Monday, November 30, 2009

2 More Days!!!

Our show airs in 2 days!!! I've gotten lots of emails from people saying they've seen commercials, so it's really happening this time!! LOL I hope those of you who have Discovery Health will watch... I'm getting a little nervous. I hope they picked good things to air. I saw a longer clip on demand and there were a couple parts that I thought, "WHY did they pick THAT?!" LOL The kids are so excited to see it. They get to stay up late and we're going to pop popcorn :).

Here's the info again if you need it!

WHAT: Truth Be Told - I have a child with Special Needs
When: December 2, 2009 9PM/8PM central
Where: Discovery Health Channel

Special K Math

So the other night at dinner, we were sitting around talking and Kameron said, "You know mom, if you add Keeghan and Kellsey together you get Kennedy." Umm... what? LOL He said, "Well, Keeghan is 2 and Kellsey is 3 and Kennedy is 5... 2+3=5." HA! SO that spurred on a WHOLE conversation. Here's what we came up with.

Kassidy = 10
Kameron = 8
Kennedy = 5
Kellsey = 3
Keeghan = 2

Kennedy + Kellsey + Keeghan = Kassidy
Kameron + Keeghan = Kassidy
Kassidy - Keeghan = Kameron
Kennedy + Kellsey = Kameron
Kameron - Kellsey = Kennedy
Kellsey + Keeghan = Kennedy
Kameron - Kennedy = Kellsey
Kennedy - Keeghan = Kellsey
Kassidy - Kameron = Keeghan
Kennedy - Kellsey = Keeghan

Also, right now Kennedy is half the age of Kassidy... in May when Kennedy and Keeghan have their birthdays, Keeghan & Kellsey will be half the age of Kennedy...

And that's what we call Special K Math. Does your head hurt yet?!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Sleeping Beauty...

The 36 Rules of Life

A few friends posted this on facebook yesterday... some are SO true, like number 3 and number 21... some made me laugh, like number 6! LOL Number 10 made me laugh because well... I have a story to go with it. I'll have to share sometime! LOL Number 34 made me literally LOL and number 35 makes me wonder... is that TRUE? I DO think I'm a good driver. I know Frank thinks HE is a good driver... my mom thinks SHE is a good driver... do you all think YOU are good drivers?! Does EVERYONE think they're good drivers?! LOL Seriously? Because I have seen people on the road who most definitely are NOT good drivers! LOL Anyway, enjoy the list!

1. Never, under any circumstances, take a sleeping pill and a laxative on the same night.

2. Don’t worry about what people think, they don’t do it very often.

3. Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian anymore than standing in a garage makes you a car.

4. Artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity.

5. If you must choose between two evils, pick the one you’ve never tried before.

6. My idea of housework is to sweep the room with a glance.

7. Not one shred of evidence supports the notion that life is serious.

8. A person who is nice to you but rude to the waiter, is not a nice person.

9. For every action, there is an equal and opposite government program.

10. If you look like your passport picture, you probably need the trip.

11. Bills travel through the mail at twice the speed of checks.

12. A conscience is what hurts when all of your other parts feel so good.

13. Eat well, stay fit, die anyway.

1 4. Men are from earth. Women are from earth. Deal with it.

15. No man has ever been shot while doing the dishes.

16. A balanced diet is a muffin in each hand.

17. Middle age is when broadness of the mind and narrowness of the waist change places.

18. Opportunities always look bigger going than coming.

19. Junk is something you’ve kept for years and throw away three weeks before you need it.

20. There is always one more imbecile than you counted on.

21. Experience is a wonderful thing. It enables you to recognize a mistake when you make it again.

22. By the time you can make ends meet, they move the ends.

23. Thou shalt not weigh more than thy refrigerator.

24. Someone who thinks logically provides nice contrast to the real world.

25. It ain’t the jeans that make your butt look fat.

26. If you had to identify in one word the reason why the human race has not achieved it’s full potential, that word would be ‘meetings’.

27. There is a very fine line between ‘hobby’ and ‘mental illness.’

28. People who want to share their religious views with you almost never want you to share yours with them.

29. You should not confuse your career with your life.

30. Nobody cares if you can’t dance well. Just get up and dance.

31. Never lick a steak knife.

32. The most destructive force in the universe is gossip.

33. You will never find anybody who can give you a clear and compelling reason why we observe daylight savings time.

34. You should never say anything to a woman that even remotely suggests that you think she’s pregnant unless you can see an actual baby emerging from her at that moment.

35. The one thing that unites all human beings, regardless of age, gender, religion, economic status or ethnic background, is that deep down inside we ALL believe we are good drivers.

36. Your friends love you anyway.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Sibling love...

Sometimes they DO get along! :)

Q&A #117

The reason for the 10 day wait is to allow any family members of the orphaned child to step forward during that time and say they want a chance to be his/ her parents. They put like a public notice in the local paper and see if anyone responds. I personally have never heard of this happening to the RR kids (a family member stepping forward that is).
Thanks Lyndi!

Does this mean that now that the 10 day wait is over, he can keep her in the apartment while he is getting all the other paperwork together. Or does she stay in the baby home until he is ready to take her home or good?
She is still in the baby home right now while he is getting the other paperwork together... he has a lot of standing in line and running around to do that Kellsey would HATE. Our facilitator will tell him when he can go get her. :)

Did you see/hear about todays Oprah? She had a special needs cheer leading team called the "Sparkles" Some High School girls started a squad for special needs children, many with downs syndrome. It was SO cute to watch. Miley Cyrus came and met them, and let them come to a concert.
Yes, I did hear about it... very cool! :)

I'm so sorry, what a drag. Glad Kennedy is seeming better. Believe me we have had so many of those scenarios... the kids missed EVERY Halloween activity this year because of having the dumb old H1N1. Haven't even gotten pictures of them in their costumes yet! Tell you what, you get pics of Kennedy in her pilgrim costume and I'll take some of my kids in their Halloween costumes and we'll meet back here ;-)
Sounds like a plan! I still need to take pictures!

How are Frank and Kellsey doing? Is she with Frank yet and are they going to be able to find a traditional Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow?
Kellsey is not with Frank yet, soon though. Frank did get to go to a traditional Thanksgiving dinner with one of the other Reece's Rainbow families :). They had a great time!!

I'm in England....we don't do thanksgiving!
I think you're thanksgiving dinner is pretty much what we do for christmas here though - HUGE turkey dinner with all the trimmings - personally i love the red cabbage but I've no idea if you have that!!!
I can't wait for my christmas dinner now! But then my American uncle has told me that there is no big turkey dinner in America at christmas its more of a buffet snack day :( oh well I suppose you can't eat that much in one day more than once a year ;)

See, we do a big Christmas dinner too, just with ham instead of turkey... though I know a lot of people here do turkey and ham for Thanksgiving and Christmas. We don't have red cabbage for either though. :)

Why don`t they serve ravioli for Thanksgiving in Italy ??? LOL Renee surely you know that Thanksgiving is only celebrated in Canada and the U.S.
LOL Yes, I knew that... now trying to convince Kameron was a different story! And he just got done telling us the story of the first Thanksgiving and Plymouth Rock and how he made a book about it in class... he's a little stubborn though! LOL Remember when he was convinced that Canada didn't exist?! LOL

When i was a kid, i didn't like the holiday dinners. Guess what my mom used to make me...Raviolis!!!
Too funny. Guess my taste buds changed because i love it all now.

