Thursday, February 28, 2008

Another Anniversary

Three years ago today we got up early, had breakfast and headed off to the courthouse. It was a chilly morning, and honestly we really didn't know what to expect. We arrived and found our lawyer who walked us through what would be happening, and then waited. It seemed like forever having to sit there with the boys... keeping boys entertained and quiet at the same time!

Some adoptive families are able to go to the courthouse and share this day with many other adoptive families, but in the county where we finalized that isn't how they do it. Inside the court room there were no other families waiting to have their names forever joined, instead there were men and women looking to get out of tickets and whatnot. And we weren't the first to go, we had to sit there and listen to a few of these before we were able to walk before the judge and make a public record of our pledge to our new family. The judge pictured here was a lovely woman. One of her first comments was how much she loved finalizing adoptions, and even commented on how handsome the boys looked! The whole event is somewhat of blur, the realization was quite overwhelming... as you can tell even the boys seem a little unsure of what all was happening. And what seemed like a flash it was all over. We had a few pictures taken, and then we were out in the lobby again with our attorney finishing up the details of when we would receive new birth certificates and our copy of the records.

Looking back at the pictures it seems so long ago... most of the time it feels like they have been with us from the beginning... I guess, though, things didn't begin until they came to us!

He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will... (Ephesians 1:5)

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Well... if everyone else is doing it...

You Are Strawberry Ice Cream

A bit shy and sensitive, you are sweet to the core.

You often find yourself on the outside looking in.

Insightful and pensive, you really understand how the world works.

You are most compatible with chocolate chip ice cream.

You Are a Comma

You are open minded and extremely optimistic.

You enjoy almost all facets of life. You can find the good in almost anything.

You keep yourself busy with tons of friends, activities, and interests.

You find it hard to turn down an opportunity, even if you are pressed for time.

Your friends find you fascinating, charming, and easy to talk to.

(But with so many competing interests, you friends do feel like you hardly have time for them.)

You excel in: Inspiring people

You get along best with: The Question Mark

Sweet Deal

Some of you may be familiar with Heidi Saxton, Mommy Monsters Inc., and her work as a blogger and author. After reading a recent post of hers, I submitted to read and review her new guide Raising Up Mommy! And wouldn't you know it (I certianly didn't expect it) that she still had a few spots left for reviewers!!! I should get my copy shortly and at her request I will be posting my review on March 16th!

I'm truly looking forward to reading it, and sharing it with all of you guys!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Jason Kidd

Well, I was not a fan of the Harris for Kidd trade, and still believe that we needed depth at center more than this. What will be do in the playoffs against Shaq, Marion, Duncan, Bynum, or Yao when Dampier gets in early foul trouble? And to hear Dirk talking about his relief at having some "leadership" on the floor... Ummm, hello, you're the league MVP, for goodness sake, you should be the leader. But hey, if it makes him relax and play better, it's a good thing.

And I have to admit that it sure is fun to watch them lately, isn't it!? Not only does Kidd bring a lot himself, he seems to have energized the whole team, and they're playing more adventurously even when he's not on the floor. Good stuff. We'll see how far it takes us.

I'm also relieved that George's maneuver resulted in a much more fair deal, in my opinion. Hassel was a good player, but I'm happy to have Stackhouse and George still here, if only because they are two of MommaLlama's favorite guys. (Stackhouse bought his mommy a CHURCH!) She desperately wants to win the "Take Stack to School" contest. Wouldn't it be awesome if he came to a homeschool group event? I can imagine that on Channel 5 - "NBA player participates in Stations of the Cross with local religious fanatics."

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Good question

These boys think I know everything. And usually when they have a question, I either know the answer, or can make up a reasonable one. But today, Bobcat stumped me:

"Why doesn't the bubble in the level pop?"

Hmmmm... I thought for a few minutes and, you know, all I could think of was, "Good question!" I know it's trapped in there, and I suppose it has something to do with the consistency of that liquid stuff in there, or surface tension or something. He shook and shook that thing trying to "pop" the bubble, and when he was done, I gave it a whirl.

