Saturday, January 31, 2009

My Brown Eyed Girl

So if you got to look at that pleasant little face everyday, How Happy Would You Be?
The best part is, she acts just like she looks in this picture. Just a sweet little delicious bit of golden loveliness...

Well, the snow is all but melted away and we are left with little piles here and there. My girls will make a snow person out of whatever they can. Here is the snow baby they made on Friday.

My mom is much better and went to her doctor on Friday. Everything in her neck looks good and the blood flow is back to full force. She will be having another sonogram in 5 weeks to check the other side. It was not as bad, and after taking her medication, it has repaired itself a bit. They are still thinking she will have another carotid and endectorotomy, during the first week of April, but he is thinking it will be much less severe. Thank God this went well. I cannot make it without my mother.

My dad will be leaving tomorrow. He has been here to be the "Manny" for the week. It gets more and more difficult to watch him leave. My girls are so attached to him. Since bringing home Anna almost 5 years ago, he has managed to be here about once every 6 weeks. Lately he has been here a lot more. It's tough on him too. He is so ready to retire and come up here for good. But he has that wonderful beach house he has to sell before he can retire. We all know how the real estate market is so I am not hopeful. He also has a house on the river in Fort Myers. So we need two major real estate transactions to occur soon...

As for all of my Russian plots, plans, a schemes, nothing has changed. I don't think I will make to Russia this summer, but will have a whole year to prepare for a trip in the summer of 10..I guess we will be in Florida again for the whole summer. If any of you want to come, I will be there all of July, and into the August. Honestly, it is not huge, but has 3 bedrooms. So pack your swim suits and come on down!!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Our First Real Snow

Today was the perfect kind of day...I got to come home from work early since the roads were pretty awful around my school, and when I got here, my girls were ready for some playtime.
We threw snow balls, played around, then took a really hot bath and had hot cocoa! Normal Rockwell eat your heart out!
I forgot to mention that my daughter took the photo of my dad playing with the girls. She is a great photographer. Notice my dad's Russian Hat..He also thinks he is Russian!!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Keep Looking Right...

I hope that you can see that little PayPal logo over there...No I am not adopting again. No I am not in need of a new car. I promise to share soon...

Friday, January 23, 2009

So it's Friday night and mom is home..
I went to the hospital early on Thursday and she was in her new room sleeping. She was even more swollen on her face. She was sitting up but as soon as I walked in she woke up. I brought her a bottle of Starbucks Frappacino and immediately poured it over ice for her. She had been offered coffee with her breakfast, but she said it was horrible, so I didn't feel like I was giving her anything too awful.
AugustRose was with me, but she was very afraid. Still too many wires and beeps, an tubes. I got in the room by letting her push the bed buttons and watch her "Poppy" go up and down...
Anyway, she was wayyy more clear headed, but her deep cough still required breathing treatments, and the coughing caused her blood pressure to stay high. Her headache was gone, since she had eaten breakfast.
Her neck was sore but she was almost her old self.

We stayed around for a while and then the doctor came in and said that if she could keep her lunch down, she could go home later that day. She ate and felt fine. She had another breathing treatment and got very tired. AugustRose and I went downstairs for some snacks. I had to leave to get Anni, so my sister planned to come over after work.
I left and went home to make a place for mom to rest and sleep, and just before 7, my sister brought my mom over. She had some soup and then went to bed. She had a good night's sleep and then my girls woke her up just in time for a little Blues Clues. She has been sleeping on and off all day. She has a little bit of pain in her neck, but has really done well! She is going to go home tomorrow (she lives across the street) but I may spend the night with her. OH, my dad is here to be with the girls next week. My mom cannot drive for a week. So it's just a big old family reunion!!
Thank you so much for your well wishes! We are all on the mend.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


