Saturday, May 31, 2008

I must get around....

Yesterday I was in Ace Hardware buying plumbing supplies when the cashier complimented me on how beautiful my children were. Then she asked, "what mix are they?". I told her Sophia was half Filipino and Nate was half black. When that came out of my mouth I chuckled to myself because it sounded like I must "get around" and I could see the wheels turning in that lady's head(she was black) after I told her their "mix".....even her expression changed. I will ususally tell people they are adopted when they ask their ethnicity but I just didn't this time. I was tired and didn't want to answer anymore questions. Next time I will just say my husband is Filipino and leave it at that! Ha:)

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Summer is officially here!

Click here to play the Pay It Forward could win a prize!!
How do we know it is summer?
We can only play outdoors before 10am and after 6pm...(and those times will change next month)

I pulled the first tick off this morning(from Richard)

And 5 children arrived at 8am to play! It is going to be a fun summer!
I won't have 5 all summer but for a couple of days it will be a full house around here. Good thing I enjoy this! And I actually get paid to have kids come and play with my kids!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Visit to South Carolina

Click here to play the Pay it Forward game!!

Here are a few pictures of our weekend in Rock Hill, SC visiting 2 of Richard's brothers and their families.

Richard and his mom. She is only 4'10...maybe 4'11 so I feel tall around her:) She is a great mother-in-law and an incredible cook.
This is Femi. She is 10 and one of Fia's favorite cousins! She lives in Durham, NC.

Even though the wind was blowing and it was not too cool for me to swim, the kids really wanted to try the swimming pool. They lasted longer than I thought!

A trip to the park is always fun!

Richard's brother Ronald (aka Bobet) getting a push from Femi(his oldest)

One thing we all enjoyed playing with was the Wii. They had the Wii fit and the sports one...hard to explain....but this is the ski jump. The game sensed your
balance and as you moved it would guide the player in the game.
It was so funny to see everyone trying to stay low, pick up speed....

and throw your body upwards at just the right time to jump off the ski ramp!
It was harder than it looked!

here is Richard getting into the action

everyone had their own technique
When everyone comes here for Christmas this year we are going to have a tournament with the we plan to get one before then so we can practice and not be defeated on our home turf!! it was a fun weekend:)

addition update

Friday I finished the grout and sealed it before we left for SC. Today I bought a steam mop and cleaned the floor (although there is still a haze on the tile....I am hoping it comes up with time) and then we moved the table in. Richard just finished the last coat of the red and is doing the touch-ups now. Next we will paint the trim. It looks so nice and I love all the natural light....except for the glare it casts on the floor and picks up the haze:) Oh is done!

Now I am ready to start putting the tile in the "den" which was previously our sunroom. I can't start that project until the kids go back to school but at least I am not sick of tile yet!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Pay It Forward game

I entered a contest on Shanna's blog and actually won on Rebecca's so i wanted to play it here:) Aren't you excited!!! Here are the rules:
1. Answer these 3 questions in the comment section of this post.

  • What characteristic does someone you know tell someone else that doesn't know you. For instance: When I tell someone about my husband I almost always say "he is that short Filipino". It doesn't have to be a physical can be your hobby, how many children you have, job, etc.
  • What is your dream job outside of being a mother. What would you love to do if you had unlimited resources(time and money included) and that you could do without it affecting your family.
  • What do you like to spend money on for yourself. Do you splurge on someting just for you?

All who answer will get their names thrown together in a "hat" and I will draw out 4 winners. They will get a prize in the mail! Ohhhh....I love prizes in the mail!

The contest will run until Friday May 30th at midnight!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Grout and swingset

We got our swingset delivered today. This isn't what it looks like exactly but it has a clubhouse, 2 swings, slide and stairs. Sophia and Nate LOVE it and so will all the kids who come over!

So tonight I have been working on spreading the grout. I was very intimidated about this process since i hadn't watched my friend Sarah do it but as I kept going I got the hang of it. Not sure I did the wiping right but I think it will be OK. I called our contractor to ask him some questions and he was so very helpful. He is even giving us a can of sealer to use before we go out of town so when we get back from the weekend it will be ready.

