Wednesday, February 27, 2008

A little white paint never hurt anybody...

Here's the deal. Isaac turns 8 on March 8, 2008, get it? So if you go to the same place I do on Sundays, you know what's coming...Baptism. That's the EASY part. Even though it's my first Baptism as the Primary president and I have no idea what I'm doing! The thing that has the knickers in a bunch is the inevitable family gathering afterward at home. MY HOME!

Now, I'm not the greatest housekeeper in the world. You couldn't actually call the Health Department on me, but who actually cleans baseboards?!?! So every time we plan a gathering at my house I realize the dents, smudges, marks, smears, and what the heck is on the wall right there?? At least I don't have carpet through our living space! Yikes! Could you just imagine! So I started one of my big projects for the year a few weeks ago, and, for heck's sake, it's not anywhere close to being done! So I am scrambling to get that done. AND, then there are those baseboards, the doors, trim, closets, walls, walls, walls, and the laundry room! Oh, my goodness gracious, great balls of fire, if you know what I mean. So I have a list, a long list, of everything that needs to be done before the 8th of March...yes, he is getting Baptized on his birthday, cool, huh! Except for the fact that I had my mind set on the end of March for it!

This is what I have done so far....Most of the kids' bathroom painted, the hallway walls cleaned and painted, the wall along the front door and just where the kids' cars, heads and other various things, ding, spackled and sanded...need to get another quart of paint for that one!, baseboards shaped up with some pretty white paint, doors and frames and closets, white again with the pretty sparkly white paint. The To-Do list is too long to type out. There is also Joy School next week that I am teaching, Sharing Time on the 9th that I am teaching and various and sundry other things that need my attention. Never mind the fact that everyone around here thinks I should do laundry and make dinner.

You know what they say "a little white paint never hurt anybody" Oh wait! Maybe that's white lie. Oh well...There is a reward for doing all of this running and jumping through hoops! The house looks really nice, new and neat! I love a freshly painted's one of my absolute favorite things in the world! So on with the painting, scrubbing, and other such stuff. Aaahh..I actually feel better now. Now that's THERAPY!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Mustache Power!

So, a funny thing has been happening at our house lately. Our children have been endowed with "mustache power". Daniel and I don't really know where it came from or what it's use is. Apparently they can hold up the universe with it, though. The boys do this whole routine of getting the power and this is what the "mustache power" looks like when it's in full attire...

They just walk around saying they have "mustache power" and "mustache power" to the rescue.

So who could resist but Google Mustaches?? Here are a few of what we found...

Can you just imagine the "power" these mustaches have? Do your children posses any special powers??

Friday, February 22, 2008

You can tell a lot about a girl...

...By What's in her purse! My sister Laurie did this as a Friday boredom buster. I have to laugh, too, because our last Enrichment meeting was on just that subject. Let's get "Purse" enal. My purse won for having the most interesting item and for being the heaviest at 6 pounds!!

Here's what's in mine..

Day Calendar
New Joy School schedule
Cell phone
Gift card to Great Harvest
Contact case
Contact solution
I Am A Child of God bracelet
Camping chain
Glow in the dark scorpion
Static Guard
Wipies box
Small carry all bag...with various and sundry personal items
Orbit spearmint gum
Freshmints Tic Tacs
2 lipstick tubes
Lip gloss
Gold Bond healing lotion
Small picture album
Transformer Mini-Con
Chewy chocolate chip granola bar
Hair tie
Empty Orbit crystal mint gum box
Small toy baby bottle
Envelope with my kids school pictures in it
Life Savers gummies
3 pencils 1 purple pen
2 bags of fruit snacks
4 suckers
2 empty Extra bubble gum packages
3 paper clips
1 quarter, 1 dime, 1 nickel, 3 pennies
Old gum wrappers, a couple with old gum in them
Receipts from Winegars, Taco Time, Ben Franklin, and Papa Murphey's
1 Pillsbury coupon
Small flashlight
2 Pony tail holders
Several M & Ms and Skittles (Can you tell I'm at the bottom)
Glucose tablets
Pepper spray
Bike chain keys
Packet of Kleenex
Uri-mate (Winner of "most interesting item")
Fabric sample
Various small fries from Arby's and popcorn from the last movie

What a great way to clean it out! And can you believe it weighed 6 pounds!?!?

Now what's in yours???

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The 1980's

Ok, a friend of mine went to a 50's dance last week (hi Tiffany) and listed on her blog all the 50's slang they learned to use that night. One word was "grody". Any other 80's kids remember that one?? Like, grody to the max! So I mentioned that there was some stuff from the 80's on there too. So I am officially going to date myself here. I am a self proclaimed 80's girl. I didn't do much, just got through the 80's in one piece! I graduated in 1989...WOW, was that a long time ago! So here are some memories and some currently used items from that totally awesome era!
Note that much of it is "Valley Girl" with a little "Dude" for fun...

