Friday, August 31, 2007

It's what you make of it...

I was reading over at Karen E.'s blog and she linked to a blog I had never seen before, Mommy Monsters Inc. And wow what a great find, the first post I read is 'Do you ever feel invisible?' and it brought me to the verge of tears. Sure, I've heard things like this, I've read things like this... but I think that the Lord puts them in front of me at the right time to remind me of what I'm doing, why I'm doing it, and that I'm not alone in those 'dark night' kind of thoughts.

This week, I have been a set of hands floating about. The snot monsters run in and out of my presence with their white flags needing to sound their little fog horns... and I do it... and then I have to wash my hands because -- gross :-). It's been a little more trying than usual because Daddio has been gone all week, and while it is not uncommon that he is away on business... his trips aren't usually so long (tonight my knight is coming home).

But reading the above mentioned post, I'm reminded that 4 years ago I was dreaming and praying for this very thing. And while it can be trying, being invisible, I'm colaborating with God (well maybe assisting is a better word) on a project that is more important than anything I could possibly do on my own.

In the story, the author mentions her clothes... her general look... and I'm reminded of a quote a dear friend told me about:
"I want what I have."
And when you first read it, it doesn't seem quite right... but then you start pondering it, and you see how you can apply this to your own life. By being thankful for the blessings the Lord has showered upon you, and who am I to ask for more than I have?

With that, I shall take my leave... I have stone to lay and birds to carve.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

#6 Question adoptive parents hear

Q: How much did they cost?

A1: How about I ask how much it cost you or your insurance to birth your child. Or, how much money did you make last you… do you have any credit card debt, how often do you have sex?

A2: Well, he's bigger so it cost a little more, but we got a steal on the little one.

A3: It was buy two get one free that week, so it turned out to be more affordable than we thought.

A4: (Smile politely) We used a not for profit agency, and the attorney charged reasonable fees for the paperwork.

Again, this is a real life question we get (regularly)... notice the bold word... this is the actual statement. Now just think for a few moments about how this could be worded slightly different and would be less offensive to the parent (and child standing there). The they, that is being referred to is not the agency... the reference is to the child[ren]... they cost nothing, what I'm paying for is the labor in order to adopt them... the social worker's time, the attorney's time, the court's time.

Snot City

That's where I currently live. Do your kids have allergies... mine do! And when they get out of control (the allergies in this case) they seem to turn into little colds with more snot and coughing!

But I think I found something that easies the congestion... Vick Soothing Vapors (Plug-In Waterless Vaporizer & Nightlight).

Now, I'm not crazy about the green glow, but this morning all the boys' congestion seemed to have loosened up and they were all breathing in a much more normal manner. After breakfast I moved the plug-in into the gameroom where they will spend most of the day to hopefully keep them loose!

Oh the joys... of snot city.

Monday, August 27, 2007

A great giveaway!

Check out this great giveaway! Oh... what a great bag... a must have... I really want to win it... have I mentioned that I never WIN ANYTHING!!!!!


Right now the boys are in the gameroom, and this is what I'm hearing:

"Who wants a free T-shirt... it goes to the person waving their flag the best."

Bam, bam, buh, bam, bam (that's the soundtrack music that Bubba is providing to the little play)

What in the world are they referring to?

Monster Truck Races!!!

Friday night we took the boys to the Speedway's Dirt Track to see the Monster Truck races for Snookie's birthday. It was really incredible. We got there a little early and had the opportunity to go down on the dirt track and see all the trucks up close and personal, and get autographs of the drivers! Honestly the only truck that we had actually heard of was Bigfoot... who hasn't... needless to say all of this was new to us. But it was a ton of fun even though we were never able to snag a free t-shirt (although I did wind up with a blister on my thumb from the waving of our flag in order to get the free loot)!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Happy Birthday Snookie!

Today, my once baby... turned 5!

This first picture is Snookie turning 2 just 3 weeks after they came home to us!

Here's my sweet Snookie this weekend turning 5!

Thursday, August 23, 2007


This Public Service Announcement is brought to you by the Llama Foundation!

