Wednesday, July 25, 2012

What is this world coming to?

Sierra made this radio.  Cadence listens to it occasionally but otherwise it's more of a small piece of art.  Something to sit on Sierra's dresser and look pretty.  I was getting Cadence dressed Saturday morning as she pushed knobs and turned buttons on it.  Mostly static, a few song notes floating through, and then a voice.  "...massacre at the movie theatre.  At least twelve people killed and 60 more wounded."  It was surreal.  I couldn't put together that what the voice was saying was reality as it came out of a child's toy radio, Sierra's art work. 

My first thought, of course, was "Why would someone do this?" followed by "What is this world coming to?"  There are no answers to either question.  There are answers and theories as to why people snap and lose all perception of what a human life is that would cause them to do this.  But I don't think any of those answers can satisfy.  Nothing can justify this loss of so many lives.

I generally avoid the news. I don't want to know about these horrible events or abused and starving children or politicians who are lying.  Then I feel irresponsible for not being aware of these things.  So I try to take it in but so often it just sucks.  The helplessness and inability to change what needs to be changed... it sucks.  I hate that feeling.  So I put my head back in the sand.

As for what the world is coming to... I feel like my grandmother.  When she would hear of events like these and say this,  I'd inwardly shake my head at the romanticized version of how she remembered her life.  Bad things have always happened, but as I get older I do realize that life is different from when she was my age.  I remember her stating once that it was selfish to bring children into the world nowadays.  I thought it was ridiculous at the time, but after 9/11 I talked to my dad about it, wondering if she might be right.  His words were poignant and I've never forgotten them.  He said "There will always be bad people in this world, always have been.  That is why we need good people like you to raise children.  You need to raise the good people to counteract the bad."

I won't lie, it scares me to death to think that my kids can be going to see a movie or just attending school on a regular day and the worst tragedy of our lives can strike.  But when the terror and tragedies of the world seem like too much I remember my dad's words.  This is why I am here and my kids are here... so that there is more good than bad in this world.  People out there will leave their horrible mark behind, but I will make sure that my kids leave a positive, wonderful, rainbow filled mark.  And that will be why I've brought children into this world.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Just say no

We teach our children to "Just say NO".  I want my girls to know how to do that.  I want them to say no to drugs and drinking and driving.  I want them to say no to banding with the mean girls in their cruelty to single someone out.  I want them to say no to the boy who puts too many moves on too fast (Lord, help me now!).  They need to learn to say "No!" 

Because if they don't learn how to say no now, when will they learn?  How many women do you know that have a problem saying "No"?  Go ahead, raise your hand if you are guilty.  How many of us are over-schedule, over-committed, over-run, and overwhelmed?  If you say that you aren't you are very lucky.  And please call me and tell me your secret!  It seems to be primarily an issue with women.  As I discussed with my husband when and where he had to take the kids for their sports he stated "I don't want my life be overrun with their activities."  When was the last time that you heard a mom say something like that?  And yes, I know that we've said it, but when have you seen true action on it?

 I think that when we are moms often times our overcommitment is "for our kids".  Their sports, school, PTO, lessons,  healthy (and fun!) meals... things that will "better" them.  And how can we say "no" to that?  But is it always worth it if we are tired and run down all of the time?  If we are exhausted and short-tempered and prone to having a shorter fuse with them?  Is it worth it if our children are lead by our example and grow up to become parents who forget who they are and what they want because all of their energy goes into their children and home?

Sierra has a crazy week last week.  She had girl scout camp from 8-4pm, swim lessons in the evening, a swim meet Wednesday night that had her out until 10pm, and girl scout camp sleepover Thursday.  Her cousins were in town visiting so she spent the night with them at her grandparents Friday and then a pool party/slumber party for a friend's birthday on Saturday.  There was another pool/birthday party that our family went to Sunday and then a fundraiser for our friend that evening where we were out until 9:30pm.  We came home from that last event to pack her bags since she was getting up at 5am to go to sleepover girl scout camp for 5 days.  I don't know that I could have made it through all of that but she did with enthusiasm for the most part.  On Friday night when we were at her grandparents she said that really wanted to sleep in her own bed and could she go home.  And that is where I dropped the ball.

I felt that it was important for her to spend time with her cousins.  She only sees some of them once a year (if that).  This was a chance for her to spend the whole night hanging with all of them and "I" felt she needed to do that.  And, yes, I still feel it's important, but I should have taken into account her week and the chaos of it and respected her choice to be able to say "No, I don't want to do that right now".  Yet, I pushed for her to stay, and she did without complaint, and I showed her that no matter how insane your life is feeling you should still push yourself to do more.  NOT the lesson I want her to learn.  So after a little help seeing the light in this situation (here goes... "Brad, you were right!) Sierra and I sat down for a really good talk.  I told her that I should have listened and that she has the right (within a few limits) to say that she is feel overwhelmed and just needs a break.  I also told her that this is something that I hope she carries into adulthood.  I think she "got it" as much as a 9-year-old can get that concept.  And hopefully next time I won't drop the ball on it!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

July 4th, 2012

The Fourth of July was a wonderful celebration this year!  We started the morning at the beach with some yummy drinks and good company.  Since I have a sand aversion we rarely make it to the beach, so it was a special treat for the kids. They even opted to skip the pool games to stay and play at the beach!

We then had friends out to our house to swim since the only way to survive the weather was to be wet!  After that we all napped.  I was quite bummed to be scheduled to work, but it's been many years since I've had to work a July 4th night shift. My parents then joined us at the Hennings for dinner and on the way over I got the text that I was on-call for the night. Yayhoo!  We were able to have a leisurely dinner together then headed to an old friends' house to watch the lake fireworks.  Cadence needed her ears covered until she took her shirt off then randomly decided that she was okay with noise.  I know - I have no idea how that translated either!

