About Me

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I love serving the Lord along side my wonderful husband and best friend who just happens to also be my Worship Pastor. I am a stay at home homeschooling mom of 5 kids, two of which are blessings we adopted from Haiti.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Merry Christmas from the Peytons

It is a little embarrassing that I have not been on here since April but we have been a teensy bit busy to say the least. It is unbelievable how a year can go by so quickly!! I thought this might be a little easier to recap our year rather than sending out a trees worth of paper to each of you:) The Lord has blessed us so richly. If you read the previous posts this can get you caught up the first few months of the year.
D had stayed busy with work but can never have enough free time to suit him. With the new Harley he acquired for his 40th birthday, he is literally in hog heaven. He likes to occupy his early Saturday mornings with a ride with his crew the Forgiven Sons. On occasion I have taken a ride with him (when we can find a sitter that is crazy enough to take on 5 kids) and let me tell you a great time is had by all. The kids keep trying to convince me that I need a pink sportster to ride but I think I will stick with being co-pilot for awhile.
The kids are all growing like weeds. H and MA turned 10 this year, followed by J turning 8, A is 6 and C is 4. We are still homeschooling and really having a blast doing it. D was a little concerned for me as he thought he would have me in a mental hospital by now but we are plugging right along. Needless to say this Christmas break is much needed and much appreciated!! A and MA are working neck in neck on 1st grade material. It is amazing to see how in under a years time MA is speaking and understanding a new language and is now reading books on her own. She is quite bright and continues to have a hunger for learning. In her spare time she has taken to doing crafts, playing with her sisters, and enjoying time with friends. In October, we had a luau in the backyard for her 10th birthday. She is quite the queen of limbo. It has been really fun to see how she takes everything in for the first time. I can't tell you the number of times she has inquired why we are doing something. For example, why are we sitting in a bunch of vegetables taking pictures (pumpkin patch) and why are we going around begging for candy.
H leads quite a busy life herself. She attends a fine arts school on Mondays to make sure she isn't turning into an awkward homeschooler and receiving all the appropriate socialization (note the sarcasm in my writing). She auditioned for the Con Spirito choir and was accepted. Along with choir she is taking drama and ballet. I cannot tell you how proud she makes us:) Not only does she excel in talent but she is a terrific helper to me. I don't know how I would have survived this crazy year without her help! Her studies are coming along so well that I think sometimes she had no need for me at all. I guess that is one of the perks of homeschooling- to self teach as much as possible and I just assist in her learning process. Some of her other loves right now are horses, horses, horses and spending time with friends now that she is a big preteen.
Our little A is also taking some classes at TAFA. She loves her ballet, music and Bible classes. This has been really good for her to come out of her shell. Her stature is still so petite ( a whopping 36 pounds at almost 7) and she makes the most adorable ballerina! They will have their recital in the spring. She has taken more of an interest in school this year. Reading has really been a struggle for her but I am so proud at how hard she tries and she has made tremendous gains in the last few months. This year she finally lost her first teeth and was even able to lose her two front teeth at the same time. Yes, I did capture that adorable snaggle-tooth on camera.
J and C are like two peas in a pod. Neither one seems to notice the 4 year age difference:) It has been really good for C to have an older brother around. He has become a lot more fearless and way more daring. He is now riding his little bike without training wheels. If J can do it then by golly so can he. He attends Little Learners preschool a couple days a week and I am amazed at the things he has already learned this year including an adorable version of Jingle Bells that will for sure make that carol your all time favorite after you hear his sweet rendition. He cannot get enough of playing with his brother, riding bikes, and of course what we call "daddy time".
J is certainly all boy and has been so great for C to have around. His English is coming right along and we are starting to work on academics for the first time in his life. It was a little concerning at first when he wasn't retaining as much as I thought he should and was tempted a few times to pull out the special ed handbooks, from what seems like a lifetime ago, and become a diagnostician. He is finally making great strides to becoming a productive, little student. His enthusiasm for anything he is doing is quite contagious. He enjoys being outdoors and was thrilled when we took our first camping trip to Lake Brownwood. All the kids were ready to abandon our city life for a more simple one of hiking all day and roasting marshmallows at night.
As for me I am always a little too busy for my own good but I wouldn't have it any other way. I am still directing the childrens choir at church, serving on the praise team, and assisting David in anyway I can with his Worship Ministry. Our goal this year is to really get going with our adoption ministry at the church called Mosaic. I still enjoy my Bunco group and my wonderful group of girlfriends. An old hobby made new again is my love for reading. D was so thoughtful and bought me a Nook for my birthday and I am so excited about trying out my new toy!! Hopefully my computer will be revived and I can begin to keep you updated on a more regular basis all the Peyton pandemonium that is happening around here.