So he's NOT the only one! LOL Glad to know there's hope for him yet! LOL

I love these things because they make us STOP and interact! Have you seen the Frozen Grand Central one? I've done stunts like this before, it's so fun!
I haven't seen that one. I'll have to look for it! :)

This conversation reminded Roy of a Peanuts cartoon! LOL
LOL! I should have Kameron illustrate it!

QOTD #38

What is your favorite Christmas movie?

Friday, November 27, 2009

A Kennedy Conversation

The other night I was sitting here Christmas shopping online and watching a movie when Kennedy was very obviously trying to get my attention. She got it. LOL She was walking around with a little notebook and came over and shook my hand and asked,

K: "what's your name?"

M: "Mommy"

K: "I Kennedy. Niceta meet you! You big and strong?"

M: "Uh huh..."

K: "ya got muscles?" (showing me her muscles)

M: "Uh huh..."

K: "MOM!!!"

M: "What????"

K: "Muscles!!!"

M: "Oh, right." (I show her my muscles.)

K: "Ya wanna see Hello Kitty?"

M: "Sure."

K: (Showing me a blank page in her notebook) "See Hello Kitty? She's cute!"

M: "Yes, Kennedy, cute."


M: "Yes?" (Trying not to laugh)

K: "You want french fries?"

M: "Sure."

K: (hands me invisible french fries) "Here ya go... eat em!"

M: (pretends to eat fries) "Yummy!"


M: "Kennedy! You're driving me crazy!"

K: "I not crazy! I Kennedy!"

M: (OY!) "Kennedy, go play!"

K: "OK!" (runs into the other room...) "Hey Kassidy, niceta meet you!"

Kassidy: "Thanks a lot, mom!" LOL!!!!

Sound of Music - Central Station, Antwerp, Belgium

More than 200 dancers were performing their version of "Do Re Mi", in the Central Station of Antwerp. With just 2 rehearsals they created this amazing stunt! Those 4 fantastic minutes started the 23 of march 2009, 08:00 AM. It is a promotion stunt for a Belgian television program, where they are looking for someone to play the leading role, in the musical of "The Sound of Music".


So? Your fridge is full now of Thanksgiving leftovers... what is the first thing you go for today? What dish rocked your world yesterday? Are you a turkey fanatic, or do you go for the side dishes first? Do you cover everything in gravy, or just the mashed potatoes? Do you call it stuffing or dressing... and is it cornbread or oyster?!

My favorites were the deviled eggs, of course! My mom makes the best in the world! And the stuffing (cornbread), and the cranberries (real, not canned! LOL)! I'm actually not a big fan of the turkey. It's ok the first day, but then I'm over it. LOL

Then there's Kameron... He has been dreading Thanksgiving since July. He hates it ALL... the turkey, the stuffing, the potatoes, the cranberries, the gravy, the casseroles, EVERYTHING.... he hates it! "WORST day of the year," he says. How sad is that?! But yesterday it was grandma to the rescue... she surprised him and made him a special plate of ravioli just for him. He was a happy camper and declared this the best Thanksgiving EVER... and there was no gagging at the dinner table. Go Grandma! LOL Then we had a long discussion about why they DON'T serve ravioli for Thanksgiving in Italy. Hmmm... LOL (Please tell me YOU know why!!)

Kassidy and I attempted to make cookies afterwards from a recipe someone passed along to me, but... it just didn't end up working out like the picture! LOL We still had fun though... and the kids still ate them, I guess that's what counts, right?! :)

I hope you all had a great day and made lots of fun memories with your loved ones!

Thursday, November 26, 2009


Count your blessings instead of your crosses;
Count your gains instead of your losses.
Count your joys instead of your woes;
Count your friends instead of your foes.
Count your smiles instead of your tears;
Count your courage instead of your fears.
Count your full years instead of your lean;
Count your kind deeds instead of your mean.
Count your health instead of your wealth;
Count on God instead of yourself.
~~Author Unknown.~~

Want to keep the Christ in CHRISTmas?

Liberty Counsel, a nationwide public interest civil liberties law firm, publishes a Naughty and Nice list which catalogs retailers that seek to profit from Christmas shoppers but exclude their stores and advertisements from references to Christmas. You can help save Christmas when you pledge to be a "Friend" to those entities that recognize Christmas and a "Foe" to Christmas censors.

To find out which retailers recognize Christmas and which are "Grinches," read the Liberty Counsel's Naughty & Nice List. You can also print this list and take it with you when you shop.

Happy Black Friday Shopping tomorrow! Are you going to brave the crowds?! I'll be warm and cozy in my bed dreaming of Thanksgiving leftovers. Then maybe I'll get up and shop online some! :) Hope you all had a nice day with your families!

Happy Thanksgiving!!!!

May your stuffing be tasty,
May your turkey be plump,
May your potatoes 'n gravy
Have nary a lump.
May your yams be delicious
May your pies take the prize.
May your Thanksgiving dinner
Stay off of your thighs.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

I'm Thankful! A-Z

So, a lot of people have been doing thankful posts, 1 letter a day. By the time I caught up on my reader, there was no way I could fit in one letter a day and get them all in for November SO you get them all in one post!!! So here they are!

I'm Thankful for

Army - I am thankful for the Army and for all the opportunities it has provided for our family. It has brought us to Tennessee, and we love it here! It has provided us with job security, and a huge extended Military family!

Barksdale Elementary School - I am thankful for a school where my kids are getting a good education, making great friends, and I know they have a staff who cares about them and their future! They have invested a lot of time and love into our family over the last 5 years, and still have a couple more kids to get through! ;)

Community Group - Our community group has been meeting for less than a year but they are like a second family to us. We can always count on them for spiritual accountability, prayer, friendship, and lots and lots of fun times and good laughs!

Down Syndrome - I am thankful for the Down syndrome community, both here locally and online and the support that comes with that, and I am thankful for Kennedy and the whole new world she has brought into our lives... and for leading us to Kellsey!

Eskimo kisses - and butterfly kisses! These are my favorite things to do with Kennedy and Keeghan. Kennedy insists on butterfly kisses on both cheeks and Keeghan laughs and says, "Das (that's) funny!" I hope they will always love them!

Friends - I am so thankful for my friends, near and far, who are always there to make me laugh, listen if I need it, and sometimes even take my advice! haha

Grace Community Church - I am so thankful we have a place to go each week where our kids can learn about God while we grow stronger in our walk with Him. I can always count on being challenged and leaving refreshed to start my week.

Husband - I am so thankful for my husband. For working hard for our family, for staying in Ukraine to get Kellsey, and for everything else he does for us! We can't wait until he gets back home!!!

Insurance - I am SO thankful for our health insurance! I don't know how we would have survived the last 5 years without it.

Jesus - I am so thankful for Jesus Christ. For being my Savior. For forgiving me and showing me grace over and over. For being my best friend.

Kassidy, Kameron, Kennedy, Keeghan & Kellsey!!! They color my world and decorate my life. I don't know what I would do without them!