Fake Eyelashes are not cool ladies. I've conducted extensive research and have found that the male species are not looking at your eyelashes and thinking "dang check out the big, long, dark, dense set of lashes on that babe". So remove the boxes of lashes and glue from your Kaboodles, and be happy with what God gave you!

Thank you.
The Llama Foundation

#4-5 Questions Adoptive parents hear...

These are specific questions that Daddio and I have been asked... but I've heard variations from others with similar family structures!

4. Q: Where did you get them?
A1: Um, what? Like what store… are you kidding me?
A2: All three were born in Texas.
A3: (if I have time, and am feeling generous with it) We chose to use an adoption agency that works with the state in placing children that are currently in the foster care system.

5. Q: What are they?
A1: Turns out that the blood work came back 'children', 'boys' to be specific... but I have my doubts. Science isn't perfect, and the lab tech looked shifty.
A2: They happen to be bi-racial.

Again, nothing is particularly cruel with these questions, just that generally if the adoptive parents wants to tell you they will, and you don't need to ask. Also, most (99%) come from the grocery checker, store clerk, or random person I'm passing with the brood and I don't know them... and in turn they don't know me.

We've met people out and about with children that appear to be adopted, or maybe in foster care... and generally you can tell by the mom's (or if both parents are there) demeanor if she has time to talk. My only comment is "beautiful child(ren)". Trust me, the mom will usually reply in two ways (generally): "thank you", and if she is feeling especially generous "thanks, we are so blessed to have them... we adopted.... blah blah blah".

The moral of the story, if an adoptive parent wants to talk about it they will... you don't need to try and play 20 questions.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Where do you fall into the mix?

Red Cardigan over at And Sometimes Tea: What kind of Homeschooler are you?, wrote a fun post on the spectrum of homeschoolers.

Check it out!!! And let her know what you do in your school.

Dreaming of Fall

I know we've had it pretty easy with the weather this summer. Plenty of rain (but no flooding in our neck of the woods), and temps didn't even break 100 until August. But after three weeks of real Texas heat, I'm done with summer. We've been to the beach, that's about all I need the hot weather for.

Now we're ready for some long walks on crisp evenings, and for football and basketball seasons to begin! Also, MommaLlama prefers cold weather because she looks especially cute in sweaters and jackets with her little nose and cheeks all rosy from the cold air. She is definitely a fall/winter girl.

And most of all, we are desperate to go CAMPING!

Last year there was very little color in the trees, because of the drought. But this year should be really spectacular! Look how full the lake was already in March. The previous fall, it was about 100 yards further between the tend and the water's edge. I think we'll try to hit Beaver's Bend (pictured above) at the height of the color in the trees, and work in another long weekend or two somewhere else. Caprock Canyons (see post from this spring) would be wonderful for landscape photography with our new camera, and there are plenty of other hiking trails to explore. But we'd also like to try some of the other Texas parks, such as Enchanted Rock and Lost Maples. And there are other Oklahoma parks we want to visit. I've heard good things about Turner Falls. So many choices!

Reason number 5,203 to homeschool: You can go camping in the middle of the week, to avoid the crowds!

Bring on the campfires, nature hikes, s'mores, and snuggles in a sleeping bag on a chilly night! I will invest in an actual working space heater this year. The one I borrowed from a friend during our last cold weather trip was a total bust and radiated virtually no heat. I will be sure to keep it more comfortable this year. But not so warm that she doesn't still need to get close!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

The big list

So all my homeschooling blog buddies have put together their list of curriculum/books/activities... that sort of thing, and I guess I'm kind of the last one on board.

Never fear, the Llama is gettin' in gear! Up first with the smallest book load is Snookie who will be in kindergarten. He will be using:

Next we have Bubba starting 1st grade!

And last but certainly not least (especially for the amount of work he will be doing this year) is Bobcat who is leading the way in 2nd grade!

Specifically for First Communion

These are the main staples of my lesson planner! In a few days I will list and link out all the other things I plan on throwing in here and there!