Here is my mom, when she first met AugustRose in Novosbirsk...
Today was a rough day. My mom had to have a carotid artery surgery. She has major blockages on each side and today was only the first of three expected procedures. I had meetings at work, so my sister came down and took Anni to school, and then kept AugustRose for me. After work the girls, my sister and myself went to Fairfax Hospital for what we thought would be a visit and some silliness with mom.
We got directions at the desk and realized as we found our way to mom's floor, that she was in Critical Intensive Care. I had been to this area of the hospital before. It seems like yesterday that I got Bernadette's call. She was telling me that our small group friend Colleen had fallen and was in desperate shape. It was thought that she had lost all brain activity. Upon entering her room we were told that all was lost. She had indeed fallen and had several brain bleeds. They were keeping her alive so that her only child, a daughter in college could arrive.
I cried big fat tears that night thinking of Colleens daughter traveling from college with friends. Thinking that her mom was very sick, but not having any idea that she was gone. This child, this precious gift that Colleen loved so dearly was about to be broken. Colleen had long since divorced and dad was not really in the picture. Colleen and her daughter were like Anna and I. A mother and daughter together against the world. And now, her baby was alone.
Crowds of Church and neighborhood friends had gathered, and this darling girl who was just starting life on her own, would really have to start her life on her own...That night I called my mother to check on Anna, and after hanging up the phone, I decided to adopt again. I couldn't let my Anna be that alone.
My mom's room was right beside where Colleen's room had been. Walking in I realized my mom was in no shape to see my girls, and quickly diverted my sister and girls to the family waiting room. I went in and mom was moaning and groaning. Her neck was very swollen and she was attached to way too many lines of beeping cords and such. My fierce momma wasn't so fierce. She looked quite pitiful. I kept trying to rouse her, and it wasn't happening. All I could gather was that she was going to be sick. Her nurse had already shared that she had been given a nausea medicine but it wasn't helping. It had only made her very loopy. But not the good kind.
I got some ice chips and tried to wet her mouth, and she seemed to respond to that. I tried to get her to talk but got nothing but mumbles and cries. I went out to tell my sis about the situation and Anna wanted to see her. I told my gal that her Poppy was very sleepy and the medicine made it hard to wake up. I snuck Anna in, and she immediately stopped at the curtain. Her little face went white, and I yelled "Poppy, Anni is here."..Bless my mom's heart she managed a mumble and then I took Anni out.
My sister and I took turns going in and out of mom's room. They had made the decision to leave her in that unit for the night. I decided to take the girls home since we couldn't keep sneaking through the main doors.
After I got home my sister called to say that Mom had a coughing attack and the nurses asked her to step out..2 breathing treatments later, and an order for cough drugs my mom developed a headache and her blood pressure was not going down. More meds for that. A bit scary for my sister who is now at the CICU alone. Somewhere near 11:00 pm, the numbers starting evening out and my mom finally stopped groaning and crying. Sis left and I will go in the morning after I take Anna to school.
I trust that she is capable hands but pray for my mom. I couldn't make it without her.

Again, Something I Will Need


Monday, January 19, 2009

Happy MLK Day!

Today is supposed to be a day of Service. My service is to clean our house..We make an incredible mess in short amount of time. Later today I am going to speak with my Anna about why Martin Luther King was so important. We started the conversation in the driver through the other day she said, we have Thanksgiving in November and Christmas in December, what do we have in Janjuary?" (she calls it that) I told her we had Martin Luther King Day. She then asked if we gave presents that day. I tried to explain equality in schools, and how people of color weren't allowed to go to school with Caucasian people. I asked her if she knew anyone who were not her skin color. She mentioned a little girl in her class and her Dadu...(grandfather)
It was hard to explain any further. She doesn't see it completely. The friend that she mentioned is African American. Her grandad is not. So I asked her, "So ____ and Dadu are the same?" She said Yes. My dad is very dark with black hair, so I guess she thinks they are the same...Amazing. Kids at 5 don't really see differences. Wish we were all that lucky.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Two Random Clips

I got a new computer a while back and transferred a million unorganized photos from my old computer to my new one...I tend to save the same pictures in separte spots so my poor old Gateway just couldn't handle it. As I moved files, I found a bunch of old clips. Most are the ones Anna took in the bathroom, the car, or of her toys. I came upon these two short little clips of AugustRose playing on the computer. She was 18 month old, and already such a fast learner. I am not sure I have said it lately, but Auggie is a hot mess. She is so complex. Where Anna is a snuggle bug from the start, Auggie needs her space. Where Anna is slow to try new things and tentative about new activities, Aug will jump right in. Such different girls. Such a blessing.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Baby Jelly Beans...

My dear friend taught me this after I came home from Russia. It's a little technique called "Jelly Bean Toes." IT is traditionally done around Easter, but we do it all of the time. You pick several fun pastel colors and paint all of the toes different colors. We use 5 colors and paint each foot the same way... All about preferences.
Not much to report from the Russian school. I haven't heard from the principal yet. I am sure they are looking for teachers with less babies and grannies. It's okay. I am putting my faith in God and letting Him decide where I will be next year.
I will need to start planning for the summer soon. Right now, I am hoping to find a way to Russia to volunteer. Annie, that idea has your name written all over it....I am hoping to contact Shore of Hope to see if they have an opportunity to go to the FarEast!!
Missi, start saving your change. You have a lot of kids to get on that plane!!!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

You're Playing God Like Jimmy!

How is it that some of my best spiritual counsel comes from "Run's House?"

Tonight Run's son writes a prayer request and it's a list of all of the things he wants. A horse, and Xbox, a mini fridge. His family is tries to explain to him what a prayer request is, and what a wish list is...In the midst of this Dad (Run) tells his son,

"You're playing God like Jimmy, and all you say is Gimme."

I love that. Just a simple reminder to our young folks watching the show. And yes I know I am way to old to watch it. But I adore this family.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

It's Saturday

I have been trying to get in my "quiet time" every day this week. I sadly report I have had NONE. That's the thing about quiet time, it's very tough to find.
I actually didn't read the Bible once this week. Forgot to recycle Many Diet Coke cans, and now I am looking back on the food I have eaten. Eeeww. Tomorrow is another day.

