The whole darn fam

The whole darn fam

Monday, November 30, 2009


Ok people--we are at $395 dollars raised for the Starfish Foster Home--can we double it?? Please?? If you have already left a comment--leave another!

for Stewart.....

We all have so many blessings in our lives...I am so thankful for all of you giving such heartfelt thankfulness. We even had a soldier from Afghanistan leave a message! Amazing! We also had a family leave a message of thankfulness that their child made it through the night. It is truly inspiring that people in situations where you think that hope is lost...find something to hold onto--to hope for and to be grateful for.

For Thomas.....

Many of us have had the joy of experiencing adoption...some of us have the privilege of raising a "special" child. What I think that we ALL have in common though--is a heart for the orphans of this world.

for sweet Matthew.....

I would love to see the numbers climb a bit--and I hope that you have time to spread the word for me one last time......pretty please??

If you haven't read any of the comments--I encourage you to--they are beautiful!

We have till midnight tonight----how much more can we be thankful for??? Let's do it people!!

Just leave a comment here---that's right--click right here to go to my Thankful post!!

Much love to you all for participating and spreading the word!!



Saturday, November 28, 2009

Turkey Hangover....

Hi all!
Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday--and that your tummy's are full, and hearts are warm with the time that was hopefully spent with family! We had a great Thanksgiving here--and were thrilled to celebrate Sam's first Thanksgiving with us--and also his first 6 months with us!

It was so neat to see all six of my kids at the table--and see Sam smiling and clapping and genuinely overjoyed at all the attention that his extended family gave him! To think of where he was last year--and how I longed for him to be home--and then to see his sweet self at the table was just awesome!!

I am a big believer in traditions--and although it may be maddening at times--I insist on the holidays have the elements that I have gotten to enjoy during my childhood.

For Thanksgiving it includes--cinnamon buns in the morning, followed by a big loud playing of the Macy's parade--with all the ooohs and ahhhhs in the right places.

Next up is dinner--followed by rest time in front of a nice fire and football game. Coffee, and pie is next---and several hours later--a nice turkey sandwich on white toast with stuffing and mayo--and even a little cranberry sauce to top it off!

Well--best laid plans is all I have to say.....

Woke up behind schedule--overslept so I was in a mad rush to prepare the bird and stuffing. While I am rushing Hannah decides she wants to do a "project" to serve for thanksgiving breakfast---no cinnamon rolls in sight. Parade came on--but kids weren't interested much--they were down in our play room playing video games. They only emerged when I would scream from the kitchen that "so and so" was on!
Hannah's creations~finally--turkey in the oven!!

Dinner was quick--kids ate and ran--and then the pie followed immediately--because all were anxious for desert. My desert was a cocktail because at this point I needed one.
kids table!!!

The highlight of the day however--was an unexpected play put on by my kids and their cousins on "family" it was enough to produce tears--absolutely adorable!

Then family left--and my weary legs rested on the couch--in front of my fire--no football (that was on in another room). And I dozed off to the holiday favorite-"Beverly Hills Chihuahua."

But I did get my turkey sandwich later--and it was just great. I finally had a piece of my homemade pumpkin pie this morning--better late than never!!

So--all in all--it was a great Thanksgiving--I just have to remember--while traditions are awesome to preserve--it's also just fine to make some new ones!!

Enjoy your weekend---God Bless!

Amy xoxoxoox (with soooooo much to be thankful for--it's almost ridiculous!)

ALSO--Only DAYS left to leave a comment for me to contribute a dollar in your honor to the Starfish Foster Home. Go HERE--that's right--click on this word....HERE--leave a comment of Thanksgiving and I will give a buck for YOU!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

My Matthew baby....

Hi everyone! I wanted to share with you my newest love! This is a picture of Matthew. Matthew is one of the newest babies that has arrived at the Starfish Cleft Foster Home. Matthew is the baby that my family gets the privilege of sponsoring! Aren't we lucky? I think he is just the cutest little thing!!

