Long time, no type

I still exist. I still have a computer. I still know how to type.

The only new development is that I no longer have any time to do it. I apologize for that. But I’m also thankful for that because the reason I have no time to type now is that I have started an awesome new job that is making me incredibly happy, allowing me to make a positive difference in my community, and helping us pay for Sister’s care in the Home Country. So that is good news. Very good news.

The bad news is we still have no timeline for Sister’s homecoming. Many, many moons ago when I last updated this blog, we were in the middle of preparing for a big trip that would allow us to hopefully influence the events keeping her and so many others away from their families. We had been chosen as one of the handful of families in this process to sit down with Home Country officials and explain our situation, plead our case, and hopefully make them understand how much this suspension is hurting our children. We were beyond excited to have the chance to make a difference in this wait. Unfortunately, that trip was cancelled by the Home Country. To say we were devastated is a complete understatement. We are still very frustrated but we are hanging in there. We have faith that she will come home, we are still just praying that it will be soon.

Other than that, we are good. Busy, but good. Hopefully I will find the time to update more often. Hopefully I’ll have good news to share soon. Hopefully you will all have a great Memorial Day!

 

The People Have Spoken

Introducing….

The Lulihee
LewBeard
Sorry ladies, he’s taken.

I know it may look a bit strange, but don’t worry it’s been inspected by our local beard experts.

LewBeard2

And they approve.

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Thank you to everyone who donated and thank you to L for being man enough and wonderful enough to go out in public like this for the next month!

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Rock the Vote

Today is the last day to VOTE! Right now the Hulihee is winning by a landslide! Vote now if you are as terrified of the Hulihee as L is! Or vote FOR the Hulihee to make sure it is the winner! Shaving commences TOMORROW!

Also, feel free to leave suggestions of all of the *very public* places I need to make him go whilst he is rocking his fancy facial hair!

Beard Vote Coming to an End!

Ok, sorry to be cryptic but things are happening that I’m not ready to blog about yet and we need to make some changes to our fundraising efforts! Good things are happening! Things that require money! :)

And things that require my handsome hubby to be clean shaven. So! I am ending the Beard Up vote at the end of March! We have some very important meetings coming up in the next few months so on April 1st, L will shave the beard in the style chosen by you, the voters, and rock that facial fashion as promised. So get your votes in now! Right now the Hulihee has a commanding lead and L is getting nervous. I am very excited. And I am re-thinking having Easter pictures made this year. :)

Vote now to see L embarrassed in the way that you wish!

*No, this does not mean the suspension has or is being lifted. But trust me when I say we have a very good reason for breaking beard. A very good reason that I will share with you all later.*

VOTE NOW!

10 Years

It was ten years ago today…
photo(71)What do you say about ten whole years with the same person by your side?

Yahoo! We made it! We are still married and we still actually like each other. Actually, that’s a bit of an understatement. I pretty much LOVE him. He’s basically the best friend I’ve ever had and I honestly don’t know what I would do without him.

So in honor of ten years together (that’s over 3,000 days people)…here are the TOP 10 highlights from the marriage of L and K.
Drumroll please…

10.) That time we went on a cruise and L forgot to pack my suitcase in the car. And then he remembered. When we got to Florida.

9.) That time we went on a hike in NC and L learned a very important lesson about eating spicy food before entering the woods for 3 hours.

8.) That time we packed up all our stuff and moved from Maine to North Carolina and started our lives with only each other.

7.) The first year of married life when we subsisted on Spaghetti Os, hot dogs, and Jiffy bread and could only afford to stay home and watch Wheel of Fortune and play rummy.

6.) That time we got stuck in Mexico with no working credit cards because L forgot to tell the CC companies we were traveling.

5.) That time we both graduated from college.

4.) That time I asked L what he was thinking about and he said “I’m thinking about how I can be a better husband and father to you and the kids.” And he was serious. And he was telling the truth. Because he is that awesome.

3.) That time our 12 foot Christmas tree fell on top of L. Also that time I laughed so hard that I peed my pants a little when our 12 foot Christmas tree fell on top of L.

