Thursday, October 30, 2008

has anybody seen...?

You know, we generally don't lose things around here. Even the socks are typically matched after the laundry is done. (Boy, I hope this doesn't jinx it!!) But recently some interesting things have gone missing:

my good kitchen shears
the brown plastic Pampered Chef scraper for the dishes
3 Philip Yancey books, including Where Is God When It Hurts? (which I REALLY want!)
my new books The Out of Sync Child and The Out of Sync Child Has Fun (I want these too!)
2 nail files
1 pair of tweezers
a water bottle top
2 combs

I CANNOT find these things anywhere! We have looked and looked, in every corner of the house. All of them have been here in the last 3 months--someone has seen or used everything on the list. It's not like they are items of great value that would be stolen, and if we had misplaced only one or two things I would understand. This list is kinda weird, to say the least.

The girls and I have decided that the Borrowers or the Twiddlebugs (from Sesame Street, who only take things that have long ago been lost and forgotten) have been hanging out in our house. Unfortunately, the things that were "borrowed" are not lost and forgotten--they're used often and desperately missed!!

If you see anything off that list wandering around somewhere, would you please send it home??

Monday, October 27, 2008

a heavy heart

My darling 6 year old nephew came to town last weekend. He's here with his mom, my sister, while he prepares for a bone marrow transplant. Nick was diagnosed with leukemia in September 2006, and relapsed in July 2008. When they came out last week, the plan was for testing/meetings with the transplant team this week, then admission to Children's Hospital on Nov 3 for conditioning, and a transplant on Nov 11. Today, those plans changed.

Nick and Pam are headed back home on Wednesday because Nick still has leukemia cells present in his blood/bone marrow. They can't prep for transplant with leukemia active. He'll be admitted to the hospital at home for a new round of chemo--4 to 6 weeks--then hopefully they'll head back. Unfortunately, this time Pam was clearly told by the doctors that Nick's chances are 50/50 at best.

Sometimes life really sucks. My eyes are red from crying, and my heart hurts. Please keep Pam and Nick (and big brother Teddy and dad/husband Tony) in your prayers.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Chicago pictures

Meeting new friends. Annie (in the pink) and Logan were on the same waiting child list at our agency. Coincidentally, after we started our paperwork to adopt Logan, my sister moved to within 5 minutes of Annie's family. It was fun to meet them--they brought Annie home just after we got home with Logan, and they also have Matthew (in the green pants) and 3 teenagers!

Logan and Annie exploring the toy cabinet...

Hiding from the rain with cousins Sam and Alec.

Traveling by water taxi with Sam, Alec, and Uncle Frank. We had an AWESOME day!!

Waiting for the Metra train. Train, bus, boat and car were all modes of transportation this day. Add the plane going out and coming back, and bikes and scooters while playing with the cousins, and we did it all over the week. with the big cousins. Is there anything better???

The little boys were in heaven all week. Alec (age 12) and Sam (age 10) were incredibly generous with their time and seemed to have quite some fun playing with Ryan and Logan. The little guys sure miss them!

There's one more set of pics that I need to get from my sister, since she had a camera handy and I didn't. Frank, Sam, Ryan, and Logan raked leaves in the yard on Sunday afternoon. Frank raked a HUGE pile of leaves, then the boys jumped in. They had such fun! Chris took a bunch of great pictures of the crew playing in the leaves, and when she sends them to me I'll post them here.

All in all, it was a perfect trip. A huge thanks to Aunt Chris, Uncle Frank, Alec, and Sam for having us out for a visit. We loved it! Next time we'll bring everyone!

some things don't change...much

Found myself laughing hard this morning. This first picture was in our referral packet for Logan, and was probably taken in the spring of 2007. The second picture? Taken on Saturday in downtown Chicago. Apparently this is a favorite pose for him! It's amazing to see how much he's changed in about 18 months.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

And they're off...again??

Yes, the little guys and I are off again. This time we're in Chicago visiting my sister Chris and her family. We haven't seen them since Ryan's 1st birthday!! So the 3 of us are enjoying a few days here, and as a bonus Chris and Frank get to go away overnight to celebrate their 15th anniversary while Auntie Jen holds down the fort for the little boys and the big cousins, Alec (12) and Sam (10). What fun we've had so far!! Alec and Sam are SO wonderful to Ryan and Logan, and the little two adore their big cousins.