As of today we (meaning all of you!) have helped me raise $318 for the Starfish Foster Homes!! That is 318 reasons to be thankful--it's just awesome!! Now---if we could just double it...or triple it!!!

I know all of you who have left a comment have another thing to be thankful for--right?? Could you just leave one (or two, or three..) more comments? Could you share my blog again? Pretty please? We have less than a week--and I am so excited to tell Amanda a BIG number for all those beautiful little Starfish!!

Like little Alice... and Clara...... and Thomas.......

If you have kids--just ask them what they are thankful for--and type it on in!

like beautiful Jasmine.....

And while you are at it...please read through all of the comments of thankfulness--they are so beautiful! It truly makes me feel all warm inside to read them--it is an amazing way to start the day!!

and of "my" Matthew!

I thank you for linking my blog, for leaving your comments--today I am thankful for "meeting" all of you!!

So go HERE and keep those comments coming!!! (that's right--just click on the word HERE)
and if you don't want to say WHO you are...just click on anonymous!
Just--for the love of the Starfish.....COMMENT!!
Thank you!!
till next time.....
Amy xoxoxo

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Sunday Snapshot--Hannah Joan

Hi there! I am joining some fun from another blog I like to read where I do a "Snapshot Sunday" and every Sunday I feature a new member of my family! Since most of you wouldn't know my family if you tripped over us--this will be a neat way for you to see a little bit about each of the 8 personalities that occupy this home!

So today---I am proud to feature my first born--my Hannah Joan!

Hannah is special in more ways than you can imagine--and it started on the very day of her birth--Christmas Eve 1998. You see, my mom passed away from lung cancer when I was just 9 years old--so finding out that I was pregnant was such a gift. I was going to be able to be a mom to a someone--rather than the one that was always without a mom. I found out my due date was December 27th--and my family-(all 6 of my older brothers and sisters) all said that it would be soooo neat if my baby was born on Christmas Eve--my mom's birthday. Sure enough--I went into labor--feeling my first labor pain at 12:01 am--Christmas Eve morning. Hannah Joan was born that afternoon--a big beautiful baby. I am 100% certain that she was a direct gift from my mother. When I am missing my mom, on every Christmas eve--I am reminded every year of her incredible gift to me--my sweet Hannah.

From that day--she has enriched my life so much. To describe her in one word it would be HAPPY. Always with a smile that crinkles up her eyes--always making others laugh. She is silly, outgoing, smart, and so, so funny. She talks to adults as easy as she talks to kids. She often will answer the phone when my sisters or friends call and be on the phone for a awhile before I even realize that the phone is for me!

Hannah has always been a champion of the underdog--feeling so deeply for anyone in need. She cries at commercials, at movies--anywhere where someone or something is being hurt. She made such an impact in China, on our adoption trip for Hope. Hope was distraught when she met us--and Hannah was the only one that could calm her down. She also played with every other child in our group--forming a very special bond with beautiful Brie. Brie's momma and I are very
close to this day--and I like to think that our Hannah made a difference in Brie's life.

Hannah now says that she wants adopt herself one day--and looks forward to the two of us doing a mission trip to work in an orphanage--hopefully next year.

Hannah is now reaching the pre-teen years, and we find ourselves seeing "glimpses" of teen behavior--rolling of the eyes--stomping feet. I dread any change in our dear girl--but expect it. I just hope and pray for it to be short--and for all of us to survive it! I just know that Hannah will turn into an incredible adult one day--despite any teen behavior.:-0

She is my daughter, my friend, my confidant--and my very, very special gift. I cannot wait to see what she does in this world!! Hannah Joan --my oldest, my incredible, wonderful girl--my best Christmas eve gift ever!

And remember--dollar a comment continues!!! Just go HERE to leave a comment of what you are thankful for and I will donate a dollar in your honor to the Starfish Foster home!!
till next time......

Amy xoxoxoox

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Confessions of a Kitchen Challenged Mom.........