Totally awesome
Like, whatever
Gag me with a spoon
Like, Oh my gosh (the Mormon version)
Grody to the max (as afore mentioned)
Who you gonna call? (Ghostbusters!)
That's bad (as in totally awesome)
You are the bomb
Chill out
So rad
Gnarly dude
Whatcha talkin about Willis?
And so many more...
Those were the days of big permed ratted hair, acid washed jeans, leg warmers, head bands, Michael Jackson (the black one), Miami Vice, Mullets, parachute pants, break dancing (I seriously swore to my mom that it would last forever), cabbage patch dolls, Swatches, high tops and jelly shoes. Anyone remember those days? Did you get through unscathed or did you fall into the clutches of Valley Girl speak and great big leg warmers and big belts over your stone washed jeans?!?! I am, like, so totally over all that cheesy 80's, dude! I so totally need to go listen to some Bananarama on my Ipod!!

Friday, February 15, 2008


3 years ago today we became a family of 5. Today is a day to reflect with my daughter on our journey to her and her journey to our family. We don't celebrate with a big party, we don't even get Chinese food. We just enjoy the fact that we have our 3 kids in our arms right now!

On February 16, 2005, our boys were safe at grandma and grandpa's house, and Daniel and I traveled on a bus on a cold, windy, rainy day to the Civil Affairs office in Nanchang, Jiangxi, China. We were taken to a cold room on the second floor and could hear the babies crying in another room that was way too far away. They assigned each couple a number, 1-8. We were couple number 5. As the first 4 couples were called, tears would come to my eyes as I watched each daughter being united with her mom and dad. When I finally heard the words, "Couple number 5, Daniel and Jennie," the tears came more freely. We walked, Daniel filming with the camcorder, and I with passports and the one paper that would prove we are her new parents, to where a man walked into the room with a bundle of tears and anxiety in his arms. I had to show our passports and Travel Approval with her picture on it before they would give her to me. Then the most amazing thing happened, just as I had had each of my sons placed in my arms, my daughter was placed in the most longingly empty arms in the world. We both cried and daddy filmed and others took pictures. I cried out of sheer joy that I finally could hold and love my baby girl. She cried because I was so different than anything she had ever felt, seen, smelled or heard in her entire 15 months. We were strangers to her. She was scared. Yet as the day went on, she smiled, winked, laughed and ate. She would look at us with fear and with hope in her eyes all at the same time. I would hold her in front of the mirror and call her "Qiu Qiu" and "Ruthann". Then I would point to Daniel and say "Baba", and to me and say "Mama". She actually started to say mama when I would hold her over the next couple of days.

When we called her new big brothers, they were just itching to see and hold their new little sister. "When are you coming home with Choo Choo??" was always what they would ask each day when we talked. When we did get our boys back in our arms, they would just watch her, put on little shows for her, show her all their toys and her new toys. She would watch them with a look of pure joy and amazement. I will never forget the time she looked at them and then looked at me with a look of "they really are mine, aren't they?!" As she began to talk, she would always refer to her brothers as "my boys".

In just a seemingly short amount of time we went from being a middle class, American, Caucasion, Mormon, just-like-everyone-else family to being a middle class, American, inter-racial, Mormon, just-like-everyone-else family. Different challenges have presented themselves with the growth of our family. We are different from other families, yet we are amazingly the same. The challenges that have come and that will continue to come as we go forward will never compare to the joy we have just being a family. I always tell my children that no matter where they were born, no matter whose belly they came from, no matter what, where, why, or when, no matter how they got into our arms, the most important thing is that they are IN OUR ARMS NOW!

Building our family has been demanding, traumatic, exciting, exhausting, joyful, and has made for the most fabulous experiences of our lives. As we are currently in the midst of another daughter making the journey to our arms and family, we find that our part of this journey is an even more difficult, more rewarding, more insightful part of any of our journeys yet. With Isaac, Samuel and Ruthann in our arms and with Sarajune in our hearts, our family is our greatest asset and reward.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

A Red Letter Day

Daniel took today off to play with us! He and Sam were playing hide and seek and Sam stopped and said his tooth came out! Yahoo!! His first tooth! Go Sammy, go Sammy! This is a red letter day to be sure!

How do I love thee, Let me count the ways...

My Sweet Isaac...

