Friday, December 31, 2010

Trying Something New

Saying good morning to Runner


Jessica and Colonel

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

This & That

It's been a pretty laid back week here. That's not to say that every thing has gone as planned or that everyone has gotten along perfectly.

Yesterday my cousin, Jim Bowers, and his wife Stacie stopped by for an hour. I wish they could have stayed longer because I don't see him very often. He grew up on the mission field in Brazil and then started a houseboat ministry in Peru as an adult.

When his first wife, Roni, and newly adopted baby Charity were killed, he left Peru. Later he remarried and he and Stacie, along with Cory, Lauren and Marlene are now on the mission field in Mozambique. They are just home dealing with family issues. I last saw him January 1996. Before that I think it was 1980.

None of the kids were with them as they were left with other relatives for a few days.

Tyler has actually seen Jim more recently, maybe 3 years ago or so? Ty was staying with my mom in Indiana when Jim was in the country and up that way.

Mostly we are just hanging out. We dusted off the Yahtzee game that hasn't been played in a while. We planned to play again this evening. Jessica was supposed to work 12-6 but they need her to cover the 6-11 shift also : ( She does need the money for college though.

We have problems with the twins lying. A LOT. Yesterday one of them messed with the DVD player and shut off the movie. When I asked who did it, they both pointed at each other and saying each other's name.
That resulted in both of them getting sent to nap instead of seeing the movie. Later one of them was playing with the roll of toilet paper and got it soaked.
When I asked who did it, they did the point and say each other's name thing again. This probably happens twice a day at least. Since it was time for supper, I stood them both nose on the wall and said if they couldn't be honest by time the lasagna was dished up they'd both eat and go to bed.
They agreed that it was Kayla. I was so tired of lying by then that I gave her 25 push ups. She does not have much arm strength so this was a challenge.
They need to realize that when they lie, they'll not only be in trouble for what they did, but for lying about it. The best thing would be to follow the rules and then not have anything to lie about. The next best would be to 'fess up. Anyone have any ideas how to get that across to them?

We've been lazy in the evenings just watching movies. Jasmine is feeling pretty good. She is only limited in things that use her neck, so nothing that needs a lot of upper arm movement either. She goes for her first adjustment Jan 11. Basically there are balloons under the skin of her neck now, and they'll inflate those to separate the skin so the extra webbing can be stretched out and cut off.

Jeff has been pretty mellow just reading, watching movies or playing games on play station with Tyler. He is going to be very bored once everyone goes back to school.
In the movies, a guy walks into the recruiter's office and walks out enlisted. Not so in real life. Even though he's graduated, he doesn't have the credits the marines require so would have to take 15 hours of college credit to go into the marines. He went to talk to the army recruiter today but found out he has to have his driver's license to be a military police. He just left instead of talking about any other options. Since he doesn't have his permit, he'd have the one-year wait after getting his permit.
We also do not have any proof of his citizenship. He came home on a visa in 1998. We readopted in the state of GA in 2000. They said he was an automatic citizen then but we never received any paper saying that so I wonder if the lawyer was supposed to file something at that time or tell us to file something? Any guesses? The army paperwork asks for a citizenship date and certificate number.

This is the face of a child with 2 F's, 2 D's, 2 C's and a B. Remember that he was told he could play basketball if his grades came up? At least with those grades he was ineligible rather than me making that choice. There is still city basketball and soccer, but we need to see more effort than that. I don't think it's going to happen. I am disappointed because I wanted to watch his games, but not enough to let these grades slide. There will be a BIG change to his schooling if they don't come up this next semester.
Actually, Adam looks like this a lot, but I tend to post the pictures where everyone is smiling.
At our house if you do your jobs and keep decent grades, and I can trust you, you can pretty much have whatever privileges/activities you want. But if I can't trust you, you aren't responsible in your jobs and school work, you probably are going to spend a lot of time at home.

My mom sent money for a shared gift and we got these two games. One is a Wii game with a lot of running, jumping etc. The other is a game where you repeat music patterns.

Jeff, Jasmine and I started this puzzle today.

We have been pretty much at home due to Jasmine's limitations so everyone is starting to get a bit bored. I think most of them are looking forward to the 6th when they go back to school--except for getting up so early.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas and beyond

My new toy from Rick

The girls working on their birthday cake Jesus.

It's a Christmas eve tradition but now we have to work around the oldest ones work schedule.

Jasmine and I went to see Voyage of the Dawn Treader while the older ones were at work.

The boys working on their birthday cake for Jesus.

Finished cake

Finished cake

We did present differently this year to cut wayyyy down on the number of packages to open. I loved it : )

On Christmas eve instead of all the kids giving each other presents, each child who wanted to bought a gift to be shared by all the siblings. Tyler bought a dance game for the Wii. He spent a lot on it, and I think the kids will get a lot of enjoyment out of it. Jessica, Jeff and Jasmine bought board games and Kaleb even bought a pack of cookies!

I asked each person to tell me three or four larger gifts they wanted rather than many smaller ones so that I could put one present under the tree for each person and have it be something he or she really wanted. If they wanted two or three less expensive ones instead, then I wrapped or bagged them all together. Everyone also had one gift from my sister and one from my brother. They got a Wii game and board game to share from my mom and gift cards from Rick's parents.

It was a lot less packages number wise and everyone got something they really wanted.

We do make-your-own pizzas for Christmas lunch. Kayla started eating before I could cut hers into fourths.

All the kids.

All of us.

Jessica playing mindflex. It wasn't a Christmas gift.

Eating broccoli soup while watching the church's Christmas program on TV.

This is what Jasmine's neck looks like right now. There are some kind of balloons in there that will slowly be expanded to separate the skin. Then it will be pulled back to remove the webbing.

Today my first cousin Jim is stopping by on his way to visit other relatives. Since he grew up on the mission field and has spent his adult life on the mission field, I don't really know him well. Some of you may recognize this picture from the news in 2001 when the plane he and his wife were on was shot down over Peru and his wife and baby daughter were killed.

This picture and the one under it were taken a few years later at my mom's house. I haven't actually seen him since 1995 when his son Cory had just turned one and Adam was almost one. They are about two months apart in age and were adopted the same year.
Now Jim and his second wife Stacie have two additional children.

Unfortunately none of their children will be with them when they stop by today. They are with other relatives. Jim is a missionary to Mozambique right now but is in the states to take care of some family matters.
It's rare that we are able to get together with any family and rarer still for any to visit here.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Friday, December 24, 2010

Jeff is Home

Packing up his room

Saying goodbye to dorm parents

Leaving Camp Tracey for the last time

Pizza to celebrate Jeff's graduation and homecoming

Jeff looking at the memory book I made for him.
Jeff hopes to go into the marines. We will keep you updated with how that goes.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Almost Done

Jasmine is through her surgery although not feeling the greatest. This was taken last night. She is actually on her way home. They are packing Jeff up for his permanent move home right now and will be home late afternoon.

Smiling through his last shot. He really wanted to go to Burger King and that doesn't happen if you throw a fit.

Burger King

Anthony came over to hang out and exchange presents with Jessica. Please note that he is a Michigander by birth and Wolverine fan by choice.

The patch is on--without being duct taped around his head : )

Making buckeyes after seeing the recipe on "Stare if You Must."

Everyone helped out.

After the buckeyes and watching Alex Rider: Operation Stormbreaker, I kicked everyone outside to shoot the airsoft or nerf guns. They don't get a lot of use but after watching Alex Rider they were in the mood.
We only shoot at approved targets not human targets.