need flowers today. I saved $700. That’s so much better.

My idea of romance!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

A Very Special Thank You

If you have noticed, there is a link on my sidebar to No Hands But Ours. This is wonderful site designed to help educate, inform, and provide resources to families considering special needs adoption. As the site was built, the brains-behind-the-idea (ie: the developers!), asked adoptive parents to contribute their own stories to be shared with others. Those wonderful ladies are Stefanie, Amie, Tonggu Momma, and Rebecca.

As part of the incentive to actually sit down and write your personal story, which some us (ahem, me) kept putting off, these ladies offered a chance to win a Suzanne Myers “Name Charm” necklace.

I put off writing our story because our special needs baby ended up not having her special need after all. So, what could I share? We didn’t fall into any of the categories.

But I was encouraged to write it anyhow because some special needs stories have the same ending. Plus, I could still share our thought process along the way.

I submitted the story, it was posted on the site, and that was that.

Imagine my surprise this morning when I opened my inbox to see an email from Denise telling me I’d won the giveaway! She had seen it right after Stefanie updated her blog last night and emailed me. Wow!

A very big thank you to No Hands But Ours for allowing me to win this amazing piece of jewelry. I can’t wait to see the finished product!

But an even bigger to thank you to those same wonderful moms for their amazing site. It is a huge resource to parents who are checking into special needs, are still waiting, or are already home.

Please help spread the word about No Hands But Ours and all the children who still wait for families.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Spring has Sprung!

And I don’t just mean the weather. But it was nice today.

No, we are back into the sports schedule. After school ends, the real fun begins.

Dinners will be

before Alex goes to

before heading to

while Katie finishes editing the

before going to

with the little girls home with me

or in the

running to and from practice or a game

because Dave will be in

for a few weeks.

(How's that for a run-on sentence?)

Coming up is

and then winter break. Whoo hoo!

I’ll do my best to keep blogging amidst the chaos.

Until then, find me on

Oh, and no van update yet. The mechanic is searching for a used part in hopes of saving us $400. Keep searching dude! Keep searching.....

Saturday, February 7, 2009

A Saturday Giggle

Here are two conversations from today……

AG: Does our food go all the way to our toes?
Daddy: No, Anna Grace. It just goes to your tummy.
AG: How does it know when to stop? Are you sure, daddy?
Daddy: Yes.
AG: I know! There is a bone in our tummy which stops all the food from going to our toes, right?
Daddy: Sure, whatever.

Abby: Look, we have holes in our jeans.
Mommy: Yes, I know. We’ll buy more tomorrow.
Abby: Alex has lots of holes in his jeans.
Mommy: You are right, he does.
Abby: Alex thinks it’s funny to have holes in his jeans.
Mommy: Nah, he thinks he’s cool.

I'll spare you the conversation about what makes us toot.

For a car update, scroll down. I added info to my last post.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Ugh....not again!

Some of you may remember my car issues this past May which required a new transmission. Well, now the fan in the same vehicle is stuck on high. I dropped it off tonight at the garage to avoid going early tomorrow morning. I spoke with one of the mechanics who told me it's likely one of two things.

One of the things (a relay switch) would be around $80 in parts.

The other (an accuator or something like that) would be around $1400 in parts.

Can you guess which problem I hope we have??

Update Saturday morning: Well, it's not either of the above mentioned items. It's evidently a broken head unit which will be $859 total for parts and labor. Yuck!

You'd think a broken head would be cheaper to fix. Can't we just stitch it up or give it some motrin or something?

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Terrific Thursday....and other stuff

It’s a terrific Thursday because it means tomorrow is Friday! How much better can the week get? Well, based on this past week, it should be pretty darned good. After all, I can only go up. Here are a few highlights.

*Anna Grace decided that behaving in church is not something she wants to do. When she gets this way, it is nearly impossible to get her to cooperate. Such a lovely church experience, don’t you think? It makes for a very meaningful time. “If you don’t sit down and hush…..”

*It rained on Monday which meant no outdoor recess for my high strung class. The rest of the week has been in the teens and twenties which is pretty stinking cold for Georgia. However, we have been outside each and every day. Cold weather? Nah, it isn’t cold. Suck it up and play. (shiver, shiver)

*The fan in my van went out. It still works but only on high. Yes, you read that right. My heating or cooling only runs on high. And, for an even more fun experience, turn off the whole system. It makes lots of loud noise. The guys at the garage looked a bit dumbfounded when Dave told them the issue. I’ll drop it off this weekend to await the glorious outcome (ie: how much will it cost).