I am hosting Thanksgiving this year--and lots of family will be in attendance. Lots of family--like Grandma--who actually CAN cook. I can do the basics--turkey is not so hard--stuffing--a little harder, but do-able. It is the idea that everything has to be and taste perfect that I have the problem with.

In our house--a perfect meal is all relative. A perfect meal to me--means something entirely different to others. Here are some confessions of my more "memorable" favorite meals:

1) Breakfast for dinner--it's a free for all--cereal, eggs, pancakes--it's nuts!

2) Peanut butter and nutella on wheat bread--with a side of grapes--(always great in a hurry!)

3) Spaghetti--with jar sauce and frozen (costco) meatballs--a family fav!

4) Pigs in a blanket--aka--hot dogs in a crescent roll. Kids think I am a GENIUS when we make this!

5) Grilled cheese and tomato soup--nothing better in cold weather!

6) Mac n cheese--Kraft style

7) "homemade" chicken noodle soup via Costco (this is actually really good!)

8) Shake n Bake chicken/pork with a side of Stove Top--(my personal fav)

9) Chinese food--ala Chef Wongs delivery

10) and the oldie but goodie--Chef Boy R Dee---Ravioli, spaghettio's--and when we go REALLY nuts we get the Princess or Spongebob shaped Spaghettios!!

So now I know you are asking yourself--where are the veggies--I actually do include some sort of veggie at EVERY meal--it's just getting them to consume it that's tricky!!

I know you would just LOVE to attend my Thanksgiving dinner in light of reading the above--but in my humble opinion--Thanksgiving is really about the PEOPLE--not the food anyway. (I have a feeling that a big dollop of lumpy mashed potatoes might be thrown at my head for that comment!!)

What's your dirty dinner secret??

And remember--dollar a comment continues!!! Just go HERE to leave a comment of what you are thankful for and I will donate a dollar in your honor to the Starfish Foster home!!

till next time......

Amy xoxoxoox

Friday, November 20, 2009

Why oh Why??

Having a three and a four year old in the house can be entertaining and maddening and spectacular--all within a five minute timespan. One of the things that has gotten me as of late--is both of their incessant need to ask "Why" about every single thing. This is good--their little brains are expanding, they are learning, curious little beings. However--it can be exhausting answering all of their curiosities--especially when they ask every 5 minutes.

For example--we had a rare November thunder and lightening storm last night--and my conversation with Charlie (3) went a little like this:

Charlie: "Mom why is it wightening out?"

me: "Well--(because I am NO meteorologist) because lightening usually follows thunder."

Charlie: "What IS wightening?"

me: "It is like a shock from the sky."

Charlie: "What's a shock?"

me: "--like something that is hot" ( I know--pathetic..)

Charlie: "wike a burn?"

me: "sort of...."

Charlie: "did Sam getted hit by the wightning?"

me: (ugh!) "no sweetheart--probably he got burned by something else--"

Charlie: "I fink (think) Sam got hittted by the wightening 'cause then it was wike God was givin' him a big kiss!"

me: "Charlie--I think you are very,very smart...."

SO sometimes--the "why" conversations can lead to incredibly sweet observations........I guess that they are not that maddening after all....

till next time....

Amy xoxoxo

*****Thank you for the continued response to the "thankful" post--if you haven't already--heck--even if you have--go on over to my post entitled "THANKFUL" (scroll down the left column to find it) and leave a comment of thankfulness and I will donate a dollar in your honor to the Starfish Foster Home. What are you waiting up!!!! :-)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Thrilling Thursday!!

So today I have to thank all of you that have commented under my "Thankful" post--at this point we have raised $182 dollars for the Starfish Foster home! While this is a nothing to sneeze at--it falls a bit short of my goal--which is.......ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS! Can we make it happen?? To quote one of my kids favorite shows--"YES WE CAN!!"
****and remember--the THANKFUL comments should go under my post entitled--you guessed it..THANKFUL!!