Love notes - little notes that my kids leave for me around the house... and little notes I write for them to find, just letting them know that they rock. I hope they never stop.

Mother - I am so thankful for my mom. I love that she lives so close to us and that the kids are growing up with a close relationship with their grandma. I am thankful she is always there for me whether I need a mom, or just a friend to talk to.

Noise - Even though I say, "Be Quiet!" a lot, I am thankful for noise because it means my house is filled with happy children. I hope there is noise for many years to come... I'm sure there will be! :)

Omnipresence - I am thankful that God is everywhere at the same time... He is here with us, He is in Ukraine with Frank and Kellsey, He will be with Frank in Afghanistan when he deploys... He's with you, right now. Amazing.

Pastors - I am thankful for the pastoral staff at our church. They all have different strengths that make them an amazing team when they work together. They keep our church fresh and alive and hungry for God. They keep our children excited about learning God's Word. That's so important!

Questions - I am thankful for the questions my kids ask... sometimes over and over... even if I don't know the answers, because it means they're talking to me, and they THINK I know the answers, and we can spend time FINDING the answers. I hope they always ask me questions.

Reece's Rainbow - I am thankful for Reece's Rainbow... for connecting us with Kellsey and for helping kids with Down syndrome find their forever families every day!

Silent Nights - I am thankful for silent nights and peaceful sleep because it means that everyone is healthy and no one is having nightmares... and it means that mommy is well rested. :)

Teachers - I am thankful for the kids' teachers. They all have wonderful, Christian teachers this year who are not only shaping their minds, but their spirits. They invest in their students 100% in and out of school.

Ukraine - because that's where Kellsey was born. I'm also thankful for the judge there who finalized our adoption. :) And of course the United States and the freedoms that come with living here!

Vanderbilt Children's Hospital - They have been there for Kennedy whenever we've needed them and have some wonderful, caring doctors and nurses there! I am so thankful we live so close and that they are there when we need them!

Water - I admit it. I'm a water snob, but I'm so thankful for bottled water in abundance. I didn't realize HOW thankful I was until I went to Ukraine and I didn't have so many choices! ;)

X-tra hugs and kisses - They come in abundance in this household, and for that, I'll always be thankful!!!

You - I am thankful for YOU, my blog readers and commenters! You have given me lots of good laughs, support, prayers, advice, tips, friendship, and much more over the last couple years! I enjoy reading your comments more than you know!

ZZZZZ's :) - I know, that's a stretch, but I think it's almost time for bed! HA! And I'm definitely thankful for THAT!

Christmas Lights...

Look at the house on the right... I'm TOTALLY decorating this way this year! LOL

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Thanksgiving Bummer...

Today was Kennedy's Thanksgiving Feast at school. I was so excited. This is one of my favorite days of the kids' Kindergarten year. They dress up like Pilgrims or Indians and all the parents donate something to the feast. It's so much fun and the kids look SO cute and it's a great photo op! I have tons of pictures from Kassidy and Kameron's Feasts when they were in Kindergarten.

Anyway, so I was excited about Kennedy's feast today... Keeghan and I were getting ready to head to Wal-Mart and then go to her school for the party when my phone rang and it was the school nurse... OH NO!

Kennedy was complaining about her stomach hurting and ended up throwing up in the cafeteria. *sigh* There has been a tummy bug going around other classes, so I figured that was probably it. Of course with Kennedy, I always worry about her blood sugar any time she is throwing up. I got there and her blood sugar was low, so we decided to have her drink something with sugar in it. She ate a little bit of mashed potatoes after that and seemed to perk up a bit. Before we left her blood sugar was back to normal and she was running all over, SO I'm hoping it was just a random blood sugar crash and NOT the stomach flu that all the other kids have had!! She is napping on the couch now.

Still though, in an hour Kennedy's class will be having their feast... and she's not there. No Pilgrim and Indian pictures... no eating pumpkin pie and slim jims (You know they served those at the first Thanksgiving, right?!)... no memories. I'm sad. I do have her costumes here so maybe I can dress Keeghan and Kennedy up later or something. But still. Stupid hypoglycemia! *sigh*

Monday, November 23, 2009

What is Down syndrome?

So tonight at dinner, Kameron asked me, "What IS Down syndrome? I mean, I know it's something Kennedy HAS, but what IS it?" I asked him why he was asking and he said that a bunch of kids in his class were asking. They were asking questions about Kennedy.

When Kassidy was in Kindergarten, I was in her class A LOT. I was always in there taking pictures, helping out with parties and whatever else her teacher needed. Kennedy was just a baby at the time. I took the chance during October for Down syndrome awareness month and went to every Kindergarten class and read them a book about Down syndrome. It was very simple stuff, on their level. They loved it.

When Kameron started Kindergarten, Kennedy was going through chemo, and even though I kept saying I wanted to come in and read to all the classes, the year got away from me and I never did. Still though, whenever I was in his class or Kassidy's class, for parties or field trips or whatever, Kennedy was just... Kennedy. Kassidy's friends know her well and they adore her. I think she may know more 4th graders this year than she does Kindergartners! LOL

Fast forward to this year and here is Kennedy. Kameron sees her at recess and will go give her a hug before he runs off to play with his friends. He's such a great brother! His friends are maybe noticing now though that Kennedy is tiny... really tiny and maybe different than the other kids in her class, and so, like any curious 8 year old would, they are asking questions. Which leads to Kameron tonight asking me, "What IS Down syndrome?"

So now I'm left to wonder if I go into explaining extra copies of 21st chromosomes, which really, Kameron would probably totally understand if I showed him a karyotype and explained everything, but his friends would probably look at him and say, "uh huh" with glossed over eyes (lol). Or do I go into the Kindergarten explanation I used all those years ago for Kassidy's class, which might be a little young (and boring) for them, or do I need to come up with a whole new eight year old explanation of Down syndrome? Either way, I'm excited they're asking questions and that they WANT to understand Kennedy... What would YOU tell an 8 year old about Down syndrome?

(And it's a reminder to me that I need to get into the Kindergarten classes this year. It's all about education right?)

ONE person can make a difference...

This video is about life. Whatever that means to you. It was made for an 11 year old boy, Tyler Blaine Genneken, who died from Leukemia a couple weeks ago, but watching it, several things will pop out at you, and you may take something totally different away from this than I did. Something will stick with you that someone else may miss. It's very powerful, and it's challenging. No matter WHAT it is that you're doing, DO something to make a difference. What did YOU see?

To the Genneken Family, our prayers are with you. Cancer sucks.

Monday Moment for Down Syndrome - Student with Ds inducted into National Honor Society

Sarah Sherman received one of the country's highest honors for high school students - she was inducted into the National Honor Society. Unlike the other 140 kids to walk across the stage though, Sarah has Down syndrome. Read the article here. Congratulations, Sarah! We wish you all the best in your very bright future!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

I've been tagged...

Now first, let me say, I have a whole long ole list of tags I need to catch up on. And I will! Soon. I think. But Ann tagged me on this one today and well, I'm sitting here, so here it is! I've actually never seen this one before!

This is the Theta Mom tag. A Theta Mom is a True Authentic mom. And I am now charged with writing about 5 things that make me a True Authentic Mom. Hmm... LOL OK my confessions of a mom...