We are so blessed beyond measure and look forward to seeing God continue to work in our lives in 2011. We pray blessings on each of you and hope that we are fortunate enough to cross paths with you in the coming year.

Love to All,
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year
The Peytons

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Busy Living Life

Wow! It has been about a month since my last blog. We have been busy living life:) Well, where to start. Let me say that things have gotten a lot easier as we have been working out the kinks. I am proud to announce that I am now called "mommy" rather than "mama blanc" although I am going to miss being called White mama:) J has become a well adjusted little boy and his stubborn behaviors are showing up a lot less frequently. MA is becoming more of a typical 9 year old girl every day including the attitude from time to time. H can definitely give her lessons on being a drama queen! MA and H went to a sleep over at a friends house without any problems. I can see how much MA just wants to be a regular American girl- including her very own best friend. For a couple of Sundays she has chosen to go to a different Life Group class from H so that she can be with her best friend. We have everyone, who is old enough to play, signed up for soccer. This means 4 practices and 4 games on Saturday. D said that MA and H did great at their first practice and MA had no problem understanding what to do. It is going to be a busy but fun 9 weeks:) MA and J's English is coming right along. We haven't been able to do the Rosetta Stone everyday but they do enjoy it and are starting to use more and more words. I think we will hold off on the writing and reading sections for a while. I found it quite comical that Rosetta Stone was teaching plural and singular the 3rd lesson. They were supposed to decide if they needed to use the words is or are based on if it was singular or plural. Really?? How about starting with just good ole nouns?! MA had her second dentist appt. in which she got 3 cavities filled. She was such a trooper and didn't cry a bit. It was a little comical to see her drooling and she kept asking me to feel her lip as if I could feel how numb it was. Other important tooth news is that I pulled her first tooth (well at least it was a first for us). I knew that I could explain "Tooth Fairy" to her but we did put her tooth under her pillow and this morning I asked her if her tooth was still there. When she looked she said "whoa" and kept looking at her dollar. I know she has never owned her very own dollar (another first!). Another great reaction from her was when she saw her Easter basket on Easter morning. She kept repeating "Oh, my goodness! Oh, my goodness!" I think she was very impressed by the Easter bunny:) J kept telling C that those things in his basket were his. We had a quick lesson on "mine, mine, mine". It doesn't take long to pick up some habits. I am sure that he is afraid that everything will be taken away from him like it was at the orphanage but we just keep reassuring him that we won't take it (unless as a discpline consequence!) We had a terrific first Easter together filled with egg hunts, Easter baskets, friends over for Easter dinner and of course our traditional "peep fight". Sweet little A really had a great time telling everyone that Jesus dies on Good Friday but she was glad that her Jesus was alive again! Well that is Peyton Pandamonium at its finest! Tomorrow we are going to see precious C in his 3 year old MDO program. Great stuff!

Monday, March 8, 2010

I will sit on you!