*I spent one afternoon right after school at a birthday party for one of the boys in my class. He is friends with Anna Grace so she was invited. Therefore, I got to spend all day with my class AND an additional two hours with them at a party. Yes, I was with my class for a very long time. Whew. But I did get to visit with the parents of my kids so that was a plus.

*I have been fighting a cold for the past week or two. I feel okay but am hoarse most nights. If only everyone would listen better during the day…I wouldn’t lose my voice! But try telling that to twenty kindergartners who want to rule the roost. Half my class falls under the “leader” category. Makes for a busy day----and loud. Nuh uh. Yuh huh. He’s being mean to me. She took my toy. He's bothering me. She looked at me funny. And so on...and so on....

*When I went to do laundry the other day, I discovered that some nameless person used up the detergent but didn’t bother to tell me. Great. I didn’t have time to run to the store that evening but the little girls didn’t have any more socks to wear to school the next day. So, I dug through the laundry trying to find socks that weren’t too dirty. Yep, I did.

*I haven’t left school before 4:30 all this week. That’s late for me. But I had to go to the grocery store yesterday. I felt guilty leaving the girls at the daycare late so picked them up first. Big mistake. By the end of our short shopping excursion, Anna Grace was pitching a royal fit because I would not buy her a movie. Does she think I’ll fall for the old “I’ll scream until mom does what I want” trick? She’d better think again.

*You know what? It just amazes me that we are all so lazy that instead of going to find someone else in the house, we just yell. And then when the yellee cannot hear the yeller, a phone call is made instead. Yes, I am guilty of this too. I will call my kids on their phones instead of walking upstairs. I blame my old age, my bad knees, and my tiredness at the end of the day. Therefore, I am exonerated from all fault. Right?

*After being at the grocery store numerous times this week (after the detergent episode), I still neglected to buy parmesan cheese. So we had naked spaghetti last night. The poor dinner was exposed in all its natural glory. I apologize for the image that just flew into your head.

Welcome to my world. Tomorrow has to be better, right? After all, it’s the start to the weekend! Whoo hoo!!

You can thank me later for the laughs I inflicted upon you. I hope you weren’t hurt.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

February is for Friends

February….the month of friends, love, and hearts. What better time than to give and receive the Friendship award!

Michelle, at Day by Day, awarded this to me a few days ago. But life has been busy so I haven’t had time to pass it along. Until today.

Here are the rules:

"These blogs are exceedingly charming.
These kind bloggers aim to find friends and be friends. They are not interested in self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships will be propagated. Please give more attention to these writers. Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this cleverly- written text into the body of their award."

With great difficulty, I chose eight blogs to award.

Raine is the busy working mom to three sweet children from China. I love reading her blog updates on the antics of her children. I can’t link her blog since it’s password protected so you’ll have to take my word for it!

Karen, at Mom2My4, adopted her Kelsey at the same time we adopted Abby. She is a teacher, mom to two teens, and two little ones from China. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? She also lives near my parents so we’ve had a chance to meet in real life.

Heidi, at the Johnson Family Tales, is a new friend. She found me through another blog. Isn’t it fun to find new blogs that way?? She is a busy mom of three and happens to live somewhat close to me…well, within an hour or so!

Peggy, at Everyday Life with Grace, is another working mom, has two older boys, and sweet Grace from China. Grace is around the same age as my girls so I really enjoy seeing what she is up to!

Margaret, from Journey to Baby Miracle, is the mom to Lily Wen and Graeme. She always has lots of beautiful pictures on her blog of her kids! Check them out…they are too cute!

Teresa, from Continuing the Journey, is the mom to three kiddos. Meggie, the teenager, is starting to drive; Carson joined the family from China and is a lively, active boy (Whew! I get tired reading about his antics); and Molly Jayne is waiting in China for everyone to come get her! And, Teresa is a full time working mom too.

Carey, from Life in the Carpool Lane, has two young boys who keep her hopping. The things the boys say and do just crack me up. She is also in the “waiting line” for China for her sweet baby girl!

Denise, from There’s Always Room for One More, is the mom to six. The youngest three joined her family from China and Vietnam. I love reading her blog because I will typically laugh out loud about something. We haven’t met in person but are trying to plan a road trip this summer. Anyone else want to go??

Okay, that’s eight. I’ll get the rest of you next time!!