1. There are nights, after the kids are in bed, when I finally sit down, and look around my messy cluttered living room, and I think... "Did I eat today?"

2. On any given day, you could probably find an old french fry or crushed goldfish cracker somewhere on the floor of my van.

3. I have our pediatrician on speed dial. You know, just in case. (This is totally normal... right?!)

4. Some days I say, "STOP WHINING" or "STOP FIGHTING" more times than I can count. Why do I bother? It never does any good! LOL

5. I get more hugs, more kisses, and more "I love yous" than I probably deserve. Thank the Lord! :)

I'm going to leave this tag open to whoever wants to do it! Confession is good for the soul... what makes YOU a real authentic mom?

Q&A #116

OK you big meany! You were missing only your children?? What about your Mom who was taking care of your children? You keep forgetting me! LOL (kind of)...
My house is v-e-r-r-r-y quiet and now I'm missing your children. I know! You can have them in the mornings and I'll take them at night - around 7:30 PM? It amazes me how easy it is to put them to bed! Glad you are home - I missed YOU!

Yes, I missed YOU too!!! :) I knew you were running crazy taking care of the kids :). You probably hardly even noticed I was gone... or was begging for me to come back! haha My house is VERRRRRY loud.... you can come visit ANY time! LOL

OH I thought she came home with you......when will she be here in the states?
Nope not yet... hopefully the first week of December.

Is there a reason Kellseys hair is so short? I know some institutes do it for sanitary reasons.
ALL the kids have short hair there... I think it is to keep down on lice, etc. I can't wait to grow it out! :) On that note, Frank told me that they cut it AGAIN! I wish they'd leave her alone! She's MINE now! *sniff*

So you're saying that Kennedy's a movie star now?! Wow! This is so exciting!!!!!!!!!
LOL not quite... but she makes an ADORABLE extra! :) I will get pics posted soon... the few that I actually have!

by the way were you the one that asked about the aussie freeze spray. if so did u find it, because our commissary has it
Yep that was me! I found some finally about bought like 6 cans and stashed it in case they run out out again. They must have just been out temporarily... to drive me nutso! LOL Thanks though! :)

I can't believe you titled a post 'They're BACK!!!' i nearly fell of my chair with excitment thinking it was Frank and Kellsey!!! and now sweets seems a real anti-climax haha!!
LOL Sorry!!! Didn't mean to over excite you! I get excited about little things, apparently! haha

Did you see the recipe for Kisses Candy Cane Swirl Cheesecake on the bag of candy?
I did! I'm not a huge cheesecake fan, but Frank would probably love it!

OMGoodness....Did you see this past week? I laughed, I cried, and it explained a whole lot! I LOVE GLEE!
I still haven't seen it, but I have it saved to watch. I've been too busy reading! LOL

also, does Frank by any chance have a brother my age? I gotta find a guy who gets ds, so that I can adopt one day (I only have four more years before I am eligible age wise so I gotta start saving my money!)
LOL His only brother is married, sorry!

Interesting that there's hardly any response to this post. It's interesting to see different points of view. Always good to have as much information as possible if you're contemplating doing this.
Yes, I thought it was interesting, too!

I would love to try and send her a card, too! Do you know the name of the dollar store in her area?
I don't know, that's a great idea though! Maybe Polly could chime in here or you could just stick a few $1 bills in? I think Dollar Trees are nation wide, but I'm not sure.

May I copy this post to my blog? I would love for as many people as possible to pray for Kristen and send her a card.
Absolutely! Thanks for spreading the word!!!

So, maybe Kellsey will be HOME when it airs? Are you able to send in a photo of all of you together for the producers to tag at the end of your segment? can't wait to see it!
I am hoping she WILL be home! We'll see! I think it'll be too late to send in a photo though.

Do you know if the show will be available on-line? I don't get that channel.
Unfortunately, I don't know. I am HOPING so. I hate it that so many people don't have this channel! I'll let you know as soon as I find out!

Where r u thinking of getting that dress up trunk from? Im looking for 1 and wanting to see if I can get a great deal.
Well, that particular one is from Lillian Vernon, but someone commented and said that it's made REALLY poorly, and left a link to an ebay store with much better made stuff... go back to that post and look for it. I have checked it out a little and may buy the girls a few things from there.

Very it the real hotline??? Thanks for sharing.
As far as I know, yes. :)

OK, people, I can't use phones (My cochlear implant isn't the best) and besides I'm in a different country, so I can't call the 800 number listed. Please someone tell me what's going on!
LOL OK if you don't press 1 for English or 2 for Spanish then it will ask you if you want to continue in pig latin (and he's speaking in pig latin) it's really cute... then it will say, "To hear a knock-knock joke, press 4!" and if you press it, it will really tell you knock-knock jokes and other fun stuff! Like I said, random silliness! hehe

gotta love it, can i please steal it
Of course! :o)

Curious, what was the reason for the 10 day wait? Has Frank seen Kellsey since Monday?
All just part of the process... some regions waive the 10 day wait, ours never does. I'm not exactly sure what the purpose is. Frank has seen Kellsey once for a few minutes since Monday, but then they abruptly made him leave because of a surprise inspection due to the quarantine. *sigh* Almost over!!!

So exciting! Yay for the ten days being waived! :-)
What I loved with my cousin's recent adoption was that they never had to wait for the Ukrainian passports: the kids just got the Israeli ones.

Not waived, just over :). I wish Kellsey could just get U.S. documents, it would make our lives so much easier! LOL

Thanks for posting this. I will definitely be sending something Kristen's way. I sent you an email: I don't know any other mom's whose kids have survived cancer (all the moms I was close to lost their kids, unfortunately)and have a couple of questions for you.
Hey Lori, I never got an email from you... maybe you haven't had time to send it yet, but I just wanted to make sure it didn't get lost in cyberspace so you didn't think I was ignoring you. :)

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Conversation with Keeghan...

Last night Keeghan came running in from the other room and said,

K: I hurt, mom

M: You hurt?

K: Yeah... on my head.

M: How did you get hurt, Keeghan?

K: On the table.

M: Keeghan, were you sitting on the table?

K: Yeah...

M: WELL, don't sit on the table and you won't get hurt!

K: Oh... alright.

Wonder how long it will be until I find him there again?! *sigh*

Friday, November 20, 2009

Random Friday Night Silliness!

Need a little smile? Just call the Nestle Crunch Hotline at 1-800-295-0051. When you are asked if you want to continue in English or Spanish, just wait quietly for about 10 seconds and you will smile. Promise! (if you comment on this after listening, don't give away the surprise...) keep going and press 4 it gets even better...

Go on and call... you know you want to! :)

Truth Be Told - AIR DATE!!!

We finally have an air date for our show!!! The people from TLC called Eve last night and they PROMISE it will air this time!

WHAT: Truth Be Told - I have a child with Special Needs
When: December 2, 2009 9PM/8PM central
Where: Discovery Health Channel

PLEASE note the change of station! We're not sure why they moved it, but this is one of TLC's sister stations.