2.) That time we adopted two of the most amazing kids ever and got to watch the other learn how to be a parent.

1.) That time we got married 10 years ago and started the best part of my life.

I love you L and I can’t wait for all the years that are to come!
Happy 10 Year Anniversary to us!
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Once upon a time…

…there lived a beautiful princess named G. who lived in a beautiful house with her handsome brother, dashing father, and her lazy mother who waited almost a full month before she finally blogged about her birthday.

When the time had come for G. to celebrate her fourth rotation around the great orb we call Sun, she decided that she must have the fanciest party possible. For weeks, her mom servant slaved over decorations, and took trips to Goodwill for outfits, and even created a special party mix cd for fancy dancing. Finally the day of the party arrived! Sweet princesses came from far away lands to join G. in her celebration. They feasted upon cake and tiny sandwiches and then adjourned to the parlor, kicked off their glass slippers, and danced (so fancily) to the tunes of classical composers and musicians like Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch, Cyndi Lauper, and Michael Jackson. When the party was over and the royal carriages has driven all the sweet princess back to their respective castles, sweet G.’s mother felt certain those carriages had surely driven over her face. Twice. Her royal body ached and her fancy mind was spent. But it was all worth it. Because this happened:

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I am a Cat Lady

photo(69)You know us cat ladies get quite a bad rap sometimes. People assume we’re old, and ugly, smelly, and that we use our cats to make up for the love that no actual person would give us. Or that we’re selfish hoarders who find joy in wall to wall fur and get a thrill from collecting as many of God’s creatures as possible before the authorities are called. The term “Cat Lady” is used, not as a term of endearment, but as a humorous insult usually preceded by the never flattering “Crazy.” Well, that is not me. That is not us.

I got my first cat, Freddy, as a young girl around the age of 10. In order to convince my parents that I was ready for this responsibility, I had to face my biggest fear – public speaking. And I did it. I am a person who was brave.

My second cat, Charlie, came along when I was much older and I sought her out because I missed the love of a furry friend. I am a person who loves to be loved.

Fast forward seven years later to a cold night in February and you’ll find me pulling a scared cat from the bushes. We lived in a neighborhood with frequent and fast moving traffic. Much too often, we were confronted with poor cats and dogs who met their untimely deaths on those roads. So Abi came inside with me. Because I am a person who wants others to be safe. I even let my husband name her even though she totally looked like an “Olive.” I am a person who does not want to be selfish.

A few short days later, I found out that Abi was pregnant. With six kittens. My vet said it was early and suggested, for convenience sake, that we terminate the pregnancy. I vehemently refused. I am a person who believes in life.

Two months later Betty, Veronica, Midge, Archie, Jughead, and Moose were born. And I kept them all. I am a person who believes in family. And responsibility.

A new home, a new state, and three years later, I heard a cry. I followed the cry to find a scared and dirty cat lying in the woods beside our home. For two days she watched our family from these trees and I could see her yearning for acceptance. After checking to make sure no one was missing this sweet girl, I welcomed Jenni in as one of my own. Because I am a person who wants no one to be left out.

A timid stray looking for food and an outside home. Tux is now fed and loved every single night. I am a person who wants no one to go hungry.

Another cry, a smaller cry, and a tiny kitten with a belly full of worms. Happy, healthy Newt is now a loving and rambunctious part of the family. I am a person who wants to care for the sick.

I am a person who is surrounded by love every single day. I am a person who laughs more than I used to and smiles constantly at cuteness where there once was just furniture. I am a person who is responsible and takes my cats to the vet regularly for vaccinations and check-ups. I am not a person living in filth because I am a person who knows how to clean my house. I have never once dug my way out of cat feces or coughed up a hairball. I am a person who cleans up the occasional vomit and I have gone on many a pee-hunt to track down that sickly smell of urine. I am person who knows that caring for animals is work and is not always easy. I also know that the rewards far outweigh the efforts. I am a person who reaps those rewards every single day with kitty kisses, and nap-time cuddles, and tuna breath in my face at night when I lay down to sleep. I am a person who is currently blessed with forty, furry, feline feet. I am a person typing this post right now as a purring cat sleeps in my lap. I am an extremely happy person.

