May 28, 2012

My week as a single Robert attends court in a thawed out country

Last week was a chance for me to see how I would do as a single in the country with eight children, along with dogs, cats, and tadpoles.

On Monday...well, actually Sunday night, we discovered that one of our tadpoles had become a frog.  The problem?  I decided that we would wait to release him until Monday morning.  Monday morning came and he was gone....loose in the house.  Oh where, oh where could our tiny frog be???  Ugh! 

Then, one of our hens got into the house when Eleanor opened the back door.  The problem?  We have dogs...and dogs that are incessantly teased by chickens that prance about on our front porch in front of glass doors and windows as if to say "neener, neener, neener, you can't catch me!"

Well, her choice to prance *inside* our house was not wise.  They rapidly descended on the poor hen and I froze at first not sure if they had already killed her.  There was a moment of stillness....Emily, myself, the dogs, and the hen.......all still and all quiet.  And, then, she began to move and we all flew into action...literally.  The chicken began to fly up, I lurched forward to grab two of the dogs and Emily grabbed the third.  Amelia opened the door and the hen was able to walk out of our house on her own.  Whew! 

I'm sure that this didn't help my back that has been giving me trouble.  I headed for the doctor just to be told that it was probably just a pulled muscle from carrying around nearly five year old twins and a stout little three year old.  Who would have thought?!? 

On Tuesday, we forgot to take the trash down to the curb.  Most people would imagine this to be a stressful occurance but for our family, this is a disaster! 

And, then I began to get pictures from my husband who was in the twin's country awaiting court.

WAIT!!!  Just a second!  Is this the same place where we nearly froze to death???

Yep!  Here was our first home with the all it's green glory!

Remember our view of the river that was near solid ice and snow?

Here is what it looks like now!!!!

Absolutely gorgeous and warm as could be!  I seriously couldn't believe it! 

Remember the peaceful still night in the snow with the ducks?

Look how happy they are now!  They were just far more patient than I was....they knew what was just around the corner!

Can you imagine how jealous I was when he began to send these pictures from his boat ride......

Our week was spent with bleary eyed and exhausted teenagers who studied and studied for finals and finished up the rest of their projects and papers that they had been procrastinating.  It was stressful for us all as I attempted to help proofread and help them study at the same time as keeping up the house, the smaller children, the grocery shopping, the cooking, the cleaning, the laundry, the hair that my dog is busy shedding all over everywhere (I do believe he sheds an entire dog every day!) all at the same time that my back was giving me grief! (Okay, I promise to stop whining! :-)

Oh, but he is so sooooo cute......look at my adorable hairy baby!

But, I digress....we ended the week well with a successful court date on the twin's birthday!!!!!

We took them to John's Incredible Pizza Company to you recall that we had a fundraiser there?  It was so fun to go this time *with* them!  I have such beautiful pictures of them...but it will have to wait just a tiny bit longer.  The second court date finalized their adoption but it becomes officially official twenty days after the court hearing.  At which point, we will truly and completely be a family and I can officially have pics of their faces right along with ours. :-) 

Until then, here is the best I can do:

I can't forget to mention the train ride that we went on....did I mention that my back was already hurting?

K. nor Eleanor was allowed to ride on the train without an adult.  Another down side of being a single mom....I not only had to ride the jolting and lurching train once...but twice. (Oooops, now I will officially stop whining!)

It was a truly wonderful evening!

And, the twins had so much fun!

Oh, and the hours just before Robert got home?

A baby bird fell out of his nest on our front porch.  We have two nests that are used every year under the eaves of our house.  We look forward to their arrival every spring to bring forth yet another family.  I don't know what they are but they are just bigger than a finch and are black with a white underbelly and a crest on their head that looks a bit like a mohawk.  I researched a little and they look kind of like an Eastern Towhee but they have no brown.  I'd love it if someone knew what they are!

My last moments as a single mom involved me throwing on some sweats and driving our little baby to a wildlife rescue....whew!  We made it!

So, in just 20 days...the twins will lawfully be a part of our family and we will have only one more trip for immigration into America.  Almost there!

May 19, 2012

And.....he's off!!!!!