I'm thinking their questions are only going to get more intelligent and difficult from now on.


The camellia blooms are our first sign that spring has sprung at Casa Llama. There are also some tulips beginning to peek through, and the iris foliage is getting perky. By the end of the summer, I'm usually quite happy to park the mower and enoy a few months off from the yard work. But I'm definitely ready to start up again by this time.
Bobcat was my assistant in the yard today. We pulled weeds, spread some weed killer and fertilizer, tuned up the mower, and repaired the fence in the back yard. Last year, four of five fence posts along the side fence rotted and fell over. Last week, the fifth took a dive. So we dug and dug and dug and dug, dropped in a new post, and nailed everything back together. Bobcat practiced nailing on an extra board while I made an embarrassing mess of the actual fence. I'm glad it's in the back yard, or I'd pay to have it torn down and done properly. Let's just say things don't quite line up exactly right. But it's good enough, and I'm sore enough that I don't plan to put any more effort into improving it!

Here's Bobcat helping to mix the quick-crete and water. Yes, our work zone was dangerously close to that thorny rose bush. And yes, we have battle wounds.

And just for fun, here's Bobcat jammin' to some Veggie Tales praise & worship on my iPod. Those headphones may be just a bit large on him, but he loves it.

Friday, February 22, 2008


Bubba: Daddy, how old were you when you were a little boy?

Me: Ummm... Huh?

Bubba: Were you six like me?

Me: Yes, but I was also every age.

Bubba: Huh?

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

A promise is a promise!

One of our new routines (starting last week) is a twice weekly trek to the BIG CITY for Bubba to get his allergy shot... a 25 minute drive (on a good day with no traffic), get said shot, wait 15 minutes in case of reaction, then 25 minutes back towards home.

As we are leaving the clinic Bobcat yells out that he sees a rainbow. The oohs and aaaahs start up, then an interesting question was posed by Bobcat:

"Mommy, do you think that rainbow was just a reminder of God's promise to Noah, or do you think that maybe God is making a promise right now to someone else?"

Before I can even answer... Bubba chimes in:

"No, it says that every time you see one it is a reminder of what God told Noah."

Oh, we're not done yet, Snookie has a theory:

"I think it is a new promise, someone must have prayed for something they really needed."

To be honest, I didn't answer the question. By the time Snookie through his comment into the ring the other two had already moved on to another topic! It is always interesting to hear what is rolling around in their brains.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Pod People

Well, we're officially iPod people. MommLlama got a nano (pink, of course) and I got a classic. I'm just now loading up our last CD. Man, we have a lot of CD's. I bet a lot of you (Nicole and Travis) have way more than us, but it impresses me to see the bottom of the screen where it says over 2,000 songs equal to 5.6 days worth of tunes. That's pretty cool, I think. And what a weird variety we've accumulated. How's this for random.

Air Supply
Gene Autry
The Benedictine Monks of Santo Domingo de Silas
Andrea Bocelli
The Canadian Brass
The Carpenters
Phil Collins
Harry Connick Jr.
Aaron Copland
Bing Crosby
Maynard Ferguson
Norah Jones
Los Lonely Boys
Glen Miller
Rich Mullins
Outkast (Weren't expecting that one were you? It was given to me by a friend who probably thought I'd never listen to it.)
Bruce Springsteen
George Strait
Veggie Tales
Andrew Lloyd Webber
At least a dozen movie soundtracks - from Star Wars to Rocky to Dances With Wolves
Tons of classical stuff, including guitar, trumpet, cello, and flute soloists.

I'm totally psyched to have all that at my fingertips. Everyone else in my office has one, I think it will be nice to have some music and tune out the background noise while I work. And there are some really great blogs with podcasts that I have been wanting to listen to for some time. No more commercials in the car for me! And I'm sure we'll be adding to the collection with those 99 cent downloads.

Knight Rider

Well, I'm sadly disappointed in the new Knight Rider show. I had high hopes for a good remake of the show that I loved as a kid, to share with my kids. I can tolerate, even embrace, the corny stuff. The car chases and gadgets make it worth it.