Tonight at our Ladies coffee I was a little desperate sounding for discipline ideas:) I must have been because my dear friend insisted I drop by right afterwards to pick up some cds and material she and her husband just picked up at a Love and Logic conference last weekend. I am willing to try anything. The yelling and playing the bad guy is just not cutting it anymore! MA and J seem to be getting the hang of things and know now that they won't be able to get away with bad behaviors like they were so accustomed to in the past. Of course it only took me sitting on J one time for him to realize that he can either sit in time out on his own accord or I can assist him with that. All the kids thought I was a little crazy that day but it worked. H, A and C on the other hand have seemed to have lost their minds. I know that it is all the adjustments that everyone is going through. No matter how much structure I am trying to pour into our days the truth remains that there is way too much change going on all at once. It was very poor timing when C decided to give up paci inadvertently by losing it. Along with this came giving up naptime which seems like a good idea until about dinnertime. Sweet thing is just not able to hold it together when his naptime is missed. It is really difficult to keep the other 4 quiet long enough for C to think he isn't missing out on anything and drift off to sleep. Another big factor is that C's love language of quality time is being encroached upon in a serious way. Who said that 2's were terrible? I think it should be the "trying 3's" for sure! H is also having a hard time with personal space and finding time to get away. After several days of biting everyone's head off we had a little heart to heart. We came to the conclusion that when she starts to feel a little overwhelmed she will let me know and I will tuck her away for some alone time in my bedroom or the downstairs guestroom. I wish someone could do the same for me:) Actually, I did get a little break this past weekend. I was leading worship for our Ladies retreat and D kept all the kids. This wasn't an overnight, away kind of retreat but I did get some time with adults without any Peyton pandemonium lurking around! I think D was trying to show off a little. For some reason I mistakenly took all the sets of keys for the suburban which left D and the kids stranded at the house. He seemed to make due just fine. When I got home for the evening he reported that they ordered pizza and that the neighbor friend was also staying the night. What a show-off. Not only was he ok with our rowdy 5 but he took on an extra one by choice! Needless to say the house was still standing on Sat. It is going to take me a little time to get caught up on laundry and house work but the time away in God's Word was well worth it. Now I just have to figure out a way to apply my Loving Well information into my life everyday. Good stuff, Beth Moore.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Three means forever!

The newness is beginning to wear off a bit as the kids are starting to bicker and argue like a real family. The jury is still out if this is a good thing or a bad thing. Another thing I have noticed with J is that he has started to cry when he gets in trouble. Not that I want my child to cry but I think this is a good thing. Before when he got in trouble he would stand there in defiance and refuse to look at you or do what you asked of him. I thinks this means he is starting to care what we think and doesn't want to have us upset with him. He has also started giving kisses at night. With all the kids we do this family thing called "three means forever." Three kisses and three hugs mean our love is forever. If you don't give all three you WILL be called on it. J had picked up on this and does this when he is tucked in at night. We'll make Peytons out of them yet!

It didn't really occur to me until the other day that MA and J are not used to being in the house so much. Usually at the orphanage the kids were outside all day long. With the weather turning so nice lately it has been a great release for both mom and kids:) Of course Texas weather is so fickle and can't decide what it wants to do so we may have to squeeze a day in here and there.

First Dental Visits

Well I finally made a trip to Target to get MA a doll. When I pulled the doll out of the bag she and J both started screaming for joy. J was so excited for his sister- it was obvious that they had been discussing a doll for several days. Someone asked me if I got her a black doll and I did not. Her doll is white with long blond hair (so she could fix it the way she likes) and she couldn't be happier:) All the girls have carried their dolls around for days. This has definitely been a time of good bonding for the girls. MA and J had their first trip to the dentist office and they both did amazingly well. J was very worried at first- I am sure that he was remembering the week before of shots and lab draws. He would not let the hygienist near him with the scary looking tool so I had to stick it in my mouth, poke around on his hand and eventually count the teeth myself before he would warm up to the idea of someone poking around in his mouth. Shockingly, there appears to be only very minor decay in his mouth so we will keep an eye on it. MA was another story. She did fabulous in the chair but her poor teeth are going to take some work. We go back to have 3 cavities filled and probably another cleaning since she had so much plaque buildup. She is also missing 2 front, bottom teeth that will take some orthodontics to fix. MA also has two very small canine teeth that will be visibly smaller than all her other adult teeth. This is more of a cosmetic thing than anything and will be quite awhile before anything can be done about this. Overall, they loved going to the dentist. How could they not- everyone there is so kind. Dr. Jeremy Rudd's office is highly recommended!!