So since I have been so preoccupied with this project the kids have been left to themselves. Thankfully they are old enough to take care of an extent... and get their own snacks....but they forgot that eating in my bed is prohibited(right Trudy?) so I was a little disappointed when I found Cheez-It crumbs and poptart crumbs on my sheets. Oh well....lesson learned. Hey...I can wash my sheets in my new washer. The sad part is we are so tired when we crawl in bed the crumbs dont' even bother us!

So tomorrow I finish up the grout and get the stove and refridge moved back in place and then start putting everything back in its place. It feels like a tornado came inside the house. I think we just might make our deadline of having the clean house before we leave for SC on Friday afternoon! That is the plan anyway!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


Well...the tile is all laid down! My fingertips are raw and I have a few cuts on my hands but who cares! I am done! There is still lots left to do and the house is even more of a wreck than this morning with traces of thinset all through the house....but I am done! Wahoo! And I did all of the work today by my lonesome! What a feeling of accomplishment!

no these are not my fingers:)

I sure hope my next post isn't one where I say "oops! I did this and this and this wrong!"
But for now I am glad phase one is done! tomorrow I will clean up the tile and some of the house while I wait for it all to set. then I can start the grout!! We just might get this all done before the weekend!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

New family pictures

Our good friend Stephanie(shown above graduating from LaGrange College yesterday....she is carrying that banner because she got the highest GPA in her graduating class! Go Stephanie!) majored in Graphic Arts with a minor in Biology-at least that is how I think it worked....anyway....she takes great pictures and we got to be her guinea pigs a couple of times. She took us on the college campus to get these shots. We have never been on the campus and were amazed at how beautiful it was! It is the size of about 1 city blocks...maybe just 2 but there were so many cool knooks and crannies to get these pictures. It was a fun photo shoot. We are going to miss Stephanie and not just for her photographic abilities!!:)

Getting Nate to smile was hard:)

The really do love each other!

Floors and paint

So this is what we did this weekend. The walls have 2 coats of paint and we got half of the tile done!! Thanks to our friends the Swanson's we were able to have this much floor done. I could have never done this much on my own! I am going to try and do as much as I can tomorrow and want to be done by Wednesday so I can start spreading the grout then. We are going to Richard's brother's house for the weekend so we must be done before then because I have 6 extra children coming when we get back and I have to get my house back in order before then!! It will get done:)

It will be a better week for sure!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

What a week!

So this week really has started off right....let me tell you all about it!

For 2 weeks we have anxiously awaited(or at least I have) the arrival of our new washer and dryer. We were excited that they were going to stack them so we could have some extra storage space(that we could actually reach) in the laundry closet!!

Well they come to deliver the washer and dryer and the order didn't include the stacking kit!!! And they wouldn't set it up side by side becuase they couldnt' come back later once we had run water through the machine and then stack them....what? So just as the delivery men were about to leave, I got Home Depot on the phone and they said to just get the machines hooked up and they would send someone else out to stack them once the stacking kit came in.

So at least we are able to wash our clothes without the worry of black marks and oil spots! And I can really stuff this machine full and it gets them clean!! They are sooooo nice!

That was Monday....

Tuesday the electrician came to do their thing in the addition so Richard had them do some extra work in the new room where the projector will be. They put an outlet in the ceiling so he could mount his projector up there. Just when they were attaching the projector in the ceiling it stopped working. No green light. Nothing. We tested it with other outlets. Nothing. At least we have a warranty on it so now we just need to have it repaired. Poor Richard was so bummed!

(and I did have a picture of a movie projector but it just got add that to my list....)

So today things are going alright until I turned on the shower and no hot water! You would think a cold shower would feel good after working out....but it didn't!:) I sure wish we knew where the pilot light was so we could tell if it was out or not!

Then Nate came home and told me he got his clip moved to "red" which is BAD! He pushed some kid down in PE and it caused the child to get a rug burn on his head! geesh! So much for being named "peacemaker" last month!
Oh well.....things could be a lot worse!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day

Ahhh....another Mother's Day has come and almost gone. I just wanted to write something about what my Mother-Joann Palmer White Layton has taught me.