But in the first 30 minutes, they used the word "bitch", and the lesbian female cop woke up with a strange girl in her bed. And the car just asked if that guy was gay. I swear. Why did they find that necessary to add that stuff? I should probably write a letter. I really want to like this silly show, and to enjoy it with my sons. I would have relaxed my parental controls to allow a certain amount of violence and romance. But they always push it too far. What, are they trying to make it "edgy" and modern? It's a talking car, for goodness sake - it's clearly meant to appeal to 6-year-old boys of all ages. Wouldn't the older guys would have liked it anyway, without the bad stuff? Or does a show automatically lose its "street cred" if it doesn't include foul language and homosexuals? Anyway, I'm sorry that we won't be enjoying this show as a family.

Maybe when they remake Air Wolf and The A Team they'll do better?...

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Mid-Season Trades

If there is anyone out there who keeps up with basketball... especially if you follow the Mavs or the Nets, will know that there is a deal a brewin'.

I'm NOT HAPPY... why? Well, because I don't agree with mid-season trades. It isn't fair to take players from a good team and send them to a crappy team, and for one good player to get traded from a crappy team to a good team so near playoffs... You should finish the season with the people who started the season!

The Mavs currently have the best bench (in my opinion). We usually don't worry about injury all the much because we have such a high producing bench... but in this trade we are losing nearly all our bench for two players, one of which is nearing retirement... and hasn't gotten his current team to a ring.

This is one Mavs fan that is not happy... I support GEORGE! You stick to this team, baby!!!!

Oh my thumbkin

Ever since the boys were little, they've enjoyed the "Where is Thumbkin" song. And to this day they refer to their own thumbs and thumbkins.

Well I hurt my thumbkin... pretty bad. It all started on Saturday at Dinosaur Valley, I was playing catch with my sister-inlaw... with a football, and towards the end of our 1 hour game of catch I managed to jam my thumb pretty good (no, that didn't stop the game... we were on a roll). What sucked was I had a concert on Sunday evening, and rehearsal on Monday evening (for band), and my right (injured) thumb is the holding finger of my horn... flute/piccolo. And holding my horn for an hour and half on Sunday and then a two hour rehearsal on Monday really didn't help the soreness.

Then came Tuesday, and with an unfortunate turn of events, my hand (thumb) made contact with a cabinet with a great deal of velocity. By Tuesday evening from my wrist to my top knuckle on said thumb was an unpleasant color and in a lot of pain. So much pain that I didn't sleep a wink on Tuesday evening... so Wednesday morning I dutifully got up and called the doctor... certain that I had broken my poor little thumbkin.

After all was said and done, thankfully I do not have a broken thumb... what I do have is a nasty bone bruise, unpleastant jam, and the nerves are inflamed! If mommyhood were a position on the basketball court, I would be calling in my replacement... but unfortunately there is a rather shallow bench and no replacement is available! What's the prognosis... 2 weeks I should have full range of motion, and in 4-6 weeks it should feel normal again. Yikes... that is a long time!

Fun times :-(

Sunday, February 10, 2008


Tina, Tina, Tina... someone lied to you, honey! That outfit is not good. Skin-tight silver lame' capri pants? It's time to age gracefully, mmmkay? Can I get an Amen?

I'm referring to Tina Turner on the Grammy's, for those who missed the show. Not sure why I'm watching the Grammy's. I can't say I'm a fan of any modern pop music, but we tune into these awards shows once in a great while, just to catch a glimpse of what we're missing (not much!), and to marvel at how stupid and disgusting everything is these days.

But, you know, I'm kind of digging this Foo Fighers thing because the orchestral accompaniment is really good, especially that trumpet player. Dude, he is really wailing. Aww, orchestral interlude is over, now the actual band is playing again. I could really do without all the singing/yelling. More orchestra please. I guess I'm not really into Foo Fighters after all.