If I hear anymore info I will let you know, and yes, I will send out a reminder a couple days ahead of time. :)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Kristen's Story

This beautiful young woman is Kristen Kirton. Like Kennedy, Kristen has Down syndrome and when Kristen was a little girl she battled Leukemia. She remained in remission for several years and doctors remained optimistic. However, she ended up relapsing... a word we, in the cancer community, dread with every fiber of our being. Kristen fought again, and beat it again! Then, in September 2008 she relapsed again.

They try HARD to avoid bone marrow transplants in people with Down syndrome. For whatever reason, their bodies just don't seem to handle it well. Still, with the 3rd relapse, they tested Kristen's siblings and found that her brother Rick was a match, should she need it. Fortunately, in April 2009, Kristen was declared cancer free once again.

However, by November, Kristen's mom was asking for prayer again... the awful reality of relapse sharp on everyone's minds... and just like that, with no warning, it was back. She has hit her lifetime limit on many of the chemotherapy drugs they would use to get her into remission, so her doctors are scrambling to find the perfect regimen for her, and once she's in remission, she'll need MORE chemo to get her ready for transplant... which is going to be VERY hard on her already tired body. But Kristen will fight, with her family by her side. Of this I have no doubt.

Kristen Kirton is 23 years old. She has beat cancer 3 times and is battling it a 4th time. She has had BOTH Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia AND Acute Myelogenous Leukemia. She loves Hannah Montana, going to the dollar store, and getting mail.

Kristen's mom, Polly, put out a request for cards for Kristen. This is probably the easiest time of year for this! Many of you will be addressing Christmas cards soon, will you add the address below to your list? It will brighten the day of one very special young lady, and if you could send a few prayers her way, I know they would appreciate that, too! You can click on her button above to get to her blog.

Kristen Kirton
P.O. Box 87
Draper, Utah 84020-0087

We're praying for you, Kristen!

Mass We Pray

Umm... So... I saw this on Michael's blog, and I thought SURELY it's some kind of joke... right? Because really, no one would buy this... or make this... RIGHT?!

So my curiosity got the best of me and I went to the website listed on the video. Apparently they're taking pre-orders. Seriously. Seriously?!

I just have one request. If you buy one of these, can you PLEASE leave me a comment and tell me WHY. If you got here from googling this product and you are a maker or distributor of this product, please, feel free to explain this to me. Because it seems a little... sacrilegious? I can't even wrap my mind around this. LOL

Is this for real?! I feel like I'm being punk'd! LOL

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

TLC show

STILL no word on when (or if) our show is going to air on TLC. Eve, one of the other moms on the show, has been working hard trying to find out, but the TLC people simply have no answers for her, except to say that it IS going to air... eventually. Anyway, about a week ago she found a clip online, but we couldn't get it to play. Then today it finally worked. Unfortunately I can't get it to embed here, but I can link you to it. Watch the clip here. It drives me crazy that it says Kennedy "suffers" from Down syndrome. WE all know that's not true!! Anyway, enjoy, and hopefully someday there will be an actual air date where you can see it on TV! LOL

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Making a list...

checking it twice... I've decided I better start thinking about Christmas shopping for the kids. I usually have most of it done by now, and this year? I have bought 2 things. One game for Kass and/or Kam and one thing for Keeghan. Yeah, I'm slacking. Truth is, I'm not too sure what to get them, especially the older 2.

I asked Kassidy what she would like for Christmas and she said, without hesitation, "an iPhone!" Uhhh yeah. NOT happening! First of all, she has no one to call. Second of all, she already HAS an iPod Touch which pretty much does everything the iPhone does, except the phone part, which brings me back to my point of her having no one to call. And she's 10. No phone. Just stick me in the "mean parent" corner.

Seriously though, it's hard to know what to get her, she's in that weird place between toys and teenager stuff. Clothes are still boring to her (though she loves the store Justice but is not quite willing to spend HER money on their clothes, and well, I'm not willing to spend MY money there either! haha), and she mentioned some "Littlest Pet Shop" toy, but I can't remember the last time I've seen her play with her other ones... Kennedy plays with them more than she does. She doesn't really "play" anymore. She reads a lot, but we have TONS of books and she's always bringing new ones home from school, and she plays with her iPod a lot. SO what should I buy her?!

Kameron is hard too... he has so much "stuff". He doesn't want to get rid of anything, EVER. He plays with it ALL, but it ends up ALL over his room! LOL And everything he has has lots of "parts". Is this a boy thing?! LOL I'm thinking so. He is very into imaginative play. He will stay in his room for hours making up games and stories and lining up his toys. He's very artistic. He likes transformers, but he has a bunch and he usually resorts back to things he can play pretend with... like his tots. Any ideas for a creative kid who already has "stuff"? LOL

I'm thinking about getting Keeghan and Kellsey this.
They can play with it together and make loud beautiful music together. Anyone have this? Feedback?

I'm also getting Keeghan this.

Yo Gabba Gabba AND educational. What more could a 2 year old ask for?! LOL

And I'm thinking about getting Kennedy this.

She LOVES playing dress up. What better than being able to choose her princess?! It's good for her OT skills too :). AND I'm sure Miss Kellsey will get some use out of it as well! ;)

As for Kellsey, I'm not sure... I'm going to wait for her to come home, get over the toy shock that I'm SURE will ensue here lol and see what she picks as her favorites for right now. We know she likes to color, we know she likes to watch TV, and we know she likes bubbles... hopefully she'll show us quickly what her favorites are, but something tells me she's going to like the wrapping paper and boxes best of all! ;)

SO what's on your Christmas list for the kids this year? We're definitely NOT going overboard, but I'd love to find things that the older two will LOVE, you know? Some of you out there must have good ideas for an 8 and 10 year old! I'd love to hear if you have fabulous ideas for the younger ones too! My ideas are totally not set in stone! LOL

Sunday, November 15, 2009

It's 8:30...

and I'm going to bed! For the second night in a row! What is WRONG with me?! LOL I can't seem to stay awake!!! I have several posts I NEED to do! Pictures, and exciting things that are happening, and have happened, and information to share, but it's just not going to happen tonight. My eyes are closing and my brain is shutting down. The kids are all tucked in so I'm heading there too.

I have 75 emails in my inbox waiting for answers... if you're one of those, I suck. Sorry! I'll get to you soon! I hope tomorrow... right after I get the kids off to school and unpack my suitcase! LOL

Frank should be going to visit Kellsey again tomorrow so hopefully he'll have an update and more pictures on the adoption blog. He is staying busy with one of the other Reece's Rainbow families, and another one is joining him there tomorrow, so he'll have more people to hang out with! Thanks for keeping him in your prayers! :)

OK, really, I feel old and totally lame, but goodnight! :)

They're BACK!!!!

So the other day I walked up to Target to buy Kennedy some jeans and I was a little irritated to see they were all decorated for Christmas already. Come ON people, it wasn't even the middle of November yet! GRR

So anyway, Kennedy and I walk in and go to the toddler clothes and she of course goes straight to the dresses while I go to the jeans and she brings me over dress after dress, "OH mommy, THIS one! SO pretty!" to which I reply, "NO Kennedy, we're looking for JEANS... you know, PANTS?" Then she smacks her forehead, because clearly, I am the one who doesn't get what we're really supposed to be buying here! LOL And she says, "FINE!" And we finally agree on two pairs of jeans and two shirts.