I love reading about all of your thankfulness--it is inspiring, and humbling. You are thankful--everything from a warm bed--to a loved one's remission from cancer. You are all a reminder that we can always find something to be thankful for--even in our darkest days.

So today--can I ask a little favor?? Can you give this blog a shout out?? Either by linking it on your own blog--or e-mailing it?? If you have already done this--I thank you very much!!

Now--onto what I am thankful for pictures! Here we go.............
It worked!!!! I got the pics to move! hooray! Thanks for the advice!!
Till next time.....
Amy xoxooxox

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Define "Special"



Lately I have pondering the term Special Needs. I happen to have two children that are considered "special needs"--but I don't really care for the images that the term brings to mind. I think that in our country it seems to be a bit of a scary term. When you look at the majority of children available from China through the special needs program--they certainly are SPECIAL--but as far as putting a "label" on them--well--I just don't like it.

Special Needs in America implies different--and while I thrive on being different--and look at is as a positive attribute--I think that kids don't really like being different--they like being normal. And guess what?? Kids with special needs are most definitely normal--they have a heart and feelings just like the rest of us. They live-they breathe-they need love, they need affection--just like any child would.

My daughter Hope happened to be born with Amniotic Band Syndrome. This is a need that occurs in-utero. Fibrous bands break off of the placenta and act as tourniquet's around limbs and appendages. Kids can be born without limbs--or like Hope--just with shortened fingers and webbed toes. This also can cause a child to be born with a club foot--as Hope was. Hope had surgery last year to separate some fingers and tendon lengthening for her foot. Hope happens to be the most agile child around--way more so than my other children. She dances, flips, runs, jumps--you name it! She also is incredibly bright--amazingly so! Just look at her cute little self....
above--cause I can't figure out to get the pic down here!
Anyway--she is special INDEED--but because of her strength,her smile, her spunk, her intelligence--but her "need" doesn't have too much to do with it--it's just who she is.

And Sam--my almost two year old sweetie--had a rough start. He was abandoned at two days old with a very severe burn covering his hip and foot. His foot is very disfigured--and he needs two pretty major surgeries (coming up in January). When we met him--he couldn't eat--had never had food--he couldn't walk--had little to no strength in his legs. I wasn't sure if he would ever walk--but walk he does--he runs, climbs--and eats now like a champ! He too is special--but you guessed it--not because of his scars--but in spite of them. For his brave and strong little soul--his AMAZING smile--his kisses, and his beautiful little lips. He is for sure one special little guy--who will do great things one day!

just look at him----(again--above--how in the heck do you get the pics to post here!)
My kids are special--all 6 of them. They are special in so many ways. But it is not their NEEDS that define them--it is their heart.
Looking to adopt?? There are many special children out there--could one of them be yours???
till next time.......
Amy xoxoox
****have you signed the comments in the Thankful post yet??? If not--go,run,sign it and I will give $1 in you honor--if you already have THANK YOU!! You can even sign it again--I won't tell!! :-)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Happy Tuesday!!

****See the above faces?? They are just a few of the babies that are being cared for at the Starfish Foster home--if you haven't left a comment under my "thankful" post--there's still time!! In honor of November being National Adoption month--I am going to continue my offer all month. I will donate a dollar in YOUR honor for every comment under my "thankful" post--so spread the word--you can link my blog, plug it to your friends--whatever--let's get some money raised so that Amanda at Starfish can have an additional reason to celebrate the holiday season!!

Now--onto serious business---I am in the process of holiday shopping for my kids--and I have a tendency of going a bit--ahem--overboard....! I am TRYING desperately to cut back--but I have visions of the Norman Rockwell Christmas dancing through my head as I head down the aisles of Target!! We are surprising my eldest with a puppy for her b-day--which happens to fall on Christmas eve--so that should be fun. But I just wonder why I feel the need to continue to OVERdo!! Why? After I saw what I saw--feel what I feel?? Is there a support group for this??

I need help--I am a holiday OVER-shopper!!

Anyone else have this problem??

Please tell me I am not alone!!

till next time......