I have to admit a little jealousy here....Robert has left for Amsterdam!!!  He will then go on to the twin's country after a day spent in the airport (okay, not so jealous about that!)

No, the twins and I do not have to go on this trip which is both good and bad.  It is obviously cheaper this way but I do kind of wish I could see the country while it is beautiful, green, and warm.  And, oh, do I *love* their food!  I've been trying to get Robert to figure out a way to put it on ice and bring it back with him. LOL! (Ummm, I'm truly serious!)

And, court will be this week to finalize the adoption!!!! 

We are all excited and looking forward to a happy week ahead... we will be done with our homeschool charter for the summer, the twin's will celebrate their 5th birthday, and we will all celebrate our court date... where we will become a family with twins, on legal paper! :-) 

May 16, 2012

The meaning of sunscream and polkanuts....

Our family has a "birthday season" that is nearly akin to the stress and planning of Christmas time.  In fact, so many of our family members have birthdays at this time of the year, that it seemed absolutely fitting that the twins would also join and add their birthdays to our already completely full birthday calendar!

I thought I would highlight each of the children on or near their birthdays as we go.....since, to me, one of the greatest joys of having a large family is watching each child unfold into their own unique strengths, quirks, and stunning personalities that God gave them! :-)

Birthday season gets off to a great start with our very adored baby Eleanor, who is beginning to be not quite a baby at the age of three!  This starts me right off with an Eleanor fun fact.  This is not a child who wants to be a "big girl" nor will she ever say that she is big and can do it herself. 

Nope, she is pretty darn happy with her role as the baby of the family and is very happy to stay that way.  In fact, I just decided to ask her if she was a big girl or a baby and she responded, "I'm a baby and I'm going to turn into butterflies!"   The bottom line is, that in our household, the baby role has a lot of perks and status.

She is a *character* and has an amazing imagination.  She asked me one morning where daddy was going.  I responded that he had to go to work. 

She responded, "No he doesn't!  He has to go fight monsters.... in the water!"  She then paused for a moment and said...."will you tell him to get my Easter candy back from the monsters....they took it from me!"

Of course, her dad couldn't resist to bring her back some candy that day, to which she replied with a huge smile, "Thanks dad!"  Can you imagine the pride that she must have felt knowing that she was worth battling huge monsters for, just to win back some Easter candy? 

Eleanor's birthday party just had to be a monster party.  I'm not sure if she fears them, loathes them, or adores them....I'm pretty sure it is a mixture of all three.  But, one thing is for sure....she loves talking about them and telling stories.

So, we started her party with monster tag and then went inside and made and ate monster meatloaf heads.

Afterwards, we had glow in the dark crazy monstery duck toys that became great dance partners!

They had so much fun together!

Hmmm, so what do sunscream, bobbom, bamana, and polkanuts all have in common? 

They are Eleanorese for sunscreen, bottom, banana, and polka dots and are now part of the family vocabulary. :-)

Happy Birthday to my hysterically funny, ever so confident, sometimes a stinker, walks with her hands behind her back like royalty, and super cuddly little three year baby!

Next birthday is Robertson's but I still need to blog about our upcoming is coming soon, I promise!

May 8, 2012

It is truly a miracle!!!!!

I am so full of emotion today that my hands are having a hard time typing the words....we have gone from near panic about the time running out for our second trip and not knowing how we were ever going to make it work..... to being fully funded in one single day!!!! 

Our anonymous donor sent another large donation and we are fully funded for trip #2!!!  Can you all even imagine the intense emotions I am feeling?!?   I've never been so glad that I have a blog or otherwise I would have absolutely no way to express my gratitude...I am desperate for them to know how much this means to our family and I hope they are reading this!

Let me explain why I have been absolutely brought to my knees with gratitude....

Ever since we have been home, I have had fundraising in the back of my mind.  I knew that I needed to do it....and I knew that there just had to be a way but time was always so short now that we had the twins home.  Adjusting to two new children is not easy (and adjusting to family, pets, chickens, speaking English, and country living has undoubtedly been even harder for them!)  And, bonding takes concentrated and solid time spent interacting can't be done in spare time(as if I had much of that anyway!)  So, in the beginning, I prioritized and chose the twins and the family.