Okay, now there's some country stuff. I like Brad Paisley. But I don't listen to country radio much any more because there are so many songs about getting drunk and shacking up. I listen to contemporary Christian radio some, but they tend to repeat a lot of the same stuff, and some of it is too soft and sappy. There's a pretty good Christian rock station, but a lot of that music is too hard core for my taste, and their morning DJ's are really annoying. We are lucky to have Catholic radio locally now, but during my morning commute time it's playing the daily mass, which is not fun to listen to on the radio. If I'm headed out early, they play old Fulton Sheen recordings (6:00-6:30) and those are quite powerful. I think I'm trying to talk myself into an iPod or satellite radio, so I can find stuff that suits my eclectic taste. I'll use regular radio now and then to listen for new stuff I might want to add. But I could do without the commercials and the 80% of music that just doesn't do it for me.

But I'm not going to spend that much on myself right now. I have enough toys (repeat that ten times until I start to believe it). We're saving our tax return (again, hooray for TurboTax, my refund was direct deposited last Friday) for a nifty summer vacation, hopefully with some good friends from college. So, I'll try not to spend any money. At least not until after Lent...

Oh, no no no... Aretha, who told you to go strapless?

Dinosaur Valley

The weather was perfect for a picnic, so we went to Dinosaur Valley State Park in Glen Rose, TX yesterday, along with our niece, my mom, and my little sister (a college freshman, not so little any more). It is a great park, lots of nice trails, a shallow river that is safe to wade in (when it's warmer), and nice camping facilities. We just went for the day, no time for camping overnight, but we are getting some use out of our annual state parks family pass. A well-spent $50. They're also opening a new exhibit sometime this spring with a bunch of new models and educational stuff, so we'll be back again soon.

We had a nice time. The boys got a great workout, and they slept like logs. Mission accomplished. I'll share a couple photos below, and the rest can be seen here.

The guys, feeling manly and throwing big rocks into the creek.

The girls, who also threw a lot of rocks (and Grandma too). It started out as a lesson in skipping stones, and end up as a splash contest. Whatever keeps them happy! MommaLlama was having a good hair day, no?

I'm kinda digging black and white photography lately.


Snookie: Grandma, do you want a bite of my granola bar?
Grandma: No thank you.

Snookie: Mommy, do you want a bite of my granola bar?
MommaLlama: No thank you, but that is a very generous offer.

Snookie: Aunt Marianne, do you want a bite of my granola bar?
Aunt Marianne: No, I'm fine, thank you.

Snookie: Daddy, do you want a bite of my granola bar?
Me: Yes.
Snookie: You were supposed to say no...

The little s*** stuck the whole thing in his mouth before I could reach him.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

So many choices

Yesterday during school we were discussing Lent (naturally). I decided to see if the boys could come up with their own sacrifice that they could do daily, instead of something that we chose for them. Several ideas were kicked around, they considered some of their favorite foods that they would refrain from (cucumbers were discussed, but Snookie was quick to shut that conversation down... there was no way he was going 40 days without his beloved cucumbers), some of their belongings were thrown into the mix, but ultimately they decided to add something to their routine instead of take away.

I was pretty impressed with what they came up with. They each want to draw a picture daily (during school time) of something that happened during Christ's life. The reason I really like this particular idea is because it is just another way to make the life of Christ more tangible to them (that and they came up with it on their own, then all decided that they wanted to do it). There are no restrictions as to what part of his life... I'm really excited to see what they will get out of this particular exercise!

So without further ado... here are the images from yesterday:

Bobcat's if pretty easy to figure out! (Check out the blue flowers where Mary is kneeing, I thought that was a nice touch.)

Bubba's is a little more confusing, but as best as I understand it... this is Heaven and there are several people there and Jesus is having a conversation with Adam (as in Adam and Eve). (Yes I know Bubba's eye look funny in this shot, I took 10 different shots of him and in all of them his eyes were closed...this was the best of the bunch :-)

Snookie got really creative... this is a picture of Jesus driving out the demons. Jesus is the one with hair, and the figure in the box is the demon.

I love the fact that they are all different; they each came up with something on their own and really went with it!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Idio.... what?