Yesterday was quite the adventure. Not being able to do a web check-in for our flight should have raised a red flag for me. Our reservations were finally retrieved, boarding passes issued, and luggage checked. Security check? No sweat. We walked a loooonnnnggg ways to the end of terminal C to our gate to wait for our boarding call. The boys were enchanted with watching planes take off, so it wasn't a big deal. Then the flight was delayed--for 45 minutes. Ummm...okay. Off to Starbucks for a Strawberries and Creme to share. One cup, three straws. That killed about 15 minutes. Then we played some games and used the bathroom one last time. Then the dreaded announcement: "Your plane has been grounded for mechanical difficulties." OY! But, they had a new plane for the far end of a different terminal. So we packed up our gear and trudged all the way back down terminal C and across the airport, then down to the end of terminal D. When we arrived, they were moving people around on the already full flight, since the new plane (which needed to be cleaned and loaded with luggage) was smaller than the one we were supposed to be on. Having seats in row 30, I waited for our names to be called. At that point, I had decided that if they called us to bump, I was simply going home. It had been a long morning and I was done.

We boarded our flight nearly 2 hours after we were supposed to depart, and over 3 hours after our arrival at the airport. By now the boys were nearly stir crazy. Fortunately, lunch and the excitement of take-off held them over. They were awesome passengers, albeit a bit tired. Both of them fell asleep on approach to Chicago, as the pilot lowered the landing gear! Oh well. The ride here was good and we're enjoying ourselves. We even got to be Sam's "show and tell" in class today!! Sharing our trip to China with 25 fifth graders was a blast.

Pics soon--probably when I get home since I don't have the cable for my camera. Maybe sooner if I can find one here. I hope so! I got some great ones today of the Ryan and Logan playing a mean game of whiffle ball with Alec and Sam. However, I missed the Razor riding... Big cousins are awesome!!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

jealous?? :) *updated*

You know, I have the greatest husband in the world! Why? Well, because HE'S at home with all 5 of the kids still living there, and I'm sitting in a hotel room in Portland. Enjoying the peace and quiet. Reading books to my heart's content. And getting ready for some power shopping. Yep, the primary goal of the trip is so that I can do ALL our Christmas shopping this weekend. For all 8 family members plus the 8 Kassebaums in Jim's extended family getting gifts from us this year (we draw names) and all 10 Tracy family members. Plus Logan's birthday presents, Ryan's birthday presents, and perhaps mine as well. So power shopping it will be. Sounds wonderful, I know, but anyone who knows me well knows that I dislike shopping. So it truly is a sacrifice...of sorts.

One of the huge bonuses this year was dinner last night with my college roommate Carol. (Hi Carol!!) I haven't seen her in probably 4 years, and we had a wonderful time catching up. I've missed her. Tonight I get to have dinner with a dear friend from high school. Jeanne married her high school sweetheart, and her girls are about the same ages as some of my big guys. It will be fun to catch up with her.

So pretty soon I'm outta here to start the shopping. Old habits die hard, and I was awake at 5:30 this morning. Right now I'm just cooling my heels waiting for it to be time to leave. Then I'll hit the stores. Maybe tonight I'll report back on how many places I went to accomplish this HUGE task...

In the meantime, I'm going to savor every moment of peace and quiet!!

**Well, I did it. Twenty two stores and 9 hours of shopping later, I finished. I conquered Christmas! I have a few things I have to order online, but everything else is done. Bring on winter!! :)

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

when big sisters get involved with "doing hair" end up with spiked hair on 3 year olds...

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

They grow too fast

Hailey's a senior this year, and she had her senior pics taken last weekend. Here are just a few...

This last picture is Hailey and one of her dear friends Carla. I'm so impressed by all the pictures (over 200!) that we got--Hailey's friend Lisa took them as part of her culminating project for high school graduation. Lisa does incredible work (especially at age 18!) and Hailey had fun being part of her project.

Thursday, October 2, 2008


Pretty much says it all, don't you think??