I love your K'nex building, Lego creating, Bionicle playing, sensitive, witty and clever ways. You inherited your mom's freckles and your dad's brain. Not a bad combination at all!! I love you more than you can imagine!

My Cute Sammy...

I love your silly, clever, bouncy, joke telling, cuddly wuddly, funny face adventures. You make me laugh and feel silly every day. You give the best hugs and blowfishes of anyone I know. I love you so, so, so very much!

My Adorable Ruthie...

I love your bravery, your willingness to try, your pink, purple and yellow adventures, your baby watching smiles and your princess living ways. I love being royalty with you every day. You have the best painting toenails in the family,which comes in handy. I love you like crazycakes!

There is nothing in the world I would rather do than be here with each of you. You make being a mom the best job in the universe. I love you three like my own children. WAIT A MINUTE!!!! You are my own children...I'm the luckiest mom in the world!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Thank you, Laurie!

Ok, you may have noticed how cute my blog is. It is all because of my sister, Laurie. I brought my laptop down to my mom's on Sunday, and she tirelessly worked through some moments that caused some angst as she couldn't figure out what was wrong with some things. She worked through it again on Monday and put some cute Valentine backgrounds on. Then I actually went on myself this morning and changed it all!! Woohoo! I did it, I did it!

So, thank you, Laurie, for your tireless efforts to make my blog cute!! You are the best. If you want to see her cute blog and family, click on Treasure The Little Things on the side...

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Gong Xi Fa Cai!

Happy Chinese New Year everyone! 3 years ago next Tuesday (Feb. 12) Daniel and I got on a plane for China to get our baby girl. Before we left we decided that Chinese New Year would be an excellent cultural event to institute in our family. This the the 3rd annual Dredge family CNY! We celebrate by wearing our Chinese clothes (mostly for church on Sunday) or red (color of happiness and power) and get chinese take out and give red envelopes with money in them to our kiddos. We hang red lanterns in the house, too. CNY day begins a two week long party called the Spring Festival. It ends 14 days later with the Lantern Festival. We were in China to be a part of the Lantern Festival but were so exhausted by that time in our trip that we experienced it in our hotel room. Here we are with the ravages of Chinese dinner...

After dinner we gave them each a red envelope. They are given by the adults to the children to wish them good luck and good fortune.
They each got 1 we aren't cheap we are frugal! No matter the amount, they were excited!
So far in our family we have a Dog, a Pig, a Dragon, a Horse and a Sheep. This is the year of the Rat...Will we have a Rat in the family??? We shall wait and see....

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Yep, it's my birthday.

On Sunday, I sat down next to a friend at church who said,"By the way, happy birthday this week." What?!?! Oh yeah, it IS my birthday. Honestly, I forgot...old age? Daniel bought me 2 pairs of awesome boots a few weeks ago and I have been wearing them ever since. You can't just buy them and not wear them. So I had moved on. Apparently, no matter how much you may want to forget, everyone else remembers! Thanks for the phone calls and visits and cake and everything!
Daniel got home early and had gotten a cake and some much sugar can one girl get? No, I am NOT 57! Those were the only candles we have. Better than 75, though.
This is how silly things can get at our house. Usually it's Daniel doing the shenanigans. Feeling saucy, I guess. I's my "mom with a mustache" routine, which everyone at my house finds fascinating!
Ok, I will give you a hint...I was born the year of the Pig and am officially 3 years away from my first mammogram! Have a great week!!!

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Weather in China

I am sure you have all seen reports of the winter weather that has been hitting China recently. This is particularly upsetting because so many children have been affected who live in the orphanages and in foster care homes. Even though those who care for them are doing their best, there is so much that is needed to help these children. They are cold, hungry and many don't have running water or heat.

Daniel and I were in China 3 years ago this month to adopt Ruthann. While we were there, it was cold (obviously) because it was February. When we visited the orphanage that Ruthie's foster mom was connected to, we were shocked at the "normal" temperature of freezing in the infant room. Now that the power has been affected, as well as water, these babies and children are in dire need. The weather doesn't seem to be slowing down, either.

I guess what I am after here is for help! There are 2 very respected organizations that we know of who's purpose is to provide for the children who don't have a home or family. They also provide medical treatment for the Special Needs children. Donations are accepted to help these kiddos and their caregivers at this time of crisis as well as when the weather is good. I would love to have anyone who knows us, Ruthann or anyone else who is connected to China to donate just a little bit to help these children. One organization is Love Without Boundaries and the other is Half The Sky. You can also read a bit about how the weather is affecting China in general and the children specifically on these sights. I know that we who have families and homes and food and warmth this winter can give these orphaned children just a small part of the food and warmth we enjoy with a small donation.