Physical Therapy

We had a successful afternoon of swimming. The boys really enjoyed swimming with the goggles on. This shot was taken right when we got there... all of the other pictures we took of them, they were under the water! It is so much more fun when you can see under there. Plus they really had fun with the sinker sticks I got them. If you have a kid who doesn't necessarily want to put his face under, goggle just might be the answer to the problem. This seems to have solved the problem for Bobcat at least.

After 3 hours at the pool we called it quits... I was tired, Daddio was tired, the boys... well, they weren't ready to leave. But alas, it was time for us to go home and cook dinner... and Bobcat got his first bath in 4 weeks. To say that his leg had a smell... would be an understatement. He had a nice long warm soak in Spidey Bubbles for about 25 minutes to remove all 4 weeks of cast sweat. Nice he smells like a nice boy again! After dinner, there was an early bedtime.... and they were out like lights... thank goodness... we all needed it!

This morning, Bobcat is pretty soar but in good spirits. So all is well with the world in the Llama house again!

Monday, August 20, 2007

** Updated ** Cut Day

The cast is comin' off. Daddio took the day off, and headed out this morning to have Bobcat's cast removed. We are all ready for that thing to come off!!!!!

When they get home I will post pic of the non-peglegged Bobcat!


**The ortho liked the cast art so much that he asked to keep it and use for display in his waiting room!!! Once the cast was off there was the normal amount of dryness that has to be cared for gently for the next week or so, and he is on 4 weeks of restricted play... still no running or jumping... but we are planning a swim tonight and that will be a regular thing for the next few weeks. It is low impact and will help get that knee moving again! Other than that, the new X-rays looked really good, which is a big relief... and things are going to be getting back to normal around here!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

#1 Questions Infertiles hear

These are questions that I, myself, have heard more than once (verging on the hundreds actually). By talking about these, I'm not trying to be the PC police, I'm just trying to shed some like on issues that you may not be away of... or if you are in the same boat to give you a good laugh!

1. Just relax, take a vacation, just take a break… then you will get pregnant.

--Oh, you are so right. I never thought of it that way, where do you suggest I vacation? Are you planning on paying for my trip? What other enlightening tips might you have?

--Um, no, it is actually a medical condition and no amount of vacationing with cause my ovaries to miraculously start working.

--I appreciate your thoughts. I wish it were that easy. (This is actually a very sincere answer that I've used numerous times).

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Chewy Chocolate Cookies

Here is a recipe for super easy and tasty chocolate cookies!!!

Chewy Chocolate Cookies

1 1/4 cup butter
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
3/4 cup cocoa
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
Optional: 1 cup chopped nuts

Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs and vanilla. In separate bowl combine dry ingredients and add to the creamed mixture. (Add nuts at this point) Drop by teaspoon on ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 8-9 minutes. DO NOT OVER BAKE. Cookies will puff during baking but will flatten when cooled and will be soft. Cool on pan for 1-2 minutes, then move to wire rack to cool completely. (4 1/2 doz.)

*I put parchment paper on my baking sheets!
**Mine stayed nice a puffy after cooling!!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Feast of the Assumption

For a tasty addition to dinner tonight I made home made bread... dinner rolls to be exact. And since it was a feast for Mother Mary the dinner rolls were formed into roses! These wonderful additions to our meal were fairly easy to fashion. Once you've let it rise (I let mine rise twice, punching down after the first 30 minutes and then additional rise of 1 hour), cut into sections then roll in hand to make a strand (like a rope). Tie a knot in the middle then loop each end over tuck under (into the center)... this will form the petal appearance. I let them rise again for about 30 minutes to an hour. Then bake at the recommended time for your recipe. About 2 minutes before timer goes off I remove them from the oven and spread melted butter (with a pastry brush) to the top of each rose and return to the oven for the last two minutes! Each of the 'roses' make a beautiful addition to any table or plate.

Maggie thinks they smelled super good, and wanted to know when she could expect her dinner roll!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Prayerful Soul

Sometimes your kids do something... well that just shows you that the Holy Spirit is with them...

Snookie just came to my room where I was folding laundry and said he needed to tell me something.