Then it happens. We're walking down the aisle towards the register... and I see them. It's like a dream. Are they REALLY here? In front of me? In all their yummy goodness?! Hallelujah! Christmas is BACK! And you know what that means?! THESE!!! YES!!!! SO glad it's NOVEMBER!
And I only bought 6 bags...


Something light and fun for Sunday morning...

Do you watch Glee? No? You're missing out!!!! Seriously! Here is the cast singing the National Anthem. They rock. If you're not watching, start! It's awesome!

Friday, November 13, 2009

A day on the set...

Today Kennedy and several other kids with special needs from around the Middle Tennessee area spent the day on the set of the movie "A Pure Country Gift" which will come out in theaters Fall 2010.

Kennedy had a blast! The set was on Charlie Daniel's property which is just amazing! She met a lot of really cool people... including Dean Cain! She took an instant liking to him, and him to her! He spent a lot of time holding her, it was so cute! He is a REALLY great guy... so down to earth! During filming she sat on the lap of Dean's sister. At one point she told me she had to go to the bathroom right when they were going to start filming a scene. I asked her to PLEASE hold it for just a few minutes, then told Dean that her claim to fame would probably be peeing in his sister's lap! LOL He cracked up and said, "That would be awesome! I hope she does!" LOL Fortunately she was able to hold it!

George Strait was there but we didn't get to meet him, he escaped to his trailer as soon as his scene was over. There were so many other great people, and I think it's going to be an awesome movie! Kennedy and the other kids were part of the "benefit concert" for kids with special needs. I won't give away the whole plot of the movie, but it sounds like it's going to be a good family film!

We are going back tomorrow to film a different scene, something with horses. Kennedy will be really excited about that! The only thing I goofed up with today was that I forgot my camera! Can you believe that?! Some friends were there with their kids though so they got pictures for me. As soon as I get them I will pass them along! :) It's been an exciting day!

(If you haven't seen it yet, Frank did a post with new pictures of Kellsey on the adoption blog.)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Q&A #115

More Q&As on the adoption blog.

just curious to know why you are changing her name? I don't have a clue about this so I am in no way judging or being condescending, i'm just wondering...won't that make it harder for her? I would think that's her only sense of identity left and something she understands.
Most families who adopt choose to change their child's name for one reason or another, so you could go from blog to blog and get different answers... a lot of which are VERY good and valid answers! But for us, Kellsey is young enough that she will catch onto her new name easily. We've seen this from experience with our friends who have gone before us... and really, we didn't want her to come to us years from now and ask why SHE is the only one without a K name... I mean, wouldn't you wonder, if you just met me? "Hi, I'm Renee, and these are my children: Kassidy, Kameron, Kennedy, Keeghan and Victoria." Ummm what?! LOL You ran out of K names? You just don't LOVE her as much?! For every family it's a personal decision and like I said, they all have their reasons, this is ours... if she were older, we probably would have given her the choice, but this is our only chance and so, going off of the experience and ease of others, we decided this was the best decision for US... not to say it's the best for everyone. :)

I am curious about Frank's extended stay. Will he stay in a hotel or do they provide some kind of housing through the agency you are using? I am sure a hotel would be so expensive.
Hotels are EXTREMELY expensive here. We are currently staying in an apartment... which isn't exactly cheap! LOL We're paying $69 a night, but compared to a hotel here it's MUCH cheaper AND compared to another round trip ticket for Frank, it's still cheaper for him to stay the 10 extra days. Plus this way we have a full kitchen so we can cook sometimes and not have to eat every meal out, which saves money as well. We've been eating about 1 meal out a day... and if we get pizza we eat for about $6.00 which is really good! (Just gotta remember to ask for no mayo! haha)

so now that she is officially yours. When can Frank take her out of the baby home and back to the apartment?
WELL now we have the 10 day wait which should be over on the 20th. THEN Frank has a lot of running around to do. He has to get her birth certificate and passport and visa and he has to go to the bank here and pull out the money in HER account that the government has set up for her, which he will then donate to the orphanage... because that's just what we're expected to DO. It keeps relationships good between the US and here so they let families continue to adopt and we definitely want that! THEN when all of that is done, he can get her out of the baby home. THEN he has to take her to get her medical done... after that they should be ready to go. He isn't going to want to get her out while he has all the running around to do... it's a lot of waiting in line and it's boring and it's COLD and she'd HATE it. Not exactly the best chance to bond, you know?! So he will get her when Nadia and Oleg say that it's a good time. We don't want her unhappy! He will get to visit until then though! :)

Poor little peanut, I wonder why her face is broke out like that?!
I don't know! They are saying it's from Gummy bears?! Really?! I don't know about that...

Does the baby home take in "hand me downs" to cloth the kiddos?
I would assume so... I'm not sure where they get the clothes from...

So, have you decided. Are you going to let her hair grow out or keep in short? I just love her little bangs..
Absolutely let it grow out!!! But we'll probably keep the bangs! I can't WAIT for it to get long though!!!!!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Q&A #114

There is daylight savings time there. Most of Europe does it. Except it happened on October 26, resulting in a bit of mess up on the day I flew home. :D
Thank you Hevel! :) So we missed it... which is good! I have enough jet lag! HA!

Hey can whoever emailed me about setting up a mission trip here, email me again! I have info for you! Thanks!

I'm curious as to why they stick you in an office for visiting. Are there no 'play rooms'? Or, are you not allowed to see the other children?
I THINK there are only their bedrooms... but I'm not sure. They don't really seem to want us back there. We did get a quick glimpse of the other kids on Friday, but it was not a long one.

My nieces have the exact same outfit as Kellsey!
Aww I really liked this outfit on her!!! How fun!!

Happy Birthday to Kellsey!! I have a question.....when you get her back to the States, are you going to take her to a Doctor here and double check on her medical status?? I just know if it was me, I would want to know that she really is as healthy as they say, and that nothing was overlooked.
Absolutely! She will go to the International Adoption Clinic at Vanderbilt. There they will check her for things that kids frequently deal with when coming out of orphanages. She will see her regular pediatrician who will probably refer her to an ENT and Ophthalmologist to get her ears and eyes checked. She'll also check her thyroid and everything else. She'll also go to our Down syndrome clinic at Vanderbilt for a full overall assessment by all the doctors there, including the cardiologist. Also, since she just turned three she will have her neck x-rayed to check for atlantoaxial instability... although I may wait until January and have them to this up at Shriner's when I take Kennedy for her check up... if they're willing. We'll see. The baby home here did say that the kids are seen by specialists once a year, but we need to get her established with her doctors at home. We are so fortunate to live near such an excellent hospital with great resources!

I wondered....your blog went private to keep certain people in her country from happening upon it, isnt having her pictures on here the same as just writing on your normal blog about everything? wouldnt they recognize her on here anyways and put 2 and 2 together? its one thing to have her new name "Kellsey" to keep her more private but by adding her pic, then your kinda defeating the purpose arent you? (I swear Im not being sarcastic, I am curious! lol)
I haven't said, or posted, anything without permission (including pictures). I've been very careful to check into everything first before hitting publish on this blog. Basically, with the process going as smoothly as it has, there is nothing to hide. Thank goodness! After Tuesday the other blog can go public again... even though it's REALLY the same as this blog. It's just a precaution set up should we have needed it. :)

ADORABLE! Are the duds she's wearing provided by you guys? So cute! Nice shoes! Already stylish! Can't wait to meet Miss Kellsey!
Nope! She comes to us like that. We did buy her stuff today though for when Frank gets to take her out of there! :)

I am having trouble logging into your adoption blog. It is telling me that my password is incorrect. Not sure why...I am using the same one you emailed out before you all left.
Hmm were you getting in before? That's really strange. Email me and I will try to help you!