She taught us the beauty of nature and to slow down and enjoy what is around you.

She taught us how to love and take care of your spouse. My dad has been sick my whole life. He had to retire at 42 and now is 95% bedridden with a form of Rheumatoid Arthritis. My mom takes great care of him...even getting tough if need be! ha! It is hard to be the primary caregiver but Granny rarely complains.

Another thing she taught me was naps are an important part of life and it is alright to eat in bed:) Hardy har har...she also taught me that phrase and I like to use it alot!

She taught us how to have fun.....

And to throw caution to the wind when needed!

Can you tell where I get my craziness from?

There were many times Mama was the life of the party with her costumes! I wish this picture didnt' come out so blurry....but it is clear in the scrapbook. I have one memory of a church talent show. i was going to play my clarinet and Mama was my accompanist on the piano. Before I was to preform she did a skit where she was this accomplished concert pianist. She had this mask/wig of orange hair. She comes out all proper and introduces her self and instead of gloves on her hands she has socks. When she started playing with the socks on her hands you can guess what it sounded like. She would try to play the first notes and stop and exclaim something like "what is wrong!" in a funny accent. She had the whole place in stitches. After her preformance it was my turn to play....but the problem was I couldn't stop laughing! And it didn't help that she kept that dumb wig on! I would get composure, she would start playing the introduction to my piece and then I would start giggling and wouldn't come in at the right spot....she would keep playing the intro over and over looking at me over her glasses very her funny way. I still chuckle to myself when I think of that! Too bad we don't have a picture of that one, huh, Mama!

She also taught us about the Savior through her example and through her service to others. I am so glad I was blessed with a great mother and that my children have such a great Granny!

I hope I can be a great mother like mine.....but with cute kids like this...who could go wrong! ha! I sure love this picture and thought I would throw it in at the end. I am a very blessed mother!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Is it really going to hit $4?

I was suprised today while driving home from town to see regular gas was $3.88. I guess it really will get over $4 by the summer??!! I never believe the news when they *speculate* because most of the time they are wrong....but not this time....or maybe they are speculating $5 a gallon??

Oh well....Sophia just hopes we never buy premium gas at that price!

Happy Birthmother's Day!

Today is Birthmother's Day and chances are you don't know many birthmothers....if any at all. I didn't know any until Cheryl and Joy blessed us with our children. For so many years I was uneducated about birthmothers and their pain. I just wanted "my" baby and did not appreciate what they had done to make me a mother. Over the years I began to understand and feel their pain. A deep, deep appreciation for them grew and I feel I will never be able to repay them for what they did to make me a mother. When i think of my heroes I always think of them-and the birthfathers. We are very lucky to still have contact with Sophia's birthparents and hope one day to see Joy again.

So Happy Birthmother's Day to all those heroes out there!

Thursday, May 8, 2008


It is really taking shape now with the drywall in place. This is a view from where the kitchentable will be looking into the existing kitchen. The drywall guys came out last night at 6:30 and worked until 10pm. They were so fast! the only problem was they had to take down the plastic sheet to do the now there is a nice thin layer of dust all over!! Guess I will have to break out the swiffer! I dont' want the dust bunnies growing again!
(and for those who were worried....those dust bunnies were hidden in the back of my nightstand....when I sent Fia in there to dust she didnt' even see them:) my house isn't THAT dusty:)

This is still in the kitchen area where the table will be looking into the sunroom. This is going to be a cased opening. Where that black floor lamp stands is the doorway to the extra room.
And here is the shot of the area where the table will be. I was standing in the kitchen taking this one. It is a lot bigger than I thought it would be!!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008


This hole is where the double door will go....and when you walk through it will be the kitchen where our table will be. This is the opposite side of the house. They already have the siding up and the windows on so the next time we post a picture of it-it will look like a real house!!


