Lilypie 6th to 18th Ticker Lilypie 5th Birthday Ticker Lilypie 3rd Birthday Ticker

Friday, June 30, 2006

Favorite Kids Books.....

I thought I'd list my 10 favorite kids books today. My boys can sit and listen to books forever....some I LOVE to read and others I wish would find their way to the pile of lost left socks......but here are my faves.......feel free to add yours too!
1. Where The Wild Things Are - by Maurice Sendak
2. Tumble Bumble- by Felicia Bond
3. Jamberry- by Bruce Degen
4. Goodnight Moon- by Margaret Wise Brown
5. Anything by Dr. Seuss
6. Guji Guji- by Chih-Yuan Chen
7. How Dinosaurs say Goodnight..... (any of them really!) Jane Yolen and Mark Teague
8. The Giving Tree- by Shel Silverstein
9. The Big Red Barn- by Margaret Wise Brown
9 1/2. Stellaluna- by Janell Cannon
10. Polar Express- by Chris Van Allsburg

I could probably add a bunch more......some have messages, some are educational and some are just so sweet- but these "10ish" are my favorites...they have passed the test of two HIGH ENERGY boys- and 5.5 years of story time- The list is beginning to change for us as my older son is aging out of some of the more "babyish" books and we are adding books with chapters but this list would get any new mom or mom of small children through weeks of bedtime routines! I can't wait to hear some of your favorites!

Thursday, June 29, 2006


First of all....should ice cream stain a child? Not his clothes....but the actual child. Even after a bath Monkey man looked like a smurf!

Second picture.....the kids first pig roast.....I seriously thought they would scream in terror- nope....Jr. Spaceman wanted to know if the pig had a name.....I told him I didn't know and he said "is the meat really from that pig? and I said yes.....not wanting to lie....and his response....."man, that pig sure is tasty"! So now the pig is forever known as "Tasty".......(he also didn't think it was nice to kill the pig while the pig was eating the apple...."they could have at least let him finish".......I did let him know that the apple was put in after for decoration.....)KIDS!

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Works For Me Wednesday.....

I'm once again joining in Works for Me Wednesday hosted by Shannon at Rocks in My Dryer. You can go over there each week and see links to many posts with great tips, or try to post one of your own next week.

My boys are only 5 and 3 and already birthday parties are becoming ridiculous. Here at Team R. we do not "go overboard" when it comes to birthday parties- we decide ahead of time how much money we will be spending on the birthday (to include party and gift) and then decide where we will have the celebration and how many kids will come. The problem usually lies in the goody bags. Man can they be expensive. The last two years we have come up with a great and inexpensive way to solve the expense of the goody bag (plus....who needs more candy in their house right!) The first year (this only works because Jr. spaceman's birthday is in Dec.) we ordered a bunch of ornaments from oriental trading and with a sharpie wrote each child's name on the ornament....quick- easy and cost us less than $1 per guest......The next year we were a bit more technically advanced (well, my husband was!) We downloaded about 10 songs (kid friendly) from ITunes and copied them onto CD's (completely legal!)- Each song was 99 cents. I think you are allowed to copy each song 6 times so you may have to pay for the same song twice....or download a bunch of different songs so each kid gets a slightly different CD....which is helpful if you have a broad age range.....there are lots of songs from favorite movies/cartoons/kids bop......Laurie Berkner is a favorite in this house and she has a bunch of CD's available on ITunes.....I believe that birthday party was less than $2 a kid for the goody bag....hope this helps...It worked for me!

Tuesday, June 27, 2006


I've finally figured out how to post pictures!!!! I am technically challenged so this is HUGE for me! The first pic is of my husband "Spaceman" and our youngest son "Monkey man....and the second is of me and my older son "Jr. Spaceman"......aghhhh finally a face to put with the names!

Too funny.....

I'm watching Jr. Spaceman (5.5yrs) with headphones on "screaming" the lyrics to a few kids bop tapes......Monkey man (3yrs) is following behind him "singing" and dancing too! Too bad they got mom's singing ability.....or lack there of!

They are playing with a toy Monkey man got for his 3rd birthday- I highly recommend it- they both LOVE is the star station headphone plays the same cartridge that the original star station uses.....all by fisher price.....

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Bubble Wrap and the 8 ball......

here is a fun website.....

and another.....

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Please Help.......