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Moving right along

We all had a first together... a visit to the American Girl store in Dallas. Our little A turned 6 and decided she wanted to get the American Girl doll, Kit, for her birthday. I truly cannot believe how expensive that store is and how we are sucked into the whole thing. My girls and I are going to start back up with the American Girl book club so A now has a doll to bring along. While at the store J kept telling me that MA wanted a doll and I explained that it was for her birthday. Later I asked MA if she wanted a doll for her birthday and she does so I guess it will be another trip to the store in Oct. Thankfully we have several months to save up:) I think in the interim I am going to go to Target and get one of their 18 in. dolls from the Our Generation collection so that she can play with the girls.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

First Dr. Visit

On Tuesday we headed to the doctor for MA and J's first doctor visits. Everything on the outside seems to be in working order. We have lab slips to get testing done for things like lead, malaria, Hep B, HIV etc. This time I am going to let David help with this whole process. The doctor visit was fine and all smiles until the nurse came in with shots and TB test. MA was such a trooper- she didn't even flinch. J was another story! We had a second nurse come in and help hold him down so that they could administer the shots. I sat with J between my legs and it took every bit of strength of 3 women to hold him down. Luckily it went quickly and as soon as it was over he had no more tears. Poor little A was crying when J was crying. She said she felt so badly for J. Of course, I promised treats for being so brave so we headed to Target's dollar spot for the loot. I am not too prideful to admit I do bribe the kids from time to time! Thankfully they had just stocked up with some good stuff. (MA and J have gotten so attached to Spiderman. They want to watch the movie everyday sometimes 2 and 3 times a day.) Target had any and everything you could want with Spiderman. They each came away with a bag full of goodies.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

What is it about Wednesdays?

I don't know what it is but Wed. seem exceptionally hard around here. I guess it is the whole middle of the week thing. By the time we make it to church on Wed. nights I am sure that I look as frazzled as I feel. The boys seem to be into everything! I have put so many locks on things that we are about as secure as Fort Knox! Of course, leave it to C to figure out that if he pulls on the refrigerator hard enough he can pop the lock right open. Today I had to add another lock to the list since I can't seem to keep everyone out of the office/ guest room. I guess there are too many interesting things in there. I thought J was doing pretty good on hoarding until I went upstairs to clean up a cutting mess and remove the photo that he had glued to his bedroom wall (I told him we could buy a frame and hang it the proper way!) I thought I would go through his dresser to make sure there were no more scissors or glue when I found all kinds of goodies mingled amongst his clothes. I am telling you that boy is better than a metal detector he is finding things I thought I had lost for good a year ago. Throughout the day he randomly brings me odds and ends.
I almost feel like I am going through some of the things I remember going through as a new mom. One of these things is feeling like I can't get a shower in. I am too afraid someone is going to burn the house down. One of the days last week, I went to shower only to find myself moments later racing down the stairs to see what was all the commotion. J had decided to help me by mopping the floor and H came running around the corner only to find herself floor bound. Today, C decided to pour a bottle of laundry detergent on the floor and ice skate around on the soap. Now I am not talking a 30 min. shower. I may never have the opportunity to shave my legs again! Needless to say, it will take a few more rounds with the mop to get the slick residue off the tile. I am open for suggestions if someone has a good home remedy for that.