Snookie: "Mommy, I want to pray for Daddy, that his drive home is safe."
Me: "Okay, what prayer do you think we should say?"
Snookie: "Um.... (LONG PAUSE)... Hail Mary"

And off we went on the prayer. This is not something he typically does, this is more of a thing that the older two do... my little Snookie Monster is starting to grow up and think of people other than himself (I mean that in the nicest way, and this is something new for him).


I'm a slave to it... if my routine is changed or altered for a day or two I just feel so out of sorts. And since this was the case Sunday and Monday that was the case, I now am playing catch up to regain some sense of order.
We spent Sunday lunch hanging out at my folks house visiting to my grandmother, aunt and uncle! Here's a shot of (starting from left going to right) my aunt, grandmother, and my mom. I spent most of my time there just laughing my head off. When the cajun clan gets together it's always a hoot! And the food was super tasty. My dad fried up a couple of turkeys, and my grandmother made her super amazing home made bread... oh and she also whipped up some tea cakes (they are kind of bready cookies). Oh man, it was SOOOOOOOOOO GOOD.

After lunch it was a quick trip home, and nap for the boys we were off again this time to evening Mass (we usually go first thing in the morning). After Mass we went out to dinner with several families from church and had a great time celebrating the life of family friend who passed away 2 years ago. It made for a long day.

Yesterday I went back to my parents house and picked up my niece (5 years old) to help out my mom while she worked. And while it isn't hard adding another child to the mix when it is the same age... all the driving really threw our day off... so things just continued to pile up... but at least my niece was able to spend the day playing with the boys, and not stuck entertaining herself all day.

So now I'm on clean up duty! Fun times! Bing Bong, Bing Bong... There's the washer reminding me to switch up the laundry.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

One week to go!

Only one more week to go in the cast! It comes off on Monday the 20th. Bobcat's been killing some time with the video game we bought him. It was only $6 on clearance at Toys R Us. It's a knock-off of Mario Bros., but with Disney characters. I was looking for Pac-Man or some other classic, but they weren't in stock.

He's not very good at it, the one-hour timer ran out with him still on the very first level... But he's patient and slowly getting better. We vowed not to have our kids addicted to video games, even before we had kids (my little half brother's favorite game is Grand Theft Auto, can you believe that?! He's only 6 years old...) So our game will probably get very little use once the cast is off. But it's something to do for the time being.

Friday, August 10, 2007

#3 -- The Term "Adoption"

Continuing the series of what to say or not to say to adoptive and infertile couples, I would like to discuss the appropriate usage of the term adoption. This is a post I wrote about a year ago, and am now reposting here:

Why is it that so many charitable causes use the term adoption? It is really starting to tick me off. For example, Adopt a Highway campaigns should be called volunteering. And adopting pets... that is buying. Or rescuing if you prefer. We have a rescue puppy, we are sympathetic to that cause. But it's not adoption. And you surely don't adopt whales, seals, eagles, vultures, elephants, or zoos... you sponsor them!

This is a soapbox that I won't soon get off of. People may not realize that improper use of the term adoption truly belittles my children who are REALLY ADOPTED. Please make an effort to use this term appropriately. And if you want to adopt something, adopt CHILDREN!

Under construction...

If things look a little funny it's because I'm messing with the code... sorry! I hope that it will be a cool looking blog when I'm done!

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Sharing the tastiness!

I found this recipe of at Menus4Moms a few months ago, and just had to try it. It made its first appearance on our table a few weeks ago, and then again this week due to its overwhelming success!! Enjoy!