Any holiday that let's us get together and celebrate with family and friends is a wonderful one to me!

Guess which cookie pizza Cadence decorated all by herself?!

Pool time!

Silly Maddie

 Our patriotic children... except Will.  Yes, he has the England flag on his shirt.  On the 4th of July.  You know, the day that we celebrate our independence from them?!  Yeah!  ;-)

Too loud!

I love sparklers!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Live Alyssa Live

Yesterday was an emotional day.  Tears were shed for a lot of reasons.  We cried when the torrential rain and hail blew through and we thought we might be carried off by a tornado as well as the weather preventing people from showing up to the fundraiser.  We cried when we saw Alyssa and her family skyped in to the event because we were happy to see her but sad that they couldn't make it in person.  Then we cried because of the unfairness of it all... no 10-year-old should have to go through what she is going through.  Alyssa is fighting for her life everyday.  And then we cried because of the awesomeness of a community that can come together to support this family in so many ways.  And more tears when we saw the culmination of the event for this amazing family - over $13,000!

You see, many tears and many emotions.  We all hold our breath today as we wait for the Divers to find out news of Alyssa's scans.  I'm sure I'm not the only constantly checking or facebook to see how it went.

The event went well and it all started with one person asking herself "What can I do to help?".  She talked to a few friends and then spread the word on facebook.  Yes, it took many people to put this together and many people contributed, but it started with one.  So if you feel that your idea or contribution is insignificant or that you can't "truly" make a difference, think again! Way to go, Megan!

The blood drive collected 29 units of blood (some of them doubles).  Each unit of blood can help 3 people.

Lots of love was shared!

A great band entertained

Photographers and their subjects taking cover from the rain

Joy in facepainting!

More joy!

Yep, three photographers lined up for mini-sessions.  All of the proceeds went to the Divers family

Even Santa came down to give blood

Skyping with Alyssa and her family

Yes!  Live Alyssa Live

Tuesday, July 10, 2012


I often worry about offending someone.  I try hard not to but if I feel that someone has an issue with me I can't help but wonder if I have unintentionally done something to offend them.  I don't think that I am predisposed to being offensive, but there are some people out there who seem to have a chip on their shoulder.  The ones who almost seem to be waiting to be able to say "You have offended me".

I have read A LOT of blogs, articles, yahoo group posting, etc as we have gone through the adoption process.  There are some adoptive parents who, at times, seem hyper defensive about their family dynamics and their child.  Even though I'm an adoptive parent myself, when I am around other adoptive parents I sometimes worry that I will say the wrong thing.  Last year I was at a new playgroup meet-up for adoptive families.  All of the kids there that day were either Asian or African-American.  I asked one dad where his sons were from.  He said "Florida".  Crap... I just did it.  Just like I should say that Cadence is from Virginia, because that is where she is "from" now (according to some adoptive parents).  So I rephrased and said "Oh, well where were they born?"  And he said "Florida."  Then I realized that this was group was for families of both international as well as domestic adoption!  No offense taken or given, but these are the situations and conversations that stress me out because I have this fear of inadvertently offending someone.

On the flip side, I don't feel that I am easily offended.  I think that I approach life fairly optimistically, at times maybe it's naivete.  Recently I realized that I just naturally take things at face value.  If someone seems kind, I assume that they are.  If someone asks a question about Cadence, a question that might offend some, I try to give them the benefit of the doubt that they are sincere and not malicious.  Occasionally I might rephrase my answer to enlighten them on the more PC terms, but generally I assume it's innocent curiosity and let it roll off my back.

However, once I have been hurt by someone or know that they have intentionally done something that disregards others' feeling, my radar is high... maybe a little to high.  I try to move past it, but hurt feelings can be hard for me to put aside.  When I read this beautifully written post  the other day it spoke to my soul.  It described the feeling that I would hope to attain, for better or worse.  Letting one's guard down, living in an unoffendable state,  one is sure to be hurt eventually.  Regardless, I think it's a better place to be than on the other end of the spectrum.  So while I cannot control those around me who might be "waiting to be offended", I can control myself and my responses to others.

Post note: perusing the internet for a good picture or quote I came upon this great article regarding the Unoffended Heart.  Take a look if it interests you!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Fashion Show

We are lucky to have a few babysitters this summer that live right across the street from us.  Our sweet Ema and the girls decided to have a fashion show one day!  I was sleeping, so I didn't see the results until I uploaded the pictures, but apparently the were "workin' it"!

Laurel is obsessed with having this bit of hair hang down whenever she pulls the rest back

Cadence may not have been too into it!


"Say Whaaaattt?"

I believe this was the final bow!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

The cutest Wallybird and Nastie that I've ever seen

For the second year in a row Sierra and Laurel participated in the Missoula Children's Theatre at our local Paramount Theatre.  Last year Sierra was a sweet blue bird and Laurel was an evil bat in the Snow White and Seven Dwarfs adaptationThis year roles reversed.  Sierra was a little too excited to be a Nastie and Laurel was an adorable Wallybird (she was very offended when I kept calling her a wallaby all week!). 

It was an exhausting week where I spent 4-5 hours in town, keeping Cadence from melting down due to no nap and trying hard not to spend too much money in the quaint boutiques on the downtown mall.  On Saturday the girls where at the theatre at 10am and had a 2pm and 5pm show.  They were beat by the end of the day but enjoyed their time on stage. 

As I've mentioned before, I had always wanted to act.  I love seeing their enthusiasm and creativity come out in the characters that they perform.  We can't wait til next year!

Laurel is the 3rd from left

Sierra in full Nastie character

Laurel being a sweet bird this year