Richard posted these pictures without any description so I thought I would add some:) Not much to explain here but it is taking shape!! this small room in the back will be where Richard is going to install his movie projector. It can also be used as an extra bedroom if needed. So Mama....if you need to come live with us you can have this room instead of the out-building:)

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Death to dust bunnies....

Mama- you will be happy to know Sophia slayed the dust bunnies this morning as part of her weekly chores. She wasn't even scared of them and was very brave!! I am sure there are more lurking in this house but at least we got the big ones!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

103 things

I started this list to be a "33 things about me on my 33rd birthday" but then thought it would be better to do "100 things about me in honor of the 100th post" but I missed the 100th here is "103 things about me or my family that you didn't know but wish you did"
hardy har har

1. I opened Learning Adventures Preschool last year and love teaching little children!
2. I got my bachelor's degree from Georgia College and State University June 1998.
3. I went to the same school K-12. There were 49 in my graduating class and I had been in the same school since K with about half of them!
4. I had a bicycle wreck when I was 13. I saw the pothole and blacked out. The next thing I remember was running after my screaming friend and not being able to feel my front teeth. Since I blacked out I didnt' put my hands forward to catch my fall which caused my face to catch my fall:)
5. I had asphalt on my front teeth from the wreck.
6. I didn't lose any teeth in that bike wreck.
7. That was before helmets were strongly encouraged!
8. The date was April 13th-the season premiere of the show "Double Dare" on Nickelodean.
9. My mom said my face looked like hamburger meat when she saw me in the emergency room.
10. I have a scar running down the length of my nose and underneath but I won't talk anymore about this because i am sure you don't want to know anymore!
11. I love teaching preschool....did I say that already?
12. My brother and I have the same birthday. He is 38 and I am 20....ha! I am 5 years younger than he.
13. I have one sister(who always got money on our birthdays too!)
14. I have 2 children. They are both adopted.
15. I met Richard when I was 19 and got engaged on my 20th birthday!
16. I think 20 year olds are too young to get married;)
17. My parents still live in the same house that they built in 1980.
18. My bedroom was in the hallway. Most of my walls were made from bedsheets hanging from the unfinished ceiling in the basement.
19. I was scared someone was going to come in through the basement door and kill me first because I was the first person you would see.
20. We had a garden growing up every year and I HATED it. I have had 2 gardens while at this house and have LOVED each one!
21. I am a Mormon.
22. My family is the most important thing in my life!
23. Sophia's birthparents came for a visit last November. That was a WONDERFUL time. They are my heroes!
24. I love to hike and travel.
25. I love to camp.
26. I love to exercise.
27. I just took the training to become an RPM instructor at the gym.
28. My favorite season is the Fall.
29. I love Diet Coke.
30. I teach seminary and love it too.
31. I am a morning person.
32. My favorite band is Sting and the Police.
33. When we were growing up my parents wouldn't let us watch TV during the week...except The Cosby Show on Thursday nights followed by that show with Michael J. Fox...can't remember the name.
34. I use to own all the Cosby show episodes on VCR tape that my dad had recorded.
35. I use to love the show "V"....anyone remember that?
36. I don't have time to watch TV now but when I do I like Wife Swap and Bizarre Foods.
37. Richard is from the Philippines:)
38. I love to cook Filipino food.
39. Richard was the first boy I kissed.
40. I have never been pregnant but have wanted to be!
41. This is very hard to think of 100 things about yourself!

42. We have added onto our house 3 times.

43. Cricket-our toy poodle-will be 13 this year.

44. She was our first "baby"....although Richard hated when I would say "would you yell at our children like you do Cricket?":)