She is such a doll!! Is she tall? She looks tall to me.
She feels tall to me too, but... define "tall"? LOL I guess I'll know when we get home and I see her next to Keeghan. It's so hard to tell. I definitely think she outweighs him. She's heavy!! I need to find out how much she weighs now.

Has she talked to your kiddos yet?
NO! I wish she could! That would be so neat! Frank would have to have internet access to do that.

I have a silly question, you said that she is potty trained. So do you know what the phrase in her native language is that indicates she has to go?
Funny thing about that... they told us she is potty trained... everyone who's been here before us has told us to take that with a grain of salt. Sure enough, each time we have gone to visit her, she has been in a diaper. They DO sit her on a potty chair a few times a day. I don't call this potty trained... they might though. We'll see how this plays out.

Great video. Was Frank holding the camera & blowing at the same time? If so, he's quite coordinated!
YES! But our video camera is REALLY small! LOL

Just out of curiosity, are you already calling her Kellsey or are you using her given name so she isn't confused? At what point do you change it??
Right now we are kind of using both... we are calling her Vika when we need to get her attention... but when we go through our photo album and telling her who everyone is, we'll point to her and say "Kellsey" (like, literally HER, not a picture of her... does that make sense?). We're trying to slowly transition her without confusing her... too much. Our friends kids all caught on quickly to their new names, so I'm sure Kellsey will too. :)

I am just curious Renee, so do ALL the children where Kellsey is at have DS? Are there separate orphanages for children w/o it? Was a bit confused on that, I somehow got the impression that all these children have DS, yet find it so hard to believe that there are that many there that would warrant their own separate orphanage? Also, if they are doomed to go to Institutions at age 5 and left to die basically, I am surprised they are so well cared for in the baby home, it looks and sounds like Kellsey has been taught and treated like a normal 3 yr old, so they would do all of that and then if not adopted, turn them over to an institution and left to who knows what? Just heart breaking. You are opening up alot of eyes.
No... Kellsey is in with mostly typical children. Kellsey is one of the luckier children in that she WAS so well cared for...comparatively. Still her fate is the same as any other child here with special needs. At age 5 she would have gone to an institution. Typical children don't go to institutions. They stay in the orphanage until they age out at age 16... then they are put out onto the streets where the suicide rate is high. Girls many times go into prostitution and boys often join gangs. It's really sad. So many kids...

Is their mayo as good as Kraft's?
I wouldn't know! LOL I HATE mayo in any way, shape or form! Yuck! LOL

Mayo on pizza is yummy! At least my sons think so. But really, I do love some seafood pizza for myself, that usually comes with a tartar base.
Now the seafood one I could probably do!

I believe the legal drinking age in Ukraine is 18, like most of Europe (where they have one at all), but I never saw anyone ID'd in Ukraine (or in Hungary as a matter of fact).
I haven't seen them ID anyone here either... of course I haven't been watching too closely either.

If you get a chance, try some varenyky. While they do look like slugs, they are great. I especially love the potato/mushroom filled ones. They are just sooooo good!
Uhhh I don't know... Frank may be able to do that, I have to be able to identify my food! LOL I know, I'm probably missing out! LOL

Ketchup, mayo and the restroom usually cost money at McD's in that half of Europe. It sure makes wasting food less likely, and the homeless don't make a permanent camp out at the restrooms.
I haven't had to pay for a restroom yet, but I've seen them all over. That's an interesting idea too!

The Chernobyl museum is very interesting. I went there with my cousin's wife who made aliyah in 1989 at age 17, so she lived through the whole Chernobyl disaster in Lviv.
We never did make it there today, but we got a lot of great pictures of other sights around town!! Frank's going to try to go one day later this week.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Q&A #113

There are more Q&As on our adoption blog...

Love the list! The spaghetti thing is odd. I'm assuming they've checked to make sure her nasal passage closes when she swallows? Does it happen with anything else "spaghetti-like" (if there is such a thing and if she eats it)?
It happens with fettaccini sometimes, but never macaroni. It's very strange. They've checked everything they can think of and can't figure it out... mostly they can't figure out why only the noodles.

I know K is a couple of years older than W but when did she she begin to read words.I really want to get W started on sight words do you think this is a good idea....I would love some insight on a mom who has already gone through this.
She started last Spring. We bought a DVD and flashcard set of Kindergarten sight words. She and Keeghan both picked up on them SO fast! I was amazed!!! If W knows all his letters solidly, I say go for it!

Oh wow, I just about died when I saw how cute your kids were all dressed for Halloween!! Just edibly cute! Any ideas for next year with all five??
We have it all planned out actually! LOL

Does Kennedy know that you're going to be gone for so long? How's she handling that?
Kennedy doesn't fully understand how long we're going to be gone. We talked about going on an airplane and her sleeping at Grandma's house, and us going to see Kellsey and stuff like that, but she really has no concept of time. This could be good or bad... we're going to have to see...

it's probably the H1N1, but the name is lost in translation??
Turns out that's all it is! Thank goodness! I told everyone to stop freaking out! haha

Is there any way that funds could be raised to help keep children like Kellsey with their families?
I'm not sure what you are asking... Kellsey is in a baby home... her biological parents have given up all rights because she has Down syndrome. It's socially unacceptable for parents here to keep kids with Down syndrome, so, sadly most don't. Then they go to baby homes and at age 5 are put into institutions where they die within a year. So, I don't think fundraising is going to help Kellsey stay HERE. Her future here is not a good one... unfortunately. did you go about choosing these particular sweeties from the tree to add to your blog? The girl I am in love with is here (she is from the same region as our son) So cool!
Well one of them is MY favorite too!! :) We've been praying for her to find a family forever! The rest of them I just thought were really cute! Of course they're ALLLL cute!

Why can you not drink the water?
It has stuff in it that our bodies are not used to and therefore we will get very sick... So we have to drink and brush our teeth with bottled water.

Did you have to set your clocks back too or do they not do daylight savings time over there?
No daylight savings here... I think that's a U.S. thing!

Also, think about it? you can do laundry while you go pee? haha. interesting to see the apartment!
LOL Well, it actually didn't phase me because our laundry room at home is part bathroom too! haha

Happy Birthday! Did you get an iphone for your birthday?!
Uhhh no! He wishes! That is an iPod Touch, which he was VERY happy about! Now he doesn't have to bug Kassidy for hers! haha

Such a beautiful little girl. I can't even imagine what you are feeling right now. Well, partially since all 6 of my kids are adopted. What's the plan now? Do you get to see her every day? Bring her back to the apt?
Can't bring her back to the apartment yet, since she's not officially ours. I wish!! We can go to the baby home 2-3 times a week for one hour each time. We'll go again on Thursday and then on Friday for her birthday :).

