Monday, July 14, 2008

We're BACK!

Gosh! I took my computer with us to the beach but never took the time to post! We left right after Brennen's birthday party so I have a lot of updates to do!

Brennen was a trooper at his party even if he didn't like putting his hands in the cake! This boy will rub everything else all over his face and hands but not CAKE! Well, maybe next year. Sara and Chris threw a very good birthday party. They cooked hotdogs and hamburgers and even rented one of those blow up jumpy things for the kids to play in. Brennen had a very good time but really was only interested in one toy... the tricycle that his Aunt Charlotte and Uncle Ben gave him. It was the big hit! He wanted to push it all over the place! We gave him a sand and water table. He showed a little interest in it but was just taken by the tricycle.

Then we headed to the beach to our luxury condo. We literally walked across the parking lot and were on the beach. It was so very nice! Carolyn and I hit the beach on Sunday and didn't stop until it rained on Friday. I even coaxed Geoff out on the beach on Monday. He is not a fan of water but is trying very hard to learn since he knows that will be a place that we will want to take Lexi. In fact anyone who lives here needs to be able to swim some. My brother feel off of a dock one time when he was about 5 years old and we had to jump in the get him. And even Brennen is fearless already on the beach! Sara brought him up and stayed a few nights and as soon as his feet hit the sand he made a bee line for the water. He rushed at the waves! If we hadn't had his hands he would have been swept away by waves! He really made me nervous!

We came back last Saturday to find that my milkweed plants at home and at school have just grown immensely! I even have baby Monarch caterpillars on them already. At school the sunflowers are at least 8ft. tall! And the plants that we planted right before I left in the garden are already up and a pretty good size. I'm working to get it in good shape before the students come back to school.

Today I was working outside when two of the custodians came out to check out the garden. They are always helping me do something out there. Well, I was telling them that next summer I would not be out there everyday and would need to get students and their parents more actively involved because I'd have a baby at home. They both looked at me and in shock and then remembered the adoption. They were looking for a baby bump! It was too funny! We've been waiting for so long now that people have actually forgotten that we are adopting! This week on July 16th, will be three years ago that we made the decision to go to China. We named Lexi on the same day. My, that seems just like yesterday but in also it seems forever ago.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Birthday Update

We had Chris, Sara, and Brennen over for dinner so that we could see him on his official birthday. We ordered out Mexican food and after we finished Sara and Chris gave Brennen a tiny little birthday cake. Well, I hope he improves by Saturday because the little munchkin did not take to his cake very well. He was curious.... But then as soon as he touched the cake, he decided that it was yucky!
Sara tried to give him a little taste but that was a no-go too!
In the end, he was reaching for his Grammie to rescue him! It was too funny! The real party is this Saturday. We'll see how he does then!

Tales from the garden...

Remember the Swallowtail caterpillars? Well, this is one that I put in a butterfly tent to watch make his metamorphosis.

This is him after a day. Now we're watching to see when he will hatch.

Well, yesterday I met my Dad up at school to do some planting in the garden. I really really want the kids to see some summer harvest so we replanted corn, zucchini, squash, cucumbers, and green beans. I wanted to learn my Dad's way of planting. I have to say we had a great time! I love to spend time with Daddy learning about his past and how he does things. It also means so much to me that he will come up on a hot summer day to work so hard in the hot sun just because I want to. Times like this are priceless!
After a while my MOM came up to check on us. While we were piddling around I noticed this little lady!
So Mom and I started to watch her. Sure enough, she is my first Monarch of the season who is laying eggs! She laid eggs as long as we watched! It was fascinating! I did my best to get some good pictures!
Now I'm conflicted about going away next week! My principal is supposed to mind the garden while I'm away. I check daily for aphids and signs of disease on my plants and make sure they are watered. I probably will have his number on speed dial next week to make sure everything is properly taken care of!

Attracting Monarch butterflies is pretty much a hobby of mine. I've done it for the past 3 years and have loved every moment of it. I get amazed by nature every time I observe the process. However, this morning while I was out minding the milkweed plants, I leaned over to check out a plant and all of a sudden heard a loud buzzing! I looked up and right in front of me was a wasp stinging on of my Swallowtail cats! I shooed him off but it was too late! Poor thing just died. I was so upset! I know that nature has it's laws but today nature just totally blew my day! The nasty little wasp came back for it later on when I left. They use them to lay eggs in inside of their nests. I have a bunch more cats growing in my little herb garden. I sure hope he will stay away! My brother and Mom are going to be taking care of my plants, dogs and cats, and caterpillars next week. Hopefully, all will be okay!

I do plan to continue to keep my little hobby intact when I have Lexi. I think showing her things like this will bring very educational experiences to her and stimulate her curiosity. Maybe she will grow to be a nature girl just like her mom. I know I have picked up a lot this from my wonderful parents.

And yes, I am choosing to pretty much ignore the disappointing news that we got yesterday that referrals only made it through Jan. 25 of '06. I guess some progress is better than no progress. We now have 31 days between where CCAA is and where we WANT them to be!

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Happy 1st Birthday Brennen!

One year ago today, we were blessed with the birth of this beautiful boy! Today we celebrate Brennen! We had dinner with Sara, Chris and Brennen tonight and gave him a pre-birthday party present. Saturday, he will have the birthday bash. Anyhow, here are some of the pictures from the photo shoot from last Friday. Needless to say, this boy melts our hearts!