Children's Museum

On Monday, after we took Hannah to TAFA (Travis Academy of Fine Arts) I took the younger kids to the Fort Worth Museum. We had a blast exploring all the different rooms. The kids loved sitting in the trolley car. J's favorite part was in the Innovation Center. There was a display set up where you could put wires together to get a battery to charge. I could hardly get him to move away from that station. There was a little boy standing next to him working and talking like crazy to J. I finally told him that he and J didn't speak the same language. He asked what he spoke and I told him Haitian Kreyol and asked if he knew what that was. When he replied no I asked if he had seen about the earthquakes in Haiti- he said he did- and I told him that is where he came from. He looked at me and said "wow, he sure did come a long way just to come to the Fort Worth Museum:)" The girls really enjoyed the shadow box. You stand inside a darkened area and a light flashes leaving an image of your shadow on the wall. We must have posed 50 different ways. I could hardly drag MA out of there. C just liked running from station to station:0 He was just happy to be there with his friend, Jaden!

ZOO Pictures

Sunday, February 21, 2010

First trip to the zoo!

On Sat. we decided to make a trip to the Fort Worth Zoo. We have season passes so we were able to add MA and J onto the passes. Of course with the Peyton crew, we can't start anything without a little pandemonium:) J got upset about something and decided that he wasn't going to wear his seatbelt. This definitely didn't set well with us and it IS against the law so something had to be done. I told D to head to the house and I would stay with J while everyone else went to the zoo. A little disappointed that things had gone this way, we pulled into the driveway. J refused to get out of the car so D had to climb through the back and help him out. As soon as he saw what was happening he started throwing the biggest tantrum and had to be carried into the house kicking and screaming. I set him on the couch and explained to him once again about the seat belt and that mommy and daddy refuse to let him go without. I went on to tell him that when we disobey we have to deal with the consequences. He told me he would wear it and that he was sorry. When we got to the car precious, little, A was crying and said she was so sad to see J upset and she really wanted ALL of us to go to the zoo. Needless to say we have had NO problems with the seatbelt after all the drama:)
The zoo was of course fantastic- that has to be my favorite zoo. J was talking to MA nonstop and he would inevitably turn to me and continue his excited dialogue as if I knew exactly what he was saying. We ended up seeing about 1/3 of the zoo but managed to get a ride on the carousel and the train before we headed to dinner. The weather wasn't the best but it looks like we got a trip in right before the next cold front came in. D loves to go to the Macaroni Grill since it is right by the zoo. I think it also brings back a little nostalgia to a time when we were in Seminary and I waited tables at that very restaurant. We all ate until we were stuffed and had to waddle out of there but, with the coupon I had and a gift card we got from the shower, we got out of there for only $18 and that included the tip! You know I love a good bargain.
Anyway, I am so glad that MA and J got to see real animals for the very first time. I could see a lot of similarities between that zoo and the zoo I manage everyday at the Peyton house. God is so good!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Pandemonium at it's best!