Why are you only allowed to see Kellsey a couple times a week? Most peeps visit TWICE A it due to the flu thing? Well, at least you will be with her on her birthday! :) Keep warm!
Yes... technically the baby home is closed to visitors right now. Period. They are making an exception for us, as her parents. We are VERY thankful and will take what we can get! :)

WOW! Exciting that court could be so soon. Why so fast? Would that be due to the health issues? Praying for things to go quickly and smoothly.
I'm not sure why actually! I was a little surprised about that too! Could be though! I was just happy that court wasn't closing down like everything else around here!!! I guess God figured we've had enough red tape already! haha

PS - Meant to ask - did you Kellsey's birthday is Nov 6th? How neat if you'll be able to spend some time with her on her birthday!
Yep! So excited about that!

Not that your busy or anything:) but when you get home or have a second, I would like to know how you got things started with Kellsey. We have been talking about adopting to get our girl, and its getting stronger for me. I just don't know where to even begin the process. Any words of wisdom would help.
I will do a post about this soon! :)

Are you and Frank enjoying some alone time?? Must feel a little weird not to have to tend to the kids huh??
Yes! We are having a lot of fun exploring the city... even if we ARE freezing! LOL

I know that Americans always freak out by the cars parking on the sidewalk, but seriously, that is completely normal part of a big part of Europe. Especially when you consider that most of these European cities were first built way before anyone but the Vikings went to America, when most people walked or used handcarts and even carriages were rare, so the streets are barely wide enough for one way traffic. Due to cars still being much rarer than in the US during the building of the 10+ storey panel neighbourhoods, the streets aren't much wider either.
LOL yes, I haven't decided if the drivers here are horrible, or possibly the best drivers EVER. How they don't cause serious accidents every 5 minutes is beyond me and must take some real talent! :)

Renee, Can I be added to your adoption blog list. I haven't checked it in awhile and didn't realize you had changed it to a private setting. Thanks!
Patty, email me so I have your email address and I will add you!

Can you bring back contact info so that local churches can plan mission trips?
I will work on that for you!!!

I also wondered if you'll be bringing her home this trip. AND...what is her middle name?? Obviously it is J_ _ _ :)
Obviously... maybe... ;)

Are you all bringing Kellsey back home w/ you on THIS trip or do you have to go back to get her?
No. After court where they will declare her officially OURS, we will return home (because THAT won't be hard UGH!) for a 10 day "wait". This is when they will process the rest of the paperwork and stuff. SOME regions will waive this wait. This region NEVER has. I wish! Then Frank will return, only one parent has to, and we chose him for many reasons, and he will bring her home. He will be here about 2 weeks. He will have to get a bunch of stuff done like her birth certificate, Visa, passport and a bunch of other legal documents, then Kellsey will have to see a doctor and get her medical clearance. He can finally get her OUT of the baby home and keep her in the apartment with him (YAY!!!) and after about 2 weeks they can fly home together... just time for Christmas. :) Now, that's not to say we're not going to TRY to get them to waive the 10 day wait. I know I said NEVER, but there has to be a first time for everything, right? Why not start with US?! LOL

So, Renee, which is more expensive for you? The birthdays in November or Christmas in December? LOL!!
I think it's going to be a tossup! LOL

Just one question - does anyone speak English over there? :-) Hugs to all three of you!
No, no one at the baby home (that I know of so far) but we have a translator that will either go with us or be just a cell phone call away. :)

PS - she (Kellsey) looks like a good size kiddo! Is she as big as Kennedy?
Yes... she's a little shorter, we think, but heavier, for sure! And thicker. We're guessing she's probably in 3T clothing, same as Kennedy.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


It's a birthday marathon around here!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM!!! Right now you are at the kids school delivering cupcakes and setting up for the kids' parties. And you are probably saying, "Kassidy was born on MY birthday!" :) I hope you know I had it planned that way all along! ;) Thanks for stepping in for me when I couldn't be there. I know you will make it a very special day for both kids! You are the best mom and grandma I could have ever asked for for me & them! Thanks for always going above and beyond to be there for ALL of us in whatever capacity we need. I don't know what we would do without you! :) Kellsey will soon see too what an awesome grandma she has! I know you guys are going to have SO much fun together playing games and singing songs... you're brushing up on your Russian... right?! :)

We all love you SO much and we hope you have a VERY special day!!! We'll talk to you tonight!!!

Love Your daughter & son-in-law :)


My beautiful daughter,
Today you turn 10 years old. I can hardly believe I have been a mother for 10 years! You have taught me so much in the last decade! I know I am supposed to be the one teaching you, and I hope you have picked up a life lesson or two along the way, but I've picked up a few lessons from you too, my daughter. Here are 10 things that I've learned...

10. You taught me that I can stay up for 24 hours with a sick child and still function. Barely.

9. You taught me how to shop... maybe not so much for me, but at least for cute kids clothes!

8. You taught me how to be a kid again! And you shared all your care bears with me! Thanks! :)

7. You taught me how to work Kennedy's iPod... a miracle all in itself!

6. You taught me patience, a lesson I need to relearn over and over sometimes.

5. You taught me perseverance! You work so hard for things that you really set your mind to, and I'm so proud of you for that!

4. You taught me to have childlike faith. I love to hear you talk about God and I love that you pray when you have a problem. Hold fast to Jesus throughout your life. He'll never steer you wrong.

3. You taught me to hug more, to kiss more, and to say "I love you" more... and I love you SO much for that, always always always!!!

2. You taught me what it's like to be the BEST big sister in the whole world! Kameron, Kennedy, Keeghan (and Kellsey!) are SO blessed to have you for their big sister to guide them through life!

1. Most importantly, you taught me total, selfless, unconditional love. Thank you for being my daughter, for being my firstborn!

Happy 10th Birthday Kassidy!!! We can't wait to see what the next 10 years brings!! We love you SOOO much and we'll see you soon! We hope you're having fun taking pictures with your new camera! We can't wait to see what's on it when we get back! :)
Love, Mom & Dad

PS. Enjoy your cupcakes at school today! We'll call you tonight! :)

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


Happy Birthday Kameron!!!!

Today you turn 8 years old! I can't believe it! Only 8 more years and you'll be old enough to DRIVE! That really scares me! :) We'll let daddy teach you how to do that, ok?!

Kam, I've been sitting here, thinking about what to write to you... you've changed in so many ways this year... I see you maturing so much! You're changing from a little boy into a more mature BIG boy! Your interests and needs are changing and it's so fun to watch!!

You are such a special kid! I love to watch your mind work. I love to hear what you're thinking about. I never know what you're going to say next, which always keeps me laughing because you usually end up surprising me! :) I hope you never stop telling me what's on your mind. I'm always here to listen to you and give advice when you need it... or just hear one of your stories. Those are my very favorite!

If I could give you one bit of advice for this year Kam, and really for your whole life, it would be "never stop seeking God". I know I say this a lot, but really, hold fast to that, my son. It will get you through anything... even nightmares about spiders.

Keep making the world laugh!
We love you ALWAYS!
Happy birthday!!!!
Love, Mom & Dad

PS. Sorry there's no school today! Enjoy your cupcakes at school tomorrow! We'll talk to you tonight and see you soon!! We miss you SO much!!!