Easy Chicken Cordon Bleu
2 cans refrigerated low-fat crescent dinner rolls (or frozen puff pastry sheets if you can find them)
1 1/2 cups cooked chicken, chopped (or shredded)
1 1/2 cups cooked ham, chopped
1 cup (4oz package) Swiss cheese, grated (I always us more, 1.5-2 cups)
1 egg, beaten
Heat oven to 350°. Combine all ingredients except crescent rolls. Separate dough into 8 rectangles; firmly press perforations to seal well. Evenly divide mixture between rectangles. Pull up corners of rectangles to center and twist. Pinch edges to seal. Place on a cookie sheet lined with foil (for easy clean up) and sprayed with olive oil spray. Brush with egg. Cook for about 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Oh... the first time I made it I served it with homemade mashed potatoes, this time with Mac & Cheese. You can reheat them in the oven: 350° for 10 to 15 minutes. You can microwave them, but they will get a little soggy... I'm sure a toaster oven would work great as well, I just don't have one so I can't tell you the temp or time for that.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007


I thought I would share a little more of last week's events... while we were celebrating the adoption anniversary, and Daddio's birthday... there was an undercurrent of frustration. We will call it 'The Great Upgrade of 2007'.

It all started with Daddio getting the Photoshop Elements/Premier bundle for his birthday... a few days early. After fiddling with it on Wednesday night, we realized that our 3.5 year old computer simply couldn't handle the video editing portion... we had the wrong kind of processor to start off with followed by not enough RAM, we really should have had a better video card... anyway you get my point. We/Daddio spent a few hours on the phone with a friend trying to figure out what would be the best option: new computer or replace/upgrade what we had on the old. Tallying up upgrades we were somewhere in the ballpark of $300+, and decided that would really be throwing good money after bad (a new phrase Daddio taught our Costa Rican friend on the phone). So it was pretty much decided that we would buy a new one in the future... when ever that might be.

Fast forward about 12 hours to Thursday... after practically all night of researching online, we narrowed down what we wanted, and after a fun late breakfast at McD's we popped into our local electronics store for our computer purchase. The young man who helped us was very nice, and very knowledgeable (note to self: send a note to the store manager about John). While making the purchase we had lots of questions, and our sales guy had all the answers!!! And then it came to me, he couldn't have been more than 20!! Here he was 8+ years younger than us, and was rattling off all sorts of things... he lost me after 'yes ma'am it can do that'! I felt old... anyway. So we got the computer plus a few other things we naturally needed... cause we were in an electronics store!

Home again, home again... did I mention that this is the same Thursday that we hosted the little party... okay so we fed the kids, put them down for a nap while we worked on getting the new computer up and running, played with it for a little while, then I headed to the store for the final provisions (ICE CREAM). Next the fun party, and then off to bed.

Friday, after our lovely Blessing Mass for the homeschooling group, we were home again to play with the new purchase. Now it was time to finally dump our family videos spanning 3 years on to our computer (something we were never truly successful with on our old computer with some other very unpleasant software). Oh, I should also mention now, that all the new fangled computers come with VISTA now, not Windows XP. We hook up the video camera and....

wait for it....

Vista is too new and there is no plugin (yet) for our three year old camcorder! Are you freakin' kidding me???? Meaning our computer WON'T for any reason talk to our camcorder... WHAT... I just spent how much money buying a whole new dang computer because I already bought a new video editing software that wouldn't work on my old one... only to find that out after I had tried to install it... voiding any chance of returning it to either get my money back or try and find something that would work... and now I STILL CAN'T GET THE VIDEO OFF THE CAMERA TO EDIT IT ON MY NEW LATEST/GREATEST COMPUTER... remove the fork from my hand before I poke myself in the eye!

After exhaustive phone conversations with electronic store, camcorder maker, Internet searches... blah blah blah, there is a way to do it, but we will have to buy more things to make it happen.


There are times when the progression of technology really sucks!

Tuesday, August 7, 2007


I was browsing an online photography discussion forum a while ago (I've been reading up and practicing to get the most out of my new camera), and this particular site has many international users. One person posted photos of his new home in a village called Bonsall, in England. I looked it up on Google Maps, and just for kicks, asked for directions to Rome. Only 21 hours driving time. That's a long drive, but DUDE, wouldn't you love to be able to drive to Rome???

In the time it takes an American to drive from Disney Land to Disney World, a European can be in literally a dozen different countries, all with their own languages and histories. Cool, huh?

The photographer's house was built in 1760. The pub across the street, in 1677. To put that in perspective, our house was a field of buffalo, maybe a teepee.

This is kind of blowing my mind.