Dear Friends ,
By taking action right now, you can help turn a potential setback to the effort to stop the genocide in Darfur into an opportunity!
Yesterday, Deputy Secretary of State Robert Zoellick - who personally helped negotiate a peace agreement between the Sudanese government and Darfur rebel groups - resigned.
Zoellick served as an advocate for Darfur within the Bush Administration. With him now gone, we must keep the pressure on President Bush to act. And since today is World Refugee Day - created by the UN in 2001 to recognize the millions of refugees and displaced people around the globe - there is no better opportunity.
Click here to send a message to President Bush. Remind him on World Refugee Day to appoint a coordinator of US policy in Darfur and to push for creation of a UN peacekeeping force in Darfur.
Last month, Deputy Secretary Zoellick aided in brokering a peace agreement - an important first step. Yet with hundreds of thousands in Darfur already dead, millions more displaced and many at risk every day, we must continue to press for a solution.
That is why we are asking President Bush to appoint a special US envoy to the region and to press for a UN peacekeeping force to be on the ground in Darfur no later than October. We cannot wait any longer!
Join us in asking President Bush:
To push for a UN force for Darfur;
To strengthen African Union troops already in Darfur until the UN arrives;
To continue supporting humanitarian assistance programs in Darfur; and
To appoint a special envoy to coordinate US policy in the region.
Click here to email President Bush today. Today is World Refugee Day today - a day set aside to remember the millions of refugees around the globe - and now is the time to remind President Bush of the plight of Darfur's 2.5 million refugees.
Thank you for your continued support.
David RubensteinSave Darfur Coalition

Sunday, June 18, 2006

A Name Game....

New Names
1. YOUR ROCK STAR NAME (first pet and current street name): Molly Pebble Hill
2. YOUR MOVIE STAR NAME (grandfather/grandmother on your mom's side, your favorite candy): Kathryn Peanut Butter Cup (ummmm, what kind of movies?)
3. YOUR "FLY GIRL/GUY" NAME (first initial of first name, first two or three letters of your middle name):M-Kat (ohhhh yeah!)
4. YOUR DETECTIVE NAME (father's mother's name, street where you grew up):Etta Lucille
5. YOUR SOAP OPERA NAME (best friends name, city where you were born):Brooke Hudson
6. YOUR STAR WARS NAME (first 3 letters of your last name, last 3 letters of mother's maiden name):Ryd Gaf
7. SUPERHERO NAME ("The", your favorite color, favorite drink): The Blue Cabernet

Saturday, June 17, 2006

I'm not lucky.....

After reading Mary's post today about marriage it reminded me of how often I hear "how lucky I am" in regards to my marriage and my husband. My husband does a lot around our house. He is a true partner in this marriage. It is not beneath him to do a load of laundry or to take the kids with him on an errand or to even take a day off from work if he see's that "I need a day". His Mom raised him right.
But still, I am not lucky.
I was lucky the day I won a VCR. I was lucky the day my engagement ring fell off of my hand and I heard the ping. But my marriage.....I am not lucky. My husband and I take full credit (and of course God too!)
Mary points out that the success is in recognizing the importance of the little things. She is so right. My husband and I do not take expensive vacations. We do not even get to go on dates as often as we'd like. We do not spend tons of money on gifts for each other. We do, however, make time everyday to show gratitude. We make an effort to greet each other every morning and every evening when he comes home from work. He makes sure the coffee is made in the morning and I make sure dinner is hot and ready when he comes home from work. We touch. I can't pass him in the hallway without a slap on the hand (or bum!). We hug. We hug a lot. We do not leave the house without a kiss or an I love you. I overlook his shoes NOT on the shoe rack and he forgives me for not emptying my pockets before I put my pants in the laundry. I lovingly put the toilet seat down before I use the bathroom and he smiles as he reorganizes the pantry after I put the grocery's away. He now joins in as we sing the grocery list and I've learned to love science fiction.
His flaws are now endearing. My flaws would be the first thing he'd miss if I were gone. We make a conscience choice everyday to make today better than yesterday. Most days we are successful- some days we vow to do better. Either way, we are not lucky.
check out Mary's post....she says it perfectly

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Works for me Wednesday....

Gosh, is it Wed. already? Well, this week I have a boring but useful tip. We have a lot of the same colored sheets- but for all different sized beds. So I don't grab a twin fitted sheet and a double top sheet for a queen sized bed I use this solution: when I pull the sheets out of the dryer I match up the fitted and top sheet and after folding them I put them IN the pillow case. I also make sure the tag that states what size the sheets are is visable from the opening of the pillow case. This system has made making beds a lot easier! Works for me!


while surfing I found this on someone's site....I wish I could remember which one and give them credit- but it is out there and worth watching. Thank goodness there are people willing to see the bigger picture and do what is right- the world needs another $150,000 music video like my kids need another power ranger toy......I liked Sarah MCLachlan I LOVE her!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Alberto, you stink part 2

My 5 year old wakes up this morning and says- "black sky plus rain plus wind doesn't equal anything good".......Amen Jr. Spaceman.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Alberto you stink......

so our first tropical storm experience and it is yucky (to quote my 5 year old) we are located on the east coast of Florida so we aren't really experiencing anything other than overcast and drizzly weather- I guess tomorrow it will be more rain- my boys are NOT indoor kids so this is going to be painful. Normally I'd throw caution to the wind and let them play in the rain but H. (monkey man) is sick- thought it was croup for a minute (had that two Easters ago and wouldn't wish that on anyone) but come to find out just a nasty cold.......hopefully in two days or so it won't turn into croup. My older son X. (Jr. spaceman) still wants to go to swimming lessons so I'm trying to figure out how to get him there but not make monkey man sit in the rain.......I could sit in the car but then I don't have "my eye" on Jr. Spaceman........aghhhhh the craziness of it all........