45. We want to visit the Philippines in 2010.

46. In 2005 we planned to visit the Philippines in ain't happin'!

47. We own 3 cars.

48. My favorite resturant is one with good food and good service and one where I dont' have to fix anyone's food. Ruby Tuesday and Olive Garden are 2 of my favorites I guess...oh and Hog Heaven.
49. We have lived in LaGrange for almost 10 years.
50. We think we will live in LaGrange forever.
51. I want to serve missions for our church when we retire....would love to go to the Philippines and teach little children English.
52. I would love to adopt from the Philippines.
53. I think our family is complete though.
54. I love teaching preschool....
55. My sister is my best to Richard of course.
56. My mother always told me not to disturb the dust bunnies.
57. Sophia's chore is dusting...since I am very obedient and can't disturb those dust bunnies.
58. Our favorite family activity is watching movies together at home on our projector.
59. We also love to camp.
60. Nate was adopted at 10.5 months.
61. I held Nate for the first 12 months...literally.
62. Nate's birthmom is also one of my heroes. I wish I could hug her again.
63. My Dad is 95%bedridden with Adult Stills Disease-a form of rheumatoid arthritis.
64. When we were growing up my Dad use to sign my school papers with funny names like "Bolivar Shagnastynasty" or "Snidley Whiplash"
65. My Dad's favority artist was Ray Stevens so we listened to those songs a lot.
66. My grandmother lived in Florida and that is where we vacationed every summer.
67. Most of the people in my school had never been to the beach....I went every year:) But had to endure 13 hours in the car with my brother and sister to get there!
68. I love cake with icing....preferrable coconut cake but I also love cake with cream cheese frosting....I just love cake
69. I want to visit New York City again.
70. I love to shop at thrift stores.
71. I love to read children's books.
72. We bought our first computer in 1996 for $3000.
73. My second toe is longer than my big toe.
74. I just realized that these are supposed to be facts about ME but I don't think I could come up with 100 facts about me unless they were useless like #73 and 75.
75. I had my ingrown toenails removed when I was a senior in highschool.
76. I was the drum major for 2 years. It was SOOOO much fun.
77. I played in the jazz band for 2 years in college. It paid for my tuition and was SOOOO fun!
78. I wish I was an accomplished musician.
79. I am only 60 inches tall....did I put that down already?
80. I am taller than my mother....who is shrinking.
81. My mother-in-law is shorter than me also. My eight year old neighbor is taller than me already!
82. I couldn't wait until I was old enough to babysit.
83. I love watching my children grow up.
84. I hate that my children are growing up too fast.
85. I want to learn another language....which will be Tagalog so I can talk to my in-laws....well so at least I can understand them when they speak that language....because they speak another one as well.
86. I like to do this....alot....
87. I love to talk about adoption.
88. I have never gotten into a fist fight.
89. I have watched someone die before.
90. I love RPM class.
91. I am on the Advisory Board for LDS Family Services. It sounds impressive but it really isn't....although it will look good on a resume!
92. I hope I never need a resume!
93. I would love to go back to school and get my masters degree in Montessori Education.
94. I would also love to get a masters in social work and help facilitate adoptions.
95. I will not go back to school until the kids are grown!
96. I am certified in CPR and I hope I never have to use it.
97. I have a lighted EXIT sign in my house.
98. I use super glue a lot. My glasses are being held together right now by superglue.
99. Richard and I will be married for 13 years this June....and it just gets better.
100. My children don't know how to ride bikes....yet....see I like to put the dots...
101. You must really be bored to have read all of this...
102. I love to take afternoon naps!
103. I love visiting with my family!

Dust Bunnies

I have never been good at dusting. Don't know why....just don't do it. There just is sooooo much other stuff that needs to be done and since it isn't that important I hardly get around to it! I think I can count on one hand the number of times I have dusted in our married life. Now that the children are doing chores, that is one that Sophia has! So it does get somewhat done at least 2 times a month!

So I really should print off this sign and hang in my house....because.....

I have dust bunnies growing in my house. This is in my bedroom on the back of my nightstand.

And here is what they look like up close. My mother always warned me not to disturb them....can you see why I dont' dust???

Art Show

The art teacher at Long Cane participates in First Art Works each year. Each grade works on a piece of art and then this company frames it and they have an Art Show where parents and friends can see their art and buy it. I think it is such a cool program and the kids get excited about seeing their art! Plus part of the purchase price goes to the school!

Here is the link to Nate's art
access code 2008288836

Here is Sophia's art.
access code 2008288587

It is frustrating that you have to put in the access code! I went to their art and just copied the web address....but you do have to punch in that code!