End of it's life

Yesterday was the 'large' trash pick up day for our neighborhood... and when the truck passed by, with it went the swingset.

After three years of service the swingset became unsafe with split wood, sheered off bolts, and bowing. So Sunday night Daddio and I took it apart and hauled it to the front. With it went the dead tree, and my porch swing.

Here it is, just after completion. Bye bye old friend.

Monday, August 6, 2007


While Daddio has found a few moments to post in the last few days, I just haven't had a chance. I thought I would take a moment to share what all has been going on around here!

First off, Thursday (August 2) was the start of the anniversary of our new life with the boys. We met the boys three years ago on that date! This year we decided that we would start having a real anniversary celebration every year in honor of those first five days. Thursday evening we had some family over for a nice evening of pizza and ice cream, and good times. Keeping with actual events we would have followed this by hitting the zoo on Friday as we did the first week. Unfortunately with Bobcat's cast we aren't doing any outdoor activities till that is removed in two weeks. On the 4th is a double celebration... Daddio's birthday and the first time the boys got to sleep over at our house. Man, I can remember that day like it was yesterday. Going to pick them up after their nap time, heading back to our place... Daddio set up the Slip N Slide for them in the back and the four of them had the best time. We didn't have suits for them, so once the diapers/pull ups were too heavy I improvised and put all three just in big boy underwear for the backyard fun. On the following day we spent the morning with them, then headed back to the foster mother's home for their last night there. She was gracious enough to invite us to stay for a little party she was throwing for the boys with their neighbors and friends. Leaving them there that evening was one of the more difficult things I've ever done. They stood at the screen door watching as we walked away, CRYING! And so were WE! That brings us up to today's anniversary! On this morning 3 years ago we got up early, headed over to the foster home, picked them up along with the last of their things and headed back to our place. Here we were met by our social worker, their social worker and supervisor for the signing of their placement paperwork. Now we were starting our life together as a forever family.

Over the last few days Daddio and I have been looking at all the pictures and videos over the last three years... especially those of the first year. They were so tiny, so sweet, and looking back even scared! They've grown, will always be sweet, and rarely show signs of fear... what a difference three years will make. The three rolly poly's you see hear, are lean boy machines now... with just a whisper of that first week still floating around.

Thank you

I want to say thank you to 4andCounting for thinking of me for the Blogger Reflection Award. This is the first blog award someone has given me and I really appreciate it.
And now that I've been recognized I get to pick 5 of my favorite reflective reads to send this award on to! So here goes:
1. Bob over at Bob's Blog. If you haven't checked his out... WHAT ARE WAITING FOR?! His pictures are breath taking, his humor is awesome, and he and his family are amazing! His insights on his blended family (through the foster care system) inspires me and keeps me chugging along in my own blended family.
2. Suzanne over at Blessed Among Men. She keeps me thinking, makes me laugh, and her blog has become a companion in my boy world!
3. Matilda dancing over at Waltzing Matilda. She is a dear friend, a homeschool companion, and a common sense mom. She has really great insight, and knows not to take it all too seriously.
4. Fr. Fox over at Bonfire of the Vanities. Do you want to learn something about the Catholic faith? Do you enjoy reflections on the Holy Gospel from Sunday Mass? Want to know more about the Motu Proprio... Fr. Fox's is the blog you need to be reading! He will capture you with his bright reflections, and lighten things up with his quick wit!
5. Michelle over at Dei Gratia. This mom is awesome. Much like Bob, she is raising a blended family through adoption and biological children... and of course a homeschooling mom. While reading the goings on in her home, I find consolation in my own situation!

Sunday, August 5, 2007

14 days to go!

Only 14 days to go! Bobcat is feeling great, no complaints of pain. (Well, there was just a little complaining to Grandma the other day, but every kid needs Grandma to lay on the heavy sympathy and doting!) He is hobbling around the house independently, which is good for Mommy's back. We've been out a few times, and he enjoys the attention. Here's a recent photo:

He can't get up to his big chair, so the kiddie table is residing in the kitchen for now. I'm not sure what the fearsome face is all about, he's a goofball.