I am a Cat Lady and you would be lucky to know me.

Update: G

Oh, G.

photo(68)G is also doing awesome. She’s just doing it in a totally different way than her brother. And the rest of the world. Marching to the beat of her own drum she is. I don’t know if it’s that she’s home more often with me while A’s at school or if she really just got a double dose of crazy at creation, but she is a handful. Not in a bad way, of course. She is just always on. Always. ON. Full speed. She is a tiny, beautiful, LOUD energizer bunny who only stops when forced to. When sleep literally overcomes her and forces her body to rest. And apparently sometimes sleep cannot even keep her down because she’s been known to roll out of her bed while sleeping. It happens. And it’s kind of hilarious.

But she is doing great. She is attending pre-school three days a week and loves it. At pre-school, she has her very first non-related best friend who she talks about all the time. She loves her buddy. And I love that she has a buddy that she loves. Her second favorite thing about pre-school is all the pecan trees on the playground. She will come home bursting at the britches with pecans in her pockets. Or down her shirt. Wherever she can fit them. This is not a new habit, it’s one that she’s had for awhile and I feel certain it’s just a stepping stone to her future appearance on “Hoarders.” But, hoarder though she may be, she is not a waster. She eats them all. She loves pecans and nuts. And carrots. And raisins. And fruits of all kinds. God bless her.

Her favorite things at the moment are Care Bears, dancing, painting, and (God help me) Yo Gabba Gabba. And Maggie. She loves Maggie. She and Mags are big ol’ cuddle buddies. Where G goes, Maggie goes. And sometimes where Maggie goes, G goes whether she likes it or not. Many, many times I’ve looked over to see Maggie pulling G over to the couch by her shirt or pants for some cuddle time. Today Maggie spent the morning wearing one of G’s tutus. They are adorable. G is actually kind of a snuggle magnet for all things small and furry. At night, she always has at least 3 cats sleeping in her room and usually two of them are on her bed – including Tux, our outside cat who has been forced to come inside on these crazy cold winter nights. She loves it.

She is still just as sweet as ever, if not sweeter. “Mommy! Mommy! Mommy!” “What?” “I love you!” All day long. So dang sweet. Underneath all that sugar, however, her stubborn streak is definitely still alive and thriving. Her most recent form of rebellion is to be “happy, happy HAPPY!” when she gets in trouble. “I go to time-out but I HAPPY about it!” “I not sad, I HAPPY!” That’ll show us. It really puts us in our place when she sits in time-out without crying and screaming. We feel so foolish. :)

Of course, A is still her hero but she is playing independently much better. Having A at school all day was tough at first for her but she’s learning to exist without her other half, which is good. She still misses him terribly but only occasionally. Having mommy and daddy all to herself a few days a week makes up for it I think. It never fails though. As soon as A comes through the door after a long, grueling day of pre-school, G dances into the kitchen to greet him with hugs and kisses. And then demands snack. Demands.

G basically keeps me laughing all day long with only short interruptions during which I want to yank all my hair out and eat it. Her personality is amazing and she constantly surprises me with her humor and her creativity. For Christmas this year she asked for:

1.) A lollipop
2.) More lollipops
3.) A steering wheel
4.) A junkyard
5.) A Shriner’s car
6.) And a robot that would make her pizza

She actually got a small, plastic robot in a kid’s meal a few weeks before Christmas and two days later I walked into her room to find her banging it on her dresser yelling, “Why won’t you make me pizza?!?!?”

This is why I love her.

Snow in Georgia

Somebody, somebody go to the store!
Never mind that we have milk, we gotta have more!
Oh, I know we don’t usually eat so much bread,
We must be prepared, though, or we’ll all be dead!

I just got the call that the schools are all closed!
No child should be forced to learn while it snows!