Well, I got a little behind blogging because I was without a computer for a week. Let me tell you ALOT can happen around the Peyton household. I will try to remember all the big highlights:) On Thursday a week ago we washed MA's hair for the first time. For 2 and 1/2 hours I took out the braids, washed, conditioned, dried and straitened her hair. I am still working on the styling part:) I have french braided part of it, sectioned it into 4 parts and put in clips and MA has even put braids in her own hair which was very impressive. Today I did the weekly shampooing and then took her to have it "pressed" and curled. I think she really liked it! On Friday, MA ran a fever and was in bed all day. It was really difficult to figure out what was going on since she couldn't tell me what was wrong. Thankfully she got over it within a day and was back to herself. I was getting a complex cause at first I thought she just didn't like her hair:) The next day, H started running fever and was in bed all day. I was beginning to see a pattern that I didn't want to continue with the rest of the family! It was twice as bad because that was our (D and my) Valentine's date night. The church had arranged for childcare which cost us a mere $10- you cannot beat that with a stick! Oh well, we certainly look forward to the next one. It ended up being a pretty nice night. I picked up take-out from D's favorite bbq place and brought it home. The kids actually stayed upstairs watching a movie while we ate our yummy dinner and had our first real conversation in days. I see a lot of these kinds of dates in our future. H did end up with a double ear infection and pink eye.
MA and J sure must think that life is just a party with all the celebrating we have been doing... H's birthday, Valentine's Day and next week- Abigail's birthday. I am sure that they had NO idea why there were hearts, and flowers and chocolates but I know they didn't seem to mind decorating cupcakes and making Valentines.
With 5 kids it seems like there is always a time in which someone is always out of sorts. J had quite a few problems with discipline but has really turned things around. He would completely shut down the minute you disciplined him in the least bit. Now he will actually respond when you are correcting him and has managed a few "yes sir, no sirs" I think that they really crave the structure and discipline but they have never had it and don't really know what to do with it. One day this past week, J refused to make his bed. He would just stand in front of it and look around. The girls made their beds and went off to start their school work and J started to follow. I took him back into his room 2 or 3 times. On about the 4th time he came out I went in and his bed was made with stuffed animals and all:) Now every morning he gets up and makes his bed.
Tuesday night things got pretty interesting when C decided to drink a bottle of Delsym cough syrup. After making a quick call to poison control they instructed us to head right away to the ER. D was out the door within seconds and broke all kinds of traffic laws getting to the hospital. Once there the ER doctor informed D that there was nothing in the cough syrup that could be fatal but it could cause hallucinations. After a few hours of observation they were sent home. C only bumped into the walls twice and boy did he sleep well that night. Of course, he was nestled in between mommy and daddy the whole night so I didn't have to keep getting up 100 times to go check on him:)
Thursday we had the opportunity to share our adoption story with some precious friends who are starting the adoption process for a child from Ethiopia. Can't wait to share this journey with them! I hope and pray that this adoption thing is catching on:)
Tonight we had a great time with our sweet, sweet friends who welcomed MA and J with a Meet the Haitian Sensations gift card shower. It was a fun time of fellowship while the kids played. We so appreciated everyone who participated in welcoming the new additions to our family. Of course the gift cards will certainly go to good use!
SO that is our week of Peyton Pandemonium...God's blessings continue to flow.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Texas Snow

Well this has truly been a surprise we were not expecting...snow. There are a lot of firsts that I knew we were going to encounter over the next few weeks but never expected this one:) This is one of those times when I wish we spoke the same language so I could really understand what MA and J were saying when they woke up to snow on the ground. It took us a while to gather enough mittens and scarves to dress the crew but once we were finally dressed appropriately we headed outdoors. I think J was trying to imitate the snowball scene from the ELF movie we had seen recently. He does this thing where he thinks I understand what he is saying and he will talk and laugh and carry on. Of course I never let on that I don't I just nod my head, smile and try to guess what conversation we are having. MA enjoyed herself as well laughing and running around the yard. Only small amounts of the cold was all they could handle. Once the snow became wet on their clothes they had had enough. Throughout the day we would venture outside for a few more moments of building memories. In the evening we built a fire and roasted marshmallows for smores. What a perfect snow day. We actually have a sled that I had picked up in Colorado a few years back on one of our ski trips. I wonder if we can find a small hill for day 2 of snow fun!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Shoes? Who needs them anyway.

So we are still trying to work out all the kinks of having a household of 7. I have been organizing and reorganizing trying to make things more efficient. It can take some time just trying to get everyone out the door. This morning was H's morning to go to TAFA for her drama and choir classes. For some reason I thought it started at 10 but in actuality it started at 1o:30. We were rushing around and I asked H to start getting the kids loaded in the car. It is pouring down rain so that was going to slow us down a bit. We finally get on the road and are about 2 miles from the house when C announces that he doesn't have shoes. Seriously? How could he get from the house to the car with no shoes? Apparently H carried him but forgot to tell me I needed to grab him shoes. I am just glad we figured it out before we got to the school:)