The last few weeks have been chaotic if anything. We've had multiple doctor appointments, party planning, lack of sleep (thanks to Snookie's late night antics)... and just in general a busy life. One of the medical situations we've been dealing with is Bobcat's size. On Wednesday we received the preliminary diagnosis from the doctor.

Idiopathic Short Stature (Idiopathic Short Stature (also known as ISS) is a big name for children who are short with no known cause. Idiopathic Short Stature is a problem that can be present in both girls and boys. Many causes of short stature have been discovered over the past few years, but there are still factors that are not yet understood. ISS falls into to this latter category. Although the reasons for ISS are not yet totally understood, it is known that the administration of growth-promoting treatments may help affected children. Idiopathic Short Stature is defined as having a height significantly shorter than the normal population (i.e., shorter than 1.2% of the population of the same age and gender), a poor adult height prediction (generally defined as less than 5’4” for males and less than 4’11” for females), and no detectable cause for the short stature.)

Currently his height and weight are below the 3% mark. We took him to the endocrinologist, and they did a work up on him which included measurements, blood work, and bone maturation x-rays (hands to check growth plates). His blood work came back normal, which is good. It shows that there is no disease or illness causing the stunted growth. The bone test showed the bone age to be between 5 1/2 to 6 years (Bobcat is 7 years old). The doctor doesn't feel that this is young enough of a reading for there to be a real change in overall growth in the long term. He was hoping for a reading of around 4 years (which is where Bobcat would fit into a growth chart for a some what small child). At this point the doctor had us schedule a growth hormone stimulus test (we will be doing that on April 1st). It is a 4 hour test done in the endocrinology clinic where they give him a cocktail of drugs to induce the body to produce growth hormone, and then read the levels that his body is producing. They are looking to see if he is producing normal levels or if for some reason his body is only emitting small amounts or none which would explain the small size. Either way, they have asked us to consider growth hormone therapy. As of right now, his doctor is certain that as a full grown man he will not reach the 64 inches (5'4") mark, which qualifies him to receive growth hormone therapy. Right now we are looking into having another endocrinologist evaluate all the findings. We are pleased with our current doctor, but we want to make sure that we completely understand the situation before we proceed with any therapy (if at all)...

Monday, February 4, 2008

Dig the DO

Daddio teased you way back in January about my hair cut... and donation to Locks of Love... and I guess it is about time that I show you the fruit of my labors. This was taken on Friday during the little party for Bobcat!

That's funny!

The Office is totally my favorite sitcom!

Sunday, February 3, 2008

First Communion

Bobcat's first holy communion on Friday was a wonderful experience! He did a great job, and everything went very well.

We counted 58 friends and relatives in attendance at mass, and 50 of them came back to the house for cake and punch. It was very cozy. Bobcat felt very special that so many people wanted to celebrate with him. Also, I think our relatives were impressed by how many of our friends were there. Hopefully they are happy to see that we have a lot of support as parents, and that the boys have lots of little friends to socialize with. I know I am thankful for the community that has embraced our family.

A special thank you to Matilda who purchased a cake for us. Not only was it delicious, but having that professionally made and decorated gave MommLlama one less BIG job to do in preparation for the event, and it relieved the anxiety she felt over possibly making one herself. Very thoughtful of you, just a shame you didn't get to eat any!

We've posted the photos online in two albums. One set contains photos the from the party. The others are some portraits that we took at church yesterday afternoon. It was a beautiful day outside so we decided to dress him up and play with the camera. I thought they turned out really well. It's easy to take good pictures of this kid - he's a natural at posing and smiling. My Photoshop software really came in handy by allowing me to remove the big scratch from his forehead. If only I could have it add the missing teeth! The other boys were very patient and well-behaved, so we went to dinner and to a movie (the new Veggie Tales - it was hilarious!) as a reward.

Doesn't he look great in his suit and tie? My sister gave him that beautiful rosary. You'll see the color of it in some of the other photos in the album, it's his birthstone.

Snazzy shoes, eh?