I haven't heard back from the principal at AAS in St. Petersburg. I sent him my honest reasons for wanting to go. I was also pretty clear that unless my mother could go, I couldn't go. My mother drives me absolutely crazy, but she is the grandmother I never had, my children adore her, and I cannot leave my littlest daughter in the care of a stranger if I was so far away.
As it turns out, my mother has a very serious health condition right now and needs to have several corotid artery surgeries. She has pretty severe blockages on both sides as well as blockages in lesser arteries in the back. We have incredible vascular surgeons here, and she will be starting the process very soon. Each surgery will require her to be hospitalized for a day or so, and the surgeries will be spread out. We are looking at April or May to see the end of the process. When my mom shared the results of the extensive tests she had been having, I was very quiet. I am not afraid. I just want to get it done.

My own situation is a bit better, and I have not had any episodes since the Sunday after Christmas. I am always ready for them.

My girls are doing great. AugustRose refuses to potty train. She is the tallest 2 1/2 year old and its like changing a 5 year old's diaper. But whatever. I think that she has a little trauma from the baby home so I won't push her.
Anna has another loose tooth. It is the lower middle tooth in the front. She is thrilled that the Tooth Fairy will come again soon.

I got an email from the director of COH. She was upset that I had said some negative things about the agency on FRUA. I took my negative comments down. In my heart, I don't want to hurt Linda P.
No matter what she is like, she helped to give me my girls and I don't want to kick a dog when its down. So for now, I will just ask that you pray for them.
Maybe things will turn around for them.

So on this Saturday, I will listen.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Well, I am back at work.
I have a lot of work to do since most of my children haven't spoken English for a week, and have forgotten most of what they knew. I forgot how much I missed a couple of them. One little gal who reminds me of my daughter also lost a tooth. Another little boy who has a twin, is really making some progress. He is a super cutie too.

I also forgot about all of the children who I taught last year who say HEELLllllloooo Ms. Green whenever they see me. If they are close enough I get a hug. They think they are hot stuff now that they are in 1st grade. Stinkers.
They were rock stars. I stayed home on FMLA and they were perfect for my sub. God does that. He gives ya a great class when you will be. He knows how hard it is to find a good long term sub!

I have been trying to be quiet and take everything that Annie is reminding me off. I do need to remember how scared I was when I got food poisoning and thought I was on my death bed, and how I knew 911 was a moment away. (Called my mommie instead) (Yes I am 40)
I need to remember that when Anna had a fever for 3 days that I could cruise by urgent care, to find out she did not have the flu, rather it was strep. Antibiotics were right down the street at the 24 hour CVS. Total time. Less than 3 hours.
When AugustRose broke out into a rash from head to toe when we first got home from Russia. Head to the ER, no insurance card yet, no problem. Come on it lets get her well. Billed later, and then resubmitted it to insurance. The $1000.00 ER visit, later paid by insurance. Amount of effort to deal with it. One phone call to Blue Cross, and one phone call to the hospital...

Maybe I could find a program that would allow me to volunteer for free room and board.
Maybe I could stay with Anna and work in an orphanage in Khabarovsk...Missi, let's consider that!

Okay. I will think some more and then think some more!

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Any Wise Counselors Out There

Before I get to the serious stuff, here is something fun to share...Guess who came to our house last night........
You guessed it, THE TOOTH FAIRY!! So congrats to my little Anna Banananan, you lost your first tooth, on New Years Eve, 2008. You were very brave, and even the little bit of blood didn't scare you! Mommie is soo proud!

Where there is no wise guidance, the nation falls, but in the multitude of counselors there is victory.

Proverbs 11:14

So, I guess what I am getting at is, I need wise counsel.

Many of you know that I have struggled with my job this year. There is something very off with the way I have approached my job. It feels strangely sad to go everyday, as if there is something broken that I cannot fix.

I have had tough years, but not like this.

The children lack an overall drive to learn and regardless of my "desire to inspire" it is not getting better. My sincere hope is that when I go back next week, I will see the light in their eyes and I can begin to do the job intended.

But, for those of you who don't know, I sent my resume to AAS a few months ago.( School in Moscow and St. Peterburg Russia)

I didn't get a response, but a blogger friend suggested I push a bit more. I sent my resume directly to the principal and got a lovely email. I answered the questions and added a few of my own. I keep saying this is a huge longshot since I would obviously be bringing two children along, and typically they like to hire singles and married couples. (Usually without a granny and two little ones)

Anyway, I have so many reasons to stay here in Virginia. So why do I keep getting pulled in the direction of Russia? I need help here. I need to know why I shouldn't go. Again, I don't have the job, but I need WISE COUNSEL on whether or not this is a crazy idea.

So if there are any WISE COUNSELORS out there, would you pack your family and move overseas or stay at your job where you are comfortable?