This must be the day for shoe stories because the funniest thing happened at Wal-Mart this afternoon. I had the 4 younger kids with me to do some grocery shopping (that is another story in itself). We had finished up the shopping and headed to the check-out. I noticed while we were unloading the cart that C had taken off his socks and shoes. He managed to put his socks on but was struggling to get the shoes put back on. I looked at MA and in the broken Kreyol- fragmented English- hand gesturing thing that we have been doing I asked her if she would help C put his shoes on . Guess I still need to work on it because the next thing I know I turn back around and MA is taking off her shoes and telling J to do the same thing. They are both standing at the check-out in sock feet bewildered as to why I would ask them to do such a thing. I am sure they are thinking that about A LOT of things that we do!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

First Sunday at FBC

Today was MA and J's first Sunday at church. I wish that I knew what was going on in their little minds. J made it through Life Group time no problem but I think he started missing his sister. When I went over to check on him he was a little upset so we took him upstairs to be with the H and MA for Elevate Children's Church. One of the workers said that J's eyes were so big taking it all in and he was all smiles. Every time the kids around would jump up and start yelling MA would do the same even though she had no idea what she was jumping up for:)

After lunch we went out to some friend's house for dessert and a time of fellowship. Their daughter wanted to try some French on the kids. While we were out there the kids had a chance to feed the horses. MA and J didn't know what to think as I am sure they have never seen a horse before. I can't wait to go back out there when the weather is nicer and spend some time with the horses- def. a good photo opportunity:)

We decided to stay home tonight and let the kids rest a little after such an exciting day. Needless to say David came home to a house of sleeping people (mom included). We were crashed out in every room. I guess it was def. a busy, busy day!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Duck, Duck, Boo

Today was our first Saturday together as a family. It was a good one. David took the kids up to the neighborhood school so they could ride bikes. I had a few moments to myself which are very few and far between these days:) All of the kids had bikes. Two summers ago Caleb won one of the bikes in the VBS giveaway. It was too big for him so we bought him a new one and gave that bike to J. Also, some church members called a few months back and gave us a bike for M that their granddaughter had outgrown. YAY for hand-me-downs! So the kids start riding bikes and MA takes off like a pro. J on the other hand was having a really hard time and eventually starts throwing a fit and pointing at the training wheels. David finally puts him on MA bike and he takes off with no problems. So apparently they have both ridden bikes before:)

Tonight Caleb decided he wanted to play duck, duck, goose. He told everyone to sit down in a circle so we did. We thought that MA and J wouldn't understand what was going on but they caught on pretty quickly when they saw us model for them how the game was played. It was J's turn to be the leader and as he went around the circle he would say duck, duck, duck, and when he came to David he said "boo". From that point on the game became Duck, Duck, Boo.

Hannah Turned 10!!

It is really hard to believe that Hannah turned 10. Double digits are a little hard to take! We had a 50's themed Sock Hop party. All the girls dressed up - yes, we are still having all girl parties (Thank you, Lord). We played 50's music, chewed bubble gum, hoola hooped, jumped rope, ate hot dogs and onion rings, and then took them all to Suzie Q's for milk shakes and birthday cake:) I wasn't sure how MA and J would react to all the chaos but they joined right in. They even joined the conga line we had going around the house. I cannot wait until they speak English to find out how crazy they think we really are. I know they have no idea what the 50's even entails. Anyhow, it was a great celebration and THANK YOU LORD FOR HANNAH!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Pass the veggies.

Well, the girls and I just finished a mini makeover while the boys (David included)ran around like crazies playing nerf guns. It has been a FULL day today:) I took the kids to Mama's pizza for lunch. Jameson said "pizza" as soon as we got there. That boy does not miss a meal! I have such a hard time getting my kids to eat veggies and the ones they do eat are so saturated in some other flavoring that they don't taste much like veggies. I, on the other hand, love to get my veggies in and often am the only one eating them. Where am I going with this? Well, I was eating my salad when Jameson told me he wanted some salad too. It didn't even dawn on me to offer them veggies- rookie mom mistake. MA and J went to town on salad. They have already tried ranch and know they do not like it- REALLY do not like it. I don't know how the others would survive without a little Hidden Valley. So they ate dry salad with carrots and even a little broccoli. We were geared up for H, A and C to do all the teaching to their new siblings but it looks like they could learn a few things from them as well:)