Then, as our days began racing forward and we got our dates for our second trip and court, I realized I  *had* to get busy!  I struggled with attempting some of the past fundraiser ideas because I was afraid that many of the people who might participate would be the same ones who had already helped us.  The last thing I wanted to do was have our family and friends feel at all obligated or pressured to help when they had already been so very helpful and generous for our first trip. 

I decided that I would put extra focus on our business and list all of our ebay items and books that I've been slowly but surely working on getting up to auction. 

And then......well, remember what I said at the end of my last post?  I mentioned that we had a bit of a flood?

Our toilet flooded in our downstairs guest bedroom. We had recently renovated the entire room for my grandmother before she passed away....and now it was ruined.

 Also, the water did not stay localized in the bedroom or bathroom, but rather it carried on like a river and  poured into our library/ebay room and damaged many books and items that I had planned to sell.

We had to remove all of the carpet in the bedroom and threw away bags and bags of merchandise and books.  It was sickening and an *enormous* amount of work and time that I truly didn't have....and certainly didn't help with fundraising!

Thankfully, I saved my grandma's rocking apparent damage.  It has a great story that I may just decide to share someday. :)
Anyway, I am just now beginning to get caught back up from all of the other things that didn't get done while I was mucking out two flooded rooms.  <sigh>

So, today, this very day, was *the* day that I was going to just focus the whole day on getting auctions up and developing new ideas and new listings on etsy for our business.

 I started out at 4:45am to get ready to teach seminary.  My daughters and the other two truly wonderful teenagers in my class are all getting ready for a scripture bowl competition.  I taught a lesson and we had some fast and furious practice competition and then I headed on home to start the day. 

Let's see (just for fun) if I can think of all I did this morning....(well, just a few highlights perhaps!)

breakfast for the children,

boiling lettuce for our tadpoles,

fed the chickens and attempted to gradually entice them back into the very coop where many of their family and friends were murdered by some stray animal in the night (yeah, they're not buying it so far...),

 unloaded/reloaded the dishwasher,

broke up a tug of war between Eleanor and I. over bright red lip gloss that they were both eating (Amelia was just reading this over my shoulder and said, "oh my gosh, was that MINE???"),

reminded children one or two or three plus times that they needed to work on their chores,

helped Robertson and Amelia get started on their homeschool curriculum,

reminded the two of them one or two or ten times to focus on their work,

and finally, I was called outside to witness this interesting moment in country living:

Yes....these are bees that have decided to move...and I'm hoping that they are just planning to hang out on the outside of our chimney for a night before moving on...kind of like a short motel stay vs their new home. Pretty please!

And, yes, this was all before noon!  Ummmm, how many listings did I get done?

Absolutely none! :-(  I was so frustrated and feeling overwhelmed trying to figure out what in the world I was going to have to do to get some quiet uninterrupted time in order to work, and the day was already half gone....

Then, my daughter came into the house with her eyes all excited about the mail.....and there was our donation. 

I truly wish I had the words.....but often words just don't have the power and the emotion that real life can convey.  I am deeply, deeply grateful for the person or persons that care so much about the twins and our family.  I'm not sure if they know how many hours and hours I would have had to work and take time away from the children in order to earn the funds that were needed.  I am truly not even sure if I could have done it unless I had stayed up all night every night until Robert left. 

I am amazed, thankful, and in awe of the fact that our Heavenly Father has indeed made sure that our prayers were answered and that the twins will be ours on paper as well as in our hearts.  It is all so wonderful and humbling and overwhelming.  I often feel like I am unsure if I can believe it and that I am still in shock....This has been a day of a real life miracle for our family!!!!

To our anonymous donor....we will never ever forget the kindness that you extended to us and we will enjoy telling the twins throughout their whole life what an act of altruism that was to give so much and not ask for any recognition.  We will strive to do likewise and use this as an example of how we want to live and behave....just as our Savior would.  Thank you dear donor, we hope you hear and feel the great love and appreciation our family sends to you.
With our love,
The Walker Family