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Technical Difficulties....

why is it that my husband can program the new toy my son got for his birthday (read with me DVD) but he can't get the disk out of the package?.......hmmmmm

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Great vacation opportunity.....

I know most of us have small children- but here is a great *vacation* opportunity for those of you who have family near by or maybe something for the rest of us to keep in the back of our mind for when the kids get older.

There are many countries to chose from and some opportunities right here in our own country. Each countries needs are unique so you have the chance to do something you love or are good at while visiting a location you've dreamed of.......I'll tuck this away for now.....Maybe, someday.

Friday, June 09, 2006

House Guests

Well we are done being hosts. My best friend and her family came down for a quick visit. We had such a good time reconnecting and watching our children play like they still lived down the road from us. It is amazing how kids can pick up right where they left off. I'm grateful for that since we move so frequently. We took the kids to Disney. Oh my goodness- what fun. My boys had never been and the look of pure innocent joy. At every turn they were more surprised and more excited and couldn't say thank you enough. We had a great time.

Now that Mickey has most of our money and all of our energy (we are still recovering!) and our guests are gone- it is time to get back into our routine.....and begin to get ready for our holiday in NY. I have a ton of laundry- rooms to rearrange and very tired children who need to rest today- hope it all gets done!

I checked CCAI's web page today and noticed that they have changed the est. time for adoption again. It is now saying the average adoption will take 19-21 months. Wow- a huge difference from when we began researching this. This creates some interesting challenges for us- outside of the "oh my goodness how will I endure the wait"? We move every three years and when we begin the process in Jan. we will already have been in Florida for 1 year. That only leaves us 2 years left in this state (and who knows where we will be next). I'm not sure how it works when you move- and we would most likely move before the adoption was completed. This is a bigger consideration than just having the home study updated. When we move my husband usually has to return to the "school house" in California and receive training for his new job. That is anywhere between 3 weeks to 3 months. Then getting resettled in our new home- finding schools- socializing our children- my husband figuring out his new job and squadron.....and then asking for time off to travel- of course with no definite plans and things could change at any minute ! I imagine the conversation would go something like "Hello sir, this is Capt. R. reporting for duty. Yes, Sir, our travels went well and I'm looking forward to being a part of this squadron and mission. Oh and by the way Sir, my wife and I are 3/4 into an international adoption and I'll be needing anywhere from 3-4 weeks off at some point. No, Sir I have no idea when that will be- No, Sir I can't call China and find out any definite answers. Yes Sir, if I had to guess it would be sometime in the next 3 months......No, Sir, I don't have any dates...." and this would go on and on and on.......Oh my- the thought gives me hives! It surely would not make a great first impression.
My husband has asked me to pray and consider that maybe E. isn't in China.......I have a hard time believing that.....but 6 months ago I asked him to pray and consider that our family wasn't complete....he was hesitant but willing- and here we are......

Thursday, June 01, 2006


Happy 3rd birthday to H.!!!!! I can't believe he is 3- it goes sooooo fast. No more babies in this house....well, for now anyway!

My Mom........

My mom is a wonderful women. I could go on and on about all of the wonderful things she did for us- how she nurtured us, educated us, and taught us to be good people....well, she did all of those things but if you really want to get an insight into my mom read with her was a wild ride!

Take example number 1 for instance.......My mom is (and this is her term not mine) a moody eater. She did not like to grocery shop once a week and plan out menus. Nope- she went grocery shopping EVERY SINGLE DAY. We'd get home from school and at about 4pm you'd hear the dreaded words....."hey girls, what do you want for dinner"? Agh- that meant nobody was going to agree so she would end up dragging us all to the store with her. You have to understand a bit of back history- she is a nurse. She works with some of the sickest people in the hospital as she is an ICU nurse. After my sister was born she decided she couldn't put us in daycare and took the midnight shift so she could be home with us during the day (only sleeping when we slept)- even after we went to school she kept these hours- she believed the teen years were the most important to be around for. So needless to say my mom spent many many years quite a bit sleep going to the grocery store were words we didn't want to hear.

Upon arriving at the grocery store she would immediately begin dancing (no, she did not drink- this behavior was all natural baby!) being like my mother I'd always end up joining her (this made my sisters crazy). We'd often speak to each other in Spanish during these trips. The problem was none of us new Spanish! The trip always took longer than a grocery store trip should. So by the time we all agreed on a meal and got the ingredients checked out and paid- we were all on edge. We'd load the groceries into the car- at this point you need to realize my mom is IN the car and the car IS running. Once the trunk closed- she left. Laughing her head off mind you. Yup, those of you following along with this very long post realize my sisters and I are still in the parking lot! She'd only drive a few hundred feet. Stop. Watch us run to the car. As soon as one of us put her hand on the door she went again. This didn't happen one or even two times-NO- but the entire length of the parking lot........she did finally let us in- but this happened every single time we went to the grocery store. EVERY SINGLE TIME. This was long so I'll spare you examples 2-1,000.

Sad thing, I now do this to my husband! (the boys are a bit too young- but their turn will come!)