Let me back up a little and tell you a bit about the first few days of MA and J being home. Upon coming home MA had a really hard time. Poor David had to deal with all of that by himself in Florida. As soon as she saw the kids all of her apprehension disappeared. She has been attached to H and A ever since. They even did make-overs the first full day they were here. The entire upstairs reeked of sunflower scented lotion (which I later found out that J had gotten a hold of it). Jameson couldn't sit still for 2 seconds. We had to keep a close eye on that one... he almost ate dog treats and he DID eat playdough. We have had a little bit of a power struggle with J but we just need some time to show him structure and discipline. I can't imagine he got too much of that at the orphanage with about 5 nannies to 50+ kids. The other thing I think they struggle with is the male figure in their lives- before now there just wasn't one. Don't get me wrong, J adores David but they can certainly butt heads.

Day two we celebrated H's birthday. I think they kindof have an idea what a birthday is but I think they see it as mostly a celebration not really the reason for. We started off with breakfast in bed for the birthday girl. This we do with all the kids- a little Peyton tradition that we will forever carry-on. Hannah had a great 10th birthday! She got lots of birthday wishes which she really cherishes (esp. since her primary love language is "words of affirmation"). Her Aunt Rhonda and family even sent her beautiful flowers. We ended the night with a birthday dinner at Texas Roadhouse. H wanted to make sure that MA and J tried steak for the first time- so cute! Well they weren't as impressed with the steak as they were the peanuts. The entire dinner they cracked peanuts and each had a plate full by the time they finished shelling what they had in front of them. MA wanted to take what she didn't finish with her so she began stuffing them in the little crayon box that came with the kids menu. I told her we don't have to do that and I would buy some at the store but she insisted. We ended the evening with frozen yogurt at the new Purple Berri- yum is all I can say. All in all H had the perfect day! We will have a mommy/daughter day on Friday to spend her birthday money and then a 50's theme party to celebrate with friends.

I am so blessed beyond measure and cannot thank the Lord enough for bringing all of this to fruition. The Lord REALLY does answer prayers- you should try it sometime!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Play is a universal language

I am officially convinced that play is a universal language. Our kids don't even speak the same language- 2 of them speak Haitian Creole- yet they hang out all day long speaking to one another as if they know exactly what the other means. Jameson doesn't seem to tire at all. When I think about it, I am really not surprised. They spent day after day in the orphanage with no real purpose but to play all day long. Neither of the kids have been formally educated. The structured schedule I am sure was almost non-existent in their young lives. We are slowly working our way into a routine. We may be homeschooling our way through the summer but I guess that is the beauty of be able to set your own schedule so that we can experience "life" together.
Speaking of routine, I have been thinking of ways that we can add MA and J to the mix of chores (which is part of our routine). Jameson is fascinated with the washing machine. He about has that thing figured out. I guess it is pretty fascinating since the first trip we made to Haiti I observed 2 nannies washing clothes for 50+ children in a washing basin. After that I thought...I should never complain again about doing laundry again. Anyway, J came to me and asked me to wash his jacket (yes he has already learned how to say it in English:). Moments later he came down the stairs with his arms wrapped around a basket of laundry that needed cleaning- he even helped me load it into the washer. I think laundry will be one of Jameson's chores.

Two Years of waiting

It is so hard to believe that 2 years ago we began this journey of adoption. We have taken a lot of people along on this adventure. I am having a hard time believing that our children from Haiti are actually in our home. I look straight at them and I still cannot believe it. Blogging has never been my thing but when my sister-in-law brought it to my attention I began to think about it. I don't want to get down the road and wish that I had penned our days together as a keepsake for them to read over. SO, together we begin this jaunt.