Go! Go look! Has it begun?
Everyone’s waiting for their winter fun.
On we have put all our coats and our hats,
Ready the sleds made from Rubbermaid mats!
Gary just called, he won’t make it in time, he’s been stuck for 5 hours on Route 29!
I see it! I see it! I see one small flake!
A blizzard! It’s a blizzard! For good-southern-ness sake!

Update: A

Well, t-shirts are done and we are so thankful to everyone who supported us during the drive! I hope you all enjoy your awesome t-shirts and think of us when you wear them. :)

So what have we been up to when we’re not hocking t-shirts? A lot.
Here’s a little update for you all.

photo(67)A is doing awesome. He is loving school and playing soccer. His current obsessions are Super Mario, Power Rangers, superheroes of all kinds, and getting his groove on. He is doing great in school and is pretty much loved on by all his teachers. At my very first parent/teacher conference ever (that was surreal), he got an excellent report and we’re very proud of how well he is doing. He loves to learn and is really soaking up everything you try to teach him. His language has also really improved over the past year. There are just a few bad habits we are still trying to break. Nothing major, just apparently words he learned incorrectly and now can’t stop saying. The most ridiculous and the one that drives me crazy is his use of the word “und” instead of “um.” I don’t know why it drives me nuts because “um” is barely even a word! For some reason, though, it is like nails on a chalkboard for me. Grammatically incorrect nails on a chalkboard. But, und, other than that his English is great.

He’s also slightly obsessed with pretty girls. During the holidays last year, his pre-school class attended a middle school play. When he came home all he could tell us about the experience was, “There were so many pretty girls there! I could not even think!” But, thankfully, he still thinks kissing is completely disgusting. Last week on the way home from school, he spent the entire ride concocting ways to keep L and I from ever kissing again. So, the good news is, he’s just window shopping. He also gets pretty freaked out by ballerinas in leotards. He loves to watch dancing on Youtube and/or TV but always screams a little when the girls kick their legs up too high. “Mommy! I saw her panties!” “Why she showing me her panties???”

He’s still very affectionate and loving but, I hate to say it, is no longer a full on momma’s boy. :/ But that’s actually a good thing, I think. When he first came home, he thought I hung the moon. I was better, smarter, more attractive than Daddy and always, always right.Now we all know that hasn’t actually changed but his perception about it has. He is finally giving L more credit and is actually thinking critically before just assuming that I am perfect. While that sucks a little for my ego, I’m glad to see it. Because of his background, I think it was harder for him to accept L and figure out where to place him in his new life and it was easier to embrace me. Less complicated. But he has seemed to work out how and where his new Daddy fits and he is definitely his biggest fan. For sure.

His sweet heart is still as big as his massive feet (which grow, like, every freaking day). He prays for people who are sick. He prays for people who are sad. He prays for pretty much everyone he’s ever met and every possible scenario that they may face in their next 50 years on this earth. His bedtime prayers, while sweet, are actually more long-winded than most preachers I know. I’m thinking of incorporating an awards-style musical cue into our nighttime prayer time to gently let him know that it’s time to wrap it up before the sun comes up.

He’s also become quite the little thinker. Philosopher even. He’s constantly ambushing me with questions about God, the universe, how things work, why things work, how do I know why things work, etc. We’ve had many “But where did God come from?” conversations over peanut butter and jelly. I’ll be honest. I love his curiosity but sometimes he takes it much deeper than I’m ready to go while I’m eating my Cheerios. But I’m glad that he thinks about the world around him and has questions. And that, so far, those questions don’t involve math.

He also, of course, still adores his little sister. The first question he asks everyday when I pick him up from school is, “What did G do today?” They are still best friends and still play ridiculously well together. They fight so infrequently and he is not usually the aggressor when they do (luckily he’s bigger than his tornado of a little sister). And he is beyond ready for big sis to come home and is excited about teaching all about her new home and life here in the states.

He’s also praying for snow tomorrow. I, being a kind and benevolent mother, have decided to stop canceling his prayers out with my own and join him provided it all goes away by Wednesday. And then spring